DUP "a sectarian party"

The BBC reports on David Trimble’s address at the UUP conference in Newcastle, County Down, where he has provided his analysis of the failings of the new political majorities here to reach a resolution of the difficulties he had struggled with. It includes perhaps his most scathing attack on the DUP to date.

His comments on the changes being sought by the DUP are sure to cause a reaction.

“What is the gain if the DUP is not required to vote for a Sinn Fein DFM [Deputy First Minister] but it is prepared to accept a Sinn Fein DFM voted in by other means?”

“This is merely stripping out one of the few cross-community provisions of the Agreement to spare the blushes of a sectarian party.”

He is also critical of the political cover being granted to Sinn Fein by the British and Irish Governments –

“Like other parties, we do not know what republicans supposedly offered to Blair. I suspect the offer was more a bluff than anything else

Blair should have nailed it down but, with characteristic optimism, he rushed at it.

The DUP could have covered themselves by confronting republicans and insisting they give clear details. But rather than engage in serious negotiations, they hid behind other issues.

I did warn the DUP that they were letting republicans away in the smoke. Unfortunately, they did not listen.

But that should not obscure the fact that the main responsibility lies with the government and republicans.[my emphasis]

But, just as the DUP and SF are dallying while assessing the electoral impact of any moves now, Trimble also has an eye on next year’s elections –

Mr Trimble said that, with the General Election and local government elections approaching, unionism could not afford to have five years of the DUP.

“To an extent not grasped here, the DUP, in a House of Commons completely dominated by Labour MPs, are held in scarcely concealed contempt

Five years of their sourness will do unaccountable damage to the Union.”

  • ShayPaul

    Peteb

    Thanks for that blog.

    Surely these lines merit thought :

    “This is merely stripping out one of the few cross-community provisions of the Agreement to spare the blushes of a sectarian party.”

    and

    Mr Trimble said that, with the General Election and local government elections approaching, unionism could not afford to have five years of the DUP.

    “To an extent not grasped here, the DUP, in a House of Commons completely dominated by Labour MPs, are held in scarcely concealed contempt,” he said.

    “Five years of their sourness will do unaccountable damage to the Union.

    “Unionism cannot afford a representation that will make Gerry Adams appear good before the court of English public opinion.”

  • Keith M

    “To an extent not grasped here, the DUP, in a House of Commons completely dominated by Labour MPs, are held in scarcely concealed contempt.
    Five years of their sourness will do unaccountable damage to the Union.”

    So after the nonsense of “Simply British” we can now see the shape of the new UUP election campaign being formed. “Vote for us because we do more smiling more in the House of Commons”. Yes I can see those posters with the smiling faces of David Burnside and Roy Beggs making all the difference.

    Seriously, can somebody please explain why Trimble is still the leader of a political party, (albeit an irrelevant and rapidly disappearing one). I don’t believe any UK party leader has suffered so such humiliation at the polls since Lloyd-George.

  • ShayPaul

    He has finally got the gloves off, about time.

    Maybe Unionism has a real leader after all.

  • ulsterman

    The DUP thinking is that there will not be a deputy first minister. The assembly will be called but will not form an executive until a year after the IRA disband. Rather a series of commitees will take decisions.

    We are on the way.

    The Union is FOREVER secure.

    The Pope And Republicanism were both beaten,

    TO THE VICTOR THE SPOILS,

    GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

  • Henry94

    David Trimble is probably right. The DUP would be outside the range of political normality for most Labour MPs and most British people. But they represent better than Trimble does the attitudes and feeling of most Unionists.

    What is alien to the British is Unionism itself. They regard it as backward looking, intolerant and foolish. But at least the DUP version is coherent.

