Double dealing in Dublin…

THE pantomime descended into tragedy last week and this evening became a farce. After the Taoiseach’s meeting with Sinn Fein this morning, photographic evidence of IRA decommissioning was suddenly “unworkable”, and apparently off the table to Sinn Fein’s delight. However, after Paisley threatened to boycott future meetings with the Irish Government, Mr Ahern put the issue back on the table. Looks like we’ll have to wait until Ahern’s statement to the Dail on Wednesday to find out what his position actually is.

  • peteb

    I blogged what I think Bertie’s position might be earlier today, Gonzo.

    Bertie makes his pitch?

    Continued IRA involvement in criminality is the issue for Bertie, not photos.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    So you reckon the potential trade off is for the IRA to unequivocally declare an end to all paramilitary and criminal activity in line with Paragraph 13 of the Joint Declaration and the DUP to drop the photo demand?

    Hmmm… Bertie’s ‘pitch’ is all over the place at the moment, and seems to shift on a daily basis, if not more often.

    I reckon Bertie will say almost anything to the DUP and SF to keep them on board. It was the PDs that initially ran with the IRA’s equivocation on the use of violence, not Ahern. Maybe they’ve got Ahern onside now too, which in itself marks another shift, since last week he said the only issue was the photographic evidence.

    Ahern, of course, should be trading more carefully. I think he is incredibly frustrated at the minute. But he’ll have to keep his cool if he doesn’t want to annoy either his current coalition partners or the potential ones he is subtly wooing…

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    What a complete mess Bertie has made out of that. I thought he was a lot clever than to make announcements unilaterally in that way.

    I just can’t see the DUP dropping the photo demand. Unfortunately they’ve painted themselves into the corner and have said rather bluntly that they’re not going to budge on it.

  • willowfield

    Kind of flies in the face of what pakman (I think it was him) claimed on another thread.

    He said the DUP hadn’t failed because the two governments, knowing they weren’t dealing with “pushover unionists”, would stay firm in support of the unionist line.

    How many days did it take for them to take Adams’ side?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    What is more concerning is the DUP’s unwitting emulation of the UUP on the decommissioning issue, unless they are prepared to back down on a photo in favour of an end to paramilitarism.

    Which would be fine, IMHO, but would involve a degree of face-saving.

  • peteb

    Passing on the interesting unionist infighting for a moment..

    Bertie should, of course be trading more carefully, and his spin that he was merely stating the position of SF – as outlined to him by Adams et al – is weak to say the least.

    But you shouldn’t ignore the fundamental position he seems to be going for here – photos are less important to him than that clearly stated commitment to end criminal activity.. he needs that if SF want the killers of Detective Garda McCabe let loose.

    He is, as ever, much more concerned with his own political standing than that of Unionist Parties – of either shade. But it depend on whether SF where ever prepared to make a deal.. IMO, there’s an increasing impression of a party willing to gloss over any question, through the months of meetings, while waiting for an issue, any issue, to blame someone else for the non-deal they always preferred.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    “photos are less important to him than that clearly stated commitment to end criminal activity”

    …which has been my own position for some time!

  • peteb

    I wouldn’t be too keen to compare yourself to Bertie, Gonzo, he’s in for a very rough political time ahead.

  • Henry94

    Bertie knew what he was doing and he knows the photos are a dead issue. If the DUP had been able to argue that they were needed to reassure unionists they would have had a chance but not when it’s about humiliation. Paisley let the cat out of the sackcloth and it can’t be put back.

  • cg

    “Paisley let the cat out of the sackcloth and it can’t be put back.”

    Absolutely.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    The news earlier this evening reported that the boycott had been withdrawn, but now later this evening it has apparently been reinstated.

    Stupid.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Yet again, it has changed. Now appparently there isn’t a boycott and Paisley will meet the foreign minister.

    how confusing.

  • willowfield

    Is Henry94 a Provisional SF spokesman?

  • George

    First the Pd’s and now Bertie have finally realised that the overwhelming majority of the Irish electorate are fed up with the wheeling and dealing with SF. The only problem is Bertie doesn’t seem to know what to do now that the opposition have realised this and turned on his peaceniking.

    A crumby photo won’t be enough to secure the release of Garda McCabe killers, that’s for sure.

