“There will never be a better moment..”

Mick’s taking a well-deserved break for a few days but he’ll be back soon [no rest for the wicked however – Ed]. In the meantime we’ll try to keep the posts flowing and the trolls under the bridge. Opening today’s account is the Irish Times Editorial which argues that, despite the internal party tensions the DUP leader Ian Paisley faces, he can legitimately claim to have changed the political landscape, and that might mean there is no better time for him to seize the moment. [subs req]From the Irish Times

To see the changing world through their eyes is to realise that this is not easy for Dr Paisley. Yet he knows that the world – and “the enemy” – has changed, and that he has correctly divined the mood of his people. He may instinctively revile the language of the “peace process” of which republicans and nationalists claim ownership. He need hardly be expected now to laud the Hume/Adams dialogue, or the many initiatives that preceded it all the way back through people like Fr Alex Reid and Albert Reynolds to Charles Haughey.

Nor is Dr Paisley likely in a moment of humility to acknowledge the role played by David Trimble’s Ulster Unionists in re-shaping and re-directing that process. What Reg Empey calls their “heavy lifting” secured constitutional change in the Republic and brought all parties to accept the principle of consent for any change to Northern Ireland’s own constitutional position. Without it there would not be the foundation for the partnership government Dr Paisley can now jointly lead with Sinn Féin’s Deputy First Minister-designate, Martin McGuinness.

That said, the DUP leader can legitimately claim to have changed the landscape in an already transformed Northern Ireland. The comprehensive IRA decommissioning, damagingly denied to Mr Trimble happened on Dr Paisley’s watch. The reports of the Independent Monitoring Commission testify to the ongoing degradation of the IRA’s capacity as a terrorist organisation. And, crucially, it was Dr Paisley who successfully argued that support for the Police Service of Northern Ireland should be a requirement of any party entering government. He knows that the decision by the Sinn Féin Ardfheis in January marked the final acceptance by republicans of a state they had previously fought to destroy.

Yes, change is required of him. But the circumstances in which he is asked to do so are altered beyond his wildest imaginings. There will never be a better moment – and it is his to seize now.

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  • Carpe Deim — seize the day !

  • SuperSoupy

    Oh great, let the Hain and SF bashing extravaganza commence. None of those tedious Mick posts to distract us.

  • The import of recent reports over the past few days is that the ‘decontamination’ period of the DUP footdraggers is now down to two months – a long way from Smash Sinn Féin.

    It would be amazing that the four horsemen of the Unionist Apocalypse, Riders Dodds, Campbell, Simpson and McCrea, the man who stood shoulder to shoulder with unionist mass murderer Billy Wright, would be allowed to derail the process entirely because they want to test SF for a further two months. Does anyone think that they would not come up with a further delaying tactic then – such as the Marching Season, so they can go to their Fields and make angry speeches denouncing this Irishery and that Popery!

    It’s time to face them down. Devolve power on Monday, with them or without them. The vast majority of the people of the north voted for devolution and powersharing and those who were against, McCartney, Frazer, Cubitt and co, got their answer. They’re yesterday’s men and it would be a shame to deny us a brighter new morrow because of their backwardness.

  • joeCanuck

    Well thought out article.

  • overhere

    Agree with Oilibhear on this one

  • Greenflag

    ‘There will never be a better moment’

    Perhaps but there certainly WAS a better moment . Sunningdale 1974 . Paisley rejected the power sharing Sunningdale -he also rejected the Anglo Irish Agreement during Margaret Thatcher’s reign calling her a ‘traitor’. He has opposed every Unionist leader in NI from O’Neill to Trimble . And for what ?

    To sit at last in a powerless power sharing Assembly with Sinn Fein?

  • hotdogx

    good point greenflag, paisley of yesteryear would call paisley of today a traitor. He realises he has backed himself and unionism into a corner with no room for removal.

  • Greenflag


    ‘he realises he has backed himself and unionism into a corner with no room for removal. ‘

    You might think that but I would not be surprised to see Paisely walk away from power sharing . In fact I expect him to do just that .

  • As we speak, Mick is having his teeth pulled and being subjected to neo-con doctrines.

    new slugger dictator President Pete Baker will give his “State of the Union” address later outlining why it is better to return to exclusive Unionist rule in the North and installing his chosen Malachy, Ian Paisley as Commander in chief of the New World Northern Ireland Order, for a new century.

    The Bakerista’s and Fair Dealites need a “New Pearl Harbour”, sorry “New 9/11, 7/7” thats why next monday is too quick.

    Even Brig Gordon “Wayne” Kerr could not get a black op ready that quick.

    Give them six weeks to immplement a black op alongside a drill for cover and Northern Ireland will be back to pre 68 dictatorship.

    Be careful what you wish for!!

  • Pete Baker

    “new slugger dictator President Pete Baker”

    If only, Art if only.. ;op

  • stathead

    I would imagine that Paisley would regard becoming First Minister as quite simply the pinnacle of his career. Hard to walk away from I would imagine. He is almost human after all.