The DUP: From individual tragedy to an 18th Century Irish farce…

What follows here was triggered by a flashback to my schoolboy recollection of ‘ A School for Scandal‘ by Richard Brinsley Sheridan who was writing in the second half of the eighteenth century. I am in no sense true or faithful to the original text in my portrayal of the main character at play ‘Confidence.’ In other words this is about ‘farce.’ Here we go: “Will someone go upstairs and tell ‘Confidence’ to come down?”If ‘Confidence’ has slipped out of the house without telling Nigel Dodds and Arlene Foster, her behaviour could cost the DUP ten or twelve seats in an Assembly election.

The DUP’s elusive ‘Confidence’ may well have been lurking about the place all the time but like the little French milliner in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s play ‘A School for Scandal’ Sir Peter Teazle always ran the risk of being exposed. The DUP’s little milliner ‘Confidence’ has been caught on.

She was there all the time but was being cynically hidden by the DUP, just like Sir Peter. And Sinn Fein has spotted that the last thing the DUP needs is an election against a background of scandal.

One senior DUP source summed the party’s dilemma up in these words: “The Shinners are pushing us up against the wall. They are bullish now. In an Assembly election we could go down to twenty one/twenty two seats in this climate.”

Enter another of Sheridan’s character’s, Mrs Candour, and ‘Confidence’ is now being unmasked for what she was all the time – a sham. Like Sheridan’s play the confidence issue was just a ruse and a farce.

One DUP source said: “If you have leverage on your political enemy why not use it.” The DUP had that leverage on Sinn Fein but now the emperor has no clothes.

In conclusion, despite the Gregorian chant in the background the DUP will probably not adhere to a Gregorian time-table.

, , , ,

  • Eamonn, it seems that neither of the emperors have clothes. To paraphrase an old piece of political graffiti: “I’ll be ****** if I vote DUP or SF”.

  • Paddy

    The Emperor’s New Clothes has a very interesting ending. The sheep still follow the Emperor even though they see his nakedness.

    There are some funny things about the Robinsons on the Internet.

    As regards the political fall out: the bigger, the better. At least these crooks could be kicked out and Stormont shown for the sham it is.

  • Driftwood
  • Is Eamonn teasing us with a little futuring? Scandal … unmasked … behaviour could cost … seats? And what type of journalist is ‘lurking about the place’?

  • Greenflag

    Driftwood ,

    ‘This what happens when politics is left to the impeccably devout; there’s not enough Blood of Christ to go around.’

    No shortage of blood among the impeccably ‘devout’ in the Middle East eh ?

    Good piece by Kyle although generally in politics even in NI ,it’s not so much a question of distributive shortages in the supply of the blood of Christ , but more of a shortage in the supply of taxpayer’s loot 😉

  • danielmoran

    Brian Walker….If SF are going to do a deal with this Party, they should count the spoons and insist on knowing the date for transfer before agreeing to anything the dup would want.
    I predict SF will be prepared to wait another couple of months and after the assembly elections the chances are good that it won’t be the dup they’ll have to deal with then.

  • Greenflag

    danielmoran ,

    ‘I predict SF will be prepared to wait another couple of months and after the assembly elections the chances are good that it won’t be the dup they’ll have to deal with then.’

    The Assembly election is not until 2011 so if and I say if , SF would prefer to have to deal with the UUP than the DUP- then now is the best possible time to deliver one in the goolies to the DUP by withdrawing from the Assembly . Of course they will need a nicer sounding cover for any such withdrawal. They have 5 weeks to come up with one past which the opportunity to inflict maximum damage on the DUP will pass .

  • Greenflag, neither the DUP nor SF have a leg to stand on at present. The blow to the goolies is most likely to be delivered by the ‘gentlemen’ of the gutter press.

  • danielmoran

    Greenflag. I agree with that. Since the loss of the asembly arithmetic as at present, would be the real loss the DUP would suffer, that’s what SF should and would do. The mere fact that gregory Campbell is this morning hinting that he’s coming around to P&J idea, should be enough to convince SF to pull the plug, and probably send the duppers back to their constituencies to prepare for the dole. Great craic, innit.

  • jack

    Sound point Greenflag ,but do SF have the goolies ? perhaps they may have a few we worries of their own .

  • Greenflag


    ‘ neither the DUP nor SF have a leg to stand on at present. ‘

    That may be true from a civic morality perspective however from a purely political perspective it’s the DUP looking into the political abyss and not SF . Would Adams lose his West Belfast seat over the Adam’s family scandal ? I doubt it very much . Could some DUP MLA’s lose to UUP candidates ? Enough to put SF into a plurality I’d guess .

  • Greenflag

    jack ,

    ‘but do SF have the goolies ?’

    No idea but there is a school of thought that tells us as human beings become fatter and more replete with the good things that life has to offer , there is a strong tendency to refrain from putting what one has at risk to an uncertain future . When the Romans ran out of romans to defend the empire from the barbarians they turned to the same ‘barbarians ‘ to help defend them from even ‘worse’ barbarians . A good strategy but it came too late to save the empire . As I recall Unionism did not flock to the 1970’s SDLP to save them from having to deal with the more ‘barbarous ‘ barbarians .

  • Drumlins Rock

    so in this farce being played out in front of us, whats in store for us in Acts 2 and 3?

  • Greenflag

    ‘whats in store for us in Acts 2 and 3?’

    The actors are off stage at the moment and the script writer is busy working on a new dialogue for the deaf 😉

  • danielmoran

    “the scriptwriter is busy working on a new dialogue for the deaf”

    Greenflag MSG 14
    Very droll, Greenflag. Up until yesterday, I was convinced that SF would be better off bringing the current assembly term to an end in the expectation of getting more favourable arithmetic in a new term, but Comrade Stalin has convinced me that the dynamics of the relationship in this term have changed. After the much publicised own goal of the ‘Kiss family Robinson’ the DUP will no longer be able to convince unionist voters that they are bossing SF as in the past.[this has, I’m sure been losing SF votes from nats, which was the DUP aim]Also, the Sword of Damocles will be hanging over the DUP for the remainder of this term, and will make them rein in their attack dogs,[Campbell, Morrow and others]so Stormont will be more palatable to Nationalists, and boost Sinn Fein votes for next year.