DUP yet to cross power-sharing rubicon

The DUP leadership “is engaged in a do-or-die struggle with political dinosaurs in their membership who, because of a toxic mixture of religious and politico-ethnic hatreds, can’t contemplate sharing power with any nationalist or Catholic, never mind Sinn Fein.”

So says Brian Feeney, in his latest column in today’s Irish News. Feeney points out that, were the DUP to fully agree to implement the current deal in the offing, they would be doing the opposite to everything Ian Paisley “has ever proclaimed anathema.”

Typical barn-storming stuff from the heavyweight columnist, sure to be hailed or railed against, depending on your political outlook.

  • exuup

    Typical barn-storming stuff from the heavyweight columnist, – youre have a laff right?

    Once again nationalists refuse to see the wrong doing of SF. The only thing holding up powersharing is Republicans inability to give up criminality and support the forces of law and order.

  • Truth and Justice

    If Sinn Fein dont stop messing about on Policing we are going to get Plan B with water rates, rate rises, we are all going to suffer!!!!!!!

  • English

    It is high time that Hain pulls the rug from under the DUP’s feet and does the following:

    1. sack all MLA’s
    2. cut back public services
    3. introduce long overdue taxation/water rates etc, etc
    4. greater co-operation with the south over NI affairs
    5. increase corporation tax in NI
    6. abolish educational selection

  • bpower

    “5. increase corporation tax in NI”

    increase? A typo?

  • Greenflag

    Feeney’s right . There’s not much point in trying to persuade ‘dinosaurs ‘ of the merits of evolution .
    It doesn’t mater a whit whether SF ever or never give the PSNI their full support ( IMO they should have a year ago ) the DUP will always find something else to halt power sharing with Nationalists and Republicans .Why SF or the SDLP ever even bother to go through the motions is beyond me .

    As for Paisley’s challenge of having to deal with his self created ‘dinosaurs ‘ I’d say it’s a question of reaping what he has sown .

    Roll on Plan B and eventual repartition .It’s the cost effective and politically pragmatic way to deal with ‘paisleyite’unionism on this island .

  • willowfield

    As I have said for many years, it was never possible that the DUP would “smash”, “bury”, “destroy” (insert preferred hyperbolic verb) the Agreement; nor that it would get a “fair deal” in terms understood by the average DUP voter (or member!).

    As I said all along, the DUP leadership have been deliberately dishonest in peddling this message, and the difficulties they are experiencing are entirely of their own making.

    To the DUP’s advantage, however, is the fact that only the UKUP offer an alternative “anti-Agreement” message. And since the UKUP is tiny and itself cannot offer an alternative, it poses no electoral threat.

  • English

    No typing error – increase corporation tax!

  • Elvis Parker

    Only if he has stolen all the pies and put on weight could Feeney ever be described as heavyweight

  • Yokel

    Feeney, Heavyweight yes…………..

  • Yokel


    Bless ya, ya little pixie.

  • middle-class xxxx

    “the opposite of everything he has ever proclaimed anathema.”

    Dear God, Brian, you’re losing your edge in your oul age. It is the fervent hope of the dinosaurs that Paisley does the OPPOSITE of what he has considered anathema!! It is, in fact, the anathema that Paisley must contemplate.

  • Greenflag

    Paisley would rather contemplate his own navel than his anathema . But it doesn’t matter how long he contemplates the game is up and the DUP have been come to the end of the political cul de sac .

    Hain just needs to pull the plug on this so called ‘devolution’ farce for now . His successor can try again in a decade . In the meantime let the hare sit and NI can continue on it’s festering ways with the help of HMG’s subvention.

  • GrassyNoel

    Unionist cheerleaders can mock all they like but Feeney’s right on the money. The reason any Unionist party can only ever travel so far and then put up loads of roadblocks in a last-minute panic in order to avoid reaching a proper negotiated agreement is that their supporters just cannot accept the fact that it’s not 1966 anymore and that NI has been a horrible failure in just about every dept. Trimble, Paisley, Donaldson, McCartney, Robinson, Dodds,…what the f*ck does it matter? None of them will EVER agree to share power with Nationalists/Catholics because they’re living in cloud-cuckoo land and so are the unionist electorate, who will vote them out at the next election if they are ever seen to be seriously contemplating a power-sharing arrangement.

  • fair_deal

    900 words saying Unionists are exactly as nationalists stereotype them. money rope old etc

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Why does this stereotype exist, FD?

    There isn’t exactly a history of outreach here – could it just be possible that it’s a teency-weeency bit true in places?

  • Greenflag

    Grassy Noel,

    I would not say None ever – just not enough most of the time or when it’s critical – Sunningdale etc etc .

    The average Unionist in Northern Ireland just like his Nationalist/Republican opposite is stuck in a State that has a disreputable past and an uncertain future if any. Irish nationalists and republicans are not doing themselves or their Unionist opposites any favours by prolonging the political agony of the failed sectarian state by trying to make the ‘unworkable’ and ‘undemocratic’ work where it was never meant to work. Northern Ireland as a 6 county State could only be made to work to a degree by having a strong Unionist numerical majority and virtually a one party State with the jobs and parks going predominantly one way only.

    Once the NI State was no longer underpinned by Unionist majority rule then effectively the State itself had no raison d’etre other than to satisfy the wishful thinking of post imperial age Unionists that the world around them had not changed .

    Irish Nationalists and Republicans need to forget dreams of a 32 county UI and focus instead on a 30 county sized Republic which will leave Unionists free to follow their political destiny under the aegis of Paisley’s DUP .

    Again why do we need 850,000 disgruntled and alienated Unionists in an Irish Republic . We’ve seen what having 750,000 disgruntled and alienated Irish Nationalists in Northern Ireland can do ?

    A fair and agreed Repartition -Czechoslovakian style is what will bring political stability and faster economic growth to the western and southern parts of the present mainly Irish areas south and west of the Bann.


    ‘There isn’t exactly a history of outreach here’

    So why should there be any outreach now ? Irish Nationalists and Republicans need to tell Paisley where he can stick his out reach . But they’ll have to find it first .

  • Greenflag, repartition, zzzzzzzzz

  • Greenflag


    NI devolution – GFA/SAA /Sunningdale etc etc etc etc pieces process , Paisley/Adams/Empty etc etc etc


  • austin

    How ironic that Paisley will be denied his crowning glory, not by his republican bogeymen, but rather by the rebellion of the Free P Backwoodsmen who can’t countenance a Fenian about the place.

    Has Paisley been out-Paisleyed?

  • Paul P

    Foster isn’t even the most influential minsiter within the Free P Chruch. He’s probably causing personal anguish to Dr Paisley but his intervention is good for the DUP as a political party.

    Even in Free P circles Foster is regarded as bit of a Bob McCartney type figure.

  • English

    Disagree about repartition – unless the 2/3 county unionist state is outside of the UK. I can’t see the British Gov’t going for such a plan, because they want rid of the lot of ya!

    Bye the way, What is plan B? Does anyone know, or is it a secret? I suspect not only the British and Irish govt’s know – Sinn Fein have a pretty good idea as well. It is sure going to be unpleasant for unionists – but it will serve them right!

  • austin

    Paul P,
    I presume that religous convictions are way more important than political expediency in Paisley’s mind.

    If so, he will be more concerned about avoiding a mini-schism in the Church he formed rather than caring about his role of leader of unionists and his responsibility to negotiate a settlement favourable to his followers, before Plan B kicks in.

  • Ronan O’Donnell

    There is one serious weakness in Feeneys analysis which has not been picked up here either.

    Plan B is an appalling for Sinn Fein. It sidelines them. Fianna Fail Ministers running the 6 counties with SF reduced to messing about in supercouncils!

    The first priority, the only priority of a political party (and SF is now a political party like any other) is power and influence. Plan B seriously diminishes Sinn Feins power and influence not just in the north but in the south where their growth is stalled completely now.

    Sinn Fein need the st andrews agreement more than the DUP.