Paisley Snr in thinly veiled attack on Robinson

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?

  • interested

    This could equally be a dig at Sinn Fein threats to bring the house down and recent comments from Adams?

  • Scaramoosh


    You are guilty of jaundiced myopia;

    “it should not be the business of either side to act with mischievous intent.”

    It is clear that Paisley is talking to all sides; telling them not to play games with what is his deal and his legacy.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Paisley is still wise enough even today that when you make a deal then you should stick to a deal.

    Why would any one ever make a deal with you again in the future if your word is worth nothing.

    These deals have to be entered to as a deal and the spirit of the deal.

    Little boys that cry wolf will eventually be eaten by the wolf.

  • cut the bull

    Its bad enough some body is presently siiting in Papa bears chair.
    This is a warning not to brass neck it and eat his porridge, sleep in his beed and wreck what he sees as the settlement which he helped create and which he then paid dearly for by losing the leadership of his party.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s all very ‘Enormous Crocodile’ with its “secret plans and clever tricks”. To save anyone looking up the reference, it did not end well for the big Croc. He just got hungrier and hungrier as each clever trick failed to matierialise.

    But I still want to know what the party thinks its up to? And what price it thinks it has bargained for Robinson’s head?

  • Dec

    If Robinson has a ‘clever device’ up his sleeve, why then give the game away?

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    That clever device may just be clever enough to put some distance between itself and Peter Robinson !

  • cut the bull

    Or the device may just be like a lot of other devices in the history of this state. A hoax

  • West Sider

    Thank you Chris for blogging on this.

    I first read this early in the day and expected Slugger to be to the fore in sounding the alarm bells.

    Sadly not, until you did it.

    Why would that be?

    A blind man can see that this is pop at the Robinson clan and their handling of Herr Doktor’s legacy.

    Poor show all round from those jesuitical commentators on here and the view from Dorset.

    This is big. And how it plays out in terms of how the crank 14 respond will be interesting.

    Dr P wants P & J devolved, this says, and he don’t care about parades.

    Furthermore, his view on the Jezebel/Scarlet Lady is already colouring and calibrating his interventions.

    As I said, this is HUGE.

    Expect a proper journalist to make hay.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Maybe Peter and Iris may be unveiled as having being involved in some cunning planning projects and getting caught is all part of his device.

    Now thats an unpredictable cunning device.

  • iluvni

    29 years as the deputy and he’s fucked it all up in 1 as leader.

  • Driftwood

    A ‘Suspect Device’.

    Inflammable material is planted in my head
    It’s a suspect device that’s left 4000 dead
    Their solutions are our problems
    They put up the wall
    On each side time and prime us
    And make sure we get fuck all
    They play their games of power
    They mark and cut the pack
    They deal us to the bottom
    But what do they put back?

    Don’t believe them
    Don’t believe them
    Don’t be bitten twice
    You gotta suss, suss, suss, suss, suss out
    Suss suspect device

    They take away our freedom
    In the name of liberty
    Why don’t they all just clear off
    Why won’t they let us be
    They make us feel indebted
    For saving us from hell
    And then they put us through it
    It’s time the bastards fell


    Don’t believe them
    Don’t believe them
    Question everything you’re told
    Just take a look around you
    At the bitterness and spite
    Why can’t we take over and try to put it right


    We’re a suspect device if we do what we’re told
    But a suspect device can score an own goal
    I’m a suspect device the Army can’t defuse
    You’re a suspect device they know they can’t refuse
    We’re gonna blow up in their face

  • Mick Fealty


    Kindly scroll down and you will find several stories related to this. If you were just waiting for this particular angle, then Chris has delivered it.

    So what’s your problem?

  • Harry J


    29 years as the deputy and he’s fucked it all up in 1 as leader.
    Posted by iluvni on Feb 12, 2010 @ 10:50 PM

    so bad that even the latest polls show the DUP ahead of the UUP with the TUV vote cut in half…time to dump reg and jimbo

  • lamhdearg

    paisley has left the building.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Posted by lamhdearg

    ” 15.paisley has left the building.”

    He may still piss against the gable end or god forbid in the door way.

  • Aldous Duke

    Is Peter Robinson still beleagured?

    I recall some very recent gushing over his “stateman like” delivery on the announcement of the Hillsborough agreement.

    I find that by dragging the negotiations through the muck of parades, the DUP have made the whole process appear beleagured. Curiously allowing Robinson to slip back in as FM on an apparent white horse of hope fit for national news clasping the latest ‘deal to end all deals’ overhead.

