Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Deafening silence of the 'Real DUP'

I'm sure Peter Robinson was mighty relieved that Jeffrey Donaldson and Nelson McCausland both rallied to his defence when the Belfast Telegraph poll suggested that he should resign.

Curiously, Nelson McCausland even uses his perceptive intelligence to suggest that 39% of the unionist community that said Mr Robinson should go were Ulster Unionists.

Maybe all current and former UUP supporters believe he should. But surely there's a possibility that, as long as Peter Robinson remains as a weakened leader of the DUP, the UUP prospects will improve. So maybe the 61% contained many UUP voters who just want the DUP to be further embarrassed.

The real irony, of course, remains that the 'Real DUP' MPs and MLAs - not the blow-ins like Donaldson and McCausland - remain remarkably quiet. In fact, their muted support for their leader is deafening.

Peter Robinson is damaged, his personal empire is ruined, his credibility is shot and all his activities, his negotiations, his lobbying, his expenses, will all come under further scrutiny and eventually he will go.

The only question remains: will the UUP apparatchiks go too? Time will tell.

MATT NELSON

Millisle

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