DUP: a bubbling split?

Dr John Coulter is a Northern political columnist with the Irish Daily Star. Here he argues that there is a bubbling split in the coalition which underpins the DUP. Though there is nothing publicly apparent as yet, he believes it is an internal timebomb with all the signs set for a politically bloody internal civil war between Paisley

  • davidbrew

    move over Newton Emerson, there is a new king of Ulster political comedy, and his name is John Coulter. There is a much more perceptive piece by Suzanne breen elsewhere on Slugger which has the merit of being based on discussions with DUP members, rather than John’s eavesdropping on the ramblings of his daddy and the other depressed and demoralised UUP MLAs.

  • Warm Storage

    An exercise in wishful thinking on behalf of the author.

  • Rebecca Black

    I don’t know warm storage

    there are rumours circulating about a certain Strangford DUP meeting when one of the councillors had to be restrained as he shrieked at Mrs Robinson MP.

    At the last Let’s Talk a DUP member from North Antrim dared to stand up amid Paisley’s sheep and warn William Hay that there were rumblings of discontent and a distinct threat.

    “There is a much more perceptive piece by Suzanne breen”

    and as for Suzanna Breen, don’t even get me started on the tripe she writes. The Newsletter has gone downhill.

  • Mick Fealty

    Rebecca, it wasn’t in the Newsletter, but The Village. I don’t think (on this occassion at least) that DB’s remarks were simply politically motivated.

  • yer_man

    Wouldnt it be wonderful if we all took our political analysis from the Daily Star!!!, and what an accolate it must be to get your political ramblings printed in such a highbrow publication.

    I’m not sure if the Irish Daily Star is the same as the proper Daily Star or not, but as far as I’m concerned its only worth buying to see if Lelani has got her baps out, but it seems as if there’s more than 2 t**s in the Daily Star!!

  • Christopher Stalford

    Rebeeca Black

    The “DUP Member” to whom you refer was in actual fact Billy McCaughey of the North Antrim PUP Association.

    A stunning insight from the YU’s as ever.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Having just corrected Rebecca’s nonsense, I have turned my attention to this “article”. Never have I read such an off the wall analysis – total tosh!

    Rebecca

    “The Newsletter has gone downhill.” Quite right! LOL

  • Rebecca Black

    Stalford

    regardless, Billy McCaughey is in touch with grass roots unionism.

    And yes, I was thinking of you as well as Suzanne Breen when I said the Newsletter was going down hill. A very eccentric and basically off the wall friend of mine from Dublin loved your last column, I took that to be a sign……..

  • Christopher Stalford

    Rebecca

    “regardless, Billy McCaughey is in touch with grass roots unionism.” Unlike the Ulster Unionists you mean? Is that why he gets hammered in every election he stands in? I though he was a DUP member a minute ago – make up your mind – or could it be that your little comment claiming he was a DUP member was framed by nothing more than your own ignorance?

    “And yes, I was thinking of you as well as Suzanne Breen when I said the Newsletter was going down hill”

    An admission then that you read my column? Thank you it’s great to be appreciated.

    “A very eccentric and basically off the wall friend of mine from Dublin loved your last column”

    As opposed to your non-eccentric Provo friends in Dublin presumably?

  • Rebecca Black

    well, this eccentric friend is an associate member of the national front as well as being in some pro life groups. I thought it was interesting that he should share your opinions!

    “regardless, Billy McCaughey is in touch with grass roots unionism.” Unlike the Ulster Unionists you mean?”

    unlike the DUP I mean, or was that only a rumour that Mrs Robinson was getting threatened by a colleague who had to be physically restrained?

    I read your column but not diligently every week, I prefer a good quality read like the Times.

  • yer_man

    “A very eccentric and basically off the wall friend of mine”

    You really should have gone the whole hog and called them ‘wacky’. Does this person wear ‘comedy’ ties/socks perchance? They sound like they should…….

  • Rebecca Black

    not quite yerman, I just feel it makes life more interesting to have a great variety of friends with different opinions rather than a mundane bunch of nodding dogs

  • Christopher Stalford

    Hmmm let me see…

    “unlike the DUP I mean”

    That’s why we beat your washed-up joke of a party 2:1 in the last province-wide test of public opinion is it? Who’s really out of touch, Rebecca? Still a long as you all have a jolly good time at Lady Hermon’s garden parties you can continue to pretend you are a credible political force.

    “threatened by a colleague who had to be physically restrained?”

    You seem to know everything – name names, let’s see how confident of your assertions you really are.

  • yer_man

    To get back to the actual question here….

