Humiliation the best way to sell deal?

Somthing well worth pulling out of Professor Paul Bew’s latest analysis. The ‘polite boredom’ of the Pro Agreement masses:

“In part this is because the DUP leadership has coldly calculated that the only way to sell a deal to a sceptical Protestant community is if the Provisional IRA is humiliated. This may shock some but the DUP believes that David Trimble’s statesmanship in the past simply set him up for betrayal by the two governments last year.

“The DUP has also made this calculation because positive pro-agreement people-power, of the sort that helped to bring about the Good Friday agreement, is conspicuous by its absence. As these negotiations reached their climax the public reacted with polite boredom”.

  • Davros

    I’m not misrepresenting you George. You claim the IRA has given up – in that case WHY was there a Need for NEW instructions??????

    “all IRA Volunteers be given specific instructions not to engage in any activity which might thereby endanger that new agreement”

    That destroys your case George. You are unable to admit that you are wrong.

  • Davros

    Billy P : please explain Mary Harney’s comments .

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    “Nothing has been agreed. Vague Promises were made by the IRA – we have seen those before.”
    The IRA has undertaken to “conclude” the process of decommissioning within weeks. How could they be clearer?

    “The IRA refused to sign up to a pledge to stop criminal activity. They wouldn’t sign up to guarantee safety for their opponents.”

    The IRA has pledged to instruct all volunteers not to engage in any activites that would endanger the agreement reached between Sinn Fein and the DUP which – unless I have seriously misjudged the DUP – would cover all of the above.
    Come on Davros, accept that it’s over. Accept that sanity is about to prevail. And please don’t sink to the pharisee’s argument of pointing up what ISN’T said at the expense of the monumental import of what IS said. It’s beneath you.

  • George

    I’m not trying to put forward some kind of case Davros, I’m just stating what to me is the blatantly obvious.

    We arguing across completely different points from what I can see. We’ll see if my point is wrong in the next 18 months just like we’ll see if your point about SF/SDLP peaking at 354,000 is wrong next May.

    For clarity,
    do you expect the IRA never to completely decommission, never mind by the end of the month as they stated they would this week?

  • John East Belfast

    Davros

    Since when has Transparent Decommissioning become more important than Decommissioning ?

    Surely we want full DC and De Chastelain and an independant Protestant clergyman could have confirmed it just as well as a photograph.

  • Davros

    Billy: couple of points :

    1) the need for a pledge destroys Georges claim that the IRA has already given up. It’s also proved by the IRA’s own statement yesterday that it WOULD have moved to a new position.

    2)The IRA Pledge has not been fulfilled. They say orders WOULD have been issued if and when all the side-deals and under the counter deals and all the other issues had been agreed.

    You and George can paint it whatever shade of green you like Billy. Nothing has actally happened. The IRA has not DONE anything. It said it MIGHT do things, it said it WOULD do things IF , but we have been here before.

  • Davros

    John: public confidence demands a photograph. it was good enough for the LVF, it’s good enough for the IRA.

  • willowfield

    Pity the DUP didn’t nail them down.

    Trimble didn’t nail them down and he was slaughtered by the DUP.

  • Davros

    One point : We are told the IRA are promising to fully decommission. The IRA themselves say they CANNOT fully decommission.

  • slackjaw

    Davros

    ‘John: public confidence demands a photograph.’

    Done a survey on that, have you?

    The public is nodding to the idea of photographs of decommissioning being provided, at the prompting of the media, because they think that it will force the two parties into concluding the deal.

    It has bugger all to do with public confidence.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Jesus Christ Davros, you’ve overdosed on the paranoid prod pills today.

    Can I just nail one thing down:

    Do you think the offer by the IRA to wind down and disappear is to be dismissed?

    1) the need for a pledge destroys Georges claim that the IRA has already given up. It’s also proved by the IRA’s own statement yesterday that it WOULD have moved to a new position.

    George is right to say the provos have given up, insofar as there is no option left open to them other than disappearance. Of course they want that disappearance to be a dignified one, even if most people in Ireland do not think they are entitled to any such dignity. What we are witnessing is the IRA – wearing their Sinn Fein cap, natch – negotiating their own demise. OF COURSE they want the best possible deal in return – how could it be other? It’s a negotiation.

