Junior’s position is untenable

Not the least of Peter Robinson’s headaches is what to do about Ian Paisley junior. As happens so often, the son is a poor imitation of the father, sharing his father’s worst traits of behaving in turn like a bully and a martyr. Like the father, the son has defied a court and a Speaker. But times have changed. Ian senior the raucous outsider challenged a hard-pressed establishment. These days, Paisley senior’s creation the DUP is an essential part of a new establishment. Paisley junior’s increasingly wild lunges at that establishment uncomfortably implicate the DUP. Ian og may have had a case in refusing to disclose a source (though the validity of his story is much less clear than Suzanne Breen’s), but to threaten a nominee for attorney general was a self indulgence too far.

The DUP MLA accused the barrister of “flippant and nasty” remarks when his alleged desire for custody was likened to brandishing a whip before Formula One boss Max Mosley. He also said: “John will come to regret the day he said those things.”

. What does that mean? That John Larkin would no longer acceptable to the DUP as Attorney General because he crossed Paisley junior in court? I hardly think so. It is Ian jnr who will come to regret the day he said those things. These remarks are incompatible with his membership of the Policing Board, where he is sitting on the interview panel to appoint the new Chief Constable. Although affable enough and by no means without talent, Ian junior behaves like a spoiled boy, a privileged son. This has created strains within a party which long ago ceased to be its founder’s creature. His resignation as junior minister during the Seymour Sweeney affair exposed the father and seems to have hastened the end of the reign. The DUP’s big challenge now is to ensure that the name of Paisley will not be on the candidate list for North Antrim. The old man ‘s notion of standing again may be a desperate bid to save the situation but is hardly realistic. If the party can’t quash the idea of a dynastic succession, they know very well that they risk losing the seat, not out of political principle but because of an unwarranted assumption of personal privilege that offends the egalitarian soul of Bible Protestantism. More than that, it is an offence to democracy.

  • Seceder

    Some observers have suugested that Robbo has lost authority and thus control over the DUP.

    its been suggested that Sammy Wilson refused to go in the reshuffle, Dodsy refused to stay and Arlene was just plain Arlene (my view obnoxious).

    Clearly in Nth Antrim paisley snr believes he still call the shots and junior believes where ever he is he can do as he likes.

    In the expensses row Robbo has shown himself to be clumsy and out of touch.

    All in all not a good record, the Assemly is failing to deliver and the electorate have begun to totally disengage.

    Unless Robbo takes control it over for him. He needs to show authority and deal with the likes of IPJ and it has to be said, he needs to deal with IPS as well.

    Either Robbo leads or he goes.

    Clearly there are those who are willing to challenge him – equally clearly Robbo doesn’t seem willing to take them on!

    Prediction – all political careers end in failure.

  • joeCanuck

    Robinson has just totally sidelined Junior. BT is reporting him as saying that the DUP still fully supports John Larkin for AG.
    If Paisley has even the tiniest bit of humility in him he needs to apologise for his threat. Perhaps he should seek a career change too; he’s going nowhere in the DUP.

  • danielmoran

    joe canuck… you quoted enoch powell there ican’t see why anybody thought that robinson, who waited patiently for thirty years before unseating the old paisley, could ever be regarded as a leader. and the other senior dup figures know that they have robbo where they want him. He’s scared stiff that he’ll go down as the one who let the party fall apart on his watch, so he’s paralysed into inaction. th reshuffle was a bit like gordon brown’s reshuffle. ‘the night of the blunt knives. this stormont set up won’t last until the spring which is the likely date of the election. and i predict also the duppers will lose at least six of their commons seats. some to tuv, the rest to uup/tories.

  • joeCanuck

    Not me, Daniel. I think you meant to respond to Seceder.

  • Seceder

    .Daniel,

    Couldn’t agree more but i must as I’m surprised I thought he was better than this but clearly it was all bluff and bluster. Possibly the real brains was Paisley himself and while the media fawned over Robbo the missed the real tactician.

    Likewise maybe Robbo didn’t realise it eithre thus when he and his cronies knifed IPJ causing the da to go he actually shot himself

  • danielmoran

    joe canuck….. that’s right, joe. it must have been seceder. i just realised after sending that your post actually supports robinson against ian Own Goal.. i would support pol pot against ian og, but anyway. i think he has shot off at the mouth in his rage at the whole stunt backfiring, more than at larkin’s comments. he thought the short stay in jail would help his street cred, after pa. larkin’s comment was too near the truth for comfort, as ian og was practically spitting nails in his interview with the bbc. i think his career has gone for a burton, as delboy would say.

  • dodrade

    Calling Ian Jr’s possible candidacy in North Antrim “an offence to democracy” is absurd. Is Brian Wlaker seriously suggesting existing MP’s, MLA’s and Councillors’ families should be barred from standing for election? Ian Jr has been an MLA and Councillor for many years, if he had only his surname going for him his political career would have been over long ago.

    The North Antrim seat is in the gift of the electorate. Whilst Ian Jr is not entitled to the seat simply by inheritance, he’s entitled not to have his lineage held against him either, and to stand in North Antrim and be judged by the electorate on his own merits.

    That said his comments about John Larkin were unwise, why he took Larkin’s comments in court so personally I don’t understand.

  • joeCanuck

    if he had only his surname going for him his political career would have been over long ago.

    I think you are underestimating the power of that name (up until recently). Still, if Senior’s own church, which he set up, can strip him of his powers, we will eventually see how powerful the name remains.
    In Canada before a candidate can stand under a party label, he/she must be personally endorsed by the party leader. I’m not 100% sure but I think that is electoral law. Is it the same in N.I. or is it just up to the constituency organization?

  • daisy

    If IPJ stands in North Antrim at the GE, I’m almost tempted to go out and vote for the other bigotted cad (such is the lack of choice in this area). IPJ has only got his name to go on; his disgraceful business dealings with Sweeney have done him no favours. He should stick to being a MLA. He can do less harm that way.

  • joeCanuck

    It will be an interesting battle to watch if Allister decides to run in N.A. against either Senior or Junior.
    I think that Senior wouldn’t be honest to himself or fair to his constituents if he offered himself again (too oul) but hubris has brought down many a better man.
    If Allister has a half decent organization set up, I think he will easily defeat Junior. Did someone say the word “crush” last week?

  • Reader

    Brian Walker: What does that mean?
    that Ian was considering legal action against someone who ‘played the man’? That’s legitimate, isn’t it? And your alternative speculations are going to have to await corroborating evidence.
    Brian Walker: refusing to disclose a source (though the validity of his story is much less clear than Suzanne Breen’s)
    Was that a typo? Surely only an Establishment Stooge or a Dissident Republican would suggest it was more worthy to protect a terrorist source than a whistle blower?

  • Crow

    Tough call for Robinson. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. As far as North Antrim is concerned, he really has no choice. They have already lost a significant section of their support to Allister in North Antrim. To alienate the Paisley loyalists, by not selecting Jr., would only result in humiliation at the poll for the hapless candidate (whoever that might be) and a guaranteed win for the TUV.

  • joeCanuck

    Would that be the same Paisley loyalists who practically threw him out of his church?

  • Danny O’Connor

    The only refuge for the P’s is across the Tiber,hahahaha.

  • [i]”As happens so often, the son is a poor imitation of the father, sharing his father’s worst traits of behaving in turn like a bully and a martyr.”[/i]

    Ian Paisley Jr. makes me recall the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidiere for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire.” Marx might have added the Jr. for the Snr.

  • joeCanuck

    the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce

    Well said, 1967; describes the Paisleys exactly.
    Problem in that Junior is blind to the fact that most people seem to regard him as a bumbling fool.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Daniel,

    He’s scared stiff that he’ll go down as the one who let the party fall apart on his watch, so he’s paralysed into inaction.

    Given that Robinson is the architect of the DUP’s rise over the past ten years (Paisley had not been in charge for some time before he stepped down as leader) I don’t think this is likely.

    th reshuffle was a bit like gordon brown’s reshuffle. ‘the night of the blunt knives. this stormont set up won’t last until the spring which is the likely date of the election. and i predict also the duppers will lose at least six of their commons seats. some to tuv, the rest to uup/tories.

    Without saying which seats, pulling predictions like that out of your arse is a waste of time.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    CS

    With all your experience it shouldn’t be too hard, just to give you a hint to get you started NA – UB.

  • Sam Flanagan

    Daniel;
    Larkin`s statement in court was nothing more than typical “Belfast working class humour,” you can hear this type of thing every day of the week in “both communities.”
    In Junior`s case it seems to have touched a raw nerve.

    If he lived in a working class area of Belfast and reacted in such a fashion to the same quip from one of his peers, he would most certainly be daubed “Max Mosley,” or something similar for the rest of his days!

    Seceder;
    Your remarks almost hit the nail on the head, Robinson like quite a few other politico`s is no more than a “media created image!”

    He cannot “talk the talk, or walk the walk!”

