Trimble makes top 100 right wing influencers in UK….

David Trimble is the first Northern Irishman I have noticed (though, clearly I stand to be corrected) getting a mention on Telegraph’s most influential figures in the UK, left or right. He comes in fairly high up at number 34 of those on the right [ed – does that count for more or less than number 34 on the left?]

  • Greenflag

    Matters a damn really . He’s picked the losing side in the UK also 🙂 In Ireland Mr Trimble rates where ? Where would he rate even in NI?

    But give the man his due and lets wish him a happy retirement close to his Queen and country . Would that more Unionist politicians would follow his sterling example 🙂

  • Splurge

    One thing is fairly sure. If Trimble hadn’t led the Ulster Unionists into agreeing the Good Friday Agreement and gone into the executive at an early stage there would be no executive today, no decommissioned IRA, no relative peace. The DUP still think that digging in the heels ten years ago would have worked. I don’t think it would have. Trimble and his party and the SDLP paid the price for delivery during those messy years but we shouldn’t forget them. Neither of those parties really started the Troubles (well the Ulster Unionists with 50 years of mis-rule sort of did). Now we’re left with the smugness of the DUP and SF like vultures. Makes me sick some times.

  • pith

    These lists are getting sillier. This one even includes a UKIP leader.

  • Nevin

    “no decommissioned IRA”

    I think you can put that down mainly to Richard Haass and the US government post 9/11.

  • Granni Trixie

    A QUB politics professor (you know who you are)researched civil servants and politicians who worked with Trimble: the pattern that emerged was that it was impossible to make decisions because Trimble spent most time in England and that when he did turn up he had not read the papers. Pretty damning I’d say. Who knows how far we (and his party) might have advanced if he had given it his best shot?

  • Greenflag

    ‘ because Trimble spent most time in England and that when he did turn up he had not read the papers. Pretty damning I’d say’

    At the election hustings in Ireland a Unionist politician was heard to rant

    “I was born an Englishman , I live like an Englishman and with the help of God I’ll die an Englishman ‘

    ‘ So you’ve no ambition then ‘ said one of his Irish constituents .

    Trimble is what the South Africans would have called a soutpis (a salt p***k’) .With one foot in England and the other in Northern Ireland a strategic part of his anatomy would have been dipping in salt water for much of the time . He shares the fate of all those who have tried to reconcile a wider political ambition abroad at Westminster with the harsh realities of the politics and history of Northern Ireland . He is just one more in a long line of similar politicians . Their time has passed .

    We should all be thankful for his efforts while he was here and hope he gets to enjoy his Covent Garden Operas more often than he could when he was FM of ‘over there’!

  • Nevin

    Trixie, have you got a link to this research? Does in appear in public print?

  • Andries Pretorius

    Yes, while South Africans would refer to you and your type as kaffirs.

  • Greenflag I’ll admit that I’m no fan of the UUP but why don’t you come back to us when Grizzly Adams or Mumbling Martin have won a nobel prize.

    If he was really your typical unionist Stormont would be empty and faceless Englishmen would be running the country.

  • Greenflag

    ‘ while South Africans would refer to you and your type as kaffirs. ‘

    Only if they were colour blind . Most South Africans the vast majority (90% ) would say I’m European . Afrikanners would refer to me as an Engelsman i.e (non Afrikaans speaking whitey)

  • Greenflag


    ‘I’ll admit that I’m no fan of the UUP but why don’t you come back to us when Grizzly Adams or Mumbling Martin have won a nobel prize. ‘

    I’m not a fan of either. Frankly I think the Nobel Prize was wasted on Trimble & Hume . And would be even more wasted on Paisley, McGuinness or Adams . Both Trimble and Hume certainly deserved recognition for their political efforts but a a Nobel Prize ? A bit over the top I’d say . NI is not the Middle East and frankly it’s internal problems solved or unsolved were not going to make much of difference or impact on the rest of the world .

    If anybody deserved a Nobel Prize for peace efforts in NI it should have been the American Senator Mitchell .
    But of course that would not have been ‘politically correct’ would it ?

  • Ruth

    Trimble hasn’t had any influence in a long time, over NI…he’s not even a minister any more. His own constituency voted him out! He couldn’t even keep his party together, never mind his country. No matter what side you are on, Trimble sold out on his beliefs and those of the people he was meant to be representing. Why he got a Nobel peace prize, i don’t know. Why is he on this list is beyond me.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Maybe he’ll end up in the Cabinet if the Tories do well(!)

  • Billy

    Belfast Gonzo

    “Maybe he’ll end up in the Cabinet if the Tories do well(!)”

    No chance of a Cabinet post. He may get a Lords post as a spokesman on something obscure but that’s about it.

    It’s more likely to be a “shadow” post anyway and by the time the election after next comes round, he’ll just be another old has-been in the Lords.

  • Alex S

    Why is he on this list is beyond me.

    Posted by Ruth on Oct 02, 2007 @ 07:59 PM

    The clue is in the title!

  • páid

    I don’t think history will judge Trimble too harshly. And I don’t agree that his leadership of the UUP was consequential, one way or the other for NI politics.

    He was chosen, as are virtually all Unionist leaders over the last generation, because he was perceived as a hardliner who would stand up, tell it straight, and stop the rot. He beat Taylor and Magennis on this basis.
    Unionists are still at this crack, to some extent, searching for the man who will lead them back into the Promised Land.

    A priggish lawyer, an emotional cripple, and a poor enough leader I’d say.

    His basic honesty and decency was never enough.

  • Jonathan

    Ahh Trimble bashing… will it ever get old?

    I’ll say this for the man: at least he didn’t spend his time lecturing to us from the pulpit maintaining an aura of “Holier than thou”.

  • Peter Brown

    “I’ll say this for the man: at least he didn’t spend his time lecturing to us from the pulpit maintaining an aura of “Holier than thou”.”

    Unless you were unfortunate enought to get the purple faced ear bashing at the UYUC Conference in 1998(?) about sticking to no guns no government – you have a short memory JC because he could be as sanctimonious as the rest of them…

  • Truth & Justice

    I am very suprised by this i thought Trimble was as weak as they came and more liberal in his stance, who ever did this poll is in my opinion get it wrong

  • darth rumsfeld

    it’s not a poll,though- it’s just the Torygraph’s list of their friends- remember they called for him to take over as Tory leader from Ian Duncan Donuts a few years ago.

    I doubt he has any influence on Cameron and just because he appears at all the smart book launches and maybe drops in for tea and some intellectual sparring in Tite Street with Andrew Roberts doesn’t make him a key playa.

    Nigel Farage- UKIP leader- has a far greater potential to shape the direction of right wing politics in GB

  • “Ian Duncan Donuts”

    Would you fucking stop that?

    It’s as funny as having a rusty nail hammered through one’s genitalia! Which is what deserves to happen to you for your style of posting incidentally.

  • pith

    Darth, doubt it. Disappearing party and no where to go.

  • darth rumsfeld @ 09:50 AM::

    it’s not a poll, though – it’s just the Torygraph’s list of their friends

    True enough. Name the guilty parties: it was compiled mainly by Iain Dale (admirer of Slugger, now also an ornament to the Toiletgraph).

    For any person of conscience, the list ought to be a Groucho Marx moment: “I sent the club a wire stating, Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.

    Look who one’s associates would be (apart from the benighted Farago, already acknowledged):
    50. Sir Andrew Green. Director, MigrationWatch.
    67. Neil O’Brien. Director, Open Europe.
    68. Madsen Pirie, Director, Adam Smith Institute.
    79. Douglas Murray. Director, Centre for Social Cohesion.

    What makes the whole thing even more bilious is the “comments” page that goes with the website. Last time I looked there were four dozen supplications for Just-missed-out-on-the-Nick Griffin of BNP. The Fuhrerprinzip lives.

    There’s an even more curious inclusion: Shami Chakrabati, at 39, who also appears at 60 on the parallel Left list. Are civil rights issues 21 places more significant on one side than the other? (That would be a turn-up for the book.) Or is it simply a case of padding out the fluff?

    A more serious point: how will the Telegraph’s endorsement read for a potential General Election? Since the Tory mind emerged from the primeval ooze (i.e. the last few moments), the Telegraph has been the read of choice for Colonel Disgusted of Royal Tunbridge Wells, and has been straight Tory. Now Simon Heffer and his cadre are distinctly miffed with “Call me Dave” and the Etonian crew. My gut says the Telly’s nod will be “Vote as Right as you can get”: in effect inviting support for the UKIPpers, English Nationalists and similar dross. Such an endorsement could include the likes of Frank Field.

  • pith

    Malcom Redfellow,

    The Telegraph has been around too long to advocate that its readership vote UKIP. At least one Tory MEP contributes leader columns.

  • Ballygobackwards

    Hurrah Big Ian at number 19!

  • Nevin

    “A QUB politics professor (you know who you are)”

    Thanks, Granni. I read a related 2006 document on NI and was not surprised to find that there was no discussion on the lack of accountability re. BIIC Joint Secretariat. Perhaps they should get out of the ivory tower more often!!

  • pith @ 12:02 PM:

    You are, of course, eminently correct; and I was (to some extent) taking the pith.

    However, I do believe the Telegraph’s editorial suite is off-Cameron and off-songsheet by some dissonance. When the Barclays took over, Sir David of that ilk indicated that the DT would “certainly not” be the “house organ of the Conservative Party” and “where the government are right, we will support them” [see

    Then there is the European matter. The DT and Simon Heffer (UKIP fellow-traveller?) in particular are euro-sceptics. At the moment the demand for a referendum (strongly pushed by the DT) is the fig-leaf behind which all the strands of the right can combine. Once that shred of decency is whipped away, there’s not much left. How does the DT reconcile the europhobia of Colonel Disgusted (see Jeff Randall palliating the Colonel on 24th August) with the more moderate views of the City? And the DT gussies itself up to be the not-quite-poor man’s FT.

    Brown, if he goes for the Election, must have a strategy for neutralising the EU thing. The simplest one I can see is to make the campaign, particularly in the first phase, itself a referendum on the Treaty. That could smoke out the Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Chris Patten faction, and test the dominance of Heffer and Randall in the editorial conferences.

    Ultimately, though, it will come down to how far and how long the DT can bite its tongue and go easy on the Tory modernisers. Fortunately (from my point of view) there’s Daniel Finkelstein at the Times to inflame the situation (see his rebuttal to Osborne just today: read the runes on that!), and the likes of Zac Goldsmith (who will need close marking from HQ to keep him from indiscretions).

  • pith

    Malcolm Redfellow,

    An interesting analysis – and certainly more thoughtful than my disposable remark.

    The Telegraph will have to adjust to maintain its place in the market. When military matters take up more space in the obituaries than in the news section it needs to redefine its target readership. I just hope that it does not go soft on UKIP which has given such appalling representation the argument for UK withdrawal from the EU.

    English Democrats – yes I should have picked up your ironic slant.