Archives For NI Politics

Unionists (Again) Get Nothing

Admin —  September 15, 2015

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“It is now clear that the Government has decided to call the bluff of weak Unionism.

“Having heard it all before when it came to OTR letters and the graduated response they, like the electorate, clearly don’t take the threats of Unionists seriously anymore and have decided to give the DUP – or for that matter the UUP – nothing of what they demanded before going into talks.

“Having failed to secure the adjournment of the Assembly the Government then refused to grant the DUP’s demanded suspension. With today’s statement the Secretary of State has even refused to throw them the bone of a new IMC. Useless as it would have been the establishment of such a body could have been dressed up by the DUP and UUP as the Government at least giving ground which would have fed into the choreography leading up to new talks.

“Having failed to do that it is hard to escape the conclusion that Westminster sees Peter Robinson as a lame duck leader. Having served his purpose in getting the DUP into government with Sinn Fein – and got them so comfortable in that position that they will seemingly do anything to keep the executive alive – they have obviously calculated that there is no longer any reason to help him.

“It’s time to end the charade and progress to an election.”

What Did DUP Know about IRA?

Admin —  September 15, 2015

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“In May 2007, following the appointment of Peter Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson to the Privy Council, the DUPboasted that this would mean they would have access to secret intelligence on the IRA and loyalist paramilitaries from MI5 and other security agencies.

“In the eight years since the DUP has had nothing to say about either the IRA’s existence or its activity. If the Chief Constable and the Secretary of State knew the IRA still existed, then, mustn’t DUP Privy Councillors, who claim briefings by MI5, have also known? So, why did they cover it up? Is the surprise now professed mere surprise that that which has been concealed has come to light, disturbing their place in government with the political wing of the IRA?

“The DUP having made great play of their inside track on intelligence must now explain themselves and explain why in April 2012  Mr Donaldson gave the IRA a clean bill of health?

“Given the events of recent weeks therefore a question obviously arises – just what did the DUP Privy Councillors know about the continued existence of the IRA, its command structure and its access to guns?

“Were the DUP conned in 2007 when they believed that membership of the Privy Council would enable them to make a judgement on the IRA or have they kept their knowledge under wraps for the sake of political office?

“If the DUP were conned over what they would know through membership of the Privy Council – which in 2007 they claimed would give them access to additional information to that available through IMC reports – why should they have confidence in a reheated IMC?”

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“DUP MLAs not turning up for debates in the Assembly chamber and withdrawing from question time shouldn’t fool anyone.

“Due to their shameless backpedalling on the pledge to leave the executive they sustain Sinn Fein/IRA Ministers in office. In fact, had the Business Committee agreed to an adjournment as requested by the DUP last week all Ministers would have remained in office – the only difference being that they wouldn’t be subject to the scrutiny of Assembly questions.

“No amount of DUP stunts will obscure the reality that a party which they themselves acknowledge is inextricably linked to the IRA remains in the government of Northern Ireland because they failed to resign all their Ministers from the executive.

“Unionists who have witnessed the graduated response, the threatened resignation over the OTR issue and numerous other shams will not be fooled by the latest playacting.”

First Stage of New SpAd Bill Today

Admin —  September 14, 2015

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“Today I moved the first stage of my new Special Advisers Bill. The Bill is designed to curb the Stormont Executive’s excessive spend on Special Advisers by reducing the number of SpAds in OFMdFM from 8 to 4 and linking their salaries to the senior civil service pay band for Assistant Secretaries (Grade 5).

“The legislation also seeks to make Special Advisers subject to the prevailing Civil Service disciplinary processes and prevent ministers blocking discipline. Thus it would help to avoid a repeat of Stephen Brimstone’s unpunished treatment of Lisburn councilor Jenny Palmer during the Red Sky affair.

“The legislation was out for consultation during the Summer and the proposals received a warm welcome with over 98% of the 148 respondents agreeing that there was a case for reform.

“When one considers the number of Special Advisers employed at Stormont and contrasts it with the other devolved regions of the UK the case for reform is compelling. Northern Ireland has 19 SpAds while Scotland has 14.

“Over the Summer the Welsh Government published details of the number and cost of Special Adviser employed in Cardiff. They get by with 9 – less than half the number employed by Stormont. The paybill was also revealed. For the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015 the cost of Welsh Government SpAds totalled £626,995. The Stormont SpAd pay bill (at over two million) is more than three times that.

“This Bill will test the platitudes of MLAs in professing opposition to waste as against what they actually do. I trust all can unite around these essential and measured proposals.”

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“Today’s comments by Sinn Fein Northern Ireland chairman Bobby Storey about the IRA “butterfly” and McGuinness’s remarks about state agents being behind two recent murders would be laughable were the issues involved not deadly serious.

“Again we have underscored for us the reality that Sinn Fein are strangers to truth. What sort of fools do they take people for? Yet it’s worth noting that this is the party both the DUP and UUP look set to join round the negotiating table tomorrow.

“Republicans clearly think they will ultimately be able to get away with this just as they did with the murders of Robert McCartney and Paul Quinn and the Northern Bank robbery.

“We are long past the point when all democrats should have recognised that Sinn Fein are apologists for the IRA, not some other party that can join democrats round the talks table or – even worse – in government, a position they retain because the DUP went back on their pledge to resign.

“Republican fairy tales of IRA butterflies and the ever present villainous state agents fool no one. But will Unionists be content to join them in talks on Monday to listen to such nonsense?”

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“News that Peter Robinson plans to renominate Ministers who will then resign again means that Stormont is set for new lows of pantomime farce.

“All of the shenanigans in Stormont to date will pale into insignificance and it will be held in even greater contempt than it currently is – which is quite an achievement!

“Things would make a great deal more sense if the DUP had simply done what they said they would do and resigned from the executive instead of this half in / half out nonsense. Don’t forget that by refusing to quit the executive the DUP are ensuring that Sinn Fein/IRA Ministers also retain office.

“Mr Robinson has an alternative. To resign as First Minister.

“As Stormont reaches levels of absurdity unheard to date the DUP’s position will become increasingly untenable. They would be better facing reality now than having to face it on polling day.”

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“The DUP’s shameless breach of promise in just 24 hours and decision to remain in the Executive not only leaves that party without a shred of credibility with the Unionist community but also means that Sinn Fein – the political wing of an armed and active IRA – retains its Ministerial posts. If Mr Robinson had resigned, then, automatically that action also removed McGuinness from office.

“Talk about leaving Arlene Foster as a “gatekeeper” is arrant nonsense; a mere cover for the DUP losing its bottle when it came to tipping Sinn Fein out of government.

“But, if Arlene Foster is staying in government with Sinn Fein let her do something useful. She can cripple the North/south bodies by cutting off their funds. Is she going to continue the squander on North/South bodies? These useless institutions have cost £30m of scarce Northern Ireland resources this year alone. Moreover the multiple DUP appointees to these bodies will continue in their remunerated roles.

“I have written to the Finance Minister calling on her to exercise the powers she has to turn off the money tap to these bodies. Mrs Foster, for example, has to approve the grants to these bodies. She could refuse to approve any further expenditure and let them run out of money. But, will she?”


Note to editors

Mr Allister’s letter to Minister Foster, which was sent before the events of yesterday, read as follows:

Dear Minister,

I note that you and your party colleagues are boycotting North/South meetings.

Could I suggest that additionally you could and should exercise your powers to decline to approve the 2016 grants for these bodies. You have that power under the legislation. Additionally, you could rescind your extant approval for ongoing 2015 spending. These steps would convert the stand on the North/South bodies into something more tangible and effective. I implore you to take these steps.

Yours sincerely,

Latest Stormont Crisis Vindicates TUV

Admin —  September 3, 2015

Speaking at a TUV meeting in East Belfast last night Jim Allister said:

“Some have tried to tell the Unionist electorate that Sinn Fein are committed to democracy and the rule of law. Yet there are a number of undeniable facts arising from the murder of Mr McGuigan.

“Firstly, the IRA as the Chief Constable has made clear continues to exist. Therefore the IRA’s supposed disbandment was a con.

“Secondly, the IRA have guns. Therefore the IRA’s supposed decommissioning was a con.

“Thirdly, the IRA reserve the right to shoot people. Therefore the IRA’s supposed commitment to the rule of law was a con.

“The entire peace process has been exposed for what it is – the appeasement of armed Republicanism in case they go back to “the bad old days”.

“Let’s not beat about the bush here. It is only because of violence and the threat of violence that Northern Ireland has a rigged form of devolution completely alien to the rest of the United Kingdom and indeed the democratic world.

“I commend the UUP for abandoning the sham which is current failed executive. It has been most entertaining to watch the DUP flounder in their attempts to justify remaining in government with the IRA’s political wing.

“We were told that they were going to bring forward an exclusion motion yet when the business committee met yesterday no such motion was tabled. Instead Peter Weir wanted MLAs to have an extra month’s holiday!

“The DUP have called for talks. More platitudes.

“Words, as the murder showed, are meaningless in Northern Ireland politics – unless of course they are on an OTR letter.

“Do you ever think we could reach a point where we should just look past the Jesuitry and actually deal with the terrorists?

“And as welcome as the UUP move is I am given to wondering why that party suddenly developed a conscience about IRA murders.

“Why did they remain round the executive table when the IRA brutally beat Paul Quinn to death in South Armagh?

“Why did they stay when the then Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy told Newsnight that he had “spoken to the IRA in the area” about the issue?

“Everyone knows that the IRA never went away and every Unionist is aware of exactly who they were sharing power with.

“The events of the last few weeks have totally vindicated the stand which TUV have taken. They have shown that we were right to keep using the title Sinn Fein/IRA long after other Unionists stopped doing so.

“It is time for both the DUP and UUP to face the reality that the current form of devolution in Northern Ireland has failed. We need real democracy and a system which can deliver for all the people of our Province.”

DUP brings cheer to IRA – SF

Admin —  September 3, 2015

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-

“After all the bluster of last week and empty talk of exclusion of Sinn Fein, true to form, this week Peter Robinson has begun its retreat with time-buying talk of even more talks with their partner and IRA denier, Sinn Fein. Another process! How the IRA must be laughing.

“The truth is that, as with the murder of Paul Quinn, the DUP is readying itself to turn a blind eye to murder. It even seems prepared to aggrandise itself through another ministry offered courtesy of an IRA murder.

“The ease with which the DUP clings to the political wing of the IRA in government is quite staggering. How many murders would it take to bring them out from among them?”

Call to DUP get on side

Admin —  September 3, 2015

Commenting on the UUP’s endorsement of withdrawal from the Stormont Executive, TUV leader Jim Allister said:-

“Now that the UUP has done the right thing, its over to the DUP. Are they going to licence the IRA to kill again by turning a blind eye to murder and clinging to office with the Provos’ political wing? It’s time to come out from among them.

“It’s no time for mere bluff and bluster, nor talk of ‘clever devices’, but it’s time to face the reality that a Stormont Executive built on the lies and excusing of IRA violence is a Stormont of not just failure, but shame.”