Is Berry really out…?

THERE’S nothing quite like making a new entry when it involves Paul Berry (as the masseur said to the journalist), so when I spotted this on the BBC, I just couldn’t resist sticking my big oar in. According to the Beeb, after his pre-election controversial encounter in a hotel with a masseur, the Newry and Armagh DUP assembly member has been suspended from the DUP. While Mr Berry described the report of his suspension as “nonsense”, he doesn’t appear to have denied the accusation outright. So is he in or out?

Mark Devenport reported:

It is understood Mr Berry attended a disciplinary panel examining a Sunday World newspaper story on the eve of the Westminster election in May.

The story alleged he had met a male masseur at a Belfast hotel who claimed a sexual encounter had taken place.

Mr Berry denied that and threatened a potential libel action.

He has described the report of his suspension as “nonsense”.

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said: “I understand the party has been waiting for Mr Berry to commence legal action and that hasn’t happened.

“They’ve therefore convened an internal disciplinary panel to look at the facts.

“As part of that process Mr Berry, I’m told, has been suspended from the DUP.

“He wasn’t at a party assembly group meeting last month which was addressed by Secretary of State Peter Hain – and at that time I was told he wasn’t being invited to the assembly group’s meetings.”

  • bertie

    Schindler (him with the list) was not the stuff of which we normally expect our heros to be made of.

    I am not likening PB to Schindler.

  • Cllr Junkett

    Bertie,

    The term anti agreement is completely meaningless now, and has been for quite some time. However for what it is worth I voted no, in fact all the UU members currently on my council group voted no in 98 as a matter of interest. However I, (like Jeffrey at the time), being a democrat had to accept the democratic will of the people of NI at the referendum.

    After 99 however, people like Union First were basically using the structures of the UUC to destroy the elected leadership of the UUP, and gave up on winning the policy arguments internally. It turned into a personality clash- the DT v JD show which ran for 3 years, and played a significant part in our electoral defeats.

    I also did not vote for Jeffrey to be disciplined. The fact is, however, that from the summer of 2003 Jeffrey and Arlene wanted to be kicked out; they were increasingly isolating themselves within the UUP. They should have been allowed to go if they wanted to on their own accord, not be turned into martyrs by Cooper and co. That was a massive mistake by the UUC Executive.

    Anyway, what I was basically saying is that the DUP operates on Stalinist lines. Step out of line and it is the equivalent of the Siberian Salt Mines for you. If the allegations are true and say if Berry comes clean, admits what happened, says he has been a silly boy, publically apologizes to all concerned for lying (especially his poor wife)… do you think the DUP would forgive and forget. No chance…. he is history and DUP members will happily, very happily tell you this in private. (and remember they normally say diddly squat about internal party matters –see for example this blog)

    The UUP for all its faults -and I admit there are many, do not operate in the same way. Look at the differences in the way candidates are selected. The DUP leadership cull deadwood, and those deemed suspect (see Kane, G Hutchinson, R) with ruthless efficiency. (BTW watch as they try to get rid of the backwoodsmen and Harry Potter haters in the country over the next few years)) The DUP may have open arms at the moment when they are winning…just wait until it starts to go array. Just remember we have, to quote a University of Ulster academic, the most partisan ever Secretary of State…he’ll be doing no favours for any unionist when he gets comfortable at Hillsborough.

  • bertie

    Cllr

    Being a democrat does not mean accpting the view of a majority if it is votes to deny basic rights. It is my right to the protection of law and the electorate had no right to deprive me of it in terms of prisoner releases. Similarly if a majority of the elctorate voted to execute nuns at the Albert clock, I would not accept that, democrat or not.

    For me to support anyone or any party I need to be reassured on a number of key questions. Their current attitude to the Belfast Agreement is very pertinant to me. If I had grounds to doubt their opinion of the holacost, regardless of how long ago it was, that would need to be clarified. The point I was making was more about the attitude of the UUP to dissenters, than about the Belfast Agreement itself.

    What would happen to PB if he did as you said, I am not sure. It would probably be consistant of the DUP to require sackcloth and ashes and a period of quarantine.

    The DUP cull deadwood. Don’t most organisations seek to do this. It is a difficult balance within any party to accomdate different views whilst reigning in the crazies. Most political movements attract their fair share of “care in the community” types. I would have to admit that in the days when I would have been more of a UUP/UKUP/NIUP supporter, my prejudices would have convinced me that the DUP was a useful home for the crazies.

