The Irish Times’ editorial today deserves a closer look. Ostensibly on the subject of interpreting Dermot Ahern’s remarks as being about “a fair playing field for democracy”, the editorial makes a comment that should be highlighted, “There are conflicting views in Government about the likelihood of success. It depends, ultimately, on the political strategy of Sinn Féin and the DUP for the elections in Britain and Northern Ireland next year”.This echoes my own comment previously that “parties are clearly putting party-political objectives to the fore”
It also throws a clearer light on the report by the BBC, NI devolution on talks agenda, in which Martina Purdy states “Sinn Fein and the DUP claimed to be “puzzled by the optimism” coming from the governments over the possibility of an imminent resolution.”
Martina Purdy also reports that “the two governments had been drawing up a paper aimed at closing the gaps”.
That ‘paper’, if presented publicly, may just give them enough cover to retreat to their party-political trenches.