David Trimble interview from Hearts and Minds

Also from last night’s Hearts and Minds, former UUP leader David Trimble, now Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, did well in the face of a, properly, sceptical line of questioning from Noel Thompson. Interesting to hear the reference to US pressure. The final outcome of that pressure is not yet clear.

  • Trimble defended himself very ably. Much of the interview followed a similar line to that pursued by Frank Millar in the book the the left.

  • Trimble defended himself very ably. Much of the interview followed a similar line to that pursued by Frank Millar in the book to the left.

  • Little Eva

    To be honest, I didn’t think it was a “proper” line of questioning from Noel Thompson (who I usually admire).
    I thought it was overly combative where a far lighter line would have elicited more.
    And to ask Trimble if he was suffering from “sour grapes” (about half the interview was squandered on trying to counter this nasty insinuation) showed a complete absence of homework having been done.
    It has been remarked all along, particularly within the media, of how well and with such good grace Trimble took the rise of the DUP.
    There simply was no need for the combative approach seeing as Trimble is no longer a player in terms of seeking electoral support. I thought Noel Thompson came out of it very badly – sometimes the smartass approach just isn’t appropriate.

  • deirdre nelson

    David trimble is wrong when he claims that hte important parts of GFA were left untouched. I ovted agianst the GFA not so much because of prisoner release, policing changes and power-sharing. I voted against it because ministers were able to act as they pleased (which Martin McGuinness proved) and the lack of accountability to the Assembly. The DUP fundamentally changed this at St Andrew’s (proved by Minister Ruin’s current difficulties) and we now have a better agreement, not just for unionism, but for all Of Northern Ireland. Trimble just can’t accept he was wrong and he’s obviusly still very bitter. Back to the line of UUP are “natural” rulers. Normal people have got fed up with them and don’t see why they should continue to bark up the OO, Big house, keep the plebs down and keep control. We’re way past that now.
    BTW, I pointed out at the time that a deal couldn’t stick unless DUP and SF bought into it fully. If I can see that why couldn’t Trimble and the UUP? Wilful blindness, perhaps?

  • On Monday morning I was standing behind Lord Turtle in the Aldergrove queue when his Purpleness dropped his boarding card. Couldn’t help thinking that he did something similar with policing on that cold April night when the details slipped from his fingers.

    Don’t fool yourself, Deirdre Nelson, when you claim that the DUP’s deal was somehow far superior than Trimble’s. No one else is fooled. And as for arrogance, the DUP takes some beating.

  • BonarLaw


    the details did not slip from his hands- he let Ken and Cecil save the RUC.

    I agree that the DUP can over egg what was obtained at St Andrews but compare and contrast the ease with which the 11+ was removed with the inability of the current minister to impose her ideology.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Deirdre must have been the only person in Northern Ireland in 1998 to vote against the Agreement for that reason. In fact, I don’t ever remember it being a factor for the DUP until McGuinness announced the end of the 11-plus – several years later. The unionist arguments in ’98 were simple, over ‘terrorists in government’, and certainly not the much more technical arguments that emerged later over ministerial powers.

    Sounds like revisionism.

  • “the details did not slip from his hands- he let Ken and Cecil save the RUC”

    Which is largely what happened, in substance if not in symbolism.

  • ZoonPol

    I always thought the DUP was out to smash the IRA and Sinn Fein. Did Ian Paisley not say this? NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lol
    The DUP accepted to the principles of power-sharing with their nemesis Deirdre – the spirit of the GFA still lives in whatever guise you care to call it.
    If the DUP is New UUP then the TUV is old DUP.

  • David Trimble was a breath of fresh air last night if I am completely honest. DT was able to put across a message and narrative that the UUP has failed to do since not just St. Andrews Agreement, but since 2005. It is sad that an ex UUP member is more capable than his sucessors.

    In saying that it is all too easy to blame the governent, Tony Blair the DFA and NIO for all the problems that were not dealt with by the UUP. The UUP’s implementation of GFA was flawed and the DUP took advantage. And Deidre dont fool yourself that SAA fundamentally changed the architecture of the GFA – it certainly did no such thing. Yes positive ammendments were made over ministerial accountability, but that is a natural progression that would have came about during a review of the institutions.

    Checkov – seriously? The RUC was decimated and the facilitation given by Walker and big Ken to Patten review was a complete and utter mess.

  • I don’t agree with that. The RUC was not disbanded. The same force continued its work and Patton more or less instigated changes already suggested by the RUC’s own internal review. The losses were largely symbolic, or in terms of prestige. The PSNI inc. Royal Ulster Constabulary now provides a model of best practive for forces across the world.

  • DC

    Given the recent news of the Tory uprising, perhaps we are looking at the next potential Secretary of State for NI.

    Errr, I’m squirming already.

  • willowfield


    “I ovted agianst the GFA not so much because of prisoner release, policing changes and power-sharing. I voted against it because ministers were able to act as they pleased (which Martin McGuinness proved) and the lack of accountability to the Assembly.”


    Yeah, right, Deirdre … I believe you!

  • deirdre nelson

    Essentially the spirit of the GFA could be said to be power-sharing and in that sense yes, Ignited it’s true it lives on. I don’t believe that the reining-in of ministerial one-man shows would have come about from a review at the Assembly. The parties didn’t pick it up at the time or it wouldn’t have been in the GFA and had Martin not pulled his stunt over the 11+.
    As for Gonzo’s charge of revisionism, may I just say I’m the kind of sad git who reads the small print. The devil’s in the detail and all that.
    On a completely different thread may I just say how much I enjoyed Newton’s wonderful piece of political satire on H+M last night! Superb!

  • Bigger Picture

    I am amazed at the backwardness of the posters and bloggers here on this website. Yesterday came the news that our soon to be First Minister, Peter Robinson, was in Afghanistan paying tribute to the RIR fighting in the British war effort and instead all we get is a piece of self-righteous dross from a failure on H+M reported on this site.

    I think people on this website need to see and realise that our community is moving on from Belfast Agreement good or bad? St Andrews good or bad? and instead concentrating on the fact that Northern Ireland is taking it’s rightful place in the United Kingdom and delivering not only for the NI but also for the United Kingdom as a whole with its part in this ongoing campaign.

  • Ahem

    I just haven’t the heart to go through all that again, save to say, David was wrong, unable to deliver on what he promised he would, voted out of office, and, while the DUP agreement is hardly heaven, it’s demonstrably less bad than the Turtle’s. As far as him being next SoS is concerned: possibly, but only as ‘Minister for the Regions’ (ie inc Scot, Wales, London, local government &c;). More likely, he’ll be Dave’s Lord Chancellor/Justice Secretary. And he’ll be as poor a minister in Whitehall as he was at Stormont – first Tory reshuffle casualty . . .

  • “Je ne regrette rien” is a good defence? Really?

    I alsoe enjoyed Trimble’s happiness at the Chuckle Brothers emergence. Seems like he just loves to see terrorists like McGuiness at the centre of power come what may.

    Noel was far too soft on the turtle.

  • jo

    I forget, what is French for:

    “I achieved nothing, persuaded no-one and failed in everything I ever did politically.”

  • Deirdre – Its funny that because it already was on the radar for the assembly review when they were looking at codes of conduct etc well before 2007. It wasn’t included in GFA becuase the agreement had many faults that were only discovered during implementation.

    Chekov -I agree the RUC/PSNI were/are the most accountable police service in the world. In terms of Patten review, yes the majority of the structural changes were already on the table. Ken’s handling of this was outrageous, you need only read Godson’s book on Trimble to discover the extent for this. The name change, the loss of badge and 50:50 were the result – and unfortunately the UUP fell into the trap of trying not to appear too hostile and losing the PR battle – they ended up losing both.


    An unecessarily abravise interview from Noel, Trimble defended himself admirably.

  • Briso

    I much preferred the old system where ministers, including Robbo by the way, could get things done. The current situation is a recipe for stagnation as I have been saying since Babs chose the Royal for maternity services and unionists starting moaning darkly about democracy, ministerial accountability and voluntary coalitions (all with the support of Alliance). Of course, all it meant was stop Sinn Fein doing anything we don’t like and if possible, exclude them totally.

  • I wonder what is the French for “sanctimonious liberal”.

    I feel like screaming something rude in French at the book company that hasn’t yet delivered my copy of “Unionism Decayed”.

    As for Trimble being Justice Secretary … don’t give us bad dreams, Ahem.

    Haven’t seen the interview but hopefully this time the ginger whinger didn’t shout at Thompson.

  • Granni Trixie

    Never expectd to see “good grace” or “breath of fresh air” applied to DT.
    As I have stated before, I find it inexcusible that he took the Nobel Prize whilst not appearing to give NI his best shot. He may be driven to appear more reasonable now because he wants a job with the Conservatives – something made more difficult by the portrayal of him in Jonathan Powell’s book.

  • Granni Trixie

    Never expected to see “good grace” or “breath of fresh air” applied to DT. For reasons I have stated here before, I find it unforgivable that he took the Nobel Prize whilst appearing not to give it his best shot. If he is trying to portray himself differently now, that has to be ecause he wants a job with the Conservatives, which is made more difficult since the portrayal of him in Jonathan Powel’s book.

  • Ahem

    He’ll be given something. We can’t afford to drive all the tiny Commonwealth countries into the hands of the Red Chinese, so he won’t be given a traditional Lords semi-sinecure like International Development. No Home Secretary or Defence Secretary would tolerate a ‘Homeland Security’ minister sitting at the cabinet table, and being there in his departmental right (though if the Turtle somehow *did* with sucha job, there’d be a Grand Mufti sitting in Buckingham Palce before the year was out). Under Dave’s new old gang routine, there’s no way a ginger provincial nonce will be made Leader of the Lords. Thus we’re drawn back ineluctably to the Secretary of Stateship for the Regions everyone keeps telling me Gordon is about to set up (top tip for first Reg Sec – one Des Browne, so at least 1 out 18 will be happy). Or, still more likely (as the PC brigade in Dave’s happy, progressive party is more than strong enough to stop a Unionist from, horror of horrors, being allowed even partial responsibility for NI), he’ll be fobbed off with the same non-job Jack Straw has been lumbered with. But as he’ll be doing it from the Lords, and will doubtless be content to ham up the lingering Lord Chancellorship element, it’ll be a sop of sorts to Tory traditionalists. So there you are FE, wherever your shade now lingers, Bolter Smith’s successor: the Purple Turtle. How far we’ve fallen.

  • The Raven

    Frankly, Ahem, I am offended at what you have written and ask you to withdraw it immediately…

  • The Raven

    ….ginger people have enough to suffer…without such comparisons.

  • ZoonPol

    Ahem: Play the ball not the person. David Trimble and his wife were pushed, shoved, heckled and attacked verbally by DUP supporters et al while they were political players. He is no longer one so stop with the childish name calling or else it will be fair comment to start picking on your qualities as a human.

  • Ahem

    Where exactly haven’t I played the ball pace our former First Minister, and my former party’s former, disastrous, party-destroying leader? Zooners, I’ve no idea if you’ve actually met David Trimble. If, as I suspect, not, allow me then to speak for that percentage of the human race who have: the one sentient being on this planet who’ll have the wit not belabour others for lacking inter-personal skills, it’s Lord Trimble, PC (Con). As far as the kicking and so on went – couldn’t agree more. A rentamob of scum, and an unhappy remind of what the fringe of the DUP is like.

  • Peter Brown

    Who can ever forget the moment we first saw the purple man inside David Trimble trying to get out? UYUC Conference Marine Hotel Bangor – “I’m sticking to no guns no government – are you? ARE YOU? ARE YOU?” And in front of the cameras! Almost as good as Never Never Never Never but unfortunately no so oft repeated….

  • percy

    slugger missed this one:
    DUP outrage at paramilitary contact claims

    The allegation, in the opening session of a two-day gathering at Queen’s University called Moving on from Conflict, was that the DUP representative was shown around Portadown by Loyalist Volunteer Force second-in-command Mark ‘Swinger’ Fulton.

    The ex-Ulster Unionist Party leader told the conference he was not suggesting complicity at leadership level, but it would have been ” interesting” to know “if anything was said to maintain the high moral ground” assumed by critics of the (Good Friday) Agreement

  • Stalwart

    If Deidre was so perturbed by prisoner releases they why so delighted by the current Stormont where the DUP relish working with some of the beneficieries of this shoddy aspect of the GFA. Martina Anderson and Paul Butler?

    The DUP’s disgusting

  • Wilde Rover

    Little Eva,

    I think you are being a little too hard on Noel.

    After all, there used to be a plethora of sexy stories where a sea of international mikes dominated every weekly round up and note was taken in far flung places.

    And what to look forward to now, parochial rows over water or exams?

    I believe Noel is trying to ease his political junkie audience down gently to avoid the whole unpleasantness of a full blown cold turkey.

  • Insider

    I thought Trimble was his typical arrogant self in the interview. When asked about the 2005 Westminster election he said it was the Unionist electorate sending a message to Tony Blair. No responsibility taken by himself, his party, or the appalling range of candidates that the UUP put up – No, it was all Blair’s fault!

  • pete Whitcroft

    Trimble did well, he threw himself down on the barbed wire fence and the DUP, when they summoned up the guts, marched over him.
    The Provo’s must have had wind of a DUP deal at some stage and delayed until the DUP got ahead.
    Paisley’s hand print on the deal is what they waited for.

  • Granni Trixie

    I will never forget an occasion at an event in Belfast when DT ‘left the room’. Like many, I assumed he was going to the loo but he did not return and later I read that he had to catch a plane. Rude or what:if Tony Blair and Bill Clinton who were there could organise their time to be there, why could he not? One is entitled to question such a lack of professionalism (and from Powells account of this occasion,others feel the same).

  • USA

    Noel Thompson does it again. He is the absolute worst interviewer I have ever seen. One combative questioning style is all he has. Trimble’s hand gesture at the end spoke volumes. I’m suprised Trimble agreed to Thompson’s show as I thought he would have known by now it is a terrible format for “sober” reflective and intelligent discussion. I have never liked Trimble but he scored well in this Noel Thompson style excuse for what one can only losely describe as an interview.
    Please will someone give Noel Thompson the hook.