Robinson threatens to quit over Hyde Park

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Following on from Nigel Dodds very annoyed performance during  Prime Ministers Questions, his boss Peter Robinson is now threatening to bring down the whole show telling the BBC that he is not prepared to continue leading an administration that is being kept in the dark about these type of issues. He is now insisting that a judicial inquiry into the 180 secret letters given to On the Runs be set up.

With an election approaching, poor relations with Sinn Fein and an increasingly restless Unionist community-will Robinson hit the Nuclear button and bring the whole show down?

A few questions would Robinson’s resignation take the DUP out of the Executive or would they merely install a new leader to take the ‘fight’ to Sinn Fein?

What is the end game for the DUP?

Finally, if the Executive did fall would anybody care?

Answers on a postcard please….

As only he can Newtown Emerson can do he reminds us of this being a story a while ago

 

DUP Statement

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  • http://www.banuanlae.org/ Ulick

    In light of their disastrous handling of the Hass and flegs it certainly gives the DUP a chance to stake a claim for the moral high ground. If Robbo had a Westminster seat to fall back on we might believe him but there’s no way on God’s green earth he would forgo the income and perks.

  • Gopher

    Robinson could bring the DUP out of the executive and vote down every motion incapacitating Stormont.

  • Neil

    He could Gopher, thereby demonstrating that his one and olnly concern is the well being of the DUP and the Robinson family – stuff Northern Ireland who gives a toss, right? If he has the balls let them bring it down and Westminster will make the decisions to run the place. Ham stringing the ‘country’ in a fit of pique is hardly in the best interests of NI.

  • Charles_Gould

    I don’t think Robinson has any other option; if he does not resign he accepts that secret deals are ok by him.

  • http://backonthecorneragain.wordpress.com chrisbrowne28

    He has the option to govern responsibly and not threaten to destabilise the whole country over every problem he has. He can make strong representations to Westminster whilst remaining in the job and realise the wider issues of economy, jobs, education etc. are more important here.

    Is Robinson a statesman and a leader, or is he just a reactionary rabble-rouser like Paisley? Up to him to decide.

  • Gopher

    Always maintained the DUP would look to force an assembly election this year looks like they have the Casus Belli

  • Morpheus

    Apologies for adding this in multiple threads but the same topic is in 4 different threads now

    What does PR expect this judicial review to say exactly?

    187 people asked if they were being pursued, the police looked into it and wrote to them them all saying that they weren’t. I hate to break it to Peter but that is housekeeping.

    The mistake here is that 1 of these guys was told that he was not being pursued when The London police were pursuing him and in fact had built a case against him. Were extradition proceedings under way before he was arrested? Hopefully that will come out later.

    The Judge could have gone ahead and prosecuted the case but any QC worth his/her salt could argue that the only reason he was in front of the Judge in the first place was because he was teased into the UK on the promise that he would not be prosecuted and then prosecuted when he got there. I can’t see why any prosecution would not have been overturned in a heartbeat.

    At least now they can begin extradition proceedings and do the job right

    If Peter wants to resign over housekeeping instead of the state of the health service then so be it. Toodles. But for the rest of us I think it’s time for a collective declenching – a mistake was made and it can now be rectified

  • http://alaninbelfast.blogspot.com Alan in Belfast

    There’ll be another thread along in the minute – one of those days when everyone is posting the same stuff!

  • Greenflag

    Sometimes but only when it suits mushrooms don’t like being mushrooms anymore .

    Newt is right -drama queens what else ? and a perfect ‘issue ‘ to shore up support with an election on the way .

    Mr Robinson doesn’t come across as Samurai material . Will he fall on his own sword or will he maintain Unionist tradition by permitting his more hardline Unionist ‘colleagues ‘ if that’s the word -help him fall onto it ?

    ” if the Executive did fall would anybody care?”

    Not initially assuming they noticed it . But the next GFA would be even less favourable for Unionists so don’t expect Nationalists and Republicans to grieve another dead Stormont .. The main danger would be the ‘constitutional question ‘ being once again removed to the streets and the hard men who said it was all a cod anyway and the Brits just designed the system to drive the local politicians beyond their wit’s end in frustration .

    Not that there might not be a little truth in that outcome even if it was not intentional on the part of HMG from the beginning?

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Its certainly only a matter of time before the “institutions” implode.
    The Good Friday Agreement itself is a massive lie, which both sides use for different reasons.
    The notion that it is either an obstacle to a United Ireland or the means to a United Ireland cannot hold indefinitely.
    Arguably the “institutions” have been under threat for 18 months. Certainly within SDLP, people seem to be talking about Opposition. ANd I believe all parties have strayed too far from their principles (yes all five have them) to be totally at ease with Stormont.

    Indeed even the so called progressives might see merit with Same Sex marriage, Abortion etc being dealt with under direct rule.
    But over 18 months now…PSNI exposed as inefficient or unable politically to act on criminality or protest.
    Flegs.
    Haass.
    Hyde Park.

    Possibly this is not where it collapses but another issue that further weakens the structures.
    Do I care?
    No.

  • Cric

    This would be highly worrying… if the Stormont executive actually had any sort of record of achieving anything…

    As a visceral Irish Nationalist (who lives among and quite likes British people on the mainland) I can only see these developments as a good thing for Irish Republicanism – the state of Northern Ireland will once more be ungovernable, and it will be the people who want to keep the state (Unionists) actually making it so this time…

    Sinn Fein are not going away at the next election (I doubt they even care that much if some former IRA members get an official slap on the wrist sentence) and some Unionist party will have to share power with them if they don’t want to create a constitutional crisis, so surely none of this can be said to be doing anything to strengthen the Union?

    Oh – and would this be as big an issue if it wasn’t an IRA bomb in London (rather than say Belfast) which was being forgiven?

  • socaire

    Point of info, CRIC. Irish nationalists don’t refer to Great Britain as ‘the mainland’. Ireland is our mainland. No matter how many times the British media use this term, it is no less offensive.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    ‘Robinson threatens to quit’ …..you’d think there was an election round the corner.

    (socaire, Cric is from the Aran islands and lives on the Shankill Road)

  • notimetoshine

    I suppose if he really wasn’t aware of these sort of deals then I would agree with him and he should make a stand. But if he did know about these deals and is only electioneering now…well whole different story altogether.

    Though on another note just shows how dysfunctional our ‘peace process’ was/is.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    The hypocrisy of Robinson and his cohorts is breathtaking. Not only are these so called OTRs free to walk the streets but so are members of the so called loyalist murder gangs who have never faced justice. Indeed, some of them are on the public payroll in the guise of Community workers.
    Many people figuratively held their noses and voted Yes in the GFA referendum. If this hypocrite forces elections he may find that the SF votes rise to the level where any one of a number of former IRA members becomes First Minister.
    He’ll not resign.

  • Cric

    I’m only ‘viscerally’ nationalist and not ‘intellectually’ because nationalism is for inward looking idiots who get annoyed over small differences with other groups (such as the use of the term ‘mainland’).

  • Mark

    The OTRs issue just like decommissioning was fudged . Everybody who was anyone at the time knew how big a deal the OTRs were . Of course there was a deal . That’s what makes politics tick . There was no way men with egos like Blair / Mandelson / Powell etc were going to let this legacy opportunity pass by .

    I wonder how Liam Averill is holding up …..

  • socaire

    English people would not refer to mainland France as their spiritual home. Likewise we are not an offshore island of Britain. These are the Western European Isles not the British Isles. I have no wish to be personal about this, just saying we find it offensive probably because we are inward looking idiots. Don’t forget to vote :-)

  • Greenflag

    @ Socaire ,

    Mainland is offensive .Ireland is not the Isle of Wight nor Isle of Man . It’s just the Unionist inferiority complex re their status in these islands and on this island that compell’s some of them to use the term ‘mainland ‘ to describe Britain. It’s not as if NI was an offshore island .