    Where is the hard evidence of any so-called split in the DUP. From what I can see there seems to be the usual level of unity. The DUP councillors association just unanimously backed their strategy for the talks and the results thus far – and anyone who takes a passing interest in politics will know that councillors usually make up the most disparate group within any party.

    The one piece of ‘evidence’ of a DUP member who was supposedly up in arms has now turned out to be a serial PUP activist who, if you ever happen to be unfortunate enough to read the loacal papers in Ballymena, you will know seems to have a lower regard for the DUP than he does for Sinn Fein.

    Lest I be accused of ‘not having a life’ for making some reference to the facts or actually talking about the subject in hand…. i unreservedly apologise now…..

  • Rebecca Black

    “you can continue to pretend you are a credible political force.”

    you flatter me Christopher you really do!! I might actually be so credible as to get a column in the newsletter soon!!

    I do have evidence, but I don’t think its wise to name names on a public forum. It was a DUP councillor – and that as much as I am saying!

  • Rebecca Black

    “usual level of unity”

    thats very vague, what does that mean?

    “Lest I be accused of ‘not having a life’ for making some reference to the facts or actually talking about the subject in hand…. i unreservedly apologise now…..”

    thats ok, no need to apologise to me! Maybe you might want to do something about that though!

  • Christopher Stalford

    Cowardice from an Ulster Unionist? Surely not.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Cowardice from an Ulster Unionist? Surely not”

    wisdom rather than cowardice, besides I wouldn’t fancy meeting the councillor in question on a dark night in Newtownards so I’d prefer to keep quiet. However the story is all over the place.

    You haven’t said much about your national front fan, a whole new fan base eh christopher? Pretty soon you should be able to get them goose stepping and saluting you!

  • yer_man

    Rebecca,
    I lead a fullsome and varied life.. I feel no need to take lessons from students who always seem to feel their lives are so much more interesting than those of us enslaved into paying taxes…

    However, “usual level of unity”. Yes a little vague perhaps, but only in the sense that I have no particular evidence of disunity. The DUP is regarded by most, if not all, as a very united party. I dont see that as having changed in the last weeks/months , ergo, there is the ‘usual level of unity’.

    The one thing I would add is, that it seems to me that the one thing which will actually increase the unitedness of DUP members is accusations of splits from Ulster Unionists…. so keep it up, as young Mr Grace would say, “you’re all doing awfully well!”

  • Rebecca Black

    “I lead a fullsome and varied life.. I feel no need to take lessons from students who always seem to feel their lives are so much more interesting than those of us enslaved into paying taxes…”

    I’m saying no such thing, I’m aware my life is dull as ditchwater but I feel you might benefit from a bit of perspective.

    “The one thing I would add is, that it seems to me that the one thing which will actually increase the unitedness of DUP members is accusations of splits from Ulster Unionists…. so keep it up, as young Mr Grace would say, “you’re all doing awfully well!””

    well then, we appear to be doing you a favour!

  • yer_man

    Rebecca,
    How do you think I might gain this perspective which you (on the basis of no facts whatsoever) seem to think I could benefit so much from?

    Anyway, on with the topic in hand. I’m quite happy for Ulster Unionists to continue their obviously co-ordinated campaign on certain issues at certain times. It seems to have given some Young Unionists something to do over the last while as their names have been regualarly appearing in the letters pages of our newspapers.

    I actually admire their attempts in some ways – after all, its not easy trying to create a story when there isnt any truth behind it. That probably explains why the accusations of splits have had absolutely no impact whatsover. In fact every time I read them it simply reminds me of the hypocrisy of an Ulster Unionist coming out with such accusations when your own Party Leader still cant even leave his back unguarded after the departure of Donaldson et al because he still has to wonder what old slippy Reg is up to.

    And on that vein, I see Reg has been sidelined again while the UUP are going through their tough talking stage. After all, they cant allow Ulster’s most power hungry politician (Reg, give me a deal, any deal, Empey) onto the airwaves while McGimpsey and Trimble are more interested in scuppering a good deal done by the DUP than they are in actually helping the unionist position.

    When talking about splits in the UUP, its best to quote your best friend Gerry, “they havent gone away you know!!”.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    I know I’m kind of wandering in to the middle of an inter-unionist set-to here – and it is gratifying to see that you lot are as vicious and mendacious with each other as you are with nationalists – but sure maybe I’ll help bring about a bit of unionist unity here…

    It seems to me, looking in from the outside, that Coulter’s argument is pretty far-fetched. It is his usual failing to postulate an imaginative and positive future for unionism – seemingly oblivious to the fact that unionism’s political class doesn’t do imaginative or positive.

    Christopher Stalford: you’re a professional political columnist? There’s hope for us all.

