Mick Wallace and Jamie Bryson are upsetting Peter Robinson

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Picture by Northern Ireland Executive                 Picture by Mick Wallace

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Picture by John Baucher

Amid all the clucking and squawking regarding the existence/non-existence of the  IRA, one word has been conspicuous by its absence: NAMA.  That’s because the NAMA controversy, where NAMA property in the north was sold to an American outfit called Cerberus, had nothing to do with the IRA’s presence on/absence from  the stage. Right?

Well, maybe not . There are those who would tell you (hello Jamie Bryson) that the hysteria over the IRA question is a smokescreen to divert attention away from the NAMA matter. And why does NAMA matter? Because (i) it’s so complicated, it makes my head hurt just saying the word; and (ii) because Mick Wallace TD has alleged that a northern politician had £7 million resting in an account, for helping the Cerberus deal to happen.

Now it appears that Mick Wallace has emerged from the cover of Dail privilege and said something about the matter on Twitter. He would appear to have named names, because Peter Robinson has said he’s going to sue Wallace for defamatory remarks. Wallace has said, effectively: “See you in court, baby”.

Add to that the fact that Jamie Bryson – yes, he of the flag protests – has been tweeting for weeks, alleging all sorts of involvement and naming names of those DUP people who’ve had their finger in the NAMA pie. Which raises the question that others have raised: why didn’t Peter Robinson threaten to sue Jamie?

Because suing a southern politician, especially one with the kind of blond hair and pink shirts that Mick wears, is more likely to be a more popular target than Jamie.  Unionist voters may not all love the little scamp but they’d feel it was a bit too internecine if Peter turned  legal fire on him.

But just as the unionist walk-out from Stormont looks like it may be resolved by talks on Monday, guess who’s giving evidence to the Stormont committee investigating the NAMA sale? Yup – young Jamie himself. What’s more, Jamie wanted to give his evidence in public but the committee won’t let him. Which is a terrible pity, because it would make great TV. Instead it will be held in camera and the proceedings published later, allowing for redacting, which is a polite word for censoring the submission in case some of those named by Jamie would get tetchy and reach for their lawyer. Anyway, we can be pretty sure that Jamie will be paying particular attention in his testimony to the DUP, which he clearly detests.

I have a friend who’s of the view that the south of Ireland is uniquely given to corruption in high and low places. He has a point. But I think Wednesday might show that there are a few dark stinking pools in the north as well.  And by the way: the alleged imminent departure of Peter Robinson as party leader ( Henry McDonald in today’s Guardian makes the Freudian slip of referring to him as ‘the former DUP leader’) has absolutely nothing to do with the DUP’s effort to wriggle clear of this whole NAMA thing. Right?

Footnote:  I take back that bit above about Mr Robinson choosing only southern pink-shirted blonds as a target for his ire. Usually reliable sources tell me he’s also going to sue Jamie. AND that it’s perfectly possible Jamie’s hearing will be public. Now there’s a date for your TV. The problem for the producers will be to disguise Jamie’s strings as decorative ceiling-hangers…

Footnote 2.0:  I’m informed by a man who tells me that he’s always right that technically, Peter Robinson IS a former First Minister, because…Oh bugger. Take his word for it. I promise you, it’ll be best for you in the end. Sorry, Henry. You are Freudian-free. Mea culpa.

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24 Responses to Mick Wallace and Jamie Bryson are upsetting Peter Robinson

  1. PJ Dorrian September 19, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    I wonder have the UUP a NAMA problem as well or maybe it was just a bit of opportunism

  2. daniel moran September 19, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    Of course, being tetchy is near enough de rigeur for Robbo so you can’t put too much on that but NAMA coupled with Robbo/DUP is a whole other kettle of fish. It’ll come out in the wash eventually, but I’ve zero fath in Stormont committees esp after the Red Sky /Housing Executive affair. I heard Seamus McKee taking Nesbitt apart on EE yesterday and MN had yet another car crash interview[they’re ‘piling up’ since his strop a fortnight ago]He was forced into admitting that he walked out of Stormont because Adams refused to get on the same page with Chief Con re IRA status. Comedy Gold.

  3. jessica September 19, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    Jamie should be careful, if he goes too far, more likely peter and co will cry hard enough in the right circles to have some spooks bump him off and blame it on republicans.

    Wonder will the factual assessment consider on-going actions and activities of the various state run groupings.

    That rotten core / inner circle hasn’t gone away you know.

    • giordanobruno September 20, 2015 at 9:13 am #

      I don’t know if Peter Robinson has ever ordered any executions or not but I wouldn’t be saying so on any public forums unless I had some evidence! That’s just me though.

      • ANOTHER JUDE September 20, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

        As a leading light in the Ulster Resistance Robinson has been involved with, ahem, militaristic minded people. That`s before we mention his, how shall I say, cosy relationships with various members of the UDA and UVF. The DUP have also had people up their neck in the LVF. Ken Maginnis admitted setting up people for the British to kill, I don`t think he would have been unique in that regard.

        • giordanobruno September 20, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

          You might think it, but that is very different from alleging he specifically would order someone killed.

  4. Neill September 19, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

    But I think Wednesday might show that there are a few dark stinking pools in the north as well

    Making allegations without proof Jude mmm not read any of your previous articles?

    • Jude Collins September 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

      Ah neill – I’ve just finished commenting on Perkin’s reference to ‘premature ejaculation’. You’re a little premature to describe that as an allegation – ‘might show’ is simple thoughtful speculation. And would you speculate that the NAMA thing will end with some crystal-clear pools?

  5. Perkin Warbeck September 19, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    One wonders, Esteemed Blogmeister, if, perchance, the two Robinsons are related ?

    Both are blessed with the Fly me to the Moon gene which enables the pair to fly and to moon simultaneously..

    One Robbo being the robotic President of the Free Southern Stateen who, it will be recalled, jumped ship before her term of office was ended. Not as a defiant gesture of disrespect to the office, bordering even on a kind of subversive mooning – good heavens, no !

    But rather , for bigger and better things. Such as another ship: the Secretary Generalship of the (gulp) UNITED NATIONS aka Global Dominatrix.

    The second Robbo, being the yobbotic Peter who, as it happens is currently in the process of jumping ship and mooning at the Ministerial Office (the First). The greater ship in this instance being (gasp) a Lordship in the House of L’s.

    Kindred Spigots

    If Sugar Mary R. is sweet among women
    Then Sour Peter R. is dour amongst men
    Both wear a common name
    And share a common game
    It’s ‘Premature Ejaculation’ once again !

    • Jude Collins September 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

      You are a VERY naughty boy, Perkin…

      • sherdy September 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

        ‘Premature ejaculation’ – I wouldn’t stand for that!

  6. giordanobruno September 19, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    Did he not refer to him as former First Minister, technically correct at the moment?

    • Jude Collins September 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

      Yes, he did say ‘former’. But surely like Fr Ted’s money, his title was just resting in temporary paralysis, not in a state of formerness??

      • giordanobruno September 20, 2015 at 9:09 am #

        Focus! McDonald never said anything about ‘former leader of the DUP’ as far as I can see. so perhaps the Freudian slip was yours!.

        • Jude Collins September 20, 2015 at 11:20 am #

          Well of course, Gio, your young eyes and intellect are so much sharper than mine; but I did check it a second time and it still said ‘former’. On the other hand, maybe I got my drugs mixed up…

          • giordanobruno September 20, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

            Are you just trying to annoy me?
            It’s not the ‘former’ bit it’s the ‘DUP’ bit. He did not say ‘DUP’ he said ‘First Minister’. Stop spoiling my Sunday.

          • Jude Collins September 20, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

            Ah – I see. No , gio, I would never try to annoy you (you do that quite well on your own….:) ). You’re right – he did say ‘First Minister’ . By now I’ve forgotten what we were disputing…

  7. Iolar September 19, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    First it was ‘Jaws’, followed by ‘Jaws 1,2,3… and now following the demise of the Independent Monitoring Commission, we are about to get ‘IMC II’. What next, ‘Making a Living II’? it would have to be a silent movie, though we already know what they are going to say, without colour and lots of Keystone Cops. Stormont fits the bill, with plenty of smoke and mirrors and a ready made cast of walk out performers complete with subsidised custard pies.

  8. Ryan September 19, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

    The questions I have is: How does Jamie Bryson, who isn’t even a DUP member, know anything of the NAMA deal in the first place? And who is his source of information? And why would they tell him? Its all very strange. When the Haass talks was in progress Jamie told the public that DUP members (allegedly Edwin Poots) met him in a Hotel toilet (yes, a toilet…) and handed him a draft of the Haass proposals. When he read the draft he quickly rejected them and told the DUP to do the same. If that’s true, since when did Jamie Bryson represent the Unionist electorate? He got 160 odd votes the last time he stood for election, something he hates being reminded of.

    I regard Jamie as a twerp but I’m very interested in the company he keeps. He’s voiced his support for loyalist terrorists, is that the company he keeps? former/present Loyalist paramilitaries? Is that why the DUP asked for his permission on whether they should support the Haass proposals or not? Unlike the PIRA, the UVF/UDA have been very active since their “ceasefires” in murder, drug dealing, sectarian intimidation, etc there wasn’t an uproar from the DUP or UUP about that over the past 10 years, that’s for sure, they were even sharing platforms and sitting/talking with them, usually about trying to force a sectarian parade by a Catholic area, not to (as Mike TV would say) convince them to be peaceful.

    There’s no doubt Unionists are using the alleged activity of the PIRA (while ignoring UDA/UVF activity) to distract from NAMA. Sinn Fein and the SDLP have been pretty silent on the NAMA issue, if it was SF involved in such a scandal the Unionists parties would be very noisy.

    Will NAMA be the last straw for Robbo as leader of the DUP? I think it will. Its obvious many inside the DUP and also outside it (Like Jamie Bryson himself) want Robbo out, so I think Robbo should be using his time more wisely in arranging for his £300 per day and all expenses paid move to the House of Lords rather than trying to foolishly intimidate a TD with legal action.

    • ANOTHER JUDE September 20, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Spot on Ryan, but then the Unionist parties have always been up their necks in skulduggery and subterfuge.Robinson is counting the days until he takes his rightful (in his eyes) place in the hideous House Of Lords.

  9. Freddy Mallins September 19, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

    Love the Father Ted analogy, Jude.
    Another one that I love is the time when Father Jack is being quizzed by the bishop and Ted advises him to respond to any and all questions with, ” now that would be an ecumenical matter.”
    Perhaps Peter Robinson might use that one when pushed.

    • Jude Collins September 20, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      Haven’t you heard? The DUP don’t do God…

    • In a Word September 29, 2015 at 9:48 am #

      Wallace and Jamie Bryson, only know the slurs, they are fed by people trying to pull down power sharing in the North .

      .. let the puppet masters come forward and tell us, which parts of their stories are true, innuendo or lies

      Jamie Bryson is totally against power sharing (even if it brings peace) so he was their perfect choice.

      This is not about politicians its about Nama and undoubtedly the whole of the Southern Governments Nama structure, appointments, procedures, governance and accountable should/could be called into question.

      Wallace being used to divert the attention of Nama deals to the North. Will cause great concern to the Southern Government as in this jurisdiction, they will find it hard to cover things up

      .. better have that election soon

  10. Geoffrey Rodgers or Rodger Geoffries September 20, 2015 at 12:05 am #

    Ha ha Petesy going down the Jonathan Aitken path with “the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play”. I hope so(wink)