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.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty