The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

It's Who You Talk To

Political journalist and Unionist Revisionist Dr John Coulter, with just over 100 days to the crucial 24 November deadline, controversially poses the question - are Ahern and Blair talking to the wrong people in the DUP?

Dr John Coulter • 7 August 2006

There's only a 5 per cent chance of the power-sharing Executive up and running by the November deadline, a well-placed DUP fundamentalist source has told me.

With the religious hill billies well and truly controlling the Paisley camp, why won't the Puritan Rednecks cut a deal with the Shinners? Why is a large chunk of Paisleyism so scared of working with the republican boogie man?

Maybe Blair, Hain and Ahern are talking to the wrong DUP faction? It's the same penny which dropped in the early years of the new millennium when the then Trimble-led and feud-ridden Ulster Unionists realised to get any progress, it was pointless talking to the Shinner political leadership.

The real republicans to negotiate with were the head honchoes who ran the Provos' Army Council. So the message to London and Dublin may be - forget Paisley and his zealots; ignore the isolated Peter Robinson; stay clear of the circling Jim Allister and his Right-wing ultras.

The actual power brokers within Paisleyism are really the DUP spin doctors headed up by unionism's dynamic equivalent of New Labour's Alastair Campbell, namely DUP Director of Communications and former Young Unionist top gun Timothy Johnston.

As I stand unnoticed on the sidelines at Stormont and watch Terrific Tim and his gang of skilfully co-ordinated little PR gurus in action, I can only conclude it would make any Yank President turn green with envy at their efficiency, professionalism and their fantastic ability to politically caress and disarm even the most hostile of anti-DUP hack.

In terms of organisational brilliance, whether by accident or design, the DUP has constructed the most proficient Gang of Three which Unionism has not witnessed since the political brains which built the once-mighty 1970s Vanguard Movement.

Joining Terrific Tim in this powerful cabal within the DUP inner temple is Director of Administration and Finance Allan Ewart, and Director of Policy Richard Bullick.

Ian Paisley Junior and the Gospel-singing Willy McCrea may be the two leading fundamentalists who are whispering political sweet nothings in the Big Man's ears on public utterances, but the clear perception is Johnston need only click his fingers and experienced MLAs and MPs will dance to their spin doctor's tunes.

With just over 100 days to go to the Moment of Meltdown on Freaky Friday, 24 November, the Paisley camp is still engulfed in the summer madness of fear.

The DUP is afraid of doing business with the Shinners in case republicans out-manoeuvre the Paisleyites at Stormont and the Unionist electorate crucifies them UUP-style in the polls.

Preventing a party-splitting rebellion among the religious grassroots remains the DUP camp's top priority. But the experienced and expert cabal of Johnston, Ewart and Bullick does not have to worry about the scourge of vote erosion from the Paisleyite heartland of North Antrim.

This threesome is a self-contained party within a party. This party worker trio is by far more influential within Unionism than the elected trio of the two Paisleys plus McCrea.

Its not a question of Peter Robinson shooting his bolt. He's been heavily disarmed by the fundamentalists.

If Hain and Co genuinely desire a working Executive by 24 November, they must court the Johnston Squad. If Ulster's Alastair Campbell says yes to power-sharing, the DUP will troop into the Executive like well-groomed primary kids.

And still on the religious front with the clock of time ticking against him, screen legend Mel Gibson will need every ounce of his Lethal Weapon coolness if he is to avoid being crucified by the film world for his anti-Jewish remarks.

Despite numerous apologies, supposedly devout Catholic Gibson could find his movie-making career lying in tatters on the Hollywood cutting room floor.

Perhaps the venom with which the Jewish-dominated American film industry is baying for Gibson's blood is not stirred by his untimely outburst in the teeth of a crisis in the Middle East, but by the way the Jewish religious leadership was portrayed in his hugely successful blockbuster, The Passion of the Christ.

Biblically, it was the Romans who physically nailed Christ to the cross. But any delving into the New Testament will see it was the fanatical Jewish religious leaders of the day who demanded Christ be executed.

As Gibson was the first big-time director to really expose this Biblical account in his violently graphic epic, it makes you wonder if the clamour to condemn the Magnificent Mel is really a large dose of payback for The Passion?























Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

13 August 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Hunger Strike Anniversary
Martin Galvin

"Let the Fight Go On"
Willie Gallagher

Apology Owed
The Family of Volunteer Patsy O'Hara, INLA

Right the Wrong
Harry Boland

It's Who You Talk To
Dr John Coulter

As They Were Made They Were Matched
Liam O Comain

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper
John Kennedy

Criminality Figures Do Not Add Up
David Adams

The Siege of Derry
Anthony McIntyre

Repeat After Me: No Gods, No Masters
Mick Hall

Dual Presidency More Realistic
Nathan Dowds

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 2
Michael Gillespie

Santa Coming Early
Dr John Coulter

Media Matters
Anthony McIntyre

Light, Freedom & Song: A Cultural History of Modern Irish Writing
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Pass the Gravy
John Kennedy

ILIR is Blowing the Green Card Game for the Irish
Patrick Hurley

From Belfast to the Middle East
Davy Carlin

Manifesto of the Third Camp
Anthony McIntyre

3 August 2006

A United Ireland or Nothing
Liam O Comain

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 1
Michael Gillespie

High Noon
John Kennedy

Fest or Flop
Dr John Coulter

Irish and Republican Music
Ray McAreavey

Qana Massacre again: Foreign and Domestic Enemies of our Constitution
Mazin Qumsiyeh

Israel Murders UN Observers
Anthony McIntyre

Managing Debate
Mick Hall

4 Horsemen
John Kennedy

The Evil That Men Do
Anthony McIntyre

Chris Petit's Secret History: The Psalm Killer
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Soldier of the Legion of the Rearguard
Liam O Ruairc

Football and the Fifth Commandment
Eamon Sweeney

Don't Let Us Down
Dr John Coulter

Human Rights Forum
Meeting Announcement

Billy Mitchell
Anthony McIntyre



The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices