Archives For NI Politics

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“As the exhibition of Stormont artefacts draws to a close, I have written to express my thanks to the Assembly Commission for organising the event and to call for the provision of a permanent display of these and other artefacts owned by the Assembly.

“I have received many messages of appreciation in respect of the exhibition. A recurrent theme of these messages is dismay that the exhibits may be hidden away again, unable to be viewed and enjoyed by the public who own them.
“Many of these items are of particular significance and interest as we approach the centenary of Northern Ireland’s formation and whatever one thinks of those events surely we can all recognise the historic nature of the events.

“Portraits of former Prime Ministers JM Andrews and Viscount Craigavon, as well as others should remain on display. Yet they and other items, like the books recording the names of the civilian war dead from the Second World War and a beautiful relief map of Northern Ireland, seem set to be hidden under dust sheets again. Why should the display of the names of the civilian war dead offend anyone? And why should the taxpayer, who owns these items, pay £11,000 pa to hide them in a warehouse?”

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“Having spearheaded the campaign on the issue for a considerable period I welcome news that the Assembly Commission will at long last stage a  display of artefacts held by the Northern Ireland Assembly from 3rd to 28th of September.

“It will be open to the public in Room 114 during weekdays from 10am-4pm.

“Having had opportunity to view the material in storage some months ago I know that some marvellous works of art and memorabilia which is important to the history of Northern Ireland has been hidden under dust sheets for far too long.

“The portraits will, I believe, be of particular interest.

“As we approach the centenary of Northern Ireland there will doubtless be added interest in this material.

“While I would like to see the material on permanent display this is a welcome step in the right direction and would encourage people from across Northern Ireland to avail of the opportunity to view some of our history.”

This Stormont is not worth saving

Admin —  September 4, 2018

Statement by TUV Leader Jim Allister MLA:

“Mindless demands for the return of that which has failed, and will always fail, serves no useful purpose. 

“There is one very simple reason why these Stormont institutions will never work  – courtesy of mandatory coalition they depend on the grace and favour of Sinn Fein and since Sinn Fein does not want Northern Ireland to work, any system dependent for its operation on them will never work. Simple!

“So foolishly calling for the return of failure, rather than demanding the root and branch change necessary to enable Stormont to work, is empty headed.

“As we surpass Belgium for lack of government, it’s well past time for Westminster action. The first duty of government is to govern, yet HMG fiddles while administration logjams.

“If Stormont can’t be reformed into a system of workable devolution, then it’s time to move on and give us government from the only other place it can come from, London. Enough is enough!”

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“It is easy for Arlene Foster to shoot down the most extreme and long term goals of the Irish language zealots but it is also clear that she is dodging the key questions such as:

  1. Does Mrs Foster stand over her promise to the people ahead of the last Assembly election – “We will never accede to an Irish Language Act”?
  2. Are the DUP prepared to concede “rights based” legislation, whatever it is called, which will open the door to perpetual judicial reviews funded by the taxpayer?
  3. Are the DUP prepared to give Irish official language status in Northern Ireland with all the resulting ramifications which arise from that including an expectation that Irish speakers will be dealt with in Irish by the civil service and public bodies? If that happens non-Irish speakers will be discriminated against as there will be roles they simply cannot perform.
  4. Are the DUP prepared to lift the ban on Irish in the courts with all the ramifications that will have for employment of non-Irish speakers within the legal profession and indeed the administration of justice?
  5. Are the DUP prepared to commit to equal status with English?
  6.      Are the DUP prepared to concede a language enforcer in the form of a Commissioner with statutory powers?
  7.       Has the DUP abandoned its previous position of opposition to more expenditure on the Irish language?

“The long-term goals of Sinn Fein/IRA and the Irish language lobby are clear. Any legislative provision for Irish has been repeatedly categorically ruled out by the DUP and they will not be permitted to go back on their word. I suspect that the strength of the reaction to suggestions that the DUP are preparing to move on the issue has forced Mrs Foster into making her comments today. The reaction of the Unionist grassroots on social media is there for all to see. Unionism is in no mood to compromise on this issue, not least because the Welsh and Scottish experience proves that a single Act would not be the end of the matter, but the beginning of a rolling process of ever expanding ‘rights’.”

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-

“With Sinn Fein and the aggressive Irish language showing no sign of retreating from their destructive demand for Irish Language legislation it is looking increasingly likely that the centrepiece of any deal will be a DUP climbdown.

“Even more important than the embarrassment in the DUP’s dietary switch from curried yoghurt to humble pie, will be the irreversible republican advance in hollowing out the Britishness of Northern Ireland. Moreover, success for Sinn Fein’s politics of ransom guarantees more instability, not less, as the lesson will not be lost on them.

“In 2014 Gregory Campbell boasted to the DUP party conference to wild applause:
“We’ll say it slowly so that you understand Caitríona and Gerry – we will never agree to your Irish Language Act. Do you understand? The paper that your wish list is written on well, we’ll just regard it as toilet paper.”

“A question which the DUP now has to face is – is the Sinn Fein wish list still “toilet paper” or or is it now the programme for government?

“It doesn’t matter if the Act is wrapped up with a few tartan bows for the sake of the optics. What matters is what is actually in the legislation. If, as Sinn Fein demand, it is legislation of substance, then it will a key part of fusing Northern Ireland into Gaelic Ireland.

“DUP MLAs who won their seats on the back of a campaign premised on “not feeding the crocodile” would do well to reflect long and hard before rolling over on this issue. Having promised repeatedly that there will never be an Irish Language Act on her watch the Unionist community will be looking to Mrs Foster to deliver.

“There is no case for further legislative provision for Irish. The Irish language school sector is lavishly funded by the state. Indeed, Irish medium schools receive preferential treatment with the threshold for opening one much, much lower than that for other sectors. They have a North-South promotional body with executive powers.

“The pronouncements of Irish language zealots on the media in recent days should leave no one in any doubt that regardless of any safeguards which may or may not be built into any legislation agreed now it will be the launching pad for an ongoing cultural war on unionists.”

Statement by TUV Leader Jim Allister:-

“In 2012 Stormont persuaded the EU Commission to approve its RHI Scheme. The EU document giving approval declared only “useful heat” would be eligible, thus, eliminating any incentive for deliberately wasting heat to receive payments.

“Yet, it is patently obvious this assurance was not kept.

“How and why were such assurances given, only to be breached? Thus, an additional consequence of the RHI fiasco could ultimately be EU infraction proceedings and huge fines on Stormont.

“To help flush this matter out I have written in the terms below to the Economy minister. I look forward to his reply!”


Note to Editor – Letter to Economy Minister


Dear Minister,

Re: Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme

I have a number of queries arising from EU Commission approval of the above scheme as reflected in this Commission document issued on 12 June 2012:

Paragraph 25 records “Only ‘useful heat’ is eligible for payment under the RHI scheme …. This eliminates any incentive for deliberately wasting heat to receive payments.”

Paragraph 34 says, “In order not to provide perverse incentives to waste heat, each reference installation is calibrated to have a specific load factor and the tariff is calculated with reference to that load factor.”

My first query is to invite you to confirm that the Commission was able to reach these conclusions on the basis of information and assurances provided by DETI? And, where and how can that be accessed?

Secondly, where precisely within the various regulations governing the scheme and within the standard letter of offer, are the provision for the stipulations approved by the Commission in paragraphs 25 and 34?

Thus, where is the “useful heat” condition stipulated and the referenced calibration provided for within the regulations governing the scheme?

Finally, in terms of the contractual relationship between the department and the beneficiaries am I right to conclude that the defining document is the letter of accreditation issued to each approved applicant. I would appreciate as early a response as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Allister MLA

The TUV’s 2015 conference will take place on Saturday 28th November in the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick with public events starting at 11am.

As well as a range of topics covered by members of the party, Labour MP for Vauxhall Kate Hoey will as a special guest delivery a keynote speech in support of UK exit from the EU.  Kate Hoey, Labour MP Vauxhall, was born and educated in Northern Ireland and is Co-chair of the Labour Leave group. She will be addressing the Conference on the upcoming referendum and why people in Northern Ireland should vote to leave the EU.

Commenting ahead of the conference TUV leader Jim Allister said:

“By the end of 2017 TUV will have campaigned in not one but two key polls for the party.

“Next year’s Assembly election is of course crucial and will be an opportunity for the people of Northern Ireland to pass their verdict on five years of deadlock and an executive which contains Ministers who take their directions from the IRA Army Council.

“Equally TUV sees the referendum on EU membership as a core issue for our nation. For the first time in a generation we have the opportunity to liberate the UK from the shackles of Brussels, put an end to the flow of our tax money to an institution which is incapable of reform and regain control of our borders. David Cameron’s letter yesterday showed that his much vaunted “renegotiation” won’t achieve anything of substance even if his requests are met. The only answer is for the UK to leave the EU.

“Kate is one of the most articulate champions of the Vote Leave campaign and I am delighted that she will be addressing our conference on this important matter.”

Statement by Jim Allister MLA:

“I am saddened to hear that the B&Q outlet in Braid Retail Park in Ballymena is set to be closed by the end of 2016.

“My immediate thoughts are with the employees who will be greatly impacted by the loss of this store, and over the next 15 months I hope every effort will be made by B&Q to assist them move forward.

“Big companies leaving Ballymena with the inevitable loss of jobs is not a good news story. There is a big hole to fill, and I hope other retailers will show interest in taking on the site and create new jobs.”

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Deputy Mayor, Cllr Timothy Gaston continued:

“I was absolutely shocked to hear this from a major UK retailer such as B&Q. My heartfelt sympathies are with the employees and their families as they come to terms with the closure in 2016.

“Ballymena is a vibrant town, and one which is open for business. I will play my part to attract new businesses in and I hope a new retailer will come forward to plug this substantial gap.”

Belfast Agreement Devolution Unfixable

Admin —  September 21, 2015

Statement by Jim Allister MLA:

“The very fact that for the umpteenth time crisis talks are starting at Stormont is irrefutable evidence for even the slowest of learners that Belfast Agreement devolution is unfixable. Yet, once more, Northern Ireland is to be subjected to the frustration of failed politicians jockeying to apply sticking plaster to that which will never work. The only difference this time is that the proceedings have the added grotesque spectacle of unionists sweeping IRA murder under the carpet as an essential to saving their ministerial careers.

“If the talks participants truly had the interests of the people of Northern Ireland at heart they’d stop the pretence and face the reality that mandatory coalition is irretrievably unworkable, because it defies the most basic tenets of democracy – the right to vote parties out of government and the right to an Opposition. Only voluntary coalition checked by a vibrant Opposition can ever hope to work.

“So as the ‘jobs for the boys’ brigade set about their latest deception and some compliant media outlets suspend their critical faculties, TUV will continue to ensure thinking unionists and democrats are not bereft of an alternative vision that would work, as opposed to the perpetual failure of the Belfast Agreement devolution.”

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“The IRA death threat received by Martina McDonnell, a close friend of the McGuigan family, illustrates that while Unionists pontificate about Sinn Fein needing to admit that the IRA exists or practice political hokey cokey with their executive Ministers Republicans linked to a party of government continue to rule communities by fear and the threat of the gun.

“With a mother of five receiving a sympathy card from the IRA containing a bullet because of her friendship with the family of an IRA murder victim no one should be in any doubt as to the nature of the movement Unionists have ushered into the heart of government.

“What is needed is not crisis talks to get a morally bankrupt system back up and running but a facing down of Sinn Fein/IRA and the bringing to justice of those behind murder and intimidation.

“The present system which sees Sinn Fein/IRA Ministers remain in office cannot be defended by anyone committed to democracy and the rule of law. It needs to go and go now.

“However it is dressed up no fancy formula of words and no shiny new IMC will change the fact that the IRA retain weapons and reserve the right to use them. I don’t believe that Sinn Fein/IRA will accede to the UUP demand that they admit the IRA exists but so what if they did? Would that stop incidents like this?

“And what of the DUP position? By re-nominating Ministers yesterday and leaving Arlene Foster in post as DFP Minister and acting First Minister they sustain Sinn Fein in office – a party which they themselves say is “inextricably linked” to those who have recently shot a man in the streets of our capital city and who are now sending out threats to kill those who associated with him.”