remarkable for its vagueness and lack of detail

In the Belfast Telegraph, Brian Walker is less than impressed with the lack of detail in yesterday’s joint statement from Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Prime Minister Tony Blair, arguing that “the ‘stick’ of green-tinged direct rule would seem to hold few terrors for the DUP and the ‘carrot’ of committees by itself is far too unappetising to tempt anybody else”.

It’s difficult to detect anything, threat [or] promise, in the PMs’ framework that creates a dynamic for breaking the deadlock. Without the Assembly, the DUP keeps direct rule, and Sinn Fein achieves a modest shift towards Dublin involvement. Enough for both of them to keep their support, but far from enough to achieve a breakthrough.

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  • “It’s difficult to detect anything, threat [or] promise”

    Good cop, bad cop, anyone?

    When do the Hain reforms kick in to jack up your taxes and boot the featherbedders out of council government?

    And then Sinn Fein could cuddle up to policing. Gerry Kelly always looked more like an Irish cop to me than a MLA.

    They don’t need to threaten.

  • Pete Baker

    When do the Hain reforms kick in to jack up your taxes and boot the featherbedders out of council government?

    Not in time for that November deadline, Jim.

    Plus, Hain has also been busy dispensing 2-year funding packages.. he has his very own good cop/bad cop routine going on.. and an eye on the post-Blair scenario.

  • and an eye on the post-Blair scenario.

    and so it goes.

  • páid

    have to agree..Hain is a serious player. “Brain” Walker’s article is downbeat but there is a serious fork in the road looming for the DUP. If Walker is correct, and the DUP don’t go in, will Robinson acquiesce? As for the Shinners, I note Gerry talking up their desire for Plan A and the Executive…and I don’t believe it. If Plan B is in force, and SF do well down south in the next GE, Bertie – realpolitik personified – will do a deal. All the Shinners have to do now is demand full implementation of the GFA. And wait.