And 9 DUP MPs sends out what message?

New Northern Ireland [and Wales] Secretary, Peter Hain has made his first statement – not sure how he sees that “message” from the electorate working out in terms of “[cracking] this problem and [making] sure that we get progress..”. Time will, no doubt, tell. Meanwhile, over at RTE, the Guardian’s political editor Michael White had a couple of interesting observations on Peter Hain [RealPlayer audio file]- “a slightly, sort of, awkward customer at one level.. He has a habit of speaking his mind”.. hmmm.. it would be a welcome change.. And Hain is also, seemingly, “a nice guy.. doesn’t have a great sense of humour”.. well, he’ll fit right in then..

  • David Boothroyd

    The word in the Wales Labour Party is that Peter Hain only ever does ‘licensed dissent’.

  • Robert Keogh

    And 9 DUP MPs sends out what message?

    That there is now no longer an external enemy (UUP) to unify the two wings of the DUP. Once Paisley departs, well, remember Tito and Yuogslavia?

  • RedPaul

    I like the idea Robert but I don’t think there are too many Croatians in the DUP.

  • David Cather

    Why do some people spend all their time trying to think up ways in which the DUP might fall apart?

    I have a copy of the National Geographic at home from around 1983, which has a article on Northern Ireland in it. There is a picture of Robinson and Paisley and it talks about the change in the direction of the DUP that might occur after Paisley retired.

  • PS

    Yes but David, a chara, the thing is no one could have foreseen then how long Paisley would hang around. The point that the direction of the DUP after he leaves might be in doubt is still valid.

  • headmelter

    I don’t think you will need a chrystal ball to work out what the message will be.

  • Justice

    Has anybody seen the UUP’s apprentice prophet, S Warke. We can all remember his claims that Reg Empey was going to trounce Peter Robinson and the UUP were taking all before them. Surely even Junior Warke can say “Sorry”.

    Would he like to make a prediction about Monday’s results?

    Come on Master Warke! We all want to see more of your keen political insight.

  • peter

    The problem now is what direction the DUP go in?. There was a DUP sweep in the elections but 67% of voters still backed parties who supported the GFA.

    In a PR election the DUP would not have won half the seats.

    At the end of the day the DUP like Trimble will have to negotiate with SF if they want devolution.

  • The Hawk

    This is from Ulster Watchman (Issue 2):

    At exactly 4.18p.m on Friday, July 24, 1964, a warning was telephoned to the railway
    police in Johannesburg, South Africa, that a bomb had been placed in a suitcase on
    the concourse of Johannesburg Railway Station. Two other warnings were given to
    local newspapers at around the same time. The bomb exploded at 4.33p.m. A witness
    saw a huge flame bursting to a height of sixty feet. Mrs. Ethel Rhys, a 77 year old
    grandmother, suffered terrible burns and died later. Her grand-daughter, aged 12,
    also suffered severe injuries which ruined her life. She endured forty skin grafts on
    her face and body. More than twenty other innocent people were injured.
    The South African Police, using methods of interrogation now favoured by President
    George W. Bush, soon arrested the perpetrator, a White liberal. John Frederick
    Harris admitted the crime but claimed that the fifteen minute warning was adequate
    to avoid loss of life.
    Sentenced to death, he was executed on 1 April 1965. As the noose was placed around
    his neck he sang “We Shall Overcome”.
    His body was taken to a cemetery in Pretoria for cremation. There, a boy aged
    fifteen, a friend of Harris, stood up and delivered a farewell message to the terrorist.
    Reading from Ecclesiastes, he said “A time to kill and a time to heal…”
    Who was that boy? Step forward Peter Hain, now a minister in the supposedly
    anti-terrorist Blair government.

  • peter

    Oh liberation struggles how evil they are?. Apartheid was one of the most vile racist regimes ever.The only way to overthrow such regimes is sadly by force.

  • Roger

    The fact is that most unionists dont care if a deal is not done and direct rule continues so long as Sinn Fein IRA are not in power.

    I think that the DUP is strong and vibrant and the fact is that even when Paisley goes there are plenty there with the same Ideals to take on the reigns of leadership I predict it to be Gregory Campbell or Donaldson.

  • headmelter

    Maybe those same unionists will care when water charges, rates increases(council tax),cuts to health, education and the already shrinking “security” budget start to affect their wallets.

  • Davros

    I see nothing to make me think other than that it would only get worse if our wretched politicans were let loose to run this place.

  • Justice

    Hello! Master Warke where are you? Dry your eyes and step forward. Tell us how you got it so wrong.

  • Tiny

    Prolonged direct rule will prove expensive, especially to the middle classes, potential trouble for the DUP

  • another_pleb

    Ideals to take on the reigns of leadership I predict it to be Gregory Campbell or Donaldson.

    Sorry Roger, but Gregory Campbell is little more than a “Yes” man and Daniel O’Donaldson doesn’t have the intellect to achieve the levels of empathy needed to lead a party. Both would be poor choices for leadership.

    Peter Robinson will try his hardest to get it but he will be tripped up eventually by Jeff and wee Ian.

    It’s certainly going to be a show worth watching when the Big Man finally pegs it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’d heard that wee Ian was somewhat resented in the party for moving up the ranks on his dad’s coat tails. I don’t think he has the qualities of a leader myself. I agee that it won’t be Jeffrey or Campbell.

    To me it’s between Robinson or Dodds. Any opinions on Simpson ?

  • clug


    Robinson & Dodds are clear front runners

    But which one ??

    Interesting to see who the newly elected M.P’s prefere.

  • clug

    Is either of them Free P’s

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’d say Robinson is ahead of Dodds TBH. I’m not clear about the FP hegemony that either of them have.

    It will indeed be interesting. Paisley has the balance of God Squad and politics that the others just don’t have balanced; they all emphasise one aspect or the other. I can’t see how the party could stay together being led by someone like Willie “my mate Billy” McCrea.

  • slug9987

    How is the leader of the DUP decided?

  • donald

    I think they race round city hall and whoever crosses the finishing line first,wins

    Dodd’s is carrying a few pounds more than Robinson,so he is probably favourite.

    Jeffrey is in training for the big day but Ian jr. has threatened to steal his trainers if he even attempts to take part

  • haha

    All the senior members gather in something called a conclave with all the doors locked and don’t leave until the leader emerges (apparently as a result of divine intervention)

  • Comrade Stalin

    slug9987, good question. I’d strongly suspect that there has never been a leadership contest in the DUP’s entire history. On the other hand there’s bound to be provision for it in the party constitution.

  • slug9987

    Har har.

    But seriously, is it the members or is it the elected representatives? I suppose the members.

    If the members, then are they more likely to be suspicious of Robinson than Dodds?

    I assume that Donaldson is not a contender, since he is from the UUP.


    I think that Ian paisley decides who will be leader of the DUP.
    I imagine that this tradition will continue,even after he shuffles of this mortal coil.

  • Roger

    One thing for certain is the future leader will not be Ian jnr or Willie Mcrea.

    Allister has an outside chance and he is also quite intelligent with a little charisma.

    Gregory Campbell has a good chance he has a lot of charisma and is quite intelligent.

    Dodds and Robinson are certinally gifted and I would tip Robinson due to him being more senior.

    Donaldson, don’t rule this man out hes likeable, tought, has integrity, lots of support in the party especially from fellow UUP members and whats more is he has got grit.

    Sammy Wilson charismatic but probably too lightweight in the political sense.

    One thing for certain is that their is a vast pool of skills and experience to choose from but ultimatly the decision is left with Paisley and he will rightly choose Robinson with Dodds as his deputy but I think one of the BIG two needs a little bit if charm Dodds and Robinson lack in that field.


    Dodds is a nice bloke, if a little dour.
    I think a little coaching would see him right,
    besides, coming across as dour does’nt seem to have done much harm to Gordon Browns chances of success.

  • true patriot

    The future leadership will depend more on the sort of deal reached by the DUP and the Government. A Trimble-like deal will produce reaction that will exclude some from leadership. A Federal Ireland deal will produce quite another. And a no-deal and its ensuing problems, something else. We can’t pick the most able men of today and think they will be the same in a different situation tommorrow.

  • Stephen Warke


    perhaps you can refer me to the thread and indeed where i am claimed to have said this and we will take the matter from there…

  • Gonzo

    I think I’m right in stating that the DUP holds an an annual election for the leader.

    I don’t know if Paisley has ever been challenged, but he’s certainly never been beaten to the leadership.

    I’m open to correction, but I think Paisley chooses the senior office bearers. When asked once, he said that he was the “pope” and he chose the cardinals.

    Say what you like, he has a sense of humour…

  • Justice

    Master Warke, I never said you made these remarks on Slugger. But you know you made them.

  • 6countyprod

    The DUP victory sends a clear message that the large majority of Unionists in NI trust the DUP to negotiate on their behalf. Trimble’s weakness in the face of London/Dublin/US pressure caused his downfall. The DUP have shown that they have the backbone to resist such pressure, even to the extent that the various governments eventually came around to the DUP way of thinking. The pressure is now on SF and the IRA to make the next move.

  • Roger


    I agree with you regarding Paisleys sense of humour. When canvassing some years ago he went into a pub where one of the men in it went up to him a said ‘What are you drinking Ian’, Paisley give him a stern look and said ‘you wouldn’t be encouraging me to drink the devils buttermilk, a lot of people in the pub fell silent and then Paisley burst out laughing and joined in with the humour in the bar, I have always found this story quite funny.


    Good point regarding Dodds but is there anyone in the DUP being groomed for the leaderships position.

  • johnhidd

    If I can be of assistance….

    “The Ulster Unionist Party will be returned with 5 seats if not more, possibly even 6 or 7 “

    (Posted by: Stephen Warke at March 18, 2005 09:38 PM)

    “East Londonderry isnt safe – not by a long shot.

    East Belfast aint safe either.

    Perhaps one should consider that it will be the DUP and not the UUP being weakened at the upcoming elections…”

    (Posted by: Stephen Warke at March 18, 2005 10:05 PM)

  • lorre

    Stephen Warke said “The Ulster Unionist Party will be returned with 5 seats if not more, possibly even 6 or 7 “

    Steven could be spot on John, he just got his dates mixed up. He should have added 2009/10. After Northern ireland has been under direct rule for 4 or five years all the 108 MLA’s will have their salaries cut. Likewise the Unionist electorate will be so fed up with direct rule and DUP & SF intransigence they will all be so relieved to vote a number of middle ground UUP MP’s back in again to do a deal with a new Prime Minister & restart the Stormont Assembly.

  • barnshee

    why wait until 2009? shut the shop now consign the MLA to the dustbin of history

  • La Dolorosa

    What message…? more hymn signing, bible bashing, abstinence, complete closedown on Sundays, death of all cultural and civic life, gaybashing, intolerance of tolerance, et al……..

  • Belfast

    Nine DUP MPs all in one place at one time!!! If they all attend the british house of commons we may have a united Ireland quicker than we think >:0P

  • Davros

    2116 rather than 2216 “belfast” ? 😉

  • Stephen Warke


    ok then, where outside slugger am i assused of making these remarks… name the day, time and the place, or would that risk uncovering your true identity…

  • another_pleb

    It will not be Dodds, he as a funny voice which I can’t take seriously.

    I wouldn’t rule out Mary Harney of the progressive Democrats. Their policies seem quite similar to the DUP’s. Since there is a lot of talk of parties linking up these days (SDLP and FF), I think that PD DUP is the next logical step.

  • Stephen Warke


    look who has gone mysteriously silent now….

  • Stephen Warke

    a day on and still the deafening silence…

    it speaks volumes!

  • Stephen Warke

    Yes and still quiet…

    Funny that isn’t it?

    Justice, where are you?

    Come out, come out wherever you are…

    Decide for yourselves…