    He was never going to go over any legal matters with the Iris affair. It was political and ethical pressure he was up against and thanks to parades, that pressure has been dissipated.

  • georgieleigh

    I doubt Ian wrote that. Never a great writer, and he wouldn’t be one for Baldrick references.

    Nah, Big Ian would prefer Fr. Ted.

    I wonder who did write it, and why.

  • joeCanuck


    Your headline is an understatement. It wasn’t thinly veiled in the least; utterly transparent to me. The old guy got it right in the end; he knows that our futures are entwined and there has to be some give and take.

  • David Crookes

    ‘I wonder who did write it, and why’ (georgieleigh #18).

    Very sharp. The manual references were pretty sophisticated, weren’t they? People from other political parties have been known to get help in the past.

    Reminds me of the bit in Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs where she alludes to the drunken porter from Macbeth. She never wrote that bit. I mean to say, Macbeth is LITERATURE. As Alan Clark said, ‘the young men’ of MT’s editorial team wrote that bit.

  • Alias

    Macbeth has been on the secondary school syllabus for decades (at least), so it’s not elite reading. You ignore the inconvenient detail that Mrs Thatcher held an Arts degree from Oxford and also qualified as an R&D chemist and as a barrister.

    “If the deal is worthy, own it, don’t ambush it!”

    Oh dear! And who was it that refused to give the Shinners a date for P&J devolution but colluded with the government to use creative ambiguity in the wording of the Agreement that allowed the Shinners to progress by lying to their own supporters, thereby creating the mess?

  • JohnM

    I was pleasantly surprised to hear this latest contribution of Big Ian. Good lad.

  • padraig

    Excellent Driftwood.

    I am warming to the good Doctor

  • Fabianus

    It’s heartening to see that very occasionally wisdom does come with age.

    It’s a strong man who can change his mind.

  • Scaramoosh

    The TUV, much like the Republican dissidents exist to mop up the extremists who are still rooted to the past. Accordingly, they serve a purpose that even the best-minds in MI5 would be proud of. Their existence will ultimately lead to a split in the DUP, and the formation of a new Unionist middle ground party. It is still possible that this could happen before the Westminster elections.

  • David Crookes

    ‘You ignore the inconvenient detail that Mrs Thatcher held an Arts degree from Oxford’ (alias #21).

    As far as I know, she did not, so the detail is unexistent rather than inconvenient. Mrs T was not devoted to literature, she didn’t write her own speeches, and it was not in her nature to make a subtle literary reference. Furthermore, people who read great literature at school or in college often go on to forget all about it. Tolstoy mentions chromatic scales and diminished sevenths in War and Peace, but how many readers of War and Peace can remember the fact ten years later?

    When a speaker or writer whose prose is normally undistinguished comes out with an elegant and carefully crafted piece of language, it is fair game for georgieleigh to ask who wrote that piece of language. A good stylist can write inelegant language if he wants to…..

    In the majority of cases, roses are not red.
    Violets are not blue. They are violet.
    Sugar reacts positively with Fehling’s Solutions nos 1 and 2.
    You do not.

    …..but a bad stylist can’t write elegant language at will. Cheers-frightfully-ho, and have a good weekend.

  • Instead of [i]clever device[/i] shouldn’t it be another [b]clever plan[/b] by Baldrick? And we know what happens to them.

  • ardmaj55

    Illuvni 11 It’s this fear of Robbo’s of being the one on whose watch, the Paisley legacy was shattered, that has paralysed him with fear of elections. Robinson has been seen through by erstwhil;e DUP voters as a man of straw. Unable to face down the backwoodsmen in the party and scared to make any drastic decisions that a leader should be able to, His standing in Unionism is gone beyond repair now.

  • iluvni

    Not too sure I agree with that. My opinion of Robinson is that his family’s greed have brought them to a point of such disrepute within Unionism: deal with Sinn fein or not, Paisley’s legacy or not.
    Everyone suspects there is a whole lot more to come out, and whatever legal opinion he has been given as to his fitness to resume as First Minister, he knows and we know its a sham. His time is up. Time to go.

  • Right on, iluvni, nr. 4

  • Alias

    “As far as I know, she did not, so the detail is unexistent rather than inconvenient.” – David Crookes

    Then, alas, I can only conclude that you are posing as an expert on a subject that you know little about.

    She held Bachelor of Arts degree from Somerville College, Oxford and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Oxford.

  • David Crookes

    Alias, the medieval schoolmen would have loved you! What you call MT’s first ‘arts’ degree was really a science degree. Lots of people who hold PhDs have never opened a philosophy book in their lives. Words are insidious. The French horn is not really French, and the cor anglais is not really English.

