Throw money at the PMS: DUP cloud cover strategy?

Having found itself resembling the deer caught in headlights, some would appear to be suggesting that British government concessions in the form of compensation for savers in the Presbyterian Mutual Society could be the cloud cover necessary to allow the DUP to publicly endorse the very same deal it effectively rejected at Monday’s now legendary party meeting.
So the strategy’s clear then: if we can’t march in catholic areas when and where we want, then at least chuck a few million to our people.
Last month the Presbyterian Moderator, Stafford Carson, suggested that such an initiative would bolster unionist confidence (a rather opportunistic intervention by the Moderator, I’m sure you’d agree.) Personally speaking, I’m quite sympathetic to the plight of the PMS savers and would like to see the thousands of unfortunate individuals compensated in some manner. As far as fig leaf measures go, this one will hardly irk with Sinn Fein which has itself been very publicly seeking to support the savers’ campaign. Could this be the win-win scenario?
P.S. If you aren’t already doing so, keep an eye on Eamon Maillie’s Twitter page for the latest on any Hillsborough/ Stormont leaks, and for references to a popular children’s book I was reading only ninety minutes ago to my own pair of young’uns (though I’d guess Eamon’s merely hailing fellow members of the newly-formed society of nocturnal journalists.)

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    At least they can be bribed.

    And hopefully a lot of the Taliban will follow suit.

  • I saw that report as well earlier. It just confirms the overwhelming impression that I get spectating on NI politics from the outside: That the key objective is to screw more money out of HM Treasury by the means of a bit of creative stump-waving.

    The apparent overwhelming need to score some pointless symbolic sectarian victory is simply a bit of collaborative misdirection by the main parties up at Stormont.

    If you want to know what’s going to happen, follow the money.

  • anne warren

    Time, tide and the EU wait for no DUPer

    Off topic but I don’t know where else to post. Perhaps the DUP would like to take notice and revise their ILA strategy?

    Press release – 062(2010)
    “Minority languages need more respect” says Commissioner Hammarberg
    Strasbourg, 25.01.2010 – “Language rights have become an issue of contention within several European countries. Their denial undermines human rights and causes inter-communal tensions” said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in his latest Viewpoint published today.
    “The spelling of personal names on passports, the displaying of street names and other topographical indications, the language used in schools, the language requirements when communicating with the authorities and the possibility to establish minority media are some of the main issues being raised by minority representatives” said Commissioner Hammarberg. “Mature political leadership is particularly needed in order to address these issues abiding by human rights standards.”
    Stressing that language is an essential tool for social organisation and individual identity, the Commissioner calls on European governments to better take into account the needs of the minorities. “All too often authorities have not listened carefully to them when policies have been developed. It is crucial that governments maintain close communication with persons belonging to national minorities and seek a thorough and continuing consultation.”
    Published fortnightly in English, French and Russian, Viewpoints can be used without prior consent, provided that the text is not modified and the original source is indicated in the following way: “Also available at the Commissioner’s website at”.

  • joeCanuck

    The Government bribing or the DUP blackmailing? Is there a difference?
    I’ve a suggestion; why doesn’t the Government make good the losses of everyone and we can pretend that the bubble never burst.

  • Medillen

    Maurice Morrow – “Not the lifetime of this Assembly”
    Nigel Dodds – “Not in a political lifetime”
    Gregory Campbell – ” 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years”

    Make your mind up time boys. Buckle or walk, my guess, straw men all round.

  • Ulick

    I wonder have SF secured any side deals the DUP are not aware off…

  • mayday


    Don’t forget Jeffery Donaldson (now mainly missing in action – ‘the retention of the full time reserve is a deal breaker’

  • Medillen

    Loads of unfinished business with both the British and Irish Governments, so my money is on a yes.

  • Medillen

    Thanks Mayday, I forgot about that. But Jeffery has other problems and may have to walk anyway.

  • West Sider

    “Ulster Is Not For Sale”

    Er… how much can you pay for the PMS?

    That’ll do nicely.

  • percy

    the last refuge of a scoundrel. get the begging bowl out.

  • West Sider

    It’s funny and heartening at the same time. Blog entries on here from 2007 and on, sometimes up to four a day, have grandstanded the notion that SF blew it at St Andrews, and we even had a staid and bitter Belfast Bellylaugh op ed from one of those convulsed by the details – and now, P&J is going to be devolved.

    And what’s worse – it’s filthy lucre that’s oiling the wheels and bolstering ‘unionist confidence’.

    Would it not have been cheaper to send 20 quid to every unionist voter as the DUP seems to have proved that the “loyal to the half crown” truism is only inaccurate when we factor in inflation.

    Well played the Shinners!

    So, Slugger, what other Shergars are left to flog?

  • West Sider


    the DUP seems to have proved that the “loyal to the half crown” truism is only accurate when we factor in inflation.

  • John Joe

    Are we really to believe that a deal on PMS would be a community confidence issue?
    Supposedly P&J was a ‘community confidence’ issue as were various other, onceuponatime, important principles?
    I’m sorry (partly for the next bit of ethno-stereotyping), but could you go to a dourer Scot with a more inappropriately grubby suggestion at this stage?

  • Henry94

    It was an anomaly that the PMS savers were not covered by the government guarantee to depositors.

    Nobody want to see savers wiped out so if the DUP can do something bout it they should.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Will many working class Unionists/Protestants benefit from throwing money at the PMS.

  • John Joe

    I’m not trivialising the plight of those that invested in PMS – I doubt any party here would have a problem with some support for the savers. But to introduce it at 1 minute past midnight during negotiations makes a fairly farcical process look ever worse.

  • Driftwood

    Back on the rails!

    It is not hard, however, to see how this happened. Northern Ireland is a small place with a population barely the size of Hampshire’s 1.7 million. For all the progress of the past ten years it remains deeply tribal, with powerful hierarchies and scant tolerance for disloyalty. It has been awash with money during a decade of spectacular expansion, with developers and politicians evidently forging bonds that were rather too cosy in some cases.
    The irony is that Mrs Robinson may well have derailed not only the gravy train, but also the whole peace process. If that is the case, then the greedier of Northern Ireland’s politicians will have to start earning their money again.

    Phew! For a week or so, our 1st class passengers looked into the abyss, but decided that the service would do for the time being.

  • `have grandstanded the notion that SF blew it at St Andrews, and we even had a staid and bitter Belfast Bellylaugh op ed from one of those convulsed by the details – and now, P&J is going to be devolved.`

    ..not quite sure what your point is? Devolved p&j was in St Andrews and also the DUP manifesto

  • James

    “Nobody want to see savers wiped out so if the DUP can do something bout it they should. ”

    They aint savers, they are investors.

  • Ulick

    So why the three year wait Kilsally – surely not for Parades Commission Mark II (as its already becoming known)?

  • ding dong

    As a presbyterian I hope the church has the moral courage to say this is bribery and therefore wrong!

    THe case of the PMS should have been sorted like the other banks and building societies not part of a squalid deal

    Now we will see where the church places itself – for or against bribery quite as defining moment!

  • Henry94

    ding dong

    Or they could say their prayers were answered. Mysterious ways and all that.

  • Driftwood

    Money talks…

  • FitzjamesHorse

    If the DUP get a concession on PMS then its certainly not a concession from SF.
    I dont think any of us are so petty that we would like to see the PMS INVESTORS (!)lose their hard earned dosh (as log as the Inland Revenue compliance units are happy about the source of the capital for thwse invetments…as we are now talking public money.

    So can 14 “No” voters actually change their minds about the deal based on a “concession” that has nothing to do with Policing and not obviously anything to do with Justice.
    Lets hope that the Property Speculators investments in DUP are as safe?

