Stormont crisis; joy for some

I know most readers will not be able access this, but it’s too good a piece of writing to miss out of the Letter. Suzanne Breen creates a vivid picture of what it was like at Stormont on Tuesday when the two DUP ministers announced they would be resigning, on Friday.

“It all started in a corridor at Stormont with the alleged photo-copying of confidential documents and it was the beginning of the end in another corridor there yesterday when the DUP announced its withdrawal from government. It was the biggest “success” for anti-agreement unionism since the signing of the Belfast Agreement four years ago and the Rev Ian Paisley’s Assembly team were keen to prolong the moment.”

“They marched into the press conference in single file, big smiles all over their faces. The assembled press, whom the party has long accused of a pro-agreement bias, looked glum. “Cheer up!” snapped DUP deputy leader, Peter Robinson. Reporters, photographers and camera crews crammed into the room and Strangford MP, Iris Robinson, had to climb on top of a desk to secure a view of proceedings.”

“‘Good morning,’ boomed a beaming Dr Paisley. He sported a tie of hearts emblazoned with Union Jacks that he keeps for special occasions. Seated beneath an oil painting showing storm clouds gathering over Stormont, he made his ominous announcement. The DUP’s two ministers, Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson, would be clearing their desks by noon on Friday.”

“The DUP had got it right and David Trimble and the Ulster Unionist Party had been wrong all along, he said.”

More on the DUP stance here.