    If SF won’t cut the deal, cut them loose.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    Is Willowfield a DUP spokesman?
    If a person can’t raise issues on this site without being immediately branded as a card carrying spokesperson for a particular party, the whole participatory nature of the debate on this site is compromised.
    What about BALL NOT MAN?

  • willowfield

    Is Willowfield a DUP spokesman?

    LOL!

    I’m looking forward to reading Will’s and DB’s response to that!

    If a person can’t raise issues on this site without being immediately branded as a card carrying spokesperson for a particular party, the whole participatory nature of the debate on this site is compromised.

    I was just asking. He always seems to parrot the exact Provisional line.

  • Michael Turley

    Heard a funny one in work this morning. Apparently Dr. Paisley extracted a fulsome apology from the Taoiseach regading the above.

    When Gerry Adams was asked had he heard about the apology/retraction he said he hadn’t but that he would believe it if he was presented with photographic evidence.

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    Is Henry94 a Provisional SF spokesman?

    I speak for myself alone.

  • willowfield

    Your views just happen to coincide 100% with the official Provo line?

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    You are entitled to your opinion but it appears unlikely to me that any political party would appoint an official (or unofficial) spokesman to a talkboard!

    And they certainly have not done so in my case.

  • willowfield

    Are you a member?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    “Is Henry94 a Provisional SF spokesman?”

    “I speak for myself alone.”

    So that’s a yes? ;o)

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    Are you a member?

    If Mick makes it a requirement that contributors list the organisations they are members of then I’ll be happy to comply.

    But I think you are making a bit of a member of yourself with this line of questioning.

  • willowfield

    Ho ho!

  • maca

    “I speak for myself alone.”
    So that’s a yes? ;o)”

    Although we know what you meant for the sake of accurace I should point out that your joke doesn’t actually work 😉

  • Belfast Gonzo

    They never do… look at the response I got for my Ballymena man and sex joke. Zilch.

    *reaches for coat*

  • Henry94

    Belfast Gonzo

    look at the response I got for my Ballymena man and sex joke

    I missed that one but if you could work in two clergyman witnesses and some photographs it’s bound to be funny.

  • AW

    Bertie is also looking to post the next general election in the Republic. He may need SF to form a government. They are also a lever to use against the PDs and may save him from a FF Labour government. SF give him another option.

    They will get no sense out of Bertie on Wednesday he will waffle and mislead and give few hostages to fortune.

  • Belfast Gonzo
  • James

    “I missed that one”

    You were fortunate.

  • Alan2

    “Paisley let the cat out of the sackcloth and it can’t be put back.”

    Paisley also talked about his own humility. People really should listen to some of his sermons before jumping off into the deep end. Humility before God is part and parcel of the man`s faith. Try the sermon audio website for starters:-
    Sermon Audio

  • pakman

    Willowfield

    any follow up to your post of 13/12 @ 0822pm in light of this

    BBC report.

  • willowfield

    The link doesn’t work.

  • maca
  • willowfield

    Thanks.

    Well Pakman, we’ll see.

    There’s no deal. Yet Bertie’s moving ahead with concessions to the Provos on McCabe and NI MPs in the Free State Parliament.

    Not good.

  • Millie

    ‘Paisley also talked about his own humility. People really should listen to some of his sermons before jumping off into the deep end.’

    Will we be treated to the spectacle of the most famous Catholic baiter in Ireland (and who just happens to be the leader of the largest party in the North at the moment) pleading forgiveness for his leading loyalist mobs in attacks on people who had the temerity to ask for the same civil rights enjoyed by other British citizens in the UK, rights that were taken for granted in most western liberal democracies at the time. What was it he said to Bernadette Devlin, “I’d rather be British than just”, neatly summing up Britain’s long history of domination over Ireland.

  • barnshee

    Millie
    “people who had the temerity to ask for the same civil rights enjoyed by other British citizens in the UK, rights that were taken for granted in most western liberal democracies at the time.”

    Please specify in details exatly what civil rights were not available to the people?

  • Millie

    ‘Please specify in details exactly what civil rights were not available to the people?’

    As Eamonn McCann said, as a graduate his degree gave him access to a range of jobs completely out of reach to the vast majority of working people in the UK, however he would not be eligible to clean the toilets at the Guidhall in Derry.

    ‘British rights for British citizens’, sounds fair enough, can’t believe it caused such a fuss…