DUP to refuse to share power with UUP

The DUP has taken what many seem to consider the open goal offered them by the UUP’s decision to approach PUP leader David Ervine about joining the party within the Assembly.
DUP leader Ian Paisley said at Stormont that his party will not enter any power-sharing arrangement with the UUP due to the PUP and Ervine’s links to the Ulster Volunteer Force, which is not on ceasefire and which the report points out is deeply involved in drugs, extortion and violence.
“If people want to be aligned with any form of terrorism, whether it be Protestant or Roman Catholic, they have no right in the government here,” he said.

  • Yerman
    The fact remains that the DUP’s 33 seats gave unionism a majority on the Executive. The UUP will simply be restoring a unionist majority courtesy of a Ministry via the DUP.

    WRONG! First of all the DUP only have 32 seats, Secondly the 10th position was split between the UUP and Shinners and in this situation it would have meant that FPV would have come into play, therefore ensuring SF got the seat. Now come on it’s not that difficult to understand …

    Now, either the UUP have decided that there can be some ‘acceptable’ terrorists or they have decided that they themselves are currently unfit for Government.

    It is neither, the UUP have always been and always will be critics of the UVF RHC etc etc… BTW I recommend you read this before you start making anymore wild statements…

  • yerman

    The DUP through having 33 seats gave unionism a majority. Notice past tense. I do realise that the current 32 makes things different (pre-UVF alliance).

    Anyone know what effect the DUP geting one back (e.g. McCartney or Berry) would have on the UUP/UVF? Surely the UUP wouldnt criticise then if this is all about ensuring a unionist majority.

    As for the BBC report you link to. Interesting that the IMC has ruled on UVF crime and paramilitary activity after Reg’s cozy little chats with them. Tea and biccies obviously doesnt work so an alliance in Government may do. Strange logic indeed. Is he proposing to include the Shinners in his next coalition to persuade them away from gangsterism also??


    Can I ask any of the people who support the current policy of the UUP if they could look Raymond McCord in the eye?

  • boshank


    yes, i looked him in the eye this morning, spoke to him as well.

  • boshank

    The furore surrounding this is quite incredible. I have to say i found the hysterical DUP reaction today fascinating. I really haven’t seen them this agitated for ages. Peter was literaly spitting fire. I’m guessing that the move had seriously f**ked up whatever plans that they feel they can’t share with people that Robbo aluded to earlier on. Or that what the UUP has put the kibbosh on Jeffrey getting a Ministry. The mind literally boggles. I gather that they went straight to see Hain at Hillsborough this morning to discuss it. So put all the posturing and window dressing to one side and they have seriously got a bee in their bonnet about something. Maybe they are terrified that with the UUP having a potential veto in the executive all the choreography and bull we’ve been subjected to is falling apart. I honestly can’t think of any other reason for such outright hostility.

  • Yerman

    Anyone know what effect the DUP geting one back (e.g. McCartney or Berry) would have on the UUP/UVF? Surely the UUP wouldnt criticise then if this is all about ensuring a unionist majority.

    The DUP would need to get both back now for them to get this seat, after the ’03 election the UUP were the rightful party to claim this 10th seat, however if it were between the DUP and SF I would expect the UUP to support the DUP.

    As for the BBC report you link to. Interesting that the IMC has ruled on UVF crime and paramilitary activity after Reg’s cozy little chats with them.

    I don’t think anyone was expecting them to drop all and give up… it was more about the effort of going to them and showing them there was an alternative. As they no longer listen to the PUP it is up to everyone else, what have the DUP done?

    Is he proposing to include the Shinners in his next coalition to persuade them away from gangsterism also??

    The shiners hold the IRAs strings, likewise they also instruct Labour here in NI, the UVF are leaderless, they have no vision, in other words they have no idea. They need people there pushing them, telling them…


    Can I ask any of the people who support the current policy of the UUP if they could look Raymond McCord in the eye?

    Yup, for who else is making an effort to persuade them to move on?

  • smcgiff
    “For what it’s worth David Irvine comes across as a very sane and decent man to my mind”

    I totally agree with you there, i’d have a lot more time for him than that other complete whackjob unionist leader.

  • Manc

    FYU – how come it is alright to bring the UVF into government to persuade them to give up gangsterism and violence, but it wasn’t alright to bring Sinn Féin into government before IRA decommisioning?

    The facts are plain no matter which way you look at it. This is blatant hypocrisy from the UUP/UVF. A fenian without a gun in government? No chance. One of ‘us’, come right in David and have a cup of tea and a ministry. UUP/UVF cannot be trusted.

  • Manc

    That was supposed to be a fenian WITH a gun.

    Freudian slip? :S

  • FYU – how come it is alright to bring the UVF into government to persuade them to give up gangsterism and violence, but it wasn’t alright to bring Sinn Féin into government before IRA decommisioning?

    They were in it… 3 times! 3 chances! 3 failures!

    It was when they were in it they still refused to do anything.

    Your entire comment in incorrect

  • Comrade Stalin

    Headline : DUP-LVF criticize UUP-UVF for cosying up to paramilitaries. Film at 11.

    I still don’t get it, you guys : this stuff is not new. It’s been going on for years. Unionists have been co-opted loyalists onto their party groups for ages in other places, and in the case of Belfast have elected them to the highest offices of the City Council. The DUP didn’t whinge then.

    I don’t see where the DUP gets the moral high ground either. I don’t think DUP supporters can afford to get too loud about this one. There is still television footage of William McCrea on a podium with Billy Wright in front of a crowd of baying supporters.

    At least the UUP’s stupid move could be passed off as an effort to placate loyalism, but what did McCrea think he was doing getting on a podium with a guy who refused to be told that he was to stop shooting taigs and dealing drugs ? The DUP have never been able to satisfactorily explain this, nor have they ever taken any kind of disciplinary action against McCrea for this.

    By the way, glad to see Paisley’s sense of humour is still as sharp as ever.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I posted this on ATW, but it seems as appropriate here.

    David Ervine is taking the UUP whip in the Assembly. This does not make me, FYU, Reg Empey or any other member of the UUP a terrorist as I feel has been implied by some commenters on Slugger.

    Secondly neither I, nor my party has suddenly become a mouthpiece of the UVF – my party has no more links with them than we did this time last week.

    What has happened is that the leader of the PUP, a man who has renounced terrorism and shown genuine remorse for his past, has joined the UUP group in the Assembly. This has certain consequences. One is that Unionist representation on the Executive (if formed from this Assembly) has increased to its demographic level. Another is that a man who has spend much of the past couple of decades trying to move loyalists away from criminality and terrorism is being assisted by a major Unionist party.

    So in short this has strengthened the Unionist hand in the potential Government of Northern Ireland as well as moved Northern Ireland a step closer to normality. UVF murder has NOT been legitimised, nor has an attempt been made to do such.

    What really galls me is the comparisons being made by commenters between the UUP with David Ervine taking the whip and SF/IRA. The group of 25 UUP/PUP MLAs has one man who was guilty of terrorist crimes, and who has repeatedly expressed his guilt and remorse for his actions. Sinn Fein has in its Assembly ranks several murderers, one man who claims that murder is not a crime when sanctioned by the IRA and one who refuses to engage with a tribunal on the basis of his loyalty to the IRA.

    Disgusting and insulting comparisons are being made when none exist by those with an interest in damaging the Ulster Unionist Party, the hypocritical and the self-righteous.

  • Paul P

    Michael Shilliday,

    David Ervine has been given the UUP whip while remaining the leader of an organisation that is alligned to a criminal organisation. If your argument above is true why doesn’t he leave the PUP and become a UUP member?

    What Reg and Dave have formed is a UUP/PUP coalition and therefore it is not unreasonable to see it as a UUP/UVF coalition.

    Why don’t you admit that this coalition is not about the overall cause of unionism and more about the UUP getting an extra seat in an executive that may not even be formed.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Because I would be admitting to something that is a construct of your cynicism rather than reality.

    It is wholly unreasonable to associate the UUP with the UVF as no such links exist. WHat does exist is a political association of people committed to moving some within loyalism beyond criminality and terrorism to a point where they work purely for the benefit of their community. My party did not form terrorist groups in red head dress, nor does it have members calling for killers to be released from prison – it is making a serious attempt to improve society.

  • Paul P

    Why would anyone be cynical about the UUP?

    “No Guns-No Goverment”

    P.S Your party negotiated an agreement that let some of the most nortorious killers out of prison.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Well I’m glad we have a tacit acceptance that it is a construct of your cynicism and not reality.

  • bertie


    “Am I supposed to ignore the rank hypocrisy of the UUP, because I am a unionist?
    I happened to agree with the idea of no guns no government, I never realised that it was just fenian guns they were talking about.
    And frankly, I may be a unionist, but I still hold the overwhelming majority of my nationalist neighbours in higher regard than the scum of the UVF.
    Am I supposed to turn around to all my friends who have been and are the targets for these scumbags and ask them to accept that the UUP are now directly alligned with them?

    I was briefly a member of the PUP when I mistakenly thought the UVF had committed to exclusively peaceful means, but we now know that’s a crock of shit.
    They are criminals who have no intention of giving up their criminality, their primary victims in crime and racketeering are other working class protestants.
    They are gunmen with no intention of giving up their guns, and their primary targets are working class catholics.

    And for one lousy ministerial position the UUP will allign themselves with these people, and you think that I ought to keep quiet about it, out of some sectarian solidarity?

    Sorry, that’s not going to happen, not as long as I consider myself a decent unionist. ”

    By God I wish that I’d said this. I totally agree with you.

    If I’m honest, I had read on one of your posts some time ago that you had been in the PUP and I was to be honest disgusted for roughly the same mindset that you display here. At the same time almost everything you have been posting I agreed with and that always disturbed me. Having read you comments on this news, and the reasons that you joined and why you left, I can enjoy your posts without feeling guilty 😉

    Not that for one minute am I under any illusions that you need my (or anyone else’s) good opinion of you!

  • Prince Eoghan

    Micheal Shilliday

    Please will you stop trying to insult our intelligence. What has been a forthright and mostly honest debate between unionists, now has to contend with what at best is propoganda from you. In reality it sounds like major league BULL, do you expect anyone to believe the reasons you give?

  • Reader

    Michael Shilliday: It is wholly unreasonable to associate the UUP with the UVF as no such links exist.
    Don’t you get it? It looks to me as though Reg Empey has just made such a link. And it looks utterly hypocritical to nationalists – to Catholics, in fact. And that’s because it *is* hypocritical, it’s double standards. I will support engagement with the UPRG, but not this. I have been a UUP voter for 10 years in North Down. Now I’m back to Alliance.
    And it’s mind numbing stupidity for the UUP to forfeit the garden centre Prods, the cultural nationalists and the liberals for the sake of a seat in an executive that is even less likely to be formed now than it was last week.

  • Rapunsel

    God, this has been the most entertainment I’ve had all day — sad I know. Perhaps they might be posting elsewhere on another thread but I’d be interested to read the views of current PUP members on this topic? Maybe I’m reading it wrong but lately I thought that it seemed David Ervive was claiming much less influence over the actions of the UVF anyway, I’ve sort of admird his progression but warily so– on the Nolan show this morning he was an arrogant windbag– one of the issues here is what’s in this move for him. There wasn’t too much socialism on show this morning when he was interviewed. Personally it looks like a Gerry Fitt to me– he’s had it with the PUP who are going nowhere anyway despite the elevation of Ms Purvis to the policing board. Ervine has calculated that he can have some power and influence ( limited I would guess — he’ll have to give up on any socialist ideas I expect ). The PUP — I would not be surprised if they shortly go the way of the UDP.

  • elfinto

    How do most of you guys manage to kid yourself into thinking that the DUP has no links with loyalist paramilitaries? Do you have to take special pills?

  • rico

    The dup can hardly complain about the uup being linked to the uvf.

    Sammy Wilson, during his last stint as lord mayor had no issues with being guest speaker at a uvf/rhc commemoration.


  • Twomenandahairybear

    After 6 disasterous months for the DUPers Reg Empty would have appeared to have thrown them a life line and in the same breath inflicted serious damage on the future fortunes of his own party.
    Unless of course the conspiracy theorists are correct and this move has scuppered a covert deal of some description. Will we ever know?
    As a nationalist I would find it rather amusing but for the blatant hypocrisy demontrated by the UUP. Proof beyond proof that a fenian never was and still isn’t wanted round the place.

  • Conor Gillespie

    Does anyone remember that time a while back when Reg said that he disliked the notion of pan-unionism because he felt that it often resulted to stooping to the ‘lowest common denomenator’?
    Looks like he’s managed to lower that denominator pretty easily on his own now. (:


    On the one hand we’re being told by the party faithful in the UUP that David Ervine no longer has any influence over the UVF, and that the UVF have stopped listening to the PUP.
    Then in the next breath we’re told that the UUP are doing this so that they can try to exert an influence over the UVF and bring them in from the cold?
    Why do we want to bring them in from the cold?

    Since by everyones admission, the UVF are elected by no one, and listen to no one but themselves, why not just wipe the bastards out?.How come Hain can issue threats to elected politicians but not to paramilitaries?

    Can anyone else smell shite?


    And sure, I know some of you will argue that it’s not feasible to take out the UVF, but why not?
    If HMG wanted to capture the leadership, sure it’s only a matter of looking at the names and addresses on the paycheques.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Fair Deal

    “If Ervine is not a party member he cannot be a member of the group”

    If true, very interesting. It means the UUP may have peeved off part of its base all for nothing in the end.”

    Sorry FD. All Ervine has to do is inform the Speaker that he has taken the UUP whip. He doesn’t have to produce a membership card or anything like that. It’s one of the quirks of parliamentary democracy – once they’re in there, they can kinda do what they like. Much as the fact that Donaldson, Beare and Foster were elected as UUPers doesn’t change the fact that they have chosen to be DUPers in the Assembly. The electorate don’t get a say until the next time.

    In a more normal parliamentary democracy, Ervine wouldn’t even have to inform the Speaker that he was taking the UUP whip. For example, the Irish government 97-02 was technically a minority government but had, what turned out to be the unwaveringly loyal support of ten independents who never took either the FF or PD whip. Similarly the Labour government in the UK 1974-79, which had exactly half of MPs, used to fly our own Frank McGuinness of Fermanagh and South Tyrone in to Westminster to prop them up, but he never had to take the Labour whip. Molyneaux and the UUPers of the mid 90s never had to take the Conservative whip in order to prop up the Major government.

    Here, of course, we have to nail or whipped colours to one mast or another. But then this state of ours ain’t a normal one, it’s an inherently sick puppy.

  • bertie

    This is going off at a tangent but surely Frank McGuinness never voted. Didn’t he famously turn up to “abstain in public”?

  • Loyalist

    Can someone point me to a reference were Ervine apologised for his past deeds?

  • Loyalist

    It’s been more than an hour and not one UUP/UVF supporter has been able to provide a direct quote of Ervine apologising.

  • PotKettleBlack

    I can give you a direct quote from a former commander of a local UVF unit NOT apologising for his past deeds:

    “I make no apology for my past; people get caught up in the emotion of the time.”
    Source Belfast Telegraph 31 December 2003 on the occassion of DUP Councillor Bobby ‘Boots’McKee getting an MBE.

