Allister takes advantage of DUP split over Maze stadium…

JIM Allister continues to put pressure on his former DUP colleagues. Today, he calls on DUP Environment Minister Arlene Foster to de-list the protected H-blocks at the Maze Prison site, which her DUP Sports Minister colleague Edwin Poots said on Saturday “will still be there, irrespective of whether there’s a stadium developed there”. Allister is capitalising on fears within his former party that the preserved prison blocks will become a “shrine” to the IRA hunger strikers. Will Poots be hung out to dry?

  • GavBelfast

    It’s unfortunate that this subject now being exploited by people who would have been doing a better service by raising objections to the hare-brained nature of the whole thing years ago.

    Had the former Maze site merely been an old disused air-field or factory or farm, etc, it would still be a ludicrous place to build a sports stadium.

    That it was a prison with a legacy only complicates things because a stadium is only being considered there as political cover and ensures that siting a stadium there is driven by purely politican and entirely non-sporting reasons, which simply cannot be right.

    At least opposition is growing by the day in political parties, the press and business, commerce and tourism bodies, so we will see what happens. If and when it is scrapped, ends up in the courts or Poots’ deadline is shown to be entirely arbitrary and indefensible, we’ll also see how enthusiastic the ‘keen-not-to-offend-or-take-the-blame’ sports bodies really are for this doomed vanity project for a small Lagan Valley clique egged on by absentee NIO ministers now departed.

  • brendan,belfast

    There is a nice Irish News editorial on this issue today also – i don’t know how to link such things. If the decision to press ahead with the Maze goes ahead it will be Judicially Reviewed from about ten different angles:

    No consultation on (i) whether NI needs a new stadium, (ii) its location

    No transparent business plan or viability study

    No equity in dismissing Belfast sites.

    Poots is walking into a disaster here – and he is too blind to see it.

  • brendan,belfast

    This is the kind of nonsense Poots was coming out with in May 2006 when he was a mere constituency MLA.

    http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/baxterpr.pdf

    Back then he welcomed the balance between “the heritage in the International Centre for Conflict Transformation….and the hope offered by the stadium.”

    no mention of buildings already having been listed, and of the ICTC being an inevitability.

  • When will Jim Allister realise that no-one (particularly within mainstream Unionism) even listens to him anymore…?

  • Gum

    The DUP should remind Alister that his duties are in Europe and that if he is interested in local issues he can run against them in the next assembly or Westminster elections. I’d be surprised if they let Poots down here.

  • CURIOUS

    Not a word from wee Jeffery about all this. Has he got the flu?

  • At long last the start of the fall-out from the DUP’s dirty St Andrews deal with Sinn Fein. In another of the DUP’s disasters, should the NIO spin meisters not be referring to the new hunger striker shrine at the lúbra?

  • I Wonder

    I think the DUP are interested in moving Jim on before the next election.

    If he had an ounce of principle, he’d have resigned by now.

  • Ian

    “JIM Allister continues to put pressure on his former DUP colleagues. Today, he calls on DUP Environment Minister Arlene Foster to de-list the protected H-blocks at the Maze Prison site.”

    Surely the deal that the DUP insisted on with regards to Ministerial accountability means that Poots can’t delist the H-blocks without cross-community consensus, which Sinn Fein would veto?

  • “If he had an ounce of principle, he’d have resigned by now.”

    I don’t see why. People voted for him, not the party, and they knew that. If they voted for him based solely on his party-affiliation that’s their problem.

  • I Wonder

    “People voted for him, not the party”

    Rubbish. A failed politician from the 1980s?
    Who most people assumed had retired for good from public life? One of the worst speaking voices on TV/radio? Completely unpersonable.
    I can’t comment on his personal life for obvious reasons but Chris Gaskin may enlighten you…

  • GavBelfast

    “I think the DUP are interested in moving Jim on before the next election.”

    How do you suggest they do that? Set Jeffrey or Arlene on him?

    Poots is in trouble on this.

  • Richard James

    It’s a pity that the criticism of Jim Allister
    is limited to snide comments rather than any issues with his argument. Could it be he is spot on about Poots collaborating in the establishment of a terrorist shrine?

  • Frank Sinistra

    All the main parties agreed to this over 2 years ago.

    http://www.newfuturemazelongkesh.com/250205.htm

  • BonarLaw

    “When will Jim Allister realise that no-one (particularly within mainstream Unionism) even listens to him anymore…?”

    Hmm… let’s look at todays’ questions for OFMDFM:

    6. Mr Mervyn Storey (North Antrim):

    To ask the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister what legal restrictions are placed upon their office.

    and for DFP:

    1. Mr Mervyn Storey (North Antrim):

    To ask the Minister of Finance and Personnel whether he has any plans to implement the recommendations contained in the report ‘Legal Services in Northern Ireland: Complaints, Regulation, Competition’.

    Which MEP has recently issued press releases highlighting the “siamese twin” relationship between FM & DFM?

    Which MEP would have the professional background to be interested in legal services?

    Which MEP lives in Mr Storeys’ constituency?

    I think someone is listening…

  • Ignited

    Jim’s MEP seat is his in the same way Jeffrey kept his seat at Westminster when he jumped ship. If you live by the sword…..

    Agree with Gav and Richard, Poots is in trouble and appears to be securing the maze/long kesh site includes a shrine to terrorists. The divide in the DUP in this is very evident.

  • Frank Sinistra

    I though the best bit of Allister’s website was the climate change stuff in his bulletin.

    He quotes such luminaries as Roger Helmer and Nigel Lawson to rebut evidence that human activity is contributing to climate change.

    Cuckoo-cuckoo.

  • BonarLaw

    Talking of North Antrim was I the only Sluggerite to come across hordes of GAA shirted young republicans in the rain spreading the revolution amongst the sheep at Torr Head on Saturday? Training camp?

  • United Eire

    I Wonder

    You didn’t have the guts when you were running schitzo-blog to elaborate on your innuendo regarding Jim Allister. Please don’t now try to drag Chris Gaskin into you sordid little game.

  • BonarLaw

    I Wonder

    it would be ungallant to blow an alias so I won’t, but if I and United Eire know who you are and what you are hinting at so must others.

    So stop playing games- put up or shut up.

  • I wonder…

    As Jim Callaghan put it in the title of his autobiography: “Time and Chance.” 🙂

  • brendan,belfast

    Frank sinistra – it is not correct to say that all main parties agreed to these proposals two years ago. A panel made up of non elected nominees produced a report which THEY all agreed on. Where is the evidence the parties they were nominated by actually signed off on the content of the report?

    It is demonstrably clear now, and going back two years, that there is significant dissent within each of the main parties.

  • The Penguin

    It doesn’t really matter why people voted Jim Allister an MEP, the fact is that he is one and he is going to cause difficulties for the DUP at every opportunity, until he loses his seat or whatever.

    All parties agreed a couple of years ago to the notion of a stadium and a republican shrine at the Maze. Neither project was possible without allowing for the other.
    It is a bit rich for some of the DUP to be now acting as if this was something new. But some are, and they’ve chosen it as a battle ground after watching Big Ian and Martie cosying up to one another like a honeymoon couple.
    Poots is going to be caught between the hammer and the anvil, it may not be fair but that’s how things go.

  • martin walker

    Jim Allister is entitled to express his views, He was only elected a few years ago with the highest number of first preference views. His view are consistent with his election manifesto. He cannot be blamed for others going bck on theirs !

    It’s a pity Jim or Bob Macartney (or better both) weren’t in the assembly to expose the hypocrisy of Paisley and the DUP.

    Storey is a nobody and probably asking the questions on behalf of Paisley himself.

  • ciaran

    I don’t think any of the parties agreed to a republican shrine, not even sinn fein. What is proposed is a museum. And after getting a tour round the site I think it will be very interesting to a lot of people, whatever their background. I also think that given the fact we have to promote tourism here, this would be a big draw for foreign visitors as would a stadium if it were built there. Not that I think we need the stadium there are anywhere else for that matter.

  • Anybody seen Jeffrey Donaldson recently?
    Along with Poots, he was the Maze’s biggest political backer.
    Strange how he’s now gone quiet on the whole thing.

  • Northsider

    I may be wrong, but didn’t wee Jeffrey ask DFM if the intended Conflict Transformation Area was a ‘shrine to terrorism’ and the DFM flatly refused it would be.

    This was yesterday. At Stormont. Jim Allister probably didn’t see it 😉

    BTW – I am resolutely opposed to Jim on just about everything, but hey, what’s this? His views on climate change chime with my own!

  • pith

    Sure isn’t Ian Paisley tee-heeing and haw-hawing with Martin McGuinness in the lovely new northern north of Ireland the best shrine of all?

  • I may be wrong, but didn’t wee Jeffrey ask DFM if the intended Conflict Transformation Area was a ‘shrine to terrorism’ and the DFM flatly refused it would be

    You are 100% correct Northsider.
    But the question was more of the “Does the Prime-Minister agree with me that the Prime-Minister has done an outstanding job?” variety; I don’t think Jeffrey was really expecting our DFM to come out with a ” Yes, there will be a shrine to all our republican martyrs” response when he asked the question…if you know what I mean.

    But back to the main point, the Dupes’ pro-Maze camp (which publicly now appears to consist of Poots and the Paisleys) needs desperately somebody with a few more brain cells to make their case in the media. Jeffrey would have been logically the man, but I haven’t seen mnay articles or tv interviews from him recently arguing the case.