“For many unionists it is a welcome development as well.”

It’s always difficult to assess anonymous sources, although the straight bat response might indicate some veracity to the claim that both Sinn Fein and the DUP “are keen to appease unhappy members” with potential problems ahead, but it does point to the limits of that triumph of top-down politics..From the Belfast Telegraph report

The [DUP] source said: ” Sinn Fein have requested that there are fewer joint appearances involving the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

“There was a meeting between advisers from both sides. Sinn Fein are getting stick from members in their heartlands.

“They are particularly annoyed that because the First Minister gets to go first that Martin McGuinness is made to look junior.

“The request has been made for more separate engagements, which will come into force next month.

“For many unionists it is a welcome development as well.”

And the response from Sinn Féin

Yesterday a Sinn Fein spokesman insisted no official approach had been made about scaling down engagements, adding: “Sinn Fein is committed to building on the positive leadership of the executive shown by Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley snr.

“It sends out a powerful message that the Executive is working and the Executive is working together.”

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  • slug

    It was in retrospect having Ian Paisley as FM has worked well for the DUP, as it seems to me he tends to steal the show in these appearances.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Boo! Just when we were all beginning to enjoy big Ian and his lackey representing Northern Ireland.
    I was looking forward to a special Royal Mail stamp featuring the two of them on the 32p issue and Gerry on the second class.

  • slug

    Possibly Gerry A. jealous of the publicity he’s not getting?

  • Joker

    Personal I thought they made a lovely couple, maybe they where getting to friendly?

  • Tiny

    If joint appearances are unpopular with the gras roots thrashing out a deal on post primary schooling will be worse!

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Surely if everyone is unhappy, they must be doing something right?

  • GavBelfast

    Possibly Gerry A. jealous of the publicity he’s not getting?
    Posted by slug on Sep 01, 2007 @ 01:34 PM

    There’s many a true word spoken in jest – when he’s not in the limelight he’s not in the limelight. When he is in the limelight, he’s undermining election campaigns and making marches for ‘truth’ even less credible.

  • Liam

    Maybe Ian Paisley Jr. fears they are getting too close.

  • Sean

    Its amazing how you so readily accept ANYTHING that might be negative to Sinn Fein. You are so desperatly clinging to the wreckage of unionism as it follows the path of the Titanic that you will latch on to anything

  • Nevin

    Sean, perhaps the Chuckle Chappies are bearing down on their iceberg …

  • páid


    The honeymoon is over, and what is that I see as the mist lifts?

    Dreary steeples, I’m afraid.

  • lib2016

    Its all just a matter of opinion of course until the next elections but my impression is that we are leading the world in conflict resolution and that’s exactly what most of us wanted when we voted for the GFA.

    Is this is an heartwarming exercise in leadership or ‘top down politics’? My guess is that it wouldn’t have got this far without widespread support.

    How its presented is a matter for the politicans and its always been my impression that the unionists rather than the Shinners have most difficulty in coming to terms with powersharing but we’ll see…..