DUP, America and Downing Street

In what looks like a rather a studied snub to the two PMs, a number of key members of the DUP’s top table will be in America when Blair and Ahern are to disclose their latest version of the road map. Liam Clarke notes, “it underlines both the low expectations of the event and the fact that Ian Paisley’s party is broadly satisfied with what will be proposed”. He also observes, He also observes the party’s appetite/capacity to play to more than one audience:

The American trip is designed to present the DUP at its most pragmatic, to convince the US administration and Irish-American opinion that the party will do a deal if the conditions are right. Hardliners such as Paisley, his son Ian Jr, Nigel Dodds and William McCrea are noticeably absent from the delegation.

It’s a capacity that has paid the Republican Movement handsomely in the past. It would seem that the DUP is indeed getting out more. In the last few years they have invested heavily in building relations in places where previously only Nationalist voices where heard.

And it may be playing off. It’s notable, for instance, that most of the serious pressure from the US has been pointed directly at Sinn Fein over the issue of policing.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • yerman

    First point about this; why snub something you are satisfied with??? The DUP has aruged for a lower level Assembly and looks like it is getting something that they are happy with. They aren’t so stupid then to deliberately snub it.

    Secondly, surely it has only become clear that the Government was making the announcement here on Thursday within the last week or two – not nearly enough time to organise a trip to the US just to snub the announcement.

    If they are meeting senators, congressmen etc that will have taken many weeks to organise, probably a couple of months.

    Looks more like an unfortunate clash of diary dates.

    Its about as likely a theory as the Governments having deliberately chosen Ian Paisley’s birthday as the announcement date.

    Conincidental, yes. Anything more than that is purely for the conspiracy theorists.

  • lib2016

    “a studied snub to the two PM’s”

    Two elephants being raped by a flea? Trimble (remember him?) tried this tactic. It did him a lot of good.

  • abucs

    So when the DUP are invited to take part in the American St Pat’s functions with all other parties, they stay at home.

    When the governments announcement to the electorate the future plans of government in NI they then decide to go ?


    And their political mandate is to not take part in the legal politics of the state.


    And they call both the elected PM and oppointed Secretary of State traitors.

    So who are the non democratic rebels again who practice abstention ?

    And who are the law abiding Party advocating support of the Union ?

    You have to laugh. :o)