DUP conference postponed again

The annual party conference is something of an institution; the DUP’s seems to be a fun affair as well with speeches from Dr. Paisley and Mr. Robinson apparently along with the possibility of farmyard impressions. Unfortunately this enticing event has been postponed repeatedly with the last one apparently having been in February 2006.

Whilst sources within the DUP seem to be suggesting that the delay may be because of the difficulties finding a large enough hotel, the need for a two day conference or indeed the problem of accommodating corporate sponsors, others have suggested that the DUP may have difficulties explaining their “Damascus Road” conversion to the rank and file.

  • shankly’s socialism

    This is about the DUP being unable to be sure over their own internal support and difficulties over their transition.

    With 2 years notice I could have organised a DUP conference 10 times over.

    Even if they were concentrating on other things, they have alot of staff, even if they couldnt spare those given the amount of money they spend on advertising, elections, glossy printing etc etc they could easily afford to hire an events company, sponsorhip and donation would probably cover most of the costs.

    Any other excuse is just that and a shallow one.

    2 years is too long, surely constitutionally they may be in trouble of breaking their own rules…to hold an annual conference or to renew party officers.

  • Anna Woo

    I am told it is going to be a 2 day conference.

  • harry

    why would ian and peter want to hide their lights?

    they have delivered the the total capitulation of the provisional movement. wee spoons in limavady concern psf now, more than, say, the MI5 HQ in hollywood.

    Paisley has at last shown what PSF were; tooled up civil righters, content with an equitable internal solution.

  • ulsterfan

    Are they worried? They certainly should be.
    That is the reason for the delay.

  • Anna Woo

    “Are they worried? They certainly should be.
    That is the reason for the delay. ”

    If the DUP vote doesn’t drop more than 5% then they Conference will probably take place.

  • heck

    how could the conference be a “fun affair”

    more like ballymena on a sunday with a gang of teetotalers

  • pith

    Farmyard impressions? Would that include a snouts in the trough set?

  • I know that some parties stage-manage their conferences rigorously, but the DUPers go one better by dispensing with a fixed annual conference entirely. It’s not the first time that a conference has been postponed indefinitely. Despite its title, the party has long been uncomfortable with the concept of internal democracy, given its roots as a supporting act for “God’s Man for the Hour”. The fact that DUPing candidates are selected – and deselected – centrally allows the leadership, or the Punt to be more precise, to weed out potential troublemakers from the Assembly party. Fundamentally the DUP’s concept of democracy is top-down, whilst Ulster unionism as a whole is characterised by a bottom-up approach. Sooner or later Robinson’s micro-managing control freak tendencies will get the DUP into serious trouble.

  • Butterknife

    When is the leader of the DUP coming to Dromore to canvass for their candidate for that by-election?

  • pith

    Has Junior been to Dromore yet?

  • darth rumsfeld

    All MPs -bar the Great Crocodile and Punt- have been to Dromore, in operation “Crush the TUV”. Presumably the Doc can’t go without Marty.

    As for a venue for the conference that’s big enough, surely Plug can ring up his new best mates and book Croke Park.
    The real problem is that the civil servants who wheel out our great leader to carefully stagemanaged events have no jurisdiction in the party conference, and there’s no telling what he might say unmuzzled

  • Butterknife

    To make things fun i have created a blog for the Dromore By-election .

  • pith

    Seems that Paisley misheard when the party hacks asked if would mind having a publican about the place.

  • Greenflag

    There’s always the RDS in Dublin if space is a problem 🙂

    DUP members can always point out that the R in RDS is for Royal thus establishing ‘british’ connections !

  • Anazazi

    Watchman,
    FYO, DUP candidates are selected by constituency associations in each parliamentary constituency while council candidates are selected within their district/borough area.There is ability for party to select centrally but doesn’t happen too often. Not as control freakish as Labour and their closed EU lists btw.

  • Insider

    Such a load of crap. The DUP postponed its 2007 Conference because of the election and will hold one in 2008. No date has ever been set for 2008 so it could hardly have been postponed. The only issue causing a delay is getting a suitable hotel on a date that suits party leaders.

  • Dromore Voter

    The Watchman “Fundamentally the DUP’s concept of democracy is top-down, whilst Ulster unionism as a whole is characterised by a bottom-up approach.”

    The ‘bottom-up approach’ is a sham in the UUP, if the shambles of a ‘selection’ process in Dromore is anything to go by. Just to refresh your memory –

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/dromore-by-election-in-the-offing/

    Some ‘bottom-up’ democracy!

    Black is still not white – Black is not a legitimate UUP candidate in Dromore. All the PR spin in the world cannot change that.

  • Alex S

    Dromore Voter, stop trying to take attention of the DUP running scared of bringing the party grassroots together, they are obviously split, what other explanation can there be, clearly not all the dissidents left with Allister?

    As for Carol Black, she has the full support of the Ulster Unionists in the Lagan Valley Constituency, of which Dromore is a part.

  • Butterknife

    And don’t forget that Carol lives in Dromore.

  • Dromore Voter

    Alex S “..stop trying to take attention of the DUP running scared of bringing the party grassroots together..”

    Is the UUP any better? Why has the January AGM of the Lagan Valley Association been postponed, and not for the first time?

    Is the Chair of the Association running scared after the mess he made of the Dromore selection process? Is he trying to avoid being brought to book by the grassroots before by-election day?

    Alex S “…Carol Black…..has the full support of the Ulster Unionists in the Lagan Valley Constituency…”

    The opposite is the case, according to very reliable sources in the Constituency Association, there is grave concern at the way in which she was ‘selected’. Party people of honour and integrity in Dromore feel let down by a seriously flawed process which ‘requires’ them to support a candidate who they know was not chosen in accordance with Party rules. Some members are refusing to canvas on her behalf and others are doing so very reluctantly. They also feel that the Dromore electorate is being misled and that they are being expected to be ‘economical with the truth’, with potential UUP voters, regarding her legitimacy as a UUP candidate.

    Carol Black is not a legitimate UUP candidate in Dromore – that is just plain simple fact.

    What has happened to the “Party of Law and Order” when it cannot even obey its own rules and proper procedure, and then turns on those who demand competence and integrity in Party affairs.

    The good people of Dromore have a right to know the truth about who they are voting for. That is hardly too much to ask!

  • pith

    Dromore voter,

    You are absolutely right but why stop there? All the people of Dromore have a right to know the truth.

  • unionist@heart

    Obviously all the unionist parties have the same problem when it comes to selection. No doubt the TUV will have the same problem as many of those who have left the DUP have wanted to stand in the past and have been overlooked. Will their tantums be any different in this new party or will they fragment this party with their “I want to run and I will find something or someone to fight with if I don’t get my own way” attitude.
    I am a Traditional Unionist who wants nothing to do with the TUV because they are nothing other than has beens who spit out their dummies if they don’t have things their way! Give us some direction for the future! Give us soem real hope for our children and grandchildren!

  • Im not stephen warke … honest

    DV/Stephen you’re not helping your case.

  • “FYO, DUP candidates are selected by constituency associations in each parliamentary constituency while council candidates are selected within their district/borough area.There is ability for party to select centrally but doesn’t happen too often. Not as control freakish as Labour and their closed EU lists btw.”

    All right, Anazazi, I won’t mention the deselection of Mark Robinson as a council candidate, or Paul Girvan, an outgoing MLA, if you won’t.

    When I talk about Ulster unionism being a bottom-up democratic ethos I refer to unionism as a whole not just the UUP faction.

  • Butterknife

    As far as I am concerned Miss Carol Black has more than the 2 obvious criteria:

    1. She is a Dromore woman; &,
    2. She is a Dromore woman.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Only in NI would the Culture minister do farmyard impressions!

  • Michael Shilliday

    Dromore voter, whoever you are (and I suspect I know, in which case I regret answering your questions a couple of months ago), you really are causing a lot of trouble over a)your own ignorance and b)nothing.

    First, the AGM has been postponed because ALL UUP constituency AGMs have been postponed. The Party Executive asked for this to be done to allow a week or two to get standing orders in place following the party review.

    Second, the Dromore selection meeting took place, and Dromore party members backed one candidate by a substancial margin. If you wern’t there, that is unfortunate but this isn’t an exact science and allowances must be made for external factors (such as Banbridge DC meeting within days).

    You need to take your sour grapes and bury them.

  • pith

    Michael Shilliday,

    What’s all this about burying sour grapes? Sounds like you got too many books for Christmas. Treasure Island is the one with all the pirates. Aesop’s fables has the sour grapes story and possibly more pictures.

