Open Unionism


A forum to discuss new ideas and perspectives on Unionism…

Elliott and the UUP Conference: positives and negatives

Having missed the UUP Conference, I posted a reaction to Tom Elliott’s speech and some of the media coverage over at Three Thousand Versts. There hasn’t been a lot of reaction to the event yet at Open Unionism, so I’m taking the liberty of reposting here. Owen Polley.

I spent the weekend in icy Fermanagh, and not at the Ulster Unionist conference.  Ironically, if the cliché rings true, half the County enjoyed subsidised transport in the other direction.

Still, reportedly 400 delegates heard Tom Elliott deliver his speech at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast, whereas just shy of 1,000 crowded into the Waterfront Hall to elect him leader, so perhaps the Enniskillen fleet wasn‘t quite so well-filled this time.

The speech is carried on the UUP website and it reads reasonably well, although the Belfast Telegraph reports that the delivery was stilted.  In contrast, Alan from Belfast thinks that Elliott is getting more assured.  Perhaps both are fair comment.

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Filed under: UUP, UUP conference

One blogger’s view on #uupconf…

From today’s Politics Show (view @ 41mins40secs), Alan in Belfast with his view on the UUP conference…

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Elliott’s speech @ UUP conference…

I’ve grabbed the audio of Tom Elliott’s speech from yesterday. You can access it via the player below.

[h/t Alan in Belfast & Slugger for this.]

The text of the speech can be found here – and I’ve also uploaded it to our widget.


Filed under: UUP, UUP conference, ,

UUP Party Conference Broadcast

UUP have launched their Party Conference Broadcast.

They are obviously focusing on the future but continue to bash Stormont branding the Government as the ‘DUP-Sinn Fein Axis’.

Andrew Charles

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Guest Blog 3: UUP are a ‘sell out’… but in a good way

By Harry HamiltonProspective UUP general election candidate

It’s funny how humour can make a point in one sentence that it would normally take a hundred words to convey.

UUP South Belfast member Bill White made a very acute observation on Saturday at the UUP party conference. He joked that the UUP were a “sell out”… in reference to how the Party can more than fill out set piece events. In truth it was standing room only – you’ve got to leave for these things earlier and earlier nowadays if you want to be assured of getting a seat.

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Guest Blog 2: UUP Conference – all in all, a good day’s work…

[picapp src=”e/0/2/f/The_Conservatives_Hold_d6f9.jpg?adImageId=6657771&imageId=6777746″ width=”380″ height=”289″ /]

By Councillor Stephen Nicholl

A few weeks ago I was listening to William Hague at the Conservative conference and on Saturday I had the opportunity to listen to him again at the Ulster Unionist Party conference. A seasoned performer Hague perhaps took on the leadership too early in his career but he will provide the backbone of Conservative Governments for many years. His attendance on Saturday continued the process of developing the partnership between the Conservatives and Ulster Unionists despite the attempts of other parties to introduce friction.

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Filed under: UUP conference

Basil McCrea’s speech on education…

Caitríona Ruane has forced our education system into utter chaos. Children, parents and teachers have been placed in a ridiculous circumstances that no decent, properly functioning government should ever have forced upon them.

The pressure to teach to the curriculum, the pressure to prepare children for multiple tests and the pressure of not knowing how the transfer process will pan-out is immense.  All of us in politics owe an apology to children, parents and teachers.  Some of us have tried our best in the Assembly to end the chaos.

The Minister of Education, however, isn’t listening.

The Minister doesn’t want to listen.

The Minister’s right, everyone else is wrong.

The Minister has no interest in partnership or powersharing – just in her own private ideological crusade.

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Sir Reg Empey’s 2009 UUP Conference leader’s speech

Ladies and Gentlemen: Thank you for coming.

I am delighted that so many of you are here today, demonstrating your commitment to the Party and the Union. As I have said on other occasions the grassroots of the UUP are the backbone of the party.

I’m also very pleased that William Hague agreed to be our guest speaker …

and I am grateful to him for taking time out of a very busy schedule to fly over for this conference.

And can I also welcome Owen Paterson and other members from the Conservative Party locally.

Thank you, too, to our Conference Committee, chaired by Terry Wright.

And especially to Hazel Legge, our staff at HQ, our public relations and research teams who did so much of the background preparation.

I wish to thank also all our public representatives; Lady Hermon MP and her colleagues in the Upper House who keep the Ulster Unionist flag flying in Parliament;

our MLAs and Councillors, who represent this Party so well across the Province.

More below the fold:

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William Hague’s keynote conference speech

It’s a huge pleasure to be back in this great city of Belfast and to be addressing your party conference as a Conservative and as a committed Unionist.

As a Unionist I believe with conviction that the future of all four parts of country lies together as one United Kingdom.

I believe that in an uncertain world our country remains a great force for good and that together the United Kingdom achieves much more than would ever be the case if we were apart.

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UUP Conference feed

Three Thousand Versts has got the coverit live feed up and running on his blogspot blog. Doesn’t work quite so well on wordpress.

Here is the link to the coverit live feed – for the UUP Conference 2009 click here

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