The pros and cons of being Arlene – Jude Collins

Ian Óg Paisley has backtracked once again and apologises for his outrageous allegation to Sam McBride of the Belfast News Letter

“If You Have Border Installations, People Will Shoot at Them”

The downsides of no devolution for the DUP – Slugger O’Toole

DUP claims on backstop bordering on the ridiculous

The truth is no-one in the DUP understands the EU legal order. All they do is parrot the equally ignorant Conservative Brexiteers whom they revere. What suckers they are.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with DUP leader Arlene Foster

YOU’D wonder why anyone here takes seriously the nonsense DUP MPs spout every time they speak about Brexit on radio or TV.

It may be because, with the distinguished exception of local BBC’s Economics and Business Editor, John Campbell, most interviewers don’t have enough knowledge of the detail of borders, customs and so on, to avoid bursting out laughing when the likes of Jeffrey Donaldson or Sammy Wilson deliver another load of garbage. It’s been going on now for over three years. Donaldson, self-appointed expert on imaginary technology at frontiers, repeatedly assured interviewers and listeners that trade would be ‘frictionless’. He gave the US-Canada border as an example. That proved to be untrue. He then gave the Norway-Sweden border as an example. Also untrue.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson

He could not name any device which would successfully monitor vehicles and their contents, let alone animals alive or dead crossing a border. Despite EU officials examining in vain every border that exists. Donaldson kept insisting with no evidence whatsoever that such technology does exist. It doesn’t. His equally evidentially challenged colleague Spluttering Sammy, a man who looks as if he doesn’t know whether to be angry or indignant, regularly dumped similar garbage loads, though with more sound and fury signifying nothing. The truth is no one in the DUP understands the EU legal order. All they do is parrot the equally ignorant Conservative Brexiteers whom they revere. What suckers they are.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson

Tony Blair’s former chief of staff and general factotom, Jonathan Powell, who does understand the EU legal order, admirably summed up the trilemma in a letter to the Times last week. He wrote that, since the UK is leaving the customs union and the single market, and Johnson apparently favours a Canada-style trade deal, then, ‘there will have to be a border somewhere. It can be between the North of Ireland and the Republic, between the North of Ireland and the rest of the UK, or between the island of Ireland and the rest of the EU.’ As Powell acknowledged, the Republic is staying in the EU’s single market and customs union, therefore ‘to suggest that a common agricultural area for the island and some cobbled-together ideas about trusted trader schemes solves [the border], is nonsense.’

On the other hand, as the Republic’s finance minister Pascal Donohoe said on Monday, the UK intends to abandon EU regulations to acquire trading advantages. In short, despite the mendacious spin emanating from Downing Street, the UK is miles from a resolution. Furthermore, even if Johnson proposed something workable, which he won’t, he couldn’t get it through Westminster because he has no majority for anything. In any case, Britain has not advanced any proposals on anything. There has been no progress at all as the aftermath of Monday’s lunch fiasco made clear. The most depressing aspect of the performance of the DUP is not that they’re laying; they’re not. They unload garbage because they don’t know what they’re talking about. They have never uttered a single syllable on their own initiative. Instead, they took as gospel rubbish spewed out by men in the Conservative party who have no knowledge of the EU, but more importantly, couldn’t care less about anything or anyone on this island as the evidence of the referendum and Theresa May’s ‘red lines’ demonstrates conclusively.

Rather than think for themselves, or for the benefit of people here, the DUP’s MPs buy all this garbage and then regurgitate it on the airwaves here. They are the Conservative Party’s useful idiots, stooges. Now belatedly poor Donaldson is being sent out to prepare the party faithful for a U-turn on regulatory divergence. Conceding it on agri-food, as he did on RTE, means conceding the principle of no divergence on anything. What’s the argument against divergence on alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals? Why is he doing it? He knows that’s the direction of travel in Johnson’s cabinet. How far will the DUP go? Anywhere Johnson wants.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and

Brian Feeney

Brian Feeney for the original story.


A general election could see the DUP ousted by Northern Ireland’s Remain voters | Prospect Magazine

Three DUP MPs at risk in snap general election, polls suggest

The DUP’s 10 MPs: Gregory Campbell, Nigel Dodds, Jeffrey Donaldson, Paul Girvan, Emma Little Pengelly, Ian Paisley JR, Gavin Robinson, Jim Shannon, David Simpson and Sammy Wilson with party leader Arlene Foster

Statistical analysis of polling trends has suggested up to three DUP MPs could lose their seats in a snap general election.

Speculation has been mounting Prime Minister Boris Johnson could attempt to call an election for November in a bid to bolster his support in the House of Commons.

The Conservative party – which has a confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP for the support of its 10 MPs – has a working majority of just one in the Commons.

In a report in the Sunday Times, Belfast-based pollsters LucidTalk suggest DUP MP Emma Little Pengelly will lose her seat based on analysis from polling firm YouGov.

It suggests Alliance could dramatically take the seat with 35% of the vote with Ms Pengelly taking 21% – a drop of nine points – with the SDLP, which previously held the seat coming in with 11%.

Elsewhere LucidTalk’s analysis suggests Gavin Robinson’s East Belfast seat and Paul Girvan’s South Antrim seat could be vulnerable to an Alliance challenge.

The study suggests in both constituencies the DUP are marginally ahead of Alliance.

In East Belfast, which Naomi Long famously wrestled from the clutches of Peter Robinson, the party is sitting on 41% support, two points behing the DUP.

While in South Antrim, the party could see its vote share soar to 32%, one behind the DUP, the polling suggests. In the last general election the party managed a 7.4% share of the vote.

Alliance has seen a surge in its vote at the ballot box during the Stormont stasis.

In May’s European Elections Naomi Long took the second seat after weeks of specualtion she could pinch the third seat from the UUP.

And just weeks earlier in the local government elections, the party broke new ground in constituencies it had never had representation before and saw its vote share increase almost 5% to 11.5%.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story