  • The Devil

    who will seriously take heed of the rantings of a man who’s party under his leadership were routed at the polls

  • alex s

    Routed, I think it was a little closer than that ‘Devil’

  • Jonathan McCullough

    Ulsterman, What planet are you from? It’s obviously not the one that the rest of us live on, let alone the same country! No Deputy First Minister? I think it’s time there was a major drugs clamp down in Northern Ireland, we can all see the brain damage it’s causing! It will not be long before the DUPes sit beside their friends in sinn fein, they have already accepted the Agreement they promised to bring down, Paisley has been to Dublin, they are getting themselves ready for power. Perhaps they might manage to slow things down until after the next general election but we all know that what the DUPes are doing is following in the footsteps of the real Unionist Party. Hopefully the electorate will see that soon and vote for the only Unionist Party that counts, the Ulster Unionist Party.

  • ulsterman

    The DUP have not accepted the GFA and never will. What is going on is negotiations with the British Government over devolution. The agreement has been largely scrapped. There will be a First Minister and a commitee system ar Stormont. For SF to be taken seriously the IRA must disband and they will be on trial for one year. If at the end of that year they are towing the line then and only then will the filthy scum be considered for government.

    Hopefully the Unionists will unite behind the DUP and the Alliance will merge. That way under the voting system the Papists would only have three out of 11 cabinet positions.

    Victory is ours.

    How sweet it is.

    The Union is forever secure.

    God Save The Queen.

  • ShayPaul

    Mr Trimble said that, with the General Election and local government elections approaching, unionism could not afford to have five years of the DUP.

    “To an extent not grasped here, the DUP, in a House of Commons completely dominated by Labour MPs, are held in scarcely concealed contempt,” he said.

    “Five years of their sourness will do unaccountable damage to the Union.

    “Unionism cannot afford a representation that will make Gerry Adams appear good before the court of English public opinion.”

    Whilst one can agree with much he is saying, he is being a little too modest.

    He made a rather good job of making Gerry look good himself.

  • collinspc

    Yes I think Mr trimble was right to call a spade a spade and to tell the world that the DUP are a sectarian party ; who hold no objective morality with regard to their catholic neighbours. Forget about all the sillyness and hypocracy about not talking to Sinn Fein. What about sharing platforms with active and phychopatic killers , the type of killer , that kills Catholics.
    What about a “leadership” that sets out a strategy for aggressive resistance for its people , puts in place paramilitary structures and then runs away like the cowards they are , and lets misguided men and women do their murderous bidding. Then they have the “guts” to describe their frankenstein as evil , murderous , scum .

    How any unionist can vote for the DUP is beyond me , they have succeeded singlehandely in creating the “Protestant Bigot” in the eyes of the world

  • Moderate Unionist

    Henry94 and “The Devil”

    I think you overestimate the DUP lead in the polls.

    The DUP may be in the ascendancy at the moment, but they face some tough challenges. Whatever they do, it will alienate a section of their supporters.

    Their lead in the polls may be shortlived but the alternative is also possible. We live in interesting times.

  • davidbrew

    And the UUP is of course completely free of sectarianism of course, as the hero of Drumcree would obviously know, which is why he’s scared to break the Orange link.

    Meanwhile the merest sight of Roy Beggs or Slyvia rising to speak in the chamber empties the tea rooms of Labour MPs who rush to sit at their feet during the dabyes on Fisheries or Water charges. As Dean Godson makes clear in his book , Trimble has surprisingly made virtually no friends at Westminster (rather like Portadown then).

    If this is the start of the fightback, it ranks up there with David Levy’s inspired decision in June “This chap Santini will really get us up with the Arsenal”. Was it Shakespeare who talked of ” a thing of sound and fury, signifiying nothing”- or was it Daphne’s comments on the spech. I hear when the parliamentary candidates (aka the suicide battalion) were lined up at the front one of the hotel managers thought they were the waiters forthe wedding function going on next door. More worrying is that some of them thought their colleagues were too. If the gloves are off shaypaul, noone even noticed. Certainly no blows were landed

    collinspc-get used to the future-the DUP is the voice of Unionism. Trimble is the voice of Daphne

  • Davros

    14

  • ShayPaul

    davidbrew

    I notice in your carefully constructed intervention that you do not deny the sectarian nature of your party, simply imply that David Trimble suffers from the same illness having danced with the devil himself in Portadown.

