From demogogue to ‘chuckle brother’: or how Ian Paisley pulled it off…

Brian Feeney reckons that Ian Paisley’s agreement to step down as moderator at the end of the year was the right thing to do. Despite some highly visible defections and talk of a new Unionist party emerging, there will be no second Ian Paisley to provide the kind of polarising leadership they would need to punch a hole in the new settlement. Alex Kane also believes it will work, but that posterity may not be kind to him:

The problem, of course, is that the Northern Ireland he now leads is, in political terms, the complete opposite of the Northern Ireland he has always claimed to be fighting for. Only he can truly know if the journey from snowballs outside Stormont, to the First Minister’s office inside, has been worth it. He seems to be getting away with it at the moment, but history, I suspect, will be a much more severe judge.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty