Socrates Quotes

Monday, 2 February 2009

DUP hard liners sticking it out before comfortable exile?

Before Paisley led his party into a power sharing deal with Sinn Féin there were numerous stories of unhappy DUP members - remember the twelve apostles?

The ending of dual mandates will leave the party with an easy get out for some of its more senior members who just aren't all that enamoured with such a close association with Sinn Féin. Rather than the threat of jumping ship to Jim Allister and his TUV misfits, they can be rewarded with a seat in Westminster - 'the motherland's legislature' - for an easy life well away from the day to day dealings with abstentionist republicans.

An end to dual mandates should, in theory, see the most talented representatives stay in the regional legislature to deal with the vast majority of legislation (policing and justice should also be devolved by this time leaving even less of a role for NI MPs). But some may prefer the more palatable idea of a comfortable life sitting only on the green benches.

It is also an obvious way for Peter Robinson to ship some of the old Paisleyites out of the way. So a future Assembly could well see no Paisley Jnr, no Willie McCrea, no David Simpson, perhaps even current Culture Minister Gregory Campbell might be among the exiles?

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