Patterson: “We hounded David Trimble for far less”

Good story by Sam McBride in today’s News Letter with comments from DUP Councillor, Ruth Patterson about the party going back into the Executive.

In the piece Patterson says;

As a former member of the UDR, and someone who has been in touch with many innocent victims over recent days, it deeply saddens me and gives me cause for great concern that the party have decided to return to government with Sinn Fein, who the leadership of the DUP have themselves accepted are inextricably linked to the IRA.

The electorate and many grassroots party members are understandably extremely confused and angered by this.

The DUP are in government under the premise, declared by Peter Robinson in 2008, that the IRA Army Council had disbanded and that all weapons had been decommissioned.

The report [on paramilitaries] makes very clear that not only are the IRA Army Council in existence but that many Sinn Fein members believe that they control the overarching strategy of a combined Sinn Fein/IRA strategy.

Further to this it is clear the IRA also maintain various departments and have access to weapons.

This blows the ‘no guns, no government’ and ‘sackcloth and ashes’ narrative out the window.

Comparing this will the treatment of David Trimble, Patterson says;

This is far and beyond anything that David Trimble ever agreed too.

I am a principled woman and many people will recall the video of myself when the Belfast Agreement was signed, being very upset and saying ‘God forgive them for what they have just done to Ulster’.

What the DUP, the party I have loyally served for 20 years, have now done is worse than anything David Trimble ever did, and therefore I feel it is my moral and principled duty to speak out.

We hounded David Trimble for far less and I would be a hypocrite if I became part of the silent majority that just went along with sitting in government with the surrogates of the IRA Army Council.


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  • Zeno

    Local politics is a collection of catchy slogans .

    ‘no guns, no government’ and ‘sackcloth and ashes’

    “not a bullet not an ounce” SF
    “No return to Stormont” SF

    They know if the supporters swallow those they will swallow anything.

  • I wouldn’t agree with Ms Patterson on much, but in this I do. The DUP have turned lying, double-dealing, betrayal & hypocrisy in public life into an art form.

  • I’m surprised it took until 2015 for Ruth Patterson to overtly criticise the DUP leadership in this way. Her antics over the last few years make you wonder why she didn’t go with Jim Allister in 2007 into the TUV. I’ve always considered her of that ilk.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Saying they’ve turned “lying, double-dealing, betrayal & hypocrisy” into an art form implies they are good at it. But not only are they highly dishonest they are also completely incompetent.

  • chrisjones2

    “I am a principled woman ” …. the why were you ever in the DUP in the first place? And you seemed happy in your principles until they dumped you as a potential MLA

    And what is all this stuff about the possibility of Judith Cochrane defecting until other DUP MLAs scared her off?

  • Newt

    Ruth is absolutely correct when she says that many people will recall her video. Indeed. God, will we ever forget that howling, shrieking caterwaul?

  • submariner

    “I am a principled woman”

    Yes Ruth we can see your principals right here.

  • Mike the First

    I remember the voice and image well…I hadn’t realised until now (as her name only became more well known during the flag protests) that that was Ruth Patterson!

  • tmitch57

    Actually “not a bullet, not an ounce” was a grafitto signed by the IRA on a W. Belfast wall.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    “We hounded David Trimble for far less and I would be a hypocrite if I became part of the silent majority that just went along with sitting in government with the surrogates of the IRA Army Council.

    This woman’s hypocrisy knows no points. Ruth became part of the silent majority in 2007.

    It’s nearly ten years since Ruth’s party (has she actually quit the DUP yet ? it isn’t clear) entered powersharing with SF. During that time we’ve had an SF deputy First Minister, SF on the policing board, and devolution of policing and justice powers to an SF-inclusive executive. Ruth said nothing.

    Would Ruth be expounding her principles had she been installed as MLA for South Belfast a few weeks back in place of Jimmy Spratt ?

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Yet oddly they keep topping the poll. Strange that.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The basic issue is that there can be no power sharing without SF.

    The problem with this reality is that unionist voters don’t want to hear it. They want someone to sell them a fantasy that Unionism has the upper hand. If the current imcumbents were to stop selling the fantasy, they’d switch their vote to someone else who does (such as Jim Allister).

  • Mike the First

    And given what we’ve been told this week…

  • Greenflag 2

    Indeed .

    These are my principles and if you don’t like them I’ve got other principles 🙂 .

    I hope her ‘other ‘ principles have matured since the good old bad old days . She’s not the only politician in NI for whom one has similar hopes .

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    I opened your link but couldn’t find any references to School Heads anywhere.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    It exposes the tension between career politician and principled politician. If the TUV’s electoral fortunes improve we’ll likely see her seeking opportunites in her natural home where her ‘principles’ will be less of an embarassment. It’ll then only be a question of her calculation against Jim Allister’s.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The inevitable result, CitR, of that marked characteristic of our system, Standing Order voting at Election Time. Certainly sometimes people change their supplier(Jim’ll fix it…?), but enough stay conservatively with the bigger boys with the right slogans for their own mental landscape. And this in despite of the fact that, when all is said and done, much, much more is said than is ever going to be done, and statements and actions seldom match up without massive gaps. Strange that……..

    Do you really think that should Jim ever get into power, he’d be permitted to negotiate any serious variation from the “one seize fits all” deal Paisley and his successors found themselves expected to sign up to, in order to do the “Big Cheese on a small cheese dish” act up on the hill. The “real people” would simply knock him into the shape they can handle, as they originally did with the DUP, and seemingly continue to do.

  • Granni Trixie

    So far. Sometmes the electorate decide they will not be taken for granted.,

  • WindsorRocker

    Whilst there is understandably a lot of focus on the motivations for Ruth’s outburst, and there are the usual jibes of 2007 hypocrisy, has anyone actually “fact checked” the “for less” part of her argument.
    In 2002 the UUP were in government with a movement that was pretty much fully armed, it had structures which were in a state that it could actually use them for terrorist purposes. It was targeting, training and recruiting. The movement was publicly and absolutely opposed to the rule of law.
    There cannot be by anybody’s stretch of their imagination any equivalence between where we were in 2002 and where we are now. Mainstream Republicans corporately support the police, the latest intelligence reports state they have no terrorist structure that could be used for conducting a terrorist campaign.
    The problems we have with the republican movement today are residual issues. Some guns kept because figures within the movement think they can act unilaterally to nail individual opponents rather than 100% leave things to the police like ordinary citizens have to. There is clearly an organisational issue where they want to leave the Army Council as some sort of anachronistic legitimisation totem pole. But to suggest there are problems with the republican movement like we had from 1998 to 2003 is nonsense and Ruth’s bitterness only feeds that inaccuracy. She is better off in TUV.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    You think people voting for lying politicians is strange?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I usually agree with you, Granni, but certainly not on this. Exactly when has this ever happened here? Trimble’s party momentarily tried not taking the preconceived views of their constituents as an unchanging given body of beliefs and lo and behold, they were consigned to the political desert and another party mouthing the slogans of “not an inch” were substituted. The only sure fire way to ensure electoral success here is to attract the “standing orders”.

  • Granni Trixie

    Actually I can thnk of an example – of PR when he lost his EB Westminster seat. Granted the election followed much publicity about “family trouble” and a particular TV programme alleging the selling of a piece of land to a developer. From canvassing in EB for that election I saw a pattern on the doorsteps of people wanting to express that very sentiment – that they were being taken for granted. It was frustrating not to be in a position to join in debating this dissatisfaction (canvassers were advised to advance a positive campaign).

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    True in that instance but taking a longer view it seems to me that the entrenched on both sides have been happy to be taken for granted as long as they keep themuns out. However, the present ongoing crisis and increasing emergence of dispiriting data might just change that, most likely a further downturn in voter turnout. If voter apathy continues along its present trend then the Assembly’s actual existence will become untenable.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    We’re talking about the same electorate (essentially) that re-elected the Ulster Unionist Party over a 50 year period since 1922, during which they ran the country into the ground.

  • Granni Trixie

    Agree that the UUP presided over a failure of politics. Essentially, they didn’t want to share power. That said, our whole world, as well as that of politics, has become much more complex since then so I don’t think it’s productive to judge Unionist parties or voters by ineptitude so long ago.

  • Mary Anna Quigley

    DUP ARMYCOUNCIL PIRA PSF love power more then life its self. Greed egoism drives them .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    This may be a little hyperbolic, but I have recurring nightmare of a situation where only actual MLAs are still voting in our local elections, and Westminster still does nothing! I find a great deal of indifference in those I meet, and only a few of those I know well still vote for anyone here.

    While I realise that the reaction to Peter’s alleged involvements with developers may have lost him his Westminster seat, I cannot but note that he is still here, and, despite having “no case to answer” personally, had he been in office at Westminster, he would almost certainly have been compelled to resign from his proximity to a situation where his wife had committed a “serious breach” of the Assembly’s code of conduct. Here, the block voting of his own camp ensures his continued career, just as GA endures on pretty much the same sort of support.

    But I fully accept Granni’s experience that it is possible for a momentary “pendulum swing” shift of voter opinion, before the inertia force of our own particular political “gravity” restored the natural equilibrium of our drearily repetitive political scene.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Granni, yes, but it was something of an aberration perhaps! A short term protest vote, what with “Paedar Mac Spideog” still strutting his stuff as the public face of our little polity. Frustrated the voters may well have been but not to such a high pitch that anything seriously has altered.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d have voted for Naomi even before then if I were still an East Belfast boy, as a very decent and reliable representative, but the tide has now withdrawn and the “dreary steeples” of Knock and the “Hack” have all too clearly resurfaced. The strategy of repeating all the old “taken for granted” clichés has paid off once again.

    But still, we can but hope……….

  • Steve Moss

    She’d be an intellectual heavyweight (with the emphasis on heavy) in the TUV…

  • Sergiogiorgio

    A legend in her on mind….

    A lady that can be both physically and verbally offensive in the same breath.