It has been revealed that the Ulster Unionist Party has objected to the logo and colours chosen for the new Conservative and Unionist Website. The result of that objection has meant that all references to the UUP have been removed from the website for the time being.
My understanding is that Ulster Unionist counter-proposals for branding are not acceptable to the Conservatives either.
The disagreement follows difficult negotiations on the agreement of the name on the ballot paper and agreement that the name “Conservatives and Unionists” was acceptable as the short description.
As a Conservative supporter, I have waited patiently for the two parties to reach agreement. An inordinate amount of time was taken to reach the agreement in November. Acute difficulties occurred on reaching agreement of the name on the ballot paper. As well as that, there are far more contentious obstacles to be overcome to achieve a credible joint campaign strategy.
In reaching agreement over the name on the ballot paper, the Conservatives made compromises which brought them very close to the limit of what they were able to agree without becoming unelectable as a cross – community party.
Having observed the progress of matters and seeing the difficulties we have reached getting this far and having considered my own observations of the Ulster Unionist Party and its politicians over the last few months, I have reached a view, reluctantly, that this joint political venture is destined to failure.
Even if we were to overcome the disagreement on logo, their determination to hold on to so many strands of their identity – without having sufficient insight in order to appreciate the need for change – is perhaps an indication that they do not share our vision. As I have indicated, there are more difficult matters which need to be agreed upon in order to formulate a credible campaign strategy. I do not see the UUP agreeing to making the changes necessary to become electable
Accordingly, as a conservative member and with a heavy heart, I make a request to my party to break off the agreement with the Ulster Unionist Party.
UPDATE 19th April 2009
Since this post was first written, much water has passed “under the bridge. I wish to make it clear that my call for our party to withdraw from the agreement was made as a result of limited information given, which I should not have been privy to. Shortly after the resignation of Jeffrey Peel a few days after the post, I was more enlightened and withdrew my own call to break the agreement. Since then, matters have gone from strength to strength and I am very pleased to note the progress that has been made.
Filed under: Conservative Party, Conservative Party Policy, Normal Politics, UUP | Tagged: Conservative Party, Conservative Party Policy, Normal Politics, Northern ireland, Northern Ireland politics, Tory-UUP linkup, Unionism, UUP | 12 Comments »