DUP: structure, what structure?

Newton Emerson looks at the DUP, post Paisley. Not in the usual, frivolous, slightly schardenfreude-ish, ‘it’ll all be okay when he’s gone’ way. But a serious look at what, structurally, is holding the DUP together, other than the huge personality and charisma of the Big Man.

  • This article raises important points.

    Historically, the DUP has been distinguished by 2 features: authoritarian leadership, internal discipline and a hostility to the unionist establishment. Today, thanks to the UUP’s implosion, the DUP is the new establishment party. It has gained rising centre-right figures who had clustered around Jeffrey in the UUP, a ultra-Presbyterian political entity in character.

    Finally Paisley is too old to dominate a party of its present size as he once would have dominated a smaller DUP. (In the Commons yesterday, he kept calling the Belfast Agreement the Anglo-Irish Agreement.) He is still leader for life but a key test of this new phase of his leadership will be to manage the inter-party tensions where there is no credible external opposition from the UUP.

  • Perversely, it’s going to the very absence of a credible challenge from the UUP (see Reg’s pitiful efforts passim) that stokes the tensions inside the DUP. A ‘serious’ UUP, *whatever* direction it was coming at the Paisleyites from, would help them circle the wagons in response. Perhaps it is all part of a Cunningham House cunning plan?

  • Jill McFadden

    Problem is Newton the DUP have a rule book. There has been leadership elections (just so happens Ian Paisley won) there have been deputy leader elections (indeed Peter Robison was challenged by William McCrea)and there is a link from centre to constituency in the DUP. Maybe a bit of research like a phone call to the party would have cleared up this rather silly story.

    If you ask me Newton Emerson needs to stop trying to be a little too clever and actually do some research – thats journalism Newton

  • Shore Road Resident

    “There has been leadership elections (just so happens Ian Paisley won)”



    Sure, didn’t Saddam Hussein win elections ?

  • pakman

    “Could Paul Berry go down …”

    Newton, Newton, Newton. Talk about a below the belt opening line!!!

  • DUPcurious


    so when were these alleged leadership contests?

    Although to be fair, even if the DUP had leadership elections every year it would be rather beside the point, who the hell is going to dare challange Paisley? The man or women seen to be trying to sweep Paisley aside will be reviled by the grassroots as a hate figure on the scale of Guy Fawkes.

  • DUPcurious

    Any chance of a response to my question then Jill?