And he’s gone…

The answer to Fair Deal’s question this morning, is Jim Allister has gone… no indications that he’ll resign the seat… He’s a loss to the party, and by far the most senior (and most talented of their dissenters)…

Interesting to see if any others follow his example.

, ,

  • SuperSoupy

    And with the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, having extended an invitation for the parties to meet with him to discuss how the EU can support devolved government 1/3 of our MEPs will be on the outside looking in and not supporting the wishes of everyone else.

    I wonder if Jim Nicholson will now be moving to isolate this dissenting voice that can only damage our prospects in Europe?

    Though it does free Allister up to join the far-right grouping in Europe where he seems to have a natural home.

  • BallymenaSham

    Sam Gaston (Glarryford) – a Ballymena DUP councillor has also resigned. Another Ballymena Councillor Roy Gillespie was reportedly in tears at the Council meeting last night but hasn’t yet resigned. William Wilkinson of FAIR and another Ballymena DUP Councillor was on the local radio yesterday evening criticising the party as well.

    As far as I’m aware the DUP are to discipline quite a few of their Ballymena councillors sometime this week. Must be something in the water up here…

  • SuperSoupy

    Does Jimmy Spratt get booted out of 139 Holywood Road?

  • SadandlonelyDUPmemberinmid-ulster

    I myself stood alongside Jim and his principles. I like Jim asked people to vote for DUP – I too feel that the Army Council should have been disbanded before Doc sat down with SF in any press conference.
    Jim why only now tell us that there was no plan B? We went on the doors and sold this to the people and now you are telling us this was never on the table – why did you not tell us this the ordinary party members, why not raise your doubts about a plan B to us the ORDINARY DUP members who only hear about the party’s dicssions when it is announced on the news.
    I feel let down by all those in the DUP exeutive if this is the case. This disapointment includes all those who should have told us what was happening within the party (MLA’s MP’s & Councillors) – after all WE are the real party – it is the party workers who do the work not the politicians. If it was not for us going on the doors and doing your dirty work you would not have got the vote you did. How can I face the people who I persuaded on the doors to vote DUP? I know that there may have been no alternative but why fed us the party workers a lie and tell us that there was a plan B.
    I still believe that the Anti SAA candidates who stood along Bob did not have an alternative – after all they had no manifesto and did not have an alternative and I have no problem in not supporting them and telling others not to support them butI now have a problem – where will I cast my vote come the next election? Will the DUP hold to their manifesto and not enter government with those who are unrepentent or will they continue on the course they are on. I sadly feel that it is lights out for the principled people with in the DUP?

  • interestedobserver

    The resignation of Jim Allister is a blow but lets not forget that this is the second time he has quit the DUP. I don’t think it will do the DUP any long term damage, they could run anyone and retain that seat in Europe and probably still top the poll. It does remain to be seen however if this will affect their plan to run two candidates at the next euro election as they are rumoured to be planning in order to wipe out Jim Nicholson.

    Allister could of course run as an independant but would he get many votes?

  • Stalfordfan

    I wonder where this leaves Christopher Stalford, one of Jim Allisters workers? Will he also walk after failing to win a seat in the election?

  • SuperSoupy

    I see the UUP have problems too. One of their peers, Baron Ballyedmond of Fianna Fail and the Conservatives faces criminal proceedings over his Norbrook Laboratories company.

  • Dave

    I’m with Allister on this one he seems to be the only Dup person standing by what they campaigned for.

    Is anyone else getting sick of Gavin Robinsons rants in the Newletter, surely his days are numbered.

  • Animus

    What a shocking hypocrite – Allister should resign his MEP seat if he is leaving the party.

    I don’t know if he is a loss to the party – a quitter twice over. I thought during the last election he was a bit of a fairweather friend, so this is no surprise.

  • Harris

    I say Allister deserves a big kick in the arse on the way out the door!

  • Dave

    I say Allister deserves a big kick in the arse on the way out the door!

    Why for standing by the principles he was elected on?

  • willowfield

    At least Allister is sticking to his principles, unlike the rest of the DUP.

    Jim must have believed the 7 years of rhetoric about being anti-agreement, “burying” the Agreement, “never” going into government with the Provos, etc., etc.

    But it was surely obvious from 2003, once they “smashed the UUP”, that the DUP had done a U-turn on this?

  • Ian

    What the hell has Paisley been protesting for then for over 30 years?

    Why did Donaldson and co leave the UUP and join the DUP, are the all liars and power/money grabbing bastards?

