Arlene Foster writing in this week’s Village says that whatever the solution to be found, visibility of decommissioning was raised at Leeds Castle.
Off course it had because the last couple of decommissioning “events” were hardly “events” for the wider community; instead of instilling confidence into the process it became a farce. The tautologies surrounding what “significant” actually meant were as big a “turn off” for politicos as they were for Joe Bloggs.
She argues too that in eyes of the Republican movembent, the last tranche of decommissioning had been illusional:
Add to this the fact that republicans are telling their own people that there had been no actual decommissioning in the past, but only smoke and mirrors and it becomes absolutely imperative for the survival of any real and meaningful settlement that something was needed on visibility.
She closes by suggesting that what Sinn Fein says is irrelevant, if there is no guarantee forthcoming directly from the IRA itself:
Its all very well for Sinn Féin to say that they would sign up to the “political parts” of the new agreement but if the experience of the Agreement has taught us anything it is that Sinn Féin hides behind the charade that they do not speak for the IRA. This is in all or nothing package.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty