TALKBACK got a lot of text messages today about ‘troubled’ DUP politician Paul Berry’s imminent return to Stormont. Berry is clearly positioning himself carefully, and his constant line about ‘unionist unity’ tells us he’s keen to get back in the fold. But will this late rearguard action really allow him to come from behind to re-enter a body he once tried to shaft?What’s more interesting than crap jokes at Berry’s expense, is the thinking behind his statements.
Could he be playing the numbers game?
Since party appointments to various bodies are based on party strength (ie, number of seats in the Assembly), his resignation from the DUP should have meant that the party only got three seats on the Policing Board.
But it got four – probably as some kind of confidence-building measure/bribe from the Government.
Translated into an Assembly Executive, and the situation is much the same – with Berry, the DUP was entitled to four ministerial positions, without him, it is only entitled to three… but since ministerial numbers of much greater significance than Policing Board presence, will the Government be as willing to be economical with its mathematics come November?
With the Assembly due to be re-called next month, this perhaps explains Mr Berry’s emergence…