DUP fines: a “paltry sum and not five figures”…

The Newsletter has some more detail on that ‘fine’ story. The official party line is that exists, but it is not £20,000. “the figure was ‘paltry’ in comparison, and not five figures”. (BTW, Guido’s thoughts: We need less party discipline and more free thinking from our politicians).

It had been reported that an internal revolt had been sparked among DUP candidates, due to the contract and, in particular, the resignation letter, which is to be signed and can be triggered if members seriously breach party policy while an MLA.

This resignation would not just be from the DUP but as an MLA full stop – which some candidates have noted could leave them without a job.

A two-page contract with a letter of resignation attached is said to have been received by a number of candidates. The standard DUP MLA’s contract is understood to include a line to the effect of: ‘I resign from the Northern Ireland Assembly with immediate effect…’

This could be invoked if, for example an MLA is convicted of a criminal offence or totally disregards party policy.

According the Newsletter, the contract stipulates:

– an MLA must produce yearly finances;

– turn up to critical votes and meetings;

– support the party on the manifesto commitments they are elected on;

– be of good behaviour and not bring the party into disrepute;

– individuals are bound by collective party decisions and the those of the party executive.

Fines are regularly imposed by a party disciplinary panel, and one out-going MLA last night told the News Letter he had been fined £200 for not attending an important vote and another £50 for missing a group meeting.

He insisted: “It’s nothing new. Any modern party must have good internal disciplinary structures.” Party candidates – at least 43 – are due to be meet on Thursday, when they will be formally ratified.
Any dissension then over contracts or the manifesto would have very little time to be addressed, with Assembly nominations opening next Monday.

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  • AvalonSunset

    There appears always to have been a contract in place, but I think this is the first time that the letter of resignation has been attached. It seems like the Big Man is losing control to Peter, Jeffrey and their croons and this resignation letter seems purely to be designed to give PR total control of the party in his usual dictatorial approach.

  • Stephen Warke

    It raises the debate – does the electorate when voting, vote for the candidate or the Party.

    Then who owns the seat? Does the electorate want the DUP to have that seat or do they want Mr X to have that seat?

  • joeCanuck

    Control Freakery in extremis.

  • joeCanuck

    In law Stephen, you vote for the person.

  • Stephen Warke

    yes thats a given.

    My point was in reference to the old debate about whether a candidate has a personal vote or is it a vote for a particular political party?

  • BonarLaw

    This would be a non issue if by elections (ie the electorate) were used to fill casual vacancies instead of allowing party machines to nominate replacements.

    Then again I seem to remember some fun and a purple panic when Duncan Shipley-Dalton threatened to resign. Seemingly one John Hunter Esq., B.L. was next in line…

  • AvalonSunset

    Stephen

    The candidate is the representative of the people but stands under the manifesto of the party. I think therefore that the vote is for the candidate first and the party second, so that a candidate can influence the party in the smae way that the constituency influences the candidate. Surely this is why the candidate must live or work in the area that they represent.

    Unfortunately there are those in the DUP that think they could get a well trained chimp elected if they stand under the DUP banner. I suppose recent experience has indicated this is possible ……

  • Crataegus

    We need less party discipline and more free thinking from our politicians.

    I’m with Guido on this. I cannot understand the public aversion to political parties that have a bit of internal disagreement. For God sake we know that any party is a broad church and there is bound to be differences of opinion. Personally I think a little disagreement is healthy.

    I like people like Alan Clarke people who in a tight pinch have the balls to do what they think is right.

    We need less conformist clones and yes men. We need vigorous debate and the issues properly thrashed out and we need people of integrity who will stand up for what they think and who will resign on principle.

    With regards Peter’s stupid contracts it tells us much about the man. What deep insecurity drives him?

  • joeCanuck

    Wonder if Jeffrey will sign.
    If he had to have signed such a document when in the UUP, Trimble might have been spared some of his woes.

  • AvalonSunset

    Crataegus

    I totally agree re Peter’s contracts. I think what drives him is the nagging suspicion that there are several Brutus characters out there who would be only too willing to stab him in the back for leadership of the party once doc finally expires. There are those out there that would support any of them…

  • FN Knutt

    I think what drives him is the nagging suspicion that there are several Brutus characters out there who would be only too willing to stab him in the back for leadership of the party once doc finally expires.

    You don’t say!

    And there was me thinking that Dodds and Allister were rearing up on a point of principle.

    Mind you, I still don’t understand why people insist on travelling too far West – what if they drop off the end of the world.

    People shouldn’t worry though, in my letter to Santa I asked for continued direct rule with greater DUP say at Westminster – so we shouldn’t get too concerned about the future.

    Hopefull, the Tooth Fairy will deliver a Fair Deal under my pillow.

    You know, I always trust the DUP – they are principled, moral and stright-talking people who have never had any truck with the men of violence.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Jeffrey’s croons” avalonsunset…?
    Shome mishtake shurely- isn’t it Daniel O’Donnell who croons?

  • Surely this is why the candidate must live or work in the area that they represent.

    Not true. They must live, work or own property in the Borough in local government elections. There is no such restriction in Assembly or Westminster elections.