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Don’t follow their (now ex) leader… or farewell Edwin Poots, we hardly knew you… June 17, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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That’s some mess Edwin Poots has managed to find himself in after just a few short weeks as leader of the DUP. And perhaps most problematically his cunning wheeze of not taking the office of First Minister seems to have left him in a real bind – after all, no-one much likes the look of someone attempting to insulate themselves from the reality of having to take unpalatable decisions which is what having his very good friend MLA Paul Givan installed as the FM seems to do.

Addendum. Not that it changes this post much but…as noted by NFB and reported by RTÉ:

Edwin Poots has resigned as DUP leader after an internal revolt over the restoration of the Stormont Assembly.

It comes just three weeks after he was confirmed as Arlene Foster’s successor.

In a statement this evening, Mr Poots said: “I have asked the Party Chairman to commence an electoral process within the party to allow for a new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party to be elected.

“The Party has asked me to remain in post until my successor is elected.

“This has been a difficult period for the party and the country and I have conveyed to the chairman my determination to do everything I can to ensure both unionism and Northern Ireland is able to move forward to a stronger place.”

What was it Arlene Foster was tweeting earlier about having a really nice day?

 

 

 

 

 

And while it’s one thing for people external to the DUP to be throwing brickbats, it’s a little different when the criticism is coming from within the party, even amongst erstwhile supporters of Poots. Indeed worse again when the criticism becomes manifest as shown in the following:

Elected party members have strongly criticised a decision by the British government to promise to introduce Irish language legislation.

A majority of DUP Assembly members and MPs opposed nominating a First Minister.

They voted against Edwin Poots’ decision to reconstitute the power-sharing Executive with Sinn Féin in an internal meeting just minutes before the process for nominating Stormont’s leaders began downstairs in the chamber of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

And worse again… 

After leaving the meeting, Mr Poots nominated Mr Givan as First Minister while Sinn Féin renominated Michelle O’Neill as deputy First Minister at a specially convened Assembly sitting.

The DUP’s ruling party officer team is to meet in Belfast later to discuss today’s developments and Mr Poots’ position as leader, just three weeks after he was confirmed as Arlene Foster’s successor.

And remember, all this comes on foot of Sinn Féin gaining an assurance from the (irony of ironies) British government to implement an Irish language Act should the Assembly (and the DUP) not support one. Actually, given that that was the obvious way to cut the Gordian knot one has to wonder at all the tooing and froing between the parties about this. Or why Poots didn’t level with his own crew that ultimately that would be the likely outcome. 

But then, as per the NI Protocol, being frank about material reality, seems to be somewhat alien to the party. Or even to accept that they aren’t the only players in this particular game:

Many DUP politicians had warned against a government intervention on a devolved issues and are furious that Mr Poots was still prepared to enter a new coalition on that basis.

The question is, what would they do otherwise? Stay outside of the Executive and then have exactly the same outcome occur down the line? 

But then that links into a wider question. What could the DUP do otherwise about the Protocol? And yet again we are faced with a truth that they are very much the architects of their own misfortune, unwilling to lead and perpetually in a defensive, indeed reactionary, posture in every sense of the term reactionary. 

But like the Poots leadership it appear to be an effort to try to answer problems for which there are no solutions. He can’t change the fundamentals at play. Foster couldn’t either. Replace him and his successor would face exactly the same conundrum. Pull down the Assembly and Executive and London will impose and implement what it wants. All of which should, rationally, push the DUP to re-engage differently than it has. 

Chances of that?

Comments»

1. Tomboktu - June 17, 2021

Not often you’ll get Jacob Rees-Mogg cited on this blog…

The concept of democracy is a flexible one for the DUP: the decision I want, justified by the choice of demos that suits me.

Liked by 1 person

banjoagbeanjoe - June 17, 2021

What chance have they got with an RC pm and an RC leader of the house? T__gs to the left of them, t__gs to the right…

Liked by 2 people

sonofstan - June 17, 2021

Stuck in a muddle with Poots.

Liked by 3 people

EWI - June 18, 2021

What chance have they got with an RC pm and an RC leader of the house? T__gs to the left of them, t__gs to the right…

Pretty sure that neither Rees-Mogg nor Johnson are the ‘Irish-Catholic’ variety of R-C, so that particular slur will not apply. Just ‘papists’.

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2. NFB - June 17, 2021

And he’s gone. Shambles.

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WorldbyStorm - June 17, 2021

Oh my God, that’s incredible.

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3. sonofstan - June 17, 2021

Presumably Jeffrey gets his turn now?

Liked by 1 person

Tomboktu - June 17, 2021

Apparently, one DUP source saying the next election will be between Sammy Wilson and Jeffrey Donaldson.

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rockroots - June 17, 2021

If Edwin wasn’t hardline enough, surely Jeffrey isn’t going to keep them happy?

This complete vacuum of leadership and stability on the unionist side is in no one’s best interests though, ultimately.

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4. Aonrud ⚘ - June 17, 2021

Who was the fourth leader of the DUP? You might know now but in a few years you’ll be the master of the pub quiz 😉

Liked by 4 people

5. WorldbyStorm - June 17, 2021

It took ages for the Guardian to report on this this evening.

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6. sonofstan - June 17, 2021

Random thing I found out this evening is that there are 5 DUP peers. And two UUP ones. There are no nationalists from any of the ‘other’ three bits of the UK. Not that I expect the HoL to be representative, but that’s telling….

Liked by 1 person

Lancet - June 17, 2021

You’re forgetting Margaret Ritchie (although she sits as a non-affiliate peer rather than for the SDLP).

Liked by 1 person

7. Tomboktu - June 17, 2021

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sonofstan - June 17, 2021

The ex-leader comedy circuit is getting crowded…

Liked by 1 person

Tomboktu - June 17, 2021

Unfortunately, many of them were jokes before they were ex.

Liked by 1 person

Aonrud ⚘ - June 17, 2021

What’s a LibDem?

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Pangurbán - June 17, 2021

To paraphrase Andy Warhol
“ in the future everyone will be leader of the DUP for fifteen minutes “

Liked by 2 people

sonofstan - June 18, 2021

They just won Chesham and Amersham – probably one of the richest seats in the country. Blue wall crumbling anyone?

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - June 18, 2021

Could it be nature and politics abhors a vacuum – votes flow if there’s opposition in whatever way will offer a chance particularly in a first past the post context?

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sonofstan - June 18, 2021

Lot of talk about ‘hipster enclaves’ being lost to Labour and moving Green or LD. Usual Guardian over-statement and fixation on their own demographic maybe, but a few worrying signs for Labour all the same: there was a huge swing to the Greens in a council by -election in Norwich yesterday. Given that Starmer is doing his best to alienate Muslim voters and the young, what will be left?

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Colm Breathnach - June 18, 2021

I detest Starmer and his centrist blimps but please please tell me that red-brown brit-nat Galloway won’t win that Batley and Spen seat.

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sonofstan - June 18, 2021

Galloway won’t win it, but he’ll pull enough Labour voters away to let the Tories in. Yorkshire is becoming a tale of red cities, blue everywhere beyond the ring roads.

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Michael Carley - June 18, 2021

And Labour dropped to 600 votes. Lowest share ever anywhere.

Liked by 2 people

sonofstan - June 18, 2021

The Liberals are like FF: they’ll never quite die.

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benmadigan - June 18, 2021

agree Michael – Labour’s result was appalling. They even lost their deposit.

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Mick 2 - June 19, 2021

Barely a word about this hardly insignificant fact in the multitude of Graun write-ups.

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Aonrud ⚘ - June 18, 2021

Poor timing for that smart-arsed comment, on the day they win a by-election 🙂 Shame, I was enjoying the fact I hadn’t heard mention of them in ages…

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - June 18, 2021

The big issue in that part of Bucks four years ago was HS2: people there have no idea why anyone would ever want to get to the north quickly, or at all, and they really don’t want the noise, disruption and threat to property values in their part of the Chilterns. I imagine they are still exercised by it.

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8. irishelectionliterature - June 18, 2021

https://drb.ie/articles/running-out-of-road/
Very good piece on the issues facing Unionism

Liked by 3 people

yourcousin - June 18, 2021

Excellent piece which seems extraordinarily prescient considering events of the last month. Thanks IEL!

Liked by 1 person

9. Tomboktu - June 18, 2021

And now to the next stage

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WorldbyStorm - June 18, 2021

This is never going to work – mind you putting him in smacked of best mates looking out for each other

Liked by 1 person

Tomboktu - June 18, 2021

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