Jim Allister’s new group and d’Hondt

At the end of October there were a flurry of DUP pronouncements about the current mandatory coalition arrangements, most accusing the UUP of being bad eggs for suggesting the idea of an opposition. At the time I asked: does the DUP now expressly support mandatory coalition? Sammy Wilson says they did as far back as 2004, which is perhaps a suggestion that the future “Chuckle Brothers” situation was an implicit manifesto commitment of Jim Allister. I doubt Jim will see it that way.

So bullish is Sammy about the DUP being in a d’Hondt government, he seems to claim credit for the very idea!

This is the same Jim Allister who stood for election in 2004 on a manifesto which reads:

‘There are three potential forms of administration which could be formed:

– a voluntary coalition which can command cross community support,

– a mandatory coalition involving all the major parties, or

– a corporate assembly in which the Assembly as a whole would take executive decisions’

Europe04 manifesto: Leading for Ulster; Page 8

This is blatant hypocrisy and inconsistency at its highest level. Jim even travelled as far away as Washington DC to sell this idea to Senators and Congressmen, posing for pictures on Capitol Hill brandishing the DUP’s ‘Devolution Now’ document which first mooted the concept.(my emphasis)

Also interesting is:

As Allister punches in his time in Brussels, every utterance he makes illustrates further just how little he has to offer Northern Ireland and unionists.

So why did the DUP select him in the first place if he’s such a waste of space? Not as if he breezed in one day without knowing a soul. Jim and Sammy seem to have been fairly well acquainted before 2004 for a start.

I used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t.

Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday