Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Elliott demands end of NI Conservatives

Does Tom Elliott really think he's in such a strong negotiating position to be making such demands?
ULSTER UNIONIST Party leader Tom Elliott has demanded that the Conservative Party close its Northern Ireland branch as the price for an electoral alliance between the parties.
Such a move on the part of the Conservatives HQ would be immoral, completely undemocratic and as I've explained here, counter-productive in a whole number of ways.
However, the Northern Ireland Conservatives are “very detrimental to the relationship that we can build”, he told a meeting of the Friends of the Union. Instead of running its own candidates in the North, the Conservatives should stand aside and let the Ulster Unionists have a clear run, he said.
And achieve what?


More pointless deals

Update 2:

Apparently some details quoted by the Irish Times are being disputed; in the interests of keeping things correct and transparent on here, I've asked the UUP for either a link to or a transcript of the speech reportedly made by Tom Elliott to the Friends of the Union.

Update 3:

So,I'm more than happy now to give you the official corrections to the main points in the original article I based the post on-

1. At no time did Tom Elliott say (or infer) that he wanted the Conservatives to close their NI branch.
2. The "24 seats" comment was used as an illustration as to what could happen (re loss of ministeries under de Hondt) if the UUP lost seats or votes to the Conservatives.
3. There was no "speech", more a conversation to a smaller group.

And my own research has discovered that the "Friends of the Union" group no longer exists...perhaps time is ripe for a revival?!


thedissenter said...

The NI Conservatives where created in the face of considerable opposition from Central Office. However, it is because it was a grassroots demand which challenged and beat the centre it would be unlikely that Cameron would pick a fight at this stage with his membership which is already unsettled and uneasy about 'central' direction and control. Ironically, this probably far overstates the value of the 'Conservative' vote in NI and Elliott is talking them up at a time when he should be looking for some policy and practical support. If he thinks it is that important this sort of talk is certain to alienate that vote even more. Completely wrong in so many ways.

thedissenter said...

Things moving along today. NI Conservatives are being treated shamefully, but they should take stock and fight back. Council elections are still open to them and that is where they should make a concerted electoral effort in key areas and build profile bottom up. Hard battle, but really needing to work even harder now.

O'Neill said...

In reality, they probably wouldn't (after Elliott's stalling tactics) made much of an impact next year anyway, but that's not really the point- it should have been their decision to make. Now we have the ridiculous situation of a Unionist demanding that a UK-wide party should be closed down in one part of the UK.

Chekov said...

I'm afraid it's not so outlandish after all. See my blog. A complete U Turn by CCHQ.

Conquistador said...

The Conservative Party (NI) has always been out of its depth when it comes to Assembly elections.

The dissenter makes the point that council elections are still open to them. Whilst they have struggled in recent years, they were winning the occasional seat as recently as 1997 (when they were nothing like a party of government). There is a genuine opportunity for them to build a strong base, especially if cooperating (and thus winning transfers from) the UUP. If the local Conservatives can't see that and go ballistic in the media then they were of limited value in the first place, and should be decomissioned.