For those who might not be interested in Northern Ireland politics, that is what this is about. On the second of May I wrote that I was even more confused because I found that the Northern Ireland Unionist party was proposing to become affiliated with the Conservative party at Westminster. The reason offered, is that the union will enable better representation concerning our domestic needs, such as farming, fishing and so on. I question that, because the population of England is somewhere in the region of 50 million, while the population of the North of Ireland is 1.25 million, who are currently represented by three main parties with respect to the population, but not with respect to seats in parliament, although the representatives of Sinn Fein don’t actually sit in parliament. When a big cartel takes over a corner shop, one tends to wonder at whose advantage? It is obvious that David Cameron wishes to increase his majority in Westminster. Currently the Northern Ireland MPs virtually have a free vote on all issues, because they are not under the same sort of control by the whips that the other parties are. I wonder if this would change in the new regime, and whether it should?
Generally it is the leader of the party who speaks on behalf of the party, so does this mean that in future David Cameron will be speaking on behalf of those Northern Ireland Unionists, who are not affiliated to the DUP? There is no shadow of doubt that the Ulster Unionist party is in need of a boost if it is going to represent Unionists who do not adhere to the DUP policies. What I fail to understand is why the party thinks affiliation with an English party will enhance our standing, when the problems of England are so vast and varied, and those in Northern Ireland are virtually parochial, because of the size of our country and population.
There is no shadow of doubt that the level of agreement on most subjects in our own parliament at Stormont, can at times be very controversial, and often stultifying to the point where there is no progress. I cannot see how changing the name of a party will make any difference in our own parliament. I find that our politics, which years ago had seemed so simple, is now so complex because we have the interference of Eire, the Irish lobby in America, and Westminster holding the purse strings, all of which has to be accommodated, and all to some extent affecting major legislation. If we now have another strand, what is the relationship between the leadership of the Conservative party and our domestic representatives, when it comes to making policy?