Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser...

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan show yesterday, UUP candidate Mike Nesbitt with regards to the party's relationship with the Conservatives adapted a quote from Alice in Wonderland:
"If we had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see? That's our relationship with the Conservatives”
No, of course, he didn't really; what he did say was:
... the UUP's relationship with the Tories now meant that in Europe and Westminster the party "will look favourably at taking the Tory whip on issues that do not pertain specifically to Northern Ireland".
Now, that is not exactly what the agreement reached in December by the two parties actually declared:
"These proposals will include the understanding that any future UUP MP’s and current and future MEP’s will take the Conservative Party Whip. "

No qualification or equivocation there.
So... which is it?

And in the meantime, Lord Empey, is he still a Conservative Peer or not?
(I have a horrible feeling on this one that an announcement was made which only I've missed; an alternative explanation that the DUP are mischief-making is also not beyond the realms of credibility)


thedissenter said...

Empey's explanation is that he 'recieves' the Whip rather than 'takes' the whip. So on the cross benches he gets to know what the Conservatives want him to vote on, but he has a choice as to whether to vote that way or not. I dare say there are a few other formalities - like letting the whips know which way you are voting but otherwise that is about it.

O'Neill said...

Thanks, couple of people have filled in the gaps for me today, I'll be putting up a post on it prob on OU tomorrow

Anonymous said...

Dissentewr - I'm afraid that 'receiving' and 'taking' waffle is just that.
You either take the Whip or you dont. All cross benchers are very to 'follow' or 'receive' it.
So Empey's position is no different to Lord Maginnis, Lord Eames, Lord Rana or anyone else.
Remember there is no UUP party in the Lords and therefore no UUP Whip.
De facto the UUP simply does not exist in Westminster terms - it is a dead party.
This may save Empey and CCHQ's blushes but it is a nonsense