Leaving it all behind…

DAVID Trimble’s attitude to Northern Ireland these days is like that of a Western gunslinger who has cleaned up the town: “My work here is done. Time to move on.” Lord T seems quite happy in his new Conservative role, according to Sam Lister. Saying he regretted not buiding closer links with the Tories while UUP leader, Trimble added that he lost his Westminster seat in the last election was because voters had “failed to understand” what he was doing. Perhaps he should have explained in a way that they could comprehend and sympathise with? Like a lecturer who never pauses for questions, Trimble’s lack of charisma and failure to bring his grassroots with him helped lead to his eventual downfall.

  • I still suspect that history will treat Trimble much more kindly than he is treated by the current unionist electorate. After all, Paisley eventually “sold-out” and bought into everything that Trimble helped to devise within the Anglo-Irish agreement. Unfortunately, Trimble’s somewhat inflated ego wins him few friends, but i still feel that his palce in history will be assured to some degree at least…

  • Ziznivy

    I opened up this thread in order to read a “history will look on Trimble kindly” comment ffs!! >:-(

  • Diluted Orange

    [i]”Trimble’s lack of charisma and failure to bring his grassroots with him helped lead to his eventual downfall.”[/i]

    Nail firmly hit on the head. This is a guy who now proclaims to be the quintessential man of peace, yet he was only elected to lead the UUP on the back of his merry jig hand in hand with Paisley down the Garvaghy Road. He never believed in the GFA himself, he never fully embraced it – he looked like he’d been railroaded into it.

    So if he couldn’t convince himself, how was he going to convince voters and his own party that the deal he’d struck was a good one? To be fair SF gave the DUP plenty of ammunition to throw at him with the whole decommissioning saga.

    The weakest of weak leaders – if he had stuck by his principles then the DUP would never have gained as much ground as they have done in recent years. With his natural flare for pompousity it’s a wonder why it’s taken him until now to join the Tories.

  • Ian Descarte-Sabart

    Lord Trimble’s a f*ckin eejit.

    I sympathise with him insofar as it wasn’t his fault the UUP vote completely collapsed; that was simply because the party was seen as too moderate and unionists just didn’t want to deal with Taigs running amok around the corridors of power. They fancied that no matter what Paisley was threatened with that the DUP would ‘never, never, never’ agree to any sort of deal with SF.

    Unfortunately reality intervened and the DUP, just like every other Unionist party since the beginning of the troubles, were backed into a tighter and tighter corner until they had ‘no’d’ themselves into near irrelevance. And don’t be surprised if the UUP vote starts to come back now over the next few years. After all, if the DUP have had to mellow their stance on powersharing, what is the point in voting for them when they too had to accept that there was no alternative to sitting in govt with SF?

    How ironic it would be if the DUP now shrivel into obscurity once again and the UUP comes back to reclim its place as the largest Unionist party while Trimble, having jumped ship to join the Tories, sees out the rest of his ‘career’ in the political wilderness waffling away about non-issues with the rest of the old farts in the HoL. Still, I can understand why he’d want to get the f*ck out of NI for good and ever..who in their right mind wouldn’t?

    He’ll always be remembered the way he was: A stupid nerdy-looking prat in a silly orange sash and bowler hat, prancing down the road hand in hand with Dr. No, with a buch of sad desperadoes cheering them both on.

  • Ziznivy,

    Surprised you’re still getting so worked up over Trimble. Time to let that anger go perhaps…

    In any case, the DUP are now going further than Trimble ever did during his tenure. It seems to me that most people who critcise Trimble tend him to personally attack him rather than to attack his political direction over the past decade. Whether he is ‘liked’ or not is somewhat irrelevent to whether or not historians will award him credit in decades to come. I simply suspect that they are more likely to than not…

  • Ziznivy

    I’m not getting worked up about Trimble. I supported the man and I am a UUP member. It just wasn’t worth my while opening up a thread to read, what was basically a cliché without any analysis.

    “History will treat him kindly” has been trotted out ad nauseum every time DT is mentioned, it is exasperating to read it again.

  • interested

    macswiney
    People attack Trimble personally…..

    Yet
    ‘Trimble added that he lost his Westminster seat in the last election was because voters had “failed to understand” what he was doing.’

    He just invites personal attacks. Even if we take the analysis he seems to be putting forward it couldnt of course be his fault for not explaining to people – no its all the stupid people’s fault for not understanding it.

    Even if you accept the (IMO flawed) analysis that the DUP are essentially only doing what Trimble did then at least they are doing it well and not making the complete hash of it which he did.

  • jaffa

    “Like a lecturer who never pauses for questions”

    I had one like that. As an unbearable blabbermouth I used to fall out with him and tell me was an arrogant bastard and he used to tell me I was going to fail his course. But to be fair to him whenever I’d put in another last minute piece of shit submission to one of his questions he’d spend ages (compared with other lecturers) on the commentary, telling me that while my understanding was deep and my brain almost adequate I am a LAZY BASTARD and build my intellectual castles on the sand of poorly prepared assumptions and a lack of objective data.

    The man was a fuckwit.

    Anybody have David Trimble as a lecturer?

  • dodrade

    Despite his personal and political flaws, which eventually finished his political career (in Northern Ireland anyway) history will be kinder to Trimble than the electorate will. He was a political necessity, the Unionist Kinnock who paved the way for acommodation with nationalism and Dublin, but who could not complete the journey. Ultimately only Paisley could seal the deal, but he would not be First Minister now had Trimble not already done most of the dirty work with regard to prisoner releases et al, steps Paisley could never have taken.

