Paisley goes

Just heard it on BBC news: Paisley is to resign as first minister after the investment conference. The BBC website reports him as saying that: “I came to this decision a few weeks ago when I was thinking very much about the conference and what was going to come after the conference.”

He also said that it was up to the DUP who replaced him:
“This is not the Church of Rome. This is not Apostolic succession and I have no right to say who will succeed me.

“The person will succeed me when the mark is on the paper and the ballot is cast. “Whoever that will be will have my support and encouragement and if he wants to take my advice, he will get that advice if he asks for it, but I will not be sitting like Putin in Russia saying to the president ‘This is the way you have to go’.
“When I make a break, it is a break.”

Well there you go then.

  • joeCanuck

    Is McCarthy the guy who thought about renting his own property to himself?
    If so, is that the same property which now belongs to his wife?

  • Mark McGregor

    Hey, I think I’ve just worked out David Ford’s recent and surprising contributions on this site to defend the legality of Ian Jnr’s recent support of SS. The technically legal defence. Doesn’t stop things being wrong. Like paying three times the value of something with public money to benefit your wife.

    (and we all know David reads)

  • Mark McGregor

    Joe,

    Maybe David Ford will tell us. I’m sure it’s all technically legal. Technically and legally speaking.

    (I’m not sure if it’s the same office but he pays his wife between 2 and 3 times an estate agent quoted rate for rental of an 2nd office – according to the newspapers not me.)

  • Karl Rove

    “The streets tonight in Ballymena are fairly deserted” – Newsline at half ten. J*s*s f*cking Chr*st: has there ever been a worse local news team that this shower of sewers? Meanwhile, showing how irrelevant Papacroc had already become, Newsnight can’t even be bothered to bump their samey samey dullsville Barack n’ Hill spot from the head of the show. Though that, I admit, speaks as much to their arrogance and laziness as much as it does anything else. And now, as the night draws in, I must withdraw from the keyboard. I really *musn’t* think about the BBC while half cut.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, Mark.

    This is one of those (rare?) cases where a negative isn’t the opposite.
    That is, not doing the wrong thing is not the same as doing the right thing.

  • Mark McGregor

    Joe,

    We’ll just have to hope that David reads this topic and responds. It’s not like he’s a stranger around these parts.

    What’s your bet? Does he have the balls to address Kieran’s rental claims and my view that his position on accepting technicality legalities from Paisley may be linked and that neither is in the spirit of public probity or not?

  • Mark McGregor

    Joe,

    We could hope that David asks Kieran, for the purposes of clarity, was the ownership obtained soley on his wife’s own merit or was her husband’s income taken into account…probity and all that. I’m sure it’s all technically legal though, just like IPJ’s dealings.

  • joeCanuck

    Mark

    It’s been my experience in the past that David hasn’t been shy about coming on here and defending himself and his party.
    But this is a case where almost all of the parties have something they should be ashamed about and, since, as you point out, these things may be technically legal, it’s a possible minefield to come out publicly.
    I’d hope hell have a debate/discussion within his party and sort out the indefensible.

  • LURIG

    Is this the beginning of the end for Unionism? Will we now see a fracturing of the DUP and a dispersal of their voters into wee paraochial parties like TUV? I believe there is a strong possibility of this because Paisley, good & bad, was like Tito as he brought Unionists together in a way that NO ONE else could. It isn’t Republicans, Sinn Fein, the SDLP or the Irish Government who will bring an end to the union with Britain; it will be Unionists themselves as they fight and squabble over going into or remaining in a powersharing administration that will happen anyway. Jim Allister has had a smug grin on his face all day but it’s like the defiant look of a man facing the hangman. Whether he likes it or not nationalists are here TO STAY and there will be NO going back to the good old days of the 50’s and minding the cows for the brethren while they march to the field. There is NO doubt about it, a United Ireland is as close today as it ever was. Like Newton watching the apple fall off the tree NO ONE will be able to stop it.

  • Do people here really think that Peter Robinson has spent two decades manoeuvering for this moment only to cock everything up at this stage? He’s the shrewdest politician in the statelet, don’t underestimate him. Also, does anyone really think that Dodds, Donaldson, Foster, Weir, Storey, Poots, Simpson or anyone else in the DUP with a pulse and a brain wants to collapse this deal? To go where? Into the wilderness of de facto joint authority amid a worsening demographic position? Remember, the overall Unionist majority in the Assembly is… er… two.

    The DUP did not go into coalition with SF because Paisley wanted to gaze longingly into Martin McGuinness’ eyes and persuaded them to. The DUP went into this deal because they saw no other way to stabilise the Unionist position. And they were right. Paisley was not in the vanguard of that thought process, although I accept he was crucial to keeping some more sceptical voices on board.

    I don’t think this is a deal breaker, and I am inclined to agree with Mark that it is actually quite bad news for SF; they show no sign of wanting to take on Robinson on any subject where they know he can outsmart them, and that’s most subjects.

  • “They’re changing guard at Dundela Palace
    Christopher Robinson, he acts so callous”

  • Basil Brush

    It will be weird come May without the big man but snce he went into Stormont in May and with the whole “chuckle brothers” debacle I suppose the end was always nigh.

  • LURIG

    Sammy Morse

    I agree that Robinson is the shrewdest and probably the most naturally talented politician in the North. His performance as Purseholder Major shows that he has NO qualms about destroying the Public Sector or cutting the Social Services budget to collapseable levels. The wages & moral in ALL the Public Services have NEVER been so low and if that is something to be proud of well give me direct rule any day. The motto of this Stormont administration is ‘PRIVATISE IT & BE DAMNED’ as the politicos in Stormont award themselves another pay rise on top of employing their own relatives. There is NO ONE in this devolved government INTERESTED in the working people as they buy into PRIVATISED, LOW PAID, NO RIGHTS Call Centre jobs as the solution. It is shocking witnessing ALL our main parties congratulate themselves on bringing in PRIVATE companies to administrate PUBLIC SECTOR jobs. The Social Security Agency is already in meltdown as the Assembly prepares to close down many Dole Offices and put out their running to Private Companies. This is what OUR politians are doing. How proud they must be.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    As I said on another thread, Robinson built this new agreement and is not only the architect, but the chief enforcer of the St Andrews Deal.

    Just because he don’t chuckle, don’t mean he wants to chuck it all away.

  • insider

    Lurig, have you been taking those wee white pills again? Robinson did not cut any budget other than his own department’s budget. All other departments had an increase – some significant hikes. This is not a debatable issue the facts are available in the Budget Documents on the DFP website. But let’s not allow facts to get in the way of churning out your crazed drivel.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’d never dispute Robinson’s talents, and he easily runs rings around the chuckies (Sammy Wilson too) but I get the distinct impression that he’s trying to run the economy like they did up at Castlereagh – cut everything back, we’re only a suburb. I don’t think it’ll work, but we’ll see.

    Who is going to be Finance Minister when Robinson takes over ?

  • Jo

    Despite the lateness of the hour, excellent post:

    Sammy Morse on Mar 04, 2008 @ 11:48 PM

    CS:

    Pay low rates, get shit service. Agreed.

    But – do/did the ratepayers of Castlereagh vote them out?

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    So here’s to the end of the Paisley political dynasty. In hindsight, wasn’t it very nasty overall however, bar the last couple of years when pragmatism reigned over paranoia and superstitious religious beliefs.
    No doubt, fans of the TUV wouldn’t think so.
    Bring back those glorious years, they say, of the traditional unionist voice bellowing its demands and calling the shots,or else! Bring back the RUC, the B-Specials, gerrymandering, internment, etc… Ah those halcyon days when one could march where ever one wanted and when the telly ended each night with a rendition of God save the Queen!

  • Jo

    Yup: the “principled” approach to politics:

    “nationalists are de facto, if not de jure, unfit for ANY form of Government…because they seek to destroy the State, ergo they cannot be trusted to do anything in Government.”

    And, of course, the old chestnut:

    Hang “terrorists” but exclude from this definition anyone who agrees with you that uses indiscriminate violence.

  • Briso

    I may be about to gloat myself to death
    Posted by Karl Rove on Mar 04, 2008 @ 06:36 PM

    You’ve had your dead cat bounce Rove, you’re yesterdays news.

    “For everyone here in Ohio and across America who has ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out, for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you,” she said.

    Mrs Clinton also pointed to Ohio’s status as a state which had picked the winning presidential nominee in every contest in recent history.

    “You know what they say – as Ohio goes, so goes the nation. Well, this nation’s coming back and so is this campaign,” she said.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Good and bad news for TUVvies. Obviously there’ll be a lot less chuckling to get up the noses of Unionists, and no gaffes from Punt. The party will be managed more tightly than Mick Fealty’s wallet at the Manchester United Superstore. But the potential for voter slippage increases- I mean who actually likes Peter? Jim Allister has a more effective opponent, but one who he knows the Unionist electorate don’t trust or like- plus he knows the man inside out.

    A Robinson freshening up of ministers ought to mean cheerio to Poots ( no need to pander to the Free Ps now), and possibly Arlene- though her gender and location may just save her. Dare he bring Iris in? In may come Campbell and Sammy, long term jester at the court of Punt who surely deserves his chance. The talent isn’t there apart from the above ( and we’re using the term relatively)

    But what to do about Jeffrey? He’s got the talent, and he’s quite young. As the party evolves Jeffrey’s perpetual rubber chicken circuit glad handing may build him support in the grassroots, as it did in the UUP. Such a potential challenger isn’t really someone you want as your junior minister, knowing all the outworkings of your black arts. If you had the health ministry you’d kick him in there to wear himself out in an impossible job. Nigel will want finance to emphasise his deppityship.

    And the Paisley family shuffle off into the sunset- Eileen railing against the ungrateful pigmies who can’t see life begins at 81, Junior feeling the cold winter blast now he can’t shelter behind the great old oaktree- no longer the Dauphin, just a slick salesman trying to keep himself in the running for the North Antrim seat by standing on his own two feet. And the old man getting ready for his last hurrah, as sad in its way as Muhammed Ali fighting for the world title when over the hill-going through the motions on last time. There’ll probably be a presentation- perhaps a zimmer frame made from the wood of a tree at the Boyne.

    And-amazingly- dull dog Reg Empey will have achieved the aim of every Unionist leader for 40 years. He’ll have outlasted Paisley. But knowing Reg’s luck, he’ll probably get knocked down by a bus the day after.

  • malteser

    “They’re changing guard at Dundela Palace
    Christopher Robinson, he acts so callous”

    Christopher Robinson? Nevin, is that the one writes the Newsletter column?

  • Briso

    Darth: “no gaffes from Punt”

    We’ll wait and see about that.

  • Diluted Orange

    Ordinary Person

    [i]Jo, I call it as I see it. He’s scum. He did his best to destroy every decent politician in the North.

    How many died between 1974 and 2007 so he could take the Sunningdale Agreement and give it a new name?

    And that’s only the start.[/i]

    Don’t agree with your ‘hope he dies soon’ comment earlier but I agree completely with this one.

    It’s about time this over-pious, overbearing bigot left NI politics. No one man has done more to destroy Unionism, or even worse to discredit the whole argument for Unionism than ‘Dr’ Ian Kyle Paisley.

    He brought Sunningdale down, for what? So we could swap O’Neill and Fitt sharing power for a self-righteous egomaniac and the head of the IRA going into cahoots together, with 4,000 people being slaughtered along the way?

    He destroyed Trimble, for what? So we could sit on our hands for 8 years until he could whip up enough of a frenzy amongst Unionist hardliners to secure the First Minister’s role for himself?

    It’s always been about him – not the ‘Ulster people’ as he loves to refer to us as. Even when he finally swallowed hard enough and came to terms with the fact that he would have to share power with Sinn Fein (a party whose rise cannot be disassociated with the rise of his own) the sheer arrogance of the man, at 81, meant he had to take on the role of First Minister for himself, just for sentiment’s sake – because we all know that he deserved it.

    This was always going to happen, he was always going to step down after a year once he had sated his ego and who cares about the consequences? Not least those to his party who will now have to fight and squabble over who gets to wear the crown in the full glare of the media.

    Every step along the way he has betrayed those who invested their trust in him. From the poor loyalists of the Shankill, where he formed the DUP, to the loyalist gunmen he befriended so he could supercede the rule of law, to the Unionist people who were cajoled into thinking he would never give ‘an inch to Dublin’. Goodbye Ian, no matter what you think, you won’t be missed and you won’t go into the history books as the saviour of Unionism either.

  • Jo

    At least all this outpouring of vitriol now saves us having to read it in the future against the background of a State (?) funeral.

    Having missed the start of the news last evening, I initially thought, seeing the old footage and hearing the commentary, that God had asked the Doc to call round for a chat about the future.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Reliable sources say the DUP assembly party met recently and all but 3 signed a letter to the Ould Croc asking him to consider his position
    The three non-signatories were the ould croc himself, Junior, and… Jeffrey.Presumably the first two weren’t asked.

    Apparently Paisley told the Shinners and the NIO at the end of last week he was going- possibly before he told his own party group. This has given the NIO the time to start briefing for Robinson, as there are still some NIO people who think Dodds isn’t sufficiently committed to the project.

    Which begs the questions- who drafted the letter, and who was asked to go round the group with it? A surprise promotion in the new order may answer the latter.
    And what is the etiquette for a DUP offer you can’t refuse? The pearl handled revolver can’t be accompanied by a wee dram of the Devil’s vomit. Perhaps a cup of Ovaltine?

    Meanwhile, the farewell tour will conclude at the Vatican, where, like Samson, the ould croc will have one last hurrah, and symbolically throw snowballs specially imported from the Alps in a coolbox at the Popemobile as it drives past

  • Darth, perhaps the sheep didn’t fancy coughing up £20 grand.

  • Jimmy

    Diluted Orange (post24,p5)well said.
    His legacy will always be accomapanied by the voiceless 3500+ who died to fulfill his ego filled, bigoted, fundamentalist onslaught.

  • “Good and bad news for TUVvies. Obviously there’ll be a lot less chuckling to get up the noses of Unionists, and no gaffes from Punt. The party will be managed more tightly than Mick Fealty’s wallet at the Manchester United Superstore. But the potential for voter slippage increases- I mean who actually likes Peter? Jim Allister has a more effective opponent, but one who he knows the Unionist electorate don’t trust or like- plus he knows the man inside out.”

    100pc correct, although I can’t comment on Mick’s wallet.

  • Karl Rove

    So, the Demon Doc’s finally outflanked from the right – pace the TUV result at Dromore – and he’s out within a month. It’s almost as if there was an historic lesson for Ulster Unionism there.

  • Diluted Orange

    Jimmy

    To be honest I think it’s pretty unfair to pick out Paisley as some sort of bogeyman and blame him exclusively for the Troubles. He can definitely be regarded as a major accessory IMO, however. It seems to me that most Nationalists want to paint Paisley as the devil incarnate and blame him for all that was bad over the past 40 years and on the other hand most Unionists see Adams and McGuinness as the sole culprits. The truth, I think, lies somewhere in the middle.

    The Troubles aside, my main gripe with Paisley is his manipulation of the Unionist people for his own ends. You only have to look at the Shankill to see his work at first hand. The DUP were founded on the principles that they would look after the Protestant working class; the DUP were their voice. Back then everyman on the Shankill had a job and some sort of self respect.

    Now, however that same area is just a wasteland – one of the most deprived areas in the British Isles, where kids can’t even get a decent education and where the only career path for a lot of them is to become a drug dealer. Paisley brought legitimacy to the terrorist thugs that have ruined that community for the past generation. Yet he washed his hands of them when it was politically opportunistic to do so.

    “We won’t go into government with terrorists” was the DUP mantra in the 90s, yet they were more than happy to depend on some paramilitary muscle only 10 years earlier because they didn’t have a mandate to back them up then.

    He gave armed struggle credibility when he and others were responsible for grinding Northern Ireland to a halt in the 70s when the government didn’t do things their way. He helped arm the Ulster Resistance. I think he contributed to the loyalist paramilitary cause significantly and he has blood on his hands. At the same time he also has a responsibility for the deprivation that has gripped loyalist communities as a consequence, in no small part, to his actions. His lackey Robinson is not much better.

  • The Shadow

    “So, the Demon Doc’s finally outflanked from the right – pace the TUV result at Dromore – and he’s out within a month. It’s almost as if there was an historic lesson for Ulster Unionism there.

    Posted by Karl Rove on Mar 05, 2008 @ 02:05 PM”

    I doubt it, closer to the mark is that Paisley gave Junior another high profile job when he should have been keeping his head down and out of the public eye, within less than a week daddy is gone.

  • Greenflag

    ‘ It’s almost as if there was an historic lesson for Ulster Unionism there. ‘

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it !

    Deja vu
    In always true
    Especially so
    In Stormont’s zoo

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    “Goodbye Ian, no matter what you think, you won’t be missed and you won’t go into the history books as the saviour of Unionism either.”

    Na, he’ll go down as the man who trimmed the big wild hedge between north and south.

    Stiff upper lip Peter is getting his spade ready to dig up the roots next.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    And Jim Alastair will be sowing a camomile whilst Greg Campbell & Co will be cultivating flower beds. All is rosey in our little green garden isle.