    The headline of Brian`s article is misleading, it is not Junior`s position that is untenable, ALL their positions are untenable!

    I also noticed the story earlier today, Peter could be facing another embarrassment, a bye election in N. Antrim.

    (If this seems out of sequence, it is because I could not post until registration cleared tonight)

  • Dave

    Actually, Ian Paisley Jnr showed true quality in honouring his word to his source that he would not disclose his identity, and in bringing information from a whistleblower into the public domain. He performed that service at considerable risk to himself, facing either a prison sentence or a fine. As it turned out, the State imposed a substantial cost penalty on him (£5,000 plus circa £40,000 to £50,000 in legal costs).

    The State does not want its secret murky world exposed to public scrutiny, and that is why it wanted the identity of the whistleblower and harassed Mr Paisley. Yet these whistleblowers and the members of parliament who listen to them often play a valuable service in holding the State to account for wrongdoing that it seeks to keep hidden from public scrutiny in order to avoid accountability.

    Whatever you think of his politics, there is no doubt that he is a man of his word. And a man who will not be bullied by the State or deterred from performing a service that he believes is in the public interest. There are very few MLAs who have that going for them.

  • willis

    Dave

    If IPJ disclosed the identity of his source his political career would be over! He is on record as asking his source twice for permission to reveal the name and get himself off the hook.

  • Dave, IPjr certainly has his failings but IMO you rightly detail how he’s been crunched by the Establishment on this occasion.

    It’s also most unfortunate that elements in the MSM, wittingly or unwittingly, collaborate in the exposure of whistleblowers. Now there’s a real offence to democracy.

  • Dave

    Willis, he asked his source if he could reveal his identity to the public inquiry because that inquiry demanded it. That was the right thing to do. His source said he could not, and Paisley honoured his word to that confidential source that he would not disclose his identity. That again was the right thing to do.

    It is nonsense to claim that Ian Paisley needed to spend a sum equal to his annual salary in order to prolong his political career and that, consequently, this was all an elaborate and clever ruse on his part. If that was absurd enough, it is rendered laughable to go directly from declaring him to be a cunning mastermind to declaring him to be a bungling oaf in regard to his supposed attempts to frustrate the career of John Larkin. Both cannot be true, and it is likely that both are concoctions or spiteful political opponents and of establishment stooges who fear a maverick who cannot be controlled by the British political establishment.

    John Larkin knew full well that the State would not impose a jail sentence on a member of parliament and thereby draw the attention of the international media to a case involving collusion between that State and murder gangs and which would draw support from parliamentarians throughout the world for Mr Paisley on the issue of the confidentiality of whistleblowers. Indeed, Ian Paisley knew full well that a jail sentence, while a risk, was never going to happen. He would suffer a large financial penalty as the price of maintaining a principle and keeping his word. He is not a wealthy man, so while 50k might not sound a lot, it probably will mean that he has to work for two years just to save that amount, so its two years out of his life.

    In NI, who can whistleblowers turn to to expose the wrongdoing of the State? In a State with so much wrongdoing, why are there so few whistleblowers?

    In regard to the Billy Wright inquiry, the Canadian former supreme court judge, Peter Cory, who recommended in 2004 that inquiry be held (along with inquiries into three other cases) has accused the British government of acting to “make a meaningful inquiry impossible” by its use of the Inquiries Act 2005 for the purpose:

    [i]”It seems to me that the proposed new act would make a meaningful inquiry impossible. The minister, the actions of whose ministry was to be reviewed by the public inquiry, would have the authority to thwart the efforts of the inquiry at every step.

    It really creates an intolerable Alice in Wonderland situation. There have been references in the press to an international judicial membership in the inquiry.

    If the new act were to be come law, I would advise all Canadian judges to decline an appointment in light of the impossible situation they would be facing. In fact, I cannot contemplate any self-respecting Canadian judge accepting an appointment to an inquiry constituted under the new proposed act.”[/i]

  • willis

    Dave

    “It is nonsense to claim that Ian Paisley needed to spend a sum equal to his annual salary in order to prolong his political career and that, consequently, this was all an elaborate and clever ruse on his part.”

    Then why give an interview to a paper saying that going to prison didn’t do his Father’s career any harm and it wouldn’t do his any harm either.

    You may have made the case that he is not a knave, many might still think him a fool.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I thought it was admirable of IPJ to stand by his source. He could have come out of this very well in the eyes of the public, but blew it with his nasty response to Larkin’s courthouse comedy.

    IPJ’s honour (on this occasion) stays intact, but whatever capital he built up may have been lost by the bitterness displayed afterwards.