    MT was not a literary person in any sense of the word, and as a historian she enormously exaggerated the wickedness of those who brought about her defenestration. It will be interesting for all of us when a real historian decides to ask why MT pushed through an Anglo-Irish Agreement in which she didn’t really believe. Here is one clue. On the day after the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed, the Irish Army began to practise ‘anti-nuclear manoeuvres’. Funny sort of thing for a neutral country to bother with.

    The DUP ‘snowmen’ were minor verbivores in comparison with Mrs Thatcher, who once said that Northern Ireland was as British as Finchley, and then went on to sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement (in Hillsborough, wasn’t it). In between Charles Haughey had swamped her normally cool head with a rather emotional encyclopedia of Irish grievances. But the biggest term in the equation was Ronald Reagan, and William McCrea showed his awareness of the fact when he spoke during the AIA debate in Westminster.

    It was clear to some of us in the mid-1980s that there was one circumstance in which the RoI might be persuaded to give up its cherished neutrality. Then the Cold War ended, and nothing was ever the same again.

    Still, one lesson came out of it all for unionists. The Tories who sweet-talk you will make soup out of you whenever they feel obliged to do so. Lady Sylvia Hermon has not forgotten that lesson. People accuse the TUV of being old-fashioned, but the notion of a Conservative-UUP alliance belongs to the age of Elgar. Political soup-cauldrons are always waiting for warm-hearted trustful people.

    Mrs T was far more warm-hearted than many people realize. Sometimes her warm heart led her to make mistakes: but everyone makes mistakes. Here’s my favourite story about Mrs T. Once at a Big Important Dinner some nervous young waitress emptied a plate of hot soup into Geoffrey Howe’s lap. Mrs T leapt to her feet. ‘You poor girl,’ she said. ‘Don’t be distressed.’ Then she helped the waitress to clean up GH after a fashion, and made sure that nothing untoward would happen to her. I give Mrs T two hundred per cent for that. Edward Heath, by contrast, was notorious for bullying waiters.

  • Rory Carr

    There may be a justifiable suspicion, David that on that occasion, Mrs T nudged the waitresse’s elbow as she bent to serve Geoffrey.

  • David Crookes

    So the Dead Sheep may have had private reasons for seeking vengeance, Rory.

    I always saw Geoffrey Howe as part of the Heathite continuum. The poor fellow will be remembered for a single regicidal sentence. Not what you’d call a glorious monument. Sir William Joynson-Hicks will be more talked about than GH in a hundred years’ time.

    It’s turning out to be a funny sort of Saturday night. All over the country, men of earnest and furtive aspect are driving to their local garages in order to buy flowers.

  • Fabianus


    Don’t tell me, let me guess. Others are going to florists to buy cars?

  • David Crookes

    Indeed, Fabianus! But you’ve given yourself away. It is plain that you’ve been influenced by the poet who said, ‘Those cars of light shall carry us to fields more blooming than Eden.’

    Worse than the man who buys flowers for his wife in the local garage was the small child who once tried to sell us a bunch of daffodils that he had plucked from our front garden. That child should go far in politics. He’s got the main idea: tax people when they’re alive, and then tax them again when they die.

  • [b]Situations Vacant ….. DUP Director Of Communications and Papa DOC[/b]

    If Robinson has a ‘clever device’ up his sleeve, why then give the game away? [/i]….. Posted by Dec on Feb 12, 2010 @ 10:14 PM[/quote]

    If Robinson has a ‘clever device’ up his sleeve, he would have already used it, ergo is the man a snake oil salesman and a cheap fraud costing the DUP and their leadership, dear.

    Dig deep for some juicy tit bits and the whole united unionist edifice will be clinically destroyed by close association with supporting transparent evidence of stalling and blocking of information tactics.

    [quote][i]I doubt Ian wrote that. Never a great writer, and he wouldn’t be one for Baldrick references.

    Nah, Big Ian would prefer Fr. Ted.

    I wonder who did write it, and why.[/i] …. Posted by georgieleigh on Feb 13, 2010 @ 12:07 AM [/quote]

    That is exactly what the DUP need ….. Residing in Deep Cloud Cover, a Really Good Virtual Communicator/General Director of Astute Spatial Awareness ….. [although some would always initially suspect and expect that to be a Plant or a Mole or a Device of the Puppet Muppets who spend most of their Time these days , Scratching for their Peanuts as Loughside Treasure Hunters into MI5 Sub Prime Pimping and Pumping ….. Disinformation Streaming for Losers by Experts in the Field]