Downbeat Devenport reckons "no deal"…

MARK Devenport sounded decidedly downbeat about the prospects of a deal emerging tomorrow on BBC Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra just now. At a Sinn Fein press conference minutes ago, Gerry Adams said the IRA would “not be humiliated” – a reference to the DUP deal-breaking ultimatum for photographic evidence of IRA decommissioning. Premiers Blair and Ahern are still intending to be here tomorrow, to publish “most” of their paper should no deal emerge overnight. Another soft landing, anyone?

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros, I didn’t claim that anything was a breach of the GFA. Why are you inventing things I didn’t write ?

    I claimed that people aren’t committed to exclusively peaceful means. The IRA were/are also not committed to exclusively peaceful and democratic means. How can I make this simpler for you ?

  • Davros

    I love the way you totally invent things that I said.

    I didn’t accuse McCrea of breaking an agreement.

    Hmmm – I’m going to start ignoring you soon Roger

    You wrote in respect of the GFA

    “I read it, and it requires that (a) people commit themselves to peaceful and democratic means (which means you don’t appear on a platform with active killers)

    This was in our discussion of McCrea and Wright.
    Wright was DEAD before the GFA was signed….

    So Far we have had non-existant tanks on the streets, LVF organised rallies attended by DUP people (no dates, no proof of the plurals ) and one criticism using the GFA of an event that happened before the GFA was even negotiated fully, let alone signed.

  • Davros

    cg: even if the assembly goes and the GFA is abandoned , all the equality legislation would still be active.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros, we need to clear this up before we proceed any further. Is it your position that the concept of exclusive commitment to peaceful and democratic means was not a binding requirement on any democratic politician prior to the existence of the GFA ?

    I’ll answer the other stuff when we sort that out.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    I can’t believe that I have to spell this stuff out.

    Just because the GFA did not exist when Wright stood on a platform with McCrea does not make that appearance acceptable. The idea of being committed to peaceful means existed a long time before the GFA did, and I can’t take someone seriously if they appear to imply that such transgressions *before* the GFA do not count.

  • Davros

    Roger you are on ignore now 🙂

  • cg

    “Maybe I’m ignorant”

    I think you have just answered your own question.
    …………………………………………
    Davros and roger

    My statements on the assembly falling etc were only in relation to a nationalist fear I did not say that I believed they would happen but merely that nationalists fear them happening.

  • Davros

    Night and God Bless cg:) When does term end for you ? or do you call them semesters ? Any Exams coming up ? I cam across an old Law exam paper a friend gave me the other day … most people don’t realise that Law Lecturers have a sense of humour!

  • cg

    “When does term end for you ? or do you call them semesters ? Any Exams coming up ?”

    Davros
    Term/semester ends on the 17th, but my exams are in January. Criminal law, Land law and Deeply Divided Societies in politics.

    “most people don’t realise that Law Lecturers have a sense of humour!”

    LOL yes I know.
    They were actually warned that some of the problem questions could be libelous, that’s what happens when you live in a society driven by PC. 😉

  • cg

    Roger W. Christ XVII

    “cg, one of the reasons your accusations about radiation are a bit of a problem is because the soldiers themselves would also be exposed to it.”

    Sorry Will but you are wrong.

    The spy (radiation) equipment is facing outward and would not affect those inside.

    Even if it did affect brit soldiers do you really believe it (British government) would care about its soldiers health, it hasn’t done before.

    As for soldiers dying from cancer, Firstly they only do a 6 month tour and then leave being replaced by other soldiers.

    It is only the residents of the area that feel the long term effect of these so called “watch towers”

  • willowfield

    So, the DUP failed to get a “new agreement” and failed to get a “fair deal”.

    Who’s going to be the first to say “I told you so”?

    The DUP failed.

  • willowfield

    Will

    I wont take the IRA’s word for it – that’s where Trimble went wrong.

    Trimble wasn’t prepared to take the PIRA’s word for it either. He wanted a detailed report from the IICD.

    Pat McLarnon

    Looks like the enormity of the climbdown by the DUPers has led to cold feet and basicly it has little or nothing to do with weapons. The trivial nature of the photos shows that to be the case. They promised their supporters and attacked the UUP on the basis that the GFA was a sell out and only an entirely new deal would suffice. If anything is clear, it is the fact that there is no new deal.

    This is essentially true.

    Henry94

    I believe that if the IRA were offering pictures and the DUP were demanding eyewitnesses the nationalists would be convinced that pictures were OK but witnesses were a humiliation and unionists would be convinced that pictures could be faked and only witnesses would do. The mistake is to take any of it seriously. If they don’t do a deal tomorrow it will be because it suits their political agendas not to. They have both swallowed the camels already. The straining at the gnat is not convincing.

    I agree with this, too.

  • aquifer

    The refusal of republicans to allow a few pics of their weapons to be published punctures their conceit that Unionism is some sort of ‘false conciousness’ not be taken at face value. If it were only a delusional mindset that should be managed by saner folk, SFIRA would bank their political (and extra-legal) gains and show the bloody things. After all, a few more years of peace, economic growth, and integration and the border will be invisible. Or, ARE they ashamed of them after all, or is there still an intent to prosecute a war to achieve gaelic catholic cultural hegemony and a rejection of capitalism, against the will of this Irish generation?

    Smells fishy.

  • willowfield

    The Provos should publish away and laugh at the DUP for signing up to the Agreement after claiming they’d “bury” it (to quote Ian Paisley).

    The deal should be fairly humiliating for the DUP after all the bluster of the last six years.

  • davidbrew

    “Trimble wasn’t prepared to take the PIRA’s word for it either. He wanted a detailed report from the IICD.”

    re writing history there, willow

    He couldn’t get a detailed report. he wasn’t ever able to establish how much had been decommissioned. When Armitage and Weir went to see the general he couldn’t say if 1 bullet or 1 ton of semtex had been decommissioned, but that either would have been “significant”. Trimble never knew how much was taken out of service-he didn’t take the IRA’s word, he took De Chastelain’s and interpreted it to suit himself. Remember the crowing over the first act of decomm (“some people said we’d never see this day-where are they now”)? Turned out to be a big lead balloon, yet Trimble ran with it again twice, before panicking on the third time

  • willowfield

    DB

    … he didn’t take the IRA’s word, he took De Chastelain’s

    That’s what I said. Thank you. Will was wrong and I was right.

  • DessertSpoon

    Yesterday the weather was beautiful; sun and bright blue skies to make you feel good and hopeful about life. Today it’s grey, dark, rainy and depressing – a good day for Tony and Bertie to come and tell us the morons the supposed majority of this little place voted for (still don’t understand why!!) have wasted all our time and energy and taken our future and flushed it down the toilet.

    There will be an election next year please please use your vote wisely and vote for people who want to make a difference to your life, your day to day life – health, education, social welfare. The DUP and Sinn Fein are not going to make this place better…..ever!

    Thanks for nothing Ian and Gerry and a very Merry Christmas to you!

  • willowfield

    It’s hard to know, but I think this fiasco will damage the DUP, but only slightly. A lot of former UUP people who voted for them last time won’t bother to vote for anyone next time. So the DUP will have damaged unionism.

    The DUP will still take the majority of unionist seats but their failure to get a “fair deal” as promised will make life more difficult for them in North Down, South Belfast and Upper Bann – seats they might otherwise have won.

    Having said that, had the DUP done a deal, it would have been interesting to see how it would have affected the unionist vote. Anecdotally, a lot of anti-Agreement people I know were disgusted at the prospect of Paisley signing up for a GFA respray with Adams. Some talked of not voting at all: others (those living in North Down!) said they’d vote McCartney.

  • Will

    Liam
    “The issue is whether Unionism is finally ready to share power.”

    We will see the documents today – from what we hear they will show that the DUP were going to give a clear committment to share power – with democrats. Its up to SF to prove that they are democrats.

    Davros
    Quite a good analagy with the dog and the bouncy cheques.

    Willowfield
    The fact is that Trimble didnt have the details tied down. He was taking the IRA’s word that they would complete decommissioning after they entered Goverment. He may well have been taking deChastelain’s word on the details of the process of decommissioning, but he was and is well aware that deChastelains hands are tied (metaphorically speaking) when it comes to speaking about decommissioning – he is bound by legislation and by his agreements with the IRA.

    Lets remember what happened last October – the sequence agreed by Trimble started and then it all went t*ts up because Trimble hadnt got the loose ends tied up – he went in on a wing and a prayer.

    Wilowfield – interesting analysis you put forward. You seem to contend that the DUP will be damaged by taking a stand and sticking to it – showing that the IRA are in default. You also seem to think however, that had the DUP got an agreement that it would have damaged them too. Seems a wee bit like wishful thinking on your part.

    The DUP have taken a stand for visibility which has been backed by all the main players. Even the SDLP have said photographs are necessary!!!! Was interesting to listen to Brian Walker on Radio Ulster this morning saying that he thought the majority of Labour and Tory opinion in London was with the DUP position.

    The Newsletter this morning seems to have identified quite clearly where they think the problem lies – with Sinn Fein/IRA.

    The IRA have been quite happy to humiliate everyone in NOrthern Ireland for decades, but now they are coming over all coy about pictures – something which republicans on this site tell us is ‘trivial’. If it is so trivial then come on and give them to us!

  • davidbrew

    That’s what I said. Thank you. Will was wrong and I was right.

    Willow
    No you weren’t. There was no report -detailed or otherwise. He bought a pig in a poke. If the Provos had decommissioned a pea shooter the General would have said it was significant.

  • davidbrew

    Davros-it is I find a useful means to extract payment to remind the writer of a bounced cheque that they have committed a criminal offence, and that you are the potential complainant. Failing that there are many reputable solicitors willing to engage in debt recovery work….:0)

    I’ll get me coat

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Will

    ‘So you are telling us that SF are willing to throw away an agreement over a ‘trivial’ matter? Looks like the shinners have been searching around for a rattle to throw out of the pram and any rattle will do.’

    As far as i’m aware SF have signed up to what was on offer, the DUP have not. On a previous thread I stated that if the DUP needed the photograph as a fig leaf then they should get it.

    Like yourself they have settled on the trivial nature of a photograph to hide the fact that they lost on the substantive issues. They were not able to re-negotiate a new deal. They were not able to bury the GFA.

    It is possible now to look at the Kells speech by Paisley as the start of a get out strategy. Robinson et al had left the old boy to make all the public appearances so that if there was any kick back on the fact that the GFA stood it would fall on Paisleys shoulders alone. They DUP would have been made to look even bigger liars and con artists than they already are now.

    Take and publish the photo and see the DUP eating crud and again working the GFA only this time there can be no double speak over not sitting around the table with the people they promised to smash 20 odd years ago.

  • Will

    Pat
    Sinn Fein tell us that they signed up to the ‘political’ elements of the deal – but not anything to do with decommissioning. Well forive me, but I thought decommissioning was integral to the political process moving forward here.

    They are hiding behind the excuse that they cannot speak for the IRA – hardly a convincing argument in anyone’s mind.

    Sinn Fein cannot pick and choose which bits they sign up to!

    “It is possible now to look at the Kells speech by Paisley as the start of a get out strategy.”

    Might carry a bit more weight had the shinners not already started their own get out strategy about a fortnight before that speech – Did you not hear Noel Thompson tell us that last night and hear it again on Radio Ulster this morning? – really, you need to take more of an interest in current afairs.

    “Take and publish the photo and see the DUP eating crud and again working the GFA”

    If you think that actually publishing a picture is going to ‘humiliate’ the DUP then what’s the problem? Go ahead, call the DUP’s bluff – take pictures and publish! We’ll argue the other details later!

    If you believe that the picture issue is a get-out strategy by the DUP then why are Sinn Fein and the IRA indulging them? If they think the DUP really arnt serious about this then surely they would have agreed the pictures issue and made the DUP sweat it out. Your arguments dont even attempt to stand up Pat!

  • Mick Fealty

    Henry:

    Cn I quote you on this:

    “They have both swallowed the camels already. The straining at the gnat is not convincing.”

  • davidbrew

    BTW let everyone note how Willow concedes a virtual clean sweep for the DUP in the next general election was possible-and then claims that the absence of this deal will somehow save three UUP seats for some inexplicable reason …

    so logically if a deal is done in January, willow will immediately concede the UUP is toast, and logically he will be throwing in his lot with the voice of Unionism, which apparently he believes now advocates policies also espoused by him anyway, much to his annoyance…

    and logically if no deal is done, the UUP are still going to be the minority voice by some distance in his community and to maximise the Unionist negotiating position he’ll be encouraging them to step aside in F & ST, N & A, etc etc in his eagerness to maximise the Unionist representation.

    In fact Willow is close to the recognition others have reached. In most of the words of Edwin Starr

    The UUP-HUH
    What is it good for?
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again!

    Congratulations Willow-back up to level 3 of political awareness ( Fred Cobain) with a bullet ( no pun intended)-an all time high.

  • Davros

    Failing that there are many reputable solicitors willing to engage in debt recovery work

    Contradiction in terms ? 😉

  • davidbrew

    alright then Davros-two

  • willowfield

    Will

    The fact is that Trimble didnt have the details tied down.

    Whether or not he had the details tied down is not the point. You said he was willing to take the Provos’ word for it. He wasn’t. He required the IICD’s word for it.

    Wilowfield – interesting analysis you put forward. You seem to contend that the DUP will be damaged by taking a stand and sticking to it – showing that the IRA are in default.

    I said I think they’ll be damaged slightly by failing to fulfil their promise of a new agreement/”fair deal”.

    You also seem to think however, that had the DUP got an agreement that it would have damaged them too. Seems a wee bit like wishful thinking on your part.

    I think the DUP put themselves into a position that whatever they do, they were going to disappoint. They made an unachievable promise (“new agreement”/”fair deal”) – and failure to get this is bound to disappoint. Whether that failure comes in the form of no deal, or a deal in which they effectively sign up to the GFA, disappointment among a section of the electorate is an inevitable result.

    But I don’t think it’ll damage them that much – the UUP is not effective enough to capitalise on it.

    My main concern is the damage done to unionism by the DUP’s high risk and dishonest actions.

    DB

    No you weren’t.

    I was.

    There was no report -detailed or otherwise. He bought a pig in a poke. If the Provos had decommissioned a pea shooter the General would have said it was significant.

    But Will said he was prepared to take the IRA’s word for it. I pointed out that this was not true: he required the General’s word … as you’ve just acknowledged!

  • willowfield

    Like yourself they have settled on the trivial nature of a photograph to hide the fact that they lost on the substantive issues. They were not able to re-negotiate a new deal. They were not able to bury the GFA.

    This is essentially true.

  • Davros

    Pat :“It is possible now to look at the Kells speech by Paisley as the start of a get out strategy.”

    Will : “Might carry a bit more weight had the shinners not already started their own get out strategy about a fortnight before that speech – Did you not hear Noel Thompson tell us that last night and hear it again on Radio Ulster this morning? – really, you need to take more of an interest in current afairs.”

    Ach, poor old Mitchell, he finally achieves something and it has to be this. He’s a likeable fella, Danny Morrison with brains and credibility.

  • Will

    Willowfield
    If David Trimble wasnt taking IRA promises then what was his 14 hour marathon negotiation sessions with Gerry Adams about? Trimble has never been able to criticise de Chastelain – it is well known what he can and cant say. He has never been accused of breaking faith by any of the parties so obviously he did his job last October. Therefore, why did everything go badly wrong last October. Obviously David Trimble took assurances from the IRA as to what would happen – and that failed to materialise. And you wonder why now the DUP are seeking proof!

    However, you claim that you are interested in unionism. At this time the pressure and focus should be clearly on Sinn Fein/IRA and their failure to meet the requirements for visible decommissioning – those requirements are obviously agreed by the Government, the Irish Government and even the SDLP. ALso, did the UUP not belatedly concede that pictures and visible decommissioning were required?

    The DUP would have been shown to be weak in the extreme if they had gone back on this issue. Lets keep the pressure where it should be – on republicans.

  • davidbrew

    so no mention of a report now willow..careful you’re undoing all the good work of your 10.38. Just admit you got it wrong, or you may slip down to a level 2 (Beggs Jr)

  • willowfield

    If David Trimble wasnt taking IRA promises then what was his 14 hour marathon negotiation sessions with Gerry Adams about?

    Presumably about decommissioning. What were the DUP’s 3-month marathon negotiation sessions with Gerry Adams’ messengers about?

    Trimble has never been able to criticise de Chastelain – it is well known what he can and cant say.

    How come he criticised him in October last, then?

    He has never been accused of breaking faith by any of the parties so obviously he did his job last October. Therefore, why did everything go badly wrong last October. Obviously David Trimble took assurances from the IRA as to what would happen – and that failed to materialise. And you wonder why now the DUP are seeking proof!

    In case you didn’t notice, Trimble rejected the decommissioning report and refused to go back into government!! Doh!

    However, you claim that you are interested in unionism. At this time the pressure and focus should be clearly on Sinn Fein/IRA and their failure to meet the requirements for visible decommissioning – those requirements are obviously agreed by the Government, the Irish Government and even the SDLP. ALso, did the UUP not belatedly concede that pictures and visible decommissioning were required?

    And? How does that alter the fact that the DUP failed to get a new agreement and a “fair deal”?

    Lets [sic] keep the pressure where it should be – on republicans.

    That’s what the UUP kept saying to the DUP all along!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Will,

    no attempt, yet again, to address the substantive issues. The DUP promised to negotiate a new agreement, they lied or were incapable of doing so. Each is as bad as each other. The same result, failure.
    They promised to bury the GFA, they lied or were incapable of doing so. Each is as bad as each other. The same result, failure

    They will eventually be in governemt (again) with the people they promised to smash 20 odd years ago. One success story after another for the DUP and their supporters.

    BTW leave the sarcasm to people intellectually capable of carrying it off. Stick to chatting about polaroids or something.

  • willowfield

    DB

    The reference to the report was in relation to October last year.

  • George

    As usual, people are looking at this in one dimension only: Republican-Unionist. There is another dimension which involves many more people and that is Republican-Republican.

    From what I can see, the IRA will have “stood down” and “dumped” (decommissioned) or whatever they decide to call it by the next general election that matters, the Dail one in 2006 or 2007.

    The priority for most people on this island was and is to convince militant Irish Republicans to finally follow the constitutional Republican route alone. SF and the IRA’s migration to this part of the political spectrum should be complete before the next election. What the DUP demand, say or do in the meantime doesn’t really matter on this issue.

    There might be a side effect of Stormont getting up and running again as part of this “winding down” but most Irish Republicans (FF, FG and Labour voters included) don’t mind either way.
    Personally, I think the last thing NI needs is more bureaucracy.

    What really matters to the majority on this island is that SF and the IRA finally accept Dail Eireann as the legitimate parliament of this country and the President as the head of the only legitimate armed force.

    It’s time for them to leave the 2nd Dail mentality behind and forge ahead with fully accepting the 29th Dail at latest (28th would be better) as the legitimate parliament of this country and to use its power and influence to work towards ending partition.

  • Will

    Pat
    In case you failed to notice – this thread isnt about the DUP neogiating a new agreement. Its about the IRA refusing to hand in their guns.

    If Sinn Fein think the DUP have failed so miserably in negotiating a new agreement then why dont they agree to publish pictures of decommissioning and then ‘humiliate’ the DUP with all their proof of how badly the DUP have negotiated?

    It seems that you are the one dodging the issues. You pass off the photots issues as some mere sideline, but if it is so unimportant then why is it causing such a problem with the Shinners?

    Willowfield
    The UUP claimed they were putting pressure on republicans – but when under Trimble’s control did we see republicans clearly put under pressure without unionists first having to have broken their promises in order to do so?

    The DUP have got the backing of both Governments on this issue – look at Mary Harney’s statement. So far I havent seen statements coming from all quarters telling unionists off for not having ‘gone the extra mile for peace’. This time the spotlight is actually on the provos!

  • George

    Will,
    the spotlight may indeed by on the Provos but it’s the same light with the same wattage looking into the same hole as the one used by the UUP. Now we call all wait another year for this photo opportunity to develop. Another year without any representation.

    As for Mary Harney. Is this the comment you are talking about:
    “It would be wrong of anyone to assume that this was just about photographs, that that was the only outstanding issue.”

  • willowfield

    Will

    Thanks for the implicit acknowledgement that Trimble was not prepared to take the Provos’ word on decommissioning.

    The UUP claimed they were putting pressure on republicans – but when under Trimble’s control did we see republicans clearly put under pressure without unionists first having to have broken their promises in order to do so?

    The DUP broke its promises to put the Provos under pressure! They promised a new Agreement, but ended up accepting the old one with a few fig-leafs!

    The DUP have got the backing of both Governments on this issue – look at Mary Harney’s statement.

    That doesn’t matter. What matters is whether they get a deal with the Provos. They haven’t. They failed.

    So far I havent seen statements coming from all quarters telling unionists off for not having ‘gone the extra mile for peace’. This time the spotlight is actually on the provos!

    But there’s no “fair deal”, regardless of where the spotlight is shining.

  • chunkyguy

    yeh this whole picture stuff is nonsense- i havent checked the decommisioning deal but i dont pictures is one of the provisos- even if the “ra” did decomission there whole stock today they could replensishmost of it in a matter of weeks (what with all there money and contacts)- so i thinks a non-sequiter- so big Ian get on with it and get devolution back to northern ireland- bring more jobs back to the north!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    To deal with two of the sillier side issues on this thread:

    1) Before May 1998, the DUP was heavily involved (with other anti-deal unionists) in organising a series of rallies opposed to agreement. They shared platforms with with convicted terrorists, and ‘security’ seemed to have been provided by the LVF, if my own eyes are to be believed. Rev McCrea’s support for Billy Wright was a different issue, but raises suspicions nonetheless.

    2) Radiation from army security installations is unlikely to cause as much cancer in South Armagh as the near-field effects of mabile phones, tar from cigarettes, diet, radon and a host of other factors.

  • Davros

    Gonzo, the claim made was that the LVF had organised rallies which the DUP attended. Big difference and had to be shown to be untrue. Not that the DUP behaved well, but they should be criticised for what they did do, not criticised on the basis of Republican Propaganda. It’s no different from the claim that the British Army used Tanks during the troubles. Next they’ll be claiming that the British used Nukes and Chemical and Biological weapons against the IRA….

  • George

    Davros,
    definitely no tanks but Edward Heath did admit he had a destroyer stationed off Derry in case Operation Motorman failed and the city needed to be shelled to crush resistance. 🙂

  • Davros

    You are surely kidding ? 😉 Motorman was arranged with the IRA … they knew when it was happening and they were allowed to withdraw with their weapons. The day before it happened I heard the Coalisland lads from St Pat’s discussing that it was going to happen the next day.