No bright future for the Paisleys…

The first time I met Ian Paisley senior was at an official function at Hillsborough Castle, not long after the publication of our study on the future of Unionism, A Long Peace? After some warm-ish comments from him on the subject of the report, he turned to one of his younger party colleagues and warned him as I turned to go, “never trust the gentlemen of the press, there is always a sting in their tail”. It’s ironic that members of his party are now apparently bombarding the press with their own critical views of his son’s conduct of public business. And, as Pete spotted yesterday, there is a prima facie case for a complaint to be lodged with the Parliamentary Commission for Standards at the House of Commons. As I’ve argued over at the Guardian, it doesn’t look good for the Big Man of Ulster politics.

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  • joeCanuck

    Hubris in all its glory.

  • Alex S

    what was it Enoch Powell said of politicial careers?

  • Bob Wilson

    Mick I suspect many are missing the real angle here.
    As far as the Ballymena office goes if Ian Senior has used Assembly Allowances rather than Westminster Allownances he is probably in the clear.

    The question of Ian Junior salary is the big question.

    David Conway was hauled over the coals because he could not account for ALL of the the work apparently done by his student son.

    Will Ian Senior he able to prove – if he is paying Junior a considerable sum that his hard working constituency MLA and Junior Minister son was putting in sufficient hours to justify the salary.

    One assumes SDLP are submitting a complaint to the Standards and Privilegs Ctte under the following rule:

    6.2.1. Eligibility
    Subject to the paragraphs which follow, all Members
    of Parliament may draw on the staffing allowance
    to pay their staff. It is a Member’s responsibility to
    ensure that staff paid from this allowance are:
     employed to meet a genuine need in supporting
    you, the Member, in performing your
    Parliamentary duties;
     able and (if necessary) qualified to do the job;
     actually doing the job
    and that the resulting costs, in so far as they are charged to this allowance, are reasonable and entirely attributable to the Member’s PARLIAMENTARY work.

    Of course Paisley will not have to face a ruthless Leader like David Cameron but he would have to apologise to the House

  • shankly’s socialism

    Mick

    He will be given until may…a year at the top then he will go, I would be surprised if they havent already informed him of this…”have your year then your off”

    Paisley had a monoply for years, he was the be all and end all, while Robinson worked in the background, slowly building up credibilty and it was he that brought in and encouraged the younger element of which you speak.

    I would be very very surpised if some elements within the DUP didnt have a hand in leaking some of the Juniour stories and encouraging them, ever since the elections we have had a ‘dont rock the boat’ approach towards the DUP from the media but this broke to get junior out the door, the new leader will not want him anywhere near him.

    This is essentially a coup by any other name, clever and bloodless but they are being edged out.

  • hotdogx

    Who will lead unionism with sufficient strength to guarantee that the office of first minister rests within unionisms grasp. THAT IS THE QUESTION

    Paisley senior will probably retire soon but i dont think paisley junior is all washed up just yet. Although this stuff makes Fianna Fail look squeaky clean! It seems they are more corrupt than “The republican party” i think we won’t be seeing the DUP on the “holier than thou” moral high ground me thinks.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s the line being adopted at the moment ss, but a successful complaint at the PCFS could foreshorten all of those carefully laid plans.

  • steve48

    Sammy Wilson did a fair impression of Blair Mayne last night neatly slipping the blade between Jnr’s shoulders just so that he would know he was finished.

    As for Papa doc I think any standards and privileges investigation will finish him unless Jnr’s only been taking tea money. Anything more and I suspect they will find it hard to prove he was devoting 40 hrs per week researching for his da. (above and beyond the jnr minister stuff)

    An ignominius end to Paisley’s career as he will be due the same punishment as Mr Conway. A bit inglorious for the First Minister of Northern Ireland to be suspended from the Mother of Parliaments for misuse of allowances.

  • shankly’s socialism

    @Mick

    Agreed,but I think unlikely as it would then damage the DUP too rather than just an individual or a family.

    But May is definately the plan of the New World Order of the DUP, they will want to make it look like he is retiring neatly after a year in charge and Robinson will wanta smooth handover, minus the sleaze

    …I wouldnt be surprised if they worked very hard to make the Senior stuff disappear….

    after all, one of the middle scandal stories about Juniour (the researchers job which he is incapabile of doing) was not actually his ‘fault’ the scandal should have been senior’s…they are his expenses being wasted….but that was redirected.

  • Paul P

    It is Junior who has seriously damaged his Father. He must now do a damage limitation job and encourage his Father to do a deal to facilitate an honourable handover.

  • mag

    Rumours are that the amount paid for JM work is relatively small and certainly isn’t anywhere near a full-time wage.

    I think this one is a red herring – it is clear that og supports his da on practically every issue including those which relate to senior’s constituency work. In fact, it would appear that og acts as an advisor on ALL westminister constituency work for the father.

    Plenty of the MLAs are doing three jobs – Minister AND MLA AND MP. Or alternatively Minister AND MLA AND Councillor (some even get time to own businesses, have farms and claim DLA – look it up in members register of interests!!).

  • [aside]Mick, it would appear that Nigel Dodds would need to put the Companies Registry in order before it’s incorporated in Companies House, Cardiff.

    Officially, change of directors and related information must be lodged with CR within 14 days and CR is expected to process it within 5 working days – as I noted yesterday. According to the Grapevine this rule isn’t always being applied.

    I’ve noted that Sarcon Compliance Limited is currently company secretary for Sarcon (No 250) Limited and that Seymour Sweeney is still listed as sole director. A spokesperson for Carson McDowell explained that after a client takes on one of their shelf companies then the client assumes reponsibility for the affairs of a Sarcon Company. Is SCL a client of CMcD or an agency? The SCL documentation appears to have been signed by a CMcD junior and this junior – listed as a paralegal – directed me to CMcD marketing for further clarification. Can paralegals be company secretaries? You’d need to be a lawyer to weave your way through the web!!

    I’ve also pointed out that in the legal dispute over the covenant linking businessmen related to the 96 acre Ballee land deal the company name is Sarcon (No[]) Limited [Sarcon is an anagram of Carson]. I contacted the Courts Service to find out the ‘missing’ number but it seems this may have been a judge’s ‘administrative hiccup’!!

    Watch this space 🙂

  • pith

    Paul P,

    Did his father know about Junior’s shopping list?

  • Bigger Picture

    Are we all certain that Robinson will definatley take over as next leader? Alot of the more rural DUP voters never had much time for him while Robbo doesn’t really stick his head out of Belfast. Could Nigel Dodds make a go for it? He’d have a better grasp of the Rural/City divide and the loyalist/evangelical wings as well

  • gaelgannaire

    Well when the BBC think they can get away with calling Iain Junior ‘Iain Óg’ on air times are changing for the Paisleys.

    The slippery slope.

  • Paul P

    Pith,

    I don’t know, general thought is it really was a “solo run”.

  • pith

    Paul P,

    Thanks. It does make the UK government look incompetent if they thought that keeping Jnr happy was crucial to the outcome of the process when in fact they could have told him to clear off and no one in the DUP would have been any the wiser.

  • Paul P

    Jnr is not renowned for transparency! This is not the first time he had doublecrossed his colleagues.

  • Paul, what could be more transparent than this lobbying by Paisley and Storey: Handed to SoS … Treat as MC please (2005)? There’s even a mention of St Patrick’s Barracks and the Causeway:

    “The Causeway. The Giants Causeway is known the world over as a significant landmark. This site attracts significant tourists – over 400,000 last summer alone. Yet it is not being marketed or exploited to its full potential. We believe that tourism can only succeed where the experts are involved and that most certainly includes the private sector.”

    Was he thinking of his dear old friend, Seymour Sweeney?

  • joeCanuck

    It’s heartening to know that Junior considers the towns of Ballymoney and Ballycastle to be principled.

  • You’ll like these, Joe:

    “so as sensible planning strategy can be agreed that is in keeping with the local community and is not the voice of a limited so-called [developer OOPS] environmental lobby.”

    “Lands belonging to the McNaughten(sic) Estate and Moyle Council extending from the Causeway to Bushmills are subject to a majar planning application for a golf resort- This Plan has widespread support and WRS encouraged actively by the RDS Strategy. However, the Draft Area Plan blights this area so as such a development [and my friend Seymour’s ‘bunker’] could never take place. I therefore specifically object to the Plan on those grounds.”

  • belfastpaul

    As you get older you lose some of your impatience about the pace of change in the world. But you also learn that if you wait long enough the crows always come home to roost.

    Time will slowly clear out most of the 108 MLAs and their politics of the past. But we still need an alternative political party that is beyond the constitutional issues as those driven by this question can never deliver an inclusive democracy.

  • Crataegus

    If only half the rumours are true, if people keep digging they will find problems for others other than the Paisleys.

    I must say I feel heartened by the turn of events and it highlights a complacent and self-serving attitude. NI needs to be rid of these people.

  • Ahem

    I an life with too much anomie, I now have a goal! I want, no, I need to meet one of these teeming thousands who offered their ‘support’ or ‘sympathy’ to Baby Croc. Obviously, to qualify as people, as being essentially human, they must *not* be a paid employee of the DUP, or related to the same. So that’s all I now want: to meet one solitary single real life truly breathing actual-factual person who offered Junior ‘sympathy’ or ‘support’. Just one, that’s all.

  • Ahem

    Coffee! nurse, coffee: that, uh, should of course have been, “In a life …”.

  • Bigger Picture

    Ahem

    I doubt even paid members of the DUP were giving him support or wishing him well!

  • Chuckle Vision

    Apart from Seymour Sweeney, that is…

  • shankly’s socialism

    @ Belfastpaul (number 21) Exactly right! a new party is needed…but not TUV..I think a left of centre party with a social justice priority.

    I predicted that this would come within the first year and that Paisley would be sent to the glue factory, I figured junior would be shipped off to westminster or more likely brussels to be forgotten..but not hounded out altogether.

    Ironically though this coup as Belfastpaul points out may lead to another, while Robinson is in for the long haul, not many of those around him will survive for too much longer. I think within the next couple of assemblies we will see far fewer old guards and the DUP clone machine will knock out far more Simon Hamiltons…other parties will follow a similar path.