Will he stay or go?

Jim Allister is to hold a press conference this morning. Is he about to resign or will he state his own opinion but accept the decision of the party? He had previously stated he would accept a decision if there was a full and fair debate within the DUP. Last week, as a party officer and executive member he was included in the internal party discussions of Party Officers and the Executive. Will this have passed his test of full debate? UPDATE It was option A, resignation from the party but not office (as has one DUP Councillor, Sam Gaston). His statement in full. A central objection is the continuing existence of the Army Council:

Now, it seems, the Army Council can stay. Then, I can’t.

  • Crataegus

    Oh good news; any more likely to follow?

    Come on lads have the courage to stand on your principles if you have any.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    David Vance: “I recall that Dr Paisley has been called “a dinosaur” by republicans and their media handmaidens for years now. But now that he embraces their elected terror godfathers – he’s a great guy! LOL – the hypocrisy of Irish nationalists. ”

    Proving that evolution is not yet dead and that even the oldest of dogs can learn a new trick or two if the positive and negative reinforcement are sufficiently large…

    JEB: “If unionists feel aggrieved by DUP hypocrisy and realise they have to work the institutions that they are now faced with then they should rally behind the Ulster Unionists – who are a gut instinct Unionist Party – and strong DUP opposition voices could be put to good use. ”

    Ah, yes, the UUP/UVF, led by the dread Reg Empty.

    I’ve heard of rally towel, but how does one rally behind a damp dishrag, regardless of how it postures. As I recall, the UUP tried to run to the right, or at least right-thinking, of the DUP and lost seats, JEB.

  • Cato

    This issue of the Army Council is a complete and utter red herring. What is the Army Council other than a collection of individuals? I could set up an Army Council in my living room, disband it when everyone leaves the room and then set it up again in the kitchen?

  • Harris

    Concerned Loyalist

    From Allister:

    “I just cannot comprehend how the DUP can contemplate government, particularly where it will be joined at the hip in the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister, with an organisation which clings to an illegal army council of an illegal army,” Mr Allister said.”

    What clinging?? Outside of using it as an excuse, does anyone really think there is an army council left? And if there are a few IRA members that prefer to hold on to the words of an “army council”, so be it. What harm is that doing to the current process? Allister is a fool, who has nothing of substance to fall back on, as it eats away at him.

    “The MEP said if Sinn Fein believed the IRA was truly and irreversibly committed to exclusively peaceful means, there was no need for an IRA army council.”

    Again, Allister knows that Sinn Fein are completely committed to exclusively peaceful means, but somehow can’t quite get his arms around it, so using the phantom IRA army council, is his snotty-nosed way of justifying his own demise.

  • Aren’t you sorry for the Doc – he’s only had 3 weeks without having to respond an independently minded QC with the ability to shred him in argument. And Allister is in many ways a much more formidable figure than Rainbow Bob.

    Darth is correct. There will be plenty of choppy waters ahead when the Shinners/Chuckies are caught red-handed doing something bad. Watching Allister put the boot into the people who have sold out everything in which they once believed will be worth seeing.

  • The Army Council is a collective of murdering terror godfathers, to be precise. Mind you, new improved Paisley has no issues with them.

  • David you must have done something wrong, if you can’t face reality.

  • John East Belfast


    “As I recall, the UUP tried to run to the right, or at least right-thinking, of the DUP and lost seats, JEB.”

    I am not talking about the UUP moving to the right of the DUP – on the contrary infact.

    I am reaching out to former Ulster Unionists who never had any truck with Paisley or the DUP – Jim Allister and co are beyond reach to me – I am not on their wave length.

    However Anti Agreement Unionists have to realise the game is up.

    SF set about destroying moderate unionism and used Paisleyism and his meglamania to achieve that. At the same time they also used the fear of the latter to shaft moderate nationalism.
    I dont know if I would credit them with planning it but that is certainly how it unfolded.

    Basically the last 7 years has been about elevating the extremes at the expense of the moderates.
    The DUP will say they delivered IRA decommissioning and support for the police but that would always have come anyway.

    Basically if unionism had rallied behind Trimble (at least in his own feckin Party) then we could have cemented the middle ground and SF would not be where they are today.
    Instead we have Paisley and SF as the biggest nationalist Party.

    Meanwhile Paisley has accepted the main thrust of the Belfast Agreement.
    Any unionist who rallied to his call on the basis that it was morally wrong to enter democratic government with those who believe terrorism can be used to advance political objectives must feel be badly let down – and for those of the UUP variety they have been used.

    So where do idealistic anti agreement but non DUP loving unionists go ?

    Will they can’t turn back time so either they roll their sleeves up and get stuck in to working the systems they find themselves with or they ‘retire’.

    However if they believe
    1.there is still work to be done to protect and nourish Northern Ireland’s position within the UK 2.Paisleyism is the greatest threat to the Union 3.AND ARE PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE CURRENT AGREEMENT as now the clearly expressed will of the unionist people

    then the best place to do that from is within the broad and democratic family of the Ulster Unionist Party.

    From there they can oppose the DUP all they like

  • darth rumsfeld

    “then the best place to do that from is within the broad and democratic family of the Ulster Unionist Party.

    From there they can oppose the DUP all they like”

    hardeharhar John. The only virtue of the UUP is that it was- after much ditehring and duplicity- openly Vichyist, while the DUP still pretends it’s not. Shameless defeatism or ashamed defeatism- some choice! I’d rather actually oppose Sinn Fein than the DUP- as the UUP obviously have forgotten- and you don’t do that by putting them in government

  • John East Belfast


    You have to deal how things are and not how you would like them to be

    Spitting against the wind, drawing lines in the sand when the tide is coming in whatever metaphor you want – every now and again your have to fall back to re-group and fight battles that can be won.

    When the unionist numbers are so heavily stacked against you the ony alternative is history and the wilderness.

    The unionist political landscape has changd like snow of a ditch with the early falls coming years ago from the UUP – the huge DUP weight has now come after – alll that is left is the frozen stuff that now exposed to the elements will melt away.

    The key question for unionists is who best represents their view of the Union and Northern Ireland and the strategies to protect it.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Well John, if the Japanese had pretended they had won WW2 and ignored the US administrators they would clearly have been fools. And if Unionism fails to recognise the 1998 to date phase of negotiating represents a defeat for Unionism then it’s also deluded.

    But of course the UUP thinks it’s not a defeat but a great victory, and now so do the DUP.You’re quite right that pushover Unionism now rules the roost. If we annoy people by pointing that out- every time the consequences work their way through, poisoning the body politic- well tough. We’ll still be right in 50 years.

    But that won’t be enough, as we have to develop a strategy to meet the new politics. And frankly, neither Unionist party has begun to educate their electorate. Chris Patten got it right when he responded to Trimble’s whinging about the demise of the RUC- what did people think they were voting for? SF never settled for the status quo -even when they had 1 councillor in Belfast- but Unionists now see St Andrews as the latest line in the sand. And as we know, lines in sand get washed away with monotonous regularity