What proposition, indeed?

While the Daily Ireland columnists churn out remarkably similar opinion pieces *ahem* (with one notable exception) The Belfast Telegraph publishes an editorial that takes a more cynical realistic view of proceedings.. “Unionists of all descriptions have so little faith in Sinn Fein sticking to their word that they justifiably fear more smoke and mirrors from the IRA. With absolute clarity, a deal may be possible, after a testing period; without it, the negotiators are wasting their time.”

The opening paragraph, in the Belfast Telegraph piece, is interesting –

News that Gerry Adams has had three meetings with Bertie Ahern, at his request, since his appeal to the IRA to consider ending violence will puzzle as many people as it pleases. What proposition could he be putting to the Taoiseach and what more could Mr Ahern be saying than “away with private armies”?

Interesting, in part, because the source for the reading of those three meetings being at the request of SF’s Gerry Adams.. was SF.. and that statement only came well after the story appeared in the media. The Taoiseach’s version was somewhat different.

But assuming that Adams did request the meeting.. the question posed by the Belfast Telegraph bears consideration…

What proposition could he be putting to the Taoiseach and what more could Mr Ahern be saying than “away with private armies”?

  • Davros

    Excellent blog Pete.

  • slug9987

    I’d second that – excellent blog.

  • Snapper

    Any chance of actually waiting for the statement so we can all deal with whatever is said. Wasting column inches on specualtion is just that – waste. If the begrudgers are right then happy-days, more stalemate. I just hope those same begrudgers have it in their hearts to be magnanimous if the opposite comes true.

  • peteb

    “Wasting column inches on specualtion is just that – waste.”

    I suggest you direct that comment to the Daily Ireland, “snapper”..

  • Davros

    Snapper – How representative of reality is the statement likely to be ?

    In view of the history of under the table deals e.g.between Adams and Ahern on the McCabe murderers, and attempts by SF to modify the Belfast agreement behind the scenes without involving all the parties – OTRs and demands for confidentiality in decommissioning for example – people are right to wonder what’s been going on and to express concern.
    God knows what extra concessions Gerry is demanding.

  • Dessertspoon

    True snapper but this wee place is sometimes (if not all the time) like a Supertanker doing a turn, it takes a very very long time. So to fill the gap we speculate and comment…it’s the whole point of the site.

  • peteb

    “Dessertspoon”

    Snapper is very aware of that point.. and frequently ‘speculates’ on many other topics..

  • Snapper

    If you cared to read my post I was making the point that any possible statement from the IRA has already been rubbished. Is it not better to wait for the actual statement and comment on it’s merit’s at that point. Castigating your opponents moves before they’ve made them is very revealing about your intentions and where your heart lies. I was not trying to stymie debate on this site.

  • peteb

    “I was not trying to stymie debate on this site.”

    Glad to hear it.

  • martin

    There must be an end to all back room diplomacy it only leads to all sides not just Republicans–remember Paisleys insistence of decommissioning photos after he got what he wanted–definitly a case of having your cake and eating it–the historical precedents of secret back room deals leading to disaster are—THE FIRST WORLD WAR,and much closer to home the 1921 treaty with the ambiguity of the provisions relating to the Boundary commission,.Among many others,.I wrote a post at the end of the thread –Sinn Fein must win the peace alone giving my opinion on how the transparency and trust issue could be solved it applys to this thread also-but im having trouble trying to cut and paste it overto this thread,its over there for anyone who cares to read it,

  • Gonzo

    I wonder if the Taoiseach and Adams spent long discussing how they would deal with their good friend, Phil Flynn, without losing face.

  • chris

    “While the Daily Ireland columnists churn out remarkably similar opinion pieces *ahem*”

    Typical smart arse comment, Pete, adding nothing to debate.

  • peteb

    “Typical smart arse comment, Pete, adding nothing to debate.”

    We appreciate your contribution to the debate.

  • crat

    Pete,

    While Chris’ reaction was unfair, you did spin that blog, IMHO.

    You have an editorial, which you described as the work of a columnist, being supported 2 to3 on the Op-Ed table. That seems like a normal newspaper to me and not worthy of comment, never mind a conspiratorial, frankly nonsense,*ahem*.

    Most papers will have the majority of their Op-Ed writers in broad agreement with general editorial policy. Some may swing a bit but you are unlikely to get more than a 1/3 representation of an opinion editorial line doesn’t hold.

    Did you expect a 50/50 split on the opinion pieces that O’M publishes along with the editorial?

    Or maybe I’ve missed the papers where editorial line is counteracted with perfect balance in the opinion pieces? Most of the time they don’t even give space to others in my experience.

  • crat

    [i]supported 2 to3 on the[/i]

    Above should be : ‘supported 2 to 1’

  • peteb

    crat

    We could debate my blogging technique indefinitely.. rather than the actual topic.. but the point of the three inter-linked pieces is that that message is being disseminated by more than just the paper concerned.. too subtle, perhaps?

    Ah well.. can’t please all the people all of the time..

  • peteb

    BTW, crat, my blogging should be filed under “irreverent” 🙂

  • OIlbhéar Chromaill

    really, Pete, Gonzo and co must get over their Daily Ireland obsession. From reading their poutings on this and other threads, it seems that the medium upsets them at least as much as the message.

    What is their problem with opinion pieces in Daily Ireland about what the IRA should do or not do…

    I don’t expect any declaration from the IRA before August or early September. So there’s bound to be a great deal more debate about what the IRA will do between here and then. The reason for that is that no-one can seriously deal with unionists while their blood is up and boiling as they’re too much i’ the Midsummer sun what with all their marching…

    No doubt we’ll have some columns in the Belfast Telegraph and so on in the next few weeks and we can expect an usual lack of erudition as well as an absence of balance….

  • Davros

    I don’t expect any declaration from the IRA before August or early September.

    Liam Clarke article in Sunday Times today
    has this –

    “An Irish official said: “We do have an expectation that [the IRA statement] will be delivered this month rather than next.” “

    and suggests we may get a hint from Conor Murphy when he gives the speech at Bodenstown.

    Dublin expects IRA move on arms decommissioning

  • peteb

    Is there a post which mentions the Daily Ireland that you haven’t commented on, OIlbhéar?

    obsession, indeed.

    *shakes head*