The DUP are still in play at Hillsborough…

Five hours ago, Reuters reported that the Northern Ireland talks were on the brink of a deal… Rumours were that an announcement was to be made at 3pm, and then 5pm… but with no sign of the Taoiseach or Prime Minister… Now Bobballs says he’s heard rumours of a senior meeting of DUP rejecting the deal so negotiated… Hmmm… that’s not way they seem to playing it at Hillsborough… Slugger’s ace reporter/twitterer/blogger, Mr Mallie, had this to say just 20 minutes ago: “Great work done. A little more to be done.” DUP spokesman. Our reading currently is that this is headed for a whimpering ending… But if Bob’s on to something, we might expect something of a cosmic bang…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • west belfast

    SF/DUP playing good cop bad cop? Surely not.

  • Kevsterino

    Mick, can you put a bit finer of a point on “a whimpering ending”?

  • Greenflag

    Both Brown and Cowen may remember this old tune and may even feel they’re at the end of a rope 😉

  • al

    “My source tells me there are 15 -that’s FIFTEEN DUP MLA’s who told Robinson the deal isn’t good enough. That’s a lot of DUP not happy!!”

    Nolan on twitter

    Ohhhhhhh how exciting!

  • Greenflag

    The Tory lead is dropping fast and the word is out that the Tories won’t be too upset if the SF/DUP talks fail . They may already be in secret talks with the DUP where more than a quid pro quo may be offered to the DUP in return for support of their 10 MP’s in a hung parliament .

    Never ever trust a Tory not even a dead one 😉

  • ardmaj55

    Mick, I’m reading on the Talkback MB that Robinson has lost his support in the party and they have rejected the deal HE negotiated. This is heading for a resounding crash.

  • fpveritas


    Did your source tell you the names of the 15?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Lord Trimble must rolling on the floor with laughter, to see the same tihng happen to the DUP as happened him.

  • The Impartial Observer

    So we’re set for more talks???

    Someone please make it stop!

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Lets hope Jim Allister has the phone numbers of all 15.
    So that would be Campbell, McCrea senior, McCrea junior, Wells, Simpson, Moutray, Morrow, Spratt, Donaldson…Sammy Wilson (?), McCausland(?)…..bad news for Robbo but at least nobody with any political acumen.

    At least nobody is using the word “OMINOUS”

  • west belfast

    This is ominous!

  • al

    fpveritas ask the big man Nolan

  • Garza

    And so the reign of the DUP comes to an end.

  • FriarsBush

    Looks to me…..the backwoodsmen have got Robinson over a barrel…or is it all spin, smoke and mirrors to prep their electorate ……anyway what is a whimpering end..?

  • west belfast

    If the story is be believed the deal was all but agreed on saturday. Next step was a rubberstamp from both assembly groups. DUP dont back it.

    So either they believe there is more to squeeze out of the shinners or Robbo cant swing his party in behind him. Not a great scenario.

    Govts will be absolutely pissed off to the back teeth.

    Is this a contrived move for DUP or are they (ie Robbo) in serious trouble now?

  • Scaramoosh

    Watch the DUP statement on UTV and pay attention to the body language of Nigel Dodds and Sammy; note how the Gregory hides out of shot.

  • al

    Scaramoosh well observed. Sammy ain’t twitting about BigMacs tonight. They did not look like happy boys.

  • FriarsBush

    …..Contrived move is strong possibilty…..Robinson can be masterful at this type of game….didn’t the Dup accuse the Shinners of something similar….payback perhaps.

  • percy

    isn’t the beauty (*ahem*) of norn iron politics that there’s always somewhere else to go.
    These doubting apostles can join the TUV, and take pot-shots at Stormont.
    Once the naysayers and begrudgers are outa the way, UUP/DUP might as well cosy up.

  • JohnM

    Fuck sake lads, get your fingers out and sign the bloody thing. Getting sick of all this messing around.

  • ardmaj55

    scaramoosh, 16 looks like the Kiss Family Robinson is about to fall together. The Paisleys were out of shot for a good part of Robbo’s statement. DUP meltdown imminent?

  • Alias

    Read T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” regarding how the world ends.

    At this point both of the two main parties are so discredited that an election is probably needed.

  • alf

    nice try alias

  • west belfast

    Looks like the DUP are trying to squeeze more on Parading – the one thing that is not in SF gift.

    High wire politics by Robbo and co.

  • Alias

    Well, of course, they were discredited before they were elected so I was just confusing NI with a normal society there for a moment. 😉

  • barryfrombelfast

    Eamonn says “A small fox has been sniffing around Stormont estate.” Does it realise that there may be super-injunctions out there?

    Or maybe they do not apply to foxes – or Joe & Josephine Blog(ger)?

    It’s a bit ‘Kafkaesque’. If, by definition, ordinary sods don’t know there is a super-injunction out there, how can it deter us from acknowledging them?

    Anyway, as ‘Mo’ showed us last night, political ambition knows no bounds. Which pact(s) will survive if we have Assembly and General Elections at (or around) the same time?

  • west belfast

    Nolan suggesting there may have been a secret ballot at the DUP meeting! What madness!

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    The Dup are in real danger of over playing their hand.

    They are just a bunch of minor politicians in a far off out post of the Union.

    They might like to be important, but fortunately/unfortunately they are not.

    British Islanders will not be pleased if they are going to be held to ransom by this lot in a hung parliament after a British general election.

    The British don’t like anyone that gets a bit uppity. Todays antics from the Dup are gettin on for uppity.

