Robinson to remain NI First Minister

The BBC reports that DUP MLAs and MPs have emerged from their meeting today having unanimously endorsed Peter Robinson as party leader and Northern Ireland First Minister – despite that Portillo moment.

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  • Garza

    God, the DUP must really really need him.

  • madraj55

    Garza. The closer they get to the assembly elections at DUP, the more minds will be concentrated, and there’s the risk [whatever LIB/CON pact] the next westminster poll will be before the assembly election.The DUP kitchen drawer will be emptied of it’s knives well before that.

  • mister

    Did I imagine it or have I seen quotes attributed to Peter Robinson saying that party leaders must lead from Westminster?

    I had a quick search on Google and couldn’t find it.

  • Bulmer

    After all those years of waiting as Number Two, he’s not going to give up without a fight. But the longer he sticks around, the more ammo he gives people to thump the DUP around the head.

    Still with Gordon refusing to go, its going to take a lot more than loosing his seat, being publically humiliated almost weekly and cuckolded to shift PB. Or maybe his role model is Italian…

    Maybe the DUP should take a leaf out of Cameron’s textbook and ramble on about the public interest when they eventually despatch PB to spend more time with Iris.

  • Jay

    His employers (the electorate) have just sacked him , how can he remain in office?

  • Cynic

    Apparently he enjoys their full confidence…if not that of the voters.

    One MLA was quoted as saying ‘The best is yet to come’. One assumes he meant an even bigger land deal in the offing.

  • Bulmer

    Oh God no!

  • HarryJ

    oh boo hoo, listen to all the poor UUP members , Allister is gone, Empey is gone, Ucunf is gone, the DUP is the largest party (remember they didnt stand in 2 seats) –

    YEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

  • dundonald voter

    this will be the worst thing that the dup can do here. the voters gave the judgement and did to pr what the dup failed to do and give pr the marching orders.
    as for the future, well the dup are trying to normalise politics but this will be a mistake for them. without their scare tactics ie the union is not safe, if you dont vote for us then the block grant will be cut (ironic that they now say they will deal with the tories after slamming the uu’s for doing so) then you start to normalise. once everything is normalised there really isnt any need for the dup. they say pr is a great strategist but look at this. he was the one who brought the bold jim allister back into politics. he was the one who gave alliance a profile with the justice ministry which completely backfired on him!! (long elected mp for eb) so it wont be to long if you excuse the pun before alliance really start eating into their vote. who would have thought it, that the alliance party could be the great threat to the dup? lets hasten the normalisation of politics here to get rid of them. do we really want pathectic attempts at singing hymns after they win a seat every time?

  • Oracle

    Is this some sort of late “April Fools” by the DUP

    The electorate of East Belfast who kept this man in position for thirty years have sent a clear message that they no longer deem him fit to represent East Belfast.

    But the arrogant DUP still think him fit to represent all of Northern Ireland….. what a dismissive insult to the electorate of East Belfast virtually telling them that they are of little importance to the DUP…

    SHAME

  • dundonald voter

    oh boo hoo, listen to all the poor UUP members , Allister is gone, Empey is gone, Ucunf is gone, the DUP is the largest party (remember they didnt stand in 2 seats) –

    YEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    largest party? thought sinn fein were that harry

  • andnowwhat

    exactly Oracle. Dop the DUP want to make an anit Robinson movement in to an anti DUP one?

    They haven’t played this issue well right from the start.

  • dundonald voter

    But the arrogant DUP still think him fit to represent all of Northern Ireland….. what a dismissive insult to the electorate of East Belfast virtually telling them that they are of little importance to the DUP…

    SHAME
    as i said oracle that will be the worst thing they do. the electorate will not forget come march 2011.

    by the way harry bye bye peter

  • HarryJ

    dundonald voter says:

    this will be the worst thing that the dup can do here….

    sorry werent you saying the DUP were going to be beaten by the TUV and UCUNF…dont think we`ll be listening to you

  • sally

    the dup are a party that have lost all sense of principle.

    voters will one day see through their hypocrisy!

  • Davros

    Peter Il Sung, Eternal President

  • Granni Trixie

    Whilst I can understand collegues feeling sorry for PR, or even in bravado wanting to clap for him, it is surely either tantamount to giving voters of EB the 2 fingers or shows they just do not get their message to him.