    I’ll have to start referring to Northern Ireland as the UnFree State I suppose to eh compensate for Unionist insensitivities re the status of the island they live on .

    The British & Irish Lions rugby team use the correct terminology . The term British Isles doesn’t bother me as long as it’s being used in a non political context .

    Mainland would be an acceptable term for those living in small islands such as the Hebrides, Iona , Orkney’s or Shetlands or Isle of Wight . For somebody living in Ireland it’s frankly self demeaning as well as stupid !

  • Greenflag

    Look on the bright side of a Robinson resignation . A McGuinness FM . Of course that could be part of the Robinson ‘drama queen’ poncing about . Bring down the Assembly . No SF FM . Hurray another political success for Unionism :(

    Until the next GFA anyway :(

  • socaire

    That about sums it up, Greenflag. It’s like going over to London for the national news. Maybe we are too sensitive but the terms Paddy or Tadhg or Fenian don’t annoy me at all.

  • Niall Noigiallach

    I mean this in the most sincere and genuine way possible. If this is the type of leadership that Unionism is currently getting, how does anybody seriously think that the Union will remain for much longer?

    The next 15 years ahead of us are literally make or break for Unionism. And I mean this politically, not demographically. The sheer hypocrisy of Robinson’s remarks are astounding, almost to the point of hilarity.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Robinson’s threats to quit are ridiculous.

    Robinson in his interview talked of how the letters supposedly state “even if somebody fingers you you’re not going to jail”. They state no such thing, the letters in actual fact say that if any new evidence comes to light a prosecution could occur.

    The unionists are trying to spin this story up into something it is not. Edwin Poots is talking of a “get out of jail free card”. This is all nonsense; there is nothing in the letter which grants immunity from prosecution, or grants release from jail in the event of a successful prosecution.

    The question is what the unionists are trying to do. It sounds a lot like Robbo is trying to be tough, but he could also be trying to get a pretext to pull out of the assembly (which would result in its immediate collapse and return to direct rule).

  • Morpheus

    The irony is that I am sure MMG wouldn’t mind direct rule for a while. It would give projects like the A5 a better chance of success plus Westminster could do something about the lack of social housing in North Belfast and the fact that 16 of the top 20 most deprived wards in NI being Catholic without a POC being whipped out.

    God knows that he-who-creeps-the-bajesus-outta-us ain’t doing anything about it

  • boondock

    Bring on direct rule as stated up some things might actually get done. Even Willy wants direct rule although

  • boondock

    Gremlins in the works there, edit function please Mick. Ill try again.
    Bring on direct rule as stated up above some things might actually get done. Even Willy wants direct rule although not too sure he knows why. LAD having a field day with enough material to keep them going for a while. I think the Emerson tweet sums things up nicely

  • Neil

    The old “It’s my ball, and I’m going home” routine wears desperately thin after a while. Running crying to mammy. Heard it all before.

  • Reader

    Greenflag: Mainland is offensive .Ireland is not the Isle of Wight nor Isle of Man . It’s just the Unionist inferiority complex re their status in these islands and on this island that compell’s some of them to use the term ‘mainland ‘ to describe Britain. It’s not as if NI was an offshore island
    The UK exists (check with the UN…)
    Northern Ireland is part of the UK (Check with the GFA and the RoI constitution…)
    Most of the UK is in a single land mass – which is the UK mainland.
    Northern Ireland is not on the UK mainland.
    For many unionists referring to Great Britain as the mainland is a perfectly natural piece of terminology. I normally try to avoid giving needless offence, but I draw the line at indulging prickly intolerance – so how about not moaning about each other’s terminology?

  • Cric

    socaire, Greenflag – I used the term mainland in reference to the British mainland because if I had of said ‘I live among British people’ without the mainland reference then it could be interpreted as meaning Northern Ireland (where there are plenty of British people, who presumably see Britain as being their mainland).

    BTW at this current moment I’m doing some work on the Isle of Man and I also lived for several years in the Channel Islands, so the term mainland is probably more (innocently) embedded in my head than yours.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    So Robinson has set the date for the collapse of the useless institution – Friday morning. I hope he’s looking forward to the development of a peace centre at the Maze and the passing of an Irish Language law at Westminster for starters.

  • socaire

    But that’s the point, Cric. We are not Britain. We have a healthy colony of British people in our country. As does Spain. Do the ‘British’ in Gibraltar speak of the ‘mainland’? The word suggests an attachment which we do not have. We are more offshore America or Spain. We resent being addressed as an appendage of Britain.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I think the devolved institutions are in the biggest crisis since devolution was restored in 2007.

    The problem for the DUP is where exactly they go from here. They’ve tied themselves to the devolution mast; if they bring it down they’ll do themselves incredible harm in the process, not least to the financial position of their MLAs and party workers, as well as to the party politically.

    Collapsing the institutions over something that was done in the past behind everyone’s back has a particular problem in that there is no possible way any talks or negotiation process can reverse this. Robinson is calling for the letters to be rescinded, but this ignores the fact that there is nothing to rescind. How can the government or anyone else rescind a statement of the fact that someone is not being sought for prosecution ? I think Jim Allister picked up on this in the Nolan TV show which is why he specifically made the point that he is expecting that Robinson will resign unless this (impossible) thing happens.

    Even if the letters could somehow be rescinded, there is no guarantee that a court would recognize the rescinded version. The outcome of the judgement is very clearly that if a public official, following due consideration, makes a promise that someone will not be prosecuted then that decision cannot be overturned or overridden.

  • BluesJazz

    Mister Joe
    Direct rule will not bring a Maze terror shrine or an Irish language act. Neither mean anything to 90% of the population.
    What it could bring is the 1967 Abortion Act and gay marriage.
    Most people here would welcome the former and, I hope most the latter, despite Alliance MLA’s opposition to these.
    No-one would notice the absence of the Dibley assembly.
    And Direct Rule would be a good indicator of full integration as an English council. North Irelandshire.
    Here’s hoping.

  • Gopher

    Personally speaking direct rule would be welcome and a great economy, but I think Peter is thinking more about an election. A vote for SF is a vote for the DUP (See Newton’s third law of motion) and the DUP will fancy themselves to add several seats and more likely than not put the final nail in the coffin of the UUP. Fighting elections at a time of your choosing is always a big advantage and there probably wont be a better issue to fight it on. An ostentatious resignation from a hated assembly is a certain vote winner.

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    Well said Comrade, at 9.25pm.

    I found it astonishing that Davenport et al. didn’t take him up on that during his little on-air rants.

    No strategically-placed “we love you, dad” cards in the background today.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    BluesJazz

    Yet again with your single transferable speech. In case you hadn’t noticed – The British Govt doesn’t want direct rule back and they’ll be pretty pissed off if it happens.

    I agree with you about the Maze and The Irish Language act. Unfortunately the return of direct rule (should it occur) won’t deliver your wish list either – nor will it deliver the demise of the Parades Commission, the OO being able to walk where they like, the flag over BCC or anything else that the Unionist leadership seem to think will happen despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    I don’t mean to upset you but the North is not an integral part of the UK, it’s not as British as Finchley nor is it just like a county Council in England.

    BTW, I’m no fan of the assembly – I think its a joke.

    The British govt and the vast majority of British people don’t understand NI and don’t give a shit. If they had a choice, they couldn’t get rid if it quick enough.

    Don’t delude yourself that, should Direct Rule return, it’ll be back to the “good old days”. The British govt are well aware of the demographics in NI and the image of the OO and Unionism around the world. If they are forced to “take it back” – they’ll be happy to deal with Nationalists and the Irish govt as well as Unionists.

    The days of the playing the “Orange Card” and the British govt backing Unionism unconditionally are long gone and they won’t ever be coming back.

  • Niall Noigiallach

    I’d say the Maze project is a non-starter under direct rule and although there will not be an Irish language Act in the short term perhaps, long term I wouldn’t bet against it. Unionism loves a good huff now and again, a good oul threat to bring everything tumbling down. Especially at election time. The amazing thing is that such behaviour does not in any way reflect any type of long term strategy for Unionists or the Union. In fact, is there even a long term strategy in place? Has there ever been? Will there ever be?

    The British have had more than their fill of this place for the last number of years and Direct Rule will do more harm to the Union in the long term than good. One thing’s for sure, if the house is brought down, it will only help Sinn Fein at election time – North and South. Not to mention that Robbo has left himself open to a potential leadership challenge too. Now that’s a battle I’d love to see.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sinn Féin in terms of their public position don’t want British ministers making decisions in (this part of) Ireland. Privately, I’m sure they can see benefits as have been noted above. The British government, faced with having to make a decision, will pick the centre line between unionists and nationalists and implement that. This is a step back from the current position where unionists can simply veto everything.

    The DUP have more to lose because frankly their evangelical Calvinist agenda in terms of health and social policy isn’t going to get much sympathy in Westminster. Westminster are also likely to introduce water charges and increases in the regional rate. They’ll go ahead and force through welfare reforms. They’ll certainly proceed with changing the guidelines around abortion and the use of blood from gay donors, and legislate for gay marriage etc.

    I don’t think any of this is likely in the short term. If devolution collapses on Friday the British government are unlikely to start with a legislative programme as this would make it look as if devolution had been permanently revoked. Instead we’ll get the interminable round of all-party talks. As I pointed above, I am not sure where exactly the DUP can go in this situation. If they’re resigning over the British government’s bad faith, how exactly can entering into talks chaired by the British be a credible option ?

  • Greenflag

    @ Cric ,

    ‘I used the term mainland in reference to the British mainland because if I had of said ‘I live among British people’ without the mainland reference then it could be interpreted as meaning Northern Ireland (where there are plenty of British people’

    With respect thats a load of crock . So what if it’s interpreted as Northern Ireland ? Northern Ireland is not an offensive term and not a term you should be ashamed of using particularly here on slugger . There are British people living in the Republic and I’ve never heard any use the term ‘mainland ‘ in reference to Britain .

    The closest mainland to the Channel Islands btw is France .

  • Greenflag

    @ Reader,

    ‘The UK exists ‘

    I don’t recall stating it did’nt .

    ‘Northern Ireland is part of the UK ‘

    I don’t recall stating it did’nt .

    Northern Ireland is not an off shore island .

    ‘For many unionists referring to Great Britain as the mainland is a perfectly natural piece of terminology. ‘

    For many Irish nationalists /republicans and indeed others referring to Northern Ireland as the ‘North ‘ , the Six Counties , the Black North , Up there , etc etc are all perfectly natural pieces of terminology though offensive to Unionists . If I start using them in reference to Northern Ireland I trust that’ll be okay with you and not seem too prickly intolerant ?

  • IrelandNorth

    Pre-election political posturing masquerading as self-righteous indignation. Various politicians competing for uber unionist of local, regional and Euro elections in spring and summer. But besmirching Haass/O Sullivan (H/O’S) retrospectively is extremely unwise, and could prove counter productive by costing inward investment to N Ireland from US, as a frosty reception for Saint Patrick’s day may yet herald. Such politicians may yet end up being hoisted with their own petard But if Peter resigns, will that not promote Martin from being Tainiste to Taoiseach of N Ireland/Ulster (NI/U).

  • Greenflag

    @ Comrade Stalin :

    ‘The DUP have more to lose because frankly their evangelical Calvinist agenda in terms of health and social policy isn’t going to get much sympathy in Westminster.”

    Indeed -it would be more in sync with health and social policy in the Irish Free State 1922- 1957. Now where’s Dr Who when you need him ?

    ‘If they’re resigning over the British government’s bad faith, how exactly can entering into talks chaired by the British be a credible option ?’

    How exactly ? Easy -It’s just another one of those inherent contradictions within political unionism in Northern Ireland . It’s a cross between not binding the hand that feeds you and helpless ostrichism :(

  • Cric

    Greenflag I’ve no idea what you are getting at – when I did make out that Northern Ireland was an offensive term?

    We’re going off on some mad tangent here because I was trying to refer to mainland British, as opposed to offshore British (which surely the British not living on the island of Britain are? I’m trying to think of a different term to refer to people who live on the British mainland, as opposed to British people who don’t, and I’m struggling…).

    Anyway I did it innocently without any sort of agenda and without wanting to get into a world of pathetic pedantry.

  • Greenflag

    Cric ,

    I suggest you refer to the British minority who live in Northern Ireland by their proper title and ditto for the British people who live on the island of Britain .

    I suggest a titular British minority for those who are resident in Northern Ireland and British off shorers for those living on the island of Britain .

    ‘We’re going off on some mad tangent here’

    If so it’s no less ‘mad ‘ than whats happening re the Peter the Punt hysterics or rhe Doddsian dramatics or the Downey shambles or the OTR letters :(

    ‘Anyway I did it innocently without any sort of agenda”

    Fine it could happen to a bishop .

    ‘ and without wanting to get into a world of pathetic pedantry.’

    Of course – There are 6.2 million people living on the mainland of Ireland and I’ve never heard any referring to Britain as the ‘mainland ‘ not even English/Scots or Welsh people resident in the Republic . Now it may be that the residents of the Ards Peninsula or Carrickfergus refer to Britain as the ‘mainland ‘ .The term may provide some comfort that Mother is near . But I’m pretty certain that when the people of Rathlin Island refer to the mainland they are referring to Co Antrim /specifically Northern Ireland .

  • Morpheus

    “So I can announce today that we will appoint an independent judge to produce a full public account of the operation of this administrative scheme to determine whether any other letters were sent in error.”
    David Cameron

    And what happens if no mistakes were made? What about rescind or resign?

    Funny how the ‘urgent’ review reports back just after the local and European elections. Hmmmmm

  • Neil

    The rescind thing is genuinely funny. People were told they weren’t being sought for any crime due to a lack of evidence, so Peter wants letters sent out saying actually we may pursue you for some crime in spite of that pesky lack of evidence. He wants innocent people’s innocence revoked. The man’s a dangerous joke.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Funny how the ‘urgent’ review reports back just after the local and European elections.’

    What did you expect?

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Is the wife of a prominent DUP politician, once a politico herself, OTR, been given a “get out of jail free” card, or is simply still too ill to be questioned about her suspected illegality. If the latter, I wish her a speedy, although much delayed, recovery

  • Comrade Stalin

    Irrespective of my non-regard for Robinson I don’t think there is any justification for renewed legal action against him or his wife. They’ve suffered enough.

  • Reader

    Greenflag: For many Irish nationalists /republicans and indeed others referring to Northern Ireland as the ‘North ‘ , the Six Counties , the Black North , Up there , etc etc are all perfectly natural pieces of terminology though offensive to Unionists . If I start using them in reference to Northern Ireland I trust that’ll be okay with you and not seem too prickly intolerant ?
    I’m sure we have both seen these terms used frequently on Slugger, but you haven’t seen me complain about them. So now I’m wondering – should I join in the MOPE word games, or should I continue to behave differently from you?

  • Greenflag

    ‘ but you haven’t seen me complain about them.’

    I can’t say I’ve noticed -but I’ll take your word for it . As to the MOPE games -neither community in NI would make it into the top 200 of the International League of Mopes although I note that Aye Yer Ma is putting in a brave effort in that regard on another thread . I d recommend you ‘behave ‘ as you want and comment as you want within the slugger boundaries and I’ll continue to do the same and try not to use political terminology that may be offensive to unionists although as you know thats sometimes like walking on egg shells .Ditto the reverse .