PRIME Minister David Cameron wants to completely merge the Ulster Unionist Party with the Conversatives, The Impartial Reporter has learned.If true, then another bizarre offer from Cameron. It might be he was jesting or attempting to push the UUP into a corner but... why bother?
Mr. Cameron made his ambitious proposal to new UUP leader Tom Elliott during talks between the two politicians on Tuesday.
But the plan has been angrily rejected by Mr. Elliott who says the UUP isn’t ready for such a merger, despite Mr. Cameron’s pleas to mend the ill-fated link-up between their two parties.
Speaking to The Impartial Reporter from the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham, the Fermanagh man revealed how he strongly disagreed with the Prime Minister’s proposal during the 25-minute-long discussion.
A couple of other strange things about this; the meeting (which included UUP Chairman David Campbell and Secretary of State Owen Paterson) lasted only 25 minutes despite also dealing with economy and the First Minister appointment process. Once the handshakes, tea and digestives were out of the way, that hardly would have left time for any kind of meaningful discussion.
Secondly, as Elliot himself says, both sides are "aware of the issues". Those issues haven't changed since the start of September and won't be changing in the future, so why haven't the options already been hammered out? Why are another "few" weeks required?
Perhaps Cameron is attempting to engineer a situation by which the UUP are the ones to walk away from the partnership, leaving the NI Conservatives free to hoover up any Civic Discontents. Maybe Tom was grandstanding to the folks back in Fermanagh, hoping to buy a bit more time before the real decisions need to be made.
Perhaps and maybe; or perhaps and maybe it simply was again evidence of a lack of professionalism and long-term strategical project management skills on the part of both the Conservative High Command and the UUP?
Some Conservative grassroots' reaction here.