DUP consider policy U turn

Jim Wells resigned as DUP environment spokesman last June following the DUP’s refusal to support an Environmental Protection agency. The BBC reported at the time that Jim’s support for an agency drew the remark “We all have our Jim Wells to bear”, after which he stood down. Now Arlene Foster has said that she is “open minded” on the issue and is awaiting costings . If Jim Wells was “out of step” with the majority of his colleagues last year, what has changed so radically?

  • Pete Baker

    “what has changed so radically?”

    Legal considerations.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I’m not about to go looking through EU directives, this isn’t THAT interesting. However that being the case, then Foster couldn’t strictly speaking be “open minded” at all.

  • Rory

    Perhaps prolonged interaction with PSF has made the DUP more green.

    Pity Johnny Cash didn’t survive to see the emergence of this 41st shade of green.

  • btw

    Interesting when you look at the list of those MLAs who signed a motion calling for the Assembly to establish an independant EPA.

    Perhaps I’m wrong but I can’t see one DUP representative on this list, not even the dreaded Jim Wells.

    But every other party in the Assembly is represented, what exactly does the DUP have against the environment?

    Mr T Gallagher]
    [Mr J Dallat ]
    [Mr D O’Loan ]
    [Mrs C Hanna ]
    [Mr P Ramsey ]
    [Mr D Bradley]
    [Mrs M Bradley]
    [Mr T Burns]
    [Mr M Durkan]
    [Mr A Maginness]
    [Mr B Wilson ]
    [Mr D McNarry]
    [Mr R Beggs]
    [Mr A McFarland]
    [Mr L Cree ]
    [Mr D McClarty]
    [Mr D Kennedy]
    [Mr B McCrea ]
    [Mr S Gardiner]
    [Mr D Ford]
    [Dr S Farry ]
    [Mr K McCarthy]
    [Mr S Neeson]
    [Mr T Lunn ]
    [Mr W Clarke]
    [Mr F Molloy]
    [Mr A Maskey]
    [Mr P Butler ]
    [Mr J O’Dowd]
    [Mr C Boylan ]
    [Ms C Ní Chuilín ]
    [Ms S Ramsey]
    [Ms J McCann ]
    [Mr D McKay ]
    [Ms D Purvis ]
    [Mr P McGlone]

  • DC

    Well this is the same party that said ‘no’ to terrorists in government, no to ‘gay-rights’ and ‘no’ to an EPA.

    But lo and behold there we have it, yes to all 3.

    There are no bigger hypocrites today than those in the DUP because yesterday was not that far away and we can still hear those little nasty ‘no’ noises reverberating around in our minds, while today sees those same representatives doing exactly opposite.

    The DUP were wrong Michael, it has taken considerable efforts on the parts of many to teach them how to get on to the right course using all possible diplomatic means.

    Ignorant. But alas we are on track again. The hickies are learning. As for Arlene Foster, no bigger career politician than her, well perhaps Jeffrey Donaldson and her are on the same par there.

    Jumping ship in order that their little careers wouldn’t stumble only for them both to return to what they were both doing under the UUP, i.e. sharing power with democratically elected representatives, representatives who were formerly great advocators of terror to get themselves noticed via the media through horror.

    Next U-turn probably coming up soon, so watch this space for another chuckle.

  • Michael Shilliday

    “The DUP were wrong Michael, it has taken considerable efforts on the parts of many to teach them how to get on to the right course using all possible diplomatic means. ”

    Well said that man.

  • David Ford

    Just to remind you, when the Assembly debated the motion calling for an Independent EPA (from Brian Wilson and me), there was no dissent on the final vote on the motion.

    In other words, the Minister first said she would provide preliminary costings before Christmas and then – with all her colleagues – did not oppose the principle of the motion.

    Since then, we have seen the legal debacle over the Northern Area Plan, where the Courts held that there must be independent advice to Planning Service, making an EPA more urgent.

  • QUB YU


    What about the fact that you are out of line with your fellow UUP members in Queen’s?

  • Turgon

    I am sure there are a number of motives for this U turn by Foster. She may well have decided that it is a reasonale idea to have an EPA. She may be worried about legal considerations as Pete Baker suggests.

    On a totally, completely and utterly unrelated matter: Jim Wells is an independent minded politician who seems to have a reputation for intregity on enviromental as well as other issues. He has fallen out with the DUP a bit recently. A bloke called Jim Allister seems to be about to set up a new party.

    As I say totally unrelated pair of observations.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    What about the fact that you are out of line with your fellow UUP members in Queen’s?


  • interested

    Good to see the ‘best’ brains of the UUP are hard at work.

    If you’d read the DUP election manifesto 6 months ago you might have found that Arlene Foster would be “open” on an EPA – that’s what the manifesto says.

    Well done Michael – any other breaking news for us then? Titanic sinking perhaps……

  • pith

    It won’t take long to read it. It’s mostly pictures.

  • cynic

    Monday morning and the dup typing pool have arrived in work, yawn

  • Michael Shilliday

    I looked through the DUP manifesto before looking at this, because I had a feeling that intorducing an EPA would be breaking a manifesto pledge not to. That’s not true. Actually the word environment crops up only 6 times in the entire document, environmental only twice. I can’t find any mention of an EPA. Could you point me to it?

  • Michael Shilliday

    For clarity, the commeitment to an EPA is on page 20 of the UUP manifesto.

  • pith

    I had similar difficulty in finding the reference but assumed that I wasn’t looking hard enough. There is a line that could be interpreted as ‘interested’ has it but it is vague and open only to the extent that it would not bind the DUP to anything.

  • pith

    The robots at DUP headquarters have broken down it seems.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Seems so. Never mind. We can look farward to the U turn.

  • interested

    I’ve just took a look at the DUP Manifesto and there is the sentence in their environment bit.

    “Northern Ireland needs effective implementation of environmental laws, and we are open to considering how this can best be delivered.”

    Given that the environment NGO’s took this to mean that the DUP were open on the subject then I assume you were either too blind or too unintelligent to work out what they were referring to.

    Frankly I’d love to hear how the ‘farmers friend’ Tom Elliott explains to his Farmers Union mates how he supports an EPA, but maybe that’s for another day.

  • cynic

    Robots back in business it seems, who the hell else would have a DUP manifesto on their desk!

    Ah so, because the farmers don’t support it, the DUP won’t? Trying to claw back ground from Allister are we? I hear he is all over them.

  • pith

    The point is Interested that one has to read between the lines – or in case of your manifesto between the speech bubbles – to make an interpretation of what you are for, against, or “open” on. Would a straightforward commitment either way not be a more honest approach?

  • Turgon

    “Would a straightforward commitment either way not be a more honest approach? ”

    Do not be daft. Then the DUP might have to keep some manifesto committments rather than just implying / promising one thing after another before reneging on them all.