I don’t agree with [insert party name] … but that’s what politics is about

Ignore my first utterance in the embedded video. The DUP had assembled their 44 Assembly candidates in Ormeau Baths Gallery to launch their election campaign. Their manifesto won’t appear for another fortnight. I asked Peter Robinson about how their performance in delivering their 2007 manifesto and the ongoing need to produce them.

Ormeau Baths’ last exhibition just finished at the weekend. But there was no sign of “Expecting the Terror” at this morning’s launch. (The “Terror” in question was “HMS Terror” a ship rather than an angry party leader.)

Introduced by Nigel Dodds (MP), Peter Robinson listed some of the party’s/Assembly’s/Executive’s* achievements over the last four years. (*delete as appropriate)

He differentiated the DUP from other parties, highlighting policies that they don’t support.

I don’t agree with the Ulster Unionists who supported the cuts to public expenditure in Northern Ireland.

I don’t agree with the SDLP who support the continuation of the discriminatory 50:50 police recruitment policy.

I don’t agree with the Alliance Party’s proposals to introduce Water Charges when families are already suffering difficult economic times.

And I don’t agree with Sinn Fein on a whole range of policies from their approach to the economy to their opposition to academic selection in education.

But that’s what politics is about and what this election will be about.

He acknowledged the difficulty in delivering party priorities

In this campaign I’m not going to promise the earth. Politics doesn’t work like that; and our multi-party Executive certainly doesn’t work like that. But we will work to deliver on the priorities that we set out. And if other parties have good ideas, we will support those too. We will only promise what we can deliver. We won’t say one thing and do another. Just look at our 2007 manifesto to see how much we actually did achieve.

Watch out for the DUP’s list of priorities being explored over the next ten days: more jobs, rougher sentences, low rates, fix education, better health, work together, strengthen unionism.

He finished by talking about turnout, but avoided referring to a need to beat Sinn Fein in the race for most votes.

We must not only maximise turnout and support for the DUP; we must use every vote to its maximum effect. That is why key to our success is vote management. Where we are fielding more than one candidate, the candidates have divided up the constituency, and we are asking our supporters in each area to support the recommended candidate depending on which polling station they vote at.

This was perhaps a message for the 44 candidates who made up the vast majority of the speech’s audience: be disciplined and don’t trample on your colleagues votes.

The DUP aren’t specifically pushing their dup2win.com URL this election. Instead, they’re launching mydup.com, softening the brand for younger voters. In its first release it doesn’t sound like it will include Obama-esque call to action functionality.

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  • nightrider

    Is there a possibility, Alan, you could ask Peter Robinson how old he believes the Earth to be? Actually all the party leaders and election candidates should be asked this. Just to highlight any kooks among them.

  • I’ll bear it in mind for next time. Might have been an idea to work through all 44 candidates to get their answers to that one. Show of hands might have been the fastest!

  • At the same time as switching the URL, I’m surprised the DUP haven’t got rid of the Paisleyite lion king and replaced it with a more Robinsonesque……well what exactly…

  • Sorry folks, I’m talking about the logo, it should read:-

    At the same time as switching the URL on the logo, I’m surprised the DUP haven’t got rid of the Paisleyite lion king and replaced it with a more Robinsonesque……well what exactly…

  • Rory Carr

    Never mind asking them how old they believe Earth to be, how about testing to see how many of them know what time of day it is.

  • iluvni

    Any word on the ending of double jobbing … I noted that not one of the DUP MPs could find the time to participate in the House of Commons yesterday when the Prime Minister was answering important questions on the Libyan venture and the EU summit.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Is there a video somewhere ? Looks more like a still to me.

  • Comrade Stalin – sometimes video won’t appear on a mobile browser/iPhone. Should be ok on IE/Firefox/Chrome/Safari. Direct link to video.

  • Driftwood

    not man playing here, but Peter Robinson looks and sounds robotic. The body language of someone who knows an awful lot of people are not going to vote in a pointless election to a body that has miniscule power over our lives. I’ve seen him before as a seasoned practitioner, but maybe he knows there’s nothing left to fight for.
    It’s a ‘County’ Council election, with a parish council election tagged on and a real vote on how our National Parliament is elected the most important part.
    Most people I know, of the number that voted last time, simply will not be bothering. Because it is completely meaningless.

  • With an increasingly large and unapologetic gay community in Belfast what are Mr. Robinson’s opinions on homosexuals and gay marriage? Is homosexuality immoral? Should it be punished? Will god punish it?

    I want to see these people asked some tough questions.

  • Rory Carr

    All those increasingly large gays in Belfast might best be advised to undertake weight loss activities and I can only attribute this unreasoning refusal to apologise under any circumstances to an undue influence by the John Wayne character, Captain Nathan Brittles in <i<She wore a Yellow Ribbon who counselled his young adjutant, “Never apologise, mister, it’s a sign o’ weakness.” Is John Wayne especially popular among the Gay community in Belfast?

    What sort of tough questions would you like to ask these large unapologetic people? I suggest you might begin with a real corker like, “What is the square root of pi ?”

  • Drumlins Rock

    umm pie, yum

    🙂

    Drifty, parish council and county council are still important, remember NI is bigger or equal population wise to 13 of the United States, and over 60 independent states.

    All we should be wanting to know is are the politicians up to the job, an election is just a giant job interview, with up to75,000 people on the interview panel!

  • Barry the Blender

    “What is the square root of pi ?

    Get rational

  • Rory Carr

    I said it was a tough question, Barry.

  • dwatch

    ‘I want to see these people asked some tough questions.’

    Does the DUP believe gay sailors in the Navy should be allowed double bunks for both them and their partners to keep warm while on 3 month patrol on submarines under the ice?