Trimble gloats: I lasted four years as First Minister. He lasted one…

IT’S hard not to detect a strong element of schadenfreude in David Trimble’s assessment of DUP leader Ian Paisley’s demise. Having signed up to the legislative ‘twin’ of the Good Friday Agreement – the St Andrews Deal – the former first minister obviously feels his DUP successor has travelled a similar route to himself – but with less personal success. Accusing Paisley of having lost his credibility and the party of not having been ‘transparent’, Trimble added: “It has to be said that Ian Paisley has had quite an influence in Northern Ireland politics over the past four decades – from the ‘O’Neill Must Go’ phase to the ‘Trimble Out’ era. Most of it, however, has been negative, and when he was called upon to be positive, he failed to measure up. It’s one thing shouting from the political sideslines – it’s quite another thing actually governing a country. I lasted four years as First Minister. He lasted one. And I would ask a final question – would Terence O’Neill have shared power with the IRA while he was Prime Minister of Northern Ireland? I leave that one hanging in the air…”

  • Danny O’Connor

    To be fair,Trimble helped to change the political landscape here,whatever his reasons. For the UUP it has been a very difficult time electorally since 1998,however had the agreement not been signed then,we would not have had any agreement now. The GFA/BA(depending on your point of view)became the only show in town.Had Paisley played a more positive role then,his party may not have been so strong,but his country would have.We would have had 10 years of stability,and perhaps less acrimony.

  • joeCanuck

    History will be fair to him. The only unionist leader since Terence o’Neill to realise what the future held and to try and position unionists for eventual reunification.
    Loved that last twist of the knife.

  • Mike C

    A bitter man that history judge as a failure.

  • CS Parnell

    Fair play to him.

  • It’s interesting to observe the praise heaped on Paisley since he betrayed the principles on which he stood for election. There’s nothing nationalists like more than a vichy unionist, and in that regard, Trimble is well placed to comment on Paisley.

    Danny O’Connor claims that had the initially anti-Agreement DUP been pro-Agreement, then we would have 10 years of stability. I doubt the DUP being anti-agreement led to all those IRA, UVF and UDA murders and maimings that epitomise “peace” for peace processors.

  • Truth & Justice

    With out Paisley we would not have had decommissioning and Sinn fein support for Policing that is something Trmble could never get sounds like sour grapes even 50/50 recruitment to the PSNI is going Trimble got a bad deal Paisley a better one.

  • Ozy

    Attaboy David!

    Trimble’s the one who really deserves to be compared to the likes of Carson and Craig, not Paisley who merely accepted the inevitable and followed in the UUP’s wake.

    On the unionist side, were it not for Trimble and the pro-Agreement UUPs courageousness post-1998, and their willingness to sacrifice party interests in the wider interest of Northern Ireland there would never have been the sort of power sharing we see now.

    I think the Dromore result is the first sign the unionist electorate are starting to recognise that – even the TUV voters transferred more to the UUP than DUP on the basis that whilst they may disagree with them the UUP were honest and fortright about their intentions unlike the DUP – up to and including the election last year where they hung the banner on the M2 stating “Ready for Government on March 26th”.

    It says a hell of a lot for the UUP that they were willing to sacrifice their party’s interests for the wider good of Northern Ireland – and certainly they were under no illusion about the electoral cost they would have to pay for that.

    The times they sure are a changin’…

  • ozy

    “With out Paisley we would not have had decommissioning and Sinn fein support for Policing that is something Trmble could never get…”

    typical dupper spin-doctor BS – the UUP secured the start to decommissioning, you guys just capitalised on the fact that the SF/IRA army council made the cynical calculation that a deal with Paisley was worth hanging on in for, hence they shafted the UUP and hung out until they could make the exact same deal with you guys.

    the UUP were honest with the unionist people – even up to the election last year the DUP still couldn’t be straight with the voters and were still pretending they mightn’t go into government – until like 0.0001 seconds after the votes were counted when we suddenly had the paisley-adams press conference.

    give me honesty over duplicity any day of the week!

  • Quiz Master

    “Danny O’Connor claims that had the initially anti-Agreement DUP been pro-Agreement, then we would have 10 years of stability. I doubt the DUP being anti-agreement led to all those IRA, UVF and UDA murders and maimings that epitomise “peace” for peace processors.”

    Dave Vance without Paisley there wouldnt have been the conditions for the IRA to exist. Paisley was one of the main instigaters of the conflict . He was the IRA’s best recruiter. He was steeped terrorism. His own party memebers even as recently as the last fortnight in stoneyford have openly (as seen on UTV) stood with and supported loyalist paramilitaries attacks on catholics

  • pith

    Trimble’s comments on Paisley will no doubt be repeated often when the latter’s role is considered by future generations. Interesting that having denounced the treachery of every unionist leader for over 40 years, there may be one who will be around to write with some degree of intellectual vigour a little bit of the history that determines Paisley’s place.

    Trimble clearly enjoyed his cold dish.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Trimble had the guts to do a deal but not the vision to sell his brand of unionism and equality to the nationalists.

    He spent so much time looking over his shoulder at the DUP the he didn’t look over the fence at the SDLP and SF voters and communicate with them.

    The enemies of Northern Ireland weren’t the SDLP and SF they were to be found closer to home in the DUP.

    Paisley said today he had got SF into a ‘British Government’ and had therefore smashed them….Trimble got them into government first not him has his memory failed so badly?

    What unionist wouldn’t accept O’Neill’s trip to Dublin and Sunningdale today, both were destroyed by Mr NO.

    Trimble will be the man history jusges to have been right, but not effective enough, not the ‘Johnny come lately’ to power sharing Paisley. Nor do I believe it will shine kindly upon Blair either.

    But for all that, we are entering a dangerous phase now Paisley is going. What fragmentation of unionism is still to come as his followers, there were many who followed him not the DUP, may move to the right towards the TUV.

    Interesting times………….

  • circles

    Ahhhh Trimble – he’s still raging it seems. He probably still reckons he deserves more credit for that hand in hand jig with Dr No along the Garvaghy, when in fact he looked just like another desperate hanger on.
    Its a wonder he didn’t add “and I won the Nobel Peace Prize into the bargain, so there Paisley, beat that” – when in fact Paisly did beat that. Love him or loath him Paisley’s agreeing to St Andrews was a lot more important than any of the previous legwork ginger did.
    In a way, if Trimble was the unionist John the Baptist, Dr No was, ahhhhh – hold on sometimes you can stretch comparisons just too far….

  • Chuckling but not a brother

    Truth and Justice gives a very good account of the leadership provided by the big man. Why then was he instructed to go? Why has there not been an outpouring of regret and buckets of tears that he has decided to retire from all the downbeats who owe their big pay packets to the Doc. The silence of the foot troops has been deafening but then they have become a party of robots programmed by control freaks in their press office. Oh for the good old days when the shouts of Sinn Fein/IRA from our super prod Duppers echoed accross our land!

  • pith

    “In a way, if Trimble was the unionist John the Baptist, Dr No was”

    Salome?

  • jadedobserver

    While I don’t think Unionism punched its weight under Trimble, I do think, in fact I’m almost sure, history will judge him better than Paisley, who has always been a populist and an opportunist. You can already see it in the post-mortems from the recent hearts and minds programme. Aside from the politicos and peace-processors (who are obliged to find the best in the worst elements of NI), nobody really has anything very flattering to say about him.

  • fair_deal

    Yes Paisley lasted a year because the DUP and Paisley had the good sense to realise it was time for change while the UUP and Trimble just carried on regardless and ended up a shadow of themselves. Which was the more sensible approach by a political party and leader?

    If Trimble really does want to be viewed positively in history the best thing he should do is to shut up. Putting on repeated displays of his central personal/character flaws provides ample eveidence for the criticism.

    Personally think Dean Godson has written the most definitive appreciation of Trimble and he doesn’t come out of it well.

  • circles

    Nice pith ;o)

  • dupmember

    Quiz Master
    His own party memebers even as recently as the last fortnight in stoneyford have openly (as seen on UTV) stood with and supported loyalist paramilitaries attacks on catholic

    Please name them and use a spelling checker it may be helpful

    Trimble achieved very little what he did do was to throw away vital concessions to Sinn Fien/IRA. Thankfully the DUP have pulled a lot back and stopped the concessions what Trimble got out of it was loads of dosh and a seat in the Lords.

    And of course we have the arch critic of the DUP David Vance trying to rewrite the last week from without, he has not a clue, the DUP members did not push Dr Paisley his family did that for him.

  • Comrade Stalin

    David Vance,

    Mandates are what count, not principles; and if you think there was anything principled about unionism over the past 40 years prior to St Andrew’s, I strongly recommend you think again. There’s no point in having principles if they’re wrong, and the principle of “no taigs in government” seems now to be one that has comprehensively been put to bed.

    Chuckling but not a brother:

    The silence of the foot troops has been deafening but then they have become a party of robots programmed by control freaks in their press office.

    When has the DUP ever been anything else ?

  • James W. Sutton

    Trimble is so far up his a*s.

    He should just shut up and stop trying to grind his axe.

    Trimble and his UUP punched way below their weight and sold out any Unionist principle.

    He jump three times into government with IRA/Sinn Fein. And would have done again in 2003 had his party won the election.

    The UUP are a non-sense and irrelevant. Yes they won the seat in Dromore, but they lost votes. In answer to the claim TUV voters voted for the UUP before the DUP in Dromore due to ‘the honesty of the UUP’ they should really catch a grip. People voted TUV, then UUP – because a. they were told to and b. because they wanted to further bloody the DUP; thats how you can use PR effectively in the event the DUP would rely on TUV 2nd transfers.

    The DUP have now gone into government against much Unionist annoyance and opinion – do you really think any one is happy about going into government with the Shinners? But unfortunately this is where Unionism finds itself – due to the decisions made by Trimble and Co.

    The DUP offers a strong Unionist way forward unlike the UUP and TUV.

  • Peter Brown

    the UUP were honest with the unionist people

    Ozy you should remember that only the victors in this case the DUP get to rewrite history – take a look at the UUP election literature over the last ten years and you might waht to retract that one. Anyway hasn;t Paisley been actually in office for nearly as long as Trimble thanks to his hokey cokey devolution?

  • Comrade Stalin,

    I rather agree that the leadership of unionism has been rotten for many years. However I think where we differ is in your comment that mandates are what matters, not principles. I see it the other way around, insofar as a man without principles has no moral anchor. Clearly this is a benefit in NI politics – esp post GFA, but you will appreciate that I do not let it pass.

  • observer

    Dave Vance without Paisley there wouldnt have been the conditions for the IRA to exist. –

    What a load of BS, the IRAs campaign was based on the murder of as many british citizens as possible. The IRA wanted Brits out, all brits, men women and children and proved time and again they were willing to stoop to any level to achieve this

  • Mike C

    There was no member of the DUP at Stoneyford on UTV. I think you’ll find it was Cecil Calvert (a supporter if not a member of TUV). He was one of the councillors who signed the letter in support of the formation of TUV.

  • ozy

    Peter the UUP was a hell of a lot more honest with the electorate than the DUPs were – last election the DUPs were still pretending they mightn’t go into govt or that they hadn’t made their minds up yet, all total bullshit given that within a few days of the election being safely over with they held the Paisley-Adams press conference and kicked off the chuckle brothers routine…

    With the UUP you knew what you were voting for it was right up there in a gigantic banner on the side of their head office which every commuter into Belfast could see – ready for govt on March 26th.

    The only reason the UUP lost votes in Dromore was because of Alliance and because voters were worried by idiot numpties like McNasty and Burnside trying to drive the party to the right of the DUP. But I think most voters saw that with Carol Black and Basil McCrea they were voting for a moderate centre-ground unionist party that reflected honest British mainstream unionist values.

    The UUP took the risks and took the pain that came with that – got clobbered by the voters in the last few years and now the lesson of Dromore is that the voters are starting to come back to them because they know that with the UUP they’re getting Moderate Honest Unionism, straight-up no-bullshit, no-equivocation unlike the DUPs who will pretend to do one thing then do another.

  • Butler

    Poor old Trimble. The Kerensky of Ulster politics.

    In ten years he’ll be totally forgotten whilst I suspect there will be a statue somewhere in Belfast to the Big Man. History is always written by the victors.

  • Quiz Master

    UTV said Cecil Calvert was a member of the DUP thats what i remember. I see from his wikipedia page he left the DUP to join the TUV. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Calvert_(politician)
    All the same Cecil Calvert was until very recently a member of the DUP. The DUP obviously thought he was the right sort of character for mayor of Lisburn from 2004-05. Well with his anti catholic attitude

  • ozy

    Poor analogy. Look at Russia today. Far more Kerensky than Lenin methinks…

    History has a great way of biting those who think they are the victors on the bollocks so it does!

  • DUPmember,

    So, when Baroness Eileen said that Ian should carry in, what she meant was that he should go? Paisley was told to go, it was a Robbo putsch, and it has been in the making for years as any serious commentator knows. Young Ian provided the conditions, and then…it’s FPC exit time again. I’m glad Paisley is going, but the entire rotten edifice he held up needs levelled as well.

    As for imagined UUP courage and honesty, sorry – the last decade reveals a decayed party.

  • darth rumsfeld

    hmmm
    I’m no fan of the croc, but…
    Trimble in 1998 had 10 MPS, and when he fell had one. His party is irredeemably fractured

    Paisley had 3 in 1998 and now has 9. His party is now -regrettably- the voice of Unionism, possibly for a generation.

    History will not take long to do the maths

  • Greenflag

    ‘To be fair,Trimble helped to change the political landscape here,whatever his reasons.’

    To be fairer still -Trimble was dragged screaming and kicking to the power sharing table . He had very serious reservations about power sharing and he proved later that he had’nt the political skills to work with Mallon & Co .

    ” For the UUP it has been a very difficult time electorally since 1998,however had the agreement not been signed then,we would not have had any agreement now.”

    This has got to be a joke . It’s been a difficult time for the UUP since 1969 . Had UUP leaders the political skills the Sunningdale Agreeent would have held in 1974 and NI would not have wasted a generation contemplating it’s collective navels .

    “The GFA/BA(depending on your point of view)became the only show in town.”

    Yes or a form of it since 1974 !

    ‘Had Paisley played a more positive role then,his party may not have been so strong,but his country would have.We would have had 10 years of stability,and perhaps less acrimony.’

    True. But no truer than had Jim Molyneaux NOT spent two decades almost as UUP leader -ignoring any possible power sharing solution, and instead pretending to Unionist voters that ‘full integration’ within Westminster was politically possible – NI might have had 30 years of stability and perhaps less acrimony .

