Another coronation..

Not unexpectedly, Peter Robinson has been elected leader of the DUP with Nigel Dodds as deputy leader, the BBC reports they were officially proposed by Sammy Wilson and Arlene Foster. RTÉ report

Assembly members unanimously agreed a joint nomination of Mr Robinson and Mr Dodds and will go to the party’s 120-member executive committee on Thursday night to have the nominations formally ratified.

Adds Mark Devenport quotes the leader-designate – “Stalin is not dead”

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  • Bigger Picture

    Not really much more to say here. It will be interesting to see how this new leadership handles things. I believe their destiny is in their own hands if they present themselves properly and send out the message that the DUP is in fact standing up to SF/IRA on a daily basis. However I thought that before and was proven wrong last summer…

  • No doubt the Robinson vs Allister war of words will continue:

    “We have had the first period of stable local government for decades and it will last. Nobody has a better attainable alternative and people will not listen to those who offer Utopia but can deliver nothing.

    The Belfast Agreement has gone and Northern Ireland is the better for it.”

    “Make no mistake, without the DUP volte face the Belfast Agreement was dead, but thanks to the resuscitation skills of Peter Robinson its very much back in all its ill-glory.”

  • Peter Robinson – Friend of the Devil.

  • Steve

    Honestly can any unionist or SDLP on here propose any other form of government that will stand?

    If noty give up whingeing and get on with making it work

    Your terrorists really arent better than their terrorists ….. oh wait thats right atleast theres retired the killing fields

  • delta omega

    Peter should enjoy his moment of glory as the first minister as much as he can, because it is sure to be short lived. Given the facts that the DUP lied through their teeth to their electorate, and faciliated the changes to ensure that the FM came from the largest party rather than the largest community, Peter will be handing over the reins to Martin after the next election. It’s a poor deal in my opinion for Nigel, as he’ll never get a sniff as FM – maybe DFM in a decade or two.

  • delta omega

    Steve – a form of government that might stand (considering it does so everywhere else) is one called democracy, which is definitely not what we have currently foisted on us.

  • It’s all over now for some as Biffo prepares to meet the leader designate:

  • “Stalin is not dead”?

    Whatever could he mean?

    Ahem…

    By the way, when does NI get a leader who has not been (or should have been) a gaol-bird?

  • So a party with “democratic” in its title cannot even manage a leadership election with more than one nominee? It shouldn’t surprise anyone. The party stitched up untold thousands of anti-Agreement voters who didn’t want Sinn Fein in power by not signing off on the deal until after the Assembly election. So this latest stitch-up is not surprising.

    Moloney’s book on Paisley claims Robinson and Donaldson got the rules on FM election changed from largest community to largest party to ensure that the DUP could blackmail unionists into voting for it to keep McGuinness from the FM post.

    “I believe their destiny is in their own hands if they present themselves properly and send out the message that the DUP is in fact standing up to SF/IRA on a daily basis.”

    The only thing the DUPers will stand up for is a peerage for the wife.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Lady Robinson of Clontibret, watchman? Letting the son into Strangford early perhaps a shrewd career move (nota bene Ian)

    Let’s hope there’s a vox pop on RTE tonight from that sleepy Monaghan hamlet with Charlie Bird live from outside the gaelic grounds- ‘”Well, I remember he was very nice when he came down that night. Of course his face was all blacked up, and his beret was a bit grubby, but he had lovely hair and beautiful table manners. You just knew he was going to be someone. We’re all very proud of our part in his career” said Mrs Biddy O’Shaughnessy(78)’

    Well, let’s just see who the new favourites are at the court of King Punt. Arlene and Sammy quick off the mark in the brown-nosing stakes. But why not the symbolic handing over by the Ould croc proposing – or was it just too painful to be sitting at the back with Junior? Did he lead the chorus of “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow”?

    When will the reshuffle come? Time, surely, for Allan Bresland’s unique talents to be recognised. If he is shamefully overlooked for Minister of Finance, then surely culture is made for him?

    No truth in the rumour that Arlene has offered to rename the new Belfast city council “Greater Castlereagh”?
    Plug- “ask not for whom the bell tolls…”
    And what does starstruck provo-worshipper Jonathan Powell feel now that the only Unionist he thinks has any “interesting” ideas is in charge?

  • FYI

    The Watchman

    Fianna Fail undemocratic?

    Labour Party undemocratic?

    Conservative Party undemocratic?

    All of those parties have in the past elected leaders unopposed. The UUP do it every year for goodness sake! Dry your eyes cry-baby – you, Allister and the other TUVvies wont have Paisley to kick around any longer and whenever Allister kicks Robinson, he’ll kick him twice as hard back!

  • FYI

    So much bitterness from washed up UUPers. Still suppose its to be expected.

  • FYI

    DARTH

    As someone who supported Ross for years, one of the most work-shy UUP MPs (and that is some stretch) you’re in no position to lecture others about their talents or lack of them.

  • FYI,

    We could have a fascinating discussion about the nature of the democracy on offer in Fianna Fail, Labour and the Tories. As for the Punt, anytime he does try to kick out at anyone for not selling out like the sell-out merchants, the ball is going to mysteriously drift backwards towards his own net. All Jimbo needs to do is to read the Punt’s words from 1998 back at him and wait for the Provos to be bad again.

  • FYI

    and all the DUP needs to do is remind Jim of the manifesto he ran for election on and his own words concerning the nature of direct rule (discussed earlier here).

  • FYI

    BTW, you were the one who raised the nature party democracy inside the DUP as though Robinson being elected unopposed was some sort of a novelty for political parties.

  • Ahem

    Yeah, FYI, those fecking UUP blow-ins – it must almost make you wonder why they’ve got all the good Avenue jobs and you, uh, don’t? Still, keep on transfering that rage somewhere.

  • FYI

    Ahem

    You misunderstand me. I welcome the fact that the DUP has attracted lots of people from the UUP. It just seems strange to me that UUP people like Darth who supported work-shy MPs should be attacking others because of supposed lack of talent.

  • Ahem

    I don’t think I do misunderstand you or your fairly naked jealousy or sense of personal betrayal. And when you’ve got the chance of reaching out to other Unionists, on today of all days (when we can finally start putting that mainland-alienating nightmare of a yahoo sectarian bigot you’ve lemming-like supported all these years behind us), what do you do? Attack fellow Unionists for still saying what you said a year and half ago, but no longer find it politically convenient to do so. At the moment. Until ambition dictates that you rediscover that two legs are indeed, once again, ‘bad’ after all. Is blind obedience as tiring as I suspect it must be?

  • Malcolm, I checked out the theyworkfordevelopers.com but I could find no mention of the leader designate but I did find this on another site:

    “9. Registrable shareholdings
    (a) Union Arch; property development.
    Register last updated: 25 Mar 2008.”

    Union Arch Properties has no website and there seems to be a lack of activity at its Armagh Office.

  • FYI

    Ahem

    Forward with Reg and the Ulster Unionists? Don’t think so.

    As for your other comments. Extracting the personal invictive from them (which doen’t leave a great deal), I followed the DUP because I believe they serve the best interests of the Unionist community – showing toughness and resolution when necessary and entering government at the best time.

    Nothing more lemming-like than those who believe the Ulster Unionists could do no wrong. Say whatever you like about Paisley, but he made a deal that would stick because he pushed Sinn Fein much further than the UUP ever did.

  • Ahem

    Um, way to go Clouseau, in making those half-baked casual assumptions (they really do make life so much easier, don’t they?)

    I’m *not* a UUP supporter, I’m a Robinson supporter who’s delighted that he knifed the Croc and is now rising up unto greatness. And that he keeps you just where he keeps you.

    Oh, and it’s invective – your partners in government have enough excuses for getting rid of the 11+, stop being another one.

  • FYI

    Oh deary me a spelling error and on a wesbite discussion board too! The shame.

    Peter Robinson never knifed Dr. Paisley – he served him loyally for 25+ years and has been to the fore of the campaign to get Dr. Paisley installed as our First Minister and the DUP as the biggest party. I welcome the fact that he has become the next leader of the DUP and can build on the strong legacy left by Dr. Paisley. In terms of Unionist competition, Robinson towers over Empey and Allister and with Dodds backing him up as Deputy, it is an extremely strong leadership team, providing the sort of leadership which the Ulster Unionists singularly failed to do, even when they had the bold Darth within their ranks.

  • FYI

    “to provide” rather than “to do” before you correct me again Pedant!

  • Ahem

    Robinson got rid of Paisley the first clear shot he got, and is now publicly holding him up to further ridicule with his ‘Stalin’ cracks. Still, with your brown-nosing usage of ‘Dr’, I think we’ve got the measure of quite what position you’ve adopted. Care to tell us more about the Dr’s ‘doctorate’?

  • FYI

    What position have I adopted? What was it you were saying about half-baked casual assumptions?

  • Nevin @ 02:03 PM:

    You gave me a cold-shiver moment there. Could history be repeating itself?

    However, I recall that der Fuehrer the Leader had that item on his previous “registrable shareholdings”. The date [“25 March 2008”] is merely the issue of the latest Register of Interests.

    You know, Nevin, your posting is the only one for some time that has made any kind of sense to me. Am I missing something?

  • Ahem

    The position you’ve adopted bears comparison to a panda when it presents. Which is to say, anyone who wants to be taken seriously in discussion but then calls that bigoted old fool Ian Paisley ‘doctor’ deserves to be laughed at. Or do you want to come back and tell us all why you seriously believe Paisley’s a doctor?

  • FYI

    I’m not getting in to some pathetic debate about Paisley’s doctorate. It bears no relevance whatsoever to the discussion in hand, other than for you to engage in a bit of mischief making.

    I support Peter Robinson becoming leader of the DUP. I also have regard and respect for Dr. Paisley and the hard-work and dedication he put in serving our community – the two are far from exclusive although you seem to think that they are. On that score you are wrong.

    Now, your opinions expressed here might well be genuinely felt ones, alternatively you may well be a UUP troll attempting to assert that Robinson supporters dislike Paisley. That is untrue.

  • Steve

    Delta Omega

    there is nothing about nIreland that has been democratic in all its sordid history. from its inception through the 50 years of unionist misrule and including the 30 years of direct rule nIreland has been the definition of undemocratic.

    About as close as you have come was the last assembly election. Now if everybody can learn to share the sand box in 20 years you will either be part of the republic or a fully functioning democracy.

    Or atleast we can hope.

  • Ahem

    You’re damn right you’re not getting into some ‘pathetic debate’ about Paisley’s “doctorate” – chiefly because, you don’t have any arguments to make, and, he doesn’t have one. And yet here you still are cravenly calling him doctor: why? Get off your knees man – an ounce of self-respect and you might get one of the better jobs those UUP swine have pinched from under you.

    Ian Paisley, meanwhile, is and was a sectarian bigot who disgusted our best friends in the rest of the country we’re merely one small part of, lied his way to the top job, was interested not in what was best for Unionism tout court but solely in himself, and the immediate gratification of his close family, who, as soon as he could, betrayed the fools gullible enough to trust him. Thank God Robinson has got rid of him. And yes, I’m sure I’m in a small minority of Robinson supporters who think thus – it makes us no less right. And that’s a position I’ll be sticking to this time next year. God knows what you’ll have been told to think then.

  • FYI

    Ahem

    Firstly I am perfectly happy with my present employment thanks very much. Secondly is there really any need for such animus towards someone who you supposedly agree with i.e. being a Robinson supprter. Thirdly, I choose not to get in to some aqualid row about Paisley’s doctorate because the arguments are well-rehearsed, predicatable and boring.

    Finally, I supported Dr. Paisley in the decisions he took because I believe them to be the right ones for the Unionist community. His leadership has laid the foudations of stable devolution and he forced Sinn Fein to move to a place they never wanted to be.

    The legacy he leaves will allow Robinson to build even futher and show the Unionist community the advantages they glean from having devolved government. Robinson is vastly more capable than Empey and Allister and backed up by Dodds, it presents a strong DUP team.

  • FYI

    SQUALID NOT AQUALID – typo!

  • “Am I missing something?”

    The code, Malcolm. It’s there to baffle ‘outsiders’ – and my opponents 😉

    A friend, who’s been following some of my yarns from the north coast, tells me he’s had a few wet leg moments at the misfortunes of some of those ‘made in the DUP mould’.

  • Ahem

    You tell me, FYI, whether there’s any need to start chucking it about at fellow Unionists. I fear you’ve got the edge on me as far at that CV point goes. When I was in the UUP, I droned on about the need for trying to cooperate with fellow unionists in other parties, even when there was precious little evidence that they actually wanted to cooperate with us (with ‘us’ being the hardly Turtlephile anti-agreement end of the UUP). If you think your performance today counts as ‘outreach’ to even ex-UUPers like me, let alone to any other sort, well once again you’ve adopted another of the bad habits of your partner in government (well, you’ve certainly adopted their defintion of ‘outreach’ at any rate).

    Oh, and you’ve no more ‘chosen’ to not engage in debate over Paisley’s non-doctorate than he has ‘chosen’ to go into office with Provo kingpin Marty McMurderous. You’ve both run away – you, understandably, from trying to defend Paisley’s claim he has a doctorate (and your toadying habit of addressing him as such), and ‘the Big Man’ from every loud-mouthed lie he’s told the people of Ulster over almost 50 years. But if it’s part of your self-image that you, and he, are big, brave, Speak Out for ULSSSTAAR! types, go right ahead. I’m happy to let everyone else on this thread make their own minds up about you, me and him. Vile, sectarian, crypto-Ulster nationalist that he is.

  • FYI @ 03:11 PM:

    I rather like the idea of a squalid aquilid: I’ve always loathed the smell of the London Zoo, but on the whole the eagles aren’t too bad, so one doesn’t find there an acrid, squalid aquilid.

    Though I suppose, if one had a messy and smelly ecclesiastical lectern, it could be a sacred, acrid, squalid aquilid.

    Or, if the lectern were all that as well as a trifle naff, it could be an insipid, sacred, acrid, squalid aquilid.

    All right, I leave you to your fun, then.

  • FYI

    Ahem

    I’m not running away from debate or discussion at all. As for the concept of “outreach”, I am perfectly happy to co-operate with other Unionists and indeed believe in doing so.

    There have been occassions when I my self have had to vote for UUP candidates because there wasn’t a DUP one in the field and I did so without reservation or hesitation.

    For fear of repeating myself. I welcome Peter Robinson becoming the leader of Unionism. He is without doubt, the most capable Unionist of his generation and leagues ahead of anything the other Unionist parties have to offer. In so doing, that doesn’t mean I, like you, have any disrespect for Dr. Paisley or the role he has played in leading Unionism.

    Finally, the anti-Agreement UUP element largely crossed to the DUP, so the outreach efforts obviously weren’t so limited. I’m sorry if Paisley didn’t bend over backwards enough to satisfy you as an individual because of some academic snobbery you had concerning his doctorate, but there you go!

  • Punto

    “Well, let’s just see who the new favourites are at the court of King Punt. Arlene and Sammy quick off the mark in the brown-nosing stakes.”

    I saw that more as symobolising Punts supposed support from all quarters – Arlene representing both woman and the new/ex turtle wing of the party with Sammy the old skool wing.

    As we all know the punt DOES have complete support and affection from everyone…

  • Ahem

    Yeah, your sincere desire to cooperate with other Unionists drips from every word you write (‘[t]here have been occassions [sic] when I my self [sic] have had to vote for UUP candidates because there wasn’t a DUP one in the field’ . . .). As far as repeating yourself goes – dinnae fret, I’m sure in one guise or another we’ll all, soon and often, be hearing from you again as to just how wonderful Peter Robinson really, truly, madly, deeply is. I, as you now know, agree: tremendous man – did what every UUP leader since the year dot has failed to do, and got rid of that sectarian scunner Paisley (and his shower of related leeches).

    On the “doctorate” you just but can’t help yourself talk about – it’s hardly a matter of ‘academic snobbery’, it’s more a matter of what’s true and what’s not. Ian Paisley is no more a doctor than David Tennant is. But finally, how depressing you are if you honestly think most anti-Agreement UUPers have come over en masse to the DUP. Try not bothering to vote as between Reg’s post-Turtling UVF dalliance and the sectarian fool who more than other man alive did us harm in Great Britain, the only place the Union could ever actually be endangered. Still, you no doubt think that Unionist voters not being enthused to vote hardly matters as long as your version of the DUP is top dog (albeit firmly tethered to the Provos).

  • FYI

    One last parting shot.

    Next time FAIR aka. Willie Frazer starts lecturing us all about fairness, democracy, honesty etc. up at Stormont, ask them why they flagrantly altered the opinion poll on their website.

    A majority voted that the DUP was doing a good job so FAIR Website Administrators moved the words saying the DUP was doing a bad job and we needed Allister to above the DUP doing a good job bar! LOL! What a bunch of hypocrites!

  • FYI

    Ahem

    I did indeed co-operate with other Unionists – I canvassed with UUP members at the time of the referendum and I always transfer my vote to the UUP. However, given the choice between voting UUP or DUP I would choose the DUP. I have no apology to make for that. I trust the DUP. I do not trust the Ulster Unionist Party, of which you were a member as they showed themselves to be utterly incapable of providing the leadership we needed.

    If I am wrong about anti-Agreement UUPers, can you name the Anti-Agreement folks, who actually hold elected office left inside that party? As for voters, I think it is incumbent upon the new DUP Leader to show those people (anti-Agreement UUP) and indeed people who still vote UUP that their best interests are served by voting DUP – the party making devolution work for Unionists and putting the kibosh on Republican aspirations.

    Your bile for me and indeed Dr. Paisley demonstrates better than anything I say your own attitude to Unionist co-operation. Do as I say, not as I do?

  • Ahem

    I don’t think, given what Frazer campaigns about (people being gunned down by your partners in government), that ‘parting shot’ is the mot juste, but each to their own. Though, as I admire so much the tenacity with which you have insisted that black is white &c;this afternoon, I shall, as a mark of pseudo-Paisleyite respect, hereafter always refer to you as Dr FYI. Obviously you’re not, and it’s a laughable absurdity to call you such, but that’s hardly the point at issue, is it?

  • FYI

    Yeah, you really seem genuinely interested in Unionist Unity. Why should I actually be surprised that a UUP member demonstrates hypocrisy? You’d think I’d have gotten used to it by now.

  • FYI

    FAIR to my mind is a quasi-victims group: a strange mixture of victims group and TUV political organisation. Take a look at their website and compare it to genuine victims groups.

  • Dear me, FYI, you almost make me nostalgic for the last days of the Turtle Raj when the Purple One’s supporters would come on Slugger and tell us how things were going swimmingly for them. All rubbish, but at least they sounded as ludicrous as they actually were. But you DUPers are in another category: when it comes to spinning nonsense you lot are in New Labour’s class, and spin I suspect will cause the Robinson DUP problems in due course.

    Ed Moloney isn’t on the same wavelength as me and Darth but, for his Paisley book, he managed to get plenty of DUP people to talk to him off the record for the chapters when the DUP took over as chief unionist negotiators. What they say doesn’t reflect at all well on the Big Man. He is exposed as a poor negotiator who hypocritically destroyed Trimble in a desperate desire to become First Minister himself. Amazingly, after what happened to Molyneaux and Trimble, he got himself sucked into one-to-one meetings with a PM eager to flatter him. Blair and co. had the measure of him all right. Then we have the blatant nepotism involving Mammy and Junior. Then we have the flouting of the 2007 manifesto commitment that demanded further delivery from Sinn Fein before there could be any government.

    But, perhaps worst of all in the eyes of an Orangeman like myself, was Paisley using a Twelfth platform for his “Over our dead bodies” speech when he knew, as he said those words, that he was making a commitment that he actively intended to break. That is lying of the most despicable kind. And this from a man who used to make a virtue of his own honesty against those shifty Glengall Street types.

    Your outgoing leader played umpteen thousands as fools. They believed Paisley was different from other politicians. In the event he has turned out as greedy and as fork-tongued as the rest of them. Now, as Ahem has said, people like you are reduced to attacking other unionists for hoding positions that you Lundies abandoned in your lust for power and the Stormont trough.

  • truth and justice

    Agree with FYI Fair have cheated and changed their opinion poll results i thought they represent honesty?

  • Ahem

    Dr FYI – My bile for Paisley is motivated by the fact that he is a blatantly anti-catholic bigot (bad), who (almost as bad), and as a direct & justifiable result of being such, has massively lost Unionism support on the mainland. Your affection for Paisley is adequately demonstrated by the curious fact that you insist on calling him Dr when he plainly isn’t. Still, I’m glad you still trust whoever’s leading the DUP, whatever it is they happen to be saying at any given hour. Which of Paisley’s bromides about keeping Sionn Fein out of government would you like me to quote at you? Of course, the minor tragedy in all this is that so demonstrable is your blind leader loyalty that as soon as Sinn Fein do once again inevitably foul the nest, you’ll be out there shamelessly arguing the exact opposite of the line you’ve been spouting today.

  • FYI

    The Watchman

    What do you want the DUP to do?

  • FYI

    Ahem

    Where did I say I would trust any DUP leader at any given time?

    What I said was I trust the DUP. I do not trust the Ulster Unionist Party. I make no apology for that.

    Your childish attitude over the issue of the doctorate exposes more about you than it does me. Any chance of answering my questions instead of personal abuse?

  • Ahem

    How many times, Dr FYI, do you need to be told? I’m not a UUP member anymore. I left when the cove who was my leader got into bed with the terrorists of the UVF. Which is somewhat different to your seeming role as number one Slugger fluffer for the Paisleyite-Provo twosome.

  • FYI

    What would you have the new DUP leader do differently? Any clues about what sort of place you want Northern Ireland to be in the future or just more abuse for Paisley because of what it was in the past?

  • Ahem

    God knows, your sceptical, challenging attitude towards authority is so screamingly obvious it’s a wonder, Dr FYI, how anyone could ever have doubted it, and mistaken you for one of the lesser pigs in Animal Farm. Still, Old Major, sorry, I mean, Papa Croc has cursed you with one final defect – spacecadetry. Or, to put that another way, ‘Any chance of answering my questions instead of personal abuse?’ Dr FYI asks, save, erm, for the tiny, teeny problem that he never actually asked me any questions. Feel free. Unlike you and the whole, unfortunate why-do-call-Paisley-Dr-when-he-plainly-isn’t-one? business, I’ll do my best to answer any you care to ask me.

  • Ahem

    Um, Dr FYI, tell us more about the Northern Ireland that was so bad in the past? Other than the Provo terrorism, the worst thing I remember about the ‘old’ Norn Iron was Paisley’s canting sectarianism. Still, it’s been wonderfully illuminating that all afternoon you haven’t dared even once challenge the fact that Paisley was and is a sectarian bigot. That would have been fun, but still, careful, careful, careful, eh? – there are ambitions to pursue and people to suck up to. Poor old Dr FYI, it’s a lonely little furrow he’s been manfully ploughing today. I may soon have to promote him to Prof. FYI for his repeated act of Squealer-like valour.

  • FYI

    Ahem

    What would you have the new DUP leader do differently? Any clues about what sort of place you want Northern Ireland to be in the future or just more abuse for Paisley because of what it was in the past?

  • Steve

    Ahem : Um, Dr FYI, tell us more about the Northern Ireland that was so bad in the past? Other than the Provo terrorism, the worst thing I remember about the ‘old’ Norn Iron was Paisley’s canting sectarianism

    And you are boolocking FYI for being myopic? You just took a share of the throne of Hypocracy

  • FYI

    Ahem

    Interesting that someone who apparently left the UUP over the link up with the UVF cites Paisley alongside Provo terrorism as the worst of the old days in Northern Ireland. Says a lot.

  • “The Watchman

    What do you want the DUP to do?

    Posted by FYI on Apr 14, 2008 @ 04:56 PM”

    Your question has already been answered in Tandragee on 25 April 1998. I forget by whom, but I believe he was once arrested in Clontibret and had to hand over a lot of punts:

    “The hapless fools who ask what our alternative is to such a process are implicitly suggesting there is no alternative to a united Ireland process. They are not entitled to make that claim as there are many alternatives to Dublin Rule. Complete and total integration within the United Kingdom is one such alternative and the fashion of devolution given recently to Scotland within the United Kingdom is another. However, these pint-sized political thinkers are not really asking “have you got an alternative?” They are implicitly asking “what alternative have you that the IRA will accept?”

  • FYI

    Kindly answer the questions out.

    What would you like to see the DUP doing differently?

    How would what you want to see the DUP doing differently strengthen the Union?

  • FYI

    put, not out

  • Ahem

    As it happens, learned rev. Dr Prof FYI, I have complete confidence that the new leader (who I support, remember) will start, indeed, has started doing what I want. Namely, stop chuckling. Start remembering, as both Paisley and Trimble forgot as they revelled in the old PM’s office they found themselves in, that the settlement isn’t static, it’s fluid. That as the Provos will constantly try both to undermine it, and ensure that either way it flows in their direction, we need to get our blows in at them first – they are *not* our reconciled partners in peace, they’re murdering terrorists whose ‘military’ campaign bankrupted them, leaving them no option but to come to whatever terms they could get. Terms we should still further reduce (something Paisley failed utterly to do). And starting the needed work to move national political discourse to outrage at the blatantly undemocratic nature of mandatory ‘power sharing’ is another key task for the new leader. As (and here you’re not going to be much use) is encouraging both Unionist unity *and* unionist turnout.

    The problem with you – and it is a problem with you personally, unfortunately – is that your credentials as an interlocutor are terminally undermined by your inability to concede past error. If, for example, you too want secretly to applaud ‘an end to chuckling’, how can you when you are, as this thread has tediously demonstrated, seemingly biologically incapable of conceding that Papacroc ever made a mistake? That’s the problem with having been in a cult all your political life – now that the reprogramming has begun, you’re liable to more than a little incoherence.

  • I’ve answered your questions already for flip’s sake! So I’ll repeat myself one last time: unrepentant terrorists in possession of a private army should not be in government. Remember that position? It was what the DUP fought elections on, and over which it destroyed Trimble and the UUP. It was what the DUP believed before it sold out and you know it as well as I do. Stop making yourself look ridiculous, FYI. The only people who have changed are the power-hungry DUPers, the traditional unionists haven’t.

  • Mayoman

    Didn’t know Robinson had repented over the arms he brought in!! There you go. Can you provide a link saying that he did? Otherwise, you look a little bit hypocritical Watchman! (oh, and if you think he didn;t, then Gerry was never in the ‘Ra either!).

  • Comrade Stalin

    Watchman:

    And this from a man who used to make a virtue of his own honesty against those shifty Glengall Street types.

    The fundamental crux of your argument seems to be that Paisley had a reputation for being trustworthy up until the process that led to the St Andrew’s Agreement.

    Paisley has welched, backtracked and screwed up so many times it’s hard to know where to start. He exploited other people for his own ends and pushed other people out of the way for no reason other than to get himself into the top spot. Is it really credible to say that he is a trustworthy leader or a qualified negotiator ?

    The other idiots in this game are the unionist voters who slavishly voted for anyone who said “no” loudly enough, as per your Robinson quote from 1998, without stopping for five seconds to think about the hypocrisy of it, or of the likely outcome of such sheer intransigence. They have allowed themselves to be led up the garden path. It’s time they stopped and began thinking outside of the box. If Unionism had used the ample opportunities to build alliances and forge relationships with the British and Irish governments as well as address the perceptions of inequality, this sorry mess never would have arisen. The word “no” has no record of delivery for the unionist electorate.

    So I’ll repeat myself one last time: unrepentant terrorists in possession of a private army should not be in government. Remember that position?

    What, you mean like Vanguard and the UUUC who were voted in by the unionist electorate and won all but one of the Westminster seats ? Oh, sorry, I forgot. Prods with private armies are allowed. Maybe you mean like the UVF/Hugh Smyth who was Lord Mayor in 1993 after the DUP abstained in the vote ? Oh, sorry, I forgot. Loyalist paramilitaries in local government are allowed. I think you’re going to have to explain more clearly what the rules are, and why you think the DUP (and their contemporaries) did not violate them until recently.

  • Comrade Stalin

    By the way I’m absolutely not dead, I’m very much alive. Quite what that has to do with anything I’m not sure.

  • NP

    lead up the garden path…. nae way, more like the Grand Ole Duke of Yorke

  • malteser

    Ahem

    Don’t underestimate the DUP. They have two Drs you know – Paisley and McCrea.

  • Bigger Picture

    Yes unionists fighting amongst themselves. How original and indeed beneficial. I’ll get on with actually taking the fight to the shinners instead thats more important.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “As someone who supported Ross for years, one of the most work-shy UUP MPs (and that is some stretch) you’re in no position to lecture others about their talents or lack of them.”

    Well actually my MP for a long time was Clifford Forsythe, who was admittedly less than inspiring. But as for Ross- or indeed Molyneaux, who has alos been criticised in the past for lack of effort- I am quite happy to say they weren’t work-shy. Each did the job he was actually elected to do i.e. go to Westminster and try to have the government make as few laws as possible, beyond strong borders and a strong pound- and did it to my satisfaction.The fact that we rarely had either is due to the shortcomings of others.

    I want my MP to be on the green benches in Westminster fixing problems with NHS dentists, not wittering on the Steven Nolan show about his constituents’ teeth being precious to him. How long before our MLAs- so filled with their own self-importance become media gadflies like Nick Clegg? Do you really want Nigel Dodds telling you how many times he pulled at university?

    If you think an MP should be a social worker more fool you, as it encourages the bastards to interfere and regulate our lives. Arlene bloody Foster wants to stop me smoking in my car for heaven’s sake! More law is never good law, as the 1970s UUP group understood well- even Harold McCusker and occasionally John Carson.

    Some of the most pointless human beings on the planet are MLAs (from all parties), reading speeches they don’t really understand, prepared for them by staffers in the assembly, or sending out the same press release with only the name changed to different regional newspapers.Have you never watched Stormont Live ( a breach of the Trades Description Act if their ever was one)

    Oh yes, the DUP have 3000 offices or more, about which they boast at length, as if they perform some great service to the community. Well in some cases they may, but they are processing centres for grievances, and could just as easy be run by the Saint Vincent de Paul or Sally Ann- for a lot less money.

    The MLAs of the type you seem to favour have failed to take any political decisions of significance on any matter whatsover in the current assembly-at least the Shinners last time round in abolishing the 11 plus and moving children’s hospital care to the Royal took controversial decisions. Give me Forsythe, Ross and co any day.

  • FYI

    “has started doing what I want. Namely, stop chuckling.”

    Agreed

    “the settlement isn’t static, it’s fluid. That as the Provos will constantly try both to undermine it, and ensure that either way it flows in their direction, we need to get our blows in at them first”

    Agreed

    “they are *not* our reconciled partners in peace, they’re murdering terrorists whose ‘military’ campaign bankrupted them, leaving them no option but to come to whatever terms they could get.”

    Agreed

    “Terms we should still further reduce.”

    Agreed

    “And starting the needed work to move national political discourse to outrage at the blatantly undemocratic nature of mandatory ‘power sharing’ is another key task for the new leader.”

    Agreed

    “encouraging both Unionist unity *and* unionist turnout.”

    Agreed

    I said at the start of this discussion that Paisley laid a good foundation, now Robinson can build on it. Fair deal but not the final destination?

  • Well, that has been one of the spikiest confrontations for some time.

    As for:

    the blatantly undemocratic nature of mandatory ‘power sharing’,

    It would be instructive to hear from these great politcal intellects what a truly-democratic settlement might mean.

    Might I suggest, for the sake of discussion, a couple of points from the Better Government of Ireland Act of 1920:

    the properly functioning Council of Ireland, “with a view to the eventual establishment of a parliament for the whole of Ireland, and to bring about harmonious action between the parliaments of governments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland”.
    the re-establishment of the Boundaries Commission.

    Surely, neither can be denied by a true loyalist: both are the declared wish of the Imperial Parliament; and look at what it says here, “Le Roi le veult.”

    Then, “democracy” might be applied to the realities of life:

    The separation of religion and governance. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”.

    That one translates directly into the Free Presbyterians and the Catholic hierarchy alike learning and knowing their place. It would avoid, for instances, Ministers for equal opportunities traducing individual’s sexuality and this “Young Earth” nonsense.

    Then we might have transparency on (for example) planning matters.

    We might also have openness over political interest and influence peddling, who employs and pays off whom, and so on …

    Now that would be a truly worthwhile thread.

  • Turgon

    Malcolm,
    Not being difficult but as I suggested in the Uncivil War blog; the render onto Caesar comment has a number of interpretations.

    It can be understood as you say. It can also be that since everything is God’s then actually nothing is Caesar’s. Remember that the context of the question was that if our Lord had opposed giving taxes to Caesar he could have been arrested by the Romans; had he backed taxes by the Romans he might have lost public support.

    An analysis I understand is that Jesus was actually saying that you should have loyality to God not Caesar but did it in such a way that the Jews understood he was saying that, yet it was impossible to arrest him.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “encouraging both Unionist unity *and* unionist turnout.”

    there’s no prospect of Unionist unity under Punt. His squabble with Reg Empey- for which neither is blameless- means neither has the breadth of vision to risk party advantage for community benefit.

    Watch the pointless rows about F & ST versus South Belfast start up all over again. Remember it was under Robinson that the DUP jeapordised Powell in S Down in 1979, and of course lost Cooper the F & ST seat with proxy candidate Jim Dixon. Likewise Molyneaux nixed Allister in East Antrim and others for selfish ends

    Both parties should just be honest and fight all the seats, but not pretend they would have been generous if the other lot had only shared their vision.

    As for increasing Unionist turnout- Trimble’s constant goal- the volte face of the DUP last year disillusioned many traditional supporters. So they’ll naturally be pleased that we have a home in TUV, right? I’ve never voted for a pro-Agreement candidate, and I’m certainly not giving my vote to the DUP to exploit again.

    Of course Trimble had limited success in encouraging the garden centre prods out to his moderate approach- hence the careers of Sylvia Hermon, James Cooper, and Dermot Nesbitt, yet far from welcoming the liberal vote to the total, Robinson and co attacked them for being liberal! Alliance type Unionists aren’t going to vote for Willie McCrea type candidates. So that’s just more cant from FYI

    Paisley didn’t lay your foundation, Trimble did. As one voter said to Dodds in Dromore recently, “When next I see David Trimble I’m going to apologise to him , for at least he was an honest traitor!” You may object to the terminology, but your foundation stone was GFA, and giving the building a lick of orange paint ain’t ever going to change that

  • Briso

    Posted by The Watchman on Apr 14, 2008 @ 05:37 PM
    They are implicitly asking “what alternative have you that the IRA will accept?”