  • Llamedos

    Dromore Voter

    Before the Lagan Valley UUP management committee find the nerve to call the postponed AGM they must ensure that a level playing field is provided for all potential office bearing candidates. This would necessitate the provision of a full list of all paid up members entitled to vote so that canvassing can take place fairly. It would also demonstrate that the constituency was adopting genuine bottom upwards democracy which would be a major change from last two years of Horlickses of AGM’s. An independent chairman must conduct the whole meeting to achieve unity or the party will inevitably polarise.

    The secret societies membership will have to grasp the fact that this is now a truly modern secular party and they will have to learn to curb their old ways, however instinctively they are inculcated into these backward looking people. Stalin had nothing to learn from the Orange Order. They have no relevance in the future United Kingdom let the Ulster Nationalists jig with them in the future to the music of the Chuckle Brothers.

    The so called gerrymandered selection process of Mistress Black and the automatic publicity given to it by the press who were briefed by both her righteously indignant opponents, will automatically decrease the UUP turnout entirely due to this tasteless and ill conceived charade. The good burghers of Dromore deserved the agreed cooption of the next UUP candidate at the 2005 election namely William John Martin and the UUP constituency officers would have saved the said burghers £25000 which a by election will cost. Also any prudent political manager would have realised that the first past the post system on arithmetical analysis would have given the DUP a majority of 2 to 1. I thought that committing Hari Kari politically had died out with Tojo on VE day.

  • Michael Shilliday

    This is nonsense. The Association has data protection considerations, and it would be utterly stupid to go handing out membership lists to everyone who asks for them. Second, Dromore UUP members by a large majority chose one candidate, those who disagree with that decision need to shut up and work to get her elected, that is the contract when you become a member of a political party.

    Ignorant posters also need to be once again told that the meeting has not been postponed, as it was never called. The Party Executive requested that no AGMs take place in January so that standing orders can be put in place.

  • Dromore Voter

    I am not… “DV/Stephen you’re not helping your case. “

    Your psychic powers are letting you down – get another job.

    Rule breakers accepting responsibility, not blame shifting and issuing threats, is the order of the day.

  • Moderate Unionist

    “this isn’t an exact science and allowances must be made for external factors (such as Banbridge DC meeting within days).”

    So democracy and natural justice come second to these ‘external factors’ when selecting UUP candidates?

    “those who disagree with that decision need to shut up and work to get her elected, that is the contract when you become a member of a political party.”

    Wow. That is quite a gloomy incitement of the state of the UUP today.

  • Dromore Voter

    Michael Shilliday

    Does the rule “play the ball not the man” apply to Michael?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Only in NI would the Culture minister do farmyard impressions!

    Posted by nineteensixtyseven on Jan 28, 2008 @ 02:44 PM”

    Don’t knock it. That’s when he’s at his most articulate

  • Moderate Unionist

    Dromore Voter:

    If you are a member of the UUP I can’t say that I am surprised you feel abused on this thread by Mr. Shilliday. Telling you to ‘shut up’ and bullying you is pretty much par for the course, especially as it seems Mr. Shilliday wrote this ‘contract’ of UUP membership.

    The points you raise are convincing and I wonder why this has not been sorted out by the UUP.

  • Dromore Voter

    Michael Shilliday “…you really are causing a lot of trouble over a)your own ignorance and b)nothing. “

    Staying publicly silent regarding the UUP Lagan Valley Association is no longer possible. The so called selection process in Dromore was the last straw.

    I find it depressing that a young man like you should even try to defend the chaos we have seen, and continue to see, in the LVA. Instead, you attack me for trying to deal with the old guard who continue to stand in the way of progress.

    “a) ….ignorance”

    If members show ‘ignorance’ regarding the AGM this year it is because of the ever present veil of secrecy which permeates the Association. The ongoing management of the Association is a shambles – why should the January 2008 AGM be any different! And why should the new standing orders make any difference either – the existing ones are ignored when it ‘suits’.

    “b) ..nothing”

    Braking the rules, and big time, many mean ‘nothing’ to you but it means everything to any true democrat. An ‘illegal’ meeting means that any decisions made by that meeting are ‘illegal’, no matter what the vote.

    Getting more women into elected office is a laudable aim, and I would support a 50/50 target, but grabbing the first ‘skirt’ to cross your path (and especially if she happens to be your secretary) is an insult to women and discredits the Party.

    For anyone, never mind two elected representatives who should know better, to gatecrash and prejudice the outcome of a selection meeting is against the rules and undemocratic. Dromore Branches are not the ‘thiefdom’ of anyone – they belong to the grassroots membership.

    I have been looking for those ‘sour grapes’ but I can’t find them – life is too short.

    Lamados may want to take your advice to ‘shut up’ – I certainly won’t.

  • Michael Shilliday

    If you don’t wish to shut up, then you should snipe from the sidelines form the safty of a neutral. You can’t expect to carry on like this while being a party member.

    Your ignorance is not something I can account for. You were not aware for the reason for the AGM being postponed. You now do know, and should retire in defeat.

    Secondly, can you point (not quote, for obvious reasons) me to the rule that was broken? In the event that you can’t find a rule on selection of candidates for a vacency in Local Government perhaps you could reflect on what exactaly you’re publicly criticising your own party for?

    “Moderate” Unionist – you’re right, we should have held off until after BDC met to select a replacement, the fact that we didn’t have a replacement would be a minor consideration. That would have been the right thing to do.

  • ‘Moderate’ Unionist

    Thanks MJS. I hope your sarcasm is not suggesting that this is my fault now! I am not responsible for a poorly organised Branch meeting. I didn’t know you were a member of that Branch either.

    From what I have heard, a certain young prospective selection candidate was ‘illegally’ ruled ineligable. I have also heard that this is because Lagan Valley UU Association does not wish to face the realities of change and promote young people; in fact actively frustrate them, swamp selection meetings with elected non-Branch members and to stitch the meeting up in favour of ‘prefered’ candidates.

    I am glad that I have also heard that a certain young prospective selection candidate has a lot of support in the local area and within the local UUP membership. I hope that the fight, public and private, continues until these grave injustices have been righted. I am disappointed that that certain young candidate did not put himself up for election as an independent.

    I guess everyone interested needs to pick a side in this debate. It is clear where Mr. Shilliday stands. Perhaps the rest of the Young Unionists should decide whether to stand with one of their own or side with the gerontocracy. I guess it just depends where your bread is buttered…

  • ‘Moderate’ Unionist

    oh yes

    “You were not aware for the reason for the AGM being postponed. You now do know, and should retire in defeat”

    The meeting was not postponed – it was never called; remember?

    Why should Dromore Voter, an aggrieved UUP member, need to just ‘retire’ if they feel unfairly done by? Is this how Mr. Shilliday responds to all reasonable complaints?

    “In the event that you can’t find a rule on selection of candidates for a vacency in Local Government”

    In the absence of rules, perhaps a candidate could, at the very minimum, expect fairness in the process?

  • Dromore Voter

    Moderate Unionist “I can’t say that I am surprised you feel abused on this thread by Mr. Shilliday. Telling you to ‘shut up’ and bullying you is pretty much par for the course….. “

    Many thanks for your supportive comments.

    For clarity’s sake, Michael Shilliday is a 23 year old Queen’s student. As far as I know he is Secretary to the Hillsborough Branch of the UUP, a member of the Lagan Valley Association Management Committee and of at least one Party committee. I think he is also an ex member of the Ulster Young Unionists.

    This is the sort of treatment you are expected to get used to in the Lagan Valley Association – he is unfortunately copying the behaviour of others – sad that he does not see this. I know a number of members of the Management Committee, which meets monthly, who have refused to go to meetings because of the way they, or colleagues, have been treated. The only people to survive unscathed are the bullies, the yes men/women and those who stay dumb and always vote in the ‘right’ direction.

    Michael Shilliday

    All the information you need about the Dromore meeting is already posted on this site by me or others – just go read it.

  • Michael Shilliday

    From my age to my memberships to the extent of people who don’t go to management committee meetings, you’re wrong.

  • Scout

    Michael:

    Could you please stop encouraging this tit-for-tat debate? It really isn’t helping. There are obviously a few disgruntled UUP souls out there, along with a few contributors from other parties, and none, who are just in it for the fun. Leave it alone.

    Scout

  • Dromore Voter

    Michael Shilliday

    Sorry for getting your CV wrong. Your Mum has just told me that you are only 15 and could not possibly have all those elevated positions in the UUP – silly me!

    Apart from that …………………………………black is still not white.

    Thanks for helping get the message out.

  • BonarLaw

    and I thought all the UUP LVA problems were caused by Jeffrey Donaldson and co.

    It seems their departure has had no effect on this most disfunctional of associations. Anyone would think they enjoyed being irrelevant.

  • eartotheground-mu

    “It seems their departure has had no effect on this most disfunctional of associations.”

    Most Associations seem to be disfunctional. Especially in and around the Mid-Ulster area! On all unionist camps. DUP, UUP and even the supporters of the TUV who are now falling out among each other. Long live democracy!

  • Michael Shilliday

    BonarLaw, it would be very easy to take from this discussion that LVUUA is dysfunctional. There are a small number of people who get upset at the drop of a hat, its not much more than that.

  • Llamedos

    In view of Michael Shilliday’s recent performances here, is he the UUP’s official press officer on Slugger? If so could he put the matter straight and declare to us all his obviously numerous roles within the UUP. This action which I am sure he will certainly undertake would enlighten other commentators. Has he studied spin at the knees of Alastair Campbell, should he heed the advice of Scout, is he dropping one of his many hats? The Lagan Valley Constituency Party has a veritable multitude of problems over which it is badly divided and could well be split. Michael underestimates the size of the modernising reformist faction, already at the very least the largest branch is boycotting management committee monthly meetings. Need I say more?!!!!

  • im not stephen warke…honest

    Can I request an IP check between the current ‘Dromore Voter’ and the previous posts made by the then named Stephen Warke?

    Thanks 🙂

  • Michael Shilliday

    Like I said, a small number of people who get upset at the drop of a hat.

  • intrested constituent and tax payer

    I am surprised that as yet there does not seem to be any thread about the conservative MP who “overpaid” and “mispaid” his family members.
    Knowing the bloggers of this site it is not like them to miss an opportunity to question the staffing of MP and MLA offices here! Maybe some do not want to rock the boat incase they loose their job! Many of MP and MLA still continue to employ their family members. How come I never see these jobs advertised! I would love a wee job working in an office, filing my nails and drinking coffee all day. Just think I would get paid for bloggin on the internet and phoning my friends!
    Is it possible to find out how many family members are employed by MP and MLA in our area? Would be most interested in the staffing situation of DUP and UUP in say South Antrim. I understand it is particularly bad in this area!

  • taxpayer

    Take a look at the DUP website under ‘contact us’ and then click on the local office link.

    Taking a quick look I can see relatives including;

    Rebekah Robinson
    Carole Newton
    Lynda Spratt
    Ellen Robinson
    Jonathan Robinson
    Rhonda Paisley
    Stephen McCrea
    Alan Robinson
    Michelle McQuillan
    Nora Morrow

    And these are just the people the who haven’t married out so to speak… ie have kept their surname. So there could be more.

  • intrested constituent and tax payer

    Thanks Taxpayer,

    Also strange how DUP like political dynastys. Robinsons, Dodds, Paisleys and McCreas and most of these follower ons seem to have started of in the office. Does this mean South Antrim will have to suffer Steven McCrea the way Mid Ulster has had no choice but to have Ian McCrea. I hear that people in the latter were not too happy with this and would have liked things a bit different! North Antrim also seem to be heading the same way unless Storey gets in there!

  • honeybee

    interested constituent and taxpayer

    If Ian McCrea bothers you so much, why not put your name on the ballot paper the next time, otherwise shut up.

    In South Antrim, I know that when I contact any of the offices, I couldn’t care less who I speak too, as long as they can help me with my query, that is all that matters.

  • Dromore Voter

    As dawn brakes over Dromore there is considerable excitement about the next stage in the Basils Babe campaign.

    Unreliable rumour has it that they cannot decide how big the poster should be – the Green candidate has already got quite a few big ones but Harbinson is only sporting a little one. BB’s photographer is also understood to be struggling with the photograph and has been in touch with the Green party photographer to find out how he managed to contrive such an attractive portrait. It is understood that Basil cannot decide when to launch the poster campaign, so he has called in his close friend the eminent UUP spin doctor Michael Silly Day. Basil has been completely bowled over at how well has been handling Dromore Voter and is wondering if he could do an equally good job at sabotaging the Babes campaign from the inside.

  • another dromore voter

    With unionists backbiting maybe a nationalist or other may get in!

  • darth rumsfeld

    Anyone (Dromore voter especially) able to fill us in on the incident at Kinallen this week when the DUP canvassers, including Dodds and Donaldson were allegedly hunted from the village?

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