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An open letter to Owen Paterson: Where now for the *UK* Conservative Party?

Three weeks ago, myself and another pro-Union blogger contacted Owen Paterson’s office. To date, we have had no reply from Mr. Paterson or his staff to our email and we are sending it this morning in the form of an open letter in hope of some kind of response:

Dear Mr. Paterson,

We are writing to you concerning the position of the Conservative Party vis-à-vis its activity in Northern Ireland. As Conservative and Unionist bloggers we have been firm supporters of Mr. Cameron’s policy of political engagement in the province, and we hope to be able to continue to facilitate in our small way the efforts of the party there. In recent weeks there has been some confusion about the future of the party in Northern Ireland, and if you were able to clarify that position for us, we would then be able to pass it to our readership.

Kind Regards,

Dilettante, oneill

In interests of transparency: Dilettante is a full member of the Conservative party; whilst I have been a member of both the Friends of the Conservatives and the UUP previously, I no longer have any official connection with either party.

Our real, “off-line names” have been used in the communication to Owen Paterson.

Why did we write it?

As enthusiastic supporters of the original premise behind the Conservative and UUP link-up three years ago, we had been bemused at the turn of events pre-Christmas when the backroom deal between officials of the two parties effectively isolated Northern Ireland once again from the mainstream of United Kingdom politics.

At the time the Conservative leadership gave no public explanation for this retreat; it was also unclear as to whether they saw any future for the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland or indeed for the concept of a genuinely UK-wide pro-Union party.

They shouldn’t be that difficult questions to address but they are ones Owen Paterson and others remain reluctant, well over a month later, to publicly answer.

And with the news of an *arrangement* being reached between the DUP and UUP in North and West Belfast, can we now also assume that the UK Conservative party is an integral part of what is obviously an ongoing “Unionist Unity” project?

Cross-posted at:  Dilettante, Slugger OToole, Unionist Lite

Filed under: Conservatives, unionist unity?, ,

Clinton urges NI not to ‘despair’ over government cuts…

Reproduced from US Department for State flickrstream

By bobballs

Below is a quote from the speech Hillary Clinton gave in Washington last night. Here she urges ‘no discouragement or despair” about government announcements relating to NI.

And I know further that Northern Ireland is very dependent on government expenditures from Westminster. And I hope that whatever happens with the announcements that have to come from the government of Prime Minister Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Clegg that there’s no discouragement or no despair about whatever the outcome might be, but instead, a renewal of commitment.

That stuck out to my eye as slight admonition to the government insofar as the US feels that they likely result of their economic initiatives is despair. Is the CSR going to be that bad?

But here’s the big sell from Hillary on Northern Ireland (replete with decent joke):

And through conferences like these and the conversations and collaborations that they lead to, people are understanding the economic potential of Northern Ireland. It has a prime location; two world-class research institutions; an educated, competitive workforce; a superior telecommunications infrastructure; a supportive policy environment – and some might even say that the population speaks English – sort of. (Laughter.) All key ingredients for the rise of new businesses as people are expanding their global reach.

I’ve uploaded the full speech onto the box.net and vodpod widgets as well.

Filed under: economy, , , ,

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