26/11/2011 Democratic Unionist Party Conference


Highlights and analysis of the DUP annual conference at Gransha outside Belfast.

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Hello and welcome it to be programme. Several hundred


delegates have gathered here at the La Mon Hotel in the County Down


countryside for two days and speeches and debates and to catch


up with old friends and familiar faces. They are getting ready for


the highlight of the conference, the leader's speech, where Peter


Robinson will outline his vision for the next year. We will bring


that to you live. Already, Arlene Foster has had a warm reception


despite recent controversy over gas exploration in Fermanagh and


allegations of a conflict of interest, which she has strongly


denied. Later, the party's court jester, Sammy Wilson, will be


entertaining members with his unique style of or Tory. With me is


Mark Davenport. What do you make of it so for? -- so far? This is a


pretty confident performance. They top the poll in elections, they can


afford to feed confident, given it is a while until they will be face


another electoral test. They have a battery of ministers who have


presented various initiatives. Not just Arlene Foster but we have also


had nothing McCausland and Edwin Poots. They see themselves as the


decision-makers at Stormont. can hear the cheers as Peter


Robinson comes into the hall to deliver his speech. A different


atmosphere for him this year compared to last? Last year, there


were memories of the controversy that had beset him controversy --


personally and also the electoral test. He'd pass that test and he


did not have any setbacks at Stormont. We will hear an attempt


to be more of a statesman. He has left having a go at the party's


critics to the other speakers, such as Nigel Dodds. This will be a


speech about bringing people together. We will hear a lot of


talk about the shared society. Interesting times and a lively


speech from Nigel Dodds? He did not take any prisoners. He had lots of


jokes. He was getting into Sammy Wilson's territory as the court


jester but I do not expect a similar performance from Peter


Robinson. Let's see what he has to say.


What a crowd! Thank you for your support. Thank you for your


dedication and enthusiasm. Thank you for Europe extraordinary


loyalty, your commitment and the unity we enjoy within his party.


Thank you for making our incredible success possible. Together, this


past decade, we have achieved something special. As a result of


the work like you have done, Northern Ireland is a better place.


-- that you have done. I want to fight not just our friend here


today, but every one at home who entrusted us with their vote. It is


ultimately not politicians, but the people, who decide what sort of a


country we have. Our power is derived from the support and


consent to of the Ulster people. For the trust reposed in us, we


will return to the courage and devotion that befits the task that


we have been set. This party has come a very long way in a short


time. Today, thanks to a hard work and dedication, we are the largest


party in Northern Ireland. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE. Because of


you, Northern Ireland continues to have eight Unionist First Minister.


CHEERING AND APPLAUSE. Winning elections is not just about


getting more seats than our opponents. It is about getting a


mandate to shape the future. In a decade's time, Northern Ireland


will mark the centenary of its existence. Today, I want to set out


a pathway to our next 100 years. A vision of a shared society that


will secure the future with in the United Kingdom for generations to


come. I want to set out how we ensure that this party will set


that future. 12 months ago, there were very few who would have


believed that today we would be celebrating not just a victory, but


an increase in our representation at Stormont. Here we are, stronger


and in greater numbers than ever before. Who would have believed


that we could top our performance of 2007? Not after the fall-out


from entering government, which included Sinn Fein, not after the


impact that that had on both Dromore and European elections. Not


after the setting up of another Unionist Party to oppose us. And


not after the trials and tribulations that we faced. Losing


40% of our vote was painful. There was an anxious uncertainty amongst


our friends, alongside the torrent of abuse from our opponents. The


press and media encircled are camp, predicting her downfall and when


other Unionist parties before Russ were under a similar fire, before


amongst themselves, became director Liz, did not have the ability or


have they lost the will to explain their decisions. -- became without


direction. And then, they plummeted in the polls. The dark days that we


encountered were worth all that they cost us. They taught us that


we needed to reconnect with our support base. They taught us to


stand our ground, explainer decisions, face sterner critics --


explain our ground and face are critics and it tested the


motivation of those around us. We held together, we stayed united, we


came through the fire as one. From the shadows of our troubles came


hope and from that hope, it's drying triumph. -- spraint trialed.