  • Robbie

    It’s worth pointing out that wise man says ‘you think it’s bad? You think that man’s a problem?With his booming voice and talent for wrecking? What follows will be much worse’.

    Anyone with a basic and sensible approach to politics will see the dangers of celebrating Paisley’s exit. Blair came up with his usual soundbite to crystallize it all: the man famous for saying no going down in history, the remembrance, for saying yes.

    There’s a little gnome calle Jim Allister who wants to bring down power-sharing. Not because of Paul Quinn. Because the power is being shared with Catholics, legitimized by a democratic vote. And there is an army of fools – man of whom cheer at Paisley’s departure, including the person who set up his thread – behind him. It must be fought through the ballot box, tooth and nail.

  • Inspector Cleauso

    Is Jim Allister really celebrating the departure of Paisley? He can no longer spout vile about the First Minister “chuckling with a chuckie”.

    Allister’s media performances on the departure of Paisley shows that he will never be the opposition politician that Paisley was.

  • Watched the BBC1 Documentary Spotlight about Paisley last night, I saw those two backwoods, anachronistic, pious freaks from Ballymena who were interviewed.. Good Lord!

    The North a different country? A different feckin’ planet !

  • Garibaldy

    The they’ve taken away all our services since the B Specials remark by the TUV guy was particularly disturbing.
    And in fairness Daithi, Ballymena is a planet all of its own.

  • Twilight

    Good riddance. Hope he realizes something on his deathbed, before he’s left to whip up frenzies of hatred in hell.

  • Butterknife

    Maybe he will make hell freeze over when he gets there: surely that will be another good thing he does 😉

  • darth rumsfeld

    “There’s a little gnome calle Jim Allister who wants to bring down power-sharing. Not because of Paul Quinn. Because the power is being shared with Catholics, legitimized by a democratic vote. And there is an army of fools – man of whom cheer at Paisley’s departure, including the person who set up his thread – behind him. It must be fought through the ballot box, tooth and nail.”

    What a typically pompous load of tripe from a snide and blinkered process fan- probably some otherwise unemployable teenage nephew of an MLA who’s on the payroll at my taxes’ expense running around Stormont in his first shiny suit from Burtons with a covetted pass for the members’ restaurant.

    Allister- and people like him, like me – don’t want to share power with terrorist related parties- includingthe PUP. He’s never been against voluntary coalition with constitional nationalists, though not as his first choice. It’s perfectly democratic not to believe in powersharing too BTW, before you flounce out your contempt for majority rule as something indescribably evil. In fact mandatory coalition is a negation of real democracy, and has hardly proved a resounding success anywhere it’s been tried. But you wouldn’t be able to debate at that level of politics, you just resort to cliche ridden cant.

    Fight away through the ballot box if you will.
    So will we. Election results are as appropriate a way of validating constitutional contructs as the vote for Dustin the turkey makes his music superior to Mozart.
    Last year’s mandate is as irrelevant now to gauging public opinion as the 1998 referendum. And rest assured the next electoral challenge will confirm that Unionism is falling out of love with the flipfloppers of the DUP who told us they were after a fair deal but settled for any power they could get.

    And a wee tip if you’re on the hustings…try to make an adult contribution in future, and not gush like a hysterical schoolgirl in the front row of a Girls Aloud concert.

  • Greenflag

    ‘In fact mandatory coalition is a negation of real democracy’

    True enough . But Northern Ireland was never a ‘real ‘ democracy? The State was a negation of democratic principles from it’s very beginning given the sectarian carve up and the manner in which the UUP came to power. After 50 years of one party rule the State collapsed in 1972 . It’s taken 45 of political efforts from British , Irish and even the US Government to arrive at the ‘fragile’ compromise that now exists .

    ‘Allister- and people like him, like me – don’t want to share power with terrorist related parties-‘

    So you are all in favour of a return to war and a bloody repartition of Northern Ireland ?

    I thought so 🙁

    Well look on the bright side . Unlike Paisley the flip flopper you will no doubt be leading your born again no sharing power with SF stormtroopers from the front and not scurrying around in a chapel or on a remote hillside screaming at the wind . Don’t forget your kevlar jacket.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    I wonder will there be a knighthood for the Reverand Ian from Herself, as a thankyou gesture for his lifelong dedication to “politics”?