Where is the DUP’s head at?

A round-up of what the commentators think.Susan McKay doesn’t buy the split claims she thinks it is:

“Clearly, there are tensions but this is more about how the DUP is going to manage its glacial progress towards sharing power with Sinn Féin.”

Alan McBride thinks the politicians are doing a good job of despite internal opposition and he even agrees with the DUP:

“The DUP is full of people who don’t want to share power with republicans under any circumstances, just as Sinn Fein is full of people who don’t want to have anything to do with the PSNI. Not an easy basis for their leaders to cut a deal. Maybe the reality is that our politicians are actually doing a fantastic job simply keeping the show on the road… I have to say (and this is not something I say often), that I actually agree with the ‘Big Man’ in his insistence that those involved in governing us sign up to policing.”

Alex Kane is having problems understanding the nuance of the DUP’s position:

“…the day started with Ian Paisley making a speech in which he didn’t actually nominate himself, but nor did he rule out nominating himself in the near future. It would probably take the Hansard equivalent of the Rosetta Stone to understand the true meaning and nuance of the DUP’s position, but it didn’t actually matter.”

John Coulter is predicting a UUP/DUP electoral alliance and a new party being formed:

“Supporters of the St Andrews Agreement in Ian Paisley’s DUP and Reg Empey’s Ulster Unionists look likely to form an election pact to outgun the threat from anti-deal dissident unionists…Unionist sources claimed there had already been “private talks” aimed at re-establishing the 1970s-style United Ulster Unionist Council, or Unionist Coalition, to field agreed pro-deal candidates in future Assembly and Westminster elections…There have also been suggestions Allister could quit the DUP and establish a Right-wing, anti-deal grassroots Unionist party along with McCartney. It has also been alleged Newry and Armagh Independent Unionist MLA Paul Berry could be asked to join the new anti-deal coalition.”

Brian Feeney retreats to they don’t want a catholic about the place argument:

“What is clear, however, is that most unionist voters voted for the DUP in 2003 and in greater numbers in 2005 because they believed Paisley would not share power with the only partner available – Sinn Fein.”

The BBC also provides a summary of positions of all the parties.

  • slug

    “I have to say (and this is not something I say often), that I actually agree with the ‘Big Man’ in his insistence that those involved in governing us sign up to policing.”


    I think a lot of people agree that signing up to policing is essential.

    The policing precondition is very reasonable to me. If this is shifting the goalposts then the goalposts have been shifted to where they should have been.

  • Yokel

    Susan McKay kind of agrees with my assertion in another thread that all is not what it seems here though not to the extent of my conspiracy theory that, in effect, some of this stuff is being stage managed. Opposition, yes, but something doesn’t click here about it.

    Allister is about to fuck up in grand fashion by the looks of it. He’s nowhere to go other than with McCartney. What a marriage that’ll be….

  • dodrade

    I don’t know what John Coulter’s been taking recently but it must be strong stuff to make him think there’s going to be a DUP/UUP alliance. To the DUP Sinn Fein are the opposition, the UUP are the enemy.

  • Crusty Burke

    Well at least the DUP are showing some signs of movement – that’s certainly better than the position of Robert McCartney, whose only positive contribution to NI politics was that amusing incident with the cream cakes all those years ago…

  • Billy

    Fair Deal

    I don’t often agree with Brian Feeney but he’s right this time.

    Personally I believe that Sinn Fein should sign up for policing.

    However, it is undeniable that there are a considerable number of people in the DUP and the Orange Order who just don’t want a Catholic about the place.

    Even when Sinn Fein do support the PSNI (which is inevitable at some point in the near future), these people will create yet another obstacle.

    As these obstacles are overcome, their naked b-i-g-o-t-r-y becomes ever more obvious.

  • fair_deal


    If you wish to cling to outdated sectarian stereotypes go on ahead.

  • Stiofán de Buit


    Having grown up a Protestant in an overwhelmingly Protestant town (Newtownards) I can say with all certainty that Billy is spot-on. There is a significant section (though I would say it is a minority) of the Protestant community who would not even support power-sharing with the SDLP, never mind Sinn Féin. Billy’s ‘sectarian stereotype’ is not, sadly, as outdated as you would have us believe.

    That said, sectarianism like this is not solely the preserve of the Protestant community, but it exists. That’s something that needs to be admitted and confronted, not dismissed as a relic of the past, or greeted with the all too familiar refrains of whataboutery.

  • confused

    I loved Paisley’s speech to the Assembly.It was a masterpiece of ambiguity worthy of Alice in Wonderland.His statement that same afternoon is meaningless as it is not on the official record.I would like someone to seek a judicial review to contest Hains interpretion of the statement which never existed.

  • I expect SF to sign up to policing.

    What will be the next DUP sticking point?

    I reckon it will be “Paramilitary structures”.

    It is, essentially, undeliverable-the perfect DUP request that allows them not to deal.