We sought a mandate to work with other people -- parties for the


benefit of the people, and we got it. This is a new era in Northern


Ireland politics. We will never forget the conflict or turmoil that


we have come through. We will never forget the lives that have been


lost and destroyed. We salute those who paid the supreme sacrifice in


defence of our province's freedom and liberty. There's not a day


back-passes that we are not mind full -- there's not a day that


passes that we are not mindful of those left behind. They bear their


loss and suffering with great dignity. No matter what selective


inquiries and sexual campaigns there maybe -- sector and will


campaigns there may be, we are resolved never to let republicans


As a society and as a community, we are ready to move forward. The


clearest sign of this new era was the side of the police and the GAA


standing side by side at the funeral of a young Catholic police


officer, murdered by dissident republicans. That was a glimpse


into the future. It was symbolic of change and symbols are important.


The murder of Ronan Kerr, a constable in the PSNI, showed that


the threat from terrorism still exists but more importantly, their


reaction to his death demonstrated that such threats will never, never


wane. -- and win. Ulster will not be defeated.


The end of the conflict has meant that elections are more, not less,


important in shaping the kind of society we want to live in. We can


take nothing for granted. We know it will be the ballot box alone


that will determine our future. It is not long ago that people


wondered if Sinn Fein might become the largest party and return a


Republican First Minister. Not only did they hold them off, but we


actually extended our lead. It was a spectacular election result, it


right across the province. Today, as a result of the voter


endorsement, it is the DUP leading in shaping the political landscape.


38 seats was a truly remarkable achievement and as your leader, I


want to congratulate all those who were elected not just to the


Assembly, but to the councils as well. I want to thank all of those


candidates who did not make good this time. Let me assure you, your


time will come. I was especially glad to see Alan Brett land with us


Most of all, I want to thank everyone who give their time to


support a party. -- the party. It is good to reflect on our


achievements but the real work lies ahead. An election is only ever the


start. With great success comes greater responsibility. The first


term of the Assembly was not smooth sailing, but despite all of the


challengers, we did make a difference. We secured peace and


stability, bedded down devolution and completed the first Assembly


term in over a generation. That's not all. We put our agenda at the


heart of government. We set a new direction. The DUP has been a


linchpin at the heart of the Assembly and Executive. We never


claimed that leading a five-party mandatory coalition would be silky


smooth, and it is not. Unlike other administrations, divisions do not


get a third behind the scenes. Instead, under this system, they


get dramatically and often translucent Lee played out under


the full glare of the media. Some Executive that ministers seek to


exaggerate differences so they can exploit them. -- Executive


ministers. Some genes position to be in opposition to the executor of.


-- Sheen's Position to be in opposition to the Executive.


Opposition for opposition's sake is punished at the polls. We need to


persuade people that devolution is not just good in theory, it is good


in practice as well. People listen and read negative commentators who


only report problems and bad news. What about the peace and the


constitutional stability? The investment from major global


companies to our shores? What about Northern Ireland being on the


international map for film, music and television? What about free


travel for all the people on public transport? What about the lowest


household taxes in the UK? What about student fees being frozen and


the rescue package for PMS savers? What about the delivery of more


jobs to Northern Ireland than under any past government? And what about


highest levels of infrastructure investment in our history? I could


go on, but I think you get their hair -- message. We have a record


of achievement to be proud of but it is only a start. It is still her


bidets but we have made a positive start. -- early days. We are


putting in place building blocks for the future. In the last few


weeks we have agreed how to take forward the Review of Public


Administration and the Education Skills Authority. We have published


a programme for government, our investment strategy and economic


strategy. People want to see us taking decisions and making a


difference. That is what we are elected to do. The new imperative


is getting things done. While some other parties may be focused on


whether or not they should go into opposition, this party is focused


on advancing the business of government. As we promised in our


manifesto, we are in the business of delivering. These are tough


economic times and the truth is, for many people, the real fear is


not that they are going to be sold into a united Ireland, bare except


the union is safe in our hands. The real fear is that they might not


have a job to provide for their family, or that their debts are


getting out of control. As an Executive, we have to focus on the


economy and do all that we can to We have an ambitious agenda. We


will press for the devolution of Corporation of cap -- corporation


tax and reduce its level. We will promote over 25,000 jobs, achieved


�3 million of investment through FDI and increase in manufacturing


exports by 15%. We will increase our visitor numbers and tourist


revenue and in defeat -- get an extension of the small business


rate relief scheme. We will make Northern Ireland an even more


attractive place for investment. By ensuring 90% of large scale


investment planning decisions are made within six months.


Applications with job potential are given additional weight. We have


set ourselves a challenging target to advance their shared education.


We will increase the number of university places for economically


relevant subjects and ensure our skills targets are aligned to the


needs of the economy. We will introduce tougher sentences for


those who are charged and found guilty of a tax on older people. As


far as we are concerned, if you are attacking a pensioner, pack your


I know people are finding it difficult to make ends meet so no


matter what some economists may want, we will continue to keep


household's tax the lowest in the UK. We will ensure there will be no


additional water charges. The next few years will see major reforms


across significant public services such as health, education and local


Government. Making them more efficient and effective. We will


support sensible reform of the Prison Service but let me make it


clear, we will ensure that the Crown and the royal title of


preserved. A decade ago, we were powerless to


prevent the implementation of the Patten report. We are not powerless


now. I couldn't help but notice that some of our opponents thought


I over egged my opposition to these matters. Let me tell them why it is


such a touchstone issue. As a matter of process, it was critical.


We spent years under the Belfast Agreement, watching ministers take


decisions without Executive or committee approval from the


Assembly itself. Ministers were unaccountable. St Andrew's changed


all that. It required any decision that was significant or


controversial, to have cross- community support. That protected


both traditions. Parties had determined -- determination to go


forward. However, the Justice Minister announced to the Assembly,


which stated that he would bypass this carefully crafted process and


allow unelected officials to take these decisions as operational


matters. Thereby denying the Executive, an elective


representatives a right to decide how we would move forward. It would


have been alarming. A blow on the process. Sometimes painfully


constructed. That was an issue of such moment and significance that


any true defender of democracy would have taken it to the people


and asked for their view. Secondly, in the past under the stewardship


of others, each of us witnessed how every aspect of British life in our


province was attacked and diluted. Anything that was British had to be


removed or neutralised. When the DUP took over the reins of Unionism,


we determined to detect -- to defend our heritage. Today,


tomorrow and always and we will The greatest challenge that we will


face in the next the years would be to rebuild our society after years


and years of division. We must work towards a more normalised form of


Government, with an Executive and an honest opposition, not a 5th


column that operates from within the ranks of the Executive himself.


There would be a sign of political immaturity. Now because it is good


for Unionism, but because it is good for democracy. Next year the


Assembly would be considering its own structures. There is real


opportunity for Stormont to evolve to democratic... It will only


happen in through agreement. While we work to do live in Government,


we must make sure, as a party, we are ready to face the next election


campaign. That election is not Scheduled until 2014. That doesn't


mean we can relax. We must work harder than ever before to ensure


we do even better next time. In that election, I want to see day


and the reward for all her hard So much for selection meetings. Now


is the time to plan for the future and set our strategy out for the


next decade. 10 years ago, with Unionism that in terminal decline,


which charted a course to recovery. Many doubted we could deliver but


we followed it through. Even when times were tough, we delivered. In


these changed times, we must charge -- chart a fresh path for the party,


the Assembly, the province and the Union. This party, our party, is


best placed to lead Northern Ireland into the future. For us to


make a difference, we have to earn and retain the support of the


people. Elections aren't one in the weeks but the years before polling


day. It is important that we use this time to reform, revitalise and


strengthen the DPP. Unlike other parties, we are able to do it from


a position of strength and unity. - - DUP. Our core values and beliefs


are unalterable. We must constantly adapt to new chair Rouge it -- to


new challenges and circumstances. We are building on the foundations


that have been laid over previous decades. I know there has not


always been at enthusiasm to advance, even to catch eight


further strategic objective. That is precisely the time to make the


next push forward. There has never been a moment when a difficult


decision had to be taken, when there wasn't someone claiming that


there might be a better time to take it somewhere in the future.


If you never try to succeed, you will never fail. You can sit and


oppose everything and hope others fail so you can seek to reap the


harvest of their failure. Achievements and difficult


decisions are linked. That is what leadership is about. Taking


decisions and taking the consequences. The real battle is


not about the past, it is about the future. We must always be sure to


fight the next campaign and not continue to fight the last one. Our


greatest threat is not a political opposition. The path to success


hasn't been painless but the testing times have only served to


strengthen us. We can look back now on everything that we have achieved


and we can see that what we did strengthened and enhanced our


party's position. It didn't we can get. It is not a time to rest on


our laurels, it is the time to move forward. Opportunity is sitting on


our doorstep. As a party, we must be the very best at everything that


we do. That means we must plan and prepare. Whatever our opponents do,


we must be one step ahead. That means a process of continual


improvement at every level. As a party, we must set demanding


targets and to live on them. The way people engage in politics is


changing. We must adjust to that change. That is why we need to find


new ways of interacting that relate to -- relate to modern-day society.


