So what happens next?

What will inform any DUP decision on Peter Robinson’s future? Firstly Peter might simply cut to the chase and declare he is leaving public life. He has a sick wife in Iris. The former Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon’s wife Gertrude was unwell and Mr Mallon walked away from the public spotlight and to this day he hasn’t told a sinner why he did so.

I hope he doesn’t mind my drawing attention to what he did. Should Peter Robinson act unilaterally what follows is straightforward. The party elects a new leader. I will debate that at another time. I am being asked where Peter Robinson stands with elected members and the party right?

There is no simple answer. Many people around Mr. Robinson depend on his patronage and particularly those who are directly employed under his tutelage. They need him to stay. Their very livelihoods probably depend on his survival.

Then we come to members of that party who at no point ever really liked Mr Robinson but respected him and watched him strategically develop the party and he gave some of these people a leg up.

Jim Wells fits into this category as a true and true party man despite being his own man.

Willie McCrea fits into this category too. There are others in this mould too. You have men like Sammy Wilson who have always been loyal to Peter despite his insubordination from time to time. Sammy likes Peter and will want to do the decent thing by him.

What is at stake here is however the battle for the heart and soul of the DUP. If Peter Robinson becomes a liability it is curtains for him. There was genuine affection for Ian Paisley senior. He was taken out by the roots when he was adjudged to be a liability to the party electorally.

He was seen to be too friendly with Martin McGuinness. There were allegations the Executive was not functioning properly and the DUP had a bad Dromore council by- election. That was enough.

Ian Paisley was history all be it that his demise was planned and executed with ruthless aplomb to disguise the brutality of it. There are genuinely decent members who will not have blood on their hands. If members reach a point where they believe the party’s chances at the polls are being diminished Peter Robinson is in trouble.

  • JaneJeffers

    As you yourself posed the question, you should be clear on what you expect yourself to answer….

  • pilgrim505

    I think that lame journalists, who attempted to portray themselves as “brutal”, will return to the normal sycophantic mentality.

    To see Mallie attempt hard nosed journalism only to offer up apologist, retractive, drivel the very next day, is vomit inducing.

    It may be possible, though I hope otherwise, that Robinson will survive because pathetic local journalism will retreat back into it cap doffing mentality.

  • ding dong

    Robinson is finished and because the DUP membership never consented to St Andrews the party is finished.

    THe two factions broadly the traditionalists – McCreas, Simpson, Morrow possibly even Dodds will not wish to carry on the policies of Robinson. The DUP lights or UUP heavies! Arlene, Wee Jeffrey, Sammy etc will want to finish the project – but they cant, they don’t have a leader or the strength.

    So all in all its implosion for the DUP.

    Robinson will be encouraged to walk away and watch his Koi and settle in some way with is wife.

    Politics in NI – needs realignment particularly in Unionism and a new leader – but can there be sufficient pragmatism and putting the past behind – I dont thinks o!

  • sigh

    “I hope he doesn’t mind my drawing attention to what he did. ”

    I hope so too, but it would have been courteous to ask him first!

  • Mr Mallon walked away from the public spotlight and to this day he hasn’t told a sinner why he did so

    Do you mean sinner as in one who sins or member of Sinn Fein?

  • danielmoran

    Pilgrim505 msg 2
    You’ll have noticed that EM in his follow up blog after the ‘brutal questioning’ accepted PR’s response as an answer to the question about whether PR beat his wife. Inhis response, PR quoted his wife’s denial of this accusation in her memoirs. He didn’t deny it himself, yet EM did as Ken Reid and Mark Devenport, and went easy on him. The media here is spineless.

  • Christopher Devenney

    Mallon might have walked away and took a back seat but this doesnt mean that Robinson will. People think he should but with such support from his party and constituency, this could promt him to stay and work his way through what has happened.

  • Christopher Devenney

    Mallon might have walked away and took a back seat but this doesnt mean that Robinson will. People think he should but with such support from his party and constituency, this could promt him to stay and work his way through what has happened.

  • Christopher Devenney

    Mallon might have walked away and took a back seat but this doesnt mean that Robinson will. People think he should but with such support from his party and constituency, this could promt him to stay and work his way through what has happened.