    Will that do??
    How about this little gem of a speech from his bro Jackie, a DUP member of the NI Forum having a fallout with wee Hughie Smyth of the DUP in a debate about the GFA in April 98:
    “Over the years I have put the case of the Loyalist prisoners. Mr Hugh Smyth took a swipe, asking “What did the DUP do?” I have a plaque and a lovely family Bible presented to me by grateful Loyalist prisoners for my endeavours. I have shared platforms throughout Ulster with Mr Smyth on their behalf. Although always remaining a democrat, one had a certain amount of sympathy with what they were doing. The prisoners of those days would certainly not have wanted us to give in to the people they had fought in the streets of Northern Ireland and to walk hand in hand down the road with Mr Adams. I say to Mr Hutchinson “Shame on you for embracing the enemy.”

    Source [a href=“http://www.ni-forum.gov.uk/debates/1998/170498.htm”]

  • Loyalist

    Now 2 hours, come on Shilliday, FYU, Michael Copeland’s staff – if its been said so many times, you should have no problem finding it.

    This much I do know – he wasn’t at the cenotaph in Belfast on Rememberance Day because he was at a UVF event instead. Refromed character indeed.

  • Loyalist


    Frankly, the McKees are irrelevant to this discussion. Various UUP trogladites claimed Ervine had apologised. I want to see proof of this claim.

  • elfinto

    I can’t see why DUP-UVF or DUP-LVF conncections, as in the case of Gary Blair of Ballymoney, are irrelevant to the discussion. On the contrary, I think they are highly relevant.

  • outsider

    The issue is about the structured relationships between a paramilitary organisation and a political party.

    David Ervine admitted yesterday that he is the spokesman for balaclava wearing thugs. That spokesman is now within the UUP. If a member of any party had a past association (which they have moved away from) that does not mean that they are now, or the Party to which they belong is an official spokesman for a terrorist organisation.

    The PUP is the UVF’s Sinn Fein – they are equivalent organisations. The UUP now has the PUP/UVF incorporated within it. That is as corrupt as incorporating Sinn Fein/IRA within it.

  • elfinto

    The issue is about the structured relationships between a paramilitary organisation and a political party.

    You mean like the DUP and Ulster Resistance? BTW did Ulster Resistance ever decommission?

  • Independent


    Did UR ever kill anyone?

  • Lord Belmont


    so which faction of the DUP are you in?

    The Paisley (No Deal) wing or the Robinson (Do the Deal ASAP) wing?

  • deal or no deal

    Lord Belmont
    Your analysis is so simplistic that I assume you must be a Northern Ireland political journalist.

    BTW, did you ever dig out that quote you claimed you had from Peter Robinson – you know, the one you said he gave in Parliament on a day when Parliament wasnt sitting.

  • IJP


    Limiting the growth of Sinn Féin?

    Ay right, now most voting Catholics are going to go: “Those nice Ulster Unionists only have one paramilitary representative in their ranks, so we’d better switch back to the SDLP”…

  • Loyalist

    Lord Hellmont

    I’m not a member of any party.

  • Valenciano

    On the side issue of UK Labour 1974-1979, they won the election with a majority of 3 which they lost the following year but therafter they were usually able to prop themselves up by benefitting from a divided opposition resulting in a temporary pact with the Liberals (the Lib-Lab pact) and later with the UUP the quid pro quo for which was an increase in the number of NI seats at Westminster from 12 to 17. (2 of the 8 UUP MPs backed them in the 1979 vote of confidence which they lost). Labour also had deals on specific issues with the SNP and Plaid Cymru (the latter also backed them in the key 1979 vote.) Of course, Gerry Fitt and Frank Maguire famously abstained in the latter vote which Labour lost by 1 vote.

  • BooBoo

    deal or no deal

    Do tell, who is it? And what is the quote?


  • Mike

    yerman –

    “The fact remains that the DUP’s 33 seats gave unionism a majority on the Executive. The UUP will simply be restoring a unionist majority courtesy of a Ministry via the DUP.”

    While as a UUP voter I don’t like this move and conseqnet UUP associations with paramilitarism, you’re still talking rubbish.