Party members are and will always be the lifeblood of any political


party. To maximise our potential, we must also harness the goodwill


of those outside of our membership, but who support us. I want to


create a new option for those who want to demonstrate support and


play a part in our future. I want to establish the concept of


registered party supporters. There will be no Effie attached if you


are signing up and no obligation to do more. -- no fee. Equally,


registered supporters will have a direct line to feed in their views


of ideas and involve themselves to whatever extent they decide. There


are people who for a variety of reason, can't or don't want to join


a political party. Their job may not permit them to do so, they may


spend a lot of time away from home, they may be too young. They may


come from a community background where joining a unionist Party has


not been common practice. They may have concerns about what membership


it involves. They support what we are doing and might occasionally


attend events that we organise. They follow our progress, want to


see us doing well, they vote for us. As an initial target, I want to


sign up 5000 registered party's supporters before the conference


next year. 5000 more the year after that. Yes, I admit it, I hope


registered party supporters will in their own time ease themselves into


membership of the party itself. At a constituency, I want us to turn


the best practice into common practice. We are looking at the


structure and content of party meetings. I want to see us


embracing additional party can figurations that bring members and


supporters with special policy interests together. Search


specialist groups wouldn't replace our tried and tested branch and


associations structure, it is about setting up creeps -- groups.


Encouraging greater involvement of women. Whatever activity our


membership wants to promote. Of course they will operate within the


guidelines set up within the party but what we will be doing is making


meetings more relevant to meetings and supporters' interests. Yes, we


will be constructing another slip road to he's now members into


active political involvement. I want to reach into every community


of Northern Ireland. I want to see far more women as elected


It shouldn't be just the women who are clapping that statement. In the


next six months, we will revise our party rules to make them fit for


purpose. Fit for the challenges that lie ahead and fit to deliver


continued success. I am proud of his party's past and I am immensely


grateful for that Ian achieved as he led us through those dark and


He carried a heavy burden as he led us into leadership at Stormont, and


we all wish him well. I do not believe a word about him retiring,


there is no way Ian Paisley will retire! I'm proud of what we are


doing today and I am confident about our future. We have solid


foundations upon which to build. 176 councillors, 38 Assembly


members, four members of the House of Lords and worried MPs at


Westminster, magnificently played by -- led by Mike -- Nigel Dodds.


We have Diane Dodds as our MEP, battling for Ulster in Europe. We


have a fantastic team at every level across the province. I want


to affect our ministers and post holders. They have served this


party well. One of the most difficult jobs that I have as


leader is to allocate responsibilities. Having such an


abundance of talent makes the job so difficult. Arlene, Sammy,


nothing, Edwin, Jonathan, well done all of you. -- Nelson. As a team at


every level, we have so much to offer. That is why I am tired of


listening to the professional nay- sayers, who seemed intent on


talking Northern Ireland and democratic politicians down. They


criticise politicians, but are never prepared to stand for office


themselves. They and -- are an authority on everything but have a


mandate for nothing. One of them comes on our radio every morning,


well, at least those that his alarm clock is working! When he is eating


his crisps and Mars bars, he is either putting the worst possible


construction politicians are trying to do, or encouraging others to do


so. It is easy to pick holes in the work of others but it is hard to do


it yourself. It is the size of the have boated that gives you the


right to speak for the people. -- it is the size of your own boat. --


the size of Europe and vote. Stephen Nolan, you might have the


biggest show in the country but when the will of the people, we


have the biggest a vote in the country!


CHEERING AND APPLAUSE. In a democracy, power is not


inherited, it is one. Our authority to be in office and to work for the


people is given to us democratically by the people. Mr


Chairman, I want to pay tribute to our brave soldiers who have served


and are still serving in Afghanistan. We especially remember


those who did not return. Those who gave their lives for country and


for freedom. Their sacrifice is a reminder to us of the part that


this province plays in the life of our nation. It was truly inspiring


to see so many people come out and read our soldiers at the recent


home coming parade. -- Kuyt. We remember them today and we will


ensure they are never forgotten. APPLAUSE.


