Hearts and Minds: steadying the jitters in the DUP…

Even as you are tuning up for our politico’s big UK showpiece tonight, don’t forget Hearts and Minds, where, notably Jim Allister will continue to sing to a tune no longer to be found in the DUP’s official Hymn Book, just as the DUP prepare for tomorrow’s meeting to steady the ship after a week of confusion and dissension. And is “the falling electoral roll is evidence of a growing dissatisfaction with the political process?”


  • Glen Taisie

    Am I right in reporting victory for Attwood over Gerry K ? or was it too close to Folks on the Hill to be taken seriously

  • kenmare

    Like or hate him, Attwood is one of those politicians the media get in when they want someone to give them the facts, just the facts, Lady, the facts and nothing more. A Clear win over a less assured Gerry than usual. Don’t you just love hearing Allister – as if he never argued that sometimes a man just gotta what he gotta do if that persky government won’t listen….

  • Newry Voter

    I thought the SDLP representative, Alex Attwood, gave a much more assured persuasive and thoughtful contribution than the SF representative, Gerry Kelly, who seemed lacking in grasp of detail. The SDLP have a new spring in their step in recent years, after scoring a number of hits against Sinn Fein such as forcing a reversal on the amnesty for OTRS and British forces.

  • Pete Baker

    It might seem pedantic, to some, to point it out, but I did notice that Gerry K re-iterated his party’s official position on MI5 during the programme – “We reject any role for MI5 in Ireland or in civic policing.”

    A line which Gerry A, et al, have been modifying in their public statements recently.

  • McBurney

    Attwood, I believe, scored a victory over Kelly, which shows that, when they take them on, the SDLP are more than a match for the Shinners.

  • Except at elections McBurney, which many might consider a pity.

  • Percival

    Attwood gave a calm and assured performance. Gerry Kelly seemed off form last night – this is unusual. I thought Jim A was in top form and knocked Thompson all around the park.

  • ma

    wasn’t SF’s nite was it. Not a good performance in either show.

  • lib2016

    I thought Gerry Kelly was much more convincing than Attwood but that may be due to my politics. Kelly certainly used more soundbites which is good tactics given that it was just a TV debate.

    Thompson allowed McAllister to dig himself a very deep hole. Am I alone in finding the quiet reasonable tone of McAllister’s voice very creepy? Needs a cat to caress to make him a real pantomine villain though.

  • McBurney

    “Except at elections McBurney, which many might consider a pity. ”

    It is a pity. The Stoops don’t have the creativeness in PR that the Shinners have, but then £26.5 million goes a long way. However, it is clear that the SDLP do have the ability to out-debate their rivals, and I think they did that on both shows last night.

    “Thompson allowed McAllister to dig himself a very deep hole.”

    Care to elaborate?

  • lib2016

    ‘Care to elaborate?’

    Allister very publicly took on Paisley. This afternoon he either backs it up or backs down and it will be widely reported over the weekend which choice he made.

    In that sense Thompson’s interview created the news which is good interviewing in a way which a flashy confrontation might not always be.

  • Percival


    McAllister? Who’s he?

  • dpef

    I thought it very noticable that Allister wouldn’t answer a straight question on supporting Paisley’s leadership with a straight ‘Yes, I do’.

    His eventual non-answer about not playing for headlines seemed like playing for headlines.

    Why did he not just say, “Yes”?

    because he doesn’t?

    Similarly when asked about accepting his party’s position he said he supported the executive’s position.

    He repeatedly refered to this executive as the source of authority in the party when questioned about Paisley’s statement.

    And similarly dismissed any outcome from today’s meeting referring to the executive position from some previous date as the definitive position of the DUP.

    It may have been a decent performance, it certainly was a show of support for Paisley, his recent statements or anything agreed at today’s meeting.

  • We told you so!

    There are some mutterings that Paisley has challenged the party to back him or sack him(if they can)