Posted By: January 22, 2014

Brian Feeney. Irish News( Belfast).Wednesday, January 22, 2014.

TO recall how quickly other parties have fallen from power:

"I don't need to warn anyone in this hall what division does to a party's prospects.
I don't need to warn anyone in this hall because the DUP has always been as much a
family as it is a political party."

Who said that? Peter Robinson speaking to the DUP annual conference in November 2012.

The first part of that is true. We now know the second part was complete rubbish and
so did Robinson when he said it.

For a start we know that the DUP is at least two families, the Paisleys and the
Robinsons and that they are at daggers drawn.

Regardless of whether the meeting that took place in March 2008 was exactly as
Paisley described it, the result was the same - a good old-fashioned political

It had to be so. Paisley was 81 and had no intention of going but go he had to
because, as anyone could see from his performance in the assembly and in his daily
appearance, he was no longer in possession of his full faculties.

All that remained was his monstrous ego, as ever blinding him to reality. Even today
at 87 he is still bitter at being given the heave-ho but if he hadn't been ousted he
would still have been staggering around spewing bile as he did all his life and in
his two recent interviews.

It's interesting that his plight has attracted no sympathy from any quarter.

Perhaps that's because the interviews showed Paisley has not changed at all. True,
in place of the loud-mouthed demagoguery there is the high-pitched piping of an old
man but he is still the sly master of innuendo and the nasty slap down.

Equally no-one has any sympathy for the victims of Paisley's venom: Robinson on the
one hand, the man who couldn't keep his seat, ha ha, or his wife either ha ha, as
Paisley reminded the viewers.

On the other hand there's the victim of Paisley's contempt, 'the mighty Dodds', who
didn't know what he wanted.

Dodds, a charisma-free zone, who, as Eileen reminded people, without the job Paisley
gave him would have got nowhere in politics. However, it wasn't just because Paisley
was manifestly decrepit that they got rid of him.

The people behind the putsch, and there were many more than Robinson and Deputy
Dodds, needed Paisley to bite the bullet and agree to share power with Sinn Fein in

The likes of Robinson and his deputy could never have carried that sea change
through the DUP. By 2008 they were alarmed that he was going too far, looking too
matey with Martin McGuinness, allowing Sinn Fein too much leeway. Remember the DUP's
'dirty dozen' among whom was numbered Dodds, who strenuously objected to the St
Andrews agreement in 2006 but didn't have the guts to stand up to Paisley?

Lord Morrow, also one of the dirty dozen and one those attending the execution in
2008, sounded increasingly unhappy as the implications of sharing power with Sinn
Fein sank in. Some of those who went along with the St Andrews agreement, the DUP's
fig leaf for signing up to the Good Friday Agreement, never accepted the Good Friday
Agreement's principles which the St Andrews agreement studiously avoided. Some of
the dirty dozen resisted the devolution of policing and justice to the bitter end in

Dodds said devolution of policing would not happen 'in a political lifetime'. So
while it's great fun watching the lying and deceit, the accusations and acrimony,
what you have to understand is that the putsch in 2008 had a political purpose,
which has become more apparent with every week that passes. It's as follows.
Robinson and Deputy Dodds were determined to remove Paisley because he was working
the Good Friday Agreement, actually sharing power with Martin McGuinness to the
growing dismay of a clutch of DUP MLAs who had spent the whole of their political
lives opposed to the very concept of sharing power with Fenians[

Getting rid of Paisley was the only way to slam on the brakes. Can you name a single
substantive item agreed at the executive between the DUP and SF since the 2008