“There is a growing acceptance that it is going to happen..”

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Northern Ireland First Minister, Ian Paisley Snr, has received the endorsement, and a clean bill of health, from his wife, Baroness Eileen Paisley – who wants him to continue in the role of First Minister “until he has done what he set out to and that is achieve peace and prosperity and normality.” Nothing too surprising in that. But the report also reveals that “the DUP is to hold an annual conference for the first time in more than two years.” Sometime in the Autumn. And, in considering the future for the Paisley brand, there are also the more interesting comments from an anonymous senior party source.

A senior party source said: “It is a very close and loving relationship and they have always shared everything. His wife is his most trusted and closest confident, even more than Paisley Jnr. She would like him to stay but he is more accepting of the fact that that is not achievable.

“Given all the circumstances it is coming to the latter stages. There is a growing acceptance that it is going to happen, despite Mrs Paisley’s wishes.

“We are in a process of change. Three dates keep being mentioned – May, after the one year anniversary and the American investment conference, at the end of the Assembly year or when they come back from recess.”

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  • Big Ian’s such a romantic. When his party got the opportunity to nominate his first ever life peers, who should he pick but his own wife who hadn’t played any role in public life since the Constitutional Convention in 1975-6. And this was from the same man, who in the 1960s, used to attack the Unionist grandees who stuck their wives on to UUC committees.

  • joeCanuck

    The Baroness is reported as saying she wants Ian to remain until the job is done and until normality is restored..
    That raises a couple of points.
    What will define the job as being done, and, more interestingly, what does “normality” mean in the N.I. context?

  • The Penguin

    “until he has done what he set out to and that is achieve peace and prosperity and normality.”

    So that’s what Paisley set out to do? Talk about taking the scenic route.

    And there was the rest of us thinking that there was quite a bit of peace, prosperity and normality before the big, loudmouthed ballox came along.

  • x

    Anybody with the inside track on St Andrews knows the principle change that took place on the Thursday night was that Eileen decided it was Ian’s time. No principle, no Sinn Fein concession, no plan B – just fifty years since the last time he said “I do”. And again it was all done with Eileen’s blessing.

    It would be a foolish Robinson to under estimate Eileen Paisley. She has seen Ian Snr humiliated by the Church, Ian Jnr humiliated by the press (or possibly the progressive wing of the DUP) she is not going to let Ian Snr be humiliated again.

    Of all the people or families who know where the skeletons in the DUP are buried it’s Eileen and the Paisley’s. If she says he carries on – he will.

    Now things are set to get interesting – family, before party, before country, just wait and see.

  • Ian the Transformer

    His job won’t be done until he has embraced his Irishness, pucked a sliothar around the fair fields of Cushendall, played a Bodhrán in Rasharkin, spoke An Gaeilge breá, and put his hand between his legs and found himself.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Be warned Ian
    Madame Ceaucescu said much the same thing to her dear husband before his fateful trip to the balcony…

  • Greenflag

    ‘And there was the rest of us thinking that there was quite a bit of peace, prosperity and normality before the big, loudmouthed ballox came along.’

    You might think that and you could be forgiven for thinking that but it took the ‘loud mouthed ballox’ to make it abundantly clear that there was ‘something rotten’ in the Unionist State of the time. And even if part of what was rotten was himself is it not amazing that he’s now smelling of roses despite Junior’s temporary relapse into the manure heap!

  • Rory

    Has anyone had the opportunity to count the shoes in the Baroness’s wardrobe?

  • interested

    penguin
    “And there was the rest of us thinking that there was quite a bit of peace, prosperity and normality before the big, loudmouthed ballox came along.”

    Whatever the rights or wrongs of the current Paisley actions its a little simplistic and completely inaccurate to blame all our troubles on him…

    x
    It might be foolish to underestimate Eileen Paisley, but I doubt she should be overestimated either. Exactly what sway does she hold within the DUP? Ironically, the more she speaks out the more damage she may actually be doing the Paisley ‘brand’.

  • The DUP is a unique party in that it has allowed its leader to give leading positions or sinecures to members of his own family. Would Junior, a man of habitually poor judgment, have reached his position without daddy’s help? Would Eileen have been elevated to the national legislature if she hadn’t been Ian’s wife?

    As long as Big Ian stood on the outside, as the leader of dissident unionism, he was politically immortal. Once he flip-flopped to accept a settlement he had actively worked against all his life he became politically mortal and a target of the dissident unionism that he chose to betray. There is a long list of unionist leaders that were seduced into arrangements that eventually wrecked their own support base. If Paisley has any wit left (an open question, given the astonishingly ill-judged Chuckle Brother routine), he will jump before he gets pushed. Jim Allister must be hoping that Big Ian keeps listening to Eileen.

  • pith

    Done what he set out to do? I thought he’d managed that years ago when he succeeded in spreading his nasty, vicious bigotry throughout Northern Ireland. There are quite a few people in their graves who won’t get to enjoy Mrs. Paisley’s land of peace, prosperity and normality because her husband stirred up enough hatred to make sure they wouldn’t.

    Rory, Imelda might be jealous.

  • Greenflag

    ‘There is a long list of unionist leaders that were seduced into arrangements that eventually wrecked their own support base.’

    One particular holder of the post Craigavon at age 69 had curtailed his work ‘ethic’ to one hour a day and his frequent long vacations outside the province did nothing to diminish his paternalist indulgence of the most sectarian and parochial strands of loyalist opinion .

    In comparison Paisley is a human dynamo even at 80 years plus !

    Unionist leaders never had to work . They had no effective opposition . Nationalists and Republicans were disaffected and if reform minded unionists opened their mouths they were soon silenced by a barrage of ‘lundyitis’

    Probably best not to expect too much from Unionist politicians . The overall record since 1920 is nothing to shout about .

  • x

    exactly how much sway does she (Eileen) hold?

    BY my observation at St Andrews she holds total sway!

    There is no logical reason why the DUP flip floped at St Andrews, there was no new deal, no new promises, nothing so someone had to convince Ian it was time to say yes, the word on the ground was Eileen did. Jnr looked for his sweeties and got them, but it was Eileen’s influence that swung the Big Man.

    So I reckon she is the power behind the throne

  • Crataegus

    Is this the point at which we are supposed to let bygones be bygones, be nice and pat the old fella on the back for the wonderful job he did?

    Well forgive me if I say we all would have been better off if he had departed over 30 years ago. What exactly has he achieved that he was not been instrumental in delaying? What on earth was the point of it all? Ego perhaps?

    As for appointing everyone related; it is unbelievable. Does ‘Baroness’ Eileen Paisley not sicken capable people in the DUP? Could you not have sent someone more able? Whose job has she taken? Am I the only one who is totally appalled by this?

    History will not be at all kind to Mr Paisley (forgive me if I omit the Dr.)

    until he has done what he set out to and that is achieve peace and prosperity and normality.

    That really is classic. We all head into the west, and the setting sun, hand in hand as the curtains come down.

  • pith

    Crataegus,

    No you are not the only one appalled by this. Paisley (forgive me if I omit the Dr. and the Mr.) is another name for poison. He is personally responsible for thirty years of violence. I still trust that history will judge him properly and will record the full extent of his devilment.

  • Uncle Hugo

    Mammy strikes again!

  • 0b101010

    The shine from taking on the role of The Man from Delmonte is only going to last so long. He should cash it in while he can, to have any chance of whitewashing his legacy.

  • “It is a very close and loving relationship and they have always shared everything.”

    Did anyone else think they were talking about Paisley’s relationship with his DFM? Just me?

    “He is personally responsible for thirty years of violence”

    That’s stretching it a bit. He bares a large part of the blame but he didn’t do it single-handed, he’d a little bit of help from his current deputy and his buddies on that count.

    “The shine from taking on the role of The Man from Delmonte “

    I used to think the Man from Del Monte was class – an icon. You’ve just ruined it for me by comparing Paisley to him. Thanks 🙁

  • Inspetor Clouseau

    “He is personally responsible for thirty years of violence”

    Revisionism in the extreme. What ever Paisley did with his emotive and agitating language and actions, the right response was not blowing people and places to bits.

  • pith

    Revisionism? By what definition?

    Of the response of those who blew people to bits are you referring to the ones who did it because they thought he was right or the ones who did it because they thought he was wrong, or both?

  • Jo

    “because her husband stirred up enough hatred to make sure they wouldn’t”

    But now – he has changed.

    I’d be more concerned, frankly, with those who haven’t changed at all, who encourage continuing hatred, but who (thankfully) appear unlikely to pose any electoral or destabilising influence.

    I think that there’s a common history to Gerry, Marty and Ian: all that bluster, all that coffin carrying, was needed – in order to carry the weight of their respective communities behind a resolution, such as it is.

    Those pursuing lemming-like, a refusal to compromise, can only and to their shame, knowingly, be pursuing a path which leads to more instability and more coffins.

  • Mystic Meg

    “It might be foolish to underestimate Eileen Paisley, but I doubt she should be overestimated either”

    I see a DUP WAG scenario here. It could be an interesting soap to rival Footballers Wives!The two front contenders are obviously Eileen and Iris. Eileen has come out fighting and among the Paisleyite faction is a force to be reckoned with, especially with the church magazine at her disposal.Iris is less subtle but equally ambitious for her husband as her shrill exchanges in the chamber show. More the Tanya factor. Could this antagonise other WAGs? Are there other contenders? Any little whispers of scandal? This soap could run and run.

  • pith

    Jo,

    You miss the point. Paisley was responsible for thirty years of misery. To what degree he was responsible is a matter of personal opinion. If he had any decency he would crawl away in acceptance that his way was the wrong way. Instead, like his partner in government, he derives his power from a political dispensation put in place by those who genuinely cared about improving the place and were abused by him for it. He is nothing but a parasite on peace, prosperity and normality.

  • So who’s going to be producing the coffins, Jo? It’s not going to be me, David Vance, or even Jim Allister. Answer: the republicans, whose good faith you presently accept in that tediously liberal high unction of yours – even in the face of evidence that they have produced at least one coffin already this past year.

    And do tell us who exactly is encouraging “continuing hatred” – and make sure you do so with chapter and verse.

  • steve

    The Watchman
    As i recall the republicans did start filling the coffins the last time but unfortunately it was feet first at the hands of some rather blood thirsty unionists

  • pith

    And another thing Jo. Are you really suggesting that Paisley got going with the coffin chasing act way back when just so that someday he could bring his side of the community with him in a peace deal? I’ll have what you’re having.

  • Yvonne

    Unionist grandees put their wives (plural)on committees whereas Paisley did so with his (singular)wife.