No power-sharing for a generation?

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson has told the Irish Times (subs needed) that power-sharing with Sinn Fein could be off the agenda for a generation. He also predicts that the DUP will win 9 seats in the Westminster elections to the UUP’s 2.Robinson was speaking ahead of the party’s publication next week of it “Moving on” policy document in which the DUP presses for a voluntary coalition of unionists and nationalists without Sinn Fein.

He said SF was not capable of “making the transition to peace and democracy” so doing a deal with the party was no longer part of the DUP reckoning process.

“We’re saying that era is past and gone,” he said. “If they reform at a later stage that’s a matter for the next generation to look at.”

Robinson’s comments follow hot on the heels of remarks made by former Conservative MP Andrew Hunter, who now takes the DUP whip and said “inclusivity is no longer on the agenda”.

Strangely enough, both seem quite content about the prospect of Northern Ireland being run by British direct rule ministers for the forseeable future. I suppose they can tell the voters how they resigned from this board and that board in protest at cuts for the next 20 years now. Beats the hell out of taking responsibility for your own welfare, I suppose.

The article also reports that private DUP polling has increased the party’s confidence that it can defeat David Trimble in his Upper Bann constituency.