Willie McCrea and devolution of policing and justice

Yesterday, Willie McCrea wrote an opinion piece for the Newsletter in which he asserts that all is rosy in the garden. Apparently anyone who dares to criticise the DUP are speaking “republican propaganda”. Today there are three comments on the Newsletter article, none of which are complimentary. The Newsletter’s 25 Words SMS feature usually has 4 or 5 comments a day. This morning there around 8 comments directly criticising McCrea, mostly for yesterdays comments, and all 12 of todays comments are critical of the DUP or its leadership or the Free Presbyterian Church.On the previous page there is a small report by Stephen Dempster. This reports that the DUP “will not tolerate” the devolution of policing and justice (remember the same DUP that once would not tolerate SF in Government). Yet on Monday on Talkback, Ian Paisley Jnr had no correction for Conor Murphy who casually looked forward to the matter being devolved next year. There once appeared to be a consensus that either the UUP or SDLP would take the post when it was devolved. That seems to have disappeared, which is interesting as logically one would expect the DUP and SF to agree to rotate the position amongst themselves. A bit like the post of Speaker. Now remind me who got Speaker first….

  • brendan,belfast

    And Ian Paisley has just casually announced at the end of GMU that policing and justice will be devolved “eventually, it devolution works, and I think it will.” Willie is out.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I actually missed the end of that interview earlier. Thanks for that.

  • Pól

    Is there any scope for a joint FM/DFM type arrangement?

    It probably makes sense for SF or DUP to have it anyway. As we have seen with everything, they will have to jointly agree any decisions anyway. No point in bringing the SDLP or UUP in as a 3rd wheel.

  • Yokel

    So a massive 10 people criticise McCrea..I’m surprised it isnt 10 000.

    The DUP don’t intend let this job slip into a rotation over this Assembly’s life.

  • Matthew Wray

    Clearly McCrea is annoyed that power sharing has been successful so far. He’s pretending to gloat and is hoping to provoke republicans into a knee jerk reaction that would upset the apple cart.
    Very disturbing that a so called “Democratic” MP would try and turn the clock back like this.

  • Porlock

    Michael;

    I think most of us are well aware that the majority of letters and texts in the News Letter are put up jobs by both UUP and DUP hacks.

    Before every election Cunningplan House swings into action with a deluge from “Drumbo Unionist” “Ultonian” “Portrush Unionist” et al, but it never makes any difference to the end result.

    Same this time. Its petty point scoring by a very small number of people. The DUP is reasonably safe. What happened to the protests we were promised against Paisley on July 12th? Where were all the protests at the time of BIC and NS meetings?

    Your own function on this site is to start threads attacking the DUP or, in the case of the Union Group, members of your own party. Try putting your own house in order first, mate.

    Porlock

  • Michael Shilliday

    Porlock,

    I think that you’re about 18 months behind the times.

  • steve48

    What was interesting about Weepin’ Willies political testimony was the amount of information he left out. This is the same Weepin’ Willie who stood crying in Parliament about the steps that were being taken. The same Weepin’ Willie who told the people of south Antrim at election time that he would not be supporting the restoration of the assembly unless he seen verifiable decommissioning, the return of the £26 million from the Northern Bank and the disbandment of the army council.
    Either Willie’s conditions have been met and we all missed the press coverage or Willie has rolled back on his conditions for supporting the process.
    While he claims the IRA have been defeated he also then warns unionists of the continuing efforts to advance their agenda. Its one or the other Willie and its clear that Sinn Fein are more than happy with the wee ulster nationalism of the DUP and the fact that the big man can’t make a speech, write a letter or issue a press release without Martin signing of on it.
    Perhaps Weepin’ Willie should remind us again what role did Martin play in the Provies or has that slipped from his mind just like the preconditions he set.

  • Apparently anyone who dares to criticise the DUP are speaking “republican propaganda

    And are also in danger of being “excommunicated” from the Free Presbyterian church. Willie has kicked out one of his own elders for speaking his mind. DUP…as “democratic” as they always were.

  • McCrea’s comments are bound to have annoyed a lot of Free Ps like myself. The man is a total hypocrite. The “gains” he cites were all achieved by Trimble and his position in supporting a sodomite funding/terrorist inclusive gov are incompatible with Scripture.

  • Yokel

    Steve

    Maybe Weepin Willie knows more about Martin’s role than you and I and thats one reason why he’s a lot quieter.

    Look at the DUP at the moment, having a bloody great time. Isn’t that somehow suspect?

  • circles

    What scripture would that be Hanson? Or are you just making scripture up on the hoof?

    Or maybe we should have a “scripture” based Stormont – bring back stoning, no more votes for women, death to the non-believers….. blah, blah nonsense.

  • steve48

    Of course people have to make up their own mind if “Mountain Climber” was a conduit or a handler. It would appear that the DUP have as a body decided that he was a handler and therefore Martin was really a good guy. Would explain the cosy nature of the relationship he has with Paisley and the support the Weepin’ Willies of the party are now giving to the arrangements.

  • Cruimh

    I’ll bet this just made your day Michael 😉

    “MPs and peers have voted Northern Ireland’s First Minister Ian Paisley opposition parliamentarian of the year.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6906105.stm

  • Circles,
    You can talk all you like but there is no Biblical support for funding sodomy, breaking your word and sharing power with killers.

    Nor is there political logic to the current set up.

  • jpeters

    Hanson

    i know you believe strongly in a vision of strong scripturally moral government but come on where has it ever happened, afganistan? Democracies by definition are pretty immoral and full of sharp dealing and jettisoned principals, you would be better served not looking at government through the looking glass of the Free P church, you will only ever be disappointed

    the alternative is direct rule by godless liberals, joint authority with papists or anarchy!

  • steve48

    For those who voted DUP here are the first two verses and chorus of Crodile Tears

    How come everybody knows what’s best for me
    When nobody has ever asked me what I see
    I know how you like to talk
    And I’ve seen you boast
    But let me raise my glass
    And I’ll propose a toast

    To one false tear, a broken promise
    One more year and I’ll try feeling modest
    Crocodile tears stop pretending
    That you care about me

    I know you don’t care
    I see through the tears you’re crying
    I know it ain’t fair
    Maybe you should stop your lying

  • steve48

    *Crocodile

  • jpeters,
    “Democracies by definition are pretty immoral and full of sharp dealing and jettisoned principals”

    It seems so. No place for a minister then.

  • jpeters

    Hanson

    nope not really a place for anyone who has very strong evenagelical beliefs, in this regards im extremely surprised at the DUPs recent pragmatic approach, saying that i should be surprised at many of their members participation in politics at all, render onto caesar and all that

    Dont you think what the DUP are doing is the best for NI all round, whats your alternative?

  • jpeters,
    As readers of my blog will know i most certainly do not think “what the DUP are doing is the best for NI all round”.

    The alterative?

    Well I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers but personally I believe in direct rule from Westminster with a greater role for the N.I Grand Committee.

  • GavBelfast

    The thing about politicians of the style and quality of William McCrea is that they can always say that it was God’s will, whatever the outcome.

    It’s entirely possible that he has convinced himself that everything he wrote in his News Letter piece is the way things are, the Truth.

    The Devolvement of Policing & Justice next year? Let’s see: another fudge that keeps process going, perhaps it ill be a bullet that will have to be bitten to escape water charges for another year to save face?

  • jpeters

    hanson

    seems like a cop out to me mate, i like to keep may friends close and my politicans closer!

  • Ginfizz

    Hanson

    “Well I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers but personally I believe in direct rule from Westminster with a greater role for the N.I Grand Committee.”

    Straight of ATW – come on, can you not think for yourself at all?

  • jpeters,
    I what respect? I don’t believe that either Unionist party was serious about any form of gov which didn’t involve them keeping their big pay packets.

    Westminster rule would have left a lot of MLAs on the dole. That, in my opinion, is why the DUP were never serious about “working to make direct rule more accountable” if devolution couldn’t be restored on “a democratic basis” (2005 manifesto).

  • Ginfizz,
    Yes, I know it’s on ATW. It’s also in the 2005 DUP manifesto. Just because some other people say it doesn’t mean I cannot think for myself. It means I agree.

  • Ginfizz

    Really? And tell us all just how this direct rule with an enhanced role for the NI Grand Committee option would better serve the interests of the Unionist community. You are a Unionist of course aren’t you?

  • Ginfizz,
    Yes. And being a Unionist I do not go around calling ministers of the Crown “squatters” and saying that I am fighting the British PM, not Dublin.

    It would better serve the interests of Unionists by:
    1. Keeping thugs out of gov.
    2. Saving money which is squandered on those wasters up at Stormont.

  • jpeters

    hanson

    not saying the system of government we have here is perfect or that our policitians are competant, but what we have is an elected body making decisions which is directly accountable to the people of northern ireland. Direct rule undermines the ability of the people of NI to feel connected, to influence and have confidence in their elected representatives and that would remain the case even if the direct rule system was tweaked. Just because the DUP and SF are behaving in a way that many find reprehensible (in the case of SF me included) doesnt mean the parliamentary system we have is bankrupt, in fact its the only one that will work in NI for many years to come (i hope):)

    It all boils down to the following:
    1. the constitution arranges are in place and are not moving
    2. we have to vote for the party that represents our interests within the system

  • jpeters

    ps its safer having the thugs and lyers in government with their pay packets dont you think? When they were fighting and lying no body could do anything about them now if they mess up in government all we have to do is tick the right box at the next election problem solved!

    pps sorry havent read your other stuff im a strictly slugger man!

