Talk to the hand, the face ain’t listening…

Earlier this year two pundits predicted that the IRA would not decommission until 2011. In the event they were out by six years. What does it prove? Possibly, given the deep crisis sparked by the Northern Bank robbery and the murder of Robert McCartney, political movement is more likely to be prompted by pressure from within than without. David Adams argues that that is the only way the DUP will be shifted into government (subs needed) with Sinn Fein. He struggles to see where that pressure might come from:

The only thing the DUP is likely to respond to is pressure that emanates from within the unionist community and that is non-existent at present. Neither, if at all, is it likely to manifest itself anytime in the foreseeable future. There is no yearning within unionism for a return of devolved government and absolutely no appetite for anything that has Sinn Féin in executive positions.

Sinn Féin’s refusal to support the new policing arrangements in Northern Ireland remains, on its own, a potentially insurmountable obstacle to any reinstatement of the assembly. Though often declared, it also seriously calls into question any real commitment by republicans to law and order and the democratic process.

That republican support for the PSNI is dependent on responsibility for policing being devolved to an assembly that has, to date, proved itself totally incapable of taking charge of anything, is almost laughable. Less amusing, for many people from differing political and social backgrounds, is the prospect of a party like Sinn Féin gaining control of law and order.

It is clear that irrespective of what efforts the governments and others might make, while the DUP and Sinn Féin are the lead parties within their respective communities, there is no chance of a power-sharing executive being restored to Northern Ireland.

  • Nationalist

    It is clear to everyone that there will not be progress whilst Ian Paisley Senior is alive and in control of Unionist minds. Those within Unionism that want to be in Government are afraid of the backlash from him which would destroy any budding political career; the destruction of Trimble is clear proof if it were needed.

    At the same time the latest “outings” of so called spies within Sinn Fein would seem to have a clear political motive behind them. The British Government realise the DUP with Paisley will not go into Government, and just like 1974/75 they are working hard behind the scenes and hope that the outing of alledged spies will discredit Sinn Fein in the eyes of the Nationalist voters, who the British hope will transfer their votes to the SDLP.

    Over the last few years at each strategic point in time there has been a “leak” of British Intelligence naming one or two people a further step up the Republican ladder each time as agents and spies. The Stormontgate affair reveling the chief administrator of Sinn Fein Denis Donaldson and in the last few days more people being accused of being British spies from the political front row of the party. How long before they accuse Martin McGuinness or Gerry Adams?

    The only pressure that will drive Unionists into Government will be the British Government announcing that they are introducing joint authority of some sorts in the continued absence of local politicians being willing to take control, even then they will have to wait until Ian senior moves to the happy parading road down under. No Government then until September 2006 at the earliest.

    Maybe the British Government should start to “Out” or decommision all their spies, including those spies and agents within the DUP and UUP, or maybe that’s for another day. Maybe they just want the Unionists to believe they would never spy on them?

  • aquifer

    Watching NIO ministers shove stuff in that the locals would not have the guts for is kinda fun, but it’s time this ‘No plan B’ stuff was knocked on the head.

    If local ‘political parties insist that every election is a constitutional negotiation, lets get back a broader section of community interests to broker a deal. The 1996? ‘top ten’ forum election got us the Women’s Coalition, labour, and the PUP/UDP who did a good job of stirring to get the GFA. Lets spin the bottle again.

    Direct rule is a preferred unionist outcome. Out with these English timeservers. Lets get some rebel input into governance here. Mary Harney as education minister, Michael for Justice Minister. Or just hand the thing over to some local appointees. Let them make mistakes or inspired policy initiatives. Socialism, environmentalism, or rabid red clawed freebooterism, what matters is to rub those samey old faces in the grit of their own political bankruptcy.

    A referendum on cutting the MLAs off without a penny in 6 months anyone?

  • Crataegus


    “A referendum on cutting the MLAs off without a penny in 6 months anyone?”

    I’m right behind you on that one; we are at present rewarding failure. In a business context who gets paid for failing to deliver?

    At the time when the structures of the agreement were being discussed some on the fringe did argue for a fall back position (with pain) built into the agreement should, as they predicted, the whole beast become gridlocked in disagreement and mistrust. There were others who proposed very inclusive models and there were some quite interesting ideas.

    The agreement was forged by the main parties in a manner that suited them. I suppose it was the best that could be agreed at the time, but we have moved on and it must be plain to all that it does not work so we have to ask could we do it better and who should decide how?

  • martin ingram


    If you honestly believe Ian Snr is the problem then you ignorant to Loyalist politics. Ian Jnr Paisley is far more militant today than his father and will be a major force within the DUP for years to come.

    As regards Decommissioning the British spies. I honestly dont think that would help. Sinn Fein would be a party overnight with no leadership and no direction.

    The DUP will not make any move into an administration with Sinn Fein UNTILL has the Americans have recently argued Sinn Fein enters the policing arena. Once that happens it is game set and match.

    I forcast Sinn Fein will become involved later this year Oct/ Nov 06 after the parade and summer season have been completed. The DUP will then be forced into an administration with Sinn Fein shortly into the New Year 07.

    Sinn Fein will then be completely embalmed within a British paid Administration. That is when the clock starts for Sinn Fein. To maintain its electoral position it will need to evolve into an effective political party, one which cant argue from the comfort of the sidelines but as a major player within a British administration. Gerry Adams will then not hang around long for to do so would be foolish. He will have completed his task.He will time his departure to the minute. The Irish presedency beckons for Mr Adams. Who ever accepts this poison chalice from Adams is on an hiding to nothing.

    Have a good day.


  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    I’m entirely at a loss to know why SF are pushing for a return to the assembly at all — since the suspension in 2002 they’ve got virtually everything they demanded from the Brits, drawn a handsome salary for no effort and increased their electoral mandate too. Their sights are obviously set on a coalition place in the south next year, so why bother faffing around with a toothless Stormont assembly at all?

  • “It is clear to everyone that there will not be progress whilst Ian Paisley Senior is alive and in control of Unionist minds.”

    I didn’t realise that Paisley was in control of our minds. That is some power. Is this something that has been recently bestowed on him. Possibly or he would have used it before to get us to vote for him. Maybe, just maybe unionists support him at the moment because that hope that he will advocate the things that they believe, or at least os more likely to to that than anythong else on offer to us.

  • Crataegus


    Cesare Borgia did not fare well after his father’s death and Paisley junior is no Cesare.

    It will be interesting to see how the DUP fares post Paisley senior. Neither Robinson nor Dodds have the same appeal with the populous and the son does not command unquestioning loyality.

  • Mike

    bertie –

    Kind of reminds you of the old republican refrain that the Prods were simply dupes of the British government and when they ‘withdrew’, the scales would fall from the Prods’ eyes and they’d become happy contented Irishmen in a 32 county republic, doesn’t it?

    Seems we don’t have minds of our own in some people’s eyes.

  • Mike

    who told ye te say that? 😉

  • Ciarán Irvine

    I’m entirely at a loss to know why SF are pushing for a return to the assembly at all

    Because it annoys the Unionists?