    No they weren’t. Robbo was wrong about that and so are you. They are implicitly asking “what alternative have you that the British Government will accept?” You lot never got it and still don’t.

  • Ahem

    Certainly for me the biggest coming failure (good to get the negative Nelly act going good and early, eh?) of the Punt’s leadership of Unionism is that he hasn’t effectively reached out to old skool, current or ex-UUPers. Why hasn’t there been a staged defection of a UUP MLA, or even a few non-entity cllrs whose seats are about to be abolished and would quite like to be re-selected? And why haven’t the sotto voce discussions – ‘you’ll get a cmte chairmanship’, ‘well, there is the Strasbourg seat to fill …’ &c;- been better handled?

    If the DUP stays too ‘Paisleyite’, it’s going to continue alienating the plentiful snob Unionist vote who can’t any longer vote UUP, but equally aren’t quite there yet in terms of voting for the DUP. I fear a definite, post-Paisley missed opportunity is a afoot – chiefly because, as Darth says, of a failure of vision. But also because there’s a silly, unforgiving quality to the the Punt. Who is, let us not forget, hardly young enough to learn too many new tricks.

    As the poet almost had it

    beware MacPunt!
    Beware the bane of Fife! Dismiss me. Enough.

    Which is to say, even if you have shown the nous to cling on for half a century and finally get the top job, and then install your cronies in all the key places, it’s not, as Gordon shows you on a daily basis, necessarily going to be enough. Think bigger than you’ve been used to doing. Try some optimism and some uplift. The middle class snobs *will* vote for you, but you do have to make the effort to get them. And they are the biggest single floating demographic out there left for you to be able to gobble up.

  • O Dear

    Whenever the report is published at Westminster about MPs’ expenses: i.e. the “John Lewis” List it will be fun to read how the former estate agent uses public monies – who has one house for example and his wife has another in London – etc etc

  • O Dear

    For the record Robinson did not serve his leader well at all:

    If there where ‘back channels’ to the IRA do you think both the leader and him new nothing?

    It has been suggested that information about Paisley’s son was leaked from within the party itself thus to damage the father. Who give authorisation?

    Who runs a PR cell full of ex-UUPers instead of traditional DUPers thus giving the impression thus foregoing principle for power.

    Who give permission for Jeffery Donaldson to become junior minister, thus becoming senior to more long standing DUP MLAs? What is the relationship between the incoming FM and JD?

  • darth rumsfeld

    our new national anthem

    “The wondrous world of punt” by Therion

    You can google it, I’m too old to work the link

  • FYI

    BTW, I see the FAIR poll has now been removed from their website. Didn’t like what way the result was going, then caught out messing around with it. Jeepers-oh, a field trip to Zimbabwe called for – at least they know how to rig a poll!

  • Turgon @ 10:19 AM:

    Not being difficult but as I suggested in the Uncivil War blog; the render onto Caesar comment has a number of interpretations.

    Indeed. That’s why it’s theology. And why I did a degree that required some degree of consistency, coherence and stability.

    My cryptic meaning was that democracy assumes that the elector is individual and sovereign, and has independence of mind and choice. I’m not going to debate here that modern democracy grew out of Calvinism. However: vox populi, vox dei.

    That is what sticks in my craw when the elector is effectively ordered down a particular path, which is usually to support a limited one-issue campaign, not a full mandate. Yes, I include both Humanae Vitae and “Save Ulster from sodomy” there.

    There is a world of difference between:
    [1] the teaching of our Faith is that X is right and Y is wrong;
    and
    [2] from this pulpit I instruct and direct you to vote for X and against Y.

    Then I’m a wishy-washy pinko, a recovering near-alcoholic, Norwich City supporter, and Marxist [read “recovering” as a verbal-adjective governing all three substantives]. As I repeatedly have said to my wife, I wish I was as certain of anything as she can be of everything.

    And now I am summoned to garden duty.

  • darth rumsfeld

    I always thought Malcolm was one of the cleverer posters on this site and then I read “Norwich City supporter”……

  • Bigger Picture

    Darth

    I have really truly and utterly come to the conclusion that no matter how articulate you right you really do talk the biggest load of bollocks.

    “Each did the job he was actually elected to do i.e. go to Westminster and try to have the government make as few laws as possible, beyond strong borders and a strong pound- and did it to my satisfaction.The fact that we rarely had either is due to the shortcomings of others.”

    “I want my MP to be on the green benches in Westminster fixing problems with NHS dentists, not wittering on the Steven Nolan show about his constituents’ teeth being precious to him”

    Now really is that the best response you actually have to come up with?? I can honestly say that for someone who has some wit and knowledge I saw through that pretty easy. I would of course love my local MP to be on the green benches fighting for the pound and the NHS but as an NI MP what exact changes do you think they would get from a government who has a 120+ majority and can basically do damn what it pleases?! Of course you will point to the fact that there has been rebellions and defeats, however on the social and economic welfare issues they have largely all stuck to one large block.

    The reality is that the only way we can achieve results for ourselves is by making our own good fortune in stormont and actually stopping the rot of concessions that poured out of Downing St towards IRA/SF. Now I may have been in short trousers during the “Never Never Never” days but quite frankly any response along those lines is void by the rank of concessions that every British govt and the UUP has given the SF. By criticising the DUP for not giving them their demands that would weaken the structures of the NI economy and its status, you are merely looking past all that you have been cheated out of before. Realise that you are in the 21st Century and that the days of shouting Never! from a milk float are long behind you and that it takes a little more tact in order to win this battle with republicanism.

    “As one voter said to Dodds in Dromore recently, “When next I see David Trimble I’m going to apologise to him , for at least he was an honest traitor!””

    Right now that is interesting. Funny how you provide no evidence of how you even know of this statement. That would be useful. A nice try to blacken a DUP MP who you otherwise have very little to grumble about.

    “Oh yes, the DUP have 3000 offices or more, about which they boast at length, as if they perform some great service to the community. Well in some cases they may, but they are processing centres for grievances, and could just as easy be run by the Saint Vincent de Paul or Sally Ann- for a lot less money. ”

    Yes in an ideal world they SVDP and the SA could do this work and for free. A real capitalist you are. Unfortunatley for many people who have problems that needed sorted an MLA or MP is in the best position to do so and can help in solving issues that, while you may think are trifling, are actually extremely important in people’s lives. I would be quick to pour contempt on other people’s problems but of course that is easy to do shielded behing a keyboard.

    “at least the Shinners last time round in abolishing the 11 plus”

    Yes because afetr McGuiness’ speech it all was abolished wasn’t it?!

    I actually don’t favour keeping the 11+ exactly and think the test should be more rounded but still with selection in place. Something the shinners don’t want but ultimatley they will have to settle for.

    O Dear

    “Whenever the report is published at Westminster about MPs’ expenses: i.e. the “John Lewis” List it will be fun to read how the former estate agent uses public monies – who has one house for example and his wife has another in London – etc etc ”

    Mick can you have a look at this statement as i think it could be very libellous.

  • darth rumsfeld

    BP
    yes I am a capitalist and generally libertarian in my views- which puts me at odds with some of the positions of the old style UUP MPs I was praising.

    To be fair they deserve criticism for their failure to create a Unionist movement capable of standing on its own two feet during the 1970s and especially post 1985- but then noone had after 1914; they grew lazy on the back of being the establishment, and couldn’t break the mindset post 1972; and because of the fear of Paisley they wouldn’t ditch the dead wood (like the “secret weapon” Cecil Walker who single handedly strangled any rival with ability and handed the seat to Dodds)

    “Funny how you provide no evidence of how you even know of this statement. That would be useful. A nice try to blacken a DUP MP who you otherwise have very little to grumble about.”
    I wasn’t aware I was being cross-examined, but since you ask the exchange was reported to me by a man who overheard it, and it has been posted on slugger before without challenge. And the point wasn’t a dig at Dodds, who I respect, but his erstwhile leader

    I appreciate you probably work for an MLA and so are miffed by my dismissing their efforts. I’m sure you help a lot of people. Good for you. But why should my taxes pay for one – forgive me- state apparatchik to write to another in the DRD or council , also employed by me, to write back with my stamps on my notepaper-thus creating two jobs in the bloated state sector when a cull of such pointless jobs would slim it down, give us more of our own money and more responsibility? If there were fewer civil servants making wrong decisions there’d be less need for lobbying to correct them.
    Tax freedom day this year is already early June

    Your main point seems to be that Unionists need to have some power, and who they share it with on what terms is of secondary importance. The inexorable logic of that position has been posted elsewhere- namely why not hook up with a hitherto successful economy, in a majority rule parliament where we would hold the balance of power more often than not, with an unashamed culture of pork barrel politics to milk the exchequer for usuns? Pragmatic, Punt style politics, but is it Unionism?

  • Bigger Picture

    “I appreciate you probably work for an MLA and so are miffed by my dismissing their efforts”

    I actually work in the private sector and have an economics degree so you should be proud of my capitalist efforts! I understand your logic from the point of view that it creates an awful lot of red tape. Having seen the work and talked to some MLA’s it is apparent that some times the only way to get the DRD or the council to do something is by going to a politician. Basically because they listen to them (some anyway who are competent) and they can basically raise the grievances with their superiors and get an issue highlighted that would otherwise go unnoticed. Something no charitable organisation would be able to do. You may think the system is crooked, maybe so, but don’t hate the player hate the game.

    “Your main point seems to be that Unionists need to have some power, and who they share it with on what terms is of secondary importance”

    No not at all. If you read fair_deal’s latest post, which I fully support, devolution has worked in unionists favour by making sure there is no shrine to the hungerstrikers at the maze, no Irish Language Act etc etc. The only real faux pas has been the victims commissioners, which still isn’t sorted. Leave aside Paisley, who is now on the way out, I do not think it has gone too badly. However as fd’s blog points out there is serious room for improvement.

    “why not hook up with a hitherto successful economy, in a majority rule parliament where we would hold the balance of power more often than not, with an unashamed culture of pork barrel politics to milk the exchequer for usuns?”

    Well to be honest that would be nice but the reality is that that idea has not been on the cards for a very long time and probably with hindsight Sunningdale looked very good but I’ll not take any flak for that considering I wasn’t even alive at the time. We need to realise that we are where we are and that a majority unionist bloc ruling over the heads of all others is long gone.

    Plus when you consider all the British/Irish govt has given to Republicans and was going to introduce with RPA, the Maze, ILA etc I would have thought that you would have been pleased that unionists have been able to stop these things at stormont. The alternative in a TUV world would have been to have things implemented by the two govts with unionists standing outside complaining.

    “Pragmatic, Punt style politics, but is it Unionism?”

    What is unionism in the 21st Century? Certainly not what it was in the 20th and that is why all unionists need to come together to work at a way forward that will strengthen our position. I believe we can start down that route but it requires everybody to come on board and provide constructive ideas, not the bickering and infighting that unionism is used to. Only republicans gain from that.

  • FYI

    New wording of FAIR opinion poll! Very balanced:

    Traditional Unionist Values (TUV), do we need another party?

    1. Absolutely, the DUP have let us down.

    2. No, I support the DUP sitting with terrorists

    3. I just dont care!

    4. I vote UUP

    5. Nothing to do with me, Im a Nationalist