The long goodbye to follow the farewell to arms

The Economist, calls this week’s developments the only way you can. Not by reading into the clarity (or rather the lack thereof) around the act itself, but into the political frame around the act (subs needed). In particular the DUP:

…after recent rioting by Protestant paramilitaries who have killed scores in the past ten years, Mr Paisley’s scepticism sounded like a substitute for political engagement. The armies in whose weaponry Mr Paisley has shown least interest are the illegal Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA). One UDA spokesman, calling the IRA move irrelevant, said loyalists would keep their guns while the Union was in danger, a favourite Paisley phrase.

An international monitoring body set up at unionist insistence to detect paramilitary activity will report on the IRA in October and January. If it finds no criminal or paramilitary activity, the governments will press the DUP to negotiate power-sharing with Sinn Fein. The only internal pressure on Mr Paisley may be his own party’s ambition, and perhaps the desire at the age of 80 to hold power at last, even if it must be shared with the enemy.

The chess game has begun. The IRA and Sinn Fein have made a strong first move. But the DUP will not be hurried into making its next move either now, or when the second IMC report comes in January next year.

  • pol

    There is only one move Paisley can make and it may take him a while before the mist clears.
    But at some stage, and it may not be him. But his party will sit down with sinn fein.
    They will huff and they puff but they will make that final step.
    The game is just beginning.

  • pol

    There is only one move Paisley can make and it may take him a while before the mist clears.
    But at some stage, and it may not be him. But his party will sit down with sinn fein.
    They will huff and they will puff but they will make that final step.
    The game is just beginning.

  • Kenton

    Why can’t you guys just get along? Catholics and Protestants live in peace everywhere else on earth… I haven’t killed a Catholic in years… hahahaha.. 🙂

    jk

  • art macerc

    Why cannot unionists simply acknowledge that SF/IRA are a shower of murdering bastards and then sit down and negotiate with them anyway? There will, after all, be heaps of parliamentary time in which to remind them that they are a shower of murdering bastards.

  • hotdogx

    art macerc, sf/ira exist because of people like you in denial! The 6 county statelet is a failed entity where half of its popullation wish for its end. The republic is prosperous secular and free because all of its people wish for its success. This will never happen in a six county statelet run by a governent who is out of touch, not representative of the people and just doesnt care, and wants to be rid of NI. In fact thanks to your unionist government most irish in your statelet had no vote,, remeber

    Now that the unionist smoke screen of fear is gone regarding ira weapons many people will see the truth. There is no threat to protestants in a UI. Or british for that matter, as there are many living and working here in the republic. The union has failed for the six counties and now it has become impossible for emotional unionists who wish to keep it in the UK at all costs to hide that fact. With north south bodies in place soon i hope we will see more sharing of things like policing between north ans south. As for the man who threw snow balls at the taoiseach, all he can do now is wait until the day when he shares power with all nationalists including sinn fein. Paisley from the past would call paisley of today a traitor! Times are changing and change, whilst its hard, it isnt always a bad thing.

  • pol

    art macerc

    Well when it suited the DUP, they wernt shy about got into bed with the loyalist paramilitaries.

    All we are asking for, is that they sit around a table with Sinn Fein.

    They dont even have to hold hand’s.

  • art macerc

    Pol,

    “They dont even have to hold hand’s. “

    My point exactly, in fact I would go further: They don’t have to be especially polite. Just get talking.
    I am not trying to give the DUP a clean bill of health on paramilitary links, I am just seeking a way forward for the Protestant community (both or all communities actually).

    hotdogx

    “thanks to your unionist government”

    I am a Protestant nationalist. It is a matter of the deepest regret to me that, thanks to SF/IRA’s 35-year murder campaign, I cannot now hope to see UI in my lifetime. The best I can hope for is that the 2 communities start talking and I was trying to make the point that there are nettles to be grasped. My reference to unionists in my first post was simply that, although I do not share their constitutional views, I do not want to see them marginalized either.

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