Killing stories

Slugger regulars may well wonder why this DUP press release was carried, as far as I can tell, only by the Belfast Telegraph. The answer is that the DUP tried to have their cake and eat it last week.

Around lunch time on Thursday David McNarry was at the BBC recording a debate with Gregory Campbell for Hearts and Minds. This followed a comment from Danny Kennedy on the sums of money raked in by triple jobbing MPs. In the early afternoon the DUP emailed media outlets, informing them that they were taking legal advice on the comments, and would be responding accordingly. Having sought to kill the story off with legal threats, they then tried to restart it with an attack on Jim Nicholson.

I would imagine that some, if not all, outlets will have had counsel look at the statement, and that they will all have responded that there is nothing actionable in the Kennedy comments. Some clarification may be needed, but nothing to warrant such an email from the DUP press office. Of course the DUP are well known for seeking to bully the media into framing the news agenda to their particular liking on certain matters they find uncomfortable . However they can hardly be surprised that their unwarranted attack on Jim Nicholson, one of the European Parliaments most respected and senior politicians, was not widely covered, given their insidious and sinister interference in a similar story the previous day.

Of course now the story of DUP pay cheques and suitable lifestyles is a wider story, one that they wont be able to can at their whim. Perhaps that is why Peter Robinson got quite so angry this afternoon with Martina Purdy in Stormont.

I used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t.

Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday