Damaging the family brand?

Whilst the BBC report Ian Paisley Jnr’s claim that he has not damaged the “Paisley brand”, in the Belfast Telegraph David Gordon tells us that the Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley Snr is facing a House of Commons standards inquiry over Westminster-funded payments to his politician son – a payment Paisley Jnr reveals to be between £9,000 and £11,000 per annum – and a possible second inquiry over Paisley Snr’s lobbying on behalf of Seymour Sweeney’s Causeway plans. The use of public funds to pay the mortgage of their joint constituency offices is also reported to be the subject of an Assembly standards complaint.

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  • PeaceandJustice

    While the Paisleys deserve no sympathy, I have to agree with the article below. It seems at Stormont the rule is: Unionist Money Bad, Republican Murder Good.

    ————————————————-
    Belfast Telegraph

    Why Ian’s pain makes us feel good

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    Lindy McDowell

    Ian Paisley Jnr finally fell on his (ministerial) sword up at Stormont this week. As such he is the first high profile scalp – or at least partial scalp – of our new-style political morality in Northern Ireland. Which, to sum up runs like this – you can’t expect to hang on to your position if you’ve been linked to lobbying and office rent controversies.

    But you can if you’ve previously murdered someone.
    ————————————————-

  • ulsterfan

    Peace and Justice
    You make a very valid point.
    When comment is finished re Paisley we should turn our attention to those Republicans who have a proven criminal record, and there are quite a few, and to tell them no matter what the GFA may say we find their past activities to be a genuine reason why they should not hold office.
    If they do not do the honourable thing and resign we can continue to call for this and must never let them forget what they have done .
    They will not be given respectability by our silence.

  • PeaceandJustice

    And why are the DUP keeping so quiet about the Sinn Fein PIRA robbery of the Northern Bank? It only happened just over 2 years ago. Yet the DUP allow David McKay Sinn Fein PIRA member for North Antrim to keep going on about the Paisleys without any mention of it. SDLP members like Declan O’Loan are also very vocal about the Paisleys – yet seem to want Sinn Fein PIRA criminality brushed under the carpet.

    Unionists don’t expect much from the SDLP. But perhaps the DUP are embarrassed that they are in Government with a bunch of Sinn Fein PIRA bank robbers and murderers.

  • Ulsterfan, you can always trust the electorate to vote for politicians we don’t deserve.

  • Rory

    Revelations that point to the Paisleys only being in it for wealth, power and self-advancement do not in the least tarnish the brand image as far as I (and many others) are concerned.

    We never but doubted that that’s what Papa was only and ever in pursuit of and it is good to see that the brand is being faithful to the image it portrayed at least to those who were not so blind as to see it.

  • J Kelly

    Peace and Justice it wasn’t only republicans who were involved in the conflict. Many people in the unionist parties were connected to unionist paramilitaries in one way or another, many were in the UDR and RUC who both done their fair share of murder and torture during the conflict.

    The issue here is simple corruption wrong while we all work to ensure that the conflict we all lived through never returns.

  • ulsterfan

    J Kelly

    What is your source for saying RUC UDR or other state agency was guilty of torture.
    Accusations of this sort were made by ROI government and the broad Nationalist /Republican community .
    The charges we considered at the European Court of Human rights and dismissed.
    Perhaps you know of something not mentioned at Strasbourg.
    We have long memories and will not permit criminals of any sort to re write history .
    This will be one of the biggest political battles in the future.
    Republican murderers will be reminded of their past.

  • Chuckle Vision

    “And why are the DUP keeping so quiet about the Sinn Fein PIRA robbery of the Northern Bank?”

    A good question, P and J. Papa Doc even joked about it in public with Marty.

  • steve

    They dont mention Northern Bank because no proof exists that the IRA was involved in any way so they just end up looking like silly old gits when they beang away at it. Something you might consider while you keep telling yourself the silly little lie

  • BonarLaw

    Steve

    are you saying the Provos didn’t rob the bank or that they did such a good job robbing the bank they left no proof? If it’s the former you are in a very small minority.

  • joeCanuck

    I’m not sure about the size of that very small minority, Bonarlaw.
    I don’t have a clue about who did it. I suspect strongly that it was the IRA. But no charges have even been laid mentioning the IRA, let alone proof being offered. So people who claim that it definitely was the IRA might be jumping the gun.
    As I said, it probably was the IRA but we’ll have to await for (the very slow) justice to come to a conclusion.

