Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

DUP's Duracell bunny Peter Robinson is still firmly in charge

First minister: Peter Robinson
First minister: Peter Robinson

All the speculation that Peter Robinson's leadership might collapse in a heap after he cut and run on the Maze-Long Kesh peace centre now looks pretty dated.

He compares himself to the Duracell bunny who will carry on doing his duty "with no stop date" and will carry on in coalition government.

"I haven't noted any difference in relationships," he protested disarmingly, when reminded that Sinn Fein had accused him of bad faith over the Maze.

He sees the economic development of the Maze going ahead and doesn't even rule out a revamped peace centre being built if there is cross-community buy-in for the site and format

Mr Robinson is now clearly in charge. He is making plans to clip the wings of the Attorney General, he is threatening the UUP with taking out their European seat as he attempts to consume or subjugate the smaller party.

His party conference started today, his keynote address is tomorrow. Last year it felt at times like Last Night At The Proms, as he mixed appeals for Catholic votes with calls on enthusiastic delegates to wave the little Union flags each was issued with.

This year there will be a projection of DUP power and direction He will extol the successes of partnership government with Sinn Fein, a strategy of keeping your enemy close which has, he believes, made the Union more secure than at any time in history.

He will also stress the practical bread and butter achievements of the DUP-led administration which, he believes, the Press have either played down or ignored altogether

Just in case we miss them again, jobs created, pledges fulfilled and targets met will all be listed in "publications showing the delivery that has been achieved".

There are clearly elections coming.

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