  • OK. I agree that direct rule isn’t perfect either. In my estimation it is the lesser of two evils.

    “what we have is an elected body making decisions which is directly accountable to the people of Northern Ireland”
    What we have is an elected body which includes 4 parties which will always (for all time) be in office as long as they can get 1 person in 10 to vote for them. It is an “elected body” but it is not a democratic one. One of the parties locked into that system only got there through the use of violence over a 30 year period.

    “It all boils down to the following:
    1. the constitution arranges are in place and are not moving”

    Perhaps. Doesn’t mean they are right though. They leave us with a gov without an opposition. Politicians with no one to hold them to account inside the chamber and look at them critically with a view to bringing that gov down and replacing it with another is very dangerous.

    “2. we have to vote for the party that represents our interests within the system”

    No party can represent my interests within that system because the system is corrupt.

  • “now if they mess up in government all we have to do is tick the right box at the next election problem solved!”
    Did you vote SF/IRA at the last poll? I thought you were a Unionist;)
    Who is going to overtake SF/IRA on the nationalist side? The SDLP? As long as SF/IRA get 1/10 of the vote they will be in gov.

  • jpeters

    dont agree the system is corrupt only perhaps the parties. Any of the parties have the option to go into opposition and it has to be remembered that a large number of parliaments are elected on a PR system, this means any gov will be a collection of interests rather than a single view. Admittedly its not a good system but given the sufferings of NI at least exaserbated by single view governance (old Stormont and Direct Rule) i think it certainly the lesser of two evils.

    To call a system of government ‘corrupt’ (though i think you mean morally wrong in this case) is not wrong but to suggest it should be changed without the necessary mandate and/or hasnt totally messed up the running of the country is quite dangerous

  • jpeters

    hanson

    im quite surprised you though i was a unionist! im not really enamoured by the nationalist politics practiced by both sides in NI. I try to judge each issue on its own merits.

    As who will get in next i wouldnt under estimate the electorate given the changes we have seen in the past few years and the potential senerios we might see.

    SDLP/UU used to be dominant and were toppled did anyone see they would fall so low? plus alliance seems to be growing and the GReens are a nice surprise and you might see LP and FF organising as well!

    And you never know some major party might do its job and volunteer itself into opposition!

  • lib2016

    Unionists saw nothing undemocratic during fifty years when no-one outside the Orange Lodges and their puppet government could hope for power or even good government.

    What we have now isn’t perfect but it is an improvment on the past and in any case continuing Direct Rule from London has become as vain a hope as integration with Britain.

    When the Irish Government starts providing funds for the development of our roads it knows that it will also have a direct voice in what goes on here. ‘Taxation without representation’ is a two-way street.

    The old Norn Ireland was supported financially and physically for far too long by Westminster. They have realised their mistake and know that we have to build new institutions and find a way of living together.

    The DUP are simply facing up to reality, and naturally enough doing it with a maximum of political spin.

    Their first task is to make Northern Ireland work, then to ensure it’s continuation under which ever government we eventually find ourselves.

    Democracy will decide that last point, not bluster and threats.

  • “To call a system of government ‘corrupt’ (though i think you mean morally wrong in this case) is not wrong but to suggest it should be changed without the necessary mandate and/or hasnt totally messed up the running of the country is quite dangerous”

    Sorry – I didn’t mean to suggest I wanted an armed uprising:)

    Just typed “corrupt” into an on-line dictionary:
    cor•rupt
    –adjective
    1. guilty of dishonest practices [like lies]
    2. debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society. [I believe murderers are wicked]

    I stand by the use of the term:)

    lib2016 ,
    I have only been around for the last 20 odd years so cannot be blamed for not complaining about the old Stormont.

    “What we have now isn’t perfect but it is an improvment on the past”
    Replacing one immovable gov (old Stormont) with another immovable gov (d’hount) is no improvement. It’s a return to dictatorship by immovable gov.

    “When the Irish Government starts providing funds for the development of our roads it knows that it will also have a direct voice in what goes on here. ‘Taxation without representation’ is a two-way street. “
    Agreed.

  • jpeters

    hanson

    in terms of politics i prefer the financial abuse of position usage but i take your point.

    as for the rest are you advocating joint sovereignty!?

  • jpeters,
    I am not advocating joint sovereignty. I am stating that I agree with lib2016’s assertion that the Irish gov has strings attached to its money. Unionists who jump up and down with glee at the money coming from the South are delusional. The very fact that it is coming from them undermines British sovereignty in N.I.

  • jpeters

    Hanson

    Any strings are only moral ones if that, the strings attached to EU money we recieve are far more extensive

  • lib2016

    jpeters,

    The Dublin government has been deeply involved in the governing of Northern Ireland ever since the Anglo-Irish Agreement over twenty years ago.

    Though I do agree that Brussels has a huge voice in what goes on here the ultimate voice of authority over what the Brits is Washington.

    The Brits were responsible for the mess here and no-one is going to allow them to make another one. If any unionist is still daft enough to believe that London will defy Washington then they have another think coming.

    And morality won’t enter into any of it – NI under Britain was a ‘failed entity’. That’s why the DUP have realised that they have to build a model which actually works if there is to be a NI entity at all.

    In the same way Sinn Fein have realised that the Brits CAN’T leave a vacuum behind them so a working Stormont suits their purposes.

  • “The Brits were responsible for the mess here”

    30 years of terror from the IRA are responsable for the mess here. Don’t believe Dr P’s attempts to cover for Marty by blaming the Brits.

  • circles

    Hanson – to get back to your original point of “financing sodomisers”, breaking your word and sitting down to sup with killers, I must say I was then rather surprised to see your support for continued direct rule by a british government who do all of the above.

    Are they somehow immune to the requirements of scripture I wonder – or are british sodomisers acceptable to the great sky fairy?

  • jpeters

    lib

    1. i know how long the republic has been involved in NI. its the money aspect that is new

    2. Washington may have authority over the Brits but its to make them support the US, I dont think the current US administration cares what the brits do in thier own backyard. (whether the brits are following the party line following last weeks speech and the embattled nature of the whitehouse at the moment is another matter)

    3. Therefore i dont see the link of washington to the UK here. I think you may be exaggerating a bit, the US in the current peace process never contradicted or suggested anything radically different from the labour government

    4. I wasnt referring to ‘morality’ (i wouldnt dare, thats a dangerous road!) but the moral (as in morally) obligations that are implicit in cross border funding, the current cross border political arrangement doesnt really seem to deal with hard cash thats why the funding appraoch is different but carries no legal ties

    5. I don’t really like the words ‘failed entity’ NI is still under the UK whether we like it or not and the government has taken about 4 basic forms, the forms may have failed (up to now and we will see how it goes) but the same state is essentially the same. im glad DUP/SF (esp DUP though i dislike their politics)are making what seems a genuine attempt at running NI

    6. As for SF (not their greatest fan either) im not sure of their purpose, that is something they should seriously re evaluate i feel, though i think they are happy enough just ruling for now.

  • Are they somehow immune to the requirements of scripture I wonder – or are british sodomisers acceptable to the great sky fairy?

    The British government haven’t been bellowing it out from a pulpit, every Sunday, week in week out, for the last forty years.

    Paisley’s biggest crime is his hypocrisy.

    I’m coming at this from probably the opposite direction than hanson, but I agree with his solution, I don’t want to be governed by ex(?)terrorists, their sympathisers or fundamentalist preachermen.

    My ideal Northern Ireland is a secular, liberal one and the Dupes and SF aren’t going to bring that about any time shortly. Westminster isn’t perfect, but the HOC is a much more better bet than the charade up at Stormont for protecting the civil and social liberties that we are entitled to expect in western democracy in 2007.

  • Bigger Picture

    Hanson

    I have read your argument and it seems to be based on nothing more than what you feel is morally acceptable. That is a fair enough thing to do.

    However, i agreed with the DUP’s strategy and that of going into government. I was sick of super prods saying how we are all so loyal and then complaining that we are being ignored by every establishment including the government in Whitehall. I was far happier to see a strong unionist voice representing me at Stormont and standing up to Republicans by engaging with them face to face and standing up to the enemy. However Big Ian has let the side down with his shenanigans with McGuiness and with that i do not agree in any shape or form. However i believe that the noises other DUP MLA’s have made should be welcomed and seen as a return to a normal hardline unionist approach ie Campbell, Dodds

    However i will challenge any anti-agreement unionist on this site to explain to me why it would be better to abstain from the democratic system, instead of challenging Republicanism head on in any assembly and government and standing up to them.

    Your moral arguments Hanson are fine, as are those based on scripture. The vast majority of people out there however will not vote for a politician on their scriptural beliefs and therefore your argument will only ever appeal to a certain group and if your that fed up with the doc on these scirpture issues, then why don’t you do the moral thing and leave the church and resign your membership.

  • circles

    oneill- i was not talking about Paisley I was posing the question to Hanson

  • Bigger picture,
    “I have read your argument and it seems to be based on nothing more than what you feel is morally acceptable”
    No. It is also political. Read it again:)

    “I was far happier to see a strong unionist voice representing me at Stormont and standing up to Republicans by engaging with them face to face and standing up to the enemy. “

    As P said – the enemy is Brown, not Dublin. No one is fighting the IRA at Stormont.

