A UUP MLA has said he would be "open" to discussions on an agreed unionist candidate for the marginal Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency.OK then...if he agrees with the concept of the pact and he has actually listened to the line Owen Paterson has kept repeating for the last three months or so, then what would be the point of those talks if they are to be about "joint" candidates?
Tom Elliott was speaking after the DUP unveiled a campaign calling for one unionist representative to be on the ballot paper for next year's General Election.
The UUP man maintained the new electoral alliance his party has established with the Conservatives - who have stressed they would run candidates in all 18 Northern Ireland constituencies - should not "prohibit or preclude" talks with their main unionist rivals.
When asked if the UUP could step aside as a result of such discussions, Mr Elliott replied: "I'm not ruling in or out anything.Huh? Either that last lunchtime pint has slowed down my thought-processes or Tom is talking gibberish there.
I don't see the practical outworkings of it if the DUP think they are going to be a single candidate and win the seat, but all of that is a matter for discussion."
"The UUP MLA, who stated he was "relatively supportive" of his party's link with the Tories, argued his party was better positioned to reclaim the seat held by Sinn Fein since 2001.""Relatively supportive"? George Orwell would have loved that mangling of the Queen’s. You either support the link or you don’t; for example, you can’t be a "relatively" "agreed" UUP-Conservative candidate. Having seen the nonsense spouted you can only hope that this is an unilateral "initiative" from Elliott and not something leaked out from the party’s hierarchy because his *logic* is all over the place with this interview; some more examples:
"We can't agree something without party agreement."Oh ffs- that’s rather obvious isn’t it? Actually, reading his previous sentence, I’m pretty sure what he means here is that negotiations should take place at a senior not local level, but someone who’s offering himself up for the nation’s parliament should be able to do a much better job of expressing himself and handling the media than he’s managed with this effort.
Secondly, as previously suspected, it looks like Tom hasn’t quite yet got the grasp of what the UUP’s alliance with the Conservatives means- if that alliance is to continue, then the Conservatives views will need to be taken into account and...(one wonders how many times this fact will have to be repeated before it finally penetrates certain skulls) the Conservatives have said there will be a Conservative-approved candidate in all 18 Northern Irish constituencies.
"Speaking to the News Letter, the Fermanagh representative said: "The point I have made all along is that I have always been open to discussions but they can't be done through the public domain."A point which would have read a lot better if Tom hadn’t himself used the public domain of The Newsletter to share with us his incoherent ramblings on the matter.
The whole article is a joke to be honest although to be fair to Elliott, the fault for that lies more with the lack of any clear direction from the party’s leadership on the issue of "agreed" candidates. A simple answer of “yes” or “no” is all that’s required and the sooner the better.
And if Elliott is to be “agreed” UUP-Conservative candidate for Fermanagh and S Tyrone then a crash course in what he's actually "agreeing" to might also be useful.