Even on Twitter consistency is a ‘good thing’…

A friend once described the DUP as the kings of the message… a title long held and mostly well deserved (despite some flakiness during Peter Hain’s Shadow Assembly)… Ah, but the conversational Twitter platform which the party alongside Sinn Fein seems to be taking well to, offers a little too much temptation towards the proverbial ‘cheap shot’… So at 10.35am on the 20th March we have them lauding a visit by their leader Peter Robinson and Euro candidate Diane Dodds to a Sixth Form College; whilst (just 33 minutes earlier) dismissing a similar visit by their great rival and former MEP to a Catholic school as “using the school for political purposes”… Ah, so it’s only about “the importance of the political process & engagement” when ‘we’ do it lads? Beware, by yer ‘tweets’ ye shall be judged! H/T Ciaran!

  • joeCanuck

    Delightful post. hehehehe
    And very well spotted, Ciaran.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I took the dig at Allister as DUPonline’s defence to the criticism of his party for mobbing some school in Lisburn: A “sure they’re all at it”-type of argument, rather than an isolated attack on the TUV.

    Even then, screaming “But themmuns did it first!” is never a great defence. Although to be fair it is one the DUP have used for a number of decades.

  • Moira Roundabout

    Good one, Mick.

    It seems a bit rich to invite 5 politicians from the same party to address students on “citizenship” ( and do a bit of electioneering). But then the Chairman of the Board of Governors is a DUP councillor.

  • http://www.jimallister.org/default.asp?blogID=1475

    “I am in receipt of complaints from parents in the Lisburn area about the take-over of Laurelhill Community College today by the DUP for political propaganda purposes.

    Under the guise of a “Citizenship Roadshow” pupils from Lisburn schools were today gathered at Laurelhill Community College to be subjected to a party political broadside from not one, but five DUP speakers, with no other Party invited. Peter Robinson, Jeffrey Donaldson, Diane Dodds, Jonathan Craig MLA and Edwin Poots MLA all participated in what was clearly a Party promotional event for the European elections.

    This is one of the worst abuses of an educational establishment I have heard of in a long time. If Sinn Fein had taken over a school in this way, for the promotion of naked party politics, there would have been an outcry and the educationalists called upon to explain themselves. No less explanation is required from Laurelhill College and the Department of Education.”

  • duponline

    The point being made wasn’t a shot at anyone.

    It was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of someone criticising the DUP for attending an event to address students when they had done the very same thing.

    We were happy to tweet about the event earlier in the day just as others have been happy to post pictures of themselves posing with pupils when they have been at a school.

    The second tweet on the subject was simply to highlight the fact that the source of criticism of a school inviting public representatives to a citizenship roadshow has done exactly the same.

    Hope this clears things up.

  • Pigeon Toes

    I actually believe that the whole idea of “citizenship” being taught in schools is rather sinister.

    Surely that is the role of the parent?

  • iluvni

    5 DUP politicians available to go to a school, yet more often than not the DUP is very notable by its absence during debates in the Commons. That big empty green row of seats is very obvious to the observer. Same today again during the statement by the Prime Minister. Perhaps its a bit awkward being in two places at once for the double/triple/quadruple jobbers.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Looks like you posted this one in a bit of a hurry…

    There appears to have been about 7 hours of a time delay between the posts instead of the 30 odd minutes you suggest…..

    Surely they’re also quite at liberty to highlight Allister visiting schools (presumably to put forward his own political views) when he was criticising them for allegedly doing the same thing.

    If consistency is important then so is actually reading what is said isn’t it? If Allister was accusing the DUP of using that school for political purposes then wasn’t he doing the same thing when he went to speak at schools? (not as part of any cross-party panel)

    Mind you – at least the DUP twitter feed doesn’t seem to consist solely of press statements like the UUP’s attempt at using the technology.

  • ABC


    Less awkward for the DUP that UCUNF’s sole single-job MP or indeed the SDLP, or indeed the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition!…..glass houses, non?

    BTW, does Parliament have plenaries on a Friday?

  • Jamsey

    ‘Ah, so it’s only about “the importance of the political process & engagement”’

    Isn’t that the case with every issue since it’s creation? It’s all about the agreement.

  • Dec

    When Caitriona Ruane did this in Twinbrook, Slugger’s resident paradigm of consistency, Pete Baker, was all over it like a rash. Presumably it’s not an issue for him when Unionists do it.

  • willis


    I know this may seem pedantic but..

    Slemish College is only Catholic in the sense that it is Integrated.


    From my perspective Jim Allister is to be congratulated by going out to a wider community whereas the DUP seem to have gone mob handed into their own back yard.

  • Ah well – Carson’s Cat @8, it was me with knee-jerk reaction this time, not Mick. I spotted the two posts, had a snigger and only later found out that, not to put too fine a point etc, DUPOnline hadn’t started this particular row.


  • Mick Fealty


    I’d hardly say he’d been all over it Dec: http://url.ie/1cup

    From my pov, I was taking it from a comms angle. DUPOnline is at least experimenting with the form; which means finding out its strengths and weaknesses.

    The prime weakness is it only allows you 140 characters to say what you are. It’s strength lies in that very limitation.

    It can be used in attack. But ideally the tweet is quotable(ie, stand-alone), epigrammatic and (in this case) come with a pivot.

    Other Twitter feeds:





  • Dec

    I’d hardly say he’d been all over it Dec: http://url.ie/1cup


    Quotheth Baker:

    Ruane was not at the school as a Sinn Fein propagandist, nor even as a SF representative, but as the NI Education Minister – in that light her speech was beyond the pale.


    …………In that she suggested a correlation between suicidal fanaticism for the sake of the insistence that murdering prods isn’t really a crime and an increase in educational opportunities for young Catholics, Declan. Commending terrorism to children by misrepresenting its goals, achievements and grievances – in order to make it appear rewarding and noble, (again Declan, to impressionable children), in your function as HM’s minister of education NI, is child abuse.

    One must also acknowledge that the Ruinsters comment was the only example (of the three events in question) where actual political propagandising is a matter of record. The absence of ‘rash’ like commentary on her remarkably disgusting conduct by all but the usual suspects is surely more of an issue than people who have issues with republicans picking up on a valid issue, of incredible offence to anyone how feels Catholic children are worth more than canon fodder, on the conduct of such a repelican.

    In light of comment 13 isn’t it best practise to get a correction up on the main page ?