  • keep it in the family

    List of DUP MPs and MLAs who employ relatives

    Gregory Campbell – wife (Full Time) – employs 7 in total
    Nigel Dodds – wife (Full Time) and son (Part Time) – employs 7 in total
    Jeffrey Donaldson – wife (Part Time) – employs 8 in total
    William Hay – son-in-law (Full Time) – employs 3 in total
    William Irwin – daughter (Full Time) – employs 2 in total
    Nelson McCausland – nephew (Part Time) – employs 3 in total
    Ian McCrea – wife (Part Time) – employs 4 in total
    William McCrea – son (Full Time) and daughter (Full Time) – employs 6 in total
    Michelle McIlveen – brother (Full Time) – employs 3 in total
    Adrian McQuillan – sister-in-law (Full Time) – employs 3 in total
    Maurice Morrow – sister-in-law (Full Time) – employs 3 in total
    Robin Newton – wife (Full Time) and son (Part Time) – employs 2 in total
    Dr Paisley – son (Part Time) and two daughters (Full Time) – employs 7 in total
    George Robinson – son (Full Time) and nephew (Part Time) – employs 4 in total
    Iris Robinson – son (Full Time) and daughter-in-law (Part Time) – employs 6 in total
    Peter Robinson – son (Full Time) and daughter (Full Time) – employs 4 in total
    Jimmy Spratt – wife (Part Time) – employs 3 in total
    Jim Wells – daughter (Part Time) – employs 6 in total

  • interested

    keep it in the family,
    It would seem that on a % basis the DUP has less MLA’s who employ family members than either the SDLP or the Alliance Party.

  • keep it in the family

    About 50% I would say. The 18 employ 25 family members.

    The interesting part is the Robinsons – a political dynasty – they would have been quicker saying which members of the family they dont employ!

  • PeaceandJustice

    To ‘keep it in the family’ – do you also have a list for the Sinn Fein PIRA group i.e. MPs and MLAs who employ relatives? Or given that they believed it was OK to tell lies during their murder campaign, would the information be correct anyway?

  • interested

    keep it in the family
    I suppose its all in the way that you look at it…

    For the Robinson’s for example its 4 family members out of a total of 10 employees in total.

    Or, of all the ones who employ family members, they employ a total of 26 family members from a total staff of 79. That comes out at about 1/3 of their total staff.

    Clearly if you added in the staff employed by the other 18 who don’t employ family members the % would be a lot lower.

    The trouble for the DUP would seem to be that they actually have less “to hide” than other parties, and its only the delay in releasing the info which is keeping this supposed story running.

  • Buggerhed

    “The trouble for the DUP would seem to be that they actually have less “to hide” than other parties, and its only the delay in releasing the info which is keeping this supposed story running.”

    This info. was readily available a few weeks ago, then this story emerged and it was sharply brushed away until nobody cared.

    But those brave noble fellows in the DUP have now proven their worth – is that what I’m expected to believe?

  • picador

    Apparently Gregory Campbell has being ‘paying rent to his wife’ for a consituency office in Coleraine. Yeah right, Greg!

    So much for these good honest-living fundamentalists. They are crooked to the core!

    Give me CJH any day!

  • interested

    Buggerhead
    “his info. was readily available a few weeks ago, then this story emerged and it was sharply brushed away until nobody cared.”

    How do you know it was readily available? Do you have some inside track here? I’d have thought it wasn’t kept until “nobody cared”. If nobody cared at the minute I’d have thought that they wouldn’t have bothered releasing the info!

  • DC

    The greasiness just got greasier.

  • Buggerhed

    “How do you know it was readily available? Do you have some inside track here?”

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/family-and-the-party/

    The google cache referred to in the particular thread is now gone but I downloaded said list of advice centres & family empolyees. I’ll gladly send it to you if you wish

    “If nobody cared at the minute I’d have thought that they wouldn’t have bothered releasing the info!”

    Because they perhaps feel now is a good time to “bury bad news”?

    The story’s burnt out, so they’ve hidden their gravy train until such time has come to be.

    But no no no no no no, you’re right; DUP representatives are the finest fellows and lassies about the place and are 100% right in everything they do. Nothing whatsoever to hide.

  • joeCanuck

    From the First Post, today:

    Probe digs up MEPs expenses abuse

    An internal inquiry by the European Parliament has uncovered widespread misuse of MEPs’ expenses. The survey found in a random sample of MEPs that the £130,000 they are each paid for the employment of parliamentary assistants has been claimed for fictitious staff or unqualified family members. MEPs were only allowed to see the report at a secret location, were not allowed to take notes and were told to sign a confidentiality agreement.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Peaceandjustice:

    But you can if you’ve previously murdered someone.

    Which members of the executive have previously murdered anyone ?

  • picador @ 05:20 PM

    Apparently Gregory Campbell has being ‘paying rent to his wife’ for a constituency office in Coleraine.

    To be a bit more precise he was coughing £1,000 a month (£12,000 a year is the BBC’s statement).

    I bet that does something for rents in the Bushmills Road.

  • Billy

    “PeaceandJustice”

    Consistent as ever – straight in with the whataboutery and ignore the actual topic of the post.

    How laughable your name here is.

    You have no shortage of condemnation of Republicans and of Catholic people in general. However you make very little, if any, condemnation of “loyalist” terrorism. On the rare occasions you mention it, you always indulge in whataboutery and effectively defend the “loyalist” terrorists.

    If anyone was stupid enough to believe your posts, they would think that 99% of the victims here were Unionists/Protestants and that the innocent Catholic victims (if you even acknowledge that they exist) of “loyalist” terrorists don’t deserve the same consideration as Unionist/Protestant victims.

    Total hypocrisy and absolutely sickening.

    I’m not a Sinn Fein member, voter or supporter. I have no problem with the criticisms of Sinn Fein posted by many Unionists here.

    However, as usual, your posts display your double standards i.e. Republican terrorism is bad, “Loyalist” terrorism not so bad or perhaps even understandable.

    Why should any reasonable person take your views seriously? You clearly aren’t opposed to all terrorism (only Republican) and you clearly think that innocent Catholic victims are less important than Protestant victims.

    I’m so glad to say that you are not in any way typical of the many Protestants/Unionists that I have known over the years. They have been decent people who despise all terrorism irrespective of the perpetrator or the religion of the victims.

    It must be terrible to one’s view of the world so twisted by prejudice and bigotry.

    You are to be pitied.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Billy – I have always condemned all terrorism. Given the amount of Sinn Fein PIRA death squad supporters on this site, some balance is required. If you think I attack SF PIRA more than others, then I make no apology for that. They are in Government and make accusations against everyone else. So why should they get away with their criminality and murders.

    And as regards yourself, it would be good to see you joining me in pointing out the hypocrisy of the SF PIRA murderers. But that’ll be the day …

    Have you any comments to make on the fact that at Stormont can’t expect to hang on to your position if you’ve been linked to lobbying and office rent controversies. But you can if you’ve previously murdered someone.

  • BonarLaw

    Comrade Stalin

    Paul Butler MLA, whilst a mere back-bencher is a murderer and served 15 years for his crime.

    The deputy First Minister is a self confessed terrorist commander during a period when the organisation he was 2-i-c of was engaged in a murderous campaign against all and sundry in Londonderry. I won’t bore you on the finer points of joint enterprise but I don’t think he can avoid responsibility for the actions of his grunts.

  • darth rumsfeld

    What can be quite clearly seen here is that the Robinson, Paisley, and McCrea families are effectively on the NIO payroll, and financially dependant on HMG. How exactly can Unionists expect people so funded to ever make a stand against the government?

    When St Andrews was sold on the basis of the big bad scary bogeyman of plan B “joint authority”- which funnily enough was never given any detail- how can we avoid thinking that the explicit threat of Hain- to close down the assembly if Papa didn’t deal- was the real motivating factor?

    As for Gregory Campbell,his defence on radio this morning was just awful. “It’s not who you rent from, it’s whether you pay the right rent” was his take. Gregory seems to think that it would be wrong for his wife to stick the arm in, but since that didn’t happen then it’s OK. He was asked if he looked around for other property before renting from his wife, and said he couldn’t get anywhere suitable.

    But why get his wife to buy in the first place- assuming that she wasn’t already a Coleraine property moghul of course? What’s wrong with renting? A politician is here today gone tomorrow as Robin Day famously said, so why not rent for 5 years?

  • Darth, Gregory’s office in Coleraine presumably is also his Westminster constituency office.

    IIRC he became an MP in 2001 and had the dubious distinction of having the highest Incidental Expenses Provision that year of all of the 649 MPs. IEP covers such things as office costs, including rent and equipment but not staffing.

    The 2001/2 figure was £53,315 whereas the upper limit was supposedly less than £20,000. It would have been possible to transfer 10% from the staffing budget to IEP – less than £8,000 – but that still apparently leaves a major discrepancy.

    His IEP for 2006/7 was £16,874 and presumably that sits alongside the £12,600 from Stormont.

  • Gregory would appear to be easier to keep than his (absentee) Westminster colleague, Michelle Gildernew.

    2006/7

    Michelle: Staffing £86,500, IEP £20,231, Stormont rent £15,600

    Gregory: Staffing £69,655, IEP £16,874, Stormont rent £12,600

    Meanwhile, more or less across the street – Irish Street, Dungannon – Tommy Gallagher collects a meagre £1,820 Stormont rent.

    Perhaps its time for a full investigation of ‘expenses’ at both Westminster and Stormont