The game this year will mostly be…

In the wake of the Government’s joint statement, we’re now in an interesting position. On the one hand the government’s dead ball line is November this year. On the other, there is the IMC, already a nascent form of joint authority tasked with delivering a judgement on whether the IRA is keeping to the spirit of the Belfast Agreement. A hard timetable and a requirement for the IRA to be judged clean, would seem not to be compatiable. Unless, of course, you believe in miracles!

  • aquifer

    If the parties work to the timetable, but the IRA fail to deliver, again, SFPIRA forfeit the right to permanent inclusion in the executive and we move on to a system where some nationalists are required to be in government, but not necessarily Sinn Fein?

    Is the possible exclusion of Sinn Fein, or their inclusion only on the SDLP’s terms, to be considered a miracle or the tardy actions of a just god?

  • missfitz

    I have no doubt that we are looking at a prolonged period of joint authority. A couple of months ago, we had that discussion here, and there was a general feeling that it would not happen.

    It suits everyone in some ways to proceed in that fashion, and indeed if you were to take a long term historical analysis, you would probably start to see some inevitability about it.

    Northern Ireland as the 1920 creation was never enough for some, and too much for others. It was probably doomed from the start and has never been any kind of model of governance.

    If the leaders are not fit to lead, then they must be led. I just hope, very sincerely, that we will not have a shadow cabinet here running jointly with JA. I am sickened to pay the salaries of MLA’s who dont work and I think it should stop.

    The interesting issues will be the ultimate economic policies that will be imposed under JA and whether we will see some creativity in corporate taxation structures here, perhaps as a sweetener for unionists who will not welcome JA

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    If the parties work to the deadline of trying to elect an Executive and fail due to the inherent sectarianism that corrupts the DUP then they have forfeited, on behalf of unionism, Strand 1.

    The Assembly closes, no money all round and the party middle tier hits the dole queue. Good night and good luck all round. Strands 2 and 3 move centre stage in advance of a 26 county election.

  • Jack

    Mick:

    The IMC is not solely to monitor IRA activity but to reports to the Governments on activity by paramilitary groups, on the normalisation of security measures in the province, and on claims by Assembly parties that other parties, or Ministers in a devolved Executive, are not living up to the standards required of them.

    By definition their role could be extendable to monitor effectiveness and impartiality of any JA.

    JA for a generation is the only way forward and by that time a devolved government will only be an aspiration for a few Unionists and non starter for all Republicans.

  • kensei

    “If the parties work to the timetable, but the IRA fail to deliver, again, SFPIRA forfeit the right to permanent inclusion in the executive and we move on to a system where some nationalists are required to be in government, but not necessarily Sinn Fein?”

    Fai to deliver what? The arms are gone.

    Also, yes please go ahead with Devolution excluding the largest Nationalist party. The utter electoral destruction of the SDLP would be swift.

    Go have a think on democracy.

  • Pat is right, the arrangements are set up in such a way that we cannot be DUPed anymore.

  • páid

    The DUP have till November 24th to decide which is the worse of two evils: Power-sharing with the Shinners or de facto JA. This could well split them. Campaigning against ‘interference by a foreign govt. in NI’s affairs’ could be easier for the true blues than sitting down with the smirking Adams family. Robinson though would do the business I think. Dodds is the sharpest of all and may wait for events, dear boy, to propel him to the top.

    As missfitz hints, it might all be deckchairs on the Titanic. NI has never functioned as a proper country and maybe it never will. The reasons for partition reached the highwater mark 40 years ago. Long term, friendly and institutionalised E-W arrangements could well make the border little more than a county boundary in practical terms. Flags, emblems, sovereignty will follow the practicalities, not the other way around.

  • English

    Well watching Hearts and Minds Dodds looked extremely upset, he repeatedly stated that Sinn Fein need to sort their act out, but everyone else (Sinn Feib, UUP, SDLP, Alliance) were looking at him! Are gbut Sinn Fein are in a stronger position in such circumstances. Surely the DUP need to take a chance, because any Anglo-Irish governance will allow for creations that the DUP won’t like, and will have little or no authority over. If the DUP don’t compromise, they will have no excuses if things don’t go their way!