DUPes speaking with two heads?

Michael Stone’s bungled assassination attempt apart, the news from Stormont today included a seemingly contradictory response from the DUP to the ‘other’ business being conducted at Stormont. Following on from the ‘Nomination’ process in the Chamber this morning, 12 DUP MLAs- including four MPs- hastily agreed a public statement denying that their party had taken part in any process to nominate a team to head up a future power-sharing administration. The statement contradicted the earlier indication from DUP leader Ian Paisley, and is being taken as the first public indicator of a potential rift within the party.

  • Tiny

    I don’nt believe the DUP will split in the way the UUP did, their structure was more flexible allowing the pressure to build and escape through a split, the DUP is made of cast iron by compassason, no movement, then bang!!!!!!!!

  • fair_deal

    Ian Paisley withheld his name from nomination and said it was because of the lack of movement on policing etc. 12 DUP MLA’s say the same thing. The contradiction is?

  • George

    Why did the 12 come out with the signed statement then Fair_Deal?

    At best, it seems they think their leader has been less than clear.

  • fair_deal

    What Paisley said in the chamber

    “There can only be an agreement involving Sinn Fein when there has been delivery by the republican movement, tested and proved over a credible period in terms of support for the PSNI (the police), the courts, the rule of law, a complete end to paramilitary and criminal activity and the removal of terrorist structures,” he said.

    “Clearly, as Sinn Fein is not yet ready to take the decisive step forward on policing, the DUP is not required to commit to any aspect of power-sharing in advance of such certainty.”

  • fair_deal


    Simple a few people in government haven’t been listening.

  • joeCanuck

    fair Deal

    You really have to take those blinkers off.
    Pete Baker had a favourite mantra a little while back (I’m glad he stopped, it was driving me crazy)
    Tick Tock

    Well the clock is ticking also both politically and physiologically for the old Boy and people are startng to set out their stalls.
    Down to Robinson or Doods, methinks, since baby doc is no Terry Malloy.

  • fair_deal


    Show me the contradiction between what Paisley said in the chamber and the press statement of the MLA’s?

    If there is one I will revise my position.

    PS Ken Reid has just been on the UTV news and he said the DUP Assembly party has endorsed what Paisley said this afternoon.

  • joeCanuck

    And what he said this afternoon, outside of the chamber, was that he would be accepting nomination if SF delivered.

  • Curzon

    Who do we think he was targetting? If MM copped one that may well be counterproductive to his supposed cause, mayn’t it?

  • joeCanuck

    And don’t contend that only what he said in the chamber matters since, of course, the press statement was also made outside the chamber.

  • fair_deal

    The 12 MLA’s said nothing to contradict that.

  • Crow

    Fair Deal,

    I would say the question is less ‘what’ was in the statement and more ‘why’ was there a separate statement at all.

  • Truth and Justice

    I think with the confussion up at Stormont there has been some mix up, there was no condridiction with what Paisley said and the statement by the twelve which turned out to be another statement by the 32 all in agreement later on in the afternoon. All the partys have said there was Nomination!

  • dpef
  • Paul P

    If the DUP start doing politcis like the UUP then that would be electoral suicide.

    I smell a rat when I see the likes of Nigel Dodds signing a press statment that hasn’t went through the party press office.

  • Notbymight

    Any details on who the dissenters are? I assume David Simpson and Willie McCrea are among the ringleaders?

  • Paul P

    Nigel Dodds,Willie McCrea, Gregory Campbell, David Simpson,Lord Morrow, Diane Dodds, Paul Girvan, Stephen Moutray, Nelson McCausland, Mervyn Storey,Tom Buchanan and Jim Wells all signed the statement.

  • dpef

    The dissenters:

    Nigel Dodds, William McCrea, Gregory Campbell, David Simpson, Morrow, Diane Dodds, Paul Girvan, Stephen Moutray, Nelson McCausland, Mervyn Storey, Tom Buchanan and Jim Wells.

  • Rubicon

    Have none of you got the report of Paisley clarifying his position (post plenary) that went further than what the NIO could have expected? I was still drying off when the reports started to come in – reported on Sky TV I think.

    The list of the “Stone faction” are now well known Notbymight and include the 2 names you mention.

  • Rubicon

    Fair Deal – I’ve not yet got Paisley’s post plenary statement as was reported in the media – do you have it or know of it?

    Perhaps Paisley was poorly reported – it wouldn’t be the 1st time, but I’m a little confused as to why you’ve not attended to it. Is the DUP communication machinary breaking down?

  • monkey see

    What happened today in the DUP far outweighs even the Michael Stone story.

    Paisley faced massive internal dissent at this morning’s DUP assembly group meeting – Campbell and others left and slammed the door when Paisley refused to let his Assembly group see the text of his speech.

    Paisley then omitted a line in this morning’s Assembly speech with would have given a much clearer outline of his intention to nominate as First Minister.

    It was because of this omission that Eileen Bell’s statement that “both parties have agreed to nominate” sounded so, frankly, weird and out of tune with that Paisley said.

    (Bertie Ahern referred to the omission of this line which had been agreed with the Govts in the early hours of this morning.)

    Blair and Hain then try to finesse/fudge the situation by claiming that what Paisley said was actually enough to move forward.

    The Paisleys, the Robinsons, Donaldson, Foster and other pro-Agreement DUPpers retired to the Stormont Hotel after the bomb scare.

    The 12 DUP MLAs and 5 DUP MPs then, incredulously, attempt to bounce their own Leader off the deal by making their statement that they had signed up to nothing.

    Paisley, furious at this assault on his leadership, issues a clarifying statement, through Press Association and the BBC (Dan McGinn & Devenport) stating, *clearly and unambiguously* that it is his intention to nominate as First Minister once SF delivers on policing.

    The afternoon statement was far clearer than anything we had previously heard from Paisley – i.e. if Paisley had made his afternoon statement in the morning to the Assembly there would have been no confusion and it would have been quite clear the DUP intended to nominate.


    Reading between the lines, it would seem that Paisley, trying to hold his party together, omitted the line from his speech this morning.

    However, once the statement from the 12 MLA and 5 MP dissidents was released, it became clear that he could not hold his party together without sacrificing the St Andrews deal.

    Paisley then shows true leadership and spine by accepting the split in his party, facing down his dissidents – including half his Parliamentary team – and issuing his unambiguous clarification statement.

    Which leaves the 12 MLAs and 5 MPs with a lot of explaining to do – how could they stab their leader in this way, and where do they stand in the DUP now that their Leader has so clearly rejected their position.

  • slug

    Thanks MonkeySee for that very interesting analysis.

  • Cato

    When you see Campbell getting nervous, it is a very bad sign for the DUP. I have always believed him to be loyal to the leadership and if he is slamming doors then there is a problem. I would like to know why Sinn Fein have to wait until the summer to have an Ard Fheís on policing. Perhaps Chris Donnelly will enlighten us.

  • fair_deal


    Follow this link (realplayer reqd)

    The footage is 6 minutes 40 secs It shows Paisley clearly stating that:
    “The circumstances have not been reached where there can be a nomination or designation this day. I have made clear my aim hope and desire for the future. Throughout the DUP consultations we stated if and when commitments are delivered the DUP would enter government. At that time there will fall to me a judgement consistent with the policy with delivery on the ground as the basis for moving forward. Here I stand.”

    The lack of a nomination was got round by the ambiguous statment from the speaker that:

    “subject to the outcome of the election and other necessary conditions being satisfied”

    Also the SDLP, UUP and Alliance leaders are of the view Paisley’s words did not indicate a nomination.


    “Paisley refused to let his Assembly group see the text of his speech.”

    Wrong Paisley’s speech was read to the Assembly group meeting this morning. The speech is also a composite of what he said in Westminster during the SAA debate and the party resolution on the SAA.

  • dpef


    The normal SF Ard Fheis happens in Feb/Mar and policing can be discussed and positions changed then without the need for a special Ard Fheis.

  • monkey see

    Fair_deal I doubt even you can spin this one for long! We all know what he said this morning. It’s what he said this afternoon, after the move by the DUP dissidents, that counts:

    “I have always said, as I said today in the Assembly, what my intention will be if policing and all of the other outstanding issues that are before us are settled.

    “Everyone already knows that in those circumstances after they are delivered I would accept the First Minister`s nomination provided the election results are favourable.”

    Except, of course, that he didn’t say that this morning – or at least the crucial line in his morning speech was omitted.

    The full story, including part of Paisley’s afternoon statement – is up on UTV:


  • fair_deal


    And? He said this morning in the chamber “Throughout the DUP consultations we stated if and when commitments are delivered the DUP would enter government.”

    You seem to have a difficulty in distinguishing between what happened today and what could happen in the future.

    Paisley made no nomination today but said if there was delivery that would change. The 12 said no nomination had been made because of no delivery on policing and justice. Paisley says in the afternoon if there is delivery there will be nominations. The full Assembly party issues a ststement calling for delivery. There is no difference in these statements. “Entering government” means taking nominations.

    No line was omitted from his Assembly speech, your claim the speech wasn’t read to the Assembly party was false as is this one.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Monkey see

    Very interesting stuff.

    Explains the absence of the Robinsons and Dodds throughout the day, both doubtlessly fuming at the other side.

