“I think they were absolutely right to support the government..”

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, defends the non-deal with the DUP on the BBC NI’s Hearts and Minds.

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  • Perhaps Slugger should live up to it’s name and discuss whether Billy Connolly will be impressed by his wife’s musings on the inclination of the male generative organ…



    How embarrassing was that Woodward interview? It was pathetic with his psycophantic bootlicking of the DUP, he just stopped short of dropping to his knees in worship and relief to thank them for their support. His reluctance to condemn Iris Robinson for her shameful remarks about gay people said it all. Is it any wonder Gregory Campbell sat with a big grin earlier? Brown and Woodward are in hock to the DUP for the foreseeable future and Stormont has been rendered useless and redundant. Whatever the DUP wants now it will get, next announcement probably redevelopment of Windsor or Ormeau Park. It doesn’t matter what Sinn Fein or the SDLP say, they have shown they are incompetent, ineffective and about as useful to the Catholic community as an ashtray on a motorbike.

  • Dewi

    Not as bad as I thought it would be to be honest. I don’t think Campbell is as bad as everyone says…(runs way) Woodward got some logic about him anyway.

  • [aside]Could DUP become a DUMP? Sammy says …

  • percy

    Its alway the long game we have to play as republicans 😉

  • Steve


    I am only guessing but I think any council that agrees on that proposal has signed its political suicide note.

  • ben

    Even the DUP *themselves* wouldn’t make such excuses for their actions. The DUP will cheerfully admit it was a flat-out bribe for a vote and they got a good deal.

  • Brian Walker

    The 42 day “bribery” row has done nothing to lift the fog over just what the British government is prepared to invest in Northern Ireland in the latest peace dividend. Westminster commentators have naturally been highlighting the DUP’s supposed £1.2 billion shopping list including the acquisition of former army bases. They failed to notice Sinn Fein’s campaigning efforts along similar lines, even though Gerry Adams was received in audience by Brown during the non-crisis over the Robinson handover. Could it be that in our new political dispensation, the DUP are winning all the attention because they use their bargaining power as sitting MPs while Sinn Fein lose out for refusing to take their seats?

    So just to be fair, here is Pat Doherty in the Assembly in April, arguing for acquiring his local Omagh bases and accusing the British government of going back on its word.

    “The most recent proposal for vacated military sites is that in which the Executive, if they wish to acquire all or part of them, must do so at full market value. That Ministry of Defence (MOD) position was articulated by British Defence Minister, Des Browne, during a recent exchange with me in London. The Ministry of Defence’s position runs contrary to the spirit of the joint declaration of April 2003, and the British Government’s failure to fulfil their commitments are obstructing progress on that unprecedented proposal.”

    And what did that Joint Declaration say?

    10. Many of the vacated military and police (subject to the agreement of the Policing Board) sites MIGHT BE MADE AVAILABLE (CAPS MINE) to the OFM/DFM’s Reinvestment and Reform Initiative to ensure that the process of normalisation generates a new public asset base for those communities most directly affected by the security arrangements to date.”

    A bit fuzzy that, and a bit less than a pledge I would say, and much water has flowed down the Owenkillew in the meantime. But what has happened since? Did our trusty negotiators ease off the pedal after Gordon made that fuzzy statement at the investment conference in May?

    PM “I want to announce today that we will invest an additional £1bn, because we will allow, over the next three years, the Northern Ireland Executive to retain 100% of the proceeds from sales of public sector surplus land and similar assets, up to a new limit of £2.2bn, a doubling of the existing figure, in other words £1bns more and this is an unprecedented deal for Northern Ireland that has not been available in other parts of the United Kingdom..”

    If this was such a great new offer, how can local ministers dare to ask for yet more? Or is it another case of more smoke and mirrors from Gordon? Peter and the new team should tell us what they think and spell out the substance of the Brown offer. And incidentally,on the politics of the matter, will Sinn Fein get any of the credit for what emerges in the end?

    Meanwhile, what of the SDLP in all this? Note Mark Durkan’s recent prominence in the Westminster theatre. He made a passionate speech opposing the 42 day amendment debate and came up with a good one-liner afterwards: “The Prime Minster wanted to avoid a humiliating defeat. Instead, he won a humiliating victory.” The SDLP, he says spurned a deal, saying they would not be bought for civil liberties. All the same Mark, it would be nice to know what the offer was. Another thing we should be told.

  • ZoonPol
  • percy

    Yes, its inevitable the UK will break-up as “Next month David Cameron is expected to endorse plans drawn up by Ken Clarke, the former chancellor, which propose that legislation applying just to England should only be voted on by MPs representing English seats.”
    Bit like that ice shelf in the Antartic

  • Has anyone mentioned no one going after Iris Robinson for her vicious comments about gays – apparently an offence one can be imprisoned for
    under the Public Order Act by inciting hatred – in return for the DUP’s vote on 42-day detention?

    Seems the most obvious, especially since no one is
    mentioning it.`

    Political justice, just to stay in office! What’s next?

  • Brian Cox backs Brown, so everything must be above board, surely?

  • Dewi

    Ordovicius – Dunno about Brain Cox but Vaughan hit the nail squarely on the head. Mwynhau dy flog gyda llaw.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Trowbridge H. Ford,

    To be fair, the police haven’t come back yet on the two complaints that were submitted to them. I, for one, would be surprised were a file submitted to the PPS, but they have to be given a chance.

    On Woodward,

    My first question would be why he did this interview at all. In terms of convincing us there were no deals, I think the less said the better. But to commit ten minutes to praise of the DUP position is strange and unwise. Let’s hope it doesn’t set a precedent: DUP domination is umpopular enough; too close a relationship with the British on top would be intolerable to some. Btw Pete, shouldn’t you really be running a thread on leadership misleading their members and electorate?

    His comments on Iris Robinson were also unacceptable. They were tantamount to accepting her point of view – the least he could have offered was a firm rebuttal. The role of the Assembly would not be undermined by the SoS stating that the British position is that all sexual orientations should be respected. Indeed, NI is undermined by him not doing so.

  • The DUP are an embarrassment to the people of this country with their two faced lies and water headed politics.

    I have never felt so disenfranchised in a land I love.



  • Damian O’Loan, I thought the police were supposed to gather evidence about serious crime on their own, submitting a case for prosecution when they thought that they had gathered enough for a successful one, not just wait for complaints to come in from the public.

    What would have happened if no one had complained?

    Nothing, and nothing still will since the powers-that-be, especially the SoS, will not even condemn what she said.

    And in case you are wondering, I’m not gay, only a person interested in protecting their rights, and seeing that the law is enforced.

    This case stinks!