Paisley accused of control freakery by backwoodsmen…

DUP critics have accused the party of trying to suppress debate over their opposition to a power-sharing deal. PA reports that the group said it had stressed in recent communications to the DUP there must be a fundamental shift away from the present policy adopted by the party and back to the DUP’s 2005 election manifesto. The group stated:

“The Voice for Democracy Umbrella Group has also been disappointed with the aggressively public manner by which the DUP has attempted to stifle any resistance to their proposed minimal acceptance conditions for entering government with Sinn Fein/IRA.

“We have over the past few weeks made every attempt possible to engage quietly with DUP representatives at MP, MLA and councillor levels to highlight the deep concerns and confusion, created deliberately or by accident, by the party since the St Andrews negotiations but to no avail.

“Instead the responses have been, and no doubt will continue to be (as with their predecessors in the UUP), to threaten `do you want Sinn Fein/IRA to be the largest party? Do you want Plan B?` etc.

“Such responses to Christian people, people with integrity, intelligence and intellect, people from all walks of life, all of whom who put their trust and confidence in the DUP at the 2005 election will not be accepted nor will they to be used as `fodder` for the advancement of the position, power or financial gains of the few.”

  • Pete Baker

    Gonzo

    I’d be more interested in who, exactly, this Umbrella Group has under their umbrella – and I don’t mean who they claim to represent.

    No spokesman is even named in that report, all we have is a statement released to the press.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I’ll have a fiver on Willie Frazer.

  • Pete Baker

    Not the NIO, then? ;o)

  • Gonzo

    I doubt it.

    But, given that a split in the DUP would lead to joint authority, in which case the NIO would have more power than under a devolved administration, it would be in the NIO’s interest to foment dissent!

    Bwahahahaha!

    :o)

  • Pete Baker

    Hmm. the dubious detail of that supposed joint authority aside.. it is worthwhile questioning who released this statement and who they claim to support their stated position.

  • Gonzo

    Maybe Fair Deal will enlighten us…?

  • Pete Baker

    Unlikely that fair deal would know, gonzo.. which is kinda my point..

  • Cato

    Voice for Democracy is headed by a chap called Philip Black, a former UUP councillor in Craigavon. He is also the head of a group called Ulster Human Rights Watch and was one of the many named as a member of the so-called Committee. Intriguingly, Ivan Foster was also named as a member of the Committee and he spoke out a month ago.

  • Butterknife

    I would put money on the majority being the Young UUP Turks who jumped ship to the DUP last year only to find that teh DUP are following the UUP’s compass heading.

  • fair_deal

    Gonzo

    First I’ve heard of them

    Butterknife

    “I would put money on the majority being the Young UUP Turks”

    Interestingly this does not seem to be the case. Remember many of them were Jeffrey groupies.

  • the other one

    Would agree with fair deal on this as any that I am aware who are closely associated with the Ulster Human Rights Watch have DUP credentials going way back. Many would also have had connections with the Ulster Club movement.

  • Butterknife

    I can’t see many of Jeffrey’s sycophants doing what he tells them to do as he is now following a policy that is for want of another word pro-Trimblesque.

  • fair_deal

    I have read the comments and the article itself now. It sounds like the Long March bunch under a new name. I should have known the name “The Voice for Democracy” had a Bertie Campbell ring to it.

  • We’ve had a lot of spin about the absence of any dissent within the DUP, even in some of the comments left on Slugger. Yes, there is serious dissent, but the structure of the DUP has left it without easy expression. The DUP of old was narrowly based and centred on one man’s personality. Those within it who pushed opposition too far often found themselves out in the cold.

    The DUP owed its present position partly due to its own hard work but also to the willingness of Trimble to wreck his voting base. The DUP now has a wider spectrum of unionism than of old within its ranks but has retained fundamentally the same secretive structures of old. It may succeed in managing its base better than Trimble did with his, but it’s already clear that without any serious intra-unionist rivalry to preserve unity, things are going to be interesting and potentially bloody within the party. And I suspect we shall all hear about it, and hopefully first on Slugger.

  • Donnie

    “people with integrity, intelligence and intellect…put their trust and confidence in the DUP”

    That’s stretching it a wee bit…

  • aquifer

    “trying to suppress debate”

    in a cult?