    Merely confirms what has been long suspected by most political observers: namely, that you can not conduct a 180 degree turn on long-standing party policies (no matter the party) unless you have spent a long period of time conditioning your representative, activist and electoral base as to the necessary pains of such a change of course.

    The DUP have always baulked at this proposition. If Paisley is facing an internal rebellion, then it is one of his own making, and one which the rest of us will simply sit back and let take its course.

    In reality, there is nowhere left for political unionism to go then into partnership government with Sinn Fein. Dress it up in whatever macho language they so desire, the only show in town is one which will lead to McGuinness and Paisley side by side for the forseeable future.

    Once the DUP have taken this final step, then nationalism under the tutelage of Sinn Fein will have succeeded in the awesome task of decommissioning the narrow, uncompromising unionist mentality which gave rise to the type of exclusivist and discriminatory politics practised by unionist leaders in the six counties for generations.

    A truly stunning achievement.

  • Rubicon

    It seems Fair Deal can fill this vacuum. I guess he’s in ‘discussions’ since he seems to have led with the chin today.

    Some won’t have a taig about the place. A loyalist nutter was responsible for an attack on the source of freedom of speech. I very much doubt a ‘republican’ threat of this kind would be set aside and down-played by unionists had the boot been on the other foot.

    So – it’s the nationalists that need to accept policing is it? Is this before or after loyalists accept democracy?

    Watching the debate today (and the TV footage will prove this in time) the unionists behaved like bad mannered children squealing at each other. Stone took away McCartney’s party piece – he was clearly trying to get himself removed from the chamber. A number of weaker unionists were also giving it a go.

    It was a Christmas unionist pantomime but Stone stole your thunder.

    It won’t finish here – those door-keepers will find it hard to go home. I doubt loyalism/unionism has reached it’s nadir yet.

    To my mind they deserve the George Cross. Had Stone got through that check he was clear. Think for a moment what we’d be dealing with now if he’d got through to the Chamber – about 50 yards away.

    He didn’t – and it was a media stunt for Stone. Minutes before the alarm went off the NIO official sitting in front of me left the chamber. She was sitting in a seat researved by the Speaker but did not move when the Speaker’s guests arrived.

    There are reasons for a NIO senior official to be interested in observing proceedings. Perhaps that was it. I have some questions about it – and they start with why ANYONE was in the gallery during prayers. This NIO official was. NOBODY has been given that grace (excuse the pun) in the past.

    I don’t want to run a hare here – it is the door-keepers who deserve the day. I hope the names of those involved enter the public domain – but know that is the last thing they want.

    So – who is standing up to protect democracy in NI? Certainly not unionism that couldn’t abide to the rules of a legislature. When the Stone issue looses interest perhaps the interchange between unionists will be played. They all but spat on each other. They clearly spat on parliamentary process.

    Perhaps today demonstrated the integrity of unionists – while unionism was busy making itself a buffoon.

  • pondersomething

    And unionism will have succeeded in the task of decommissioning a murderous, narrow-minded, republican terror machine which sought for decades to impose by force it’s ideologically uncompromising vision upon the people of Ireland, north and south, nationalist and unionist.

    (And we will have secured the Union too.)

  • pondersomething

    (that post was in reponse to Chris’s earlier one of course…)

  • kermit

    “…the timid were awed by threats, the ambitious lured by promises of promotion, and the bold silenced by suspension, fine or imprisonment…”

    Rev Robert Bruce, Edinburgh, 1587

    some things never change eh

  • Elvis Parker

    ‘Once the DUP have taken this final step, then nationalism under the tutelage of Sinn Fein will have succeeded in the awesome task of decommissioning the narrow, uncompromising unionist mentality which gave rise to the type of exclusivist and discriminatory politics practised by unionist leaders in the six counties for generations’

    Following on from Pondersomething in reaction to CD.
    Even you admit this is the end of Republicanism – hence you talk on NATIONALISM under SF tutleage, etc.
    SF have accepted partition, recognising (soon) the remit of UK Govt through police and courts and reduced nationalism to rhetoric in an UK devolved Assembly.
    Let me hear you ‘What do we want! Cross border control of waterways for pleasure craft! When do we want it – Now!

  • Rubicon

    Fair Deal – I’ve listened with interest and have been informed by your views. I really hope you can restore my hope that the DUP is not about keeping NI protestant. Nobody is in any doubt that your party has nothing to do with keeping NI British.

    Let’s start here; Paisley rejected the Sunningdale Agreement. What was so unacceptable in Sunningdale? I note that DUPers are more interested in this question. I wonder why.

    Is it time you started to use the language of compromise?

    Today your toe-rag had a go. It’s no good saying he’s a nutter – everyone knows that would not be accepted if it was the other way around.

    So – here we are; loyalists actively using their arms and unionism without legs.

    Can you start your reply be telling us how these door-keepers will be OK?

  • tommy

    if there is any truth in what monkey see has said earlier, it would be a shocking misjudgement by dodds and the headbangers. paisley has moved quickly, made them look like children and dodds, and campbell can kiss any chance of ministerial office again goodbye

  • London

    You’re not fit to govern yourselves.
    NI is a classic example of colonial rule transferred to soon to the natives.
    It will probably be several generations before you will be civilised enough to forego tribal politics.

  • chickie ar laaa!

    In the matter of the the DUP rebels – David Simpson and Stephen Moutray issued a joint press release to both the Lurgan Mail and Portadown Times this week formally rejecting the St Andrews Agreement as a way forward.

    Now for one DUP MLA to do so could be protrayed a accidental, but for two to do so in a joint capacity in the same local edition is no accident! It was obviously a forerunner for what will be a co-ordinated campaign against it within the upper tiers of the party – as confirmed by the gang of 12

  • Trouble in the ranks:

  • fair_deal


    All I can say is on a few occassions over the past while republicans et al have been jumping on particular statements by Paisley or other members of the DUP eg. Paisley’s twelfth speech to say that the process was all over and it was time to pack up and go home. I held to the position that this was not the case and so far events have borne me out on that case.

  • POL

    Have to laugh the implosion of the Dup now becoming evident. Time for the fire works, hee hee.
    Have to ponder over the Shinners true intentions all along, was it more to do with showing Unionism up for what they really are, sectarian bigots, who cant have a Catholic about the place.
    This is gonna make the UUP implosion look like nothing in comparison.

  • slug

    Schadenfraude seems to be the order of the day.

  • bertie


    “Today your toe-rag had a go.”

    Why is Stone fair-deal’s toe-rag?

  • Rubicon

    Bertie – I was using the collective sense of the genetive case and in no way would have wanted to infer that FD had a link to Stone other than Stone belonging to one side of the identity divide – the same side as FD’s. Were he a ‘republican’ toe-rag others would be fairly quick off the mark making identity links – and probably speculating a great deal more.

  • bertie


    “Were he a ‘republican’ toe-rag others would be fairly quick off the mark making identity links – and probably speculating a great deal more.”

    Possibly, possibly not, but considering that there are unfortunatley many who identify more strongly with the toerags, maybe it would be better to reserve the association for them. He is Conserned Loyalist’s toerag.

  • Smithsonian

    Why didn’t Paisley just say in the chamber what it said out of it. Enough of the weasel words, state your case and get on with it.

    There is no doubt that the DUP are split, of course they will reform to fight an election but then what. More prevarication? What happens if they ever do resolve the outstanding issues. Will they work in peace and harmony with SF for the good of Northern Ireland? Dream on. Narrow sectarian interest is all either party is interested in. It is no basis upon which to form a government.

  • slug


    I share your scepticism, but at the same time I think Sinn Fein supporting the police, and Ian Paisley supporting the principle of powersharing, are steps forward. Whatever happens next year, one step at a time.

  • Tiny

    If the DUPes explode as I think they will, there could yet be a re-alignment in unionist politics, but not the way Donaldson etc used to talk about.

    Remember when the GFA was produced Paisley and the DUP were written of, the problem for Trimble was that Paisley was in his element, his party united in opposition, now the boot is on the other foot with the DUP clearly divided, however unlike the more flexible UUP with it’s history of dissention the DUP with it’s famously rigid party machine, and a membership given to often violent displays of ill-temper, remember the Upper Bann count, will splinter into the political no’s, Dodds & Co, the religious no’s, McCrea & Co, and finally the progressive wing, Robinson & Co, where will the progressives find a home, yes you’ve guessed it, the UUP, not good news for Peter (Weir), Arlene and of course wee Jeffrey.

  • bertie


    Who do you consider are the “progressives” in the DUP and I must have misunderstood, or else you are saying that Robinson would find his home in the UUP????!!!

  • Tiny

    Bertie, progressive in the comparative sense, as for Robinson in the UUP, if Paisley can sharte power with Martin….

  • Smithsonian

    There definately is a possibility of a coalition between the progressive elements of the DUP and the progressive elements of the UUP. I think this is more likely than a formal coming together of either parties. There is just too much history between the personalities.

  • bertie


    I was looking for names. 😉 Are you saying that Foster, Donaldson and Weir are “progressives” or not

  • Tiny

    Donaldson and to a lesser extent Weir, Arlene was made for the DUP, it was donaldson who used the term Taliban when referring to the DUP, but as for him being welcomed back to the UUP, not likely