“Mr Paisley said he would not be discussing the internal affairs of Northern Ireland with the media”

It’s not a quote, but its bizarre.

UPDATE:It seems he may ACTUALLY have said the internal affairs of the DUP. But surely there is quite a bit of overlap in this particular case.

UPDATE 2:He said Northern Ireland after all!

  • pith

    I wonder if Alex Salmond counted the spoons after the dinner.

  • pith

    I wonder if Alex Salmond counted the spoons after the dinner.

  • pith

    I don’t know how that happened. It wasn’t even funny the first time.


  • Dr Paisley gets a mention in David Gordon’s FoI request:

    “Paisley Rev
    42a Main Street, Bushmills, BT57 8QA
    £2,100.00 [year]
    £175.00 [month]
    [Rates claim £0]”

    The property is #142A. As I’ve already said it used to have the DUP logo but now has the Bushmills Community Advice Centre label. It appears to have been rates-exempt for a number of years though it has been used by the DUP politicians for political purposes.

  • joeCanuck

    Can you be more specific, Nevin. What document are those figures from? Is that the rent claimed on that office?

  • Joe, you can download the document from the Belfast Telegraph’s Latest link to Sweeney too much for DUP.

    Googling with ‘VLA 5th valuation’ and with ‘VLA 4th valuation’ and entering Main Street Bushmills in the VLA searches will eventually take you to 142A. You may need to persevere as the pages are difficult to access.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks, Nevin.

  • joeCanuck

    More of what the big man said today.


  • overehere

    sorry to go off topic but does anyone know if Poots will be in the line out with the Belfast Titans at the weekend as he feels excluded !!

  • Don Quixote


    The information published by the Belfast Telegraph’s FoI request is worth checking against the Assembly’s published figures on MLA pay and expenses

    The figures from the 2 sources relate to different time periods – the BT’s info is a breakdown of constituency office rental and rate expenses claimed by each MLA in 2007 and the expenses relate to the financial year 2006 to 2007 – only 3 months of which is actually in 2007. Yet, David Gordon’s query does not request exclusion of part-year information – if a MLA charged the Assembly for office rental costs in 2007 then it would be reasonable to expect those charges to be included in the Assembly’s reply.

    Just scanning the 2 documents identifies a number of MLA’s who have no rental charges reported – but have charged for “Office Cost Allowances” (OCA). There may be reasonable reasons for this (dare I say, researcher costs?) but some of the following is curious:

    Micky Brady (SF), no office and £3,145 OCA
    Wallace Browne (DUP), no office and no OCA costs
    William McCrea (DUP), no office and £45,655.96 OCA costs
    Conor Murphy (SF), no office and £46,954.55 OCA costs
    Iris Robinson (DUP), no office and £42,769.40 OCA costs (*)
    Ken Robinson (UUP), no office and £47,664.00 OCA costs (*)
    Peter Robinson (DUP), no office and £29,158.10 OCA costs (*)
    David Simpson (DUP), no office and £40,835.77 OCA costs (*)
    Mervyn Storey (DUP), no office and £45,864.69 OCA costs (*)

    The (*) marked entries include a charge for rates on an office rental cost of zero.

    The location of the offices and the charges is useful information to have and may help explain some of the extraordinary mileage claims made. Taking rental and rates costs away from the OCA’s claimed leaves staffing, postage and stationery costs and, given the variation in rental costs, the number of MLA’s who just come short of the max. of £48,000 (now around £70,000) is amazing.

  • E eye E eye yo

    Does anyone know how much Portacabin Billy Armstrong paid his wife for the rental of his hut(office) in his farmyard. I am told that farm buildings are rated less so has Portacabin Billy lisred his as that?
    Danny Kennedy’s defence of Portacabin was shocking and only leads people to believe that the DUP were the o nly guilty party and for his information the portaloo is not a constituency office.

  • pia lugum

    Portacabin Billy did not pay his wife anything for the use of the hut – Thats the problem! You and I actuially paid for it through our tax-take! It was our pockets that were dipped every bit as much by Billy and his UUP cronies as was the apparent case in North Antrim

    And it would not be a terrific surprise if it were to be discovered that her hut was zero-rated – ie the RCA may not be aware of it yet.

    Does anyone have access to the local rates valuations to check this out?

    And by the way, just how did Billy get planning permission for the ‘out of character’ advertising hoarding at the end of his farm lane?

    And did Billy ever get retrospective planning permission for his new beauty parlour in the farmyard?

    And does the bould Billy have a secret admirer in the planning department who allowed him to have bay-windows on his new bungalow in the countryside?

    Why is there one law for MLAs and another for us mere citizens?

    Who cares?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    pia lugum

    If you want to know more about said MLA’s planning permission (or lack thereof), oh boy, you are just gonna love the news later today…

  • darth rumsfeld

    I really think this witch hunt against Billy the Potato is getting a bit distasteful lads.

    Did noone see how difficult it is for the Health Minister to place patients back in the community yesterday? If we have to pay a bit to let him reintegrate into society- yes, even if it means humouring him when he claims to be a political leader- it’s the charitable thing to do

    I for one am resolved never to mock Billy again. he needs our pity, not our scorn. I’m sending him a fiver tonight, and Mrs Rumsfeld is booking in to the beauty parlour for till get her corns pared

  • pia lugum

    Belfast Gonzo

    I have just seen the BT report. Very interesting. On the one hand Billy claims his wife owns the Portacabin and charged ‘legitamate’ rent for it, AND on the other hand he claims that the portacabin is an extension of HIS home.

    Come on Billy – Be a man and own up! Which story is it?????

    The Paisley junior, I fear, may have resigned over nothing compared to the emerging story in Mid-Ulster. He had an ‘expensive’ office claim but it appears to me that his rates, planning permission and his diligence to his electors were all above board.

    Should punters like me not expect MLAs to understand basic rating processes?

    Should punters like me not expect MLAs to act with absolute probity in planning proceedures?

    Should punters like me not expect the UUP to take drastic remedial anaction to alleviate this long running Mid-Ulster scandal? Unionists in this rural area require a clean, competant service every bit as much as they do in North Antrim.

  • Jo

    Post 14 was the best one. Youre surpised that ppl cut corners when they dont have to?

    A case of physician, heal thyself.

    I never seaseto be amazed at the self righteousness of bloggers. Yet not one of you has electoral support. Cept you think that by doing this you will become one of the elite you formerly despised. But then again, if you were elctable…