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DUP's Peter Robinson needs to prioritise his wishes

By Liam Clarke

Published 22/04/2015

DUP leader Peter Robinson talks to reporters yesterday in Antrim
DUP leader Peter Robinson talks to reporters yesterday in Antrim

The DUP manifesto launch reminded me of a political sushi train - the type where all sorts of dishes go round on a little conveyor belt. You pick out what you like, leaving what you don't like.

That seems to be the plan in the event of a hung parliament after the election too. The DUP says it will go to the largest party to see what it can get.

I put it to Mr Robinson that he might be asked to prioritise. What if he were only offered three wishes to begin with?

"I will give you 45 wishes. We have laid them out in our Northern Ireland Plan. We will go in and negotiate. We will see what each of the two parties is prepared to do to help Northern Ireland to realise its vision... but we are not going to prioritise those matters, it would weaken our hand," he argued.

That is asking voters to take a lot on faith. While much on the DUP sushi train will appeal widely, a new law underpinning the right to march or another on the display of Union flags might cause indigestion. So what will the DUP fight for first?

If it were offered a choice between, say, a parading law to tilt the balance in favour of marchers, upgrading the nuclear deterrent or a better deal on the devolution of corporation tax which would it choose first?

The DUP has grown very big very quickly and it won't look the same in a few years as it does now. It needs to explain its direction of travel more fully.

Belfast Telegraph

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