- 05 Oct 20
It’s fair to say that our correspondent is not a fan of the DUP member for Ballymena. Here are just some of the reasons...
The earth creaks as climate shifts, fire swaddles swathes of forest, ice-sheets heave and buckle, economies wilt and wither, species slither towards extinction, everywhere we look across the trembling earth, things that had once seemed solid melt into air.
Where once all seemed set, now nothing anywhere will ever be the same. All bets are off, all expectations redundant, all certainties mired in doubt, except in Ballymena where Ian Paisley is still stealing money from anybody stupid enough to take their eyes off him for five seconds.
I have it from a fellow who assures me he has a good source that classmates of Paisley at Methodist College would carry padlocks in their school-bags for securing their desks at break-time lest the nifty-fingered scoundrel make off with their sandwiches.
Just this month, the serial fraudster was fined £1,300 by the Electoral Commission for trousering £2,600 of public money. He was ordered to hand his ill-gotten gains back.
Mid and East Antrim and Causeway Coast and Glens councils had been persuaded to take tables at £1,500 a pop at a fund-raising event at the Tullyglass House Hotel in Ballymena addressed by that Tory twerp with a face like a mutant hamster, Michael Gove.
The councils believed the event had been arranged to give local businesses “an opportunity to discuss first-hand with the minister (Gove) their issues and concerns post-Brexit”. Which sort of sounded like it might be legit until you took into account that the occasion had been organised by one of the greediest weasels in the western world.
We have previously mentioned Paisley’s two splendiferous family holidays in Sri Lanka in 2013, 17 days in all, lounging in five-star hotels, lazing on silver-white sands, taking stately delight in al-la-Raj elephant rides, helicopter-hopping across the azure skies to take in the island’s exotic beauty-spots, all paid for in full by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in return for Paisley acting as his mouthpiece back in the House of Commons.
Paisley’s sense of oneness with Rajapaksa may also have been down to the Sri Lankan tyrant using a sectarian distortion of Buddhism to fuel the mass slaughter of Tamils. Paisley will have known that one.
Moreover, Gotabaya had appointed his brother Mahijnda as Prime Minister so as to protect his regime from diversity.
Ian and Gotabaya. Family men well met.
As we know, Paisley and family also spent sumptuous sojourns in the palm-fringed Maldives which he claimed had been part-paid by himself and the balance met by a “personal friend” who didn’t want to be named. BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight discovered that the “personal friend” was a Minister in the Maldives government and there is no evidence Paisley had contributed a brass farthing cent to the cost.
Since the day he emerged from the badlands of Ballymena, Paisley has ever been willing to hire himself out to any outfit willing to cough up the cash. A Free Presbyterian free-loader with all the honour and dignity of a duplicitous polecat.
Not unexpectedly, when it comes to MPs’ expenses, Paisley has his snout deeper in the trough than a flexible ant-eater might be able to contrive.
Every year he’s been in the Commons he’s been in the top three (out of 650) expenses claimants.
In the course of the 2010-2015 parliament, Paisley claimed £1,112,667 in expenses.
And he still doesn’t put his hand in his own pocket to pay for family holidays.
But back to the island jewel of the Indian Ocean. Why would the government of Sri Lanka choose in 2013 to stuff the mouth of the MP for North Antrim with gold?
The terrible Sri Lankan conflict had ended, or at least paused, in 2009. The Tamils, variously Muslim, Christian and Hindu, had been subjected to pogroms by Sinhalese mobs in 1956, 1958, and 1997. The “Tamil Tigers” retaliated, themselves showing little respect for human rights in a campaign of shooting and bombing, including suicide bombings of Sinhalese premises. In 2009 tens of thousands of Tamils, overwhelmingly civilians, women, men and children, were herded by special units of the Sri Lankan army onto the Jaffna Peninsula, no way out, and systematically slaughtered at close quarters. As many as 20,000 were butchered over a number of days. Blood ran in streams.
In February 2013, the UN Human Rights Court in Geneva launched an inquiry into the Jaffna massacre. Paisley’s jaunts to Sri Lanka followed in April to June the same year. And the year after that, Paisley wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him not to support the UN investigation.
“The resolution passed in Geneva is provocative… destabilising and counter-productive (and) has the potential to set back the difficult progress that has already been made... The UK and USA (should) consider what worked for Northern Ireland… Have international governments learnt nothing from building a lasting peace in Northern Ireland?”
When the sun is at a certain angle, his brass neck would blind you.
In correspondence with Westminster’s commissioner for standards in September 2017, Paisley explained that his interest in Sri Lanka stemmed from its parallels with Northern Ireland and the “40-year war against IRA terrorism.”
He should be trusted, he insisted, because, after all, he had sought “no personal gain” from his involvement.
The commissioner gave this farrago of lies short shrift and ruled that his role in relation to Sri Lanka had amounted to “paid advocacy.”
Acting as a paid agent of a foreign power accused of egregious human rights abuses would have ended the career of a politician in almost any other jurisdiction. But this is Northern Ireland. The jet-setting jerk just carries on.
Al Capone was a gentleman compared with Ian Paisley.