Sunday, November 05, 2006

Like Father Like Son

by Niall McCamley

On the 27th September Queen’s Student’s Union was engulfed again by eager students at the annual Freshers’ Bazaar. Present on the day was an incredibly diverse array of clubs and societies ranging from the Dragonslayers to the SDLP, Sky-Diving to Chess. The DUP also attended the event and brought the big guns to attract students to the party. The Rt Hon. Ian Paisley MP MLA, his son Ian Paisley Jr., Jeffrey Donaldson and more attended the event adding a smidgen of celebrity and attracting students to the party and to get involved in Northern politics in general. The Gown was fortunate enough to get an interview with the heir apparent of the DUP, Ian Paisley Jr.

Paisley expressed his belief in political parties having stalls at Queen’s Freshers’ Bazaar as “being a past student of Queen’s” himself he found the presence of them “welcoming.” They provided students with the ability to partake in politics whilst also allowing the University to display the diversity of its student body. When asked if he thought that the attendance of opposing political parties could provide unnecessary conflict amongst students he replied that “Politics is about divided opinion” and that it serves to show “diversity.”

He also emphasised that students have and will continue to have an important role in Northern Irish politics as they are the future of the country. The fact that political parties were attending the bazaar was a sign, he said, that “parties were taking students seriously.”

When asked concerning his thoughts of a potential future agreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein Paisley was quick to attack Gerry Adam’s party for their lack of “support for the police” and other important public services in Northern Ireland. He declared “Sinn Fein have a lot of travel to do. They have to cross the Rubicon not us!”

Paisley Jr.’s comments, however, sound all too familiar as the blame game continues to circle throughout Northern Irish politics on both Republican and Unionist sides. His comments also seem to mirror those of his father and their close relationship seemed apparent when at the conclusion of the interview he noticed his father attempting to leave the Bazaar. “I’m gonna have to make a move here,” said his son, “I’m his lift!”


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