the DUP have any British spooks operating in its
ranks? And is the Unionist family hunting what
it has dubbed 'provocateurs' in the Paisley camp
who want to wreck The Big Man's chances of forming
a power-sharing Executive with the Shinners?
former Shinner Stormont chief Denis Donaldson
is a prime example of how well British intelligence
had penetrated the republican movement.
it not be logical to assume that same intelligence
service could plant spies at the heart of Unionism?
the life of the 1998 Assembly, parliament buildings
used to be awash with gossip and allegations about
who worked for MI5 and MI6. How many of these
rumours were true, or just simply rival unionist
'bad mouthing', maybe only history or memoirs
question still remains unanswered how much
was British intelligence behind the wrecking inside
Ulster Unionism during the David Trimble era?
during the supposed defections to the DUP, did
any British spooks slip unnoticed into the Paisley
camp amid the euphoric cheering and clapping for
UUP people who had 'seen the light' politically?
Paisley Senior has personally only suffered three
major defeats in his almost four decades in Unionist
politics. In the 1969 Stormont General Election,
he lost out to Northern Premier Terence O'Neill
1977 re-run of the Ulster Workers Council strike
was a real slap in the teeth for Paisley, and
the 1998 referendum on the Good Friday Agreement
delivered a resounding Yes for the Northern community
to Big Ian's No camp politics.
in the 35 years since he founded the DUP in 1971,
he has become the undisputed and now unchallenged
leader of unionism. Like him or loathe
him, the reality facing all those associated with
the St Andrews Agreement is that Paisley is strong
enough to do his own thing, and courageous enough
to make his own decision.
and he alone, will make the decision by 24 November
allowing himself to be nominated as First Minister.
Paisley alone simply because he has become
an iconic figure within Unionist politics
will deliver the benefits of St Andrews.
North needs Paisley to do the deal. If Paisley
says No again on 24 November, he will go down
in history as the man who lost everything for
'Loyal Ulster' and condemned Unionism to the political
shackles of joint authority with Dublin.
Paisley fails to deliver on St Andrews, then unionism
will be left without an effective voice in Ireland.
There are certainly factions within the DUP; there
are clearly divisions of opinions on policy and
there are no splits as yet because
Ian Paisley has kept a firm grip on the party
leadership. While UUP Prime Ministers, leaders,
and other unionist parties have come and gone,
Paisley at the age of almost 81 remains the seemingly
immovable top dog in the unionist pack.
24 November will always be the Big Man's personal
decision, Unionism has a moral duty to ensure
Paisley is not stabbed in the back by the same
dissident movement which bloodied Trimble's leadership.
real danger for Unionism is not a lack of bottle
by Paisley, but the potential threat posed by
anti-deal unionists in the DUP who would undermine
his leadership in the same way many dissidents
based in Union First shafted both Trimble and
the UUP's pro-agreement rulers.
must swallow the bitter medicine if it is to have
a relevant say in running the North as part of
the United Kingdom, it must ensure that voices
of dissent against the St Andrews Agreement are
systematically silenced, politically of course.
Scottish agreement has provided Paisley with a
golden opportunity to say Yes to something constructive.
But sadly, in attempting to make this historic
step, the unionist family must guard him against
political wolves in sheep's clothing.
wolves come in two breeds unionists who
will never share power with their own kind, let
alone republicans; and those in the British establishment
who favour a united Ireland.
coming weeks could well reveal who are the spooks
and who are the 'provocateurs' in Unionism.
here's another few teasers for Unionism
does the leader of the DUP also have to be the
First Minister? And will the new DUP bosses be
Peter Robinson with Jeffrey Donaldson as deputy,
or Jim Allister as chief with North Antrim MLA
Mervyn Storey as deputy?