“He’s not going to do it..”

The out-going Northern Ireland First Minister, the DUP’s Ian Paisley Snr, gave a number of interviews at Stormont yesterday and the BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport has his conversation, about what Paisley Snr believes he has achieved, at his blog. However, the Belfast Telegraph’s David Gordon wasn’t welcome [Was it something he said? – Ed] as he explains here.

The sessions were running late, but emerging TV political correspondents told us that Mr Paisley was in good form, relaxed and reflective. It sounded like he was demob happy ahead of stepping down as both party leader and First Minister. Our turn finally arrived, and the same DUP press officer made clear there would be no photographers to begin with. He also needed a “quick word” with me. “He’s not going to do it,” was the blunt message. It was confirmed that it was Mr Paisley’s decision to veto me personally. And that was that.

The other two reporters filed towards the room within Stormont Castle where the DUP leader was waiting. I headed back out, into the sunshine and past the spot where Ian Paisley Jnr announced his Ministerial resignation in February. I’m not going to pretend for a second that I was in any way affronted. The First Minister was within his rights to keep me out. At the same time, we are entitled to draw attention to his decision. It may leave him open to accusations of being spiteful, petty and even childish. So be it.

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  • “The other two reporters filed towards the room within Stormont Castle where the DUP leader was waiting.”

    Perhaps these are the ‘hard working’ journalists that Papa Doc prefers, David 😉

    I wonder was Seymour ‘out of that DUP mould’ Sweeney in attendance – or is he now out of favour with the God (and Ulster) Father of the DUP?

  • Cynic

    Want to start taking bets on who the shit-kicking DUP press officer is?!! haha

    Fantastic PR, er, another good well done by the Dundela crew

  • An Lochlannach

    Paisley ‘spiteful, petty and even childish’? Whoever would have dreamed such a thing?

  • James

    John Robinson or Christopher Stalford?

  • ulsterfan

    On a serious note why did the other journalists not walk out with David Gordon in support of him and at the same time tell Paisley that although he is retired they will continue to do their job and bring to the public attention all matters of interest.
    By not covering his retirement news conference it would starve him of publicity something all politicians hate.
    Gordon did a great job and should be thanked.

  • Ulsterfan, I was thinking much the same thing. It seems that David was doing his job too well.

  • McGrath

    The owl fella just wanted to be stroked on his last day and didn’t want to answer tricky questions about his rates bill.

  • malteser

    In response to questions about the Chuckle Brothers, Ian Paisley told the Newsletter’s man “The photographs together were doctored..”. Something tells me David Gordon wouldn’t have bought that one!

  • Paisley, the great surrenderer. That will be his final epitaph. In order to secure his place in history and the position of leader of Unioism Paisley has given up all that he once held dear. It is the DUP that brought Sinn Fein into power and I hope that Unionists will remember and reject his party in the next election.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever defended the Rev Doc before, but here goes:

    “It may leave him open to accusations of being spiteful, petty and even childish. So be it.”

    Alternatively, it may leave the journalistic profession open to the charge of imposing itself on it’s stories.

    Politicians often choose to favour journalist and not speak to others, and journalists are often ‘spiteful , petty and childish’ – much moreso than politicians in my experience.

    If you can’t give one of them the high-hat when you’re retiring, when can you?

  • graduate

    Paulie,
    Well said (or written). pretty much what I was going to say but you got there first

  • davy smyth

    Rule number one in journalism, Davy – never believe that you are the story. It’s all a bit pathetic.

  • “give one of them the high-hat”

    Wasn’t Papa Doc a drummer with the Battles – a day? “Hey, Jude Collins” and “Clashing symbols” … Those were the days.