Paisley can’t wait, but his dissenters can…

Brian Feeney with a pessimistic view of the willingness of the party to do a deal under what could be a new management. No sign of that long and much fêted ‘Plan B’ then?

Ten days ago Dodds told the BBC that the DUP was not like the UUP because Trimble “presented his party with a fait accompli and rammed it through, whatever the dissent”.

Isn’t that exactly what Paisley tried to do on November 24 and what Dodds and his fellow dissenters prevented?

It’s perfectly clear that Paisley intended to present his party with a fait accompli that morning but the Dirty Dozen stopped him. Wasn’t that the first occasion Paisley didn’t get his way in his own party? Changed times indeed.

It’s also perfectly clear that the dissenters have been making the running ever since, laying down conditions for Sinn Féin to enter an executive just as David Trimble did.

Will the dissenters succeed in preventing an election next March, as they are looking increasingly likely to do, by making impossible demands of Sinn Féin? [my italics]

Hmmm… considering the DUP were the ones who wanted an election (Sinn Fein acquiesed in the announcement, and no one else could see the sense) and elecotrally have the most to gain across the board, it seems strange that the DUP would want to sink it. At the very least it will be interesting whether we we get to see detail of what these ‘impossible demands’ turn out to be.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty