ancient omens look grim for any political progress
in a year ending with the number six, and if the
present Stormont Assembly collapses in November
it will be the third such curse to come true.
1976, the Constitutional Convention was scrapped
because it could not agree on a power-sharing arrangement.
The same fate befell the former Assembly in 1986
so is the Northern Executive jinxed in 2006?
the figures and we get the Biblical warning of the
number of the Anti-Christ 6-6-6. Surely, Ian Paisley's
fundamentalists are going to heed this alarm bell
from the Good Book and do the Christian thing by
forming a power-sharing Executive with the Shinners?
they don't do the deal, it will prove once and for
all that the DUP does not put the interests of its
people first, but is dominated by the need to feed
its own political greed.
both '76 and '86, Paisleyism could have formed a
power-sharing Executive with the then leading voice
in nationalism, the moderate SDLP.
of this lack of vision, Paisleyism if it wants Stormont
back, must climb into bed with SF, the apologist
for the Provos' three decades of slaughter and mayhem
in the North.
first fortnight of the MLAs' return to Stormont
Hill has demonstrated the body language of doom
and gloom. We've witnessed a rampant Paisley, but
his very muted deputy Peter Robinson.
chit-chat in the corridors and tea rooms of Parliament
Buildings is that Paisley's ultra negative rhetoric
is neither sabre-rattling nor drum-beating to wring
more concessions out of a clearly frustrated Northern
Secretary Peter Hain before the 24 November meltdown.
who are sadly lacking in Assembly circles at the
moment, are trying to talk up the present situation
by pushing the spin there's still six months to
negotiate the deal.
almost seem to be living in cloud cuckoo land that
at 11.55 pm on Thursday 23 November, Paisley and
Gerry Adams will come rushing through the revolving
front doors at Stormont, waving a piece of paper
and yelling peace in our time!
needs the controversy of the Da Vinci Code? We've
got our own high wire Da Paisley Code. How do we
unlock the secret that will prompt the 80-year-old
leader of the North's biggest unionist party to
leave his safe prayer room in Never, Never, Never
Land and enter the Promised Land of political progress
in the Executive with those Philistine Shinners?
the real question is, does Big Paisley truly have
the heart to save Stormont? Perhaps his Holy Grail
is not the restoration of a devolved government
as we have been led to believe all these years since
Stormont was first scrapped in March '72.
becoming clear from the past two weeks, the real
motive is the total and utter destruction of the
Ulster Unionist Party. The party is now cash-strapped
and some would allege its on the verge of bankruptcy
both financially and politically.
claimed the income from the UUP's 24-strong Stormont
team is what's keeping Ulster Unionism afloat. In
brutal Paisleyism terms, the DUP is one step away
from its ultimate goal sink the Assembly,
and the UUP finally goes under.
an Assembly group, that leaves the party which ruled
the North for more than 80 years with one MP and
a handful of councillors. UUP boss Reg Empey could
find himself sharing the unenviable award previously
won by the likes of Brian Faulkner, Bill Craig,
and Anne Dickson leader of a defunct unionist
content with swallowing the bitter medicine of having
their party humiliated into second spot by the DUP,
Ulster Unionists must now ponder the unthinkable
within 12 months their party could be joining
others such as the United Unionist Assembly Party,
Northern Ireland Unionist Party, Vanguard, UPNI,
and the UDP in the dustbin of history.
what about those DUP MLAs who need their Stormont
dosh to pay family bills? Surely the Big Man would
not sacrifice them in his life-long quest to wreck
I saith unto you, they will have their rewards in
the new political heaven. Such MLAs will be given
safe DUP seats in the new seven super councils coming
into reality, probably by 2009.
two top DUP men can save both the UUP and the Executive
Robinson and tough-talking MEP Jim Allister.
is imperative that Blair, Ahern, Brown, Hain and
even George Dubya flex all their combined muscles
to ensure Robinson takes the helm of the DUP away
needs a bucketful of political concessions and guarantees
from London, Dublin and Washington that if he sparks
a leadership coup a combined DUP/UUP alliance will
have the clout to isolate Paisley's fundamentalists.
price of a DUP presence in the Executive will be
to split the party. Allister is the natural champion
of Unionism's post deal New Right.
cunning plan must be hatched to actively encourage
Allister's supporters to form a new ultra Right
wing party like the Seventies Vanguard, thus weakening
the fundamentalists' ability to scupper the United
will always be a sizeable section of unionist opinion
who will never share power with anyone, not even
their own fellow unionists.
Hain the Horrible, you too have your agenda
now get cracking. The North wants checkmate on Paisley's
fundamentalists before 24 November.