    The election in 2003 gave unionism a majority on the Executive. it produced an Assembly as follows:

    DUP 30
    UUP 27
    SF 24
    SDLP 18
    Alliance 6
    UKUP 1
    PUP 1
    Indep 1

    This would have resulted in an Executive with 3 DUP, 3 UUP, 2 SF, and 2 SDLP.

    The 3 defections to the DUP, giving the DUP 33 seats, did NOT create a unionist majority – all it meant that the balance was 4 DUP/2 UUP rather than 3 DUP/3 UUP. In fact it WORSENED the position of unionism as it gave SF pick of Ministerial seats ahead of the UUP (i.e. d’Hondt would have run “DUP, UUP, SF, SDLP, DUP, UUP, SF, SDLP, DUP, UUP” before Donaldson and co’s defection, and “DUP, SF, UUP, SDLP, DUP, SF, UUP, SDLP, DUP, DUP”).

    Then of course the DUP’s explusion of Paul Berry gave SF the 10th ministerial seat at their own expense. The seat they previously took from the UUP thanks to the three defections.

  • deal or no deal

    My point was to demonstrate the weakness of Lord Belmont’s arguments. He came on recently claiming to have some sensational quote from Peter Robinson regarding decommissioning.

    When pressed for the quote he was unable to provide but was confident of the date it was uttered in Parliament. That date being one when Parliament didn’t sit.

  • observer

    in 2001 peter robinson said that only a fool would belived the IRA would decommission

    Recently, (ill dig out the exact quote) he said it would be foolish to say that progres hadnt been made on decommissioning/

    So which fool is the DUP?

  • BooBoo


    it really would be much more professional if you had the quote in front of you–or at least easy to hand–before attributing views to individuals.

    In post 21 you have two referred to quotes, but not one specific source.

    Very frustrating for the rest of us to follow what amounts, at the moment at least, to mere hearsay.

    Thank you, by the way, to “deal or no deal” for your response to my question.


  • Dread Cthulhu

    uuper: “So, tell me: why does Paisley want an extra seat for SF and no unionist majority?”

    Oh, that one’s easy… the easy way out for not accomplishing anything with this waffle-house was to have everything tied up, nice and tidy. A unionist majority might actually be expected to accomplish something, if only by accident.

    Alternately, if you think that Rev. Paisley was angling for the responsible adult role, an evenly split body would force cooperation and hard decisions.

    Either way, take your pick

  • observer

    booboo, what were into professional bloggers now are we?!?!?

    If you werent so lazy youd do a bit of research and find those quotes

  • BooBoo


    I have the quotes. The first one was made by Robinson in the Assembly during an exchange with Trimble (Assembly web site and index will give you exact details)and the latter made in New York a couple of weeks ago.

    Nothing to do with professionalism, by the way, just a simple courtesy to fellow debaters.


  • Concerned Loyalist

    Cahal said:
    “a UDA apologizer/supporter talking about the moral high-ground?”

    One question for you…
    Would there be a UDA if the IRA hadn’t bombed and butchered our people in the two years of the Troubles, 1969-1971, before the UDA were formed?

    The UDA was born as a DEFENCE Association – an umbrella organisation for all the local defence associations that sprang up around Belfast and Londonderry in particular, to stave off nightly attacks from republicans…

  • kensei

    “Would there be a UDA if the IRA hadn’t bombed and butchered our people in the two years of the Troubles, 1969-1971, before the UDA were formed?”

    No, there’d still be the B Specials, doing much the same job and much, much worse.

  • Anne

    If the UUP wanna join up with David Irvine (PUP) then do u not think it’s their decision AND not YOUR’S??

  • laughing

    Absolutely, this no-ones business but a few members of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Indeed shame on the media for even reporting this private decision.

    We most certainly shouldnt get into the nasty business of discussing the alliance between a supposedly democratic political party and a gang of terrorists.

    Move along now everone….. nothing to see here.