Renegotiation: between the new order parties

Brian Feeney beleives that its previous acceptance of additions to the Belfast Agreement leaves the SDLP between rock and a hard place when it comes to resisting changes negotiated by Sinn Fein and the DUP.

  • peteb

    While Brian Feeney uses his initial premise, that the DUP and SF had little or no hand in shaping the Agreement, to portray the SDLP’s and the UUP response to the DUP’s demands (and SF acceptance of them?) as emotional and, by extension, illogical, his argument could equally be used to explain why SF and the DUP repeatedly stretched the Agreement to, and now perhaps beyond, breaking point.

    Once broken, a ‘new’ agreement primarily between SF and the DUP is supposed to replace it. According to Brian Feeney that ‘new’ agreement will be framed to “help the DUP”, but in order to fit the thesis on display in his article it must equally be framed to help SF (even if the relevant section will remain unpublished). Providing political cover is the name of the game here and it’s not difficult to see why.

    The stretching of the terms the Agreement has followed a familiar pattern – the promotion of a narrative akin to Social Darwinism, with competing claims for dominance between two separate communities. The ‘great incentive’ to ‘cut a deal’ he describes is also the incentive that has driven the narrative to this point – does he really believe that narrative will change? It