    Like Hume, Trimble unwittingly sacrificed his party for the sake of the peace process allowing the main antagonists to enjoy the spoils of power.

  • Political Anorak

    “Nail firmly hit on the head. This is a guy who now proclaims to be the quintessential man of peace, yet he was only elected to lead the UUP on the back of his merry jig hand in hand with Paisley down the Garvaghy Road. He never believed in the GFA himself, he never fully embraced it – he looked like he’d been railroaded into it.”

    Trimble did not embrace the agreement reached on Good Friday because he did not believe in it. He was forced into a position whereby he couldn’t reject it after the letter from Blair. If he had rejected Blairs ‘promise’ (soon to be broken ofcourse) he didn’t know what would happen afterwards – would Blair pursue a deal with nationalists.

    Trimble was supping with the devil. He had negotiated his way through it while the DUP and UKUP walked out and came to a point of no return.

    This is also demonstrated in the ‘smaller’ deals reached after the GFA. He laid down a position, then was forced back on his word – and thats what lost him the support of the Unionist community, not the agreement himself. The agreement became irrevelant as soon as it was signed.

    He saw it as the basis for further progress.

    His lack of committment to the deal is demonstrated in his disinterest after it was signed. His party accepted the deal and being more an association, instead of a political party people like Donaldson were able to voice concerns and rally opposition. This then gave the DUP and UKUP a hand in building a support base.

    Unionists backed the deal at the time, be it by a narrow margin, because it was seen ‘as the right thing to do’.

    The DUP will make the current deal work as no one dares to question Paisley whose party reflects a modern and disciplined group who will soon get over any annoyance through the ease of sweet political power not to forget the nice lunches!

    I’d agree that Drumcree 1995 gave Trimble the leadership of the Unionist Party.

  • darth rumsfeld

    What a pity the UUP didn’t send Trimble to Europe in the late 80s but plumped for duffer JimmyNick giving him a consolation prize for falling on Seamus Mallon’s sword. He’d have been perfect buried in Strasbourg, and he’ll be perfect as a Tory junior officer. But he was never a leader, as history will show.

  • Observer

    I agree with darth

    His attitude was more ‘we’re doing the right thing’

    goes along with the other UUP slogans

    ‘we’ve got a job to finish’

    ‘the future not the past’

    ANY MORE?

    to think all those losers who thought these things up are still in the party taking decisions

    but it was all trimbles fault.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    How About:

    ‘Simply British’ (with a picture of cod and chips)

    and: (FANFARE):

    ‘Decent people vote Ulster Unionist.’

    Straight out of the third form election contest dressing-up box.

    And they wonder why everyone ran rings round them.

    The best thing the UUP can do is disband, join the DUP and make history by reclaiming a couple of parliamentary seats for Unionism.

  • jaffa

    Alan McFarland and Sylvia Hermon should join Alliance. The DUP can have the rest.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    From a nationalist prespective far better to have a fundamentalist preacher than a more secular and moderate lawyer representing unionism both because he will tend to make poorer decisions on behalf of unionism and also because he will fail to garner British public opinion.

  • The Pict

    ‘Decent people vote Ulster Unionist.’

    No wonder they failed electorally!

  • Ondine

    How ironic it would be if the DUP now shrivel into obscurity once again and the UUP comes back to reclim its place as the largest Unionist party

    Wow, this looks just like the way that Workers’ Party fellow was talking about Sinn Fein on the other thread.

  • Observer

    “From a nationalist prespective far better to have a fundamentalist preacher than a more secular and moderate lawyer representing unionism both because he will tend to make poorer decisions on behalf of unionism and also because he will fail to garner British public opinion.

    Posted by It was Sammy McNally what done it on May 18, 2007 @ 10:50 PM”

    Fair point in a way. But the DUP represent the majority of Unionists in Northern Ireland.

    Paisley has done his party a service by going into Govt in NI. People on the mainland will have nothing to ‘moan’ about.

    The mean reason such people may moan is because they have not understood the nature of the situation. They have viewed it as a battle between Catholics and Protestants. Too some extent that statement may be true however I disagree. It is ultimately about identity.

    Plus can you really regard Paisley as the ‘fundamentalist preacher’? I’d would have accepted your point 6 months ago but a lot has changed.

    Paisley has changed dramatically in his outlook.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Observer, I agree with you the real issue is about identity – Irishness V Britishness. To the British public NI does not seem like Kent. Electing Paisley ( although he has shifted ground significantly) makes it more difficult for Unionists to argue it should be treated like Kent
    – that has got to be good for Nationalism.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “My work here is done. Time to move on.”

    Trimble’s work was done the very second he decided to go into government with the Shinners before any form of decommissioning or disbanding of the Rafia’s operational structures.
    He should fit right in with the Party of back-slapping, fox-hunting, Pimms-drinking, upper-crust (or so they like to think anyway) “snabby bastards” that call themselves the Conservatives…

  • Martin

    DaveY T gets a bad press these days, an easy target for everyone. Of course he doesn’t help himself with haughty pronouncements such as given in the linked article : ibid “it is a matter of finally being in the mainstream of British politics.”

    People would do well to wind the clock back nine years or so and give the man credit for the move he made at the time of the Good Friday Agreement. Gloating Duppers and begrudging Shinners alike might reflect upon the fact that their respective advance positions would not have been attained were it not for the moves made by the ruddy faced, hubris filled member for Lagan Valley. Ot wherever the hell it was. Even if he did put the Nobel cheque in his back pocket. Too Vanguard for some, too appeasing for others. And I’m not a fan by any means. But where would this forum be without short sighted hypocrites? Closed due to lack of interest no doubt.