Robinson and the DUP’s anti power sharing past: revision or transformation?

It was only in seeing Peter Robinson on Hearts and Minds that I realised how little he’s been in public evidence recently. There seems to be a principle here that like the Queen, the less you see of him the greater the impact when he does speak.

For my money not enough of the 18 minutes of his very last Hearts and Minds interview was devoted to the party’s relationship with the past. And in particular his recently expressed view that unionists were too slow to recognise the importance of power-sharing with nationalists.

One of the deepest wells of anger and resentment amongst Catholics in Northern Ireland relate to those days when the DUP did the best it could to tear down any form of compromise with constitutional nationalists.

Revisionism is one word for it, others might call it transformative change. But public criticism of old war time discourses is rare enough for our politicians these days.

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  • I thought the whole interview was a great Hearts & Minds moment. Two old pros jousting away. Some recent interviewees have been cringeworthy, but this makes you realise how much you’ll miss Noel on the box.

    Also enjoyed Julia’s piece too.

  • Mister Joe

    According to my computer the video is private!

  • andnowwhat

    Same here Mister Joe

  • Mick Fealty

    Sorry guys. There’s a button on the software I use that defaults it to private. I had switched it to public, but I should have checked it.

    So True Gonzo!! There is just no one of his calibre and experience and memory of the past who will be working in current afford.

  • Mister Joe

    Is he talking about the past or the present when he talks about getting the best deal for “our people” and who exactly are those people?

  • Robinson is either ahead of his Party in his thinking or is frankly insincere.
    Yes the Party was slow to accept constitutional nationalism. There has been SDLP Mayors in Craigavon and now Ballymena but DUP dont tolerate SF Mayors unless the numbers force it (Belfast).
    Getting the most votes at Craigavon last night SF certainly deserve a turn.
    Its hard to see how Robinson can tolerate McGuinness but not extend anything (thru his local Party) to SF in Craigavon.
    Unless of course SF have a vested interest (which Robinsons DUP faciliates) of having “grievances”.
    But DUP take Chairs in Strabane and Omagh in powersharing arrangements, wont shake hands with SF.

    The only reasonable conclusion is the DUP is not nearly as changed as Robinson (in outreach mode) claims.

  • Mister Joe

    fitzjameshorse1745,

    The only reasonable conclusion is the DUP is not nearly as changed as Robinson (in outreach mode) claims.

    That’s why I asked my question.

  • ayeYerMa

    “One of the deepest wells of anger and resentment amongst Catholics in Northern Ireland relate to those days when the DUP did the best it could to tear down any form of compromise with constitutional nationalists.”

    Which all goes to show how unreasonable many “Catholics in Northern Ireland” are given that such demands continue to be completely out of line with standards of western democracy.

    The DUP position has changed as a result of the changing circumstances as the Republican surrender has been realised, and that this anti-democratic system of government will force-lock “Catholics in Northern Ireland” into integrating with Northern Ireland and the Union in the long-term.

  • Mister Joe

    Which demonstrates neatly that revisionism is alive and well in both communities.

  • Mick Fealty

    How so Joe? A bit more than the waldorf and statelier impersonations please?

  • Mister Joe

    Mick,

    I think ayeYerMa’s comments about surrender and unreasonable “Catholics” with out of line demands are clearly an attempt to rewrite history.

  • Comrade Stalin

    There has been SDLP Mayors in Craigavon and now Ballymena but DUP dont tolerate SF Mayors unless the numbers force it (Belfast).

    It’s not the electoral numbers that force it in Belfast. It’s the Alliance Party.

  • Comrade Stalin

    ayeYerMa, it’s interesting to hear that unionism is about implementing a “force-lock” from one of its proponents. I don’t think there’s a force-lock; I think reality has set in particularly among republicans. In addition the relationship between the UK and Ireland is fundamentally changing for the better.

  • Ruarai

    Mick,

    I thought it was about as significant an expression of, ‘maybe there was a point there’, as you can expect from a politician anywhere.

    And however much it was measured, whatever about it’s timing, it’s very welcome.

  • Zig70

    I don’t think Peter alluded to the fact that he would do anything differently just that in hindsight there were other options. Not that he would have taken them anyway as defence of his people was paramount. I’m too simple for politics more suited to Catchphrase. Noel is a star though.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Vincent Brown and Noel Thompson are the only two guys worth watching when it comes to interviewing gombeen politicians on the Emerald Isle. A huge mistake by BBCNI to get rid of Hearts and Minds. What’s going to replace it? RTE would be wise to make a move for Noel Thompson if he’s available. But RTE aren’t generally wise which is why Miriam O’Callaghan has lasted so long.

    As for Robbo, himself and McGuinness have neutered each other so much it’s comical to watch how PC they try to be nowadays.

  • DC

    I guess the same could be said of the IRA.

    Go back to 1921 and get it right – behave.

  • Mick Fealty

    RoC,

    Sean O’Rourke is pretty good too…