    “However Big Ian has let the side down with his shenanigans with McGuiness and with that i do not agree in any shape or form. However i believe that the noises other DUP MLA’s have made should be welcomed and seen as a return to a normal hardline unionist approach ie Campbell, Dodds “

    P’s relationship with McGuiness is central to the process. They are political Siamese twins. Campbell and Doods are wasters who should be out of the party if they have an ounce of principle and are upset by P’s “shenanigans with McGuiness”.

    “However i will challenge any anti-agreement unionist on this site to explain to me why it would be better to abstain from the democratic system, instead of challenging Republicanism head on in any assembly and government and standing up to them.”

    1. It’s not democratic. See comments above.
    2. No one is challenging SF/IRA in the Assembly. Both Unionist parties are in gov with them.
    3. A new party needs to be formed to, as you put it, “challenge Republicanism head on in any assembly” (and sell out Unionists for that matter too).

  • Have to go! It’s been fun!

  • lib2016

    Hanson,

    hope you return – the mess here pre-dates anything the current version of Sinn Fein might have done.

    Unionism was never able to recognise that a minority of more than thirty per cent could not be excluded forever. In 1920 the Six Counties had every advantage which the South lacked, particularly the advantage of early industrialisation while the South in 1920 has been described as ‘a farm and a brewery’.

    By 1938 the unionists were back at Westminster pleading poverty with an average income similar to that in the South. Only war profiteering and acess to the postwar boom kept things afloat as long as they did…and the fact that those goodies weren’t shared on an equitable basis brought the inevitable result.

    The GFA wouldn’t have happened without support from the Democrats in America. They will be back in power in two years and Brown is already publicly proclaiming his allegiance to them rather than the Bushies.

    When McGuinness says that there will be big advances for NI soon he isn’t kidding. Britain has helped Bush to destroy American foreign policy in the Middle East and bridges need to be built.

    Blair negotiated the British withdrawal here and will do the same for Iraq. A glorified local council at Stormont is very small beer, only useful to strictly local politicans.

    What counts is the removal of the British occupation forces which can never be deployed here again.

  • Interesting that McCrea’s litany of rollercoaster DUP victories over republicans, seems to somehow omit his former Mid-Ulster seat where he was totally trounced by Derry ‘blow-in’ Martin McGuinness…

  • pia lugum

    Willie was also trounced in Mid-Ulster by the UUP on occasion – 1996 I think. Perhaps Billy the Buffoon could have another go at stealing the MU crown now that weeping Willie has been wiped off the Loyalist arch in Magherafelt and put in his box at the Limavady Twelfth platform!

  • Ginfizz

    Hanson

    So you would better serve the interests of the Unionist community by handing control of their affairs to people they cannot elect or unelect at election time and denying them the opportunity to have accountable representatives who they can turf out if they want in a devolved assembly?

    Try not to let your hatred of Paisley and the DUP cloud your judgement. Unionism’s interests are not best served by direct rule. And where does the Grand Committee fit in to this great plan? What would it do? How would its role be enhanced? What happens if SF drop their abstensionist policy and take sets on the Committee, what then, will you be calling for the House of Lords to govern Northern Ireland because its the one place that you’ll never find an awful smelly nationalist to deal with?

  • Sean

    How is hard line Unionism possibly going to help in the administration of northern Ireland?

    If you throw up hardline unionism you will get hard line republicanism and nothing will get done and Storomont will collapse into ignominy again.

    as for direct rule, only a fool would fail to recognise that London is taking a hands off aproach as a precursor to backing their way out the door and leaving Ireland alone as an entity

    as for the topic of this thread, Is it not kind of London to let wee willy set the governments policy for them. No one but whitehall will decide if and when the justice powers are devolved paisley and willy might think they can dictate to London but I am afraid they will discover who the real dictators are

  • Ginfizz

    Sean

    Devolution is the best possible option for cementing the Union and stabilising Northern Ireland’s place within it.

  • jpeters

    i wish we could stop worrying whether devolution cemented or weakened the union and get on with governing it

  • Ginfizz

    JTPeters

    Agreed, and in so doing society becomes stabilised and normal ……and still inside the Union!! Hurrah!

  • jpeters

    Gin

    Dont care im waiting for the united states of europe 🙂

  • Ginfizz

    JTP

    You’ll be in for a long wait then!

    :0)

  • jpeters

    Gin

    So be it we are still arguing about 1690 NI people dont mind long waits and longer arguments 😉

  • Sean

    d

  • Sean

    Gin
    I would argue that devolution cements the Idea that nIreland does not need London and infact London is the greatest impediment to a more prosperous nIreland.

    while this might not be a call to United Ireland I think this will bring the idea of union with Dublin more to the fore and entirely more attractive than unionism with London

  • lib2016

    Irish reunification will not be a dramatic one-off event but the end of a process of drift which has already begun.

    The Britain which unionists imagine they belong to is as false a vision as the Britain of Major’s ‘Back to Basics’ speech which led to such hilarity, especially amongst the British.

    The future lies with Europe and the wider world, not with an adjacent off-shore island still struggling to find a role for itself.

  • pia lugum

    Fact is that wee Willie courted the extremists for years whilst hiding away behind the RUC. This was very very profitable – to Willie! And very damaging to other modest unionists who wanted to make sensible progress. Willie could conduct a campaign of villification of republican and unionist alike with the knowledge that six to ten policemen were constantly tied up looking after his personal safety from all angles. The IRA were always grateful to him for taking these men off their back especially in Mid-Ulster.
    Now he is also trying to support Paisley’s courting of Mid-Ulster’s Martin McGuiness and all things republican. It can’t be at all easy for William to sleep these nights.
    He is lucky however that he has the brains, talent and old time courtesy of young Ian McCrea by his side. This must surely be a great comfort to old Willie especially now when he is also into the ‘ex-communication’ of nasty smart-ass church elders who dare to talk-back when their place is to listen and obey.
    I wonder where Willie picked up this idea of infallibility……..

  • CTN

    Actually Pia I think the DUP are more happy to have McGuinness at their sides grinning like Paisley’s chimp….

  • pia lugum

    ‘Actually Pia I think the DUP are more happy to have McGuinness at their sides grinning like Paisley’s chimp….’

    I have never had any doubt about that CTN. This unusual alliance means a vast amount of personal income to the Paisleys, the McCreas, the Dodds, etc. – need I go on?
    Judging by the published statistics of past and present Assembly expense claims, the only people who actually appear NOT to be in it for the money are McGuiness and Co. – Martin is probably not grinning all the way to the bank. Indeed his pictures alongside Paisley are much more akin to those of an extatically happy fisherman who, with a little help from Tony Blair, has himself just pulled his best catch of the year safely out on to the rocks!
    Methinks Willie appears to be very much driven by the allure of the government’s gold and his own overwhelming lust for patronage, titles, and so on – just as much as some of our kids are hooked on drugs and glue, etc. at the other end of the spectrum.
    Hopefully Willie will get a grip and find a new direction very soon. He might even be hung back up on his own arch in Magherafelt for next year!

  • CTN

    Agree with a lot of that Pia.

    When the next elections are held the Paisley will out vote SF, return top dog again, re-inforce that trend for generations and St Andrews will be formally ratified by the northern electorate.

    Although both parties have suffered defections the DUP will get over their losses as they have McGuinness under the union jack.

    The McGuinness/Adams autocracy however will not be able to progress this status quo in the direction of a UI as they have no plan B and voters have holed them below their waterline in Dublin.

    In the long grass it is Paisley who has hooked the fish…..

  • Sean

    CTN
    Paisley has promissed to retire before the next election and that will lead to a power vacuum and a great deal of infighting. Add to that if the UUP can find a leader and a direction they might become resurgent and put a great deal more pressure on the DUP then they had in the last election and you might find a big vote split in the unionist columns.

    The dark horse in all of this is the possibility of a 3rd party emerging from the ranks of the disaffected DUPers, this option appeals to people like Robyn Stirling who never really had a legitimate expectation of advancement up the DUP chain of command but might fancy his chances in a party he helps to form

    Paisley could be a liar, it wouldnt be the first time he went back on his word. NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!

    Of course the same could be said for the dynamics between SDLP and SF but I think with some of the shady deals they have pulled as of late and with their rather wishy washy attempts at leading the nationalist community they have played themselves into relegation. Living off the votes of those nationalists that as yet can not make themselves vote SF. But much like the UUP if they can find a charismatic leader with an forceful agenda then they too could re-emerge as a viable political party

    Having said all that my guess would be that the next election will see a lot more vote splitting in the ranks of unionism and consolodation of SF’s voters we will see a much closer finish between the DUP and SF with the possibility that SF will win out on the vote splitting

  • CTN

    I agree that whatever his bletherings Paisley may not sit as FM but he will get out on the hustings and IMHO ensure the DUP return as top dog again.

    Yes there is going to be a leadership race probably between Dodds, Robinson and Campbell but as the DUP suffered for years under the UU’s shawdow, I fancy them to keep it civil in order to maintain their monopoly.

    There certainly will be a new unionist party- a micro version already exsists in Ballymena called the UUCP and includes most if not all of the ex DUP councilors, Jim Allister is a potential recruit but he has no real presence of his own and I don’t think this motley crew with or witout him will break up the unionist vote too severely- certainly not permanently. I expect the DUP to gain at the expense of UU with their bigger and winners profile.

    The Euro’s could be an interesting exception to this as Allister stands against him former colleagues- again I fancy the DUP to win out but as you alluded to the vote will split and this could provide effervescent relief to nationalists.

    However with SF’s hammering down south and loss of many activists due to the McGuinness/Adams autocracy’s obvious incompetence, we could also see a reduced nationalist showing….

  • The Third Policeman

    SF really have little to worry about in the next election, it’ll probably be a matter of consolodation etc etc. Their big worry of course would be either an SDLP/FF alliance or of course if FF starting to organise up north. With the prospect of a FF government on both sides of the border many many many nationalists (hell even a few small u unionists!) would be signing up to Bertie and co.

    I wonder how many assembly terms it’ll be until elections are fought on the prospect on winning more powers away from WM. God knows the Doc is dying to get his hands on a proper parliament, Scottish style.

  • Sean

    CTN
    your Polly Anna like belief in the DUP is really quite amusing. The leadership race will never be friendly or civil as politics is not about making friends but attaining and maintaining power. The Robinsons and Dodd will do just about anything get the seat of power and what about little ian you don’t think hes been hanging around for his health do you.

    TTP
    I don’t believe you will see FF organize north of the border for a very long time. The last election was ample proof that the border requires 2 entirely different sets of politics and until Sinn Fein show them hows its done they wont want to get caught up in the process. Look at the bollocking SF took after the last election Bertie is far too fragile for that

  • lib2016

    Sean,

    The extent of the changes happening here are being totally underestimated. Who could have seen the unionist population backing powersharing to the extent that they very obviously have? Hardly a word of protest at the Twelfth despite Sinn Fein in government.

    The talk about FF organising in the North leaves out the fact that only a few years ago the same things were being said about the SDLP and Fine Gael.

    Never forget that there’s another big bloc of Northern rightwing populists who will be sending representatives to the Dail in a very few years.

    Southern political parties are well aware that there’s more that one community living here.

  • Cruimh

    “Who could have seen the unionist population backing powersharing to the extent that they very obviously have? Hardly a word of protest at the Twelfth despite Sinn Fein in government.”

    certainly makes a lot of past republican rhetoric look very foolish, doesn’t it ? Claims that it would never happen, reasons would always be found etc etc mischief making or genuine ignorance of my community ?

  • lib2016

    Cruimh,

    ‘certainly makes a lot of past republican rhetoric look very foolish…’

    To be fair Sinn Fein leaders were earlier than the UUP to point out that ‘Nevair, Nevair, Nevair’ actually meant ‘sometime soon’.

  • Cruimh

    Wasn’t talking so much about the leaders Lib and it has to be said they said different things to different audiences.

  • Sean

    crumb
    is there a bridge some where missing its troll

    the nationalist communities have always tried to advance the living together in peace but as the loyalist would not countenance treating the nasty taigs as equal the war was both inevitable and predictable.

  • CTN

    Third- “SF really have little to worry about in the next election”

    They do in Dublin were they look certain to lose an MEP and several councilors based on the drop in their vote- 2004 61,000 to 2007 34,000….

    Sean- “politics is not about making friends but attaining and maintaining power.”

    All the more reason just to have a simple democratic leadership election instead of a public bloodbath.

    Before you lecture the DUP on the fundamentals of power do well to remember they have the most power in the assembly.

    Paisley maybe a unity figure but the rest you mentioned aren’t entirely stupid- they did help defeat every other party in the last 2 elections…

  • hib

    Sean- your positive adjustment here amazes me- what makes you think the DUP will self destruct because some of its MP’s want the doc’s job.

    Politics is about building success and the DUP have learnt to be successful through maintaining their party unity.

    There is no reason that they will change their formula and self destruct just to hand the provies a victory.

    Have SF supporters still not awoke from their dream of trebling seat numbers down south- it seems that the next episode of Alice in Wonderland is DUP meltdown- just in time for a united Ireland in 2016- wake up sonny…

  • I wonder…

    Can’t help but comment that other (male) posters refer to ATW and aren’t banned or cautioned for being off-topic. Strange that…wouldn’t you say? Oh no, you wouldn’t..

  • Sean

    CTN
    The DUP did not defeat every other party in the last election, they finished with more seats but they do not in any way have a majority or for that matter even superior numbers. As for power in the assembly they do not have any more power than SF has, its called a mutual veto. Ian Paisley can not so much as issue a press release with out the approval of Marty McG. He might be called Deputy but he has every bit as much power as wee Ian.

    hib
    The Dup have never had a leadership convention so of course they all appear to get along and play well together but when paisley finally retires the repurcusions may be huge. we all know that there are more than a few pretenders to the throne and they will not go quietly into the darkness. First they have loaded the party with leadership candidates who took their marbles and went to the DUP when they didnt get what they wanted from the UUP, so loyalty is not exactly their strongpoint. Second there is a large and ever growing disaffected membership with in the DUP who just might walk over to allister and his hard line bluster about unionism. It will all depend on how well the country settles down into peace and power sharing, if it goes back to violence then all bets are off, if paisley manages the transition off the throne well then they may just have inherited the throne as the “natural” party of unionism. But if the UUP and the disaffected DUPers get their act together it might not be down to a DUP self destruct as much as a huge vote split that allows another party to ride right up the middle un-oposed.

  • CTN

    Don’t mean 2 pour water on your view but facts are after winning the election the DUP have more ministries and subsequently more clout than all the other parties.

    In relation to your list of ifs ands and buts, note this article pertains to the DUP’s most “hardline” member boxcar Willie McCrea and how he supports St Andrews after outflanking McGuinness/Adams at the negotiations.

    All the other “hardline” MP’s are happily on board collecting their salaries whereas our uncharismatic and previously little known friend Allister has a record of resigning having previously done so.

    All the wishful thinking in the world from republicans won’t make unionism implode- indeed it will give them an incentive to close ranks.

    Only an accountable and on the pulse republican leadership can advance its position.

  • hib

    Sean-

    “there is a large and ever growing disaffected membership with in the DUP who just might walk over to allister”

    “But if the UUP and the disaffected DUPers get their act together it might not be down to a DUP self destruct as much as a huge vote split that allows another party to ride right up the middle un-oposed”.

    Congratulations you have just invented a new unionist party and rejuvenated the UU under an unelectable Reg Empey- clean out your bong kid!!

  • Sean

    Hib
    seeing as you are the unionist and so are all the drug dealers I would sugest its you who would own a bong

    I have not invented a new party as CTN pointed out it already exists in Ballymena(heroin capital of Ireland)

    And every dog in the street knows that under Empey the UUp is a dead duck. However as he hasnt been apointed dictator for life why do you believe it will go into the next election under him.

    CTN do you see a vote split as a unionist implosion I do not I see it as spreading the vote into too many names and allowing SF to perhaps finish first in the seat count ahead of 3 unionist challengers

    every one(for now) is playing nice nice under paisleys leadership hoping to position themselves for the in fight to come but when he goes the mask will slip and we will see who the robinsons and dodd really are

  • hib

    I thought my blog name might make it obvious I was pro UI- I just happen to think Adams is incapable of delivery.

    ctn does not refer to a party but a micro cover group for dissidents peculiar to Ballymena only which does not as yet even operate as a micro party and certainly poses no threat to Paisley’s poll toppers for the foreseeable future.

    As for the UU your blog refered to the next election were bar death or tragic accident Empey will lead the UU therefore both my comment and yours about his “dead duck” image are pertinent here and you are now arguing against yourself in terms of chronology as the UU will not be able to get it together in time for the next elections under the said “dead duck”.

    Your claim that all drug dealers are unionists is purile – don’t tell me all corruption is unionist as well and the criminal assets seizures against the provisional movement’s senior members is just part of the same 4th dimension where SF treble seat numbers down south…

  • CTN

    Hi Sean,

    We can technically call the UUCP a party but they are only an amalgam of DUP fundys with a few hill billie supporters for now- none of them have been elected as a UUCP candidate and they haven’t as yet established a formal party structure.

    They may in the future or fuse another party together with other people like Fraser or Allister but it’s unlikely they will be ready in time for the next election and with their limited marketability are unlikely to make any difference either way.

    When unionism splits it’s vote to a point where SF top the poll then it has delivered itself a defeat and thus self-imploded.

    It’s bad to cannibalise your own party through an unnecessary public laundry exercise- Dodds and Robinson know this at this stage of their political lives and know how to conduct a leadership bid to advance their own cause without damaging their party’s by keeping the fervor behind closed doors.

    I can’t understand why you constantly underestimate the ability of a political party which has topped the poll on the last number of elections.

    Perhaps this is why republicans are sitting in Stormont and unionists don’t have to sit in Dublin.

    Hopeless dreams of the unionists playing into SF’s hands whilst SF ratify a british parliment and british police force won’t advance the republican cause one bit….

  • Peter

    The UU started melting down under Trimble.

    They know well another leadership contest would do them more harm.

    McFarland is the only other candidate, he was defeated last time as they would look ridiculous if he succeeded being from their only MP’s constituency…

  • Ginfizz

    Lib

    “The future lies with Europe and the wider world, not with an adjacent off-shore island still struggling to find a role for itself.”

    A strong argument against a United Ireland there. Well done!

  • Bigger Picture

    Hanson

    Ha ha ha i’ve just worked out who you are lol so how is Ballnamallard these days?? Your a joke mate and realising exactly who you are makes me thankful that it is only the same handful of Ivan Foster Free P’s who are harping on everytime.

    I will ask again if this is such a big deal to you considering it is your moderator why don’t you leave the church??

    I will wait to hear your high and mighty hypocrisy.

  • CTN

    This thread is now IMHO exhausted and its over and out from misé…