While our soldiers are bringing a better life to people halfway


around the globe, we must do the same back here at home. I am a


Unionist, not just because of my background or culture, but because


I believe the union offers the best future for this province. There is


something in the Unionists I keep that assumes that our political


opponents are always superior at achieving their objectives. Often,


Unionists are more prepared to believe their opponents' propaganda


than the king of reality. -- looking at reality. Ask yourself,


what have they achieved? Rather than united Ireland, we have an


administration at Stormont with eight Unionist majority, enacting


British laws, and red white and blue is still flying from the


Flagstaff. That did not, by by longing for a return to the


institutions of the past. --, Bard. -- that did not come about. The


cross-border institutions are largely for show. The real work is


not through institutional structures but about issues that


really matter. It is personal relationships that will make North-


South co-operation work and the less political threat, the greater


the opportunity is to work together. It is our strategy, the path that


we started down a decade ago, that has prevailed. Getting devolution


on acceptable terms, seeking to make it work for everyone, ensuring


North-South structures are grounded in practical co-operation and not


advancing political ideology, building up the East-West axis and


demonstrating that the union works for everyone. Yes, it is our


strategy that has prevailed. We need to further reform the


institutions to deliver better government but we need to be


careful not to undermine the consent and acceptance of our


constitutional status in doing it. I do not want a simple majority in


favour of the union, I want an overwhelming majority to support a


constitutional position. Mr Chairman, in time, the economic


crisis will path. The lasting challenge for us will be to tackle


the causes of division. An end to the troubles did not bring an end


to division and the dilemma will not solve itself. Her critics have


claimed that we want a society carved up rather than share. Some


accuse us of wanting a separate but equal society. Nothing could be


further from the truth. It is not right and it would not work. I do


not want a society where people live close together but live


separate lives. This party cannot dictate the future, but we can


place issues at the centre of public debate and forced others to


justify their obstruction. -- force. There can be no greater legacy than


a shared community. It is not just good for Northern Ireland, it is


good for Unionism. This is how we can secure our future, not for the


just -- next decade, bought for the next century. Any society is


governed not by the will of society but by the consent of the minority.


We know that better than most. A conflict of this last 40 years


created terrible divisions. It became a case of them and us. That


attitude deepened divisions further. If we want a better society, it


cannot be them and Darth, it can only be all of us. -- them and us.


Recent surveys show over half of the Roman Catholic population who


were polled wished to remain part of the UK, and only a third wanted


a united Ireland. I want a society for those numbers are improved and


there are place in the kingdom is not reliant on demographics. --


where our place in the kingdom. There can be no greater guarantee


of our security than the support of the Catholic community. Now the


conflict has ended, we have a window of opportunity to reset at


the terms of political debate. We have the opportunity to securing


our constitutional position Beyond the visible horizon. Our task is


not to defeat, but to persuade. Over recent decades, Unionists have


been under attack and we have been forced to be defensive. Some


Republicans tried to bomb us into a united Ireland. Others sought


politically to cajole and wheedle us into a united Ireland. We have


withstood them all. When have we, as Unionists, actually sought to


persuade? Not just by words, but by creating the kind of inviting


society that everyone will want to be part of. Our determination and


resolve sold through the Troubles. Arkwright of no surrender served us


well in the days when we were being mercilessly attacked and our backs


were against the wall. -- Arkwright of no surrender. Happily, times he


had changed and a new approach is justified. Politics is changing in


Northern Ireland. Of course there will be those who are implacably


opposed to being part of the United Kingdom. Even today, they are a


minority in a minority. Bobby Sands once said that, the irate's revenge


would be the laughter of their children. -- IRA. Such narrow


vision. There has been too much talk of revenge and victory and


defeat. The DUP's ambition will be the laughter of all our children,


playing and living together, with a future that does not see them


having to leave our shores, but live here in Northern Ireland, in


the United Kingdom. If I read the mood and tempo of our people


correctly, we all the realise that we are interdependent. -- all


realise. If we are to move forward we have to move forward together. I


believe in this new era we have within our grasp. The cancer cure


Northern Ireland for the next century. -- we can see cure. --


secured. We can grasp the opportunity to effect change and to


deliver the aspirations of a deserving people. Our job is to


make a difference to the lives of individuals and communities. We


need to build one United, shared and peaceful society. Now is the


moment. Miss that, and we may miss it for ever. We have the prospect


of making a difference. Previous generations never had or never took


that. We have the chance in the future to ensure the people in this


country have a future that is meaningful, a future that is real.


I tell you nine is the moment. -- Now is the moment. We want to see


respect given to our varied conditions. We want to be able to


express culture with tolerance and respect, mindful of those who do


not share the values. We want people who do not share our values


to show tolerance and respect to those of us who do. We are the


first generation of peace time Unionists for many decades. No


longer under siege, moving forward with confidence and able to reach


out. Traditional unionism was never about prejudice or sectarianism or


at wrecking or division. That was never what Edward Carson stood for.


His Unionism was about shipping and sharing the freedoms, the security


and the bounty of the union to every citizen, regardless of


religious belief. That is the kind of society we want to build and I


tell you now is the moment. The DUP is the party of Northern Ireland.


They will tell it is soaked into the very soil. It will not expire


with this generation if we repeat - - we planted in the next. There


will Sir -- If there will be some that will try and fail. I do not


want to look at missed opportunities. I want this party to


make a real and a lasting difference. We will energetically


pursue a one community strategy. To be DUP leader and First Minister is


due a huge and enormous responsibility. It is a massive


honour. It is a challenge that I humbly and gratefully accept. But


today, I want to challenge all of you, both here and at home, help us


build a new Northern Ireland. Not just for some, but for all. Get


involved and even in some small way play your part in this great and


historic endeavour. Our problems may be spall bed our ambitions can


be great. We can prosper and weaken. -- we can flourish. For those who


left for far off opportunities to return to be part of what we are


creating. When our economy is strong and vibrant, where the world


wants to come and visit, where we treat each other as well as we


treat our overseas visitors. And where our community is reconciled


and at peace. That is a Northern Ireland that I want to see.


Possessing a dedication to succeed, providing promise, offering hope,


fulfilling its greatness, reaching its potential. That is our mission.


May God grant us the wisdom, courage and the strength to succeed.


That was quite a mammoth speech from the DUP leader. Mark, what


stands out for you? It wasn't the typical stuff that we would see in


DUP conferences, having a go at your opponents. You got a feeling


that there were no opponents out there. A lot of stuff as we were


predicting on the shed society near the end there, talking about one


community... To they can be persuaders, particularly Catholics


to join them within the Union. is interesting, this vision for the


future. He said it was all- encompassing. We have a series of


speeches about a shared education in the build up to this. Less


mention on the education system but quite a lot about the shared


society. One political aspect of this is he did look forward to the


Royal -- reorganisation of Stormont which is coming initially next May


when the cross-community compromise over the justice department runs


out. He talks about the need for an open and honest opposition at


Stormont rather than having the enemy within. Different emphasis


from Nigel Dodds he was having a go at the opposition for opposition


sake. Maybe someone who could sort out that a difference of opinion is


Simon Hamilton. BTP has always been firm in our view that we need to


get to more formal structure. -- the DUP has always been firm.


There's no difference at all in terms of our view that there should


be an opposition and we have an opportunity, given the issue that


Mark has raised about the justice portfolio, perhaps bring that


forward. You cannot have an opposition that is a synthetic


opposition where parties are half in, half out. We want to see a


structure up where they can be an official opposition. Is there not a


danger that people will come across some unpopular policy within the


DUP and Sinn Fein and Executive and start going in their droves to the


other parties? The DP is confident that no matter what the structure


is, we have policies that people want to warm to. -- DUP is


confident. The challenges of largest Protestant or Catholic


challenges, they are common to us all. We should be overcoming those


challenges in one committee. How do you square that circle one of the


have comments about emblems, where that is a traditional union stance?


They should be any controversy over that that we are part of the UK and


they have an importance. The real issue behind that was the issue of


the structure of Government we have a. We had a system before you take


the RUC example. They opposed the changes that were coming forward.


As a result of the negotiation that led by Peter Robinson, you have a


situation where they cannot do that. We do not support what happens now?


It is sounding as if he doesn't agree. I don't think anyone who is


in the unions' committee can dispute what happened to. We are


proud to embrace that. We would do it again if we had the opportunity


and will do the same that the Prison Service. I don't think


there's any contribution in wanting to support them. They often feel


they are in a at Cinderella service and have been forgotten about. We


need to build a community where everybody is pulling together. We


have a huge amount of challenges on the economic front. Only by coming


together can we ever come those challenges and make it a better


Northern Ireland. They talked about care and compassion being the


cornerstone of DUP policy but that is one minister who is going to


have to bring to cut to disability allowance and getting thousands of


people of incapacity benefits. have a social security at system


where we have to be up to Great Britain. It there are cuts coming


forward that we don't agree with and some reforms that are proposed.


