Robinson threatens elections over Prison’s symbols..

Ya feeling lucky punk? And so, sledgehammer and nut meet (or not). The Alliance Party leader the would be nut. The sledgehammer, the First Minister. David Ford has suggested (taken a report from The Prison Review Group) which suggested dropping the crown of the Prison Service emblem and the term HMP from the NI Prison Service.

The First Minister effectively says, ‘catch yerself on’.

If Ford refuses to back down? Then the First Minister resigns, and we have an election. A nice wee scalp or two for the DUP leader in his own East Belfast backyard. The price: a yawning gap where the Justice Minister used to be and a sunset clause appearing on the horizon with no agreed candidate.

The frisson spreads as far as Paddy Power:

Assembly Elections by June 2012?
1/4 No
5/2 Yes

Will Peter Robinson be First Minister in June 2012?
2/5 Yes
7/4 No

Who will be Deputy First Minister in June 2012?
2/7 Martin McGuinness
8/1 Peter Robinson
7/2 Any other

What does that tell you? That the most likely outcome, is… business as usual

And… There are still some non legislative matters that can only be managed by threatening nuclear meltdown… Even from a minister who is entirely dependent for his job upon the patronage of OFMDFM…

Watch this space…

  • Granni Trixie

    So much for Robinson’s appeals for us to have a shared society,integrated schools blah, blah, blah ,following his loss of votes to Naomi last year. This ‘toys out of the pram’ sham fight is obviously meant to appeal to old style DUPERS (and Allisters).

    Either he’s having a bad hair day or this is a Trojan Horse to cover something else.

  • I think PR has a bloody cheek since he should probably have resigned already given the previous scandals involving his missus and the local council.

  • Obelisk

    Anytime anyone in future links to Peter Robinson’s speech about attracting Catholic votes, could this post also be included to demonstrate that that entire spiel was nothing but a load of hot air.

    I mean to threaten to resign over this? In the middle of an economic recession he’s really proposing going to the electorate over a badge logo and the use of HRM in the prison titles.

    It really boggles the mind. Maybe Peter isn’t the mastermind I thought him to be. Maybe there’s something to the talk that he’s a fantastic tactician but not so good at strategy?

    As for the symbols they weren’t even on my radar, but now it’s been pointed out (and rammed home by the First Minister), I think that yes, there should be a discussion about them. A mature one that doesn’t involve resorting to knee jerk threats of resignation.

  • sherdy

    Peter Punt strikes again! I thought we were to have a neutral environment in the workplace, or that we had legislation against flags and emblems (cap badges, paramilitary uniforms) in the employment sphere.
    What proportion of prison staff in NI are Catholic, nationalist or republican? I would think it is less than it had been in the not-fit-for-purpose RUC, and both were, and still are gravy trains for loyalists. This is the reason why Robinson has blown a fuse, even threatening David Ford’s future prospects in his present job, and also the spectre of Jim Allister hovering over his shoulder.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’m curious as to how many voters, from whatever community, regard prison uniform design as a core issue.

  • lamhdearg

    On the ? of making the prison service more appealing to catholics,
    What kind of person would not join the prison service, because, there is a crown on the cap badge, or that prison name’s are preceded by the letters H.M.?, do i want that kind of person getting a job in the prison service, considering there ingrained hatred, NO.

  • @Jimmy Sands, According to RTE News’ article on this the figures are 80% Protestant, 10% Catholic, 10% other

  • iluvni

    Maybe this is the ‘clever device’ he talked about!

  • BluesJazz

    A non-issue. How many Catholics refuse to join the Royal Mail or wear its logo which is just a big Crown.

  • socaire

    I have to gasp in amazement when I see how easily the (usually) LUP contributors on this site slide easily from ‘Catholic’ to ‘Nationalist’. For example, the revamped RUC is 30% Catholic but 100% Unionist. Look how many Catholics fought in the British Army – not how many Nationalists. Most Catholics in the 6 counties are exactly that – Catholics first and Nationalists when it suits them.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mick :

    David Ford has suggested dropping the crown of the Prison Service emblem and the term HMP from the NI Prison Service.

    When and where did he make this suggestion Mick ? Perhaps you would be good enough to provide a source.

  • BluesJazz

    OK Socaire
    How many nationalists refuse to join the Royal Mail with its big crown emblem? Are posties banned from West Belfast because of this?

  • Comrade,

    From the BBC site:

    But until the TUV leader Jim Allister got to his feet in the Stormont chamber on Monday night the emotive topic of the prison service badge and whether Her Majesty’s Prisons would remain “Her Majesty’s” had not received much attention.
    Threat

    David Ford’s initial response – that such changes must be considered and were operational matters for the Prison Service – provoked an angry response from unionists.

    Then Peter Robinson pushed the Stormont equivalent of the nuclear button on Tuesday by threatening to resign and force an election.

    Bit of misreporting?

  • Comrade Stalin

    This is a massive storm in a teacup, it’s beyond belief. This was all kicked off by Jim Allister drawing out this one detail from the prison reform report; Peter Robinson’s kneejerk reaction to that; and what we are seeing from this thread where journalists and bloggers are failing to even research the facts of the case before making attributing things to the Justice Minister that he did not say.

    I knew immediately when I saw the story that this was rubbish. Ford isn’t stupid enough to walk out on the stage and declare that he’s going to take the “royal” bits away from the name of the prison service and believe that there would be no reaction.

    This resignation threat from Robinson is silly; how could the justice minister get a bill to rename the prison service through the assembly past the DUP unless the DUP themselves voted for it ? And aside from that it is pure hubris; is Robinson really sure that an election in an environment where an assembly has been running for six months without producing a shred of legislation would work well for him ?

  • tacapall

    Great to see the reaction of Unionism to something so petty they are obviously still reeling from the decesion to lift the ban on members of the royal family marrying catholics, They are now hanging on by their fingernails to an identity that is diminishing annually Peter like every politician will play to the gallery but in reality will sell his soul for a few dollars more when his masters demand, like he has always done.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Joe,

    Ford did not “suggest dropping the crown of the Prison Service emblem and the term HMP from the NI Prison Service.”

    This isn’t misreporting. It’s slapdash journalism.

  • socaire

    When the Nazis occupied France, how many postmen refused to go to work because a swastika flew over the Post Office? I can remember when county council ditch diggers did not get employment unless they swore fealty to the Queen of England. It used to be ‘work under our humiliation or don’t work at all’. Look at poor Poppy Trainor on the BBC News. Anyway we live in hope. I do wonder, however, what issue of principle would make our DFM threaten to resign from the British administration. Can you think of one?

  • Count Eric Bisto von Granules

    I have been disappointed over the last 20 years with the increasing normalisation of the 6 counties within the UK, with the active participation of different strata of the nationalist community. However, it is incidents like these, when unionists act with the same security of tenure as one of Jordan’s husbands that lead me to believe that my understanding must be fundamentally flawed. The UK populace managed to transition from the Royal Mail to consignia without threats of prime ministerial resignation yet at the merest proposal of an inclusive symbol for a public body PR throws all his toys out of the pram and threatens uncertainty at a time of economic crisis. Is an United Ireland just around the corner and it is only unionists that are privy to this information??

  • Jimmy Sands

    I can remember when county council ditch diggers did not get employment unless they swore fealty to the Queen of England.

    And then the bastards paid them with bits of paper with her head on. Nazis is right.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Count, well, there’s no point in downplaying the issue here for unionists, they see the prison service as a bulwark against terrorism much as the RUC was and that any attempt to tinker with the name of it is damaging to their heritage. It’s not quite the same as the question of how the postal service is named.

  • socaire

    And then, Jimmy, they forced them to use part of this money to pay for an alien administration in which they were not encouraged to play any worthwhile part. It didn’t really matter what part of the Queen of England’s anatomy was on the paper – being treated as a serf in one’s own country leaves a lasting ulcer.

  • Count Eric Bisto von Granules

    CS, you may have a point re postal service vis a vis the prison service, but they always seem to have an uncanny ability to pick non substantive symbolic issues which to concentrate on, while at the same time cutting themselves off from mainstream british opinion. So while using remeberence sunday and prison reform to rail against changes supported by their co-constituents, they actively discriminate against english students coming to study – thereby aggravating the educated classes in the dominant partner in the union. They seem to be fighting battles 10/15 years too late, when popular opinion has already moved well beyond their position and their arguments merely serve to illustrate their intransigence and difference from british people. If they believe all the rhetoric about defeating the IRA then the best thing would be to recognise the sacrifices on their side and build post conflict institutions designed to secure the union in the main. France and Germany cooperated 12 years after WW2, whereas they’re still arguing over symbolism.
    Irish unity will come about when the english wash their hands of the north and this is speeded along by unionist behaviour. I am supremely confident in this prediction but wouldnt put money on a timeline

  • Comrade Stalin

    Count,

    I agree it’s all bullshit over symbols. Jim Allister talked about humiliation. It’s funny how people can get humiliated over that and not over, for example, rapidly rising unemployment and falling investment.

  • aquifer

    RA remainders want to be jailed by her majesty personally, so PR would oblige them.

    A very stupid thing to do, unless you feel you still need naff pistol nationalism to keep your own zombie politics shuffling along.

  • sonofstrongbow

    This is a manufactured argument that will quickly blow over. Pete hasn’t had a hissy fit in a while, he needed a blowout.

    As to Nationalists and local HMPs; they are well represented. They simply don’t work there.

  • Turgon

    socaire,
    “being treated as a serf in one’s own country leaves a lasting ulcer.”

    Here is the wikipedia definition of serfdom: “Serfdom included the labor of serfs occupying a plot of land owned by a lord of the manor in return for protection and justice and the right to exploit certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence.”

    There you go: I had not realised that in the Stormont regime we Prods owned a right to the labour of the Catholic / nationalist population: this is a fascinating insight. I had thought that whatever discrimination there was under Stormont, Catholics / nationalists were still allowed to own property and were indeed not the property of Prods.

    When did this change? I am surprised: I cannot remember my parents ever telling me about the Catholics whose labour they could demand in exchange for whatever they had to give them. My wife was brought up in quite a big house and indeed her mother whose health was poor did have a lady who helped her in the house. I wonder was this lady an indentured servant? I suppose the wife is too embarrassed to tell us. Oh no the housekeeper lady was a Prod: how foolish of my in laws not to have used a Catholic / nationalist serf. Maybe the next door farmer who was a Catholic / nationalist was their serf: oh no his farm was much bigger and he was richer.

    Still socaire I am sure Catholics were once serfs: your memory stretches back to the middle ages does it? That said I think the ones ruling the serfs were rarely Ulster Prods.

    Intergenerational MOPEry reaches new heights. Actually parts of my family are originally Welsh: as such I blame the Romans for defeating our Druids.

  • Munsterview

    Same nonsense as changing the name of Long Kesh to The Maze Prison or whatever the ‘Official’ correct verbal camouflage fig leaf used by the British was.

    What difference do it make to those unjustly incarcerated inside such as Gerry McGough as to what their place of captivity is called, will it change their circumstance one iota ?

    A storm in a tea cup……….or given the frequent insanitary conditions, a storm in a piss pot as may be more appropriate !

    Personally however I prefer to see the current badge and nomenclature remaining exactly as it is, as an ‘In Your Face’ constant unpleasant reminder to Republicans of ‘unfinished business’ !

  • Turgon

    “unjustly incarcerated inside such as Gerry McGough”

    Oh yes the unjustly gaoled McGeough who tried to murder Sammy Brush whilst he was delivering the mail (Brush being a postman). Unfortunately for McGeough Brush had a bullet proof vest on and, hence, did not have the good taste to die; then he further oppressed the peace loving Irishman before him by firing back.

    McGeough of course will be “unjustly incarcerated” for only two years which is a short time for attempted murder. It is in line with the Belfast Agreement which was accepted in democratic votes in both Northern Ireland and the RoI. Still I am sure it is “unjust”.

    I wonder why the likes of Munsterview do not object to the “unjust “ incarceration of the assorted paedophiles in HMP Magilligan.

  • Mick Fealty

    Right you two, cut it out. Prisons; symbols; Ford; Robinson!

  • Rory Carr

    Comrade Stalin makes a good point when he writes that, “there’s no point in downplaying the issue here for unionists, they see the prison service as a bulwark against terrorism much as the RUC was…“, but in so doing also, perhaps unintentionally, also underpins the validity of the claim of many of those who are charges of this very penal service that they are not criminals but rather political prisoners detained solely as a result of resistance directed at the overthrow of a foreign power.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Rory, I don’t agree with the unionist position, just pointing out to them that it is something more than petty tokenism. Same with SF and the Irish language.

  • Turgon

    Mick,
    Fair enough but I am merely pointing out that Gerry McGeough is not “unjustly incarcerated.” Munsterview is factually incorrect there. McGeough has been convicted of attempted murder: indeed his sentence will only be two years; not the 20 he was given which some might call unjust.

    In terms of the symbols I suspect Munsterview might have a bit more of a point. The deprivation of liberty is unlikely to be a less severe punishment than having to see the priosn officers wearing a crown on their hats or having HMP on the sign outside the gaol which of course the prisoners cannot see (being inside said gaol).

    Turning to the politics of this:

    The DUP and Robinson are clearly still worried by Jim Allister and the TUV. Jim has of course done well in the assembly: better than some might have expected. Furthermore there is very likely to be a large part of the unionist constituency which is highly sympathetic to much of Jim’s analysis. They did not vote TUV in part because they were scared of republicans winning and the DUP was the necessary block. Now with the DUP even more ascendant than it was in the last assembly many unionists have more confidence. It is that very gain in confidence which could lead some to object to the dilution of the British symbols like calling gaols Her Majesty’s Prisons. Furthermore the hard line unionist thinking will go why should the DUP who are doing so well give in to republicans or Alliance types over this sort of symbol?

    Finally Jim Allister has correctly noted that the DUP sllaughtered the UUP over the changes to the RUC. If the DUP allow the prison service to be “Pattened” by Ford they are handing to Allister one of the very sticks with which they beat the UUP.

  • Mac

    So we get stuck with a hugely expensive prison service that has failed time and time again to implement even the most basic operational improvement. Despite a decade of damning reports, suicides in suicide watch cells whilst POs slept or played computer games, violent criminals accidentally released through sheer incompetence to reoffend all with no-one ever held to account and instead get to watch our elected representatives indulge in territorial pissing.

    I fucking despair, we don’t deserve self governance.

  • The yokel

    Let us resile. I think CS has an even better point “This resignation threat from Robinson is silly; how could the justice minister get a bill to rename the prison service through the assembly past the DUP unless the DUP themselves voted for it ? “ What’s he playing at? Does he want to make Ford look small? Is he putting on a show for the faithful? Is there a worthless sliver of land in the offing? Will we ever really care?

  • hugodecat

    Bring back direct rule – all is forgiven

    We should hang our heads in shame as lets face it we get the politicians we deserve as we collectively elect them.

  • Munsterview

    CS : ” Same with SF and the Irish language.”

    CS : BS

    No, not the same, if there is to be a full cultural parity of cultural equality and esteem in the British Occupied Six Counties in the Northern part of Ireland, then the Irish Language is a natural and significant part of that for Nationalists.

    In the Early Seventies, speaking Gaelic may have been a bit of a novelty but by no means an exclusively Nationalist trait. I had my first Irish conversation in the North with a young woman who was both a Presbyterian and a Unionist. She could easily have had me arrested, but as she said, she was Irish too. I have not forgotten her or that exchange.

    The Irish Language, just like the Ulster Scots dialect should be outside and above politics. While some Sinn Fein leaders do not speak more than a little Irish, many others do and even more of the younger generation are fluent in it.

    The dual use of Gaelic and English in signposts will in most instances reveal a hidden history that is of interest to most people irrespective of politics. I have been involved in one project up there that honor an intertwining legacy and heritage of Gaelic, Ulster Scots and Regional English alike.

    As a Nationalist and Irish Republican I am totally opposed to the actions of the Elizabethans in Ireland but that do not mean that I cannot enjoy Shakespeare or the other writers of that age. Unionist denigration of the Irish Language is just petty minded, vindictive and inexcusable.

  • Jimmy Sands

    On the whole symbols business, do OSF still go round painting post boxes or has that particular form of resistance been abandoned? You don’t hear about it any more.

  • Cynic2

    “then the Irish Language is a natural and significant part of that for Nationalists” ….. that’s why so may of them can speak it fluently

    “The Irish Language, just like the Ulster Scots dialect should be outside and above politics”

    Coming from a Shinner that’s as honest as saying that teh West Belfast Festival is culturally neutral

    ” dual use of Gaelic and English in signposts will in most instances reveal a hidden history”

    Tripe when its a language largely invented in the 18th century

    “I am totally opposed to the actions of the Elizabethans in Ireland but that do not mean that I cannot enjoy Shakespeare or the other writers of that age.”

    Pretentious? Moi? Specious – yes

    God, this issue is bringing ’em out of the woodwork

  • Stephen Blacker

    Peter Robinson made this into a story when he said he would resign. The DUP would veto any move with “Petition of Concern” when it suits them and did not need to threaten early elections. Maybe he does not like Jim Allister getting the credit for highlighting this issue so he gave a sound bite to take away Jim’s thunder.

    He comes across as the DUP of old with his, “here look at me I’m a mega British stalwart – Never Never Never Never”

    Peter also said today that he would not have changed the name of the RUC even when he knows that it helped the nationalist community except and join the PSNI. This is very short sighted and shows that the lessons of our “Troubles” have not been learnt within the ranks of the DUP.

    Leadership was needed during the hard talking of the GFA and that is what is needed now not scare mongers and sycophants. The least that should happen is a democratic debate take place on this issue and then do the best for society and not individual political parties.

  • Munsterview

    Cynic 2 “…Tripe when its a language largely invented in the 18th century….”

    Either an astounding display of lamentable cultural ignorance about the Island in which you live and her peoples or a trolling exercise ?

    Either way ( Mick carefully note; brownie points please) I pass!

  • BluesJazz

    The whole (non) issue is a MacGuffin

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacGuffin

    The Prison Service need to get their £120, 000 lump sum plus £28, 000 annual pension at 50.

    The rest of the public sector get state minimum. If Ford went outside his Master’s compliance in this he was silly. And his master has duly slapped him down.
    There will be no change to symbols or name.
    It was never even about that.

  • Robbo obviously wasn’t able to just bite his lip and let it pass. This must be embarassing for him by now as it was a little too revealing about his real view of reforms that applied in the police and courts. Perhaps the news from Estonia on friday was partly to blame for his attack of indigestion. Ireland will be playing in Poland /Ukraine when the Marching season is in full swing, but who’s going to be paying attention to the Orangeinfest with the Euro finals on?

  • lamhdearg

    madraj55, first part of your comment, i agree, second part, poland/ukraine means the plebs leave the marchers alone, we can only hope.

  • Cynic2

    “who’s going to be paying attention to the Orangeinfest with the Euro finals on?”

    Ah yes. The whole world worships football. Isn’t such a slavish devotion just another manifestation of the sort of tribal ethos that drives Orangism? There a PhD in it for the answer

  • Cynic2

    Munsterview

    The version of Irish spoken today in most of Ireland is largely a construct of the revival in the 19th Century after Middle Irish had almost died out / been suppressed by the English during the 18th Century. It certainly has its roots in older versions of the language but was ‘revived’ ie reconstructed as part of the Irish cultural renaissance – just as its being reinvented today to cope with modern life

  • FuturePhysicist

    I think PR has a bloody cheek since he should probably have resigned already given the previous scandals involving his missus and the local council.

    You can’t blame the man for what his wife did, not that it has any political relevance to his capacity in the role.

    You hold people accountable for what they do, not the actions of their friends, family or relatives, whether it’s Gerry and Liam’s guilt or Peter and Iris’s guilt, I don’t believe in guilt by association. The man and his family have suffered enough because of what his wife did.

  • Dr Spock

    In other news: Big Ears threatens to leave Toyland if Noddy exchanges his blue hat for a green one.

  • Munsterview

    Cinic 2 : “…most of Ireland is largely a construct of the revival in the 19th Century after Middle Irish had almost died out ….”

    Child : there is no such dichotomy. However your view do illustrate the a certain mentality. Most people live ‘in’ this island and are rooted in it’s culture, traditions and ethos, it is part of what we are.

    Then there are others that still only live ‘on’ it, not the same thing at all!

    Their first reaction of the latter, like a burglar in a home where they were interlopers with no moral authority for their presence, was to concentrate on the material, grab what they could and when there was no more left to plunder or to sell off, then to justify their ancestors activities in regard to the historic robbery.

    Not all were offenders, many in fact such as Garoid Earla and Pierce Ferriter embraced Gaelic culture as well as mantaining the best of their own and some of those of this later planter stock such Yeats forged a Gaelic/ Anglo Litrature that has made a significant contribution to world litrature completely disproportionate to their numbers.

    Yeats, Lady Gregory, Dr Douglas Hyde, Synge and others far too numerous to mention took as their starting point a reverence and respect for the Native Culture.

    Care to list for me the names of Northern Literary Unionists with your attitude who have achieved Irish/British recognition for their own closed mind navel gazing preoccupations, since your Six County Statelet was foisted on the Irish Nation (against its Majority Democratic verdic as expressed in the 1918 elections), never mind achieving ‘World status’ ?

    To say that modern Irish is ‘a 19th, century invention’ is like saying that modern English has nothing in common with the Language of Shakespeare etc or that it do not encapsulate this heritage or legacy or that it is not a direct progressive evolution from that period, or that this in turn owed nothing to Anglo-Saxon or the Celtic underlay.

    That is why Henry Sweet’s ‘The Students Dictionary of ANGLO-SAXON, is literally at my shoulder for easy reach among other such references in my book cabinet as I write. (Of course if as I suspect, you like many of your kind, still have to get your head around that one, the fact that some of us Gaels can actually write and articulate an argument or proposition )

    If your views are sincerely held and not trolling then your are indeed sad case as not only are you displaying a lamentable ignorance of the dominant history, culture and ethos of the Island you live on and its Majority population, you are also placing political, polemic point scoring over common sense !

  • Jack2

    Its a masterstroke from PR.
    If they climb down or are seen to climb down. he has secured a victory for the DUP’ers.
    In the extreme event that he does resign a forced election in which he took a stand is sure to see him relected with a large majority.

    You can be sure he consulted his pollsters and their crystal balls before making such an ultimatum.
    Win Win for Robinson.

    Pity the 5 quid land deals are all forgotten about now……its down to pure “elect us or Them’uns will take over” as always.

  • Barry the Blender

    I don’t know Jack. With turnout in Northern Ireland creeping ever downward each time there’s an election, are many people (protestants) really going to bother going out to the ballot box to register their downright disgust and a crown being taken away from an emblem that most of them rarely see ?

  • GCFB Ned

    Every time Jim Allister takes the head lines, Peter Robinson quickly appears to steal the lime light! He is a tactition, only ever picking fights that he cannot lose. That is why the DUPpers are so eager to silence Jim Allister – Because they can pretend to be the champions of Unionism in battle after battle, but in Jim the truth will out!

  • JR

    Cynic,

    “The version of Irish spoken today in most of Ireland is largely a construct of the revival in the 19th Century after Middle Irish had almost died out / been suppressed by the English during the 18th Century. It certainly has its roots in older versions of the language but was ‘revived’ ie reconstructed as part of the Irish cultural renaissance – just as its being reinvented today to cope with modern life”

    I am sorry but that is the biggest pile of nonsense I have ever heard.

    I was at oireachtas na samhna http://www.antoireachtas.ie/Oireachtas-na-Samhna.php

    last weekend and in the connemara Gaeltacht this weekend speaking Irish with native speakers. The language I speak and the language they speak is exactly the same. Middle Irish was the Irish spoken between the 10th and 12th Centuries in Ireland and Scotland, nothing to do with the Irish spoken by my grandmother in Louth, the residents of the Gaeltachtí or modern day Irish speakers.

    It always amazes me the nonsense people cook up to de-legitimize the speaking of Irish in Ireland

  • RyanAdams

    So if he resigned tomorrow we would get a 22 December Election?

    Nothing will change.

    Although a nackered SF Election machine, New Mean Machine SDLP Leader, Tom, Jim il fix it and the DUP stirring the pot might make for interesting results, if not a pantomime.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’d say wee Jim would pick up at least another seat on the current reckoning; and the turnout would be poor.

    The arrogance of Robinson believing that he could go to the electorate on the back of no progress, no programme for government and not a dicky bird to show since the assembly was reconstituted in May and expect to be endorsed over the matter of prison service emblems show that a few of the lessons from May 2010 seem to have gone over his head. On calm reflection, I am sure he regrets putting those remarks out.

  • sonofstrongbow

    When in hell’s name was any local political party voted into the current Stormont regime on the basis of its record in government?

    The DUP et al could continue sitting on their bottoms (with the occasional begging bowl trip to London/Washington/Ulan Bator) for the next five years and still hoover up the votes from the lumpen electorate.

  • Mark

    You would think after having the disaster of him having to cut short his Florida trip during the water crisis , that PR would have more sense than to take the people for granted like that .

    Maybe he was having a ” Whose the daddy now ” moment after all the coverage his partner got down south , felt a little insecure perhaps ….

  • Skint Taxpayer

    Typical DUP Leadership another gaffe over something that could be challenged in a different way…..unless Pete wants to retire????