DUP determined to tip scale back?

Well, we’re entering the phoney war. Phoney, not because there isn’t a conflict, but because we’ll get no idea of when the real chess game (or is draughts?) begins. The suspicion is that the IRA will hold the line for the next report and a bit of the IMC, and the governments will start transfering pressure on to the DUP. Rumour has it that the 50 page document is now closer to sixty. Peter Robinson was in Blackpool today arguing that governments had already tipped too much in Sinn Fein’s direction, in advance of the inevitable round of horse trading.

  • criostoir

    We have serious concerns about committing ourselves to structures which embed and enforce today’s differences and preserve them into the future. We do not want structures which will restrain our community from moving forward into modern day democratic politics.

    If we don’t base our poitics on our constitutional differences what will the DUP be for?

    I can’t see any attempt by the DUP to identify a constituency other than traditional loyalist. It would be great to see the DUP commit to a particular economic or managerial philosophy but I’m not holding my breath.

    Looks to me like an attempt to justify a return to majoritarianism.

  • spirit-level

    “To open the door to a bright future the agreed structures while taking account of the unquestionable division and special circumstances that presently exist must be overtly temporary and capable of transforming into recognisable normal democratic structures.”

    Apparently this is meant to de-mystify; and the word “structures” is mentioned 5 times.

    If anyone has the time, send the above to “pseuds corner” in Private Eye.

    Are you going to do a deal or not?
    No guns, no gov’t moves to no photos no gov’t, will it now become no banknotes no gov’t.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If we don’t base our poitics on our constitutional differences what will the DUP be for?

    The last 300-odd years of experience shows that politics based on constitutional differences has been an unmitigated disaster. We need to replace our politics with what 50 years of relative stability elsewhere in Western Europe has shown can deliver prosperity and peace.

    I’ve never seen a report from the IMC that has delivered a spectacular or unexpected prediction. They have singularly failed to create any kind of public debate. I’ve seen no evidence to show that the IMC has access to sources that nobody else does. The primary purpose of the IMC is similar to that of the Parades Commission; it avoids having either the Secretary of State or the PSNI Chief Constable having to take any flak for calling a spade a spade. That said, hopefully the IMC will see fit to discuss the UDA’s peacefire given the events yesterday.

  • spirit-level

    Whenever the IMC reported bad stuff for SF, the DUP were cheering. Now the DUP are already saying the IMC script has been written.
    I know both sides play this game.
    But if you’re going to rubbish everthing from the witnesses, to the IMC report, you are digging a big hole.
    To tip the scales back you have to be measured and give credit where credit is due. Seeing everything as a conspiracy is well paranoid.

    Bye the way I think DUP should pressurize SF to sit on the policing board.

  • Robert Keogh

    We have serious concerns about committing ourselves to structures which embed and enforce today’s differences and preserve them into the future. We do not want structures which will restrain our community from moving forward into modern day democratic politics.

    What Peter neglects to realise is that Stormont is merely a temporary stopgap before re-unification with the Republic, at which point we will have normal democratic politics. Unionism has proven itself incapable of being trusted with the reigns of power in Northern Ireland hence the powersharing arrangement. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice….

  • TAFKABO

    “at which point we will have normal democratic politics. Unionism has proven itself incapable of being trusted with the reigns of power in Northern Ireland hence the powersharing arrangement.”

    How can you have “normal” democratic politics if you start from the premise that one group of people is incapable of wielding power responsibly?

    Why bother with the votes at all if you have already decided that certain outcomes will not be permitted?
    In fact, the more I think about it, I’m not even sure that what you mean by the word democracy is the same understanding that I have of the word.

    You’ll have to forgive me, I’m a unionist, and if all you say is true, then I’m inherrantly incapable of being a democrat, it’s no wonder I get confused by your use of the term.Perhaps you would be so kind as to try and enlighten me?

  • Joe

    The DUP’s definition of democracy, or at least the good Doctor’s, if my memory from the late 60’s is correct, is that 50% + 1 of the population can tyrranise 50% – 1 if they want to. Well that just doesn’t work as the past 30 years or so demonstrated. Democracy only works if the people in the minority accept the institutions and have an expectation that they will be treated fairly and have equal opportunity. Such a situation never existed under the old stormont, hence the descent into civil disobedience and, regrettably, the ensuing violence. I don’t think anyone expects the exceptional arrangements under the GFA to last forever, but if the DUP now think that they can institutionalize a way to return to the old system of two classes of citizens, they are barking up the wrong tree.

  • TAFKABO

    Joe.

    I wasn’t aware that the DUP were around in the sixties, but leaving that aside.

    If you want to bring the DUPs idea of democracy in the sixties, then don’t forget to include Sinn Feins idea of democracy in the seventies.
    If we’re going to be talking about who is fit for power based on past performances.

    ( and for the record, the DUP were formed in the seventies)

  • slug

    I am pretty interested in what Robinson is saying here and I think it has the capacity to be very promising.

    Basically, decoding this statement, Robinson is saying that he wants rid of sectarian designation in the Assembly. That is something that pigeonholes people and prevents politics from moving on.

    There are very strong arguments for doing this, and many alternatives to designation that still would lead to participation in government by both nationalists and unionists.

    I have always been in agreement with Alliance partys position on this issue, so when the largest party starts to make hints of this sort, I am encouraged.

  • Joe

    You’re being pedantic TAFKABO. The good doctor was around in the sixties and he did have his own party; If I remember correctly, he called it the Protestant Unionist Party. That morphed into the DUP. His rhetoric hasn’t changed an iota. But since every majority leader of the unionist people was condemned by him as a traitor, he’s in a bit of a quandry right now.

  • irishman

    Mick

    Mark Langhamer had an excellent piece in the Daily Ireland yesterday (Tuesday) about the current predicament of unionism. Any chance of a thread on it? (don’t know if Daily Ireland allows access to articles on the web.)

  • slug

    “o open the door to a bright future the agreed structures while taking account of the unquestionable division and special circumstances that presently exist must be overtly temporary and capable of transforming into recognisable normal democratic structures.””

    Very much agree with this.

  • TAFKABO

    “His rhetoric hasn’t changed an iota.”

    Joe.

    Are you really so sure about this?

    NEVARR! NEVARR ! NEVARR ! seems to have changed into “not just at the moment? if you don’t mind”

  • looking in

    I have to say that the local journalists are culpable. Instead of focusing print and airtime to allowing all shades to jerk-off on their particular constitutional model/community viewpoint the journalists should cut off the lines of communication and repeatedly force local politicians to address REAL political/economic issues.

    e.g. If politician swerves off said line of questioning – plug should be pulled even if it means end of program or blank column inches – lets have the test card – it might evetually dawn on populus that these politicians are by-and-large vacuous tubes with no ideas to move the society forward.

  • criostoir

    Here’s an idea. Instead of requiring that the biggest unionist party and the biggest nationalist party put forward someone to be first minister and deputy first minister you just use the alternative vote (ie STV for single member constituencies) to whittle a selection of directly elected candidates down to two. One will have over 50% of the vote, one less than. These two become first minister and deputy first minister / official opposition leader. We get more moderate leadership and by the nature of our constitutional divide we’ll most likely get a unionist and a nationalist.

    You use the same process for Mayor and deputy mayor at County and Town level.

    I havn’t worked out what powers the runner up gets but I’m sure we could work out a way to give them involvement in non-contentious events and checks and balances.

  • Joe

    Well maybe there has been a change TAFKABO. He condemned Terence O’Neill as traitor in the 60’s for visiting a catholic school and shaking hands with nuns. Now, he’s a leopard trying to pretend to change his spots. Similarly, in the 60’s, he threw snowballs at the car of Sean Lan\mass and called O’Neill a traitor for meeting him. Yet recently he went to Dublin. Still can’t bring himself to shake hands though. Some of that catholicism might rub off! Heaven forbid!

  • James Orr

    Throwing snowballs. Tsk tsk. Whatever next

  • Joe

    sorry for the mistyping; Sean Lemass, prime minister of the ROI.

  • Joe

    Hey, who knows. There might have been stones inside those snowballs. Heheheheheh

  • TAFKABO

    Joe.

    Your posts seem to be so negative that they allow no possibility for moving forward.

  • Joe

    I’m sorry TAFKABO if my posts seem negative to you. I didn’t intend them to be. I left Northern Ireland 24 years ago, because even though I tried to help promote togetherness and neighbourliness among all the people i knew, even living in a mixed community and sending my children to a state school, although because of my background, most people considered me to be a taig ( I’m actually atheist). I finally despaired of the N.I. politicians having the sense to talk to each other, rather than talking at each other, and reaching some agreeable compromise. I fully accept your proposition that SF were equally to blame as the DUP. From my remote perspective here in Canada, I now do have hope that things will gradually improve and people in N.I. will come to respect each other. I have no animosity towards anyone. You have my best wishes.

  • Mr Bigglesworth

    well, presumably the game of chess starts today as Sinn Fein and the DUP are going for talk with the PM (separately of course) about the recent decommissioning etc.

    How much do you want to bet big ian will be as uncompromising as ever, annoy Tony Blair who will then give more concessions to Sinn Fein and start wistfully thinking that Conor Murphy’s latest comment (that the British Gov should start supporting a united ireland agenda)might have some merits.