One Nelson is going to try and do is ensure the administrator


flexibility he possesses is used in a way that we can go against the


most tore macro are the party's MPs may not have quite a high profile


that they used to Bert Nigel Dodds had his own 20 minutes of fame when


he addressed delegates this morning. After congratulating the party on a


good year at the ballot box, he pointed to tough times again but


not for the DUP. We know these are tough times for


many. For some there is a feeling of doom and Calluna, for others a


feeling of foreboding and despair about the future. Let's not dwell


too much on the Ulster Unionists and the TUV. Maybe we should do


well just a bit. Talk about power- sharing. Things are so bad they are


talking about having to start job sharing. John McAllister, he is now


moonlighting as the warm-up act for Gerry Adams united Ireland Roadshow.


Tom Elliott, he is hoping he still has a job to share. The Tories have


launched a takeover bid and want them to disband. Some are for us


but they had disbanded in some areas. Then there is Jim Allister,


poor Jim. He has got no one to share his job with. Of course as we


know, Jim is becoming less and less interested in real politics. He is


more into theatrics. May he would be taking up the acting full-time.


There is a panto season coming up and I could think of a few good


roles for him. He could play the big bad wolf, trying to blow the


house down. Or maybe the role of widowed Winky, more like a widow


cranky in his case. Maybe a small part like his party. He could be


great as grumpy in the seven dwarfs. Joining us now is the Enterprise


Minister, Eileen Foster. What stood out in Peter Robinson's speech for


you? There was quite a lot in a speech that he wanted to reflect on


the success of the party. Also looking at new party structures. As


well as that, it was his vision for Northern Ireland. It is a


recognition that we have been defensive in Unionism over this


past well and we have had to be because we were under attack.


Renewed confidence, we can go forward and articulate the benefits


of being a Unionists within the UK. To do that, Peter believes that the


best way to do it is through a shared future. His speech was


crowned broking today. I trust the people will see it as such. Is it


an end to No Surrender politics? reflected that in his speech. It is


about defensive Unionism. I think he very much recognised that in the


past, had to be defensive, had to stick together in a united,


cohesive way. The party has come through some difficult times and we


have come out stronger. We have had a marvellous conference, the


biggest ever. Far less moving forward, we want to look at a new,


stronger Northern Ireland within the UK. Our core principles will


always be the same but what we are saying is we have to change with


the times and look to the future. If what about this tried to get


Catholics to vote for the DUP? Is that a sincere option, something


that you actually want or is it about getting more votes and


staying in part? It is not about staying in power, it is about


widening our base. We have been good at that across the unionist


committed. We believe looking at what evidence is put before s,


there is a large number of Roman Catholics who are in Unionists and


he want to stay in the UK. They have found it difficult to find a


party to vote for. We will talk to you and we want you to come part of


our party structure because we believe in the UK that is for


everybody. Is it inevitable, given the baggage that the DUP carries


from the days of no surrender politics, that any Catholics who


might be favourable to the union in principle are more likely to be


attracted to the Alliance Party than to the Democratic Unionists?


am sure they are not a unionist Party. We are the party for


Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom and people are more


attracted to what we do. If you talk about political baggage within


the DUP, there's not a single party that doesn't have baggage over this


past period of time. Poppet has Dennis he has set out a clear


vision for Northern Ireland into our next century, something that is


exciting for us as party members and we believe it would change the


face of Northern Ireland moving forward. The union is not up for


debate any more. The union is not something that is discussed in


politics any more. We are dealing with the issues such as the economy,


where is the best place for a union -- Northern Ireland to be? It is in


the UK. What you think of some other comments? This beach is


designed to ignore the opponents. They feel... This speech is


In terms of this aspiration to attract Catholics, it is a long


thing. To some extent, they are more external rather than internal


to Northern Ireland. There is the economic challenge which Eileen


Foster has been wrestling with. Nigel Dodds talked about what is


going on in Scotland. In Scotland there is not only a debate about


independence but a debate about fiscal autonomy. That could change


the nature of Northern Ireland within the Union. Irrespective of


the internal politics, bows may be the major challenges this party


faces in the future. -- the voters may be. What is next for the DUP?


They have to relax, concentrate on the registered party's supporters


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