Monday 2 March 2009

Gone in a weekend!

The "Awful name" that the UUP and the Tories decided for their common-law marriage (the 'Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force') has already disappeared.

Having hummed and hawed about the name for months, they finally announced it last week to a deafening chorus of ridicule. Not just from opponents, but also from true-blue Tory supporters.

By today, the 'new name' had already disappeared. On the Conservative website the alliance is now being referred to thus:

"Both the Conservative Party and the Ulster Unionist Party approved, this evening, the paper produced by the Joint Committee of both Parties. This will result in a new force in Northern Ireland politics: Conservatives and Unionists."

The 'New Force' in the short-lived title has receded from the title into the text of the sentence, and the contentious word 'Ulster' has just plain disappeared. Even the logo being promoted by the Tories makes reference neither to 'Ulster' nor the 'New Force':

Even the UUP, who insisted on the inclusion of 'Ulster' in the title have backtracked. Their own statement refers to a "new, modern, dynamic political and electoral force of Conservatives and Unionists", thereby drowning the 'new force' in a stream of adjectives, and omitting the offending U-word.

So what happened? Did the UUP jump too soon, announcing a name that was not yet agreed or acceptable to the Tories? Did the English Tories (whose money the UUP wants and needs) insist on this embarrassing climb-down? It seems that the balance of power in the relationship has been re-defined, and not in the UUP's favour.


Anonymous said...

C U Jimmy

dub said...

it just gets better and better and better and better!!!!