A New Force in the Land
So the Conservatives and Ulster Unionist Party have finally confirmed what has been mooted since late last year, that is that they will fight elections in Northern Ireland on a joint ticket and under a new name. It has fallen short of all out merger, in a bid to prevent those not of a right wing tendency from breaking away, but for me it still raises the question of who left-leaning supporters of the union should vote for.
Apparently a lot of the discussions in the run-up to the announcement involved the use of the word "Ulster" in the name that this new "civil partnership" (since it isn't a marriage) will operate under. And yet after all their discussions the best they could come up with is the 'Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force'. Could I respectfully suggest that they might have spent less time debating the first word in this title and a bit of thought on the last.
"Force" conjures up either images of Jedi Knights (and although Sir Reg looks increasingly like Yoda I don't think that is a helpful association) or an organisation that is geared up for conflict. Whilst Cameron and Empey may be wanting to galvanize their troops for electoral battle, I'm not sure that we need another force in the land, be it a Ulster Volunteer Force, a Third Force or a New Force...