DUP MPs don’t do Westminster on Mondays…

There is much more to this Speaker controversy than meets the eye. The first tactic of the Opposition was to spend 45 minutes complaining about the lack of time the Government had given them to debate the motion… And there’s the question of running Trojan Horses inside Whitehall, less than 18 months before a new Tory administration may take up where its ‘moles’ left off… And then there’s the question of the missing Unionist MPs, who when Parliamentary privileges came under fire in the supreme bodies of the UK were moonlighting, doing the day job, simply not there.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Observer

    The Unionist representatives have made themselves second class members of our national parliament. The interests of the people of Northern Ireland, being an intregal part of the United Kingdom, have never been fully represented by MP’s who fly into London in the morning, one day a week, and then fly home again in the afternoon. Of course they claim London accomodation allowance. If ever the serious implication and failure of dual mandate has been exposed it was in this vital series of votes, one of which fell by just four votes.

    MP’s from the rest of the country have a quiet laugh when they hear our crowd complaining about being marginalised at Westminster.

  • Half Pint

    The DUP are not Unionists. They are Ulster Nationalists.

  • steve

    Soon they wont be doing ANY ‘Days’ there because £ngland wants RID of irrelevant little leeching Regions like N Ireland, Wales and Scotregion!!!!

  • SW

    And strange how David Simpson was in Parliament later that evening, and spoke on the Queen’s Speech debate on innovation and skills:


    Wonder why he wasn’t there only a couple of hours earlier to vote on an incredibly tight vote on a highly important issue? Was he in Westminister (not necessarily the chamber) and didn’t bother?

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Shure they do Steve, but aren’t they ever taking such a quare long time to get rid of them? Lazy sods.

    Meanwhile, momentarily stepping out of Republican fantasyland: DUP attendance is absymal. It’s quite as bad as the UUP’s was (outside of Enoch) when they were the dominant Unionist party in the Commons. And it’s shamefully close to being almost as wretched as the SDLP’s turnout rate. Though that latter figure is, to my eye, forgivable in avowed separatists (and exceedingly lazy politicians, when they’re not actual senile or drunk). But again, so? They’re not whipped on most the vots, and believe me, most MPs, if not whipped, do not hang round Westminster. Either whip them, or accept that with their squalid multiple mandates *all* of NI’s politicians are going to be ore or less equally useless.

  • Observer

    Westminster does a nice lunch and dinner.

  • 6countyprod

    Didn’t notice any Shinners either!

  • Ho hum

    Isn’t it great that no one pays attention to all the rubbish that goes on in the Brit Parliament these days? The centre of our political gravity has definitely moved back to this island which makes all of those threads on Cameron last week look particularly quaint.

  • Waisauupv?

    They’re not whipped on most of the votes

  • Observer

    Westminster does a nice lunch and dinner menu.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Nah, you’re right Ho hum, there ain’t nuffink happenin’ at Westminster worth being interested in, save for supreme legislative authority over the 6 counties. And who wants to fight another losing ‘war’ trying to change that? Not the last lot of losers: too busy collecting the salaries Westminster pays them. And in public too now!

  • Nomad

    When Iris robinson can not be bothered to respond to a letter addressed to her as my MP at all. When the DUP can’t field people in the national(?) parliament, and when DaveCam is over ‘here’ asking for votes, it seems ‘unionist voters’ should start looking forward to UK elections.

  • iluvni

    I’m awaiting a response from my local MP explaining why he failed to vote yesterday.
    I also rang DUP yesterday to ask why no member was in the Commons during the debate: ‘I’m sure there’ll be someone there’ was the reply.
    No there wasnt.

  • catchagrip

    they might have been busy arranging an electoral pact with SF to counter the threat from the UUP/Conservatives

  • It’s tempting to believe that it was some kind of nine-fingers gesture (a la Iris during the 42 day debate) to the Tories…but a look at their attendance record via “They (don’t) Work for You” reveals the sad truth, they simply can’t be bothered with the National Parliament (as Nigel Dodds rather ironically referred to it today in yet another DUP press-release).

  • autocue

    O Neill

    Sorry sunshine, but what is Sylvia Hermon’s attendence rate in comparison to the other Unionist MPs?

    Hard to see the facts all the way up their on your UUP high horse isn’t it?

  • autocue

    Sylvia Hermon:

    “Has voted in 29% of votes in parliament — well below average amongst MPs. (From Public Whip)”

    Poor old Danny Kennedy – obviously didn’t do his research!!!

  • autocue

    Funny how all those smug UUP/Tory hacks who were lining up to lay the boot in have fallen strangely silent….what a useless pill Danny Kennedy is for allowing the statement to be issued in his name without checking the corresponding attendence figure for LSH.

  • pith

    What’s all this about ‘on Mondays’. When did they ever do Westminster, a place which is as foreign to them and them to it as anywhere abroad? They don’t even need to turn up to qualify for a second home allowance or two. If there is one thing a DUP type likes less than an Irish person, it is an English person.

  • John K Lund

    It is a complete disgrace. I want to ask the MP for Lagan Valley where he was, and for him to give his reasons for not being present in the house?. Jeffrey Donaldson, you will find my address and telephone no. in the phone book or rather one of your generously provided for staff can do it for you. Is there a valid reason or did your other elected positions preclude you from representing all of your constituents in the Mother of Parliaments?. We demand a reply from you and your fellow nine MPs.You are furthermore a Sworn Member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council, which means whilst you are a member of the lower house you should be diligent in protecting its interests;or is it true that you are an Ulster Natonalist as many here already believe?.

  • graduate

    Just goes to show why dual mandate should be scrapped immediately. Those nine votes woiuld have made a difference to the whole outcome yesterday and it was not a trivial matter but one which goes to the heart of our democracy- something the DUP claim to have at the centre of its being. Had they been present and voting yesterday then it would have been proof that the DUP are true unionists. This matter is far too important for all MPs not to have been present and voting. I’ll be writing to my MP to find out where he was and why it was more important than protecting the House of Commons. Be interesting to see how they react if Iris has her office raided when the police are looking for evidence of homophobic hate crime.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Those nine votes would have made a difference to the whole outcome yesterday”

    Surely that would depend on how they were cast.

  • The problem with Westminster is that NIO Ministers have tended to treat Northern Ireland as a colony. And I say that as a unionist.

    Also, the MPs from NI have local links, unlike their parachuted-in-from-London LAB/CON/LD counterparts and, therefore, are far better constituency MPs. Which matters more to the voters, Mick?

  • oneill

    Sorry sunshine, but what is Sylvia Hermon’s attendence rate in comparison to the other Unionist MPs?

    6% higher than one’s in particular; I’ll give you a clue who I’m talking about- check out the stats for Mr Salmond’s biggest chum in Ulster politics…

    But, yes, Lady Hermon has been also a “double-jobber”; although given the nature of that second job, you could argue she has had a more honourable excuse that the various DUPers who seem to take pride in piling up both the jobs and expenses when taking on as many different political forums as possible.

    Being elected an MP at Westminster should be the greatest honour for any Unionist worth his salt and he/she should, at the very least, give our nation’s parliament the full respect it deserves by not taking on other positions simultaneously.

  • pith

    Wilted Rose, We’ve all had long days. Don’t worry about it.

    Remind me, what does the Ulster Indpendence flag look like? I’ve quite forgotten.

  • marksi

    oneill – “But, yes, Lady Hermon has been also a “double-jobber”; although given the nature of that second job, you could argue she has had a more honourable excuse that the various DUPers who seem to take pride in piling up both the jobs and expenses when taking on as many different political forums as possible.”

    Agreed, and I would also point out that Lady Hermon has a 100% record of replying to all correspondence I’ve sent her. Iris Robinson on the other hand has a 100% record of NOT replying to any correspondence I’ve sent her.

  • autocue

    6% higher than one and more than 10% lower for 8 others. People in glass houses.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Maybe it’s best the DUP MPs don’t go very much; I cringe with embarrassment every time they speak.

  • ZoonPol

    I’m in the process of explaining to a GB voter that the UUP and the DUP are different creatures.
    Does anyone have ideas?

  • pith, Dec 10 08 @ 08:53 AM: I didn’t realise there was an Ulster Independence flag.

  • Sinn Fein MP’s dont do Westminster on Mondays….








    wonder if they still get paid?

    or is that beyond discussion? even acceptable maybe???

  • Mark F.

    a wile melee,

    Do you think it would be acceptable for people who are not loyal to the crown, could not be trusted to act in the interests of the British people and who hold Irish citizenship to legislate over the people of the UK?

  • darth rumsfeld

    ..er, careful now Mark F.
    that sort of sensible comment will have you outed as a rejectionist TUV moonhowler. Becuase of course your nightmare scenario is..ahem.. jut fine and dandy for the DUP at Stormont

  • Mark F –

    Do you think it would be acceptable for people who are not loyal to the crown, could not be trusted to act in the interests of the British people and who hold Irish citizenship to stand for election to Westminster?

    Darth – a woooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • Mark F.

    a wile melee,

    I think Irish people shpuld mind their own business and keep their noses out of the domestic politics of the uk.

  • Mack

    Here we go again, attack the DUP everytime you get a chance nothing but TUV reteric. i fully support the DUP’s 9 Mp’s and note that their voting record is above the UUP’s LSH infact I believe that Willie McCrea is the higest percentage voter of all the NOrthern Ireland MP’s.

    The DUP are the only true BRITISH UNIONIST party in Northern Ireland and will not accept any part of a united Ireland on their watch.