Is Mrs Dodds the DUP’s Sarah Palin?

For weeks I’ve been hearing complaints from the minor parties that neither Sinn Fein nor the DUP were willing to let their candidates appear on television with those of the minor parties. It’s the kind of powerlock you can use, if you are one of the big boys, er girls… But it never crossed my mind until last Thursday’s comparatively poor performance by Diane Dodds (leaving an impressive Jim Allister the last word was poor negotiation on the DUP’s part) that they might be trying to protect the candidate… Yesterday’s Politics Show served to underline her lack of experience, and perhaps the reason her DUP handlers were keen to keep her apart from Allister’s not inconsiderable skills (although it takes a poor briefing, not to mention an utter lack of understanding of how national governments interact with the European Commission, to open up three losing fronts). Remind you of anyone?

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  • oracle


    100% spot on,

    In a rush for a creditable candidate the DUP over looked the fact that the candidate still needs to have accurate information and be able to articulate their views without irratation to the audience
    failed 3 times

  • RG Cuan

    Her rant during the debate at Queen’s, when Jim Fitzpatrick and the entire audience were trying to keep her quiet – and then applauded when she did finally reduce the intensity of her shrill and irrelevant cries – was truly unbelievable.

    She looked so bad that her party have now complained to the BBC…

    Overall, I think Palin was actually a better candidate than Mrs Dodds.

  • politico

    Sarah’s media minders did a better job at keeping her away from the press.

  • Pancho

    Where is the sex appeal and suits? I’m just disappointed.

    Enjoied the the comparison though.

  • Sceder

    The real irony is that although she was/is totally appalling, the DUP are arrogant enough to believe that it dosen’t matter. They believe the electorate will do as they are told and will vote for her anyway – the really sad thing is they are probably right.

    If this is the best candidate the leading party of unionism can find then unionism doesnt deserve to lead.

  • AJJM

    Dodds makes Palin look like Abe Lincoln (and not in terms of looks)!

  • corb lund

    Nice comparison! Debate was a total embarrassment – shrill and that occasional burst of maniacal laughter! What was she on?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    She’s nervous, and not much cop, and pratically a political virgin, her long years of, uh, democratic-salaryship notwithstanding, and yet she’s still markedly better than Jim Nicholson. Or does anyone want to single out for me his zingers? As I’ve droned from the start: Jim Allister is head and shoulders above *all* the other candidates in the race. And if merit mattered a damn – because nothing else does in this supremely irrelevant contest – people would put aside their sectarian blinkers and vote for him on the grounds of personal ability alone. If you want a job done, he, plainly, can do it: if you want to wallow in petty, volkish self-identification, well, off you go. My spread looks better and better at this point.

    Pace Palin, she *added* to the ticket, both in terms of shoring up a base the hopeless McCain had p*ssed off, and, as her early weeks showed, was perfectyl capable of being a dynamic campaigner. Who then was thrown away by the jealous ticks round who were content to lose with him and see her blamed. Still, at least she never accused anyone of speaking ‘Austrian’. That would ahve been really thick.

  • danielmoran

    mick, everyone, including the dogs on the street yet to be born, knew that the duppers wanted nigel, but nigel was making other plans for nigel. so he gets to kill two birds with one stone.
    [text removed – keep to the ball – mods] i expected she might make a hash of it but couldn’t believe it. sunny jim had little to do as she gave herself enough rope to hang herself. i have recorded the debate to a dvd which is NOT rewritable, so it’s permanent.

  • New Blue

    If Allister is yesterdays face of the DUP and Dodds is tomorrows face, then time for the DUP to shut up shop.

    While Allister is an obviously accomplished (and emotive) speaker, his core message is backward looking.

    Dodds does not deserve to be elected to any office, she has all of the diplomatic skill of a sledgehammer, with none of the charisma.

    Jim Nicholson has performed excellently as the ‘guinea pig’ in the new partnership, a partnership that moves away from the agenda of DUP/TUV and moves towards real issues and real politics.

    People who want to cling on to yesterday can vote TUV, Pro-Union people who want to work for tomorrow can vote CU.

    People who want to have their heads tested…. well, enough said

  • underwood

    DD is a disaster, but it was always going to be so, the DUP hierarchy knew it and just hoped for the best.
    This is the price to be paid for keeping Nigel sweet and on-board – nothing more, nothing less. In the ordinary run of things she wouldn’t have gotten a look in for a run at Europe.

  • Jim Nicholson has performed excellently

    People who want to have their heads tested…. well, enough said

    mmmmmmmm – maybe you should join Susan Boyle

  • Cuairteoir

    Diane Dodds is a walking disaster and Jim Allister is a fundamentalist bigot straight out of 1622. I think Jim Nicholson means well but just can’t really cut it.

    Modern and progressive Unionists really only have one choice – Parsley.

  • RepublicanStones

    Apologies Mick…didn’t think my last post was that distasteful !!!!

  • True Blue

    My God didn`t realise she was so bad…I`m voting Allister now.

  • Mick Fealty


    I got it; others might not…

  • New Blue


    If Mr. Parsleys party were pro-union your comment might carry some weight.

    As it is Modern and progressive Unionists really only have one choice – Nicholson

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Well Mrs Deputy Dodsy has some balls – the DUP position is extremely difficult to get across without alienating their voters by emphasising their realtionship with SF even for a well-seasoned and capable candidate. On that showing she is niether – and couldnt help feeling sorry for her.

    Two favourite lines were Diane’s early one “Perhaps we should allow some authority from the chair” which she then went on to totally ignore and Jimbo’s(TUV) when challenged over the alternative to Stormo “British rule is better than Sinn Fein rule”. He should have used that as his election slogan – its a cracker.

    On the substantive point as to the damage it will do her – probably not a lot – this Euro vote, as the audience poll indicated, is about Orange versus Green and the large majority of Unionists still want the DUP to represent them for that – so Mrs Deputy Dodsy will come a comfortable second but Jimbo(TUV), based on his own authoritative showings here and elswhere, to do better than was expected only a few months ago.

  • observer

    I have a dream…..

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the Northern Ireland electorate finally showed a bit of political maturity and instead of following the tribal invitations just went out and voted for the best people to represent us in Europe. Weigh up experience and influence and its a no brainer that the three sitting MEP’s are the ones best qualified to be returned. I know that DUP will be gutted if they failed to take the seat but their electoral day will come again. Do we really want a third rate, paper weight, average Councillor with about as much diplomacy and political skills as the man in the moon representing us in Europe? The choice of Mrs Dodds was always going to be a gamble for the DUP and maybe some Nigel factor made it worth the risk but it has proved to be a terrible mistake and I am sure that the spinners in Dundela Avenue will be running around like headless chickens trying to conjure up some type of damage limitation. Have you heard one person say that she is a credible candidate for Europe? No me neither!!

  • oracle

    ******** PADDY POWER ********

    Allister cut to 3/1 for a seat

    Then to 5/2
    Then to 2/1
    Then 7/4

    Now 6/4


  • oracle

    ******* BETTING SUSPENDED NOW ********

  • Rory Carr

    She’ll still get the Stupid Vote and that will count for a lot, although it might have helped her a little more if she had been shown up by the SF candidate rather than the other unionist candidates, but the fact that she was seen to demean herself in front of the SF candidate and before an audience of “university smarty-arses” might yet rebound to her favour to the detriment of the other unionist candidates. Among the Stupid Voters anyway.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    I just looked at PP and he’s still 5/1.

    What the feck were you looking at?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Hey! It’s stuck-record Sammy. Sam, Sam, the droning man, because you don’t understand basic constitutional law, you’ve for years blethered onto us about how ‘da Brits’ couldn’t do this, that and da other. Taken seriously, your single-tranferrable post really did seem to be stupid enough to believe in joint sovereignty. You’re now slabbering – until you run away – that ‘the Brits’ shouldn’t do these terrible, terrible things. Bore us some more and explain the shift?

  • brendan,belfast

    Excellent observation Mick – a very valid comparison. But she will still be elected, no doubt about it.

  • Question Mark Question Mark

    Dodds to top the poll she is a sterling candidate

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I think that there’s now an outside chance that Jim Allister can actually *hold* his seat, which will be a truly phenomenal result. As it will only happen at Jim Nicholson’s expense (private polling is currently *disastrous* for UNCUNF), such a result will be the perfect trifecta: 1.) Reg will be toast; 2.) Futureleader Dodds will be toast (fairly or otherwise the rest of the DUP will turn on him for his part in this debacle happening) & 3.) Allister will have to be appeased by either what’s left of the UUP, or, by the Punt. Either way, Unionist win.

    BTW I accept that Jim A staying an MEP is still a less likely outcome than the three current parties each getting back in, and that the distance between DUP/SF/UUP & DUP/SF/TUV being the result, is much larger than the distance between the chances of the latter and the nationalist perfect storm of unionist vote-splitting so precisely dividing their three that somehow the Stoop staggers over the line. But all that, it’s (Jim A winning) now sooooo much closer to happening than all but a tiny handful of us were brave enough to even contemplate just a month ago. TUV *will* be here come the next Stormont elections, and they will win seats.

  • Sam Flanagan

    Who is going to be the first panic-stricken DUP figure to jump from the sinking ship? Jim Wells would be a good guess don`t you think?

    Diane has compounded all her previous buffoonery by being photosnapped with the Paisleys! Not a very good idea in the current “money-grabbing, dynasty-building,treachery-working,” paranoid political climate!

    She definitely has an “Avishai Raviv,” working against her in her camp!

  • Elvis Parker

    Private polling is showing C & U vote holding up well and Allister making real in roads into DUP. This performance will set alarm bells ringing in Peter’s bunker in Dundela Ave

  • Seceder

    the more i look at the DUP flickr site the more it jumps out – the only people canvassing for the DUP appear to be their MLA/MPs

    Other Parties seem to have a smattering of ordinary party punters around them but the DUP seem to have put the whole elected team on the bus and sent them round the country.

    proves either no one is running the country, no one needs to run the country or our MP/MLAs don’t know what they are being paid to do.

  • oracle


    the vote has opened again on the seat allister is 3/1 have a look, 5th change today.

    to top poll is no longer available after S/F came in to 1/33

    Dodds 16/1
    Allister 25/1
    Nicolson 25/1

  • Conquistador

    I liked Sarah Palin.

    Can’t stand Diane Dodds though.

  • fin

    Oracle, I see its at the SDLPs expense, Alban out to 7/1, none of the top 3 affected, I wonder how much money would need to be laid to change the odds like that. Interesting to see if the odds change again with punters thinking Alban is now a value bet at 7/1, personally I think 3/1 is bad value for JA, and if the odds lenghtened for Alban to say 10/1 he’d be worth backing

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Elvis Parker – that’s an outright lie. Private polling is *not* showing Nicholson’s vote “holding up well”.

  • nemo

    the plethora of party hacks on here doing there bit to slag off Dodds only proves that all parties know the DUP vote is actually holding up well- much to their displeasure.

    Allister keeps saying he’s getting a good response. I think the evidence may prove otherwise.

  • alan56


    Only ‘holding up well’… lowering the expectations?
    Understandable I suppose.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    Jimbo(TUV) may shorten more presumably as his momentum continues to grow – problem for Mrs Deputy Dodsy is the fecking internet – her poor performance is easily viewable and will be pushed by her opponents – e.g. Slugger?

    re. 1/33 for SF to top the poll. Did you observe that in person? Now that this so-called ‘disaster’ is almost upon us we can now await with interest a very interesting and bloody (at least) 3 way Unionist civil war – Tuv Jimbo will be able to use the still fresh DUP arguements that were used against the UUP in his Lundification of them and Wee Reggie will set about Sylvia as Robbo and Deputy Dodsy set about him as PoshBoyDC looks on in astonishment as the mad Unionist Paddies kick the red-white-and-blue out of each other to try and prove their Britishness. It was ever so.

  • nemo


    my own view is that the DUP share of the vote will chnage little on the last elections.

    hows ucunf getting on? started canvassing yet?

  • Gael gan Náire

    I would have though that the obvious tactic whilst running Mrs Dodds would have been to get her to keep it light and to let the DUP logo and the Union Jack do the hard work.

    Now, I see that Mrs Dodds has other ideas and views herself as a serious player in this, despite not being on top of her brief and lacking the control that is needed to operate politically at this level.

    She was very poor indeed in this debate and others, however given our politics her performance and ability may well be quite irrelevant to the result.

    Anything could happen in the election now.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Nemo – Dodds will stumble over the line safely enough. No one is quite so thick – other, maybe, than Shillers and a few of his pimply mates – to say otherwise.

    What, however, this campaign is showing us all too clearly is:

    a.) the ongoing dysfunction at the top of the DUP – they should have settled on a candidate in a better way than via the manner Diane emerged, and, it, plainly, shouldn’t have been her!

    b.) the fragile, unhappy nature of DUP intra-Unionist ascendancy – *and*, that the threat to their current pole position is from the Right (but that, as things stand, the UUP is still too dense to understand that and profit from it);

    c.) the sheer hopelessness of the UUP’s position (they should obviously have gotten a ‘Cameron bounce – his coattails, his 1st world campaigning techniques, and, natch, his money, but they haven’t);

    d.) even as and when the tame, Processiste press start gurning about Jim A, ‘ach, soooo close, but nay guid’, in the still likely event of him falling short, that’s just them being as bought and as wrong as ever they are. Never mind – and you can already see this spin on the BBC – expectations having been raised, and it being thus all the more disappointing when TUV don’t hold their seat: the result they are now set to get, even falling shy of a seat, will be astonishing. And all the more so when people start working out who has abandoned whom and why – and then figuring out just exactly how durable that newfound TUV support is going to be. The TUV are no more going to disappear that the things which have brought them into being are.

    e.) And finally – should the unbelievable happen, and Allister holds his seat, Reg will be gone within 48 hours. Which will be an even bigger disaster for the UUP than merely Nicholson losing the seat (whether Stoopwards or to Allister). That’s not because, the Tory link-up is the only way forward, yet will have been shown to be worse than useless in the short term. It is the only way forward, but only with the right people and the right policies. Why it will quite possibly be a terminal disaster for the little Trimble & co left standing of the UUP is that, other than Kennedy at a very long stretch, there is no one, not one soul, who can hold the party together other than Reg. Which is why I’m willing to bet that if the Euro result entails Reg’s resignation, the UUP will formally disintegrate before the general election. For who the hell wants to be a UUP MLA, on a hiding to nothing, in terms of holding his Stormont seat, campaigning for an entity quite incapable of winning, in its own right, a single Westminster seat?

    But I just want to pick up one more time on Elvis Parker’s pointless little fabulation – that there’s been even a rogue private with anything like tolerable, let alone good news for the UUP – is there not even one other Ulster Unionist willing to accept why we’re flat-lining but Jim Allister is mounting a vigorous insurgency, from nowhere, with nothing in the way of professional support, tame, establishment media feather-bedding or mainland money? As Peter Kay enjoins you all, think on.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Stuck-record Sammy – still running away I see. Keep running.

  • alan56


    Do you think DUP will top the poll?
    Why on earth would you think I would be advocating support for UU/Tories?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    The DUP *can’t* top the poll, and that’s hardly their fault. The solitary way they could would be if the SDLP were making an even competent fist of it. But they’e not, so there never was any possibility whatsoever in this poll that the single largest 1st preference tally would remain with the DUP. And it’s thus no odds that it won’t. Indeed, in terms of intra-communual vote management, the DUP’s coattails are still going to be quite long enough to bring in AN Other Unionist, whereas Sinn Fein neither want to, nor are anywhere near capable of hauling the SDLP over the finishing line, even in the midst of the most delicious three-way Unionist split nationalists could hope for.

    Of course, a truly ruthless, Machiavellian DUP would positively want Allister to displant Nicholson, thus more than likely setting in train the UUP’s final dissolution. But solid, honest to goodness vanity will get in the way of that.

    As things stand, the DUP-as-is is *almost* the UUP-as-was: central, monolithic, majoritarian, non-ideological (and would make it all the way there if the UUP self-destructed); the UUP are *almost* the Alliance-as-was: preeningly self-conscious ‘non-sectarian’ Unionists, alienating thereby the non-sectarian majority of Unionists who don’t feel so insecure that they need to wear their virtue on their sleeves; the Alliance are a smug, irrelevant joke; Sinn Fein are the SDLP-as-was with criminal records; and the SDLP, ever more John Hume’s Zentrumspartei, are accordingly a confessional embarrassment to their purported social dmeocratic credo.

  • Elvis Parker

    LTU there is no logic to your remarks and no evidence to support them. Nicholson is being well received and will poll well.
    Why would someone who voted UUP in the past vote Allister? So where is the Nicholson vote going to?
    Of course there may be some folk who switch but to from UUP to Allister but overwhelmingly it is DUP switching to Allister.

    Also SDLP campaign has been a disaster with the SDLP simply failing to convince their votes that they can take a seat. Few posters, miserable local coverage, poor NI wide media coverage.

    LTU just because you want something to be the case doesnt make it reality!

  • Carson’s Cat

    There may have been complaints from minor parties that there weren’t enough debates – but then that’s entirely predictable, particularly from Allister.

    Candidates attempting to gain ground on an opponent always call for a debate. The leading candidates inevitably reject the call. Allister’s been blaming everyone from Diane Dodds to the Director General of the BBC for his lack of airtime. I suspect of course that no-one’s quite as keen to hear Jim’s dulcit tones on the airwaves than Jim is himself…

    The debate probably wasn’t the best moment of the DUP’s campaign – but it wasn’t carcrash territory either. The fact that this is being held up as the worst moment shows how successful the campaign has been for the DUP.

    The comparison to Palin isn’t fair or entirely accurate either. Palin came in with massively high expectations and slowly but surely underperformed. Actually what I’ve seen of the DUP base is that the expectations from Dodds weren’t that huge initially, particularly on agricultural issues and things. She has managed actually to build herself up steadily as time has gone on.

    Allister may be terribly intelligent but he’s also terribly self-important and skates scarily close to being a bully most times he appears on tv. Like it or lump it – shouting at a woman just aint nice.

    The Politics Show isn’t core viewing for most people anyway so the few UCUNF & TUV anoraks on here wetting themselves about how great this has been obviously spend a lot more time watching telly than they do knocking doors.

    The big story of this election will be the UCUNF vote and its slippage…. All the talk will be a little more enlightened by this time next week.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Elvis Parker,
    I think a few too many people mistake Sluggerotoole for real life…..

    UCUNFers and TUVvies have been forming their mutual appreciation society here for months and bolstering their own views from opinions formed from an incredibly small group of people.

    Meanwhile in the real world the vast majority of people form their own views.

    Its a bit laughable to hear that the internet will crush Dodds somehow. Yes its important, but again there will be dozens of times more votes swung by knocking doors than viewing YouTube – at this election anyway. Things may change in the future but the idea that wee Annie in Ahoghill will change her vote on the basis of something she sees on YouTube is just crazy stuff.

    Dodds biggest strength from what I can see is meeting people. She’s got a bit of that Hermon fact of just being “nice”. Hard to put a finger on, but there’s no doubt that the more people she talks to then there’s more likelyhood of them voting for her. I doubt that’s the case for Allister – not sure about Nicholson.

    Its also probably the case for Parsley in particular. He’s had a good campaign and is obviously quite personable. Probably the same for the Greens. Parsley in particular might have leached a few votes off UCUNF whilst no-one’s bee looking during this campaign too.

    Like I said before – watch the UCUNF vote, and not for an upward movement. They’re losing votes in two directions and given they were below 100k last time it could be interesting to see where the settle this time….

  • nemo


    i’ve an idea for a few more threads you could run if you want to go down such a partisan road:

    1. Is Jim Allister the next Alan “Howlin Laud” Hope?

    2. is Jim Nicholson the next Jim Nicholson (Vote for Chnage)?

  • Rory Carr

    I wonder which candidate will win this seat. Anyone out there on Slugger care to speculate?

  • nemo


    dodds, de brun, nicholson.

  • Question Mark Question Mark

    I think the DUP should have run two candidates. I don’t mind Sinn Fein getting in, but Nicholoson or Allister, yuck!

  • Carson’s Cat

    Dodds, DeBrun (possibly in that order but will be very tight) and then Nicholson.

    Not so sure Nicholson will be in on the 2nd count this time. Think he’ll have to wait for an elimination.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    The DUP *can’t* top the poll, and that’s hardly their fault.

    It is “their fault” that they made it into a major issue if they couldnt achieve it – they did this to frighten the Unionist Irish into not voting for the “vote-splitter” TUV (Jimbo)- a now seemingly totally misjudged approach.

    It is also “their fault” that they picked what looks like a very poor candidate and underestimated Jimbo and it is also “their fault” that they neglected the fact that the Unionist Irish have an unquenchable thirst for Lundification – which is how they got into power themselves.

    In summary, they may have had quite a difficult hand but they seem to have made a complete pigs ear/mickey out of it – that would therefore be “their fault”.

  • nemo

    nicholson will be left to sweat it out. will scrape in tough again and he’ll have another 5 years of ‘carrying on’ across in europe.

    the old dawg.

  • tál

    What the fuck is with Lord Trimble’s (Laughing (Tory) Unionist) incessant use of ” ** ” ?

    What a pompous bell-end. Trying to get down with the kids, are we? You’re an ignorant *fool*, old boy.

  • oracle


    I took Sf to top poll at 2/1 and I told others on this site to do likewise.

    I also reasoned that if TUV were going to take enough votes of the DUP to hand poll topper to SF, then the TUV were going to collect at least 40,000 votes to do so and if people are argry enough to give them 40,000 then they could just as easily give them 85,000 and if he gets 75,000 plus he gets elected

    reason CU vote to fall
    DUP surplus counted 1st
    Alliance transfers not enough to help CU overhaul TUV

    Therefore I took 12/1 Allister

  • Alan – Newtownards

    This is the first election in over thirty years of voting that I couldn’t care less who gets in. I’m fair scunnered with these so called politicians who invade our airwaves every election time.

    Diane Dodds is an icredible nasty piece of work. Only the hard of hearing would want to vote for her and her whingegy voice. As a unionist I really am struggling to work out who I will vote for. I’m not a tory so that takes Nicholson out of the equation.

    Nigel Dodds earns enough money in his many roles as a politician, so the thought of another £100,000 plus going into their coffers, never mind the fact that she is a nasty piece of work rules her out for me.

    That leaves Allister. I don’t know much about what he stands for, apart from the fact that he does not like the republican movement. I don’t have a problem with that as they have done some really bad things in the past, but we need to move forward. He seems to be busy at Brussells which is a plus.

    My wife wants us to vote either green, alliance or even s.d.l.p. as she is also digusted with politicians from the unionist side of the fence.

    Alban Magennis seems a decent, reasonable person so who knows.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Elvis, you’ve a.) misunderstood where I was saying TUV votes are coming from – they’re primarily coming from the DUP/hardline Unionist recent non-voters, because after almost 15 straight years of UUP decline, those are were Unionist votes are to be found & b.) for obvious enough reasons crawled away from your earlier garbage about there being any polls showing Nicholson’s vote “holding up well”. I suspect you weren’t lying as such – ie that you knew there weren’t, but claimed there were such positive polls – but are simply slabbering to keep your spirits up. There have been private polls, and they have *all* been p*sspoor/awful for UCUNF. To repeat: this should have been Nicholson’s comeback election, rather than the one where his now habitual 3rd place became so insecure he was in danger of being taken out by Jim Allister’s ragbag army.

    As for the Paisleyite self-comforting going on here: Jim Allister’s about to score an insurgent triumph, and the worst thing for you lot isn’t that you now know he’s not going to go away, but that you know full well why he’s here to stay.

  • right on!!!

    Mad Jim will be close, but no cigar.

    Albs will sneak in 3rd – I hope the Shinners are emphasising the potential for that to happen on the back of Barbie’s transfers on the doorsteps, though I doubt it. What is certain, though, is that more Shinners than ever will vote Stoops no.2, especially in Belfast.

  • right on!!!

    By Mad Jim I mean Bigot Jim (Protestants this, Protestants thon, Protestants t’other) not “what am I doing here? Who are you? Are those my feet?” Jim.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Stuck-record Sammy – still running oh so far away from all those *years* of slabber? Ach, the shame of it. Keep on running.

  • nemo

    Laughing Tory

    On what basis are you saying allister is going to score such a triumph? these ‘private’ polls – are they saying that or you just picking this stuff out of your most recent steaming turd.

    Allister’s vote is being seriously over estimated here. it’s very much wishful thinking, but this time next week an awful lot of people are going to get a dose of reality – and it ain’t going to be the DUP.

  • tál

    [/i]oh so far away…. *years*[/i] – get back to the nineteenth century you freak.

    Have you ever contemplated, just for one moment, that some people actually have lives (a family, a few hobbies, a decent job) and, therefore, cannot afford to spend all the hours of the day responding to a risible, egotistical yet cowardly bigot on an internet forum?

  • Inspector Cleauso

    Can some TUVie please tell what is JA’s strategy to enable the next generation of Unionists adequate political representation? Or is the TUV just his vehicle for venting his grudge against DUP?

  • the Alliance are a smug, irrelevant joke

    If I were you, sunshine, I wouldn’t be calling anyone else smug.

  • tál

    [i]If I were you, sunshine, I wouldn’t be calling anyone else smug. [/i]

    L(T)U = David Trimble

  • alan56

    Some interesting stuff on the political party’s
    flickr sites. The example below shows just how important it is to check the captions!

  • LabourNIman

    well, even if dodds rakes in 2nd or 3rd it will be a PR disaster for DUP – the Dodds name will have failed and it will certainly but the breaks on Nigels ambitions (but hey anti-gay iris is still about so who knows).

    The fact that she is a one term councillor and a one term MLA shows that it was her surname that got her the nomination.

    Personally the only candidiate I have any interest in is Alban, he’s had the short straw of North Belfast all these years when they could have put him in a MP contest he stood a chance in.

    Alliance have finally found some back bone, lets hope they can keep it up after the election.

  • right on!!!

    Decent people vote Alban?

  • New Blue

    Well, looks like the DUP at council level have had enough of Dodds and her crazyness, but are they joining Allister?

    Nope, one to the UUP and one to the Conservatives!

    The Conservatives now ahve their first Councillor in Northern Ireland.

    let the flood gates open and let’s see the DUP collapse

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Sammy – away and play with yourself, that being the consequence of there being no one else willing to play with you (see NI election results passim ad infinitum); Nemo – yeah, the Punt is vastly looking forward to the huge triumph of, losing the number one spot, seeing Allister confirm his now very assured base for the next Stormont poll, and, the internal backbiting & pointscoring Mrs Dodds’ inadequacy is already kicking off with such gleeful gusto. That’s just what a tightly-wound, sorry, highly disciplined party needs in the run-up toa general election. And as for the crap about polls – the absurd claim was made that private polling showed Nicholson “holding his own”. Anyone who has actually seen any private polling knows this is not true. Equally, and hence the DUP peevishness, from Robinson downwards, the success a handful of us predicted for Allister has taken the DUP by inexplicably complete surprise: they seem seriously to have thought that they could count on UUP woes, and dumb lumpen unionist loyalty, to avoid the challenge their chuckling was *always* going to present them with. Just goes to show what group-think can to even to the cutest hoors.

    Peter Robinson more than anyone else knows full well what a credible Allister challenge means. For it’s exactly the same threat he and Paisley posed to an inflexible UUP. Incidentally, for what little it’s worth, I think that the Punt has been a marvel in government, effortlessly running rings round the Provos, keeping London sweet, maintaining his lead over the UUP, and, least emotively, but most importantly, far, far outpacing the shoddy effort Trimble put in in terms of governing. And it’s precisely because of all that that I despair of the DUP’s reaction to Allister: they should, from day 1, have shrugged their shoulders resignedly, they should have widened their eyes, and with great and learned empathy, evinced sympathy for ‘Jim’s emotional response’; they should have spoken of how they understood his ‘honourable, if not entirely realistic’ position; they should have affirmed that his unionism was *of course* as valid as their own, let alone Nicholson’s and the UUP’s; and they should have even, on the sly, muttered to their base, ‘that’s where we’ll get to one day’. In short, they should have sought to envelop him in patronising concern. They didn’t have to mean a word of it, but those would have been the tactics to forestall Allister’s break-out.

    The tactics the DUP have in fact employed – belittling Allister personally, hysterically over-pitching the consequences of supporting him, and pushing forward a relative dud due to a failure to properly manage the upper echelon’s ambitions – have served exactly to inflate Allister’s chances. No sane Unionist should run on the platform that what Jim Allister, says, thinks or does is in someway more disagreeable that the things, out of easily argued for necessity (and evident, ongoing tactical advantage), Peter Robinson currently has to do at Stormont. Doing so was always liable to alienate people in the poll where they can most easily vote according to purist conscience. If the DUP seriously wanted to strangle the TUV at birth, rather than see it evolve into being the DUP to their UUP, they have gone about that end with fantastic, uncharacteristic carelessness. Indeed, if they remain true to this level of sloppiness, the sure next stage will be utterly pointless dumping on Nigel as early as next Monday.

  • nemo


    yet more wishful thinking! come this time next week the dodds brand will have been strengthened even further.

    as for your alban love in, if you think he ever/ever will have a chance of beating Nigel Dodds in North Belfast you need to stop smoking that stuff.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    The usual DUP spin that they played/play a blinder in Stormo has come unstuck as the reality
    of their change of position has become clear to their electorate and Jimbo has hammered home the sillines of the smash SF mantra that helped to sweep them to power with first the Very Revend high priest of unbending Unionism meekly followed (correctly) by Robbo – the Mr Nasty of unbending Unionism – into government with the Irish insurgents.

    The confusion that you experiencing about their current difficulties is simply down to your mis-reading of the situation.

    But the success of Jimbo in Lundifying Robbo and Deputy Dodsy will be measured in the Euros where the DUP vote will probably be twice that of the TUV with the majority of the Unionist Irish electorate understanding the DUPs arguement that is it better to share government with SF and have half-a-say in whats going on rather than to have papists from the ROI in league with the Englezes (that recent history has taught them they can trust) and have no-say-at-all.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Ach now dearie me stuck-record Sammy – still running away as fast as you can from all those years of slabber about what ‘da Brits’ could and couldn’t do? Keep on running.

  • fin

    Oracle, nice to see a pundit put their money where their mouth iss on here, good luck with the punts, I like your thinking/analysis on it, whats your thoughts on SDLP at 7/1

  • Bigger-Picture

    Isn’t the bigger picture being missed here i.e. combined nationalist votes are quite likely to exceed combined unionist votes this time out?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    edging ever closer but not expected this time out.

  • LabourNIman

    nemo – I know Alban will never beat Dodds in North Belfast, thats why I said the SDLP should have moved him to a more winnable seat.

  • L(T)U = David Trimble

    Not a chance – in the unlikely event he’s a UUP MLA in drag, though, his views would seem a close match for Burnside or Slasher McNarry.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    C’mon stuck-record Sammy – can’t keep running forever, or can you? All that slabber about joint authority and about what ‘da Brits’ could or couldn’t do, and now all vanished. I feel like having a word with UAHS – a great, if oh so dull, monument lost forever, and without explanation.