  • T.Ruth

    There are no more tensions within the DUP than is the case with the other parties-with the exception perhaps of Alliance who present quite reasonable/moderate opinions in a way that is unlikely to cause division within their party.
    It is my personal view that Unionists have been brought to their present position by their failure to develop a united front and by the betrayal of successive Prime Ministers and Secretaries of State.The Unionists have never objected to sharing responsibility for government but have been opposed to the “Irish dimension” and Irish influence on NI affairs. These present proposals offer Unionists the ability to control N/S bodies and the cavalier behaviour of unaccountable ministers.It is the first time since the proroguation of the NI Parliament that our negotiators have put us in such an advantageous position for Unionism. We must not let those on either side of the community who have no alternative plan prevent us from trying to create a peaceful democratic future for all our citizens.
    People in the Unionist community who have a difficulty with challenging SF in the political arena will be alienated as events progress. It is important that that we find the means to reduce the impact of that alienation and try to keep Unionism united as it challenges republicanism in the political arena.
    The ST.A. proposals offer Unionism the means to triumph over Republicanism. It offers an opportunity that will not come again in a decade.Those who want to position themselves politically or who seek short term personal advantage and those with only a negative philosophy must not deflect us from gaining back the ground we have lost over three decades that have been disastrous for the whole community.The terrorists have lost the war-the democratic parties must win the peace.
    T.Ruth

  • bertie

    “The ST.A. proposals offer Unionism the means to triumph over Republicanism.”

    The triumph over terrorism is more important!

    “The terrorists have lost the war-the democratic parties must win the peace. ”

    They have lost their main objective but they have suceeded in corrupting politics or rather having that corruption made official.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    ‘Those who want to position themselves politically or who seek short term personal advantage and those with only a negative philosophy must not deflect us from gaining back the ground we have lost over three decades that have been disastrous for the whole community.’

    Well, that has been the DUP’s policy for the last 30 years and without failure every deal has been worse for Unionism than the last one inc. StAA.

    What Unionist wouldn’t accept Sunningdale now?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    THe SAA will be Sunningdale for Low Earners if the DUP don’t bite the bullet soon.

  • fudgepacker

    “I would put money on the majority being the Young UUP Turks”

    I would very much doubt it, most of them are working in the DUP HQ now. The only one that might be involved is Peter Weir, there are reports floating around that he seems unhappy.

    It sounds more likely to be a collection of die hard DUP foot soldiers who unlike most of us are bemoaning of the death of old DUP. The former Young unionists were part of the wave of moderisers along with Robinson who have set the party on its new course.

    “We have over the past few weeks made every attempt possible to engage quietly with DUP representatives at MP, MLA and councillor levels to highlight the deep concerns and confusion, created deliberately or by accident, by the party since the St Andrews negotiations but to no avail”

    This section of the press release convinces me that it is lower level people. Interestingly they do not mentioned the DUPs MEP.

  • joeCanuck

    .The Unionists have never objected to sharing responsibility for government.
    Really T.Ruth?
    Never!
    I guess I’ve been living in a delusion world for all my years.

  • T.Ruth

    Joe C
    Back in the early seventies there was an Assembly at Stormont. It was prorogued as a sop to terrorism.Then there was indeed a power sharing Aassembly which fell because the UWC strike brought it down. The Loyalist/Unionist objection then was not to a power sharing dimension but to the strength of the Irish dimension. It is my view that that unjustifiable violent push for an increasing Irish dimension has driven events and been responsible for much of the evil of the past thirty years.Now the STA proposals offer Unionists a mechanism to control the strength of the Irish influence and power sharing is a possibility. Sadly we cannot yet have voluntary coalition politics because of a serious lack of democratic and political maturity in the Nationalist/Republican community.
    T.Ruth

  • Henry94

    T.Ruth

    Sadly we cannot yet have voluntary coalition politics because of a serious lack of democratic and political maturity in the Nationalist/Republican community.

    You mean the unwillingness of the SDLP to be fools. You had a coalition with the SDLP in ’73 but the UWC strike brought it down. The Loyalist/Unionist objection then was not to a power sharing dimension but to the strength of the Irish dimension

    The SDLP, Sinn Fein and the people who vote for them are the Irish dimension.

    Try a strike now and see where it gets you.

  • Alex

    The ST.A. proposals offer Unionism the means to triumph over Republicanism. It offers an opportunity that will not come again in a decade.Those who want to position themselves politically or who seek short term personal advantage and those with only a negative philosophy must not deflect us from gaining back the ground we have lost over three decades that have been disastrous for the whole community.The terrorists have lost the war-the democratic parties must win the peace.
    T.Ruth

    Posted by T.Ruth on Dec 13, 2006 @ 12:42 PM

    Swap SA.A for GF.A and the above could have come out of Trimble’s own mouth, DUP the party of slow learners and time wasters!!!

  • joeCanuck

    OK T.Ruth
    I accept your argument.
    It was those upstart Catholics who brought Sunningdale down.
    Shame on them.