Writing in the Newsletter today, former First Minister, Ian Paisley, has made a thinly-veiled attack on his former consigliere, the current beleagured First Minister, Peter Robinson. In the aftermath of Robinson’s decision to cut a deal at Hillsborough only days after his Assembly party had revealed its deep divisions in that meeting, the DUP Leader was quick to talk of a ‘clever device’ which would ensure his party got what it wanted. This was followed up by speculation of post-dated resignation letters.
Now have a look at Paisley Snr’s words in today’s paper:
“All this talk of clever tricks and cunning plans is to undermine the chance of its success. If a transaction has been done then it should not be the business of either side to act with mischievous intent nor to attempt to paint themselves as the ingenious brain that knows more than everyone else……Sleight of hand will never build community confidence, but it will reveal a palm for all to read. If the deal is worthy, own it, don’t ambush it!”
The significance of this public chiding of the current DUP leader by his former guru should not be underestimated. After the Irisgate bombshell was dropped into the public arena, media speculation indicated that Ian Paisley was ‘furious’ with the behaviour of the Robinsons.
With multiple inquiries pending into that affair, and with local journalists also taking a keen interest into planning decisions affecting known associates of Peter Robinson, should Paisley Snr’s very public slapping of his successor be interpreted as another nail in the coffin for Robinson?