“He has always been very sympathetic”

No mention of his Britishness debate in the only NIO statement on Gordon Brown’s visit today. Instead, they’ve set out a carefully co-ordinated one-two from the Prime Minister and his Deputy Prime Minister Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland. Meanwhile this PA report has the responses from local party leaders, et al, to their discussions with Gordon Brown.. with the DUP seeming keenest to emphasise his, potential, future role in goverment. Updated BBC reportFrom the PA report:

“Mr Blair is still the Prime Minister,” the DUP leader said.

“I hope to meet him in two or three days` time.

“But I think we can take some comfort from the fact that perhaps the next prime minister will go the second mile with us, which is where Mr Blair has failed to go.

“The second mile, in my view, is let`s be fair to Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has not been fairly treated financially in the past.”

While SF leader Gerry Adams is quoted:

“We have to deal with the person in charge at the moment and I am not going to engage in this speculation.

“If anybody thinks that international treaties and agreements are going to be set to one side, however, they are making a foolish mistake.”

The quotes from the UUP leader don’t mention the speculation and, while Alliance’s David Ford is concerned with “the need to tackle the waste of money as a result of segregation.”, the SDLP’s Mark Durkan indicates he believes it would be more of the same with Gordon Brown PM:

“More so than Tony Blair, Gordon Brown as prime minister would be telling Northern Ireland parties to produce answers and not to keep coming in to him with more problems.”

Update The BBC report covers much the same ground.. and adds Gordon Brown’s comments on the 24th November deadline:

“This is not a date plucked out of the air. This is a real deadline and a deadline we expect to be met”

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  • Garibaldy

    Did you see him and Art Garfunkel in the same tie? How embarassing.

    The code here is girls 34. How appropriate.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Northern Ireland has not been fairly treated financially in the past.’

    What a shower of ungrateful whingers . Do the DUP not realise that HMG has forked out billions every year for the past 40 years to keep the NI State’s head above water . Without the annual British subvention paid since the foundation of the NI State -Northern Ireland would not exist .

    For decades Paisley has called every British Prime Minister a ‘traitor’ from Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher . What makes Paisley think that Gordon Brown will not also prove to be a traitor to the Unionist cause ?

    Paisley’s comment is a mark of the desperation that now confronts the DUP .

    The best thing Gordon Brown can do for the people and politicians of Northern Ireland is to cut off the financial support that allows NI politicians continue to act as if the universe revolves around NI.

  • John

    Paisley is talking Twaddle. You got over 5 Billion in subvention last year and the amount will be greater this year. The NHS had an over spend of 500 million in England last year that is money our people need. Give us our money back to improve the Health Service, Education, Roads and Public Services that the Great Britons deserve. We don’t want to keep the failed entity of NI.

  • Pete Baker


    The DUP are not the only party who have been pushing that line.. all the parties, as I recall, have issued statements relating to the lack of investment in infrastructure, for example, here over the last couple of decades.

    SF are, for example, calling for a £10billion ‘peace dividend’ for exactly those same reasons.

  • Yokel


    Bless you. here’s an alternative…why don’t we dump failed entity that is the NHS….

    Secondly sunshine, whether you like it or not, people have voted in democratic free and fair elections in the majority for those parties in suppor of the union, ipso facto the majority of people wish to remain in the union. But sure you’d ignore demcracy wouldnt you…nice try though.

  • John

    Yokel, the Great Britons have not voted, yet, on the issue to keep NI, ipso facto, and if they did you’d lose the Northern part of your citizenship!! The average GB citizen doesn’t know how much you spongers cost us and when they realise, it’s goodbye.

  • Billy

    John is right! The people of Northern Ireland have never voted to keep the union or otherwise.

    The people of Ireland as a whole never had the democratic right to vote for the partition of Ireland. It was forced upon us all and we’re paying for that now through years of bloodshed.

  • PHIL


    The people of England have never been asked whether we want a union with Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales and I believe that if we were asked, the answer would be an overwhelming NO.