  • cynic47

    If a side deal has been sorted out to bail out the mainly middle class savers with the PMS I wonder what the working class, and perhaps unemployed, supporters of the DUP will make of it. They probably never have any spare cash to save in a piggy bank never mind the PMS. They may well ask what is in this deal for me and my kids? If a deal has been done on the PMS there may well be plenty of smiles around the Presbyterian churches on Sunday morning but perhaps a lot of envy in the poorer areas of this Province. The plight of the PMS is not something that should be tied to the main business of P&J.

  • Driftwood

    10,000 savers equates into a lot of votes. Seatsavers if you wish. Good call by the god squad.
    Fig leaves, Adam and all that.

  • cynic47

    I predict that we will see white smoke at Stormont tonight confirming acceptance of the deal. If I call it wrong I will put my hands up! I just wonder what could possibly have happened since Monday that could sway the alleged 14 DUP MLA’s to bury their principles. It can’t be anything major that the shinners bent on. Quite a few Orangemen at that meeting on Monday voted for the deal as it stood. Big mortgages and high maintainance wives spring to mind. Five days in Portrush, whilst a very pleasant break, doesn’t compare with four weeks in Florida etc. Pieces of silver or what?

  • Henry94


    Eamonn Mallie is saying deal done on Twitter.

  • David Crookes

    Deal done, minutes before the witching hour! Many thanks to Eamonn for letting us know, and for his unflagging diligence.

  • cynic47


    Bring on the detail and the odd resignation tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath. Can’t imagine what the press will have next to share with us all!

  • Henry94


    Many thanks to Eamonn for letting us know, and for his unflagging diligence.

    Absolutely. He kept us all in the loop.

  • slug

    The tone here is a little too dismissive. Money is real politics.

    The Presbyterian Church in Ireland is an independent all-Ireland institution, unlike the other churches, financially independent.

    The Presbyterian church itself, has investments in the PMS, and thus this intervention helps its members who have to step in through Pew donations to keep this church going.

    Also many would have felt it desirable to help those indiviaual presbyterian people who had fallen into hard times as a result of the PMS problem.

    So to all members of the Church – north and south – this intervention will be welcome. And it seems sensible, bread-and-butter politics to look after their interests.

  • cut the bull

    Is it a case of loyalty to the half crown once again.

    Or has the DUP been DUPed by SF and the Brit and Irish governments

  • Mrazik

    Martha Fokkers!

  • Comrade Stalin


    I find it a bit disappointing that you chose to make this particular observation as if you were somehow affronted by the idea of people asking for unrelated concessions to assist with getting a deal through.

    The political process here for the past 10-15 years has involved lots of bribing and cajoling of people to do political deals in exchange for financial sweeteners. Examples of this include the British government granting an exception to Sinn Fein WRT use of House of Commons offices, and the British government agreeing (following intense Sinn Fein lobbying) not to extend the rules banning foreign donations to political parties to Northern Ireland.

  • ardmaj55

    So, the DUP finally buckled, and now all the stalling has proved to be a complete waste of time and energy. Now we have a slight change to the Parades Commision, so it’s now the Provisional/Stickie/Move over/Utterly, can’t believe it’s notthe Parades Commision. Brilliant.
    You were saying Mr Campbell about weeks/months/years.

  • ardmaj55

    FJH It’s a case for DUP and Robbo [who has been the strategist]of SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR AWAY asa the song goes. He thought before Christmas that he would make it to the westminster election without Jim Allister being able to taunt him with conceding P&J, but it must have sunk in in that the Brits were not onside, when they said May 12th for P&J. The DUP will think twice about bluffing with SF afterr this bloody nose.

  • Neil

    As Panic TOLIUT points out, what do working class Unionists get from all of this? I should point out I’m a working class Nationalist early on here, but 10,000 savers equates to less than 5% of DUP voters (207,000 votes in ’07).

    And we all know which DUP voters they helped here; the ones with cash to save. The ones that were able to tug their sleeves. The DUP look after the money people, they are the money people. Working class Loyalists are not on the DUP’s radar, except when votes are required.

    What choice do working class Loyalists have now in the polling booth? The comfortably well off back scratchers in the DUP, or the UCUNF; the Tory party in NI?! Grim.