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.

  • DessertSpoon

    Optimistic reading is that this is just pre-electrion rhetoric. However I can’t quite shake that sinking feeling that once again the polticians have shown themselves to be incapable of doing the job.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Don’t tar everyone with the DUPs brush. Of course they’re right, but we already knew that Sinn Fein couldn’t be trusted before they did their dodgy deal.

  • Peter Brown

    …we already knew that Sinn Fein couldn’t be trusted before they did their dodgy deal

    So why did we jump first – just to prove that ourselves? Let those who are without sin cast the first stone….

  • AW

    The UUP post election down to 2 seats and without Trimble would open up all sorts of opportunities. Could be what is needed for a reunification of Unionism or perhaps that will have to wait until Paisley senior retires?

    Also the SDLP with 2 seats maximum would be taking a very hard look at its future over the summer.

    Interesting times

  • Robert Keogh

    No powersharing for a generation will guarantee re-unification within a generation.

  • Young Irelander

    Robert Keogh

    “No powersharing for a generation will guarantee re-unification within a generation.”

    Uh…how?

  • fair_deal

    Its no powersharing with SF not no powersharing with nationalists

  • tadgh

    DessertSpoon’s initial post is spot on.

    That Peter Robinson is quite a leader. A laughable invitation to (non-SF)nationalists…

    SDLP’s fortunes are waning and they rightly refuse to enter governmnet without Sinn Fein.

    It seems Robinson prefers welfare from the queen over the truly difficult task of building an inclusive devolved government. Real leadership for 21st century Unionism.

  • aquifer

    Reduce the quota for an inclusive government to at least 25% of ‘other’. If the ‘other’ electorate don’t like what the 25% did, next election, they gone. If the ‘other’ electorate like it, the 25% party is then bigger than 25% as well as being in charge.

  • IJP

    SDLP’s fortunes are waning and they rightly refuse to enter governmnet without Sinn Fein.

    Actually that’s why the SDLP’s fortunes are waning.

    Talk’s cheap. But where are the SDLP’s actions?

    They’ve got the moral high ground, but they’ve spent too long taking in the view and suddenly it’s gotten awful foggy…

  • AW

    IJP
    Actually that’s why the SDLP’s fortunes are waning.

    How long do you give the SDLP after this election? Durkin must be in for the chop and I can not see an obvious alternative. Does any Southern Party really want to unite with them? SF are over the worst of what the McCartney sisters can deliver so total wipe out possible.

    Equally with the UUP post election without Trimble, who will be the new leader? No obvious candidates. Their safest seat is probably South Belfast and in North Down I would expect a DUP win.

  • ulsterman

    The SDLP could revive their fortunes tomorrow if they decided to give SF the cold shoulder. Rather than waste the trees producing nonsense about a United Ireland the SDLP should be looking at entering a DUP led government at Stormont.

    The UUP are masters of their own demise. When Donaldson left they lost any relevance to the Union they ever had. Craig and Brookeborough will be turning in their graves at the treachery that Trimble led. Two seats sounds about right and even they are not guaranteed.

    Oh what a celebration May 5th will be. The Capital city will be restored to Unionist control. The West will be won back for the Union.

    God Save The Queen.