    I admire PR for (apparently) forgiving his wife. I admire him for trying to sell the fruits of the GFA to unionist pop. (as oposed to Trimble who was half hearted). But he has made so many mistakes including underestimating Arlene. who surely must lead the party now.

  • Reader

    Jay: His employers (the electorate) have just sacked him , how can he remain in office?
    Likewise, Health minister Reg Empey and Education minister Catriona Ruane?
    However, the composition of the Assembly and Executive is decided by a different election under a different electoral system.

  • HarryJ

    sorry is wee reg still hanging around, lets watcch the UUP tear themselves apart seeing who is to replace him…shall we have tom “dull as dishwater” elliott, or Basil “hey, im cool” McCrea.

    bye bye UCUNF, now bye bye UUP

  • percy

    whoaa there neddy
    better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
    Do republicans really want Deputy Dodds?

    Better a weakened, humbled leader in Robinson, who at least is pragmatic, and sings from the same hymn sheet as McGuiness.

    My sense tells me Robinson will do better sticking to Stormont, and will prolly secretly be relieved not to have to journey to Westminster, for the weekly humiliation. I say that as no-one bothers or is interested in DUP in Great Britain.

    Unless a lib-lab pact of course, then we return to the john-major schpiel/ schmalz of ” all my freinds in Northen Ireland

  • percy

    Arlene would be great; but di you hear that her husband doesn’t like her not spending enough time with their kids, when she stepped in to save Robinson.
    That’s code for “women back to the kitchen” is it not?

  • Granni Trixie

    OMG! DUP is having attack of the MOPES: just heard on radio that they say “PR is a victim of tactical voting”.

    With their ever utterance and action they show they are not good at analysis.(tactical voting but an element of what went wrong with their campaign).

    As regards Arlene. I do not think it is the equivalent of “get back to the kitchens” – from her husbands persepctive she may be seen as getting the balance wrong – might be same with any man. But I have always thought that the real challenge for women in politics is for those with young children. Only one of the new 3 MPs has them (and she doesnt attend Westminster).

  • Driftwood

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8673397.stm

    Didn’t take long for the lies to be exposed.

  • slug

    It is such dishonesty – that U turn on the Double Jobbing pledge – I can hardly believe it Driftwood. It makes me angry in fact. No doubt the DUP’s price for supporting Labour will be no legislation on double jobbing.

  • dundonald voter

    The DUP MP Gregory Campbell has said some members of parliament will remain as MLAs despite his party leader pledging to end dual mandates.

    At the launch of the DUP manifesto, Peter Robinson said that any assembly members elected to Westminster would give up their Stormont seats.

    But Mr Campbell told Stormont Live that only “some” MPs would quit the assembly in the near future.

    He added that others, including himself, would remain at Stormont.

    At his party’s election campaign launch, Mr Robinson, who lost his East Belfast seat on Friday, said that his party executive had approved a recommendation that only the party leader would remain in both houses.

    He stressed that this was “important, especially at this time, with the prospect of a hung parliament”.

    He added that MPs and ministers in the executive would stand down from local government.

    However, speaking on Monday afternoon, Mr Campbell, who is both MP and MLA for East Londonderry, said dual mandates would be “phased out” and that some would remain in both houses for the time being.

    In May 2009, Mr Robinson said that all but one of his ministerial team at Stormont would be made up from those who were not also MPs.

    With Mr Robinson losing his seat, that pledge has now been fulfilled with only one minister, Sammy Wilson, also serving as a member of parliament.

    so why did people believe them?

  • tacapall

    Why would they resign, at the moment these dual, some triple jobbers when their salaries are added along with expenses get more money than the British prime minister and almost as much as the President of the USA. Nice work if you can fool enough people.

  • joeCanuck

    Robinson, a couple of months ago, when announcing an end to double jobbing for his party members, said that there had to be one exception (himself). He said that it was very important that the FM at Stormont also had a seat in Westminster. It would seem that he has now changed his mind. Quelle surprise.

  • dundonald voter

    oh they have fooled the people again. what is the old saying you can fool the people some of the time but you wont fool them all the time. well the dupers have proved they can fool everyone all the time

  • joeCanuck

    What a bunch of supine forelock tuggers. Robinson is mortally wounded politically and not a single member of his party has the guts to say “The emperor has no clothes”. Ostriches.

