Does Robinson want to share power?

Eamonn Mallie tackles one of the big debate in Northern politics these days, asking whether the joint co-equal office of the First and Deputy First Minister is in fact dead.

Referring to the ongoing row over the devolution of policing and justice and the DUP’s requirement for community consultation – by which he reads unionist community consultation – Mallie writes:

Peter Robinson is one of the finest parliamentarians of his generation. He is ‘too big’ to be ‘so petty’ in his behaviour.
He should be the custodian and guardian of OFMDFM.
He should guard against any diminution or dilution of the status of that office.
How does he think what is going on is reading in the broad community and in the eyes of the outer world ?
He must think long term. The Dup might not always be the biggest party in the Assembly.
He should be building guarantees into all processes during his tenure to be instructive to those who follow in the next generation.
That is what true leadership demands.

  • fair_deal

    Why oh why oh why won’t Peter Robinson behave the way Sinn Fein want etc etc.

    1) because he’s not a shinner and the misfires of devolution to the background of a world recession, mishandling by his predecessor and expenses hasn’t creating good mood music for further developments. This means a head-long rush to devolve P&J for the sheer simple sake of it is plain idiocy most especially without the right package.
    2) because lessons were learned from how Trimble was hung out to dry – although his own flaws made that easy to do. He fell for the ego, ball comparison bull-shit everytime rather than worrying about getting it right – a lesson he still hasn’t learned from considering hisrecent P&J comments.
    3) St Andrew changed the dynamic – the outstanding issues are ones were Unionism holds the cards like republicanism used to do on decommissioning et al. Republicanism can’t seem to grasp this simple reality

  • DC

    He, Robinson, is an estate agent with expensive tastes and is generally high maintenance to the NI electorate.

    When has he ever shown leadership?

  • Big Bopper

    After his wifes hysterical outburst to the health committee, he could show leadership by giving her a slap. Peter?

    submit word: probably

  • Wrinklie Jane

    Course he does!

    What’s this he calls the sdlp and uup, the junior partners in the executive?

    By extension SF and the DUP are the senior partners, and it’s something old Pete is very smug about.

    To the ordinary man it seems Peter loves having the terrorists in government!

    Oh and don’t forget some stupid platitude bout the assembly being one big happy orgy where all these selfless politicians work together for everyone’s shared future of sunshine and light.

    Give me strength

  • Wrinklie Jane

    Why oh why oh why won’t Peter Robinson behave the way Sinn Fein want etc etc.

    1) because he’s not a shinner

    He certainly behaves like one, selling out the unionist people of Ulster and betraying them like he and his party did.

  • Garza

    Wrinklie Jane

    Robinson did not sell out the unionist people by going into power with Sinn Fein since the majority of unionists WANTED him to go into power with Sinn Fein.

    Politicans are meant to do what their electorate wants them to do. Its called political representation.

  • AS

    3) St Andrew changed the dynamic –
    Posted by fair_deal on Oct 10, 2009 @ 02:12

    Correct, come the next Assembly elections Sinn Fein may well hold the First minsters job thanks to the DUP’s efforts at St Andrews

  • Wrinklie Jane

    I must have glossed over that particular part of the manifesto.

    “Let me make it unequivocally clear that the. DUP will never enter any Government with. IRA / Sinn Fein. To enter into Government with the terrorists of IRA / Sinn Fein would be treason. Of that we will never be guilty”

    I suppose we also wanted an electoral system to allow Marty to be First Minister as well, or maybe Peter having been Deputy Leader of the DUP all those years wanted to be Deputy First Minister one day too.

  • aquifer

    An estate agent will take a margin on every transaction and gobble up a fat profit if there is cash on the table.

    In politics credibility is king. Who would trust Robinson as a partner in future?

    The DUP’s bitter brittle Union could be a fragile thing in the end. Paisley’s Church was called martyrs memorial. If you want to be remembered, be a martyr?

    We had a gory gobful of that with the Provos.

  • Expenses111

    It is funny to see people like Conall talk and criticise the Executive whenever the SDLP have a minister there. But we all know what she is. A pure liar

  • Thereyouarenow

    Peter can be bought and his masters know this.

  • james

    do as you are told peter you thick little prat,or else or else we will spill the beans and that would make you very sad and very hated

  • Golden Brown

    The UK, Ireland and NI are all governed by hand-me-down leaders with hand-me-down mandates.
    (McGuinness excepted)

  • Potential Detached Retina of the Blind One

    The estate agent background might help Peter Robinson prepare for a crash, as he is experiencing this overpriced NI Executive taking a hit on the electoral market with people questioning his ‘business as usual’ approach.

    His (vaporising) aspirations of a ‘brave new world’ appears to have almost disappeared just as fast as the bursting of that soapy housing market bubble.

    He doesn’t seem a very good salesman after all it, it’s as well he’s in six figure sum politics, which the tax payer can soak up than say any private enterprise. 30+ years ain’t a bad run after all.


    Robinson is just going through what O’Neill, Faulkner, Trimble and Paisley did. The rump of Unionism once again being held back by the medieval Witchfinder Generals with anti-Catholic hate in their hearts. If Robinson starts to dither and hesitate, like Trimble, the TUV and malcontents within his own party will eat him for breakfast. Show leadership Peter and while you are at it tell your silly wife to shut her embarrassing gub. Most of us cringe every time she opens it and talks pure shite; that performance at the Health Committee was stomach churning.

  • USA

    I have not read the other posts so forgive me if I come across as too harsh but it is how I see it.
    Also, hitting Slugger in a browser window has become rather hit and miss lately.

    Childish behaviour from a petty provincial politician, typical of the calibre of person who represents the DUP.
    They have no vision, they seem to define themselves only by their uber-british persona (which “real” British people are repelled by) and their xenophobic dislike for anything “Irish”.
    A motely collection of homophobic, bible thumping, hypocrites and bigots.
    I can’t believe that in this day and age people actually vote for them.
    One of their ministers does not believe global warming is happening, another thinks the world is 2000 years old, while Robinson’s wife knows a guy who can “cure” gays.
    The DUP stood outside the tent for so long we had to help them inside via St Andrews. I’m not sure they realize yet how far we have travelled, some DUP types may still think the “taigs” can be put back in their place.
    The sad thing is, the TUV section of Unionism are probably another few steps down the food chain. Un-freakin-believable!
    Mallie is wrong about Robinson, he is no big hitter in politics. A lack of leadership and vision has hindered Unionisms’ development for decades. Robinson is very much cut from the same cloth. Their leaders are invariably petty opportunistic career politicians who pander to the Orange Order and other sectarian institutions to gain power.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

  • ej78

    To see full article on OFMDFM, see

  • Reader

    USA: One of their ministers does not believe global warming is happening, another thinks the world is 2000 years old, while Robinson’s wife knows a guy who can “cure” gays.
    Is that so very different from the Republican party over in the USA?

  • Reader

    USA: No not very different at all.
    Fair enough. What really struck me was the numbers. Rudderless or not, there are an awful lot of people with a collection of beliefs that would be very incongruous in Europe these days. The key element in fighting this sort of stuff is freedom of speech – crucial, but a two edged sword, since they, too, are entitled to freedom of speech, and can reach their constituency through it.
    May the best memes win…