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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