  • Elvis Parker

    The biggest laugh about Dodds was her spurious claims about meetings with DEFRA Ministers. All the existing MEPs can prove that they have had regular meeetings with DEFRA officials and other key stakeholders about the diary sector.
    The DUP wanted to focus in on the fact that they have not sought a meeting with the relevant DEFRA Minister in Westminster. Taking the DUP at their word that meeting the Minister could be crucial on a particular subject they are in fact putting their Party interest ahead of NI farmers.

    If we fast forward a year to a possible Conservative Govt consider the scenario:
    Jim Nicholson can seek a meeting with the Agriculture Minister – his colleague Jim Paice MP who has been over campaigning for Jim.
    Jim Allister or Bairbre de Brun can seek meetings as elected representatives of TUV and SF respectively
    Diane Dodds – as the representative of a party that has made increasingly misleading and bitter attacks on the Conservative Party (including their agriculture policy) can seek meetings.
    The Minister is a busy fellow, in what order do we think he would agree to meet these possible MEPs?

  • Cushy Glenn

    Sitting in my TUV-centric universe, I forced my staunch DUP friend to watch this on Sunday evening. My friend has never voted anything but DUP in her life, but after watching that perforrmance she now doesn’t know what to do. She clearly understands that Dodds is a dud, but couldn’t find much nice to say about Allister either. Of course he couldn’t control his legal training and not savage the hapless nervous dead meat Dodds. Perhaps there’s still a DUP vote to be won there, but I doubt it. Allister’s certainly got a preference, which he didn’t before.The only plus point DD still has going for this voterwas her gender.
    And meanwhile, in the empty shell of Crumlin Road courthouse, the ghost of Cecil Walker smiles quietly to himself…..

  • danielmoran

    cushy glen… i’ve read several posters referring to walker while comparing his case to dodds train crash, but i’m not familiar with what happened in his case. perhaps you could bring up to speed. thanks

  • Cushy Glenn

    Possibly the worst tv performance of all time,held in the Crumlin Road courthouse before an invited audience, daniel
    The voters of North Belfast had the opportunity to see their veteran MP fluff and stumble through questions easily dealt with by Dodds. Walker had been described by UUP spin doctors as their secret weapon ( a suicide bomb) and his vote collapsed after the dismal showing which he blamed on his faulty hearing aid. earlier he had endeared himself to the working class loylaist voters by stating a united Ireland wouldn’t be that bad

    The UUP quickly realised the folly of persisting with a duffer awarding his constituency association with a prize at their AGM , while Cecil got a K for being the only one of trimble’s MPs too dozy to try to knife him.

    But say what you like about him, Cecil was an amiable old buffer who couldn’t really walk the walk of tribal totem. And even when he was systematically choking any possible challenger-McCausland, Humphrey to name but two more capable than he- or any talent in his association, he was never shrill. Perhaps not quite a gentleman, but unquestionably an amateur, hence prone to wandering off on his own. Diane is supposed to be aprofessional politician

  • north belfast watcher

    Cushy Glenn

    There’s more chance that the ghost of Cecil Walker is quietly laughing inside the empty shell that is Jim Nicholson’s head.

    Your comparison of the two events is not even close. Alright, sunday may not have been Dodds’ finest hour, but as far as I can see her biggest crime was trying to hard to put her point across. By contrast, Cecil Walker was exposed as the useless, incoherent idiot that he truly was.

    Cecil Walker was a two faced lying scumbag who sat and scratched himself for twenty years while North Belfast burned. BTW, on the subject of expenses etc, have we forgotten Cecil’s constituency office which opened for two hours on a Monday night – a far cry from the current Dodds operation.

    Diane Dodds’ biggest problem is that she is trying too hard to counter the attacks of all the pseudo intellectuals who think that Jim Allister is going to eat and shite her because he is a barriser. There are plenty of barristers who are rubbish politicians – one need only look at Alban Maginness, Bob McCartney. The one thing that politicians need to succeed is the ability to communicate on the doorstep. Both the Dodds have it and Jim Allister doesn’t. He is one of that rare breed of politicians whose popularity is inversely linked with direct voter contact.

    This time next week we will be pondering Reg Empey’s political ghost and Cecil Walker will be forgotten once again.

  • danielmoran

    cushy glen msg 8. thanks for that. if sunny jim gets re elected, i expect nigel will be hauled in for a dressing down by robbo.
    the dup reaction to the defections earlier, bears out my point that , not being a normal polititical party, the duppers fear that their time will have come and gone if they do badly in euros.
    the westminster election might be closer than we thought, and any defections from the mla’s between now and then could be dangerous for the 8 seat majority in stormont.

  • pinni

    Hey, if Mrs Dodds is anywhere near as successful as Sarah Palin, she’ll be doing very well indeed.

    I’m sure all those PDS sufferers out there will enjoy this little video of Palin’s failures.