  • Gum

    Shows what sort of person Trimble is.

  • Peter Brown

    Ozy I think your memory is being a little selective – I’ll spell it out for you as its in front of me. David Trimble’s election message for the 1998 Assembly Election

    “The Ulster Unionist Party will hold Mr Blair to his promises, and will not sit in the Government of Northern Ireland with unreconstructed terrorists. This issue must be comprehensively addressed to our satisfaction. Paramilitary organisations must decide that the war is over, dismantle, disarm and stop the beatings”

    Preconditions achieved prior to sitting in government 0/4. That dishonesty is why the electorate clobbered the UUP and the voters didn’t start coming back in Dromore they simply stopped going away!

  • T.Ruth

    Trimble lacked the support of the Unionist people =He was a cynical opportunist prepared to sacrifice any principle and the people of this province for personal political advancement for himself and his cronies. Only Sir Reg did not get a Lordship for the sell out to NIO plans for joint authority.Trimble was and is a nasty man consumed with a sense of self importance,an over weaning arrogance, and delusions of adequacy.There are enough Ulster Unionist Lords to fill business class section of the BMI Belfast to London flight.
    The two Agreements are not twins. Trimbles Agreement let a fully armed IRA into government -once-twice-thrice.Ministers had unlimited powere and like N/S bodies were unaccountable to the Assembly. Three DUP members of the Privy Council now give Unionist access to present intelligence on levels of paramilitary and criminal activity-Unionists have a veto on anything that is not in Unionist interests.SF supports the Police and the IRA Army Council is to disband. Paisley,for all his faults, can take the credit for being the DUP leader when the DUP brought Northern Ireland from the brink of disaster that would have flown from Trimbles Belfast Agreement, a real sell out of all things Unionist.Trimble is yesterday’s man and will be remembered as a vain peacock who strutted for a time across the stage before taking the title,the cash and jetting off to the Lords, if he is remembered at all.There ,Ive gone and sat on the fence again.
    T.Ruth.

  • Ferrous

    To be fair,Trimble helped to change the political landscape here,whatever his reasons. For the UUP it has been a very difficult time electorally since 1998,however had the agreement not been signed then,we would not have had any agreement now. The GFA/BA(depending on your point of view)became the only show in town.Had Paisley played a more positive role then,his party may not have been so strong,but his country would have.We would have had 10 years of stability,and perhaps less acrimony.

    The unionist people accepted the GFA which included decommissioning of IRA weaponry in the same timeframe as prisoner releases (May 2000). The government and the UUP simply proved themselves either unwilling or incapable of enforcing the agreement that was made, so unionists turned to the DUP to force republicans to adhere to what the people had signed up to. This was ultimately successful, but the ten years you speak of were wasted by republicans trying to avoid the terms of the agreement.

  • ozy

    Peter the UUP went in on the basis of “we’ve jumped, you follow” – when they didn’t follow the UUP pulled out. As it turns out, like I said above, clearly the army council made a cynical decision that it was better to wait for Paisley before jumping. That was up to them – but jump they eventually did.

    There’s nothing like the clarity of hindsight and in hindsight, had we known in advance that SFIRA would fuck us over and wait to do the deal with Paisley we wouldnt have jumped first. But we were committed to the process – for the good of all the people of Northern Ireland not just our voters – and at the time it was absolutely the right thing to do, to test SFIRAs bona fides and to put the pressure on them. Ultimately their bona fides were found lacking and the pressure was put on them – but by that time of course it was the DUP who reaped the short-term benefit not the UUP.

    I think the point of this thread is that when you look over the past 10 years in the round it is the UUP analysis that was bang on the money as far back as 1998 and the DUPs have now bought into that.

    The UUP was honest from the start about supporting the Agreement and trying to set up power-sharing whereas the DUPs firstly rejected it outright, then said they were trying to “get it right” and even as late as last year when clearly the DUP high command was committed to government they didn’t have the guts to say that to the voters.

    Instead the DUP pretended they mightn’t go into government whereas the UUP had the balls to state honestly and clearly it would enter power-sharing – the DUP basically lied about its intentions given that within days of the election being done and dusted it did the deal. And now the DUPs are paying the price.

  • ozy

    I would add that the only time the DUPs have gone to the people on a pro-power-sharing platform was Dromore and look what happened to them there!

    Given that the wider unionist electorate have now accepted the need for power-sharing it is little surprise that many of them are now moving back towards the UUP who have been advocating that for more than a decade instead of the hypocritical, dissembling DUPpers who stand for one thing then do the opposite!!

  • Peter

    the UUP had the balls to state honestly and clearly it would enter power-sharing

    Did you read what I quoted from the 1998 literature or do you just not want to accept that the UUP was just as dishonest and is finished electorally because it got nothing for its sacrifices? I was there – were you?

  • dupmember

    Ozy

    You have a real selective memory about the last 10 years; It was the DUP who forced the UUP’s hand to leave government every time, not them, they saw the writing on the wall as they knew the DUP would not stay in the Assembly with the shenanigans of Sinn Fien and its fellow travellers in the IRA

  • Greenflag

    ‘Given that the wider unionist electorate have now accepted the need for power-sharing’

    So 2007 – 1974 = 33 years

    33 years seems an unduly long time even for ‘slow learners ?

    The difference between Paisley & Trimble would appear to be that the former got the ‘timing ‘ of the long delayed ‘unionist’ political enlightenment on ‘power sharing’ just right.

    Paisley just must have had a better crystal ball !

  • ozy

    yes i was there and we on the pro-agreement side were proven absolutely right and even the dups are on the ground we forged out back then. whereas the old no-nay-never anti-agreement wing of the uup are precisely where, exactly???

    if you want to view everything through the lens of what was in the short-term party interests of the uup in 1998 then u might have a case but the uup exists for a reason which is to sustain and maintain the Union and act in the interests of the whole of the people of Northern Ireland which is exactly what we did – and the fact that even Paisley followed down our path is proof of that.

    thats what makes the UUP a party worth supporting is that its not just in it for its own selfish self-interest but instead its working for the interests of northern ireland unionism as a whole despite the batterings it may take in the process

    how about u come up with your own realistic alternatives for unionism instead of just pissing all over what others have done??

  • Greenflag

    ‘realistic alternatives for unionism ‘

    To replace power sharing there are only two

    1) Repartition
    2) Political extinction .

    Lets hope choosing between the 2 doesn’t take unionism another 33 years

  • Alex Swan

    The DUP took the voters for fools and people are starting to realise, when devolution beds in it will come back to haunt them

  • Smithsonian

    Greenflag
    Hahaha – even complete nonsense can be funny occasionally

    Ozy
    The DUP are finished, the Paisely’s were the DUP, without the “Big Man” what do they stand for?

    Apparently, Robinson’s big idea is to unite Unionism? Almost as funny as Greenflag

  • Turgon

    Peter Brown,
    As ever I agree with you. I guess that is unsurprising as a fellow ex UUP person.

    The only difference between Trimble and Paisley on this might be that after his initial negotiations and initial flip flop we all knew Trimble would not stick to what he said no matter it being in a manifesto or not. With Paisley after all the years of saying No people were genuinely surprised when he negotiated so few improvements to the Belfast agreement and then went back on his manifesto commitments.

    Both individuals sold out for power. It is just that Paisley was only given one opportunity to sell out and then ended up being dumped by his party. Trimble had multiple goes at selling out, despite our best efforts we failed to dump him and it was the electorate who did the job for us.

  • Comrade Stalin

    David,

    I see it the other way around, insofar as a man without principles has no moral anchor.

    There’s no politician anywhere in the world who has a moral anchor, so it’s somewhat redundant to complain about it. Unionism is just the other side of the same coin as republicanism. The general principles are the same, it’s just the means and the methods that are different.

    Ozy,

    But I think most voters saw that with Carol Black and Basil McCrea they were voting for a moderate centre-ground unionist party that reflected honest British mainstream unionist values.

    Carol Black and Basil McCrea have indeed been working together very busily on good British mainstream values.

    But on the whole, you’re going to have to get over what the DUP did. Pioneers and people who take risks get arrows in the arse, and Trimble and the UUP leadership just did not have the political acumen to deflect the attacks, in the way that Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein did. Other than that, all this nonsense comparing Paisley to Trimble is ridiculous – both “sold out” unionist principles, as indeed Gerry Adams has “sold out” republican principles.

    The question people have to ask themselves is whether or not this is a good thing. I’m inclined to think that it is; no political conflict in the world has ever been solved by people sticking to their guns. Problems get solved when people back down a bit, compromise a bit and agree a common framework within which they can co-operate.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Greenflag

    Hahaha – even complete nonsense can be funny occasionally ‘

    So what’s your alternative to power sharing between Unionism and SF ?

    Unionist majority rule ?

    If there isn’t an alternative then does it really matter a damn whether Irish Republicanism’s mandatory forced coalition party in an Assembly without opposition is DUP ? or UUP? or TUV ? any other unionist variation or combination of the above !

    And that is not funny – Some might see it as pathetic others as just political reality emerging in toed in the hole land !

  • dupmember

    David Vance

    I know you would like the DUP to vanish off into the distance and allow the TUV to take over the Unionist cause; well I would like to inform you that we are not going away you know. The TUV’s leader and his fellow travellers and I know him and some others well have nothing to offer the Unionist people, never mind, all the other traditions in Northern Ireland He is in this as a vendetta against the DUP and in particular to Dr Paisley but he will not succeed. He is a MEP politician who is using the European platform that the DUP gave him to further his petty squabbles and thank goodness it is only a matter of time until he no longer has a voice. Is it not sad surely Northern Ireland after almost 40 years of terrorist bombings, murdering and economic ruin foisted on its people deserve more than what you and your ilk is suggesting.

    The DUP under whoever is in leadership in the future is a strong, vibrant and caring Party. Strong in its will and determination to see Northern Ireland prove to be not the failed entity Sinn Fien and its ilk would like it to be. Vibrant in its outlook no longer are we cowed by the rule of lawlessness carried out by the perpetrators of vicious murders and bombings albeit the ones which are carried out for internal purposes within certain organisations which are again evil. Last but not least we are a caring Party putting the concerns of all to the fore to build a place where all can live in relative peace and prosperity and this is in spite of our detractors and because we love Northern Ireland perhaps more then we love our own Party

  • Turgon

    dupmember,
    “no longer are we cowed by the rule of lawlessness carried out by the perpetrators of vicious murders and bombings”

    Indeed cowed no longer; instead we are now ruled by them in direct contradiction to what the DUP and its soon to be erstwhile leader promised for years.

    “albeit the ones which are carried out for internal purposes within certain organisations which are again evil.”

    I take it this is a recognition that the IRA did indeed mmurder Mr. Quinn? If so it seems that some people in Northern Ireland are actually still “cowed by” terrorists or do they not count? In which the claim to be caring for everyone in Northern Ireland rings a little hollow.

    “we love Northern Ireland perhaps more then we love our own Party ”

    You personally may indeed do this. I would submit, however, that all emperic evidence points that your party leaders love power more than anything else.

  • DUPmember,

    I understand your desire to wish away the craven behaviour of the DUP leadership, but as was shown at Dromore, my contempt for it is shared by many other unionists. Turgon is right when he states that it is the love of POWER that motivates the political prostitutes that comprise the party leadership.

    Comrade Stalin,

    I do not accept that politicians cannot have a moral anchor and in that regard I offer up the likes of Enoch Powell, Ronald Reagan and Lady Thatcher. I accept most are as described above and with below average intelligence and above average guile.

  • Greenflag

    ‘allow the TUV to take over the Unionist cause’

    Matters a damn who takes over . A lost cause is a lost cause in a 6 county NI. Now if the TUV put forward ‘repartition’ as their political objective they could create some blue water between themselves and their flawed unionist opponents and might do well. What other political ojjective could they possibly have ? Oh I know !Power sharing with Sinn Fein . But hang on a minute is’nt that what the UUP offer and the DUP deliver ?

    Perhaps there’s something ‘rotten’ in the State of NI ? Not the whole idea of power sharing surely ?

  • Greenflag

    ‘I do not accept that politicians cannot have a moral anchor and in that regard I offer up the likes of Enoch Powell’

    Enoch Powell was an integrationist . He did’nt really believe in a Stormont separate Assembly and he would have been totally opposed to any compulsory power sharing with SF or any other party . His views on the Union were very simple . You are either in it or out of it . Towards the end of his political career in NI Powell had developed a rather less than impressed view of the political ‘capabilities ‘ of his UUP colleagues.

    As for his ‘moral anchor’ we’re still awaiting his ‘rivers of blood ‘ . The English prefer gardening it would appear ! Quite right too !

  • Smithsonian

    Greenflag
    You are soooo funny.

    Obviously, there has to be power sharing, but what about vision? Will there be any vision sharing? What about values? Will there be any value sharing?

    Northern Ireland is a place apart, we have a shared history which makes us unique. We are not the same as the Irish, ask the Irish! We are not the same as the Scots, the Welsh, or heaven forbid the English, though we share some cultural background.

    We are ourselves, use whatever name you want to describe us (I use Northern Irish myself) but we are only arguing with ourselves, nobody else is listening, never mind interested.

    There will be no united Ireland until there is a united Northern Ireland and even then people may chose to maintain the status quo.

    David Vance
    Are you a member of TUV?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Turgon – “With Paisley after all the years of saying No people were genuinely surprised when he negotiated so few improvements to the Belfast agreement and then went back on his manifesto commitments.”

    Agreed. Indeed, some of the changes which were made were designed to keep the DUP in power i.e. the leader of the largest party nominates the First Minister (even if that party does not represent the largest designation within the Assembly). The DUP will use this at the next election to warn about a Sinn Fein PIRA First Minister.

    The DUP told us that 29 Notting Hill, Belfast (home of the RoI Government in Belfast) should be an official embassy, yet did nothing about it.

    People in Northern Ireland can choose to have a foreign Republic of Ireland passport. The DUP talked about the rights of people in the RoI to British passports but did nothing about it.

    The DUP (through the appointments to the victims commission) have betrayed victims by putting Sinn Fein PIRA murderers on the same level as their victims.

    etc etc etc

    So Turgon, you’re right that people were genuinely surprised when Paisley negotiated so few improvements. But they continue to be surprised at how ineffective the DUP are on important issues – after all the years of shouting.

  • Quiz Master

    Good to see you giving your tupenceworth Peace and Justice(Loyalist paramilitary style)

  • Smithsonian,

    Am I a member of the TUV? No.

  • David Vance said

    “I do not accept that politicians cannot have a moral anchor and in that regard I offer up the likes of Enoch Powell, Ronald Reagan and Lady Thatcher.”

    Thatcher said we were as British as Finchley, then allowed the Irish govt a say in our affairs.

    She promised to face down the dirty protesters / hunger strikers, then capitulated.

    She acknowledged Enoch Powell as a mentor, then left him in the wilderness.

    She said the British people were worried about immigration, then did nothing to stop it.

    She was Education Secretary and wiped out the grammar schools in GB.

    She complained about European federalist tendencies, then joined the ERM.

    She allowed her son to do lucrative side deals during important talks (Saudi Arabia, 1980s).

    Need I go on?

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Quiz Master – I know it’s terrible – us Unionists having the cheek to make comments on here. What next? As I have said on many occasions, I have never supported terrorism. But hey, don’t let that get in the way of your propaganda. Are you related to Chris Donnelly ref his Sinn Fein PIRA campaign about Stoneyford?

    Quiz Master – “without Paisley there wouldnt have been the conditions for the IRA to exist.”

    Whatever Paisley did or didn’t say, do you condemn the Sinn Fein PIRA death squads which caused such suffering?

  • Hawk,

    Her instincts were sound but she had some very poor associates such as Heseltine, Pym, Clark, Patton etc. I also never said she was perfect, are you? But she was a giant compared to the pygmies that now abound.

  • Granni Trixie

    At the time, I assumed that in taking the Nobel prize, Trimble had the will to at least try to punch above his weight. I now think that he is without honour and demeens the role of a Laureat. He only half did the job of First Minister, by which I mean he did not give it the time it required and did not get to the starting line in terms of forming effect working relationships with other parties. I mean you do not need to create ‘chuckle’ relationshops with chuckies to get the business done. Who knows how much further Ni might have travelled during his four years in power if he had given it his best shot?I also think it is significant that the Conservative Party have not found a role for him despoite his touting – very wise of them.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    David

    I’ve never understood how some unionists could be so forgiving of the PM who signed the Anglo Irish Agreement. Weren’t you incensed by it? Surely this should override any sympathy for Lady T, no?

  • Gonzo,

    Of course, but check out who advised her. Thatcher was made of the right stuff, imperfect as she was. Compared to Major and Blair, she was very true to unionism. BTW – she has subsequently gone on record saying she regrets the AIA.

  • Perhaps the Turtle and the Croc can swap stories about how they sold out under pressure and both ended up on the political scrapheap.

    At least Ozy and DUP Member have given us comedy value. Someone remind them that the support for their parties in the Dromore DEA actually FELL.

    The DUP will lose many thousands of votes thanks to all the people who thought that by voting for the party they would keep Sinn Fein out of power. JA is best placed to hoover them up because he stuck to his principles whilst Trimble and Paisley betrayed their supporters for the world’s praise.

    On the subject of Nobel Peace prizes I wonder if Papa will end up with one? And if he does, will he take it if “Deputy” gets one too?

  • Comrade Stalin

    David,

    The other honourable gentlemen make a good point. Thatcher sold unionism down the river. And if you look at, as I’m sure you have, the way Thatcher ran her government, it’s very difficult to be convinced that she would have allowed political advisers to force her to do something she felt was wrong. Her tenure as PM ended because she was incapable of doing precisely that.

    It’s hard to know where to start when assessing Reagan’s integrity, but a good place to start is to ask what he was doing selling weapons to Iran ? I guess you could point out that the man had imperfections, which is really what my whole point is – they all have imperfections, some of them pretty serious.

  • Butterknife

    The problem with history is that it the aggregate of events or a person’s lifespan: not just entering joint government with a party he promised to smash but also how he got to this point. To be objective the man has the power of charisma: traits associated with other leaders of the world – good and bad: e.g. Hitler, Gandhi, Stalin, Christ the man, and Luther-King et al. He could funnel the fears of the few in the 1960s etc and amplify them for he thought was the voice of the silent majority. He may have frustrated O’Neil and the SDLP (Fitt et al) but was no doubt a boon to the fledgling Sinn Fein Party at the time by his frequent ‘them and us’ speeches. Judged against this history he is a total failure as he is in a power sharing government with Sinn Fein. The one time self-confessed IRA Commander Martin McGuinness MP MLA is his co-equal. His victories at the ballot box also show that he did not smash Sinn Fein in the eyes of the electorate nor of his colleagues but instead was their Loyalist recruiting sergeant by default.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Trixie

    >>I assumed that in taking the Nobel prize, Trimble had the will to at least try to punch above his weight.< < In the interests of bi-partisanship I suppose he had to be given the prize. Though he done absolutely nothing to deserve it. >>Am I a member of the TUV? No.
    Posted by David Vance<< Might be a good idea though DV, all 20 members would triple your readership. However I suspect they may be a little too leftie and modern for you. When auld Maggie finally shuttles off this mortle coil. Will a new devil be born to replace her?

  • Peter Brown

    Watchman I think the champagne corks were popping in Cunningham House because the UUP vote has stopped freefaliing and is now just plummeting..Ozy has been very quiet since we pointed out the facts hasn’t he/she?

