Signs of indecision at the BBC?

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.


  • martin ingram


    A big Thank You.

    A very well argued piece by Purdey.

    I wonder why this accurate but contentious piece was pulled by the Beeb.

    Thank again.


  • Pete Baker

    It seems to be appearing sporadically, Martin.. not sure what’s up the Beeb.. maybe a temporary technical glitch..

    *I know.. my mood swings from cynical to naive in any given moment*

  • Pete Baker

    And now it seems to be back.. again.. for how long though?..

  • Pete Baker

    and now it seems to have gone.. again.. for how long though?..

    *no more updates, promise*

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Contrast with this:

    DUP ‘split on power sharing’

    “Almost two fifths of Democratic Unionists would share power with Sinn Féin if IRA criminality ended and there was total disarmament, an opinion poll claimed today.

    A survey of 100 delegates attending yesterday’s DUP annual conference in Belfast revealed 39% of those questioned believed that, in the right context, the party should share power with Sinn Féin and other parties.

    However, 37% felt that even if the IRA ended its criminality and destroyed every weapon, direct rule by British ministers in Northern Ireland would be preferable while 24% had no opinion.

    As the party prepared for a new round of talks tomorrow organised by the British and Irish governments to revive devolution, the opinion poll for the Sunday Times showed DUP delegates remained highly sceptical about claims last September that the IRA had destroyed its stockpile of weapons.

    The results showed 93% did not believe decommissioning had been completed while only 4% were of the opinion that it had…

    The opinion poll also revealed that 17% of delegates surveyed felt the time was right for the DUP to enter into face-to-face political talks with Sinn Fein but the vast majority, 82%, were opposed to the suggestion.

    However 96% believed the DUP should share power with the Mark Durkan’s nationalist SDLP if that was an option….”

  • Ultonian Scottis American


    It appears that a thread has just been opened on this very topic, although with a different link.


  • Mick Fealty


    In my reckoning that story has been there all day. It may have been changing places on the news page, but so far as I understand it, specific places on that page can rotate two or more stories every half hour.

  • Pete Baker


    The report has been online all day.. but the link isn’t always available on the news page.. certainly what’s going on is that they’re switching the story every half-hour or so, but when they switch the story out there’s no link left.

    I was puzzled by it this morning.. now I just think it’s a stupid way to rotate the stories on the site.

    No doubt later in the week they’ll have both stories linked on the page at the same time.. but they should be doing that now… otherwise a visitor runs the risk of missing whichever one isn’t there.

    In any event the Martina Purdy article is worth highlighting.

    btw.. I have a screen grab to back that up 😉

  • D’Oracle

    Finally some firm evidence of the innate rotationalism at BBC NI which has long been suspected!?

  • Kathy_C

    Hi all,

    I found “Bruised SF on full spin” an very interesting article….I think they’re correct…Sinn Fein has been recently bruised and all they are using to counter it….is spin.

  • O’Rahilly

    Martina Purdy’s article is significant only because it underlines the willful refusal on the part of most sections of the mainstream media to countenance the fact that Republican goals did not wither on the vine of the GFA.