By Geoff McGimpsey
So, farewell then, Big Ian. The former DUP Leader is stepping down from Parliament.
First up, tribute from a blogging Parliamentarian. At And another thing… Labour MP Tom Harris thinks Paisley was pragmatic like Trimble, but unlike Trimble ‘he managed to hold onto the unionist community’s trust’.
Not so much praise from TUV recruit David Vance.
David’s a bit like the Judge Jeffries of wordsmithery – he’s never happier than when handing out lots of tough-sounding sentences. And so it is at A Tangled Web. David looks ahead and figures Jim Allister will beat Paisley Jnr who is ‘slightly less popular than bubonic plague’.
Well, fortunately for Junior the Bubonic Plague has yet to declare itself candidate but that race against Allister will be toxic stuff nevertheless. On that race, Mark Devenport’s Blog urges we ignore the Euro results as ‘facing a Paisley, albeit the junior version, will present a different challenge’. Just so.
Over at Open Unionism Andrew Charles is more reflective. Posting up a pretty sharp run-through of Paisley’s career and achievements, Charles remembers a Paisley who ‘took on the establishment and worked to… fight for those Unionists left disenfranchised by the UUP’.
And from disenfranchised UUP voters to defenestrated Labour leaders… so, farewell too, Comrade Michael Foot.
According to @EamonnMallie on twitter: Ian Paisley, though diametrically opposed to the politics of Michael Foot, considered him the finest orator he had ever heard in Parliament.
High praise indeed. Though for me, I mostly considered Foot in terms of the headline he earned when leading a lobby group on nuclear disarmament in the 80s. That story bore the headline: ‘Foot heads arms body’. Genius.
But on the body parts theme, ‘two fingers in air’ from Jeff Peel’s Diary and my own Bobballs. Caitriona Ruane is planning to remove funding from prep schools this September, of which both blogs are highly critical. Jeff calls the move illogical and says we should make MLAs aware of ‘this attack on choice in our education system’.
And finally, over to the blog of the University of Ulster DUP. Sure, the parent party is a little distracted at the moment by some sort of piffling sex scandal but the students have had a triumphant year.
The blog notes campus victories over the ‘sectarian Sinn Fein agenda’ and ‘wasteful anti Israel campaigns’. But the list goes on: ‘… and no longer are University of Ulster Students subject to the pitiful NUS-SUI’.
Sectarianism and anti-Semitism are one thing, but nothing makes my blood boil like the pitiful NUS-SUI. Ulster is safe once more! (Erm… but shouldn’t that be the pitiful NUS-USI?)