  • June 76

    scaramoosh, 16: Watch the report on BBC. Gregory initially appears very pleased with himself before adopting a more poker-faced approach. The internet clip doesn’t show it but at the group splits up in what looks like a very deliberate division. Dodds and Paisley in one direction and Gregory “captures” Peter Robinson.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I think it’s very silly to put a lot of store in the facial expressions of politicians and the way they choose to stand around for a press conference.

    Frankly, all this “will they, won’t they” crap is starting to get very boring.

  • FriarsBush

    My god you’re all becoming non-verbal communications experts….easy on… they all look miserable.

  • Greenflag

    ‘they all look miserable.’

    6 days of talking with SF will do that to anyone:( . Mind you they were’nt all that less miserable before with the Mrs Robinson revelations .

    Peter Robinson promised a ‘battle a day’ did he not . Now that he’s getting it what else does he expect ? As you sow etc etc .

  • Kevsterino

    Hypothetically, of course, if there were a super-injunction regarding the mention of a wee former UUP fence-jumper, would that explain why he who shall remain nameless has not been mentioned in any of the dispatches from the front?

  • JohnM

    Surely it is they who shall remain nameless? 🙂

    Hopefully after the dust settles from this deal, the super-injunction(s) will be lifted and all will be revealed…

  • FriarsBush

    Where is wee Jeff..?…working on that super injunction… I suppose..?..come Jeff what ya been up to…!…

  • barryfrombelfast

    Well after the discharging of John Terry’s super-injunction, what future for, hypothetically speaking, any super-injunctions in relation to these matters?

    Any (hypothetical) super-injunctions should, in my view, continue to apply to any private citizens inadvertently caught up in these affairs but not to elected politicians.

    I could, inadvertently of course, give indications about others than ‘he who shall remain nameless’. I actually think that that reference, and any other ‘inadvertent’ references, are genuinely inappropriate. No disrespect.

    Mind you, my newsagent is none too happy that I told him to order extra supplies of the Sundays yesterday.

  • fpveritas



  • Fabianus

    How now, Brown-Cowen?

    I think we should be told. I believe I shall be returning to watching my green-distempered walls turn yellow.

    And we thought Kafka was writing fiction.

  • Kevsterino

    Sorry for bothering anybody with the super-injunction business. It is all rather odd to me, I don’t believe we have anything analogous here in the States.

  • FriarsBush

    You don’t…only in the UK can you get one of these juicey gaggers….actually they’ve been used quite frequently by non-UK citizens for all sorts of shenanigans….some high profile and ones ofcourse we don’t know about..!

  • barryfrombelfast

    Well, Kevsterino, we don’t have the same constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech here in Europe because, even though the European Convention on Human Rights protects freedom of speech, it also protects (quite rightly) the right to ‘family and private life’.

    Actually, it’s not the super-celebrities who have sought, and been granted, super-injunctions, but rather multi-nationals.

    Wikipedia informs us:-
    “In England and Wales a new form of injunction known as a “super-injunction” is a form of gagging order in which the press is prohibited from reporting even the existence of the injunction, or any details of it. An example was the super-injunction raised in September 2009 by Carter-Ruck solicitors on behalf of oil trader Trafigura, prohibiting the reporting of an internal Trafigura report into the 2006 Côte d’Ivoire toxic waste dump scandal.”

    This super-injunction was only lifted as a result of a parliamentary question by (left-wing) Paul Flynn MP and even then the Speaker considered ruling out the question. (Mind you, the Speaker used to rule ‘out of order’ any Westminster questions about NI til the late 60s.)

    Firms like Carter-Ruck are golly good at protecting legitimate rights to privacy but, methinks, they go too far in these cases.

    Many might think that the captain of the England football team, Dad of Year in 2009 and with £10M of annual endorsements, deserves all he gets (though I wouldn’t head off to Dubia if I was the wounded party).

    As I say, purely private citizens should have watertight protection from invasions to their privacy – but not our elected politicians.

  • NornIroner

    Is Sammy not an extremely loyal Robinson supporter, I can’t imagine him pulling away from his friend…I didn’t actually get a poor perception of that conference to be honest

  • barryfrombelfast

    BTW, Kevsterino, with due respect to the rich constitutional history of the US, Wikipedia also states:-
    “A National Security Letter, an administrative subpoena used by the FBI, has an attached gag order which restricts the recipient from ever saying anything about being served with one. The government has issued hundreds of thousands of such NSLs accompanied with gag orders. The gag orders have been upheld in court.
    In the United States, a court can order parties to a case not to comment on it but has no authority to stop unrelated reporters from reporting on a case [cp super-injunctions]. Most statutes which restrict what may be reported have generally been found unconstitutional and void. However, the gag provisions of the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act have been upheld.
    The trials of Guantanamo Bay suspects have also been subjected to a gag order, which has hindered public scrutiny.”

    So there you have it!

  • barryfrombelfast

    Actually, I was also making a point, in my first post, about a possible coincidence between an Assembly and a General Election.

    Better constitutional experts can inform us on the technicalities. Could an Assembly Election be deferred until the General Election?

    If so, and if the various improbable pacts coalesce, could a ‘unionist’ vote for a ‘united unionist’ at a ‘first past the post’ General Election, force Nationalists into the arms of SF, wiping out the SDLP?

    And could Nationalists, propelled into voting for SF in a General Election, even under PR. switch their vote in an Assembly Election to the SDLP?

    So why should SF not play ‘hard ball’? The prospect of a wipe out of the SDLP is too attractive to be ignored … and total Unionist disunity, fuelled by another sumami of DUP scandal …

  • Kevsterino

    Thanks for the information, Barry. I believe in republican government with written constitutional guarantees as much as the next yank, but of the 10 amendments in the US Bill of Rights, the only one that hasn’t been violated that I’m aware of has to do with quartering soldiers.

    Like any place else, it depends on the people interpreting and administering the words.