  • dundonald voter

    HarryJ says:10 May 2010 at 5:09 pmsorry is wee reg still hanging around, lets watcch the UUP tear themselves apart seeing who is to replace him…shall we have tom “dull as dishwater” elliott, or Basil “hey, im cool” McCrea.

    bye bye UCUNF, now bye bye UUP

    bye bye peter you the east belfast electorate do you you want this man as your mp? no. emphatic harry peter go

  • dundonald voter

    HarryJ says:10 May 2010 at 4:32 pmdundonald voter says:

    this will be the worst thing that the dup can do here….

    sorry werent you saying the DUP were going to be beaten by the TUV and UCUNF…dont think we`ll be listening to you

    i aslo said peter the punt would lose eb so you should listen

  • John East Belfast

    Grannie

    “I admire him for trying to sell the fruits of the GFA to unionist pop. (as oposed to Trimble who was half hearted)”

    That must be the singularly most deluded statement I have ever read on here.
    I say deluded because I think you genuinely believe it as opposed to just engaging in a bit of anti UUP rhetoric.

  • union mack

    hope Naomi makes haste disposing of the FOUR jobs she currently holds…

  • ranger1640
  • Granni Trixie

    Union:as she has made clear,the process to select someone to replace her is in place. Lord Mayor’s job will soon be over. BTW, she refused all payment for the Mayors job. How many have done that?

  • Oracle

    Fantastic, absolutely bloody wonderful, if ever a political party can make voters feel like complete wankers then it’s the DUP… nuff said

  • Argosjohn

    “joeCanuck says:10 May 2010 at 5:56 pmWhat a bunch of supine forelock tuggers. Robinson is mortally wounded politically and not a single member of his party has the guts to say “The emperor has no clothes”. Ostriches”

    Interestingly, in that famous fable, the people marched blithely on even though the Boss was naked. The story was for adults and the end was the kicker.

    Still, i suppose Robinson is no worse than other political leaders, few of which are straight shooters.

  • madraj55

    I think the DUP should make the most of the 8 MPs they have because after Empty resigns at the weekend party meeting, the UUP will return to it’s post trimble/pre Tory era, and with a new leader [possibly Basil McCrea] might get another shot at their old seats in commons if another UK election happens later in the year. The present unionist position is not really a long term accurate representation of Unionists in Commons. It is for now only.

  • Bungditin

    DV – Wrong, they have fooled their voters again with their lies.

    HarryJ – fool or lair?

  • TheHorse

    At the end of the day if you can still fool the people, does it matter what label your wearing.

  • Bungditin

    That shouls be Fool or liar?

  • Damian O’Loan

    Like Gordon Brown, Peter Robinson was stripped of his ‘moral authority’ on election night. His party are currently arguing that he maintains his right to represent NI. They also claim to ‘understand’ voter disaffection – turnout down by 5% for the second Westminster election running, a completely unsustainable trend for anyone, republicans included.

    Like Gordon Brown, Robinson will not resign on grounds of morality. He will need a reason to go. Unlike Brown, he is in a relatively secure coalition whose primary opponents were just destroyed at the ballot box.

    The SDLP & SF have little leverage. The UU could perhaps negotiate something regarding a merger. But the man who stands to gain most is David Ford.

    It is Ford’s more capable colleague who unseated Robinson, she who maintains integrity and thus counteracts disaffection. At a time when young voters are increasingly likely to vote Alliance, he needs disaffection not to become malignant. Disaffection is a breeding ground for extremism and a polarised community will not vote for his party.

    Ford has leverage because he can threaten not to work alongside a discredited FM in the role of Justice Minister. And he stands to gain enormous respect at a time when he lacks the gravitas to do the job he has been given.

    On Gregory Campbell’s price for support, this is the kind of negotiation that will make NI suffer in any talks over forming a government. It is incredibly damaging to politics in general. But here are his 2007 Assembly election results:

    *Gregory Campbell MP (DUP) 6845 (20.2%)
    *Francie Brolly (SF) 4476 (13.2%)
    *George Robinson (DUP) 3991 (11.8%)
    *David McClarty (UUP) 2875 (8.5%)
    Adrian McQuillan (DUP) 2650 (7.8%)
    *John Dallat (SDLP) 2638 (7.8%)
    Billy Leonard (SF) 2321 (6.8%)

    Arrogance? Campbell?

  • Garza

    The DUP are cockroaches, pure and simple. Their word is not worth the crap they smear the walls of Stormont with.

  • Granni Trixie

    Damian: “lacks gravitas”, “Ford’s more capable collegue”
    These comments may represent how you see it but I am telling you from close up that that is not how Alliance faithful (of which I am one) sees it. It is not even how . Naomi sees it if you follow her remarks following her terrific result. She acknowledges the reality which was that EB was a whole Alliance event. And DF and others at the top did all possible to ensure Naomi and EB had all the resources Alliance had availble to fight this election,bearing in mind that unlike the UU/Tories Alliance has a very limited financiaL income.

    This result was strategically planned. DF was part of the vision which drove it. Ofcourse Naomi was a terrific candidate.

    I have to admit that even though her popularity was confirmed to me on the doorstseps, I was mightily relieved that she came in with such a resounding result.
    I am convinced that those who claim that the result is a temporary protest vote are wrong. The result is of cultural significance – and a credit to EB people who voted for someone who said clearly that they stood for a shared future not unionism.

  • Oracle

    I am still completely “gobsmacked” at the Campbell utterences

    There must be a statement from the DUP immediately

  • Oracle

    Money grabbing bastard’s immediately after the Hymms are over

    Are the DUP completely stinking to the core, is there no honest Christians among them anymore

  • Damian O’Loan

    I’ve no doubt that Long has the modesty to respect Ford’s leadership. I’m quite happy if Alliance continue to support his leadership, but I don’t think he is the reason EB was won.

    I completely disagree with your assessment that EB was not a protest vote. That it may not be temporary, I certainly hope to be true. That Robinson was unsellable on the doorstep is commonly acknowledged now.

    Back to my point – why would Ford not do the decent thing and demand that Robinson respect his absence of moral authority to be FM, and resign?

  • dundonald voter

    Oracle says:10 May 2010 at 10:03 pmI am still completely “gobsmacked” at the Campbell utterences

    There must be a statement from the DUP immediately

    dont be oracle trust me they have no integrity.

    one word to wee jeffrey integrity donaldson. i see he is on drying about all the rumours flying around about him. easy way to stop them jeffrey. £700 of videos or films easy to get the receipt’s from the said hotel to prove what was watched with the £700. im sure it would easy be got

  • dundonald voter

    There was no vote at this morning’s DUP Assembly party meeting. Not everyone was present. Not everybody was ecstatic. Some slipped out. eamon mailie
    seems all is not rosy in the garden. by the way the dupes may have done reasonably well at the election but all does not bode well. paisley junior lost 7500 votes. jeffrey near 5000. dodds 2000 majority down a few thousand. in fact the last seat of unionism in belfast is now very seriously under threat. are we looking in the future at a westminister election which will not return a unionist mp for the capital city?

  • dundonald voter

    and with junior running around like the leader of the dupes just watch the party implode. junior has been waiting a while to get at the punt. is it right that they dont like each other as the maverick believes that it was the punt who finally put the biggest knife into the finest man ulster ever produced. (not my words or even my sentiments seymour sweeney’s favourite new mp) is paisley the new cuchulan? 9senior that is not the brat)

  • dundonald voter

    Oracle says:10 May 2010 at 10:09 pmMoney grabbing bastard’s immediately after the Hymms are over

    Are the DUP completely stinking to the core, is there no honest Christians among them anymore

    by the way oracle while singing hymms senior used to ask for silent collections. now the dupes sing all the way to the bank.

  • tacapall

    Would you not call it an indirect challenge on another’s moral authority.

  • dundonald voter

    by the way quote of the night from the election was paisley senior. i took all them full time jobs (westminister european stormont first minister mla) for the people, not to make money. well if he did it for the people he did all right for himself to.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Eamonn Mallie is directly contradicting the BBC. I have more faith in Mallie.

    We saw recently Devenport’s ridiculously intimate relationship with Robinson and how it damages his journalistic integrity. Is he the source of the possibly inaccurate BBC story? His blog suggests so.

    Further evidence of Devenport’s unworthiness of taxpayer’s benevolence, it would seem.

  • Granni Trixie

    Damian: why on earth should DF take responsibility for PR? Your attitude to DF suggests bias – SDLP inclined? Or am I wrong?.

    As member of APNI since 1972 I admire DF more than most leaders.

  • Bungditin

    Could it be an underhand attempt to undermine the authority and credibility of Peter Robinson, while claiming to be in support of his party leader?

