Monday, 14 June 2010

Will they or won't they stay together?

Mr Ulster has responded to my Belfast Telegraph piece on the NI Conservatives.  He argues that the group cannot ignore identity politics.  The thrust of the piece seems to be that it is not possible to be 'pro-Union' without engaging, to some degree, in communal politics.  He might find much to agree with over at Seymour Major's new blog.

Meanwhile O'Neill argues that the viewpoint of local Tories may be relatively academic.  Probably rightly, he contends that, should CCHQ demand that the UUP link be maintained and should Ulster Unionists remain amenable 'the views of the NI Conservatives on the matter will be of little consequence'.

The looming 2011 Assembly elections will play a role in this drama.  Clearly the Tories in North Down feel that Ian Parsley could claim a seat.  Retaining some connection with the UUP would leave them best placed to achieve this.

On the other hand, the ambitious young candidates who make up the Ulster Unionists' most pro-UCUNF wing, will also see Assembly seats as the next priority for their careers.  Short of a UUP / DUP deal, which could cause some of them to jump, they will see their best chance within the Ulster Unionist party in some form.    

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shame this post suggests it all comes down to personal calculation on careers. Perhaps that is what is 'normal' politics. Not principled, but that doesn't get elected...

thedissenter does not wish to be anonymous, but the blackberry is being difficult.

Ulster Liberal said...

In the past I have voted for explicitly Unionist parties but now I feel the Union is safe and I would like to see some sort of left/right dynamic. Certainly this idea that Catholics and Protestants are destined to be in perenial competition seems outdated to me; being an ethinc Unionist doesn't interest me, being a civic Unionist does. The traditional Unionist idea that the concept of social justice is a soley a 'Nationalist thing' belongs to the past, our working class areas are in fundamental decline,lets leave our sashes at home and get to work at solving them.

Anonymous said...

Many in the UUP take the lead from their top brass and imagine the Conservatives here are of no consequence in their party.

They may find out to their cost that they should have looked elsewhere for more factual information.