  • cockles

    The Allister interview on the beeb was funny, he was being all sanctimonious about the big man being lured by money and power and how he (Allister) would never abandon his principles and do that for money….right before he said he would resign the party but not his seat!!!

    He should resign his european seat, he got that solely by running for the DUP and if he dares to argue otherwise then he shouldn’t mind a by-election should he? Bring it on Jim!

  • PeaceandJustice

    Jim Allister is a man of principle. Unfortunately, the majority of the Roman Catholic population in NI continue to vote for a bunch of sectarian murderers and criminals who have never said sorry to the families of the innocent UDR and RUC members they killed. Gerry Adams and the rest of the Sinn Fein IRA terrorist group need to start making peace instead of just talking peace. All we hear from SF IRA is about working the system to bring about change. They have blood on their hands and they refuse to humble themselves.

  • littlenick

    Jim Allister is one of the few poeple who stand by what they say, after the shouting of his fellow menbers he has stood by his word good on him and I am sure he will work hard for ever one in Northern Ireland as a MEP

  • terence dactyl

    who let Jim Allister on here!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Slugger editors : is there any way you could publish the IP address of posters next to each contribution ? I’ve a sneaking suspicion that several of the posts here are the same person.

    PeaceandJustice :

    Jim Allister is a man of principle. Unfortunately, the majority of the Roman Catholic population in NI continue to vote for a bunch of sectarian murderers and criminals who have never said sorry to the families of the innocent UDR and RUC members they killed.

    If Jim Allister is a man of principle, why did he join a party that refused to discipline one of it’s most senior MPs for taking to a podium with Billy Wright ? Should the electorate who consistently vote DUP despite their flirtations with loyalist paramilitaries be blamed every time the UDA/UVF/etc shoot someone ?

  • GavBelfast

    “What the hell has Paisley been protesting for then for over 30 years?

    Why did Donaldson and co leave the UUP and join the DUP, are the all liars and power/money grabbing bastards?

    Posted by Ian on Mar 27, 2007 @ 07:37 PM”

    Yes, but sure all of the parties here except Alliance and SDLP have more or less surrendered their principles or are now wearing other peoples clothes

  • tomorrows people

    “He should resign his european seat, he got that solely by running for the DUP and if he dares to argue otherwise then he shouldn’t mind a by-election should he?”

    Definatley, he is already yesterdays man with yesterdays opinions, I don’t even think he’ll have the minerals to stand in the next european election. Next week he’ll be as relevant as Bob McCartney.

  • East_Belfast

    I’m sure the DUPers regret supporting Allister as their European candidate! Hard to believe the guy who took over Paisleys seat of 25 years has betrayed the Rev and is now an independent.

    Or has the Rev betrayed Jim…

  • Henry94

    Comrade Stalin

    Slugger editors : is there any way you could publish the IP address of posters next to each contribution

    They could block the IP address of multiple posters. It’s been a problem for quite a while.

  • willis

    Thank You Comrade and Gav

    Paisley’s principle is simply

    “I will only accede to a deal with Sinn Fein when it has been done by someone I trust”

    And finally it has.

  • rapunsel

    Perhaps an intelligent man but a thoroughly obnoxious , arrogant and offensively prejudiced man that I have ever had the misfortune to meet.

    I am glad he is gone from the DUP but would be happier still when he is gone as an MEP as he will surely be whether in a by election or in the next European elections unless he stands down first. What now for the young men modelling themselves on him – yesterdays men all.

    For all that it is clear a la Bob McCartney is that JIm Allister is also not really suited to a political party unless he has some control over it– too big of an ego.

  • PeaceandJustice

    “Comrade Stalin – I’ve a sneaking suspicion that several of the posts here are the same person”

    I’ve a sneaking suspicion that several of the posters on here are paid to do so by the SF-IRA terrorist group.

    “Comrade Stalin – why did he join a party that refused to discipline one of it’s most senior MPs for taking to a podium with Billy Wright?”

    Pan-Nationalists are very good at taking one incident and constantly repeating it. OK, so one DUP politican shared a platform with Billy Wright. Yet, Martin McGuinness admits to being a member of the IRA whose death squads murdered the innocent in front of their families. And Unionists are expected to share more than a platform with him.

    Republicans really need to get serious about MAKING peace. Jim Allister is right to be suspicious about them. What happens if they rob another bank in a couple of months time? Where is the promised exclusion mechanism?

  • Comrade Stalin

    P&J:

    I’ve a sneaking suspicion that several of the posters on here are paid to do so by the SF-IRA terrorist group.

    Bah, foiled again. But, what you probably don’t know is that the bastards still pay out in punts.

    Pan-Nationalists are very good at taking one incident and constantly repeating it.

    You are a hypocrite. If hanging about with terrorists is wrong, then why did Alistair rejoin the DUP despite their flirtations with loyalists ? It’s not as if it is an isolated incident. The DUP’s history is replete with incidents where they were found to be standing around close to leading active terrorists who they have subsequently had to disassociate themselves from.

  • Garibaldy

    Doesn’t Mick allow the use of sockpuppets? I didn’t think they were banned. As for the DUP and loyalists paramilitaries, how anyone can call the Billy Wright thing an isolated incident with a straight face is beyond me.

    Allister should resign.

  • bertie

    Allister should not resign. He was elected and hasn’t gone back on what he was elected on. In the same way that Jeffrey was right not to resign.

  • Garibaldy

    I can’t remember the DUP manifesto for the European elections. Did it talk about this situation? I do know he was elected as a member of a party and has left it so he should resign.

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    Actually, I disagree.

    Unless an election is run on a list system, any successfully elected candidate is perfectly entitled to disassociate themselves from any party and retain their seat on the basis of their election result.

    In fact, it’s a welcome corrective to the otherwise prevalent notion that, in NI, people vote for tribal blocks and the actual candidate is relevant.

  • PeaceandJustice

    As usual, the Pan-Nationalists on here keep trying to focus on isolated incidents in order to divert attention away from the blood stained hands of the Sinn Fein IRA leadership.

    “Comrade Stalin – The DUP’s history is replete with incidents where they were found to be standing around close to leading active terrorists who they have subsequently had to disassociate themselves from.” Are you talking about Adams and McGuinness now? Paisley seemed to be sitting close to them yesterday. I share your concern.

  • George

    Garibaldy,
    This is what the European Election Manifesto has to say on the issue:

    “A mandatory coalition to include Sinn Fein
    is only possible when they are demonstrably
    committed to exclusively peaceful and
    democratic means.

    This requirement must be rigorously judged against the words of Prime Minister Tony Blair. For example on 15th January this year he said,“We cannot have a situation where people are expected
    to sit in Government with political parties
    attached to active paramilitary
    organisations.”

    We believe that only when the ‘Blair
    Necessities’have been met can Sinn Fein be entitled to a place in Government. The political process must not however be put on hold to await the IRA.

    As the IMC report confirms Sinn Fein/IRA
    continues to be mired in violence. Accordingly, the political process should now move on without them. Only such action will give meaning to the
    Government’s words of condemnation.”

  • circles

    Hehehe Peace&Justice – but I was just wondering if yonever get short of breath when you have your head stuck in the sand?

  • Garibaldy

    George,

    Thasnks for that. Just fginished looking it up myself. It seems to be, by the criteria of activity and IMC reports, that Big Ian hasn’t violated this manifesto.

    Pete,

    I think realistically in the European Elections in particular people vote for blocs. The representative of the bloc can change – i.e. from Hume to de Brun. But if anyone anywhere is elected for a party and they leave it they should resign is my opinion.

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    No. No. No.

    If people think they vote for blocks then they should understand that they actually vote for individuals.

    And an individual can decide to disassociate themselves from a party if they decide that the party no longer stands for the platform they were elected on.

  • George

    Garibaldy,
    I agree and was very surprised to see that these were the only criteria mentioned back then.

    That said, I find it hard to believe that at that time (4 years ago) the overwhelming majority of the DUP were of the opinion that lack of IRA activity and IMC reports would suffice.

  • Bill

    PeaceandJustice, people like yourself and David Vance are just bigoted shitstirrers upset that peace has finally arrived and people might stop listening to their crazed rantings.

  • George

    Three years ago even.

  • Garibaldy

    Pete,

    I understand that you are describing the situation regarding the rights of elected individuals to resign as it is. I am saying what I think the situation should be, not that that is how it is. Because, unfortunately, you are right that individuals can do as they please.

    As for the DUP in 2004 George I think the manifesto shows just how inevitable the situation that developed yesterday has been for years. Mangerialism rules ok. As long as it’s my party doing the managing.

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    “Mangerialism rules ok.”

    I think you’ve missed my point somewhat.

    Namely that not only does managerialism NOT rule… but it’s a good thing that the electorate, and perhaps candidates, are reminded that that is the case.

  • Comrade Stalin

    P&J:

    As usual, the Pan-Nationalists on here keep trying to focus on isolated incidents in order to divert attention away from the blood stained hands of the Sinn Fein IRA leadership.

    Was it right or was it wrong, for McCrea to appear on a podium with Billy Wright ? Can you explain why Jim Allister overlooked this incident when he decided to rejoin the DUP ?

    Stop running away from the question. It only shows that you’re cornered.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pete:

    In fact, it’s a welcome corrective to the otherwise prevalent notion that, in NI, people vote for tribal blocks and the actual candidate is relevant.

    Unless you’ve recently been caught having a sports massage.

  • Garibaldy

    So Pete if managerialism doesn’t rule ok what else is happening to politics not only in NI and the Uk but right across the western world?

  • Pete Baker

    Actually, Comrade, that’s a good example of when a personal vote for an individual candidate, or lack of it, comes into play.

    Whether it’s a good example or not is a different argument – dependent, as it is, on the candidate.

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    A “welcome corrective” to managerialism.

  • Garibaldy

    Pete,

    Fair enough.

  • Rubicon

    While I agree with Pete that there is no obligation to resign – the issue Garibaldy raises about managerialism is relevant (though not to the European Parliament).

    If a DUP Assembly Member was to break ranks like Allister has done, DUP party strength (for d’Hondt nominations) would remain unaffected. In this context the legal position is that people vote for parties and not individuals.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Why should Allister rsign? No politician in NI has ever resigned after changing party, nor has any significant UK politician- not Chamberlain, Churchill..er Shaun Woodward.

    People who parrot this cant merely show their own prejudices, and as for all the personal attacks-well, we know the republicans on slugger don’t like traditional Unionists and now they think Ian is a big ol’ Buddha of love because he’s rolled over whereas a month ago he was the great Satan.

    Allister is-like Bob or Punt- an uncomfortable personality to like , but then we’ve done the “I feel your pain” schmooze of Blair and Cameron, and I’d go for straight talking conviction politicians in preference to the jelly that leads the UK.

  • Henry94

    The vote for the party or the candidate depends o the person. No doubt a Paisley or a Hume could have held their seats in an election even if they had left their parties.

    I don’t think the same could be said of any of the current crop.

  • Aquifer

    One less begrudger, who cares? (ps moderator, its not a personal attack, thousands around here have the affliction)

  • cockles

    To those who are saying Allister was elected because it was him and not because he was a DUP candidate are living in a dream world.

    The DUP vote is by far the strongest of any of the parties and Jim Allister was far from well known when he stood for that seat. Unlike Jeffrey Donaldson who gets a high personal vote which was not affected by his switch of parties.

    If Allister was to resign and fight for the seat again as an independant he wouldn’t stand a chance, whomever the DUP put up would paste him. If the recent election taught us anything its that the DUP vote is very robust and they got a huge mandate for their strategy. Jim is dreaming and should resign.

  • George

    Cockles,
    Allister’s name was on the ballot paper so he is the person who was elected, not the DUP party.

    I can’t think of a single polician who would resign their seat so why should he?

    He was elected to represent the people of Northern Ireland and not the DUP. Therefore it doesn’t matter if he wouldn’t get elected now in a by-election, he has been elected and his mandate is for a further two years.

  • gram

    If he had any credibility of course Allister should resign. He signed up to the DUP manifesto and now is unable to follow through on his commitments because he didn’t expect SF to make the steps that they have.

    He’s following a different path now (opposing the new government of N.I.) so he should let the electorate decide whether they want to go with him.

    Like the individuals he is accusing in his own party he’s unable to resist the stature that comes with his role as an MEP.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Will the sock puppet on this thread pack it in. You are welcome to comment but desist from using multiple names.

    Comrade

    You were correct.

  • cockles

    “Allister’s name was on the ballot paper so he is the person who was elected, not the DUP party.”

    Allisters name and the DUP’s name were on the ballot paper, he was elected as a candidate running FOR the DUP. As has already been noted, people vote for the party in the european election not the individual – most people in NI would be hard pushed to know the names of any of the MEPs. The Euro election is used as a litmus test of where parties stand.

  • interested

    I think Jim is by far and away NI’s best and most able MEP – and probably one of the most able politicians in NI. Its a huge loss for him to leave the DUP.

    However, sometimes the pure academic intelligence gets in the way of practicality and ‘political intelligence’ and I do have some problems with Jims rationale for leaving. I do though, respect him for taking his decision, and not attempting to wrap it up in some big rallying call or other.

    However, his stuff about Plan B was a bit ludicrous. Claims that it cant exist because he hasn’t seen it dont really ring true. Of course he wont have seen it – it was hardly a plan which would ever be drawn up by DUP Party Officers and the Government aren’t really going to bother putting any plans which are aimed at punishing the DUP forward for their approval. I agree that full-blown Joint Soverignty isn’t legally possible, but that doesn’t mean that the Government couldn’t make life for unionists increasingly uncomfortable with greater and greater influence from Dublin.

    He mentioned a few times about his vote in 04 and I think this is some of his weakest ground. He used the phrase about “his electorate” and frankly I don’t think there is anyone out there who thinks Jim Allister got the votes which he received simply on some personal vote. It is crazy to attempt to argue that it was anything other than a Party vote. Yes, he was the person the DUP put forward, but it stretches his credibility to the limits to attempt to suggest that he was such a big name that the people were flocking to him but they wouldn’t have voted for another DUP candidate.

    Lets face it also, Jim has taken a personal decision which is one for his conscience. Fair enough… – but its not as if he shouldn’t have seen the prospect of eventual power sharing with SF coming over the horizon. The DUP’s ‘Devolution Now’ was plastered all over his election manifesto, and a lot more recently it didn’t take a genius to work out that SF were likely to get into Government.

    It for him seemed to boil down to the Army Council – not that he’s arguing this body is actually doing anything at the minute – not even that it is actually meeting, but that it continues to exist in whatever form. Frankly, I’d love a statement from them too saying that it had been wound up – but if its not organising crime and terrorism, then exactly what threat does it pose?

    Its up to him whether he resigns his seat as MEP – frankly its stupid every time to have calls for seat resignations. Particularly stupid in this case when the DUP did benefit from Donaldson et al. Mind you, there’s a much better case that Jeffrey Donaldson in particular had a personal vote in Lagan Valley than Jim does across NI. However, if he sees the term out then that will finally be it. I really hope for his own sake he doesnt contest any by-election or future Euro election. At that point he would become even more of a comedy character than Bob McCartney and it would be a very sad end to his career and something I wouldn’t like to see.

    Maybe its a lesson for the DUP though – when people resign once they tend to make a habit of it.

  • George

    Cockles,
    “as has already been noted, people vote for the party in the european election not the individual.”

    No they don’t. There were seven candidates, not seven parties in that election. The parameters of the election are quite clear, those elected have a five-year mandate, not the party that elected them.

    Otherwise, the UUP could, if it wanted, sack Nicholson now and replace him with Empey, for example. They can’t.

    As for what you believe the Northern Ireland electorate use the European elections for, namely a litmus test, that could well be true but it doesn’t change what they are actually for, which is to send an elected representative to the European Parliament.

  • interested

    Strictly legally and electorally he got the mandate but politically people were voting for the DUP.

    NI is of course the only part of the UK where a Party cant replace an MEP with another party member. Maybe we should have the list system here too.

  • dodrade

    “Strictly legally and electorally he got the mandate but politically people were voting for the DUP.

    NI is of course the only part of the UK where a Party cant replace an MEP with another party member. Maybe we should have the list system here too.”

    Of course he should resign and fight a by election but he won’t because he’d lose. But we certainly shouldn’t have a list system. Its not democratic, instead of members with semi-personal mandates we would get party placemen.

    Anyone know what Jim Wells is planning to do?

  • UKIP

    Apparently UKIP have been courting Mr Allistair. He may find a home yet.

  • pith

    They might start by getting his name right.

  • elsiemount

    Maybe Bob could find a home for Jim! At least then Bob and his party would have an elected politican somewhere, even if elected with the vote of an other party!
    Just imagine what would happen if these two great law men got togeter maybe they could sort the whole of Europe out the way they sorted out Ulster!

  • rapunsel

    I had a quick look at Jim Allister’s website tonight. Someone has being doing a hasty editing job on it , bringing it up to date with the resignation and changing the tenses wrt his DUP membership. They haven’t done a thorough job though as to do so would leave the website and Jim bereft of policies hence there remain various links and downloads to DUP policy documents ( which he will probably claim are “his” policies) and a link to a download of all his speeches ( with DUP branding). A cursory look over this document confirms ( should there be any doubters) that Jim stood and was elected as the DUP candidate in the European elections. he got the Ian Paisley /DUP vote not the Jim Allister vote. I predict that he will resign within 6 months, without party support and the significant financial resources of someone like Bob McCartney and the likely departure of the young men in suits working for him( who likely want a future in politics here) he will become an increasingly isolated figure.

  • cockles

    But Bob has retired from politics after the election he said he wouldn’t be participating anymore which is a pity but it does show humility at least which is not a trait normally associated with politicians!

    It’ll be interesting to watch the fall out of Allisters resignation.

  • pith

    “Humility”, Bob McCartney? Hardly.

    Humiliated maybe.