Not one, not two, but many Manifestos.

The DUP this morning launched its manifeso, taking the unveiling to a golf club in the heart of Upper Bann.

As well as the current manifesto available to download, Peter Robinson was quick to point out at the press launch this morning that, possibly unlike some other parties, previous manifestos are still easily available to check on promises kept.

As well as the expected sections on the future of devolution and the political process, with quotes from political commentators and political opponents alike, there are a fair range of issues covered throughout the thirty four or so pages.

These include:
12 pledges for Senior Citizens,
Support for grammar schools and opposition to the Common Funding Formula
Support for ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘safer ‘streets’ initiatives to tackle crime.
Support for a ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

Also included are past DUP ‘deliveries’ on rates relief for Orange Halls and a Victims Commissioner.

  • Alan2

    From UTV
    http://www.u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?id=59322&pt=n

    In the last set of negotiations, the DUP said it secured British Government support for:

    :: No terrorists in Government.

    :: Greater accountability from devolved ministers for their decisions, with a referral role for the Assembly to the Executive and primacy for the Assembly and Executive over individual ministers.

    :: A review panel to assess the efficiency of the devolved institutions and an institutional review committee to agree further structural changes.

    :: An entrenching of community designations.

    :: Accountability for all cross border co-operation by Stormont ministers with the Irish Government, a review of existing North South implementation bodies and Assembly scrutiny of their work.

    :: Greater emphasis on East West structures featuring all the UK`s devolved administrations, the British and Irish Governments.

    :: No transfer of policing and justice powers to the Assembly until the unionist community is satisfied it should happen.

    :: Priority for the rights of victims. This, the party said, led to the announcement of a Victims Commissioner in March.

    In the election campaign, the party said it was:

    :: Opposed to the reduction of police numbers and moves to scrap the reserve and campaigning for the retention of smaller police stations, particularly in rural areas.

    :: Demanding a more balanced approach by the Assets Recovery Agency to the stripping of loyalist and republican paramilitaries and criminal gangs of the proceeds of crime.

    :: Supportive of tougher sentences for those who commit crimes against the elderly, different treatment for those who perpetrate hate crimes, mandatory minimum custodial sentences for criminals who commit repeat burglaries, longer sentences for paedophiles and proper justice and support for victims of sex crimes, an imaginative approach to tackling alcohol-fuelled violence.

    :: Against Government plans to introduce water charges.

    However the party said if ministers pressed ahead, the regional and domestic rates should be reduced to reflect the cost. If charges were introduced, there should also be a separation between water and waste water. It proposed a fixed standing charge for waste water and a portion based on the rateable value of homes and a fixed charge for water and a portion either determined by the rateable value of property or voluntary metering. The level of standing charge and metering would have to be agreed but not necessarily have to reflect the respective costs involved.

    :: Opposed plans to raise domestic rates and base them on the value of people`s homes.

    :: Advocating more resources to improve road safety.
    :: Opposed to current Government plans to reform post-primary education on the grounds that it will threaten academic excellence and destroy grammar schools. The party said it believed ministers should not rule out academic selection based on academic ability.

    :: Wanted an education system which offers children a range of schools with different options to enable pupils to develop according to their individual skills. Those from disadvantaged background should have access to grammar schools and universities.

    :: Demanding greater transparency and detailed audit trails for the health service, less bureaucracy, the same standards of care as other parts of the UK, the recruitment of more staff with extra radiographers, occupational, speech and psychotherapists, more emphasis on public awareness of healthy lifestyles, a comprehensive ban on smoking in public places.

    :: Committed to opening up access to free public transport for the elderly to people between 60 and 65, campaigning for a substantially increased state pension to enable pensioners to afford daily living costs, free personal care for the elderly and for those who suffer from Alzheimer`s and dementia, a deduction of 25% for senior citizens on all rates bills.

    :: Wanted the end of the beef export ban in Europe after 10 years and moves to ensure farmers get a fairer price for their produce and a reduction in the influence of major supermarket chains.

    :: Supported more streamlined and effective local government and a more joined up approach to waste management.

  • Alan2

    “the party stated: “Inclusive, mandatory coalition government which includes Sinn Fein under d`Hondt or any other system is out of the question.

    “If executive devolution cannot be set up on a satisfactory democratic basis, then the only option is to make direct rule more accountable and acceptable.

    “We will work with the Government to provide the maximum accountability in these circumstances and attempt to integrate Northern Ireland more firmly within the United Kingdom.””

  • fair_deal

    I don’t see a position on the national ID card scheme.

  • Dessertspoon

    NOt very encouraged by the words coming out of the DUPs election manifesto and accompanying press conference.

    Any posters on here with kids of about 1 or 2 or who are about to have kids looks like they get to grow up in the same shitty society you did.

    How can sane reasonable person ever think of voting DUP? Not that there is much to choose between any of our parties.

    I dunno…and they wonder why so many people don’t vote. Plus ca change…….

  • Alan2

    Well what exactly are you disagreeing with?

  • Peter Thomas

    How could the DUP have delivered on promises when they have not been in power to achieve their goals?

    If the above is not true then how did the DUP achieve their goals but through the Assembly – Good Friday Agreement.

    They say they will deliver a 25% reduction in rate bills for OAPs etc. and free fares – attempt to gain the increasing 65+ vote – but if they are unwilling to share power with SF, who have a vast mandate then were will this public money come from? It has already been proved that the PSNI is in need of investment, and i suggest public money is being diverted to MLAs et al. So i moot that the DUP are counting on water bills to meet their wish list.

  • queens_unionist

    I think dessertspoon just disagrees…
    she/he just disagrees with the fact its a DUP manifesto.

  • PS

    “Inclusive, mandatory coalition government which includes Sinn Fein under d`Hondt or any other system is out of the question.

    Given this pedge , are the DUP now opposed to devolution or have they abandoned one of their “fair deal tests” which was to ensure that any deal has the support of the majority of Unionist and Nationalists.

    From the DUP website

    The DUP is fielding
    candidates in every
    constituency and in
    every Council area

    A lie, the DUP are not standing in Slieve Gullion.

  • Impractical Observer

    :: An entrenching of community designations.

    I would disagree with this. It slams the door in the face of those who don’t hold partisan positions or see themselves as one of the big two communities. It is no way to run a country.

    The motivation for it is that the assembly is fast approaching a Belfast City council scenario where no one group could claim to have an absolute majority and that might mean you would have to work together.

    :: No transfer of policing and justice powers to the Assembly until the unionist community is satisfied it should happen.

    As for this, its just asking for a veto. IT should be a simple majority decision.

    :: Demanding a more balanced approach by the Assets Recovery Agency to the stripping of loyalist and republican paramilitaries and criminal gangs of the proceeds of crime.

    And this is just stupid. So the ARA should decide to seize someones assets not on the evidence available but on whether they’ve acted against more loyalists than republicans (or vice versa) recently.
    The DUP argue from exactly the opposite starting point when it comes to police recruitment.
    The ridiculous thing is that its in there because they feel that republicans haven’t been targeted enough when if they really did care about working class loyalist communities they would be happy if loyalists criminals where disproportionatley targeted.

  • Alan2

    “are the DUP now opposed to devolution”

    same position as the UUP and i think the operative word is “d`hondt”.

  • Alan2

    IO – I think the ARA thing is more that “Republicans are off limits”. The gloves are off with Loyalist paramilitaries but the impression is given that it is softly, softly with republicans so long as the bombs aren`t going off. Although I would question the Jim Gray only getting raided AFTER he was booted out of the UDA..maybe a bit of softly, softly there too.

  • Northern FF

    Interesting to see the Lord Molyneaux making his latest appearance in DUP election material

  • Northern FF

    Also, there doesn’t seem to be any word of the party’s policy on business development / economy. Does anyone know if this is being published separately?

  • Clive McFarland

    “How could the DUP have delivered on promises when they have not been in power to achieve their goals?”

    The ‘deliveries’, i.e. Orange Halls and Victims Commissioner were 2 issues where the DUP sought and achieved moves from the Government during the last talks.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “From the DUP website:
    The DUP is fielding
    candidates in every
    constituency and in
    every Council area
    A lie, the DUP are not standing in Slieve Gullion.”

    Chris, they presumably meant every council rather than every ward.

    “:: No transfer of policing and justice powers to the Assembly until the unionist community is satisfied it should happen.
    As for this, its just asking for a veto. IT should be a simple majority decision.”

    There are plenty of issues where a ‘majority of both communities’ (read veto) is applied. Should all of these be abolished? Even if yes, the contentious issues should be decided by a qualified, not simple majority.

  • David Vance

    Edenmore is a nice golf course on my doorstep. I recommend the greens!

  • cilldara

    ” I recommend the greens!”

    After reading the DUP’s manifesto so do I.

  • Dessertspoon

    Queens_Unionist (Happy Birthday by the way) I am not anti DUP just because they are DUP. I did say it before on another post (can’t remember which one) when you look at the bread and butter issues it’s hard to fault them on their policies. It’s just hard to take them seriously when they set out what they want to do and how because they have no power to do it. Even if all 18 of the MPs from Norn Iron got together in the House of Commons (fantasy I know) on issues they agree on they still couldn’t overturn the governments decisions. Subsidiarity is the way to go – bringing the decision making closer to the people that the decision affects the most. I.E Devolution. I’m tired of MPs, MLAs and Councillors whining about decisions taken by Direct Rule Ministers and then throwing away every chance they get to do something about it.

    All of the above applies equally across all of the parties but with the DUP and a lesser extent the UUP to see them going back to “NEVER NEVER NEVER” makes my heart sink and makes me wonder if they (DUP) were really serious about the deal at Xmas.

    That’s why I just can’t vote DUP they are in a retrograde motion and trying to take NOrn Iron with them and the sooner people see it the better.

  • sean west

    In a nutshell desertspoon.Give that man a cigar.
    That is it.18 mps change nothing.They are more seats in and around the centre of london.
    That is when i read DT’s manifesto talking claptrap about NATO and Europe i just bust a gut.
    It is as bad as Durkan demanding(hahahahahahahah)
    Britain joins the euro.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Chris, they presumably meant every council rather than every ward.”

    That wasn’t me Beano, it was Paddy 😉

  • Alan2

    “That is it.18 mps change nothing.”

    Well the IRA better hurry the heck up otherwise were gonna have “accountable direct rule” for a very long time.

  • Indeed

    Dessertspoon,

    I really do despair when people blame the democrats for the current impasse in the political process. How about blaming the real villains here-SF/IRA-because it is their unwllingness to commit to solely democratic means and end criminality and gangsterism that is the bar to restoration of devolution.
    The DUP has made it clear-they are a devolutionist party, but not devolution at any cost.
    They have my whole hearted support as someone who believes there is no place in government for unreconstructed terrorists. I guess that makes me ‘indecent’, but i dont care.

  • Stalford

    PS

    Not a lie – the DUP are standing in every council area – they aren’t standing in every DEA – honestly try to get the terminoligy correct!

  • Gonzo

    :: An entrenching of community designations.

    The DUP states pretty clearly that in the event that devolution cannot be delivered (through its preferred choice of a voluntary coalition), then Direct Rule should be made more accountable.

    But sectarian designations aren’t necessary in a voluntary coalition OR while Direct Rule is in force.

    So why, can anyone tell me, is the DUP trumpeting this ‘gain’ if it is one they, by their own admission, will never ‘benefit’ from?

    Unless, of course, the DUP sees itself in another government with Sinn Fein. The DUP is openly admitting the possibility of having to serve in a government where designations are used – also known as inclusive government.

    This is a startling admission by the DUP. NONE of their preferences for government would require designations, yet here they freely admit to entrenching them.

    You have been warned/conned.

    Sloppy.

  • Alan2

    “You have been warned/conned.

    Sloppy.”

    I really can`t see accountable direct rule or voluntary coalition going ahead without some form of qualified majority voting or designation. Benign sectarianism has been entrenched through the GFA and I really don`t think people are going to move away from that formula. It may be slightly niggling but it does seem to work in this “peace” that we have and has brought much economic benefit to NI.

  • Dessertspoon

    Indeed – “I really do despair when people blame the democrats for the current impasse in the political process.”

    Loathe as I am to agree with Gerry Adams I have to admit that what he said on H&M last night made sense. If politics isn’t working blame the politicians.

    The IRA have a significance of course they do just as the other side’s paramilitary groups do but they are just being used as excuses to avoid doing what must be done.

  • Alan2

    Haven`t read it yet. Is there any mention of Ulster-Scots in the manifesto? If not why not?

  • fair_deal

    Alan 2

    Yes Ulster-scots gets a mention

  • Gonzo

    Alan2 said: “I really can`t see accountable direct rule or voluntary coalition going ahead without some form of qualified majority voting or designation.”

    Explain to me how designations are used in a voluntary coalition? With a qualified majority required, you get de facto cross community consent without the need for designations.