  • ulsterman

    Wishful thinking on the part of the enemies of Ulster. Probably a directive from the Vatican. The DUP will never surrender to the Pope or Republicanism.

    The Ulster Protestant Nation is about to be born.The enemies of Ulster will soon be defeated,

    God Save The Queen.

  • jay sus

    Ulsterman,
    When you’ve finished defeating your enemies and giving birth to new nations, we’ll meet up in the Valley of the Black Pig for afternoon tea. I believe it’s the new in-spot for young people out celebrating an annihilation. Maybe you could give us a sample of that lovely singing voice that has made you the toast of the chapel choir of late.

  • Butterknife

    Knowing that the DUP shall consider anything contrary to their views an attempt by SDLP / UUP etc. as trying to promote splits I shall just point to how Robinson et al. are moving the goalposts and the keyword from

  • Michael Shilliday

    McGimpsey and Trimble are more interested in scuppering a good deal done by the DUP than they are in actually helping the unionist position.

    The DUP have a problem – never fear! Its Trimbles fault! Don’t work anymore.

    So what was this good deal? No power sharing without IRA disbandment? After all, Mr Paisley promised me not so long ago the DUP wouldn’t do a deal with the IRA. I’d feel awfuly let down if he were to do a deal now.

  • jonty

    I thought paisley wasnt going to do a deal until
    Sinn Fein disbanded let alone the IRA , or is he still waiting to smash them

  • Butterknife

    It seems as he was walking in that shadow of death in which the Romanists dared to report accurately that Paisley may be swallowing some of his long held principles. I note from the The Newsletter that Mrs Foster is enjoying her 30 pieces of silver too.

  • Rebecca Black

    “How do you think I might gain this perspective which you (on the basis of no facts whatsoever) seem to think I could benefit so much from? “

    well now yerman, I am just merely another political hack such as yourself, I’d advise you to see one of those life coaches for such advice.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “I note from the The Newsletter that Mrs Foster is enjoying her 30 pieces of silver too.”

    HA HA HA – No bitterness there then!

  • jonty

    Christopher, when did the DUP change its policy on power sharing?
    When did it become in favour of it?
    was it discussed at its executive?
    maybe you werent informed, remember Devolution Now

  • Davros

    Could somebody explain the 30 pieces of Silver jibe to me ?

    Re the Romanists – Seamus Breathnach

  • Christopher Stalford

    Jonty

    How stupid are you going to look when the DUP delivers more than your hero Trimble ever could?

  • Rebecca Black

    “How stupid are you going to look when the DUP delivers more than your hero Trimble ever could?”

    baaaa, the drone of the herd continues…

  • Christopher Stalford

    “baaaa, the drone of the herd continues…”

    I didn’t know the YU’s were having a meeting this evening!

  • Christopher Stalford

    “well, this eccentric friend is an associate member of the national front”

    Ulster Unionists have been denounced in the press for less!

  • Rebecca Black

    he ain’t an Ulster Unionist…shock, horror, I have friends who are not Ulster Unionists!

  • Rebecca Black

    just heard some interesting election predictions you were making!! You don’t reckon your boss will become an MP? i agree but thats not the sort of tone your baa should have – biting the hand that feeds indeed!

  • yer_man

    Rebecca,
    “baaaa, the drone of the herd continues…”,/i>

    High level debate indeed…… and that goes for the response to your ‘witty’ little comment also.

    However,
    I’m not shocked by the fact that you have friends who arnt Ulster Unionists, nor even who arnt Unionists. I have friends who wouldnt call themselves unionists by any stretch of the imagination.

    However, I would have to say that I personally would draw the line at ‘friendship’ with the kind of person who would support the NF. While I’m all for the ‘you dont have to agree with someone to be friendly with them’ line, I do feel that its terribly tricky to be friendly with someone whose views I find distasteful in the extreme. Despite the fact that MI6 or someone has now probably logged my computer I have just taken a little look around the NF’s website. If your ‘friend’ is anything like the charmers who have left comments in their guestbook then dont be bringing him round to my house for tea anytime soon……. ‘Eccentric’ – maybe you should look that up in the dictionary sometime…..

  • Rebecca Black

    yesss well, as I told Christopher when he told me that being friends with republicans was “low and disgusting” I don’t pick my friends according to their political allegances, that’d be very boring and leave me somewhat short of friends I imagine in Dublin. You really don’t have to agree with people to socialise with them, makes life and certainly conversations much more interesting if you don’t agree with them.

  • Rebecca Black

    its called being open minded.

  • jonty

    HMMMM.what will the DUP deliver. oh yes, Martin McGuinness as Deputy first Minister, or even better young Gerry as Justice Minister….cool.

  • Michael Shilliday

    now thats what i call smashing (for) sinn fein

  • jonty

    Christopher are the DUP still demanding the filming of future acts of decommisioning or have they gave up on that one too.
    It seems a KODAK moment is all the DUP need to put gerry in charge of justice

  • yer_man

    Rebecca,
    I think you’ll find that I recognised that you dont have to share someones views to be friendly. It does also seem to me then that your friend’s agreement with anything Christopher Stalford may have written in a newspaper article doesnt mean a thing either way. Just because someone with distasteful views agrees with something you say – that doesnt make the sentiments wrong.

    However this seems to be something of a side street to the main points on here, although there doesnt seem to have been much of note in any recent posts.

    The DUP have made it clear that they wont sit in Government untill SF gives up terrorism, decommissions all their weapons, and ends all their terrorist and criminal activity. With that done then Jonty people will have to accept the bone fides of anyone who has clearly and demonstrably given up terrorism and embraced democracy – but not until that time. That is the crucial difference as I see it between DUP strategy and UUP strategy (if UUP and strategy can actually be placed together in a sentence).

    Michael, just how ‘smashing’ was it for Sinn Fein for Martin McGuinness to be able to abolish academic selection in our schools because thanks to the Ulster Unionist Party they ensured he was in his Ministerial office to take the decision (completely unaccountable to the Assembly even if it had continued in operation.) Of course he wasnt just abolishing the 11+ was he, but probably recieving regular reports about whatever gunrunning, punshinment beatings etc were ongoing at the time.

    I have to say that above everyone else, Butterknife gets the prize for entertainer of the week so far. It really does make for quite a story to believe that Robinson and Dodds are at loggerheads with eachother. I suppose that’s why some pepople like to believe it. Where’s the evidence may I add? Also Butterknife, how could Jim Allister come out of political retirement, seek selection to be an MEP, subsequently win that election (convincingly as i remember) and then not be ‘shipped’ off to Europe? That has to be one of the most ludicrious arguments i’ve read in some time – quite an accolade.

    Michael,
    The comments I made about Trimble et al preferring to scupper a good deal. The good deal will be the IRA giving up terrorism and crime and handing in their guns. It will be Ministers who are accountable to the electorate through the Assembly and likewise for any cross-border bodies. But as we see, the purple one will sit in ‘opposition’ to all this… Well done David.

  • Butterknife

    Christopher Stalford

    Your leader had promised to smash Sinn Fein but instead he is working to restore devolution to the reviewed version of the Belfast Agreement 1998 which Peter Robinson, and now Irene Forster

  • jonty

    Michael, just how ‘smashing’ was it for Sinn Fein for Martin McGuinness to be able to abolish academic selection in our schools because thanks to the Ulster Unionist Party they ensured he was in his Ministerial office to take the decision………..

    Er the 11 plus is alive and well, it was a direct rule minister who is putting plans to destroy this system.
    All Mcguinness did was ANNOUNCE a review into other ways of replacing the transfer process.

  • Butterknife

    Davros

    Mr Paisley’s remarks are offensive and religiously motivated (deep insight needed there!). He was not in the Republic of Ireland so there was no call for that link and he was not being specific but instead making a generalised statement on journalists who do their job and report the facts. It was proved that he indeed had a serious heath scare by his use of biblical language and instead of telling the truth (which is a Christian trait) he choose to attack by using remarks which again promotes a

  • yer_man

    Jonty,
    Like most direct rule Ministers, Jane Kennedy decided to follow on with the decisions which had been set out by the previous Ministers under devolution.

    Hence, from the BBC website Friday 21st November 2003.
    “Former education minister Martin McGuinness had moved to abolish the current secondary level education selection system hours before he left office last October.

    The Sinn Fein MP said the final 11-plus tests should be in 2004.

    Ms Kennedy, who assumed the education portfolio when the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed, had said she intended to follow the course of action set out by Mr McGuinness.”

    Its exactly the same in that decision as for the siting of the Hospital between Omagh and Enniskillen. The decision to site the hospital in Enniskillen was taken my the Sinn Fein Minister, but much to the delight of Sinn Fein in West Tyrone the decision will actually be implemented by a direct rule Minister, thus saving them the embarassment of being seen to have done it. However, there is a big difference between who took the decision and who is seen by the public to have taken it.

  • Butterknife

    God can you just imagine the blame game if devolution comes back to Stormont!

  • Davros

    “He was not in the Republic of Ireland so there was no call for that link”

    I thought the link was relevent and pertinent.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Actually I’m one of these cynical people who reckon the DUP gave SF education by not picking it before them. But that would be to criticise the great patriotic leader, and that’s not allowed.