While the blame game starts to unwrap itself from the previous avoid-the-blame game, it is, perhaps, worth looking back to see who exactly equated “visible decommissioning” with the H-word, that’s “Humiliation”. Step forward Sinn Féin Party Chairman, Mitchel McLaughlin, as reported on the BBC website on Saturday 23rd OctoberThe interesting quote comes from the DUP’s Peter Robinson in response to that linkage –
“Mitchel McLaughlin’s remarks would appear to be indicative of someone who is attempting to develop an exit strategy from the process and who is only interested in disengaging from making the commitment that Sinn Fein/IRA know must be made.”
Hmmm… Given that, for some time, this has been the understanding of both parties of what was needed, and the view of SF of how they interpret visible decommissioning, the question is why was this left to the last minute – and allowed to derail the ‘deal’?
It looks like SF stonewalled on the visibility aspect, gambling on the DUP caving in under media and government pressure, with the tried and tested blame game as a fall-back position.