An open letter to Jeffrey and Doug

Now the dust has settled on the turmoil at the top of the two main unionist parties for the foreseeable future, we’ve had a wide range of commentators telling us what challenges they face and what is likely to define their tenure of office.  Many of them were from various hues of non or anti-unionist opinion advising unionists on the way forward. But the two leaders (initially at least) would do better to focus on the thoughts and feelings of …

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Gordon Lyons appointed Economy Minister…

Poor old Paul Frew, he was only in the job two weeks and now he is out. Gordon Lyons has been appointed to replace Paul Frew as NI economy minister, Democratic Unionist Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has announcedhttps://t.co/W3daqI81OS — BBC News NI (@BBCNewsNI) July 6, 2021 From his profile, it seems the 35 year old Gordon Lyons has never had a job outside of politics. He was an assistant to Sammy Wilson before becoming an MLA. At this point, …

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North Down MLA Alex Easton resigns from the DUP…

Jeffrey Donaldson is only into the job of DUP leader for a few hours and already his unruly colleagues are giving him trouble. Alex Easton said he will stand as an independent in the next election. He said: “I’ve given 21 years of my life to the DUP, sometimes to the detriment of my health & well-being. It has been extremely lonely at times for me, & few have cared how I have felt.” I have had to stand back …

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The Northern Ireland Protocol: The High Court has its say

Who knew constitutional law could be so dramatic? The High Court has dismissed a legal challenge to the Northern Ireland Protocol by several unionist politicians. The political ramifications are likely to carry us through July, a traditionally calm month in Northern Ireland. As always when there’s a high-profile judgment, people will take what they can and use it for political capital. You wouldn’t think the unionist claimants had lost. Others seem to think the matter is settled and we should …

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Five challenges for the new DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson…

After Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was formally endorsed as the next DUP leader on Saturday, it’s becoming clearer that not much else has changed apart from the headman. Questions remain regarding how they can revive the political beast that has managed to stay at the top of Northern Ireland politics for close to two decades. The following are five evident challenges that Sir Jeffrey and the rest of his party must tackle in the coming weeks and months. Uniting the party …

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How the NI Protocol protects the Agreement

To the chagrin of Unionist politicians, it’s often emphasised by the four governments (UK, Ireland, EU, and US) that the Northern Ireland Protocol exists to protect the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement. For reasons which are understandable when examined in isolation, Unionism feels let down by the promise of the Agreement. I can see where they are coming from. The Agreement is based on cross community consent; the Protocol does not recognise this. British citizens are asked to …

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Jeffrey Donaldson elected new leader of the DUP…

Can he beat the previous record of 21 days? Will he be the First Minister? Popcorn at the ready… https://t.co/iNLMC6xsBe pic.twitter.com/dgAN09b2U0 — DUP (@duponline) June 22, 2021 Brian O'NeillI help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff. Ian Marshall joins the UUP…South Korean TV images used to represent each nation in the Olympics…In England crops are left to rot as there are not enough workers to pick them…Set your Author Custom HTML Tab Content …

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SluggerTV – the DUP melodrama episode

Commentators Tim Cairns and Sarah Creighton joined Slugger O’Toole’s deputy editor David McCann to discuss the dramatic loss of a second leader and the challenges ahead for the DUP in the latest episode of SluggerTV. What tipped the balance to end Edwin Poots’ leadership? How will the next leader be different? If there’s a by-election in Lagan Valley, might Brenda Hale run for the DUP, and what about the chances of Alliance’s Sorcha Eastwood and UUP’s Robbie Butler? What’s Edwin …

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Poots “Ultimately it was my intention had we not got success on the Protocol… then I would have been prepared to pull Paul Givan out of that job”

Outgoing DUP Leader, Edwin Poots sat down with SKY News Correspondent, David Blevins to talk about the events of last week. In the interview he made a defence of keeping the Assembly to fight the protocol; My focus was on the Northern Ireland Protocol first and foremost because constitutionally that is what is damaging Northern Ireland. “Our best asset at this moment in time in fighting the Protocol is actually having the Assembly.” He also spoke about nominating Paul Givan …

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Jeffrey Donaldson declares his candidacy for DUP Leader

[email protected]_Donaldson_MP confirms his candidacy for DUP leader pic.twitter.com/sArllHCNqL — Enda McClafferty (@endamcclafferty) June 21, 2021 David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs Poots “Ultimately it was my intention had we not got success on the Protocol… then I would have been prepared to pull Paul Givan out of that job”Jeffrey Donaldson declares his candidacy for DUP LeaderVaradkar “I believe in the unification of our island and I …

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Don’t gloat; the DUP’s emotional spasms could spell trouble for all of us

Bogeyman Brendan Gloating over the chaos in the DUP may be understandable and even enjoyable. But it is not a sufficient response to what seems to be going on.  The full gamut of resentment at the state of politics has come to the surface of the DUP and there are dangers in it for everybody. In the present circumstances their cup runneth over. The British government are as much to blame as republicans.   First their betrayal over the protocol , …

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Arlene Foster, yes but spare us the revisionism.

