The closer they appear…

The further apart they seem. Liam Clark in the Sunday Times quotes Peter Robinson “the process isn

  • Davros

    And Pietro Robinson ( Nod to Folks on the Hill Sketch ) has claimed that Mitchell is starting to build an exit strategy for the IRA

  • ShayPaul

    And in the Sindo :

    But is Ian Paisley serious about sharing power with Gerry Adams, and would Paisley sell any coalition agreement with Sinn Fein to his DUP supporters? The informed view is that he is serious, but terms and conditions apply, and that he would sell such a power-sharing deal to his own party.

    However, for Ian Paisley to justify the new arrangement, the DUP has to show that it has secured a superior deal to that rejected by David Trimble last October. In other words, Paisley has to call the IRA’s bluff. And that means nothing less than full IRA decommissioning of its weaponry, and an end to all its paramilitary activities. Then Dr Paisley could claim he had finally brought the IRA to heel.

    So are we jockeying for position or for the closest seat next to the emergency exit ?

  • yer_man

    “In other words, Paisley has to call the IRA’s bluff. And that means nothing less than full IRA decommissioning of its weaponry, and an end to all its paramilitary activities.”

    Or as others might put it – sticking to your manifesto pledges. A novel concept in unionism I know, but hey, why shouldnt someone give it a try….

  • Moderate Unionist

    So more or less the same position as the UUP and Dermot Ahern then?

  • yer_man

    MU
    You’ll notice that i put sticking to your manifesto pledges. The UUP may well have had that as their stated aim, but they quite spectacularly failed to keep it – the may well claim to hold that position again, but no-one believes them. They have already shown their willingness to sit in Government with an armed Sinn Fein.

    As for anyone else holding that position. Its hardly the DUP’s fault if others are now gravitating to their position.

  • North Antrim Realist

    YerMan

    Read the DUP manifesto and then look at the reality of what is happening.

    A NEW FAIR DEAL – the deal being discussed is neither new and not any fairer, it is the GFA with some tinkering at the edges.

    Do you think this is what the people who voted for the DUP thought they were getting?

    If this is sticking to your manifesto, can you tell us what not sticking to it would mean?

  • willowfield

    During the election campaign, a DUP leaflet popped through my letterbox bearing the face of a DUP voter telling me that she was voting DUP in order to prevent Gerry Kelly becoming Minister of Justice.

    Now the DUP is attempting to negotiate the restoration of devolution; and it says it is not opposed in principle to the devolution of justice.

  • jonty

    The DUpes siad they oppossed Gerry Kelly being justice minister, why didnt they tell their supporters that they have no problem with Gerry Adams or Pat doherty taking the post?

  • Moderate Unionist

    So absolutely no movement, no concessions, no changes on any item placed before the electorate in the manifesto(Not saying this is good or bad, just checking the position).

    I wonder what they are all talking about then. If it is just a question of reading the manifesto, I am sure the otherside have the capability.

    Northern Ireland is plagued with unrealistic claims by all sides, which gives short term electoral advantage but destroys trust in the political process. Where is the vision, where is the strategy, where is the bold decisive act (usually contrary to accepted wisdom) that demonstrates real leadership?

    From the UUP I saw leadership (for better or worse) but this initiative was undermined by internal dissent and short term political opportunism.

    From the DUP, I see double talk. They were against the agreement, but they took the ministerial seats, they want a completely new agreement but any deal appears to be on the basis original agreement. They say they aren’t negoitating with terrorists but everybody knows, that they talk to SF all the time and that some sort of deal is being cobbled together (if that isn’t negoitating, I don’t know what is).

    What we need is a bit more honesty between the politicians and their electorate. The DUP claim leadership. I look forward to the day when they have the courage to take the tough decisions.

  • North Antrim Realist

    Yer_man

    Below are the the 7 fundamental flaws with the GFA according to the DUP 2003 manifesto

    Can you tell us:-

    What is being changed for the NEW FAIR DEAL?

    What proposed changes didn’t the UUP agree with in the November 2003 election and today?

    1. Terrorists in Government:
    The Belfast Agreement granted
    automatic places to Sinn Fein Ministers
    in government and has no adequate
    means of excluding them.

    2. Unaccountable Executive:
    Decisions taken by Ministers were not
    accountable to the Assembly nor to the
    people of Northern Ireland with Sinn Fein
    Ministers being able to do as they wished.

    3. Inability to deliver coherent
    Government: The system of
    government designed by the Belfast
    Agreement did not result in effective
    decision making.

    4. Unaccountable all-Ireland
    implementation bodies:
    The all-Ireland implementation bodies
    were not accountable to the Northern
    Ireland Assembly.

    5. NSMC – stand alone all-Ireland
    Government:
    The NSMC was not accountable to
    the Northern Ireland Assembly.

    6. Freelance unaccountable
    North/South Co-operation:
    Ministers were free to do what they
    liked with their Republic of Ireland
    counterparts.

    7. Imbalanced north/south,
    east/west relationships:
    Whilst there were dozens of North
    South meetings there were only a
    few British Isles meetings.

  • willowfield

    Funny: the DUP never told us at the time that they didn’t consider early releases or police reforms to be fundamental flaws in the Agreement!

  • North Antrim Realist

    The DUP manifesto is interesting reading after almost a year. I would recommend the that DUP members, voters and supporters read it once more.

    They can then reach a balanced view on how the DUP have performed since in office.

    Does anyone believe that having the Governments transfer bits of paper betweent he DUP and SF is not negotiations.

    Does anyone believe the debate between PR and MMcG carried out in the media is not negotiations?

    Does anyone believe that a Government in Northen can be formed without an agreement betweent the DUP and SF?

    Does anyone believe that you can have an agreement without negotiation?

    Extract for the DUP 3003 manifesto

    Manifesto

    Whilst the UUP negotiated and supported the Belfast Agreement the DUP opposed it.

    We have consistently opposed the one-sided concessions the Agreement has delivered
    to republicans over the last five years.

    Unless the Belfast Agreement process is halted it will extend and entrench the gains republicans have made.

    The Seven Principles

    1: The DUP is a devolutionist party. We believe in democratic, fair and accountable government.
    2: No negotiating with the representatives of terrorism but we will talk to democratic parties.
    3: Those who are not committed to exclusively peaceful and democratic means
    should not be able to exercise unaccountable executive power.
    4: Terrorist structures and weaponry must be removed before the bar to the Stormont Executive can be opened.
    5: Any relationship with the Republic of Ireland should be fully accountable to the Assembly.
    6: The DUP will work to restore the morale and effectiveness of the police force.
    7: We will strive to ensure genuine equality for all, including equality in funding.

  • North Antrim Realist

    1

  • Davros

    ?

  • jonty

    In their manifesto the DUPes said it would be a nightmare for NI if Gerry Adams became Deputy First Minister.

    Why then are they not opposed to either Mr Adams, or more likely, Mr McGuinness now taking the post?????

  • Fraggle

    you’re one to talk davros……….

  • Millie

    ‘We have consistently opposed the one-sided concessions the Agreement has delivered
    to republicans over the last five years.’

    The fact is that any peace process at all was necessarily going to be at unionists expense. In an ideal world they would probably have preferred perpetual direct rule and let NI drift into morbundity and oblivion. And considering there was to be no return to majoritarian rule, a peace process from unionists point of view was always going to be an exercise in damage limitation. The ‘gains’ made by republicans can be equally seen as the rightings of historic wrongs, concessions that would have needed to be implemented sooner or later.

    This is the result of zero sum politics, what the other side gains must be to the detriment of the other. NI politics has become a balancing act where the greatest of care is taken not to antagonise the peace between the ‘two communities’, but at the same time the GFA guarantees political instibility because it takes as natural the sectarian divisions in our society. ‘Managing sectarianism’ Eamonn McCann called it.

  • willowfield

    DUP manifesto: “Whilst the UUP negotiated and supported the Belfast Agreement the DUP opposed it.”

    And now the DUP is negotating a few amendments to that same Agreement.

    You couldn’t make it up!

  • Davros

    I don’t understand what you mean fraggle.

  • willowfield

    Millie

    The fact is that any peace process at all was necessarily going to be at unionists [sic] expense.

    That’s not fact.

    And considering there was to be no return to majoritarian rule, a peace process from unionists [sic] point of view was always going to be an exercise in damage limitation.

    Considering there was to be no united Ireland, a peace process from nationalists’ point of view was always going to be an exercise in damage limitation.

    The ‘gains’ made by republicans can be equally seen as the rightings of historic wrongs, concessions that would have needed to be implemented sooner or later.

    What gains?

    But if you argue that they are not gains, but merely the righting of wrongs, then you are arguing against your own premise, i.e. that the Agreement was at unionists’ expense.

    This is the result of zero sum politics, what the other side gains must be to the detriment of the other.

    There is truth in that, of course, but unionists did well out of the Agreement. Nationalists got very little from it.

  • willowfield

    Millie

    Unionists did well out of the Agreement. Nationalists got very little from it.

  • North Antrim Realist

    Millie

    Who are you trying to fool?

    What did nationalists get out of the GFA?

    no United Ireland but a few cross border bodies; power sharing but within the British Democratic system; a revision to the RUC but mainly a name and uniform change with a new useless police board:

    not a lot for the republican negotiators, they have tried to row back from the deal but it is till the same deal it always was – Northern Ireland within the UK for as long as the majority wish and that will be a very long time.

  • DessertSpoon

    Reading the squabbling going on in this post about the GFA it isn’t hard to see why the politicians find it so hard to talk to each other. The biggest barrier to progress is political intransigence – look at yourselves you’re no better than those eejits who claim to represent us…..depressing thought isn’t it.

  • Millie

    You may have noticed I was replying to the DUP’s assertion that the GFA had delivered concession upon concession to republicans. As many have observed nothing of the sort has happened, which begs the question, what is the DUP’s definition of a concession?

  • willowfield

    The DUP have no long-term vision and no confidence. They think any compromise or accommodation with nationalists is weakness and constitutes a threat. They fail to understand that the best way to preserve the Union is to (a)ensure political stability and (b) give people ownership/belonging to NI and its institutions.

    To date their main aim has not been to secure the Union but to overtake the UUP. Now that they have achieved that aim they find themselves with the responsibility they’ve never had before, and suddenly they’ve found that what the UUP was doing was right: hence they are now pursuing UUP policy and attempting to finish the job with the necessary fig-leaf to save face.