I don’t know the inner workings of the DUP so I’m going to go out on something of a limb here when I say that DUP people don’t tell each other much. Arlene doesn’t put her arm around the shoulders of Nigel and whisper in his ear; Sammy doesn’t retreat to the corner of a pub with Gregory and tell All; Edwin imitates the clam when he meets up with Jeffrey.
I accept that I’m boxing in the dark here but I still feel secure in the knowledge that I’ve got it right.
Ian Paisley Jr has allegedly been having super-duper holidays at the expense of others, some of them government ministers in countries where their human rights record is a bit less than inspirational. Right? If these allegations are true, then clearly Ian would keep the facts locked in his heart.
Sammy: How’s about you, big man?
Ian Óg : No bother, Samsters.
Sammy: I see you have the oul’ suitcases with you – off on a holiday?
Ian Óg (guardedly): I might be. Or I might not.
Sammy: Going somewhere nice, then? Abroad, like?
Ian Óg: No idea what you’e talking about, Samster. What would I be going abroad for, when we have everything you could possibly need in this great wee country of ours?
Sammy: Oh I know. It’s a fortnight in a caravan in Portrush every year for me.
Ian Óg: Me too. Aghohill is very under-rated as a holiday destination. As is Doagh.
You get the idea. Tight-lipped. Cards close to chest. Divulging nothing. Keeping schtum. Because if Ian were to tell Sammy or any of his colleagues, or allow them to find out, that he was going on these super-smooth deep-comfort holidays, one of two things might happen:
They might want a piece of the action themselves. But if that is Ian’s line of thought, I think he’s doing his colleagues a grace injustice. None of them would ever dream of taking up on offers to travel to jet-set resorts at the invitation of any minister, let alone a minister with a shady record.
No. Another reaction is much more likely. Had Ian Óg allowed any of his colleagues to know what he was doing, far from wanting to get in on the act, they would have gone straight to the authorities and seen to it that there was a full, frank and open investigation of the right and wrong of it all.
But clearly Ian has said nothing and his colleagues have never suspected that he went any further than Castlerock or Ballygally. The allegations about Ian must have come as a terrible shock to them. Seismic. Deeply disturbing. They may even have needed extended counseling in some peaceful, secluded place where they could relax and restore their shattered systems, away from the censuring public eye.