For a brief moment, a very brief moment, this morning the BBC NI News website had a link to a somewhat less than optimistic report by Martina Purdy entitled, Bruised Sinn Fein on full spin.. It was an interesting piece that recounted recent events, and the damaging publicity surrounding them for the party, as well the attempts to counter that adverse publicity. The article ended with a reference to Sinn Féin’s adopted role of thwarted peace-maker, a role Martina Purdy has outlined before. That link was, however, quickly replaced by Mark Devenport’s report on the DUP – DUP in ‘no mood’ to share power and the other report has seemingly vanished. Thankfully I managed to save the original link to Martina Purdy’s report, and it’s still available online here Update
And now it’s back.. carry on.. and now it’s gone.. Further Update To be clear on this, and avoid confusion. The articles are rotating, approx every half hour, in one place on the news page – but when one is visible, the other isn’t.
Here’s the final lines of Martina Purdy’s report –
Given the DUP’s attitude to this[power-sharing], there is little reason to believe Sinn Fein will leap onto the Policing Board. Perhaps, the party had no intention of signing up this spring anyway.
Policing was always going to be divisive: for example, what does one do about republicans who insist on carrying on with smuggling?
It may also be that the Donaldson affair has shifted the mood and made it more difficult for Adams to sell the concept.
Sinn Fein may opt to play a long game, just as it did on the arms issue.
As for power-sharing, Sinn Fein will almost certainly try to draw advantage from whatever emerges.
If power-sharing returns, the party will be in government.
And if it doesn’t, it will continue to play the thwarted peace-maker, hoping that resentment over this issue will encourage voters in their direction – and push London and Dublin towards joint authority.