Friday, 15 August 2008

UUP/Conservative merger under attack

The DUP thinks it has discovered a way to discomfort the Ulster Unionists about the current merger talks with the Conservatives. They have discovered a quote on the Conservative’s Northern Ireland website describing the Orange Order as a "backward-facing, history - obsessed, parish pump society". Despite clearly being a personal opinion, rather than an official position, the DUP have issued three press releases this week in a clear attempt to keep the story in the news.
The Conservatives and Ulster Unionists reacted fairly dismissively about the story. David McNarry, the UUP MLA for Strangford, and the UUP Chief Whip at Stormont, broke ranks and sided with the DUP and demanded an apology from the Conservatives. Demanding things via the media is of course largely guaranteed not to get you what you want – but it will get you publicity.

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