Arlene must tell us if she agrees with Peter Robinson’s option of Assembly withdrawal to fight the protocol

Peter Robinson under arrest at Clontibret 1986 Arlene Foster has all but declared the DUP’s lack of confidence in the UK government’s efforts to renegotiate the protocol. From the sidelines her predecessor Peter Robinson is  tempting her to contemplate doing something more dramatic about it than protest. With his acute ear he has picked up the drumbeats not only from the DUP core but from the loyalist undergrowth. Cannily  attempting to insure against taking the blame for another “flegs” debacle, …

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Peter Robinson urges the DUP to drop their ban on an Irish Language Act and get real about restoring Stormont

  Elder statesmen a.k.a. retired politicians often grow wiser in retirement after shedding the burdens of office and the cares of  party management. Sometimes their advice is welcome; sometimes it’s a stalking horse for a change of direction by their successors; sometimes it’s an embarrassment to them. We will soon know which it is this time. Conforming to type, Peter Robinson, for over forty years the usually steely self- disciplined deputy leader  then leader of the DUP  has offered some …

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Did Peter Robinson blunder into the border poll debate too early?

Coming late to the Peter Robinson speech at Glenties and its aftermath, I’m struck by two elements of it, one of which has been hardly picked up. In the text I was offered, the discussion of a border poll which overshadowed the rest of it didn’t appear at all. Tommie Gorman of RTE has explained. I chaired the Friday evening session (27 July) in the Glenties Highlands Hotel where Peter Robinson was the guest speaker. The references to a united Ireland …

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Mike Nesbitt “Rather than Carson’s dream of a government for all, we are hurtling into the record books for the length of time we have had no government for anyone”

Mike Nesbitt has released a response to Peter Robinson’s comments on a border poll; “A couple of months ago, Peter Robinson said he was pulling the pin out of the grenade – a curious analogy for a man making his inaugural speech as an Honorary Professor of Peace Studies. He was referring to the manner in which a Border Poll might be called and conducted, an issue he returned to in great detail last week. It is time to explore …

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Peter Robinson speaks to Nolan about Jim Wells comments

Just a quick catch up on this story; Mr Wells accused party leader Arlene Foster of not standing by him. “Peter Robinson made the commitment that I would return,” the South Down MLA said. “Then Arlene took over as leader and Arlene, as leader of the party officers, ignored my two written requests for that commitment to be honoured,” he added. Former DUP Leader Peter Robinson spoke to Nolan today about the topic which is worth a listen and analysis …

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Clinton: “Keep the cranes up. Keep the voices free. Keep the votes fair. You’ll figure it out.” #GFA20

Political leaders of old and today gathered at Queen’s University, Belfast for a day of events focussed on the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that people “should realise that this agreement was never going to support all the problems of Northern Ireland” while former US President Bill Clinton had a triptych of advice for NI: “Keep the cranes up. Keep the voices free. Keep the votes fair. You’ll figure it out.”

10 years on from Ian Paisley’s departure

10 years ago today, Ian Paisley announced he was resigning was DUP and First Minister. He didn’t officially go until May. Paisley was succeeded by his long time deputy, Peter Robinson. In a rare moment of North-South cooperation, Bertie Ahern stood down as Taoiseach at the same time and was also succeeded by his Finance Minister, Brian Cowen. Here is the story breaking on UTV and his interview with the station Political Editor, Ken Reid   David McCannDavid McCann holds …

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1991: Negotiating a Strand 2 talks venue + complaints that Paisley was locked out of his toilet #20YearRule

One single buff-coloured file, three or four inches thick, contains the stapled minutes of NIO meetings with political parties in May 1991 as they negotiated about the strand one, two and three talks. While perhaps the single most frustrating file I’ve flicked through in PRONI over the last couple of years, the level of detail in the civil service minutes of meetings is incredible, and the retention of humorous asides provides a lot of colour about the characters involved and their relationships.

“worthy actions are more convincing that the spoken word in demonstrating change….”

Worth listening to Peter Robinson’s thoughts on working with Martin McGuinness: While the media obsessed over any difficulty or disagreement that from time to time would arise because of our distinct political mandates we would have been sitting down seeking to find a solution or working out how we would manage the differences. There never were any tantrums. Yelling and screaming were not part of Martin’s temperament. Even after my retirement and through his illness we met, spoke by phone …

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Robinson “step back, take a breath and ensure there is sufficient space for an agreement to be reached in the calmer times that follow the hustings”

Former First Minister, Peter Robinson has taken to Facebook to give his views on the most recent election. He has allowed us to re-post his views on Slugger Over the past few weeks many of you have sent me messages asking for my views on recent events. When I retired as First Minister and Party Leader, I determined not to be enticed into providing a running commentary on local political events. The level of peace and stability that has characterised …

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The Irish language hasn’t gone away you know

I’m back at work though suffering with a cold, flu or ‘man-flu’.   I don’t like feeling congested at the best of times.  Being back at work at the start of a cold and wet January doesn’t brighten my mood. This is all put in perspective by Martin McGuinness who has serious health issues, it seems.   I wish him a speedy recovery.   Nara fada go raibh tú ar do shean léim!     In the light of his …

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After the election, the DUP have a new leader and a hard won joint agenda with Sinn Fein

I’m not sure I’ve read a convincing account of why the DUP won back most of their high tide mandate so convincingly and with such ease. One of the more obvious reasons for that is that the DUP is probably the party most members of the media love to hate most. It’s hard for many of us to forget the transgressions of the Paisley years. But the man who put in the footings of this more modern (and more female) …

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Robinson: ‘ I hereby resign the office of First Minister with confidence that the political institutions we have together created will be here for generations to come’

Remarks by outgoing First Minister, Peter Robinson; I am grateful for the opportunity to make this statement. It is typical of the fairness and courtesy you have demonstrated during your time in office that you provided me with this opportunity and made all the necessary arrangements. I can assure you that I do not intend to trespass on your generosity by speaking too long. Mr Speaker, it has been a great privilege to serve the people of Northern Ireland for …

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The Mechanics of the DUP Leadership

INSIDE THE TENT: The cloak and dagger nature of the DUP’s latest episode of leadership change provides us an excuse to revisit Hugo Young’s wonderful description of how, prior to 1965, the British Conservative Party handled the tricky process of succession. Tory leaders were, Young observed, ‘removed and replaced by the informal alchemy of a charmed circle of elders’.

Party faithful pay tribute to Robinson as he “steps back from front line politics & steps out of the limelight” #dup15

There were few surprises during the Saturday sessions of the DUP conference. While the next party leader and First Minister were anointed with praise, neither Nigel Dodds or Arlene Foster were taking anything for granted and second guessing the inevitable view of the elected representatives who will shortly back their formal promotion to new roles. There was a sense of “less is more” about the agenda, with many loose cannons and critical friends “being seen but not heard”. Other than …

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Martin McGuinness: “if the governments move as speedily as we have done, all of this could move very quickly”

After 9 weeks of behind-closed-doors talks, including an exclusive, super-sekrit, meeting in Downing Street with David Cameron, and a less sekrit meeting with Enda Kenny, the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers emerged blinking into the light today to inform the waiting press that… “The core of that agreement, the substance, has already been agreed in dialogue terms between Sinn Féin and the DUP,” [Peter Robinson] said. [added emphasis] So they haven’t put it in writing yet, never mind agreed it …

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