    It remains only to agree with everything you said and thank you for your candid remarks.

    PS : I hope you are wrong about Mr Trimbles sectarianism for all our sakes, and am still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • ShayPaul

    Nearly missed that one Davros, are you on broadband now, you seem to be getting quicker ? 😉

  • jonty

    i wonder how many of those who left the UUP did so because they didnt want to share power with catholics rather than any other reason.

    At least they can find peace in the DUP

  • Henry94

    Moderate Unionist

    Whatever they do, it will alienate a section of their supporters.

    Better to alienate the right who can’t go to the UUP. If the DUP can claim to have delivered decommissioning and a return of the institutions they will have a strong hand.

    But if they fail to deliver then the UUP could make a comeback.

  • alex s

    why can David Brewster not simply refute Trimble’s claims concerning the DUP without attacking Trimble himself, either he himself agrees with Trimble’s claims or he is obsessed with the man himself, which?

  • North Antrim Realist

    DB

    Once again you rush to attack the UUP as a means of defending the DUP. It works when you are #2 not #1. Let us hear a defence of the current DUP postions and actions (if you have been told what they are) since the DUP are the voice of Unionism; I note the the betting in some quarters is now 85/15 for a deal – I hear wedding bells, will we all get an invite? If so will all the DUP members and voters attend?

    The DUP is a completely sectarian party, the UUP is a partly sectarian party, the % is debatable. The only parties that are completely non sectarian in NI are probably the Greens, Conservatives and Alliance there may be some other smaller non sectarian parties around, apologies to them if they feel omitted.

    Let’s hear a robust defence on the virtues of a 2nd hand Volvo……………..

  • davidbrew

    NAR
    The DUP may be many things, but it understands the proper etiquette. There should never be a wedding until the bride’s father has been asked to give consent. Any caring father will refuse permission if the suitor is a useless waster. So don’t buy any presents yet!

    BTW what on earth do you mean that the UUP is “partly sectarian”? You can’t be partly pregnant, or partly sectarian.

    Unlike virtually every other poster I know trimble personally.
    Since you cower behind a pseudonym you may too, but we can’t judge.
    I know his track record in Vanguard, the Ulster Clubs,the Devolution Group etc when he was often to the right of the DUP. I remember him letting DUP members into Unionist HQ to mount a protest against Charles Haughey being hosted by the IOD and …er Reg Empey in the Europa.

    People who recall his past will feel that being lectured about sectarianism by Trimble is like being called an alcoholic by Shane McGowan. YOu are right to tar all major parties with the nbrush of sectarianism: it comes with the political territory. But if you are truly a realist you cannot condone the jawdropping hypocrisy of being lectured by a man who has rarely seriously addressed the sectarian baggage of his own party-because he’s very comfortable with it thank you very much.

  • Butterknife

    David, the facts are as follows: the DUP and the UDA have been working, if not directly then indirectly, with each other for years in Lisburn. As I said before, Jeffrey will no doubt gain a council seat in Lisburn partly due to the UDA vote and his party’s connections with the organisation. As the ceasefire is now recognised by the Government, the DUP’s spin department will go on fast cycle and it shall put into the public domain what was once a private marriage of convenience since the birth of the party.

    BTW Welcome to the pro-Agreement family. It is nice to know David Trimble has been vindicated by your party’s actions.

  • ulsterman

    Gerry Adams and his murdering cohorts led David Trimble a merry dance. If he had of followed Donaldson from the begining the dire straits his party would have found itself would not have arisen.

    The Pope must have been laughing in the Vatican as he saw David Trimble sign away our Protestant culture and heritage.

    The Papist conspiracy was defeated by the DUP. There will be no powersharing with the enemies of Ulster. Those Papist ministers in the new government will have to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen.

    God Save The Queen.

  • North Antrim Realist

    DB

    Once again you attack the UUP it must come naturally to you, one of those knee jerk reactions you can’t control.

    As a political expert you will know that a party has two sections its leadership and its membership. In the UUP both sections have sectarian members however the overall approach of the leadership is not overtly sectarian nor are all the members of the leadership sectarian.

    Can you say this of the DUP? …. if so let us know who in your party does not fully support your leader and his overtly sectarian views.

    BTW you don’t know me, so even if I used my name it would mean nothing to you ……

  • Yank in Ulster

    “This is merely stripping out one of the few cross-community provisions of the Agreement to spare the blushes of a sectarian party.”

    Excuse me for not accepting the words of one sectarian unionist party on the sectarianism of another. So middle-class Ulster Unionists are more subtle and less obscene about their bigotry.

    Listen, if Trimble cared so much about cross-community consent, as First Minister he would have worked harder with his Deputy First Minister counterpart. That failed lesson speaks more to me.

  • Peter Brown

    NAR there are I trust very few people left who have not worked out who you are…the smokescreen has blown away some time ago

  • North Antrim Realist

    YIU

    Have you considered the reverse might also be true of ………….. Mallon and Durkan. It takes 2 to Tango

  • The Renegade

    No one can claim that the SDLP does not engage in cross community copoperation. Whilst the UUP were operating a unionist dictatorship, the IRA were blowing up people, and the DUP were sporting rather stylish berets, it was the SDLP who worked to bring the factions together.

    Do not suggest that Durkan/Mallon are to blame whatsoever

  • North Antrim Realist

    Renegade

    You think Hume was cross community?

  • davidbrew

    Peter I haven’t
    is it LC? Do tell.

    NAR-all the more reason to be a man not a mouse.

  • Peter Brown

    He has told at least one lie to cover his tracks but I’ll not out him yet – maybe he will have the courage to do it himself…..

  • Christopher Stalford

    The class snobbery displayed by the UUP at their badly-attended (220 was the figure I was given by someone who was at it) shin-dig demonstrates why they will never be a credible electoral force in Northern Ireland.

    Those of us who are anti-Belfast Agreement are to be considered stupid, ignorant and a lower class of people altogether.

    Just who does Trimble think he is? and as for that gesticulating aristo Cranbourne – ask William Hague just how loyal to a leader he is.

    The denial stage for the Democratic Party after their defeat lasted about a fortnight, for the Ulster Unionists its still on-going.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “Maybe Unionism has a real leader after all.”

    It has. He’s called Ian Paisley.

  • willowfield

    Mr Stalford

    Those of us who are anti-Belfast Agreement are to be considered stupid, ignorant and a lower class of people altogether.

    Given that you’ve now turned full-circle and are now supporting the Agreement, maybe “stupid” and “ignorant” aren’t such inaccurate descriptions? What do you think?

  • Christopher Stalford

    I think your mischief making!

  • Christopher Stalford

    I would define stupid and ignorant as sticking with a party leader who’s destroyed your electoral viability and purged your party of all its youth and talent in the name of ideological purity – but then again what do I know?

  • willowfield

    I’m not mischief making. It’s a genuine point.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Really? My mistake.

  • alex s

    Christopher, instead of indulging in well rehearsed and rather purile Trimble bashing why not refute the points he raised in his speech giving evidence as you do so.

  • unionist_observer

    Trimble didn’t purge them, they left after they realised nobody gae two hoots what they were bleating on about.

    How many UUC meetings did jeffrey call in an attempt to defeat Trimble, three wasn’t it? Did it work, no!

  • Legal Eagle

    David Brewster likes to claim how well he knows David Trimble. Occasionally, he gets things wrong, though. He should be a little more careful what he posts on here sometimes in relation to matters in 1986. Uncle Sam is eveywhere, David!

  • davidbrew

    Uncle sam? legal eagle?
    You’re not Arlene Foster are you?
    Surely you were at school in 1986?

    How can you be “partly sectarian” then?