“This attempt to regain primacy was just too brazen”

Bob has his own take on the UUP/Conservative success in shaping the DUP front bench this week.

This attempt to regain primacy was just too brazen. I hear that when the News Letter got this statement they immediately called up a press office. The DUP press office? Nope. They called the UUP Press Office. Why? Because they couldn’t believe it, they thought the statement was a wind up – they wanted to know if someone was havin’ a laugh.

This statement from Peter beggars credulity because the DUP have been so flagrant in their opposition of the Tories. The DUP have revelled in being on the wrong side of the division lobby to the Tories – and they’ve been vicious in their declamation of Tories over here. (McIlveen might be right, might be wrong – but that the Tories/UUP are vote splitting rascals with a dislike of the OO is the DUP’s party line on this right?)

  • ??

    peter robinsons email 29 april:

    There were three other issues raised in some reports which I will
    > also take the opportunity to comment upon even though you did not
    > raise them (but in case you read them). Firstly it was suggested
    > that someone who is an MP should not be an Assembly Member or
    > Councillor. In principal this is a sensible position to adopt. My
    > only caveat is that it was felt essential by all the political
    > parties that the most experienced politicians should be in the
    > Assembly in its early years to assist in bedding down the
    > institutions.
    > > I expect that this dual mandate position will be phased out by all the
    > > parties as the Assembly stabilises. Some time ago all the political
    > > parties committed themselves in an Assembly Committee to this course
    > of action. I can assure you that working 16 hour days to carry out
    > all the work needing to be done is not something I want to long
    > continue.

    good to see the tories playing catchup and a smart move by the DUP.

    Come September there will be a raft of new faces in thh DUP front bench, male and female in comparison to the same old men in the UUP.

    Also the DUP will be the only unionist party to win a seat this election therefore ending Empeys rule and finishing the UCUNF project – SYlvia Hermon UUP Leader??

  • percy

    all sensible unionists will vote UUP as Cameron will be the next PM.
    End of story

  • Unionist

    Whats your take Michael?

    DUP pulled the rug from your feet eh?

  • ABC

    ??

    Absolutely right. The DUP can play cabinet re-shuffle if they want. What exactly can Reg do? McFarland refused to take a ministry because Reg was grabbing one for himself (then again who can ever forget his pitch for the Belfast Agreement: “a chance like this won’t come along for me again”). The DUP has a far greater pool of talent, with some bright new faces coming through – Hamilton, McIlveen, McCausland (admittedly not as young as the first two, bur still very capable), Alistair Ross etc.

    What have the UUP got? Reg, a man who has presided over the continual decline of the UUP to the point where he needs transfers from Naomi Long to get elected, MicGimpsey, a man so reviled by the voters of South Belfast that he couldn’t get 3,000 votes in an Assembly election despite being a previous government minister, McFarland, presentable but sidelined because he’s too close to Sylvia and rent-a-quote Basil McCrea, a man who takes the phrase shallow to a whole new level.

    Of course waiting in the wings we have the prescient intellect and talent of er, Michael Shilliday and Roy Beggs Junior…..oh and let’s not forget Danny Kennedy, an man who cant but help laughing at his own jokes.

    Have the Ulster Unionists atually got a single female councillor below the age of 40? Oh yes Diana Peacocke, whose own colleagues in North Down are lining up to slip the knife into her.
    Yeah UCUNF is really setting the agenda! LOL!!

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    Is this the same party who voted with Labour, with a 9 fingered gesture to the Conservatives, and now want to genuflect to them?

    Is this the same party that voted and actively spoke out against an end to double jobbing in March?

    Is this the same party that had a picket against Cameron, the ‘putative’ leader of the UK, in Ballymena?

    Is this the same party that tried to make sure their members in Ballymena didn’t attend Cameron Direct?

    As this party seems to have different policies – one pro Cameron one anti, who is setting policy now East Belfast or North Antrim?

  • percy

    Robinson is at least realistic to recognise neither he nor his party will have any influence at Westminster, and turns his attention to Stormont.

    The UUP/Tory link up isn’t going to be earth-shattering, due to above comments re: poor representation of women, and too many grey haired men.

    What’s interseting is the DUP have virtually conceded they are a “Northern Irish Party”, not a Unionist Party.
    They might as well look to Dublin and pursue an all-ireland agenda.

    Its all heading inexorably towards a united ireland where unionist types, have a block power influence in the Dail.
    Maybe I’m getting a head of myself a wee bit, but one thing is sure unionist future is in Stormont not Westminster.

  • frustrated democrat

    percy

    ‘poor representation of women, and too many grey haired men’

    That was the past, future elections will be very different. Starting with Westminster I suspect you will see some excellent women and younger men as candidates.

  • percy

    fd,
    I concede that. I just love these UUP/DUP punch ups at election time.
    Never really understood why they’re so intense and bitter, as in reality there’s both sows from the same pig.
    Great craic if you’re a nationalist.

  • New Blue

    Percy

    That is the most ignorant commetn I have ever read on Slugger (and beating ?? takes some doing).

    but one thing is sure unionist future is in Stormont not Westminster.

    Westminster is the feckin home of unionism, that is why real unionism, not partionist six county unionism is the way forward.

    DUP can shuffle and reshuffle all they want, truth is that if they want to continue in politics in the UK they have to be prepared to get away from your style of thinking. The union is much more than the wishes of the DUP, Cameron has shown that and ‘pete the bleat’ has finally caught on that he and his ‘six county unionism’ party are on a beaten docket.

  • percy

    New Blue,
    You’re a little cruel on me, but hey it’s politics.

    My point is that devolution means the good healthy futures of all regions of the UK lies in those regional assemblies.
    That’s where local power lies, and where you want your reps to do well.
    Westminster is a side show.

    By your thinking there’ll be a massive UUP vote.
    We will see if this bears out.

  • ??

    That was the past, future elections will be very different. ………

    no thats the present. And look at how they treat the women in their party. Hermon and PEacocke are being forced out, make way for some men!

  • frustrated democrat

    Percy

    If you watch closely the DUP are walking strangely, they are caught in nut cracker between the CU’s and the TUV and its hurting.

    They just don’t know which way to go; they were always a party of protest and therefore not suited for power of any sort.

  • New Blue

    Percy

    Didn’t mean to be harsh, but ‘Unionism’ was not created by Norn Iron prods.

    Unionism – the unionism that the partnership aims to offer, is the partnership of people, regardless of colour or religion, from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. It is not the sole property of the Orange Order or the DUP.

    The power lies with the ability to make real changes to the lives and opportunities of the people, and that certainly doesn’t lie at Stormont.

    I don’t see how you surmise that my comment means that there will be a massive UUP vote, I have made no such inference.

    This partnership is new, and as we all know, new things in Northern Ireland are set on fire first, then covered in scorn and then (just possibly) slowly accepted.

    This partnership has a lot of work to do, there are indeed a good number of quality future candidates already within and currently joining the partnership, people who have real experience of living and working in Northern Ireland.

    But one thing is for sure Percy, we have to move away from the DUP / Sinn Fein politics of division on purely sectarian grounds and start our divisions on social and economic ones instead.

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    Do you not want to answer the questions, I am not surprised; of course you may not know the answers to real questions in your role.

    Hermon and Peacock are very welcome to stay if they accept the party’s policies and do their jobs.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I’d prefer my pro-Union parties to be parties of the Union ie to stand in every part of the country alike. It’s absurd, however, to suggest that merely regional parties are therbey inherently anti-national.

    Europe’s legislatures are littered with parties that only stand in parts of the states they’re in, but equally have no programmatic desire to see those states dissolved. The CSU, for example, is *not* the branch office of the CDU, it’s an entirely separate party. But no one, I hope, is silly enough to imagine that they’re thus crypto-Bavarian nationalists, as opposed to being zealously patriotic Germans.

    The DUP are quite at liberty to be Unionist in the fullest sense of the term and stand only in one part of the Union. That’s the whole point of the Union – diverse and inclusive, many in one, different strokes for different folks, cliché after cliché . . .

  • percy

    c’mon ??
    it wasn’t so long ago that your party was just religious bigots; most of your women are married to MP’s, hardly representative most would say.

    You can blame Iris and her gay-bashing for the reason Westminster won’t touch you with a barge-pole. and you’ve a loony climate change denier as Environment minister.
    Hardly a modern progressive party.

    Both UUP and SDLP have had to watch in awe at the rise of DUP/SF, but now the old battles are resolved, the future really is going to be about quality, delivery, and leadership.

    Best thing DUP can do is finish off TUV, and become a much more Stormont centered party.
    Let UUP do their thing, it won’t get very far.

  • New Blue

    LTU

    That is not the point I am making, the DUP focus on ‘six county unionism’ not ‘six counties within the union’ that is a very different thing.

    I agree that it is the individuality of the component parts that make the union what it is, but what is the difference between a nationalist and a unionist who only has interest in their corner of the union?

  • percy

    frustrated democrat
    I take those comments on board, I like the nut-cracker image 😉

    New blue,
    we’re on the same page in many ways, however:

    The power lies with the ability to make real changes to the lives and opportunities of the people, and that certainly doesn’t lie at Stormont.

    This doesn’t add up to me, not for NI, as there’s only a handful on MP’s.
    Stormont is the place where real changes to the lives and opportunities of the people lie.
    If there was for example 60 MP’s, then I’d concede, as that would be similiar to Labour MP’s in Scotland who do exert a considerable influence at Westminster.

    I’m with and for the folks on the hill, unionist or nationalist.
    Margaret Ritchie, Arlene Foster, John O’Dowd, Basil McCrea ( in no particular order) are top politicians.

  • New Blue

    Yes but Catriona, Sammy and Michelle are not.

    The Assembly has provided nothing, if it were stocked with quality ‘can-do’ elected representatives instead of small-minded “my party don’t really like your party” types then maybe something would get done.

    Margaret is a prime example of a minister who really works for her portfolio, but thanks the the internal ‘big 2’ politics, Social housing may as well be the responsibility of Scooby Doo.

  • Loki

    ?? Once you get past Michelle McIlveen and Arlene Foster where exactly are the women thronging the DUP benches?

  • blinding

    Is some one trying to divide and conquer the Unionists or are they doing it all by themselves.

  • AdamsandLoughgall

    Anybody noticed the body language between robbo and Arlene?
    Our First Minister has a wee eye for Arlene. At first she didn’t seem to notice, but now she plays up to it.

    Watch Stormont Live any time the two are together in the Assembly Chamber or answering questions etc.

    I’m sure its all innocent but Arlene definitely melts the Iceman’s heart!

  • percy

    New blue,
    If you really want “normal politics” the way to go is via a united ireland.
    It would end the sectarian head-count forever.

  • New Blue

    Percy

    Unfortunately I believe that the whole of Ireland should be united and within the UK.

    That’s one we will (probably) never agree on

    I do, however, fully support the GFA and would accept a majority vote for an independant UI (I wouldn’t vote for it mind).

    I’m afraid that’s the best I can give you there.

  • percy

    New blue, we had that in 1801 “The Act of Union”
    I’d like to go forward not backwards.

    My vision is this:
    Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England all separate countries, all part of Europe, all in the Euro, and last but not least all friends 😉

    am sure we can agree on the last point a cara.

  • New Blue

    Percy

    I’m sure I don’t have to quote Voltaire to you.

    It’s the ability to hold different opinions that makes life enjoyable.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I’m sorry to be boring, when as and when you do quote [sic] Voltaire, make sure it’s something he actually said.

  • New Blue

    Percy

    By saing “I’m Sure I don’t have to quote Voltaire to you” I meant just that, so I didn’t quote Voltaire to you.

    I was of course referring to “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.”

    Now see what you made me do ? You made me quote Voltaire to you.

  • New Blue

    Percy

    Sorry, that was, of course, meant for the ‘boring’ LTU

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Well then, Nu Blu, you’ll be relieved to learn that you haven’t quoted Voltaire to Percy, as Voltaire never said that.

  • New Blue

    LTU

    Pedantic much?

    Yes the quote is indeed mis-attributed but it is still the most famous thing attributed to him. (although I also enjoy “An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination. “)

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Pedantic? fairly, yes – also, in the context of Norn Iron, squeamish, to put it midly, at your eccentric next choice of aphorism (Neave, Gow, Bery, Bradford & Edgar Graham all coming sadly to mind).

  • New Blue

    LTU

    a man who cannot laugh at his own history has learnt nothing.

    Not by Voltaire

    😉

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Um, you do know that digging that hole deeper ain’t going to get you out? Or ;)ing notwithstanding, do you really think we ought to be at the stage where we’re all having a merry little chuckle apropos Neave, Gow, Berry, Bradford and Graham’s murders? Please tell me that you’re not actually canvassing for UCUNF’s superstar soaraway Euro candidate, as if you are, I really haven’t bet anywhere near enough money on Jim Allister.

  • percy

    I agree, New Blue, your humour is lost on LTU, but did you see how you got the bigot in him exposed.
    Good work

  • New Blue

    LTU

    Is there really any point in attempting to continue this conversation?

    I feel you are either unable or unprepared to interpret what I am saying accurately.

    There are times when having a rod up yer arse is really not beneficial, and I see your responses to my posts as an excellent example of one of them.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Percy, if you genuinely think I’m a bigot, I can only pity you; New Blue, if you can’t see that I’m benignly trying to save you from making a bigger twat of yourself, oh well.

  • percy

    uptight then LTU, p.s I got the point on Voltaire, you made a mess of it, stop digging yaself.
    SEE?

    Ignore him New Blue.I told him off before to lose the “laughing” bit of his moniker, cos he just aint funny at all.
    Never mind.

    I’m interested to see how the tory link up will perform. Hats off to Cameron for going all across the UK to speak to voters. Tories will be the next gov’t for sure. I just wonder if he’s expecting too much from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    We’ll see.
    One thing is certain, DUP flank ( re westminster connection ) is not strong.
    On SF side we’ll see how their flank ( Dublin ) will hold up at this Euro election

  • percy

    LTU
    You’re funny in the way an arsehole joke is funny.
    But you’re not witty, as there’s no charm about you.
    Do you see what I mean?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Yeah, I can see that the ‘charm’ is just flowing out of you. Off you go and slabber at someone else who disagrees with you that they’re a ‘bigot’ – that’s your level, stick to it.

  • percy

    err wrong LTU
    New blue and I were having a proper debate, before you came in bullying and slabbering.
    Just face it, you’re not up to an adult exchange of views.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Yeah, your All Souls fellowship is evidently in the post. Probably when you translate “You’re funny in the way an arsehole joke is funny” from the Greek to the Latin, that’s when they’ll let you in. But sorry someone else started speaking to someone who were posting with, and on the internet too! I can quite see why you’re so upset.