So, what are you doing this summer?

Ahead of the briefing by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on the joint government proposals, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has, again, clarified the party’s stance – following the apparent softer line from Mitchel McLaughlin that Gonzo noted. The Irish Times carries his latest statement – “We have made it clear in our discussions with the Irish Government that we are opposed to any dilution of the Agreement, or to the establishment of any shadow Assembly with scrutiny committees or scrutiny powers. This is not the Agreement.”[subs may be req]. That seems to clash with the expected form of the governments proposals.. but does leave open the prospect of the Assembly heading into the train wreck that initial 6 week period. UpdateThe full statement is on the SF website.. and seems to tread a thin line of ruling out the expected government proposal of committees operating over the summer period –

“In recent days senior Irish government representatives have promoted the possibility of a shadow Assembly, with committees, or some form of scrutiny role, which will extend beyond the six weeks allowed for in the Agreement for the establishment of the Executive. These proposals are naïve in the extreme. They will not work and are not supported by anyone other than the DUP.

– while, apparently, still being prepared to accept some form of proposal..

“We have made it clear in our discussions with the Irish government that we are opposed to any dilution of the Agreement, or to the establishment of any shadow Assembly with scrutiny committees or scrutiny powers. This is not the Agreement. Any proposals by the governments must be to give effect to the Agreement and to the election of an Executive. Changing or altering the institutional structures of the Good Friday Agreement to facilitate the DUP is not acceptable. [added emphasis]

“The future of the political institutions now hangs in the balance. Today‚s talks and the decisions which will be taken by the Irish government in the coming weeks are therefore critical. This is the context for today,s meeting.”

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  • fair_deal

    half-in, half-out? Sinn Fein turn up for the predicted first session pre-summer but don’t go back in for the second?

  • Pete Baker

    fd

    It’s more a question of, firstly, what happens within that initial 6 week period – which would fall within the current Assembly legislation – and then what happens when, as expected, the Executive fails to be formed.

    That’s where the focus is as the minute.. hence the thread title.

  • fair_deal

    “They will not work and are not supported by anyone other than the DUP. ”

    Cough RPA Cough, Cough OTR’s Cough

    “Changing or altering the institutional structures of the Good Friday Agreement to facilitate the DUP is not acceptable.”

    Did the SF leaderhsip not read the Comprehensive Agreement? Is this why they ran away from it to rob a bank?

    In all seriousness Sinn Fein still don’t seem to have realised that the Assembly 2003 election (and its confirmation in 04 and 05) has changing the dynamics of the process. The process stopped being primarily about pleasing republicanism but about a more balanced process.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Incredible to think that this bid to restore local government actually has ‘built-in failure’.

    Bizarre.

  • pakman

    Gonzo

    the flaw isn’t in the attmpt to revive the Assembly it is inherent in the Assembly itself. Until the double veto sectarianism, the enforced coalition, the lack of opposition etc are addressed then failure is inevitable.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    If the DUPers want the FULL Assembly then they simply have to say yes and then all the other parties will join them in it.

    If not close the place, pay everyone off and the two governments can drive through the increased co-operation that they have already highlighted.

    Pretty clear cut even for a DUPer backwoodsman to understand.

  • fair_deal

    The process doesn’t dance to the provo piper’s tune anymore.

  • English

    Most right minded people know that it is time to try the Assembly again (with all democratically elected parties included) – all be it in a shadow form initially, with a cut off point. Part of me thinks:

    i) Do the DUP actually recognise the mandate that Sinn Fein holds?
    ii) Do they have any intention of sharing power with Sinn Fein?
    iii) Is it just posturing and delay tactics?

    Whatever it is, people are sick of it. Why waste this great opportunity in the future development of Northern Ireland. Part of me thinks that DUP/Sinn Fein governing isn’t going to happen due to the DUP and Sinn Fein failing to reach a compromise – assuming there is any room for compromise at all.

    The British and Irish Governments have stated that the preferred choice is the Assembly, and they do not want to take an intergovernmental approach. The DUP cannot complain if they lose out as a result of cutbacks in staff as a result of the failed Assembly, or, moreover, policy that results in greater North-South co-operation as a result of an intergovernmental approach.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Part of me thinks that DUP/Sinn Fein governing isn’t going to happen due to the DUP and Sinn Fein failing to reach a compromise’

    The compromise was in effect the GFA that represents the compromise you speak of. SF have endorsed the institutions set up under the GFA, the DUP have not and have in fact pledged to destroy it, this 8 years down the line. A starting point would be for the DUP to accept the GFA and pledge to work it.
    Close the place and move on, it was unionists who wanted the Assembly, if it falls they have no one to blame but themselves, a pertinent thought while they sign on.

  • barnshee

    Here here

    Close the place anyway Hotel + golf course seems favourite

    The dupers know that if SF arrive back as ministers the UUP will say I told you so and (may) recover lost seats. The dupers still have to kill off the UUP– ergo –no assembly and no SF ministers ( Martin and Barbie fucked the show in education and health anyway)

  • “The compromise was in effect the GFA that represents the compromise you speak of. SF have endorsed the institutions set up under the GFA, the DUP have not and have in fact pledged to destroy it, this 8 years down the line. A starting point would be for the DUP to accept the GFA and pledge to work it.”,
    Pat, If you believe the GFA is a genuine compromise for SF, then why are’nt SF joining the policing board?
    Isn’t it the case that neither side really want the Assembly.
    The DUP holding out for permanent direct rule, and SF holding out for a united ireland.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Pat, If you believe the GFA is a genuine compromise for SF, then why are’nt SF joining the policing board? ‘

    Because they are waiting on the British to publish the necessary legislation that facilitates the calling of the special Ard Fheis. Given the flanker the British pulled on the OTR legislation one can except a considerable period of reflection (not to say the oft quoted clarification) before that Ard Fheis is called.

    ‘Isn’t it the case that neither side really want the Assembly.’

    SF have stated they will work the Assembly within the remit of the GFA. If it was recalled tomorrow under that remit then I understand SF would attend. The DUP are still anti GFA. Thus quite clearly we are stymied by the DUP.

  • Because they are waiting on the British to publish the necessary legislation
    Hmmn are you sure thats not a dummy pass?
    Surely its too important an issue to park on the back burner.
    After all, didn’t the McCartney killing remind us that nationalists urgently want a democratic and accountable system of Justice via the law courts. Sinn Fein are stalling.

  • Thus quite clearly we are stymied by the DUP
    Pat actually that’s quite disingenious and misrepresents the true picture.
    Try this:
    SF accuses the DUP of living in the past and failing to show leadership. That’s true, but refusing to endorse the most accountable police force in Europe ( not my words ) is an example of SF living in the past and not showing true leadership.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    spirit-level,

    as stated ‘Because they are waiting on the British to publish the necessary legislation that facilitates the calling of the special Ard Fheis. Given the flanker the British pulled on the OTR legislation one can except a considerable period of reflection (not to say the oft quoted clarification) before that Ard Fheis is called.’

    The onus is on the British to publish the necessary legislation and move the policing debate along.

    ‘Pat actually that’s quite disingenious’

    The basis for movement, we are told, is through the Assembly. The Assembly (at this stage) is an integral part of the GFA. The DUP are opposed to the GFA and have pledged to destroy it.
    The two governments are bringing forward proposals to set up an Assembly that one of the main party does not support and has pledged to destroy. I can see where the difficulty lies.

  • Pat
    I’m disturbed by what you write, because although you present the case eloquently vis-a-vis the DUP stallers, and it all appears so neat and tickety boo re SF and the Police, there is a rat. And that rat is this:
    Do you really think, I mean are you serious when you suggest that this new legislation is magically going to stop stones being thrown at police vans and fire-engines?
    No way, we’ve a culture here that needs turning on its head, no amount of waiting and new laws is going to change that.
    SF is not, it seems in discussion about this with its supporters. There is a cavalier attitude and its been neatly tucked away, and that is not good.
    Going from revolutionary guerilla force to full democrats is a painful journey.
    It needs open discussion.
    I really don’t think SF are interested in it that much, that’s a failure of leadership IMHO
    You are suggesting in the vernacular.
    ” Dave hey the police issue, not a problem mate, so simple, just a few new laws, and we’ll be fine. Don’t worry about the kids, they’re good as gold. It’s all fine, no need to worry”
    We both know that is baloney.
    I’m off on-duty, so won’t be back for a few days.
    Hope to catch up then. Be good 😉

  • What am I doing this summer?

    No plans yet, but a wee dander to the field is a cert.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘I mean are you serious when you suggest that this new legislation is magically going to stop stones being thrown at police vans and fire-engines?’

    I haven’t suggested anything like that at all. I have stated that once the British legislate what has been asked by SF, then SF will call a special Ard Fheis to discuss whether to support the policing arrangementsas they exist then.

    ‘SF is not, it seems in discussion about this with its supporters.’

    SF is discussing policing virtually every day. The scenario i painted above is very well known to Sf and their supporters.

  • SF is discussing policing virtually every day I check the SF website regularly and find nothing to support your point.
    But hey let’s run with your analysis and if and when the legislation is passed I look forward seeing to McGuiness heading up a robust campaign in and amongst nationalist areas to convince them of the need to call the police when they fear crime has been comitted.