Delivering a ‘demoralising message’

Mark Devenport reports Jim Nicholson’s criticism of an MLA for raising an issue that was dealt with in Europe three years previously. As Mark notes the MLA was Jim’s UUP colleague, Tom Elliot.

What Mark didn’t note is Tom is Nicholson’s election agent and just last week was making an impassioned appeal for UUP members to support and canvass for Jim – oh, to be a fly on the wall at the next campaign meeting.

  • autocue

    What he also didn’t note was that Nicholson despises Elliot for openly touting himself up until relatively recently as a potential European Parliamentary candidate.

  • Amused

    Of course Devenport’s absence from the Committee might explain why he doesn’t mention that the 4 DUP MLAs present set shy and quiet, like naughty school-boys caught in the act, as Allister spoke.

    So un-nerved were they by his presence that they were unable to find the courage to ask him a single question – even when he explicitly chastised them for forsaking their former principles.

    Admittedly 2 of 4 were the non-entities Ian McCrea and Moutray. But to watch Jim Shannon and Jimmy Spratt sulk in the corner while Allister performed was amusing.

    Just a pity Devenport wasn’t there to see it.

  • And Spratt et al just sat there and took their lashing like naughty school boys? That was surely a chance for the DUP to challenge both Allister and Nicholson on their European record, but Jim 1 must have put the frighteners on them!

  • Of course Devenport’s absence from the Committee might explain why he doesn’t mention that the 4 DUP MLAs present set shy and quiet, like naughty school-boys caught in the act, as Allister spoke.

    The latest edition of DUPravda curiously omitted that fact; over to Comrade Spratt:

    “As someone who was present at the OFMDFM Committee meeting today, I find some of the claims concerning Jim Allister’s appearance before the committee very peculiar. Mr. Allister’s appearance could only be described on the whole as a very sheepish performance. He was even obediently answering questions posed by Sinn Fein MLAs.

    The published Hansard record of the committee proceedings will show that Mr. Allister’s performance before the committee was far from the large confrontation suggested. It wasn’t a major clash. It wasn’t even handbags at dawn. People may raise an eyebrow at the sight of Mr. Allister who claims to so vociferously opposed devolution at Stormont appearing meekly before an Assembly Committee and engaging with the parties represented there.

    Indeed the man who claims to oppose Stormont so much actually expressed his pleasure at being before committee members. One can only imagine what the dwindling number who have placed their faith in Jim Allister up to this point will make of his behaviour today.”

  • The New Insider

    ONeill

    ‘Mr. Allister who claims to so vociferously opposed devolution at Stormont appearing meekly before an Assembly Committee’

    ‘Indeed the man who claims to oppose Stormont so much actually expressed his pleasure at being before committee members’

    You’re completely wrong – Listen carefully to what Jim Allister says, and has always said. He’s never been against Stormont, and states that he wants a form of Voluntary coalition at Stormont, and a lower NO. of MLA’s. This will be important at next June’s Euro election, as Jim Allisters position on this will attract a lot of moderate type Unionist voters who are totally fed-up will the huge No. of big salaried freeloaders up at Stormont.

    You’re also completely wrong about the ‘dwindling No. of his supporters’, and the little interchange between Jim Allister and Barry McElduff at the end of yesterdays meeting has probably gained Allister about 5,000 extra votes.

    As they say, we’ll see next June.

  • The New Insider,

    It wasn’t me but Comrade Spratt having a go at Jim Allister; I was instead having an affectionate dig at the ever-increasing ridiculous press releases being churned out by the DUP press office.

    If you look at the press-release again, it would appear Mr Allister’s worst crime on this occasion, according to the DUP, was his courtesy.

    Just as a matter of interest, if you are indeed an Insider, do you have any idea why the DUP MLAs were so terrified of Big Bad Jim that they forgot to ask him even one question?

  • jone

    If this a foretaste of the DUP / TUV bitchfest we can expect in June then I can hardly wait.

  • Amused

    O’Neill – thanks for the quote from the eager boys and girls at the DUP press office. I note the somewhat strange turn of phrase used by Jimmy Spratt:

    “As someone who was present at the OFMDFM Committee meeting today”.

    Why exactly does a OFMdFM committee member use words that make him sound like a spectator? “Someone who was present”? Where? In the public gallery?

    Surely this was Spratt’s time to challenge Allister, to take him on and expose him.

    But no. Spratt et al sat there, looking at their desks, careful not to make eye contact with Allister.

    It is also worth contrasting the cosy banter going on between Barry McElduff and Jim Shannon just after Allister left the Committee Room, with Shannon’s inability to ask Allister a single question.

  • autocue

    Amused/O’Neill

    Nice of you to try and steer the conversation away from the fact that the UUP MEP bitch-slapped one of his party’s own MLAs for clearly not knowing anything about Euro issues.

    Nice try, but not entirely successful.

  • fair_deal

    “If this a foretaste of the DUP / TUV bitchfest ”

    I sincerely hope not for as well as being momumentally dull and irrlevant to the avergae voter, it’ll only benefit Allister.

  • autocue

    fd

    Nothing to worry about. I would say the DUP will not be wasting time with the peripheral Mr. Allister, who seems to have less and less to say.

  • Blue Fish

    autocue,

    Then why the press release?!

  • fair_deal

    Autocue

    Hope so but very easy to get tempted into negative press war

  • autocue

    blue

    presumably because Allister’s performance was being reported as a major clash, when in reality it was less than 20 seconds of an exchange.

  • malteser

    “momumentally dull and irrlevant to the avergae voter”

    Is this Ulster Scots or has fair deal been at the Christmas spirit?

  • fair_deal

    Malteser

    “Is this Ulster Scots or has fair deal been at the Christmas spirit?”

    Nope was just in a rush. Staff party isn’t until Wednesday but I’ll be propping up a bar rather than internet cafe then. Although you must have been at the Xmas crackers early for your so fresh ‘joke’ 😉

  • Nothing to worry about. I would say the DUP will not be wasting time with the peripheral Mr. Allister, who seems to have less and less to say.

    Ah, hence the lack of questions from the DUP MLAs in Committee; Comrade Spratt decided instead wisely not to waste time and waited until he was safely inside DUP-ravda offices before issuing the latest anti-Jim blast communique…right, I get you.

    The DUP simply can’t resist the auto knee-jerk reaction when someone from within the Unionism dares to challenge their world-view; Allister, being the insider, knows that exactly and with infinitely less resources, has got you all tied round his little finger.

    But yeah, I’ll take you at your word and I look forward to seeing you all waste less time on the er…”peripheries”.