  • Damian O’Loan

    I outlined a number of reasons above. You haven’t answered any of them.

    On the accusation of bias, re-read my post. It attempts to show that Alliance have much to gain from taking a stance on this issue.

    “As member of APNI since 1972 I admire DF more than most leaders.”

    Damned with faint praise indeed. Care to detail who you admire more?

  • Ar

    Honestly, if anybody thinks there’s somebody in the party capable of standing up to the steely-eyed punt at the moment, you’re deluded. If Peter wants to stay, he will stay, even with the public frowning down on him. There is nobody in there with the guts, gumption, acumen, support and inclination to move against him. At least, not yet.

  • dundonald voter

    Ar says:10 May 2010 at 11:04 pmHonestly, if anybody thinks there’s somebody in the party capable of standing up to the steely-eyed punt at the moment, you’re deluded. If Peter wants to stay, he will stay, even with the public frowning down on him. There is nobody in there with the guts, gumption, acumen, support and inclination to move against him. At least, not yet.

    are you saying they are a gutless spineless party?

  • Kenneth

    I notice Harry J hasn’t answered any of the above comments concerning the double jobbing pledge. I guess one can only mentally convince oneself that the DUP are a decent party for so long.

  • AR

    Both the DUP and SF are pretty supine when it comes to their leaders. However it’s not just spinelesness – he also is geneuinley one of the best people they’ve got. Fair enough he’s badly damaged and isn’t Adams (who decimated all challengers long ago and now couldn’t be removed even with a nuke) but punt still knows how to whip his party I think.

  • AR

    “geneuinley” — ??? excuse the brain fart.

  • dundonald voter

    when your talking about a whip i hope ypur speaking metophoricaly?

  • John East Belfast

    Grannie

    “who voted for someone who said clearly that they stood for a shared future not unionism.”

    Eh ?

    How can you have a “shared future” if there arent people with different outlooks to share it ?

    otherwise who is doing the sharing ?

    Are you advocating a One Party state or something ?

  • John East Belfast

    Not that my views would matter to Alliance but for what it is worth Forde is a complete liability for them.

  • andnowwhat

    Anyone remember a kid around their way and no matter how much pounding he got in a fight, he always got up, not because hewas tough but because he was too thick to feel the pain?

    I knew one and Robbo reminds me of him very much

  • outsidegawkingin

    I know a lady got a job-share because of the kids, perhaps Arlene could consider doing a 18 hr week?

  • outsidegawkingin

    It is not reallt fair though counting Councillor and Mayor as 2 jobs as it is impossible to be Mayor without being a councillor.
    It is a bit like saying someone who is a factory supervisor, works in a factory and is also a supervisor. It is all one position.
    Same goes for being an MLA and Minister if course!

  • Jaggers

    Does anyone know if Sammy Wilson is to remain in his Finance post at the Assembly now that he has been re-elected to Westminster?

  • Granni Trixie

    Damien
    Now that you are examining my words I see some were misjudged re DF. What I meant to communicate is that I respect and trust him. I mean you either do or you dont. But as you ask – as a party member I see him close up. I find he really listens to others when weighing up potentially divisive issues,treats people fairly, analyses well when forming strategies. He does not let self interest get in the way of working with the APNI team for isntance he was central in formulating the strategies that gave Alliance such a good result this time round. .

    Most of all he is the leader who has seen Alliance though an extremely difficult phase of development when it could have gone under. People in NI can feel content that Justice in NI is in his hands – he will work in everybodys interests.

    As regards your view that he ought to call for PR to resign, whilst I do not know if he intends to or not, personally I do not see why this should not be left – it will work its way out sooner rather than alter I am sure – the DUP will ultimately do what is in their interests. Chose your battles is what I say.

  • Oracle

    The DUP have many a cheerleader on this site, is there not one of them with the courage to explain this Volte-face by the party they support to the rest of the readers.
    This is unquestionably the most sickening two finger gesture I have ever heard or seen a mainstream political party do to an electorate, and so soon after the election.

    This Campbell Robinson front must be erradicated from politics completely.
    Out of Westminster
    Out of Stormont
    Out of Council
    Out of Town

  • Stephen

    See Belfast Telegraph 26 March 2010.

    “However the party believe that it is important, especially at this time, with the prospect of a hung Parliament that the party leader should remain at Westminster.”

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/dup-set-to-lose-key-mlas-as-doublejobbing-is-phased-out-14742935.html#ixzz0nbonRJrH

  • Stephen

    See also the DUP manifesto re Westminster reform.

    Following the Westminster election, successful DUP candidates will step down within weeks from the Northern Ireland Assembly, as early as practically possible.The Party Leader will be the only DUP MP representing the Party at both the House of Commons and Stormont for a further Parliamentary term.

  • Stephen

    and see ‘LET’S KEEP NORTHERN IRELAND MOVING FORWARD’ From the DUP wesite news archive (25/03/2010)

    ‘Our party executive last night approved an officer recommendation that will mean any of our Assembly Members elected to Westminster will give up their Assembly seats. However the party believe that it is important, especially at this time, with the prospect of a hung Parliament that the party leader should remain at Westminster.’

    This made very good sense at the time (as opposed to the exceptions given to Sammy Wilson) but there is no quid pro quo here. The party leader has not remained at Westminster so we need to ask how important it really was? Is losing his seat the event which changes this stance? If so, then was it ever important? Can someone work this one out?

  • Jay

    “Jay: His employers (the electorate) have just sacked him , how can he remain in office?
    Likewise, Health minister Reg Empey and Education minister Catriona Ruane?
    However, the composition of the Assembly and Executive is decided by a different election under a different electoral system.”

    Empey will be gone , DUP have sank very low if they have to bring in Sinn Fein to justify their own actions. Ruane has very little credibility.

    Don’t forget PR is First Minister – the top job , head honco , the big cahuna. Given his p45 by his own base of 31 years , its about time DUP took the moral high ground.

    After all didn’t he say the first name in DUP was Democratic – the electorate have spoken and don’t believe your lies – go home!

  • daisy

    Re Peter’s “moral authority” to be FM – was he actually elected to the position, or did he just take over when IPS stood down? It’s my recollection that he didn’t have to face the electorate. I hope the electorate do the decent thing come Assembly elections.

    I also hope that the other parties capitalise on Campbell’s hypocrisy and request that the electorate do the decent thing there as well.

  • AR

    The basic reason this has happened is that whoever has the power in the DUP (and Sinn feinn) has far more to do with DUP internal party culture than it does with democratic processes. Paisley had a cult of personality, Robbo has scary control-freakery and general indispensability in his role as their best brain. I’m not too worried about insults levied at the electorate since they’re planks anyway, but the DUP will have to put themelves to the elecorate. If this isn’t part of gently, gradually nudging robbo out, or a long wave goodbye on his part, then they’re going to have to all pull up to rehabilitate his image. Maybe drop the Mr. Angry public image, the Seamus Mckee thing was toe-curling. In any case I can’t see anybody acting decisively against him in the same way they moved on Paisley.

  • AR

    Sinn feinn – more brain farting from me. I really have to proof read.

  • Granni Trixie

    The Seamus McKee thing may have been toe curling,but it was brilliant behind the sofa tele. Still laughing.

  • Neil

    A realist. Worth pointing out that the DUP, love ’em or hate ’em, had a succesful election. Robinson is the exception there. It’s amusing seeing the self professed TUV voters bitching like mad, trying to inflict any damage at all possible, while pointedly ignoring the fact that their party was roundly rejected by everyone.

    Those same folks I’m sure will be more upbeat about their chances come the assembly elections, and rightly so. They’ll do a lot better. But as it is Robinson has lost his Westminster seat, but his party under his leadership has had another succesful election, seeing off the TUV and destroying the UCUNF comanches.

  • dundonald voter

    the problem we are facing is that the dupers wanted a hung parliament even prayed for one. as the punt said on election night be careful what you wish for. listening to wee jeffrey on nolan to day still carping on about cuts was shocking to say the least. if the tories and lib dems get in there isnt a problem. if theres a lab lib dem scottish nat and welsh nat and dup alliance and sdlp then you have the irish scots and welsh holding everybody to ransom (it could not last) but they will all look after their own ends. (no cuts) now the problem with that is how could you sell that to the english? it would be very difficult indeed and the probaly the beginning of the break up of the union. the dupes and their ploy will come back to haunt them as the great strategist punt has no foresight or even brain to consider were we all are at this present time. one thing the english might just not want anything to do with us and the rest of the nats. then when the whole grant is gone 200 million will seem like very small change!!!