  • Greenman

    ”Obviously, there has to be power sharing, but what about vision? Will there be any vision sharing? ‘

    Vision ? Television perhaps . Be realistic . NI does’nt need vision. It’s politicians have/had eyes and ears like those of other countries . The difference being NI politicians chose not to see what they did’nt want to see and ignored what they did’nt want to hear . The day that Northern Ireland produces a politician with vision will be the day that the almost blind koala bear climbs down from his eucalyptus tree and takes up rice farming!

    ‘What about values? Will there be any value sharing? ‘

    I’d recommend the 10 commandments and the Sermon from the Mount but perhaps comimg from an atheist this ‘value’ advice might sound less than sincere. If this sounds like too much perhaps Catholics might keep the first five and the Protestants the last five . They could change around every 2 years just to relieve the monotony and give the other side a chance to sin differently ?

    ‘Northern Ireland is a place apart’

    Oh yeh ? Apart from what ?

    ‘we have a shared history which makes us unique.’

    There are many places around the world which are just as ‘unique’ in their own way . The Balkans is a good place to start looking for similar ‘unique’ qualities . BTW ‘unique’ is not necessarily a good thing . Two headed cows are also unique !

    ‘We are not the same as the Irish, ask the Irish!’ We are not the same as the Scots, the Welsh, or heaven forbid the English, though we share some cultural background.’

    Brilliant. Vive la difference whatever it is .

    ‘We are ourselves, use whatever name you want to describe us ‘

    I will 🙂 From now on I’ll use your own ‘unique ‘ suggestion .

    ‘Ourselves’

    ‘There will be no united Ireland until there is a united Northern Ireland and even then people may chose to maintain the status quo.’

    As long as Mother England keeps paying the bills ye’ll be fine and ‘ourselves’ regardless of any constitutional arrangement .

  • Prince Eoghan,

    Normal high standard of contribution from you I see. Interesting to think the TUV has twenty members, if so, that makes the Dromore bye-election result EVEN more impressive.

  • Comrade Stalins,

    Imperfections are one thing – having no principles is another.

  • TUV has just 20 members? I read somewhere that its membership now stands at 600 and rising, about the same number of delegates on the UUC.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Dear dear Dave.

    Lol! Ignoring the barb in comment. Ouch! an ego so large is all the easier to deflate! STRIKE!

    Watchman

    I don’t believe for a second that the revolutionary and forward looking TUV have only 20 members. The comment was directed at a certain 2nd rate downmarket blogs readership numbers, which have plummeted recently. LOL!

  • David,

    I take it that, by your logic, when George W. Bush attacked the mighty Iraq, he was a titan of principle.

    On the other hand, when he continued the Clinton policy of appeasement of republican terrorists, it was those terrible advisors again.

  • “Her instincts were sound but she had some very poor associates such as Heseltine, Pym, Clark, Patton etc. I also never said she was perfect, are you? But she was a giant compared to the pygmies that now abound.”

    Posted by David Vance on Mar 09, 2008 @ 11:18 PM

    Try this, David:

    “Ian Paisley’s instincts were sound but he had some very poor associates such as IPJ, Eileen Paisley [or insert according to taste] etc. I also never said he was perfect, are you? But he was a giant compared to the pygmies that now abound.”

  • Prince Eoghan,

    Having ATW called a downmarket blog by the likes of yourself is indeed a compliment. My thanks. Since registration we have further benefited from rising traffic and the removal of all trolls.

    Hawk,

    Liberaing Iraq was indeed a brave move. But Bush listened to the reptiles in US State, the sirens who also want to talk to Iran, so supporting the IRA in government, backed by the UK and Irish government was hardly a surprise! It was, and remains, morally wrong of course.

    The Paisley analogy is cute – but of course the problem is that his Vichy instincts are found at every level in the Party. So he is a betrayer of his own stated principle, as is Padre Peter and the rest of the Dupes.

  • Jo

    “the sirens who also want to talk to Iran,”

    Yeah, how utterly contemptuous, the very notion of actually talking about problems instead of killing and bombing to sort such people out.

    Ironically, this nasty little world-view is the outcome of a democratically expressed wish of people here – the utter rejection of armchair generals urging violence as the solution to all problems and all opposition. “Won’t get foooled again” comes to mind, for some reason.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Dave

    >>Having ATW called a downmarket blog by the likes of yourself is indeed a compliment.< < I knew I needn't name it, obvious innit! >>Since registration we have further benefited from rising traffic < < Aye, ootside yir windae perchance! >>and the removal of all trolls.<< The Reichstag was burnt to remove all unapproved 'dissenting' voices also, but you've kept the approved 'kill em all' xenophobic crazies..................a Pyhrric victory perhaps considering that numbers are well, well down? Love how you reckon paisley was fine and dandy before he went all Vichy and actually dealt with Taigs.

  • ..you mean, “Dealt with IRA scum” surely?

    And the numbers are way up…so thanks for asking! 😉