After Arlene’s leadership implosion what comes next for the DUP and Northern Ireland?

Newton Emerson charts the position the DUP finds itself. He, like me, thinks the most interesting call is for the sacking of officials who have been the backbone of Robinson’s operation for much of the last twenty years and more: The response from some is to hack the party down to its Paisleyite roots. Four letters are in circulation calling for Foster to go. The letter from DUP councillors demands a return to “Christian values” and “Ulster conservatism” and also …

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Edwin Poots announces his candidacy for DUP Leader.

Today, I announce my candidacy for leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. I love this country and its people and I look forward to engaging with party colleagues in the days ahead. pic.twitter.com/Qesd3GTCwR — Edwin Poots MLA (@edwinpootsmla) April 29, 2021  

The DUP class coalition is ending…

Despite the best efforts of hard-line unionists to bring the narrative of Arlene Foster’s downfall at the hands of the much-maligned NI Protocol, the discussion is almost organically drifting towards values. The party of Paisley faces the perfect storm as working and middle-class supporters leave them poll after poll straight to the Alliance Party or to the Traditional Unionist Voice. The former departure lounge of the UUP has been exposed as the fractured loose coalition of two opposing world views …

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Sinn Fein continue their Derry shake up

The Irish Examiners political correspondent, Aoife Moore has another scoop on the latest developments in Derry Sinn Fein as she reveals the two sitting MLAs have been asked to consider their positions. Moore reports: Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan were told last week that as part of a long investigation into the Derry Comhairle Ceantair launched before Christmas, that they should reconsider their positions as elected representatives, as the party attempted to “rebuild” in the city. It’s understood both women …

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Edwin Poots (currently) bookies favourite to be next DUP leader

Arm wrestling

I wouldn’t know one end of a betting slip from the other, but over the years I’ve been fascinated to hear how bookmakers calculate the odds on political events. It’s never just about probability. It’s also about attracting bets, managing potential liabilities by compensating for large bets. Bookmakers are interested in profit over the actual result! Back in 2012, Paddy Power originally had Danny Kennedy (1/2) as favourite for the UUP leadership and lost money when Mike Nesbitt (who started …

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Arlene Foster gives her party a chance to regroup and consider what sort of future it really wants…

So she’s gone. Or she’s rather going. Arlene has given less than a month’s notice that she is resigning from the party leadership on the 20th May and as First Minister at the end June (the end of political season in Northern Ireland). This seems calculated to take the steam of the present situation, and perhaps copying an old ploy of Peter Robinson’s in slowing things down a crisis in hopes of getting beyond it in some form of regular …

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Arlene Foster to step down as leader on 28 May and as First Minister at end of June

Arlene Foster’s statement this afternoon … A short time ago I called the Party Chairman to inform him that I intend to step down as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party on the twenty-eighth of May and as First Minister of Northern Ireland at the end of June. It is important to give space over the next few weeks for the Party Officers to make arrangements for the election of a new leader. When elected I will work with the …

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Is this an opportunity to re-align Unionist politics?

Religious allegiance in Northern Ireland however flawed or sincere in its’ expression has been a complex factor in shaping communal differences, loyalties, bigotry and conflict. In doing so it has served to successfully inoculate against the potential value of beneficial insight and teaching. Perhaps not as many as was once the case, there are those familiar with a parable found in the New Testament wherein ‘pouring new wine into old wineskins’ is not advised. Those qualified to comment more fully …

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Slugger TV-Brian Rowan talking about Political Purgatory

In this months Slugger TV I chat with the author of the new book Political Purgatory, Brian Rowan. – – – Added by Alan Meban … Throughout his reporting on the peace process, ceasefires and agreements, Rowan kept fastidious notes, filing away original copies of statements and creating a rich archive that he can dip back into. The passing of time – and often the death of actors from all sides of the Troubles – means that the publication of …

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Who can save the DUP?

In December of 2016 when Jonathan Bell revealed to Stephen Nolan the extent of the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) scandal, Arlene Foster’s tenure as leader of the DUP was over. This was a sliding doors moment for the DUP, Unionism, and Northern Ireland as a whole, by remaining in charge Arlene Foster has undoubtedly damaged all three entities when this scenario was avoidable had she resigned at the time. This week a significant number of DUP elected representatives including over …

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Letter allegedly signed by some 22 of her own MLAs does not augur well for Arlene Foster…

Well, there’s not much I can disagree with what Stephen says. But it looks like Sam McBride is calling time on Arlene’s brief rule at the top as 75% of her MLA’s signed a letter saying that they had no confidence in her. The BBC reports: It is understood 22 MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly), four MPs and one peer have already signed the letter. It is only a small number of the DUP membership who will get to …

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If Arlene Foster Goes, Who Steers The DUP Ship?

Rumours circulating on social media today, as well as reporting by The News Letter’s Sam McBride, indicate that Arlene Foster’s time at the helm of the DUP, and as First Minister, is coming to a close. If rumours are to be believed (and we all need a big dash of salt these days) then this is something outside of the First Minister’s immediate control. With plummeting polling numbers showing the DUP to drop below Sinn Fein in next year’s Assembly …

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DUP dissent and the MPs who advised the CEO of Mid and East Council to open negotiations with London…

So the other story today is that after many years of rumours, disquiet is emerging from DUP Associations over the leadership. Looking at the associations involved many of them (but not all) are associated with the party’s MPs. The proximate grievance seems to be the protocol and the fact that Arlene went ahead with a N/S meeting she previously had said she would not attend. It appears she promised not to do something she was legally bound to do. There’s …

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Former SF councillor Jonathan Dowdall appears in the Special Criminal Court on murder charge…

Erm, this wasn’t what I had planned to do next (I’m writing on the latest crisis of confidence inside the DUP), but it bears repeating here. Concerning Jonathan Dowdall, who was briefly an acolyte of no less a person than Mary Lou… …in the Special Criminal Court this morning he was charged with a single count of the murder of David Byrne at the hotel on the Swords Road, Drumcondra, on February 5, 2016. Det Gda Paul Darley, of Ballymun …

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Sinn Féin’s “leadership” purges the entire “leadership” of its Derry organisation ….

These days on Slugger (since Twitter stole our capacity to break news quickly), I often wait a few days before writing on a news story. But two this morning I think are worthy of immediate treatment. Eighteen months after they suffered one of the biggest negative swings in parliamentary history (18.5%), the Sinn Féin “leadership” in Belfast has sacked the entire “leadership” of Derry Sinn Féin. Aoife Moore reports in the Examiner: Multiple sources within the party North and South …

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Climate Dolmens Response to the Wildfire in the Mournes…

Michael Donnelly is a member of the Dolmens Climate Network Dolmens Climate Network, in south County Down, wishes to speak out in the aftermath of the massively destructive wildfire we just experienced in the Mournes. Our community right now is sad but also cross, frustrated, and determined that we all take this seriously and do something different. Thousands of acres of upland heath is burnt and we will never know how many animals have perished with their nests destroyed during …

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Northern Ireland at 100: Unionism failing; Nationalism stuck; Moderates thriving…

One hundred years after Partition, Northern Ireland is still in existence. It would surely come as a big surprise to many who thronged the streets of Belfast on June 22nd 1921 – the date King George V opened the first NI Parliament in City Hall – that unionism is now a minority in Stormont. It would also surely come as a big surprise to many nationalists in 1972 that the state set up to guarantee unionist rule in north-east Ireland …

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Ten Ways Irish Unity Could Benefit the Republic of Ireland…

The topic of Irish unity has been propelled into the mainstream of political debate to an extent that would have been inconceivable even five years ago. And it’s not just the usual Republican voices engaged either. Most of Nationalism’s moderate mainstream, plus some elements within Unionism, are also pondering the question of what form Northern Ireland’s future could or should take in a world where Brexit has happened and demography is shifting. It still remains very early days in that …

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Experts estimate that Covid-19 in India has left over a million dead so far…

It is hard to comprehend the sheer horror of the current C-19 crisis in India. This report from the New York Times makes harrowing reading: In India, people are dying while waiting to see doctors as the second wave of the coronavirus rapidly evolves into a devastating crisis, with mounting evidence that the actual death toll is far higher than officially reported. https://t.co/aWkyHU3qyF — The New York Times (@nytimes) April 24, 2021   Each day, the government reports more than …

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The GFA brought peace – but paramilitaries haven’t gone away

The Good Friday Agreement ended the bitter conflict, but failed to eliminate the poison of paramilitarism. In the latest Forward Together podcast interview recorded before the loyalist street riots protesting against the Brexit Protocol and the latest paramilitary shootings in Derry, Duncan Morrow considers the limitations of the GFA. Northern Ireland remains overshadowed by paramilitaries that claim a political motivation, yet are engaged in criminal enterprises that include the drug trade, protection rackets and loan sharking. Can the GFA now …

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