    How will the DUP act in the future if fault lines appear and factions within it manouvre for pole position I do not know. I have been impressed by them (mainly because of how well my erstwhile UUP friends have been accomodated and valued) but not, as yet, fully seduced.

    I don’t know that the private convictions of the sec of state are that relevant. Lets face it none of them (except Mason) can be trusted. They would not be given the job if they were not to be trusted to facilitate and pander to terrorism. At least we know to be on our guard with this one.

  • Gonzo

    So what, if the DUP sacks members who break their rules?

  • bertie

    is there a cure for this dreadful multiple repeat posting?

  • Pacman

    I think a good sports massage with baby oil should cure the problem Bertie!

  • Jacko

    Not much in the way of comment from fair-deal on this thread.
    I suppose he must be busy.

  • Real Democrat

    Bertie,
    Your posting means that you are not a democrat, though you could of course be a democratic unionist party supporter. Democracy is the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group. It is no surprise that the 2 groups many view as being most un-democratic are Sinn Fein/IRA and the DUP.

  • AugustusGloop

    “So what, if the DUP sacks members who break their rules?”

    Is someones personal choice about their sexuality against the rules of the DUP?!

    I’m still curious about other Northern Ireland political party’s attitude towards gay men and women…for instance what about the SDLP and Sinn Fein? Can anyone tell us what their attitude is and if they have many gay members?

  • slug9987

    “Democracy is the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group.”

    That is a version but its not necessarily best. A good democracy will not ignore minorities or treat them badly.

  • Roger

    It would be sad if Paul Berry is ousted from the DUP for this and a step backwards for the DUP. When people come on here to mock they forget that they are prying on a very personal issue. I support the DUP but I was not in favour of what IPJ said he simply could have said that he did not agree with same sex unions.

    Paul Berry may be gay the full facts are not available at this time but does it really make any difference. I feel sorry for the man and for his very young and attractive wife but at the end of the day if it is true Paul brought it on himself.

  • steveo

    The glee of some of you lot – the foaming-at-the-mouth-looking-for-innuendo-at-any-opportunity-wild-eyed-adolescent-schoolboy-snigger-pretending-to-be-a-debating-society cr*p on this thread.

    So some small-time provincial politician made a mistake. Big deal. Get over it.

    And cut out the mock indignation about hypocrisy and the like.
    Take a look at yourselves. We ALL have double standards.

    Just like Berry.

  • Roger

    The glee of some of you lot – the foaming-at-the-mouth-looking-for-innuendo-at-any-opportunity-wild-eyed-adolescent-schoolboy-snigger-pretending-to-be-a-debating-society cr*p on this thread.

    Agreed.

  • bertie

    “Democracy is the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group”.

    Following on from Slug:-

    For me Democracy is the doctrine that where valid options have to be decided on then a numerical majority decides the issue.

    As a true democrat by your definition would you accept executing nuns by the Albert clock if that was voted for by a majority of the electorate?

    Real democracy does not override individual rights.

  • Gonzo

    Have some of you gone mad?

    Who even said Berry was gay? I have no idea, but he still may have broken some DUP rules. He may have lied, for example.

    He may eventually be expelled for something, but it will not be because of his sexuality, which is the least serious issue here.

  • Elvis the dog

    Do we have an available DUP representative to confirm that DUP policy is:

    a. Showing support for the right sort of terrorist is okay
    b. Cavorting naked with a woman who isn’t your wife is fine
    c. Dalliances with folks of the same sex is okay so long as you don’t lie about it afterwards?

    Elected DUP representatives I know wanted and expected him to resign on the basis of the massage alone.

  • Sharon

    ” …AIDS came about because of sexual contact between homosexuals . Now that to me is something which shows in a small way that there is more than just human opposition to homosexuality . In the bible there is only one sin which called down literal fire and brimstone from God and that was’nt murder . It was’nt theft . It was homosexuality . ”
    – Gregory Campbell , DUP .

    “…you can go no lower (than homosexuality) . Paul at that stage speaks about the judgement of God coming upon a nation that does that . And whether we like it or don’t like it , history indicates that when nations decline to those depths , they come to an end . “
    -Reverend Ivan Foster , DUP .

    And there’s more in that vein …..
    See ‘Fire And Brimstone’ .

    Sharon .

  • Roger

    Sharon the quote regarding homosexulatity and aids is a valid one and does not address the point regarding Paul Berry.

  • Gonzo

    roger & bertie

    I have no idea who you’re referring to, but for the sake of Mick’s sanity and because some of the innuendo can’t be substantiated, I’m deleting the last couple of comments and closing the thread.

    Normal service will be resumed later.

    Carry on.