So tell me, Nigel…


Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. If the DUP had gone into a huddle and said “Right guys, let’s think of something that’ll make it harder for any UK party to go into coalition with us. Mmm. Let’s see… Sammy – could you say something about evolution?…Nah, doesn’t have that zing. Edwin – gay blood – that would be a nice one. OK, hold onto that one while we check for other …What’s that, Jim? You figure you have the very thing? …Right. So you’ll  say gays raising children is putting them at risk – Wow. That one has legs….And you plan to ram it home by giving a couple of lesbians a mini-lecture on morals – hey! That sounds the very ticket. Well done, Jim. Sorry, Sammy and Edwin. Another time, maybe.

Far-fetched? Mmm – maybe. But when Big Jim said that about the gays and children, he must have calculated that a good number of his audience on the spot, and the wider electorate out there, would nod and say “Good man,  Jim. We can’t stand them either. And as for leave children in their clutches – appalling! You get my vote, Jim. Now and forever.”

The encouraging thing is that so many of his audience leapt on it immediately and denounced his statement. I’m assuming – maybe wrongly – that the bulk of his audience were DUP -sympathetic people. To think that they rejected Jim’s time-frozen take on gays suggests that the electorate is ahead of the DUP on this one. I say the DUP because Peter Robinson came out in support of Jim  – remember? So it’s no maverick that’s done a solo run. The leader of the DUP thinks he’s just fine as a minister.

And the rest of the DUP? Well now – that’s the question every journalist and every voter-on-the-doorstep should be asking of DUP candidates: do  you agree with Jim Wells or do  you reject his views as out-dated to the point of blue-mould? Maybe start with Nigel Dodds, who sees his re-election as vital to the well-being of North Belfast. So Nigel: would you agree or disagree with Jim’s views on gays? None of the toothy smiles, none of the shouting down – just a simple agree/disagree question. We’re waiting, Nigel…

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23 Responses to So tell me, Nigel…

  1. neill April 27, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    That is a perfectly fair question to ask Nigel in the context of a electoral campaign. Equally I am sure you would agree that it would be fair to ask Gerry Kelly if he believed bombing and killing was right during the troubles?

    As for doing deals with other parties SF is as popular down in the South as the Dup is in Westminster in regards to going into coalition with wouldn’t you agree>

    • Jude Collins April 27, 2015 at 10:19 am #

      Agreed, neill. In fact I didn’t ask Gerry Kelly in my interview if he’d been in the IRA – I simply commented that he had and he nodded. I don’t think he would be averse to fielding that question from the electorate – although my question for DUP candidates is about a present issue, not one from 30 years ago…What was that I heard about moving on?

      • neill April 27, 2015 at 10:50 am #

        Oh I am all in favour of moving on however is saying something distasteful worse than doing something distasteful?

        Nobody wants to work with SF down south as nobody trusts them they might come back with more TDS they might not but you would have to be very brave to do a deal with Sf has you have no idea what may come out of the woodwork over the next year…

        • Jude Collins April 27, 2015 at 10:56 am #

          You’re a good laff, neill. The thing you’ll have to…no, sorry, you ought in my humble opinion – to get clear in your mind is that as various SF people have said, they regret/are sorry for all loss of life during the conflict, while at the same time believing that they had no other recourse. I know unionists don’t find that good enough, but it’s a lot more than the British army, RUC, UDR and various collusive groups have said re the loss of nationalist/republican lives. Anyway, as I say, you can only go on harping on what people did 30 /40 years ago for so long. You need to judge them on what they’re doing now. And right now, we have one member of the DUP who thinks gays are a risk to children. Or has he changed his mind? And I think it’s perfectly fair to inquire if this is a party line. Don’t you think?

          • paul April 27, 2015 at 11:46 am #

            GRMA for this response. We will all be a long time waiting for an apology for state atrocities.

    • Jude Collins April 27, 2015 at 10:24 am #

      Oops – sorry, Neill, forgot your second question. I think you’ll find that SF will have rather more seats going into the Dail than the DUP will have going to Westminster. And while I agree there’s a lot of hostility to SF from other parties in the south, their sheer numbers will soon count more than party distaste. Besides which I don’t think the DUP will have sufficient numbers for other either Labour or Conservatives to be concerned about their vote. And of course the British are rather better at dealing with the way things are now. Which is why I think all DUP (and other candidates) should be asked about now and Jim Wells’s views…Btw, neill – do you agree with JW?

  2. Gareth Doolan April 27, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    This is at least the second time Peter has backed someone who has gone on to resign – bad judgment from the first minister – I wouldn’t trust him to go to the shop for me

    • Jude Collins April 27, 2015 at 10:24 am #

      That doesn’t matter, Gareth, because you see, he’s not a Muslim…

  3. Iolar April 27, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    Embarrassing bedfellows

    Do not hold your breath waiting on a reply.

    The current MP for north Belfast is more worried about “nationalist paranoia” in Scotland as the leader of the SNP is described as the most dangerous woman in the country. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has warned that a post-election deal between Labour and the SNP would pose the gravest constitutional crisis since the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936. It would appear that British republicans are emerging from underneath beds.

    • DanQ April 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

      Someone from the DUP complaining about ‘Nationalist Paranoia’, you couldn’t make it up!
      This is the same DUP who had a heart attack when the union flag was removed from belfast city hall and who are intent in waving said flag up and down every road in the north over 2000 times a year.

  4. giordanobruno April 27, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    As he has now resigned I would say your speculation was clearly a bit silly, based as it was on what you want to believe rather than what is real!

    • Jude Collins April 27, 2015 at 11:29 am #

      Listen carefully, gio: I am never silly. OK? Never. Maybe foolish, maybe laughable, but never silly….Anyway what speculation would you deem the s word relevant to and what has that to do with Big Jim’s bowing out? The key thing for me is, since the DUP regard his resigning from the job of Minister as acceptable/necessary, do they have different views from him? Or the same? It’s a simple question and a necessary one, I believe.

      • giordanobruno April 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

        Your question is fair enough.
        Your article clearly suggests the DUP may have deliberately put out such a provocative statement for some reason.
        Given the aftermath that seems very unlikely, indeed even a bit silly.

        • Jude Collins April 27, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

          Ah I see what you mean, gio…But I disagree. I believe (like any politician) Big Jim said something he thought would go down well with the electorate – garner him votes. What politician is going to do the opposite deliberately? What happened was that he underestimated the tolerance/acceptance level of his audience and people here generally. So it was deliberate but he was as ’twere, hoist by his own petard.

  5. Pointis April 27, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    These are the real views of some very senior members of the DUP who jointly run our Government here! We can only be thankful that the British public and the rest of the world are getting to see a rare glimpse of what the views of these people are on current issues.

    Maybe they will begin to see why there are deep rooted problems here.

    What other people in the world allow themselves to be governed by people who don’t believe that Dinosaurs existed and think the World is 4000 years old?

  6. Sherdy April 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    I wonder if the media companies who virtually banned the DUP from the airwaves during the political debates are realising what a trick they missed.
    The couple of debates on TV proved to be very predictable affairs, bordering on the dull.
    Had they invited Jim Wells on to their programmes think of the crack there would have been.
    They would have been the liveliest shows of the year with ratings blasting through the roof.
    But what really gets me about the Jim Wells affair is how he blames all his problems on his wife’s illness. Even though he is only repeating the sort of vitriol he and his DUP buddies have been spouting for years.
    Robbo said we should cut him a bit of slack, he wouldn’t normally say such things – despite the fact that he previously did. Again Robbo blamed Wells’ wife’s illness.
    How many others in this country whose spouse has suffered long term serious illness have totally changed character and said and done things they would not normally do? Very few.
    Is homophobic bigotry not a requirement for the DUP? While the majority may be disgusted at their rantings no one is surprised – they have always behaved so.
    Now we are being told that free speech is a fundamental tenet of society. Yes, but do you have the right to deliberately insult and intimidate your neighbour?
    I don’t think so – no freedom is absolute.

    • paddykool April 27, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

      I’ve said it before .There’s enough comic material seeping out of the stinkpile that is “morality” in Norneverland to make the bones of a really good television comedy…as long as it’s done with a bit of pizazz by a team like the “Spitting Image” lot or some latter-day Monty Pythons.Who hasn’t been insulted by the DUP and its camp followers? Let me think who they’ve had a pop at recently .There’s been the Irish, the Catholics …the Muslims, anybody vaguely gay, foreign or of a different religious or racial stripe really. Have they left anyone out? Have they had a dig at the Travelling People, the French or the Welsh yet?

  7. ANOTHER JUDE April 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    The cheek of any DUP member attempting to lecture people on their `lifestyle choices`. Being gay is definitely better than being twisted with hatred for Catholics and immigrants and gay people. Attacking police stations in the free state, hanging out with loyalist terrorists, bringing a rabble out over the reduction in the number of days a flag flies, giving support to drunken bandsmen pissing outside a place of worship, allowing people to burn flags, posters, shirts etc, simply because they are important symbols to the other side`, demanding the right to march past Catholic areas so the people there will be offended, toadying up to the British royal family and it`s ghastly military.Goodbye Jim and good riddance.

    • ben madigan April 27, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      One down and who knows how many more to go!
      I made the same type of comment in my latest post on
      Let’s hope the gay community have enough self-respect to vote someone other than DUP throughout NI

    • Gearoid April 27, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

      Just one word mo chara, brilliant!

  8. Perkin Warbeck April 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    Dame Enda was in fine shirty form down here in the Free Southern Stateen this morning, Esteemed Bloglmeister,, dealing with a topic not totally unrelated to today’s blog.

    ‘A positive vote in the forthcoming same difference marriage riferendum’, the gland-handling,oops, glad-handing Prime Minister (for it is he !) intoned, ‘ would define (no less !) what this Shtateen is all about.’

    Even as he tossed out verbal gladioli to all his favourite possums in the packed audience at the press conference to launch the lilac-coloured Fine Gael / wisteria-hued West British Party offence on the offensive Nay-sayers. And to self- toast said campaign with champers..

    Dame Enda from the Moonie Ponds constituency of Mayo (home also to Ms. Panti Bliss) did not, so much, oddly enough, as cast a cat-eyed glance in the direction of that funny anomaly of items NOT covered by discrimination legislation in the FSS: language.

    Not funny funny but rather funny peculiar and/or funny queer.

    A visitor from planet Mars Bar (the solar system not unlike football stadiums / stadia is not immune from the virus of commercial naming rights being flogged) might well have been surprised by a failure of the Fine Gael party leader. The failure of the First Citizen of the Free Southern Stateen (give or take a leprechaun) to utter even one word / focal amhain, never mind cupla in the First Official language of said constitutional entity: leprechaun.

    Although the poster-bedecked wall behind Dame Enda proclaimed ‘Equality for Everybody’. it was also funny peculiar/queer than leprechaun did not feature in these lordly hissy-fit for purpose posters either.

    Not merely Gaelic but Gay, would appear to have been the subliminal message.

    But who knows, who can tell? Honey-voiced Dame Enda was as silent as his M.A. on this topic. (The title of his treatise being, less one forget: ‘Is binn beal ina thost’./ ‘The silent mouth is the sweetest).

    M.A., coincidentally, are also the initials, as it happens, or doesn’t happen, of, erm, Madge Allsop, the long-suffering linguistic mute and silent side-kickee.. Though whether it was actually a ‘coincidence’ is a moot p.

    And the reason why the visitor from Planet Mars Bar would have been surprised is because it is the, erm, norm in most average, rational nations in this world and other worlds to be defined by the language they hiss and/or do not diss.

    Take Croke Park, yesterday.

    Well, the single most eloquent spokesperson on behalf of the Yis ! Campaign thus far, Just-out Justin of the Condoleezza McAleezza Media Manipulation Services Unlimited took the name of Croke Park in vain. And fair being fair in all matters of a sectional. nature.

    Yesterday Jack Mac of the Jacks broadcast his acceptance speech in unapologetic leprechaun when being presented with his MOM award. in Croke Park. He got his Man of the Match award (for it was it !) after a truly barn-storming performance, despite being an urban dweller.

    This monolingual speech would have automatically classified this oddity as a Jack Nobody in the book of the Sunday Dependent’s in-house comedian, Dec ‘The Neck’ Lynch. He, in a recent interview on the professionally unbiased wireless show of Dame Pat Kenny (no relation) proclaimed that ‘the idea that anybody actually speaks leprechaun is a lie….take it from me, Pat, nobody but nobody in public speaks lepreachaun’. Compliant Pat took it from him.

    (Dec The Neck, incidentally, pronounced lie as ‘loy’, being a biteen of the Playboyo of the Weshtern World himself).

    Jack…..who? That would be Jack McCaffrey of the Dublin Bogball Team. And despite/because this barnstorming performance was, erm, the norm from him, Madge, he was the Jack who did not merit even a dropeen of a syllable from the DOBlin media during the past week.

    Whereas another Jack, a monoglot who is believed to mutte rin a manner peculiar to the Q’s English of the Midlands (UK) had had a whole tsunami of tspotlights rained upon him by the same mediocre media.

    While McCaffrey’s surname is decidedly not Grealish. one cannot state with any degree of certainty what the Jack is brief for: whether John or Jacqueline. Though one suspects the former.

    No such uncertainty about Donaleen Og Cusack who is a Gay rather than a Gaelic Icon of the the shrill Yis ! campaign. HIs ceremonial closet-exiting meant he would take no stick for being a stickfighting super-star and keeper out of considered shots rifled in.

    Not so the man with the Maor UIsce bib on his back for the Jacks yesterday who was the sponge man in the Dublin corner yesterday. When Bearnard O Duinn/ Bernard Dunne (for it is they !) was a ‘guest’ on the Brendan O’Connor Telly and Custard Pie Show on RTE some time ago he was warmly welcomed with a haymaker below the belt:

    -Tell me, boy, why are oo espousing the cause of leprechaun? Shur, every dog and divil on the streets of Cork know that leprechaun is only the lingo of whingers.

    This is what passes as wit from the flywit champion of this scrunchy-faced colleague of Dec ‘The Neck’ Lynch of the Sunday Dependent.

    Not merely Gaelic, but totally Gay.

    To conclude with Judy Garland.

    While it might be considered superfluous to r. to mention that JG is a,Gay Icon and then some, perhaps her qualifications to be considered a Gaelic Icon are more in need of a bench-marking mench.

    Consider the following: for two weeks in July 1951 (possibly even including the orange-flavoured day of days) Judy appeared at the Theatre Royal, Dublin – the Croke Park of showbiz of the time. And the highlight of her sell-out performances was her singing of ‘The Pretty Girl Milking a Cow’ which she had made her own in the fillum ‘Little Nelly Kelly’ some years previously.


    So, she actually went to the bother of singing it in the original (gulp) leprechaun: ‘Cailin Deas Cruite na mBo’.Being in Leprechaun-land she somewhat illogically assumed that maybe the original leprechaun.Somewhere under the rainbow,like. But that’s women for you, not least when it comes to logic.

    Now, herebe an industrial-strength ‘Wow ! Mo’, if ever there was one.

    And one uses the ‘original’ label with due diligence. Perkie’s inner painstaking folklorist has recollections of coming across a claim that ‘Cailin Deas Cruite na mBo’ was the only authenticated toon learned at first hand from the leprechaun. Seeminlyy, by a blind and blind-drunk tin whistler who fell and fell into sleep hard by a fairy lios. And awoke whistling the following:

    ‘I saw a pretty girl milking her cow
    Her voice so enchantingly melodious
    Let me quite unable to go’

    ”Nil oigbhean nios deise
    San saol seo
    Na cailin deas cruite na mbo’.

    Fancy the amount of, erm, milking to be done if, say, a Gaelic Liberation Movement was to be, erm, behind the forthcoming referendum.

    Judy GAArland, anyone?

  9. Sherdy April 27, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    Just having another thought on Jim Wells resigning as health minister as he finds he needs to look after his sick wife.
    But the same man is the DUP candidate for South Down in the Westminster election, and his wife was very ill when he lodged his nomination papers.
    He has not withdrawn from this contest, but if he is somehow elected, he will have to spend considerable time in England.
    So how does our Jim plan to look after the unfortunate Grace while he’s over there?
    I would have thought being an MP in England would have been more time consuming and his absence from her bedside greater than being a local executive minister.
    Maybe I am just too much of a cynic!

  10. daniel moran April 30, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    Sherdy[9.59] Very good point. Both Wells and Robinson on Friday evening’s local news told barefaced lies about JW’s ‘apology and the BBC helped them out by declining to quote what JW said in his first statement after midnight to avoid showing him up. Robbo claimed JW voluntarily apologized without being ‘pushed’ by anyone to do so. The video explains why he had to revisit his statement only eight hours later. Robinson knew all this and yet went on tv to lie about it. If Gavin Robinson fails to take E Belfast ‘back for the DUP, Robbo’s position as leader is surely untenable’.