Tories and UUP could lose key constituency votes
Published 05/04/2010 | 08:00
There must be movement on unionist unity and the UUP must not give into their new Tory masters.
Owen Patterson seems to reiterate his party's position towards unionist unity by giving a resounding 'No'.
This approach appears to me to represent a non-inclusive position as regards the pro-unionist people of Fermanagh-South Tyrone and south Belfast.
If the Tories are as pro-Union as they allege they are, they should be backing single unionist candidates in both constituencies instead of playing sectarian games.
It is vital for unionism and for Northern Ireland that these seats are represented in our Parliament by a pro-Union voice - never mind by someone who doesn't actually take their seat.
Furthermore, as the outgoing MP for South Belfast, Dr Alasdair McDonnell, sits on the Labour benches. Are we to think then that the Tories wish to add to Labour's seats in the next Parliament?
Given the polls on the mainland, you would have thought that the Conservatives would be seeking to boost their own position rather than enhance that of Labour's.
It is also unfair to demand that any agreed candidate should take the Tory whip. They will be elected an MP in their own right and it is not fair to force such a position upon them.
If no agreed candidates emerge, the people of Fermanagh-South Tyrone and south Belfast know who to blame: the Conservatives, along with their partners in the UUP.