This PEB is definitely the product of the Sky generation.
There’s three acts to it: Nigel Dodds does the History Channel bit (up to 1 mins 30secs); Peter Robinson does the CNN trailer (up to 2 mins 26 secs); then Peter fronts up the God Channel section.
The History Channel bit is very useful, and recalls a heritage before the Troubles which should be a source of pride. Politically, the concept of restoration and re-establishing some sort of Golden Age is as old as the hills. But in the case of Northern Ireland, it works. It begins with Carson but then quickly moves into the economic history of ships, planes, ejector seats, defibrillators and so on.
The CNN trailer works well enough – though can the DUP really claim to have done all those things, was that not the Executive? It offers a pleasing array of optimistic images of the new Northern Ireland etc.
And that’s where it should have ended. The God Channel bit – with Peter as the tie-less, casually dressed pastor – really shouldn’t have happened. I can understand the desire to rehabilitate Peter, but what is that set up supposed to be? What is being emulated here? Why not go for an intimate town hall meeting? Why go to a darkened studio?
The nodding adoration goes on far too long, and it struck me that this was a congregation containing only true believers. Why not create a more inclusive situation through which to sell your message to all Unionists (and not just a few nodding admirers)?
Nevertheless, there was a positive message in here which concentrated on selling the DUP’s record on delivery – as opposed to denigrating the record of others.