Last night with Ian: from Beast to Cheeky Sod

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Last night’s Paisley programme (From Genesis to Revelation) was astonishing. Astonishingly dull, that is, given the sledge-hammers that were being lobbed from chez Paisley to DUP headquarters. The trouble was, we already knew the juicy bits. BBC NI,  UTV and RTÉ for the last couple of days had been filleting the programme and serving us up prime cuts. So by the time it came to 10.35 last night, it was like tucking into a half-eaten turkey.

The fun bits were big Ian against a background of books (I thought he read nothing but the Bible?) describing First Minister Peter Robinson as the Beast who’d contrived to lose his Westminster seat, in sharp contrast to Ian Óg, who had ‘a wonderful victory’ with his seat and was liked by the people. Eileen, against the background of a cabinet stuffed with fun china figurines, described deputy party leader Nigel Dodds as a cheeky sod for trying to chuck Ian out by Friday, after all that Ian had done for him, including that job in Europe.  (So that’s how Diane Dodds got the cushy number.) And there was a nice moment when Eileen said what aperture of Timothy Johnston she’d liked to have stuffed that questionnaire of his into (his throat, Virginia, his throat).  Not to mention the total absence of sleaze in Ian Óg’s dealings, unlike the Robinson household with all the bad stuff that went on there. Mmm. ‘Nuff said, Eileen.

Were the programmes damaging to the DUP? Well, nobody’s ever going to look at Dodds again without adding a mental ‘Cheeky sod!”  or at Peter Robinson without murmuring inwardly “Pete the Beast!” On the other hand, Paisley and lady wife came across as two seriously soured people who refused to acknowledge any reason other than treachery for Ian’s removal, while at the same time saying he left when he was ready to leave. Which made it, all things considered, a lose-lose situation.  Nice one, Eamonn. And I’m not just talking about that pink tie you’d on.

7 Responses to Last night with Ian: from Beast to Cheeky Sod

  1. M January 21, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    It was a programme of two halves. First half was all about sacrificially giving oneself for the good of the “peace process.” The scond half was about “Ourselves alone”.

  2. willow January 21, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Or the stripey socks!

  3. Pointis January 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    You are right of course Jude that most of the interesting revelations from last nights show were already in the public domain through press stories and editorial comments.

    I think what was most interesting about the show were the insights into the management which operated within 3 separate organisations (arguably linked through cross membership) to control their operations.

    Although the DUP, Free Presbyterian Church and Martyrs Memorial would appear on paper to be democratic in their operations it would certainly seem that pre-Paisley this was not the case.

    Although personally finding some of their stances distasteful, especially towards Catholics and homosexuals, few could oppose their right to act to replace their leader through democratic means.

    Mrs Paisley would attest that her husband’s removal from all three was based on his stance on power sharing with Sinn Fein and although this may have been the case with the church organisations, most demonstrably by the footage of Free Presbyterian pickets with anti-power sharing posters, it was unlikely to have been the case with the DUP who had already signed up to power sharing with no alternatives being mooted.

    I think most people would agree his time had come. After a number of minor collisions it was time for grand dad to lose his license!

  4. daniel moran January 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    The claims from DUP figuresm that Paisley had a failure of recollection explained by his advancing years, but that doesn’t really wash because they’d have to accuse Eileen Paisley of the same faults and they know after last night that she backs Ian to the hilt. So Robbo and Doddo haven’t a leg to stand on. Paisley’s description of Dodds as ‘the other one’ was cutting to the bone. We should from now on, hear less of the nonsense claims about the DUP being really one big happy family but I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to end.

  5. PW January 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I think the show portrayed what nationalists are up against as they try and move the peace process and equality agenda forward. I may have misread the show, however it appears that without Paisley there would be no Stormont and certainly no SF about. Can this be true? Now the real DUP without Paisley, ‘not an inch’ has been shown to the world after the Hass failure to agree, at all other times they hid behind a Unionist created goal post and the media and goverments let them away with it. Perhaps Stormont will never work while the DUP hold the majority of Unionist seats without Paisley, only time will tell. I also wonder how much was edited by the bbc before airing the show. Perhaps we will have to wait 30 years before we get to see Paisley: Genesis To Revelation Uncut.

  6. ANOTHER JUDE January 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Like you say Jude, we had already been fed the choice cuts, still it was fascinating to listen to Mrs P fulminating against men who had been allies a few years before. (Are there no strong women in that party, or are they all making the tea and sandwiches? Or sandwich boards?) Also hilarious to hear the big man telling how he and Tony Blair had discussed religion, indeed didn`t Blair have a bigoted old grandmother who told him never to marry a taig? So much for Ian`s legendary Biblical zeal, Blair became a Catholic although he wasn`t man enough to tell the British while still resident in number ten. Laws of Succession and all that. I don`t think we will ever get to hear the full story of Paisley`s war effort, his quasi military allegiances and associations with Tommy Herron, Glenn Barr and co. No point raking over those particular embers. The Beast and the Mighty Dodds are dreadful but I suppose we should all be grateful Boal and Foster aren`t in power.

  7. NorthMunsterman January 23, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    “It was a selling out of all that we stood for and all that our fathers died for”

    – Ian Paisley on the GFA

    Ironic that the individual who claimed he was trying to save 6-county Ulster, in fact did more damage to 6-county Ulster unionism than any other person in 50 years. It was fitting that he had to sign up to the GFA which has removed the unionist veto over a Re-United Ireland, brings in 50/50 power.sharing in the North and is the road-map to the inevitable Re-United Ireland.