Although by now it seems that the four days since Arlene Foster resignation as First Minister seems like ancient history, given all that’s subsequently occurred, it remains important that the appalling revisionism over her tenure is addressed – from a unionist perspective. In common with most ousted unionist leaders since O’Neill, Arlene is already being presented as a progressive moderniser undermined by the hardcore.  Her own allies are peddling this notion, as are nationalist commentators, both for their own ends. …

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Edwin Poots has resigned as the leader of the DUP…

They used to say a week is a long time in politics, but in this new fast-moving social media age a day is a long time in politics. This morning Edwin Poots looked like he managed to fudge the issue of the Irish Language Act, by the end of the day he was gone as DUP leader. Only 20 days in office, absolutely extraordinary. This is a developing story, we will add any updates as we get more info. pic.twitter.com/cgI4GwcWaj …

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Et tu, Sammy? The knifes comes out for Edwin…

Wow, what a day. The putsch that overthrew Arlene Foster has been met with a counterattack against the new leadership of Edwin Poots. DUP politicians voted 20 to 4 against nominating Paul Givan, but the nomination still went ahead. I understand @duponline reps voted 24-4 AGAiNST nominating — Gareth Gordon (@BBCGarethG) June 17, 2021 A succession of DUP politicians has refused to back their new leader, even the ones who originally supported him. Does Sammy Wilson have confidence in Edwin …

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Stormont crisis averted. Until the next crisis…

So to no great surprise to anyone, Sinn Fein and the DUP have agreed to fudge the issue of the Irish Language Act. They have run to colonial daddy to implement the legislation for them at Westminster. BBC News: NI ministerial nominations due as Stormont stand-off ends BBC News – NI ministerial nominations due as Stormont stand-off endshttps://t.co/ybxWhPftU5 A Secretary of State intervenes to save the Assembly at Sinn Fein's behest. Now we've seen it all. — Brian Walker (@bwalker347) …

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A departing Lee Reynolds puts the boot into team Poots…

Lee Reynolds is no more as Special Adviser to Arlene Foster. Writing in today’s Irish News he is very forthright in his views about the current mess the DUP finds itself in. Some choice extracts: Partly DUP princelings coming to avenge their forefathers and claim their entitlement but supplemented by MLAs genuinely concerned about the upcoming elections. It is the DUP brand that is in greater trouble. Arlene Foster’s popularity had dropped but not as much the DUP’s. Does the …

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Will the potential deconstruction of the DUP see the beginning of the end of these monolithic political partnerships in Northern Ireland?

Cllr Brian Pope, Party Group Leader (Alliance), Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council  Whether the latest DUP upheavals will result in a fractured party is of less interest than the impact it might have on its uneasy alliance with Sinn Féin. Ever since the St Andrew’s Agreement was signed, in 2006, we have been caught in a grip of an apparently immovable object – that being the DUP / Sinn Féin coalition. Some may herald the success of this uneasy partnership, …

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SOAPBOX: As things go from bad to worse, the DUP can’t avoid the ripples of the ‘Beattie Bounce’

Dr. Clare Rice is a postdoctoral researcher at Newcastle University: a specialist in power-sharing and Northern Ireland’s politics. She tweets as @Clare_Rice_. All views expressed are the author’s own. The word ‘honeymoon’ evokes sentiments of a relaxing, happy and easy-going time. The big event is over, and in the bubble of positivity that follows, the focus shifts to the future. For Edwin Poots, this phase has been as good as non-existent since he became the new DUP Leader. The unceremonious …

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UK Secretary of State Brandon Lewis champions liberal reform to save the Union and throws down the gauntlet to the DUP

This just could be significant.   In the Sunday Times, the emergence of a pro Union liberal reform strategy acceptable across the community from the British government. It appears  to remove the last vestige  of the UK government dancing to the DUP’s tune. At  the most sensitive moment imaginable, just before  Edwin Poots nominates a still unknown First Minister, Brandon Lewis  presents a frontal challenge to the DUP.  This has been simmering for some time but I never thought it would …

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Fragmented Unionism and Broad Churches…

It has long been the formula within political Unionism that if a Unionist party is both united and able to accommodate a broad church of Unionist opinion then it will be the dominant Unionist party. In many ways this formula has never been attained within political Unionism, however, in recent times it’s becoming more difficult to find a party that can solve this formula, and never has this been more apparent than now. However, is the formula relevant in 2021 …

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