    2)The IRA Pledge has not been fulfilled. They say orders WOULD have been issued if and when all the side-deals and under the counter deals and all the other issues had been agreed.

    FFS.

    I say again: it’s a negotiation. One side makes an offer, the other side makes one back and so it goes on until an offer is reached. OF COURSE you can’t bank the money before a price has been agreed for the car. OF COURSE negotiations are all about two sides making offers to each other. The provos have made a huge offer, one they have never made explicitly before. The new deal-breaker is chump change and you know it Davros.

    “Nothing has actally happened. The IRA has not DONE anything. It said it MIGHT do things, it said it WOULD do things IF , but we have been here before.”

    We have never been here before. The IRA is saying exactly what needs to happen for it to go away, and go away within weeks. That is not only unprecedented, it is unbelievable.

    You are arguing that an offer doesn’t mean anything without follow-up. Agreed. But OF COURSE in a negotiation, actions are preceded by offers. That is the stage we are at and your refusal to snatch this remarkable offer is utter insanity.

    Your argument seems to be that because the IRA still exists, its offer to end its own existence doesn’t count.

    I can’t even begin to unravel the logic behind that position but then I know you can’t either. Leave the mendacity Willowfield, it is beneath you Davros.

    (Incidentally, why would you think I would presume to speak for Mary Harney?)

  • George

    Davros,
    do you expect the IRA never to completely decommission, never mind by the end of the month as they stated they would this week?

  • Millie

    All this brings to mind James Molyneaux’s crytic observation in 1994: “the IRA ceasefire has destabilised Northern Ireland.”

    Excuse me??? Is the visible decommissioning just another aspect of this love/hate relationship unionists have with the IRA? How will unionism be able to function without a credible republican threat? In fact, what is the point of unionism in NI if there’s no longer any danger to the union? I suppose unionists could secretly fund dissident republicans in order to maintain the illusion of the republican bogey, but then ordinary people may start to see past the communalism that passes for politics in NI, and if that were to happen the great Orange monolith will be fractured forever. Bring back the IRA!
    m

  • Billy Pilgrim

    War is over. If you want it.

    – John Lennon

  • davidbrew

    I will resist your infantile need to play around with people’s names.

    But Jawn EB-you haven’t got the guts to use your own name-why so precious?

  • Davros

    Billy: You need to seperate different arguments.
    Your reasonable if naive one and George’s dishonest claim.

    I’ll deal with your one.

    Do you think the offer by the IRA to wind down and disappear is to be dismissed?

    It is not to be trusted. Bear in mind that what we have seen on offer is NOT “disappearing” (unfortunate turn of phrase )- They have offered to destroy, by their own admission, some of their weaponry. They have offered “all IRA Volunteers be given specific instructions not to engage in any activity which might thereby endanger that new agreement”.
    Now You seem to believe that the IRA are to be trusted and that they will keep to their word ?
    We have had experience of them keeping to their word. Look closely at that pledge George and consider two points:
    The killers of McCabe broke instructions. Were they punished by the IRA ? Nope. They are supported by the IRA and SF.
    WHO decides if activities by IRA – and the quote allows for SOME IRA activity – endanger the new agreement ? Sinn Féin ? The party that is standing by the Garda killers ? The party who refuse to condemn the Canary Wharf bomb ? Aye, right.

    Then think on this –

    “The IRA over the past few months had refused to sign up to the section that recognised “the need to uphold and not to endanger anyone’s personal rights and safety”

    Why would they want the right to endanger people’s persoanal rights and safety Billy ?

    Last but not least – let’s keep religion out of this. paranoid prod. I had thought better of you.

  • George

    Davros,
    do you expect the IRA never to completely decommission?

  • Davros

    George, by it’s own admission it CANNOT completely decommission. The question is therefore meaningless.

  • ShayPaul

    There seems to be very little importance put on Paisley’s intemperate language in the run up to this collapse. His references to humiliation and sack cloth and ashes etc would have made it impossible for the IRA to concede a photograph under the circumstances.

    In considering why he said what he said you could be kind and consider it was all part of his plan to ensure that there was no deal. Or you could say he was just a buffoon and down the years there is ample evidence to support such a view.

    Over recent weeks I was wondering what the Provos were playing at in appearing to tolerate what he was saying. Either they had completely lost the plot or it was all part of a cunning plan to cement Paisleyism as the leader of unionism – they know full well that he is one of their greatest vote catchers and also the greatest danger to the Union in the sense that he generates the greatest aversion to the Union among its 55m other citisens as does a bomb in London.

    Either way the DUP have once again missed the bigger picture – an opportunity to finish off physical force republicanism and advance the cause of political stability and economic prosperity in Northern Ireland. They must be falling about laughing in South Armagh when they hear the DUP talk about Republicans having missed their chance.

    Posted by: John East Belfast at December 8, 2004 10:37 PM

    JEB

    Also glad to see you back, I think your analysis is perfect, what more can I say ?

  • Davros

    There seems to be very little importance put on Paisley’s intemperate language in the run up to this collapse. His references to humiliation and sack cloth and ashes etc would have made it impossible for the IRA to concede a photograph under the circumstances.

    His language was irrelevent Shay as according to both SF and the IRA there was never ANY chance of them making this concession.

  • ShayPaul

    Don’t read it like that at all Davros. I think JEB has hit the nail on the head.

    Let’s see how things roll out now, I am betting on JEBs analysis.

  • Davros

    what’s the stake ? A pint of Magners ? Or if you lose you have to read an issue of the Tevivalist, If I lose I have to read a chapter of one of Adams’ Books ?
    Cheers 😉

  • Davros

    That should be the Revivalist LOL

  • Moderate Unionist

    Just signed on to say you called it correctly in a much earlier thread.

  • ShayPaul

    I’d prefer the pint of Magners please,

  • Davros

    That’s very humane Shay… I would have been tempted to make you read the revivalist;) I just looked at an issue and I feel nauseous!

  • ShayPaul

    I have read them all already :

    love from uncle Ian

    an example for anyone interested in the beliefs of Dr No.

    The sad thing is that he actually beliefs this stuff.

  • ShayPaul

    Sorry here’s the link again :

    love from uncle Ian

  • Davros

    All of them ? Wow! I’m impressed at your tenacity.
    I only dipped into the November 80 issue via Google as I was trying to find info on the revelation (to me anyhow) that the 1916 plotters had sent an emissary to ask for Papal blessing for the planned uprising. Doesn’t say if it was granted 😉 Slightly bemused by papa Doc’s claim that Michael Collins was a secret priest.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros,

    George, by it’s own admission it CANNOT completely decommission.

    I’d rephrase that to say that if it ever does completely decommission, it’s impossible to prove that is the case. Saying that there should be evidence that no more guns exist in their hands is trying to prove a negative. Which leads to the question of what your true objectives are if you demand something which you know to be unrealisble.

  • Davros

    Roger, The IRA have said that there are caches that that have “lost”. An in-built loop-hole.

  • ShayPaul

    Davros

    your last line underlines the futility of the whole exercise,

    the sceptic will never believe – hence the name.

  • Davros

    Shay – we have been caught before trusting the RM.
    Even Gerry admits that my community has reason to be wary.

  • ShayPaul

    Caught trusting?

    Send me a photo of that please.

  • Davros

    There’s a queue for the Adobe Photo thingy 😉

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros, talking about loopholes in decommissioning is invalid because it is inherently nonsensical to start with.

    You cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that any given organization – no matter who it is – has decommissioned. You cannot prove a negative. It does not matter how honest or dishonest the IRA are, or who trusts or does not trust whom. This does not mean I think that the IRA should hold onto it’s guns – it should not. The point is that by insisting on something which is patently impossible you take a position which threatens progress.

    “my community”, urgh, as if your community – whoever you think they are – were the only people who had an interest in the IRA disarming. We’ve got to get out of this sectarian mindset. I can’t think of a community that isn’t wary of the IRA to some degree. Sure lots of nationalists vote SF, but lots of nationalists also get put out of their houses, exiled from the country or have their businesses racketeered or ripped off.

  • Davros

    Roger – like it or not, if and when after supposedly the IRA has fully decommissioned, another arms find is made the IRA will be able to smile sweetly and say “but we told you there were a few we couldn’t locate”.

    I cannot speak in any way for the nationalist community in NI Roger. I can however speak for some within my own community.

    Care to address the below ?

    They have offered to destroy, by their own admission, some of their weaponry.

    They have offered “all IRA Volunteers be given specific instructions not to engage in any activity which might thereby endanger that new agreement”.

    Now You seem to believe that the IRA are to be trusted and that they will keep to their word ?
    We have had experience of them keeping to their word. Look closely at that pledge Roger and consider two points:

    The killers of McCabe broke instructions. Were they punished by the IRA ? Nope. They are supported by the IRA and SF.

    WHO decides if activities by IRA – and the quote allows for SOME IRA activity – endanger the new agreement ? Sinn Féin ? The party that is standing by the Garda killers ? The party who refuse to condemn the Canary Wharf bomb ? Aye, right.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros, we seem to agree – we simply can’t know whether the IRA has fully decommissioned or not. Which means that your insistence that evidence be shown is not reasonable.

    Do I think the IRA are to be trusted ? Absolutely not, I have never said that. I’ve never supported them or what they stand for. I’ve no doubt that their statement was very careful to allow them to continue conducting their little community policing scheme.

    But do those facts mean that the entire political process should be put to a stop ?

    BTW, while we’re talking about trust in terms of what people have done in the past, you need to remember that everyone else is expected to simply ignore the paramilitary flirtings that both the DUP and UUP have been involved with. All I’d like is for unionism to come clean and admit that it has had associations with violence in the past which are wrong, and concede that it has no basis to demand that other people provide evidence that they are committed to peace when they have no intentions of even apologizing for their links with paramilitaries in the past.

    My solution ? People stop posturing and get down to business to make this thing work.

  • Davros

    Roger, I don’t understand why you think that because we cannot be sure if they have 100% decommissioned it follows that we don’t need to see evidence that they have at least made a substantial decommissioning.

    you need to remember that everyone else is expected to simply ignore the paramilitary flirtings that both the DUP and UUP have been involved with.

    Hardly possible when every time a Shinner is taxed about his party and it’s links to the IRA he or she repeats the “Ulster Resistance” mantra….
    When was the last time a senior member of the UUP or the DUP was banged up for membership of the UDA or the UVF or the LVF or any other of the loyalist terror gangs ? Have any elected UUP or DUP politicians gone On The Run ?

    By all means remind the UUP and DUP of misdemeanours. I have no time for them either. But trying to compare UUP or DUP in this context with Sinn Féin is like comparing someone with a first offence for shoplifting or Uncle Bertie who was fined a Hundred notes for not having a TV license 20 years ago with Harold Shipman and Fred West.
    I could give you a fairer comparison , but after I complained about another poster bringing religion into it I’ll pass!

    If I had a wild-card input into the deal – no person with a conviction for any crime associated with terrorism or violence would be allowed to stand for Public Office.

  • John East Belfast

    davidbrew

    “But Jawn EB-you haven’t got the guts to use your own name-why so precious?”

    Perhaps you would like me to send you a photograph as well.

    It’s like this.
    If we were in a bar having a political discussion and you started, school boyish, monty pythonesque style, to piss about with my name I wouldn’t waste my time with you.
    Basic class and manners.

    Therefore I will say it only once – if you do it on here I won’t respond. I know you DUP types just like to talk at people or over them so such a statement probably won’t bother you – indeed it would be give you something to hide behind.

    The choice is yours – if you want meaningful discussion show the expected courtesy of using people’s designated names.

    What you say thereafter doesn’t bother me

    Shay Paul

    Cheers

  • Moderate Unionist

    John East Belfast
    Well said!

  • ShayPaul

    I see the D word has becoming the TD word.

    It’s all about “transparent decommissioning” better get the invisible man in for that then.

    But if it’s transparent how will we see it on the photos ?

  • ShayPaul

    Like the idea of elections though, should put the heat under Dr No.

  • Davros

    I think elections would only make matters worse James.

  • davidbrew

    Jawn EB
    Ta but no thanks for the photo-even if you were wearing your nappy.
    This is a blog-the alternative form of debate-meaningful discussion it may often be, but that’s not a pre-requisite. If you want old fashioned courtesy go to a debating society. It’s not meant to be staid or earnest (in the sense of Trevor Ringland style earnestness-enthusiam is of course welcome).

  • ShayPaul

    davidbrew

    The medium should never be an excuse for bad manners, ignoring someone for such behavior is a legitimate response.

    Courtesy may be considered old fashioned by the DUPes, but we have no obligation to accept it.

    Free Speech OK.

    Compulsory listening NO WAY.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros, it sounds like we agree. My opinion is that the IRA was unreasonable not to provide photographs. I do not accept for a second their argument about humiliation.

    The issue is that we have an inconsistency. The DUP’s electoral manifesto required that decommissioning be completed before SF get into government. Photographs inherently cannot show that this requirement has been met. There is a further problem with photos in that the people demanding the photographs won’t describe what they should depict; they won’t define “transparent decommissioning”. Further, the DUP could have decided that the photographs provided were not comprehensive enough. Or – and going by what Paisley said following the collapse – they could have decided that they also wanted an inventory of everything that was decommissioned.

    The rest of your point is obfuscation (by the way I’m not a republican or even a nationalist – I’m in favour of retaining the union). Here are the facts. Unionist politicians have openly and publicly flirted with paramilitaries, and they have never apologised for or explained why they did it. Therefore, why should anybody trust that they are committed to democratic means ? If the unionist position was taken by the rest of us, we’d refuse to work with them in government.

    The McCrea example I bang on about is the case in point. McCrea did not get up there and ask people to join the LVF. But as an elected MP, he gave credibility to the LVF’s existence. The same thing happened when the DUP’s Ruth Patterson invited the UDA’s elected representatives along to a party in the city hall while refusing to invite SF. or when yer man McGimpsey stands alongside a crowd of baying bigots trying to run people out of their apartments on the Sandy Row. Or by the UUP in 1993 when they elected Hugh Smyth as the Lord Mayor of Belfast even though the UVF weren’t anywhere remotely near to a ceasefire. The message being sent was quite simple. “If you want to join a paramilitary organization and kill or intimidate people, I won’t stand in your way”. Which leads to the point, what exactly *is* the difference between the unionist parties and SF ? It’s not as simple as shoplifting.

    The trouble is with your little wildcard rule – leaving aside the fact that many people do not think the criminal justice system in this country is fair – is that it would probably allow most of the IRA’s entire membership, along with members of the RIRA/CIRA (such as the people behind the Omagh bomb) and Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness who were never convicted of anything in the UK, into government. Furthermore, a politician could stand side by side with paramilitaries – whether that is an anti-agreement rally with LVF “security” or a hunger strike march with hooded men in balaclavas – and still be allowed in office provided he was not convicted. You really need to think these things through a bit better. The fact of the matter is that if people have a democratic mandate – and this would apply to the UDA if they had one – they are charged with representing people and they cannot be excluded in a democratic system.

  • Davros

    Roger:

    1) My wildcard insert was not about curing all the ills of our society, it was to try and restore some confidence in the mechanisms of Public office. It would do nothing for public Confidence to see a Minister who has killed people, or a Councillor who has killed people. And I would add, especially now when people are riding two horses ( membership of terror group and of political party eg Bennet )it would be a deterrent for those with an interest in politics becoming involved with terror groups, be it fianna or ycv etc.

    2)The issue is that we have an inconsistency.
    I read the inconsistency you describe as being the DUP bending over backwards. They went, to my great surprise, from requiring something along the lines of what we saw when the LVF had the limited decom’ to wanting photos taken and shown at the time to a position where photos were taken but not released until after quarantine period and the executive was establised. They would have taken the word of their witnesses and before the photo(s) was/were released THEY would have shown THEIR good faith by setting up the executive.
    By that time there would have been no going back for the DUP.

    3) I don’t think the rest of my point was obfuscation. It was an accurate assessment.
    SF/IRA are Harold Shipman to the DUP’s Uncle Bertie. But I agree, McCrea is a H’s A and it’s behaviour such as that that means I’ll never vote DUP or UUP. The Free P church as with the RC church has a lot to answer for in this mess.

  • ShayPaul

    I see that Dr No get’s right to drive sheep and cattle through Ballymena. This should prove very useful, as the DUPes are hell bent on dragging us all back into the 18th century.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    I’m all in favour of schemes that increase public confidence, except by your own definitions the one you proposed would not. Martin McGuinness’ IRA membership is now a matter of his own admission – but since he hasn’t been convicted of anything in the UK he would still be allowed in government under your suggested scheme.

    To me, and you may disagree, there is very little difference between people who kill people and people who order or support people who kill people. At risk of invoking Godwin, Adolf Hitler is generally blamed for WW2 even though he did in all probability did not pull a single trigger, instead he got other people to do it. Likewise, when we are talking about violence in Northern Ireland and how we can avoid it, we need to think about the people pulling the strings in the background as well as the people wearing the balaclavas. We need to think about the people who, when confronted with violent acts, attempted to find excuses or stopped short of a complete and unequivocal condemnation. That seems to be the issue you want to avoid. You could argue whether anybody in the DUP has ever pulled a trigger (I’ll not go there) but it’s definitely a clear cut matter that people in the DUP have stood beside people pulling triggers and have never explained why.

    In NI we’ve been riding two horses for decades, Ulster Resistance, Vanguard, UWC etc being examples of those equally as much as Sinn Fein. For crying out loud, the Unionist Party was basically the political wing of the original UVF. It isn’t sufficient to say “ah but no triggers were pulled by that group of people” because that is what the IRA are also saying (“the guns are silent”). If you have a gun and point it at someone, or if you stand beside someone who has a gun and points it at someone, you are a component part of the violent culture in this country and you need to be cut out of it. That’s right up to people who describe paramilitary organizations as “understandable”. If one paramilitary organization is understandable, then they are all understandable – that is the bottom line I’m trying to get to here.

    on (2) I’d be willing to give the DUP the benefit of the doubt (something the DUP won’t give the IRA). Thing is, they never said that they would sign up to the deal if photographs were taken. I agree that that is not an acceptable excuse for people not to provide photos, but I think it’s wrong to suggest that they were definitely about to do a deal – the truth is that they made no commitment at all. It’s too much of leap for me to believe (without seeing it) that Ian Paisley was going to stand up in his church on a Sunday morning and tell his congregation what it was like working with Martin McGuinness.

    On point 3, I’m in favour of anything that gets all religion (including superstitious priestcraft organizations) out of the political process and agree that they have fuelled the damage that has been done, but at the end of the day it’s the elected politicians who have the real say. Unfortunately I don’t expect the people of NI to stop electing people who equivocate over violence. The next thing to do is get them to understand that equivocating over paramilitary violence is exactly the same as pulling the trigger.

  • Davros

    Roger me old beauty, me old hearty ( Walter Gabriel Archers circa 1980’s )- I didn’t limit the convictions to the UK 🙂 Anywhere.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    I was quite careful about that since McGuinness had a conviction in the Republic of Ireland for membership (I believe). The reason why is because I didn’t want the discussion to diverge into whether the UK should have statutory recognition for such convictions recorded in other countries.

    The question of whether or not RoI convictions would be recognised by a UK institution would no doubt lead to a lot of talk about weakening the union.

  • Davros

    Not from me 🙂 And of course I would cheerfully wave goodbye to the “man” who led the invasion of Clontibret.

  • ShayPaul

    Davros

    One tiny flaw with your proposition is that it is not going to happen.

    Having discussions about what if situations to distract from the key issues get us all nowhere, and nowhere in NI can be a very dangerous place.

    Forget the smoke and mirrors Dr No blocked the deal, because he couldn’t cut it.

    The DUPes are looking for power and not an equitable solution that could lead to lasting peace and a better society.

    Dr No wants to go down as the man that beat the IRA, in reality no man has done more to create and sustain the IRA than Dr No.

    As the man said “You make peace with your enemies, not with your friends and that is what makes it difficult.”

    Now the real question is when will this political dinosaur (a throw back to the 18th century) step up to the plate ?

    I would suggest that as his key strategy is linked to the next elections then if you want to put the heat under him – call elections.

    If you want a frog to jump out of the water :

    1. Increase the temperature quickly by turning up the heat.
    2. Don’t let anyone put ice cubes in the water.

    What not to do :

    1. Increase the heat slowly, he will keep swimming and die of exhaustion before remarking the progressive heat change.
    2. Put ice cubes in the water, this will not save him, only convince him he can continue swimming rather than jumping.

    I would suggest that your suggestions are at best not going to happen, and at worst like ice cubes for the frogs.

    Time to get the frogs jumping ….

  • Davros

    Shay – the person who announced the deal wasn’t going to happen was Gerry Adams 🙂 You’ll write any old nonsense to protect Sinn Féin .

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros,

    I thought the point I was getting across above was that the position taken by both parties was indefensible. The DUP does not have any right to demand that people are committed to peaceful means when it won’t do so itself. Either way, it is highly misleading to suggest that the DUP was any closer to doing a deal than SF was. The DUP gave no indication about what it would sign up to if it’s photographic demands were met – it did not even specify what precisely the photographs would have to contain in order to be satisfactory. In those circumstances I can’t see how a reasonable person can lay all the blame at SF’s door.

    It’s clear that a deal is not going to happen with the demand for photographs (and if it did it would be close to meaningless anyway) so let’s start thinking about something more agreeable. Ken Newell commented this morning that if a clergyperson who had suffered in some way as a result of the IRA’s actions was one of the witnesses it might improve the public confidence angle. A person who might be able to fill that role would be someone like the late Gordon Wilson (RIP). I know that at least one of those who lost close relatives in the Shankill bomb has been involved in cross-community initiatives and has even met republicans. I wonder if he would be in a position to take on this role ?

    It would be difficult to argue that an individual who was bereaved by the IRA would conspire to get them off the hook by lying about the decommissioning process he/she observed. Thoughts anyone ?

  • Davros

    Roger, I don’t think your asssessment is accurate.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    The point of a discussion group is to explain yourself, not simply stipulate your position.

    Which part is inaccurate, the part about whether the DUP position was defensible, or the part where I suggested that alternatives to the photograph thing need to be considered ?

  • George

    Roger,
    what Paisley had to say Sunday about any observer:

    “He must be absolutely free but, of course, that has never been agreed by the IRA. Then he must be able to have photographs taken by the (disarmament) commission, not by the IRA, on every step taken for the destruction of those arms – photographs before they were destroyed, photographs when they are destroying and photographs of after they’re destroyed.”

    It doesn’t matter who the observer is to the DUP, what matters is a complete photographic and written record from beginning to end.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    George, thanks for that.

    The question for the DUP (and those backing their position) is of what difference there is between a reputable observer whom everyone agrees is not going to side with the republicans, and the photos themselves ?

  • ShayPaul

    Davros

    Why should I protect SF ?

  • ShayPaul

    Man not ball again, please limit your 2 footed tackles and try to stay on the pitch if not on thread.

  • Davros

    Quit whinging Shay. You are happy to dish it out yet scream blue bloody murder if anybody dares answer you back. Are you Gerry Adams ?

  • ShayPaul

    Davros

    Chill out, I have no intention of offending you.

    Let’s keep to the debate.

    I do not agree with what you say, but respect your positions.

  • ShayPaul

    You don’t believe your Gerry Adams question surely ?

  • Davros

    Pax Shaypaul 🙂 You are a good man .

  • ShayPaul

    Same goes for yourself.

  • Davros

    You write too well be be Gerry Adams 😉

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    The more I think about this debate, the more I see parallels between the DUP’s position on this matter and the way Sinn Fein deal with the question of supporting the police.

    Like the DUP, Sinn Fein refuse to support the police over a presentational matter, namely what they describe as the full implementation of the Patten report. They won’t describe clearly what bits they feel have not been implemented, and they won’t explain how their implementation will make the force suddenly acceptable where previously it was not. Nor will they guarantee that even if their ambiguous demands ever do manage to be met, that they will throw their weight behind the police unconditionally. They mislead the issue over questions such as plastic bullets, even when the abolition of PBRs wasn’t a requirement of the Patten report (and was in fact beyond it’s remit).

    The spats between the DUP and UUP over this deal, whether a new deal was actually achieved or whether it’s really the old one tinkered with a bit, is exactly like the silly spats you get between the SDLP and SF over whether the police really have been reformed or whether they’ve not been.

    Meanwhile the rest of us sit back in puzzlement wondering how we manage to elect such responsibility-avoiding idiots.