The “Big Stick” just got smaller

Nationalists have been “optimistically” interpreting the Plan B of the two governments as joint authority even joint sovereignty. However, Peter Hain in an interview on Inside Politics said:

“There’s no question of joint authority or anything like that. There’s no question of joint government. That would be in contravention of the referendum that that the people of Northern Ireland voted on when they endorsed the Good Friday Agreement. So there’s no issue about that, it’s not a constitutional matter.”

The principle of consent to constitutional change will remain with or without an assembly. The 24th November 2006 deadline will also be put into law.

  • So Plan B really was a bluff then. Didn’t last very long. One suspects that the ‘B’ in the plan is deliberately vague in that it can belong to either Blair or Brown with Bertie…does this fall under the the title constructive ambiguity, or is it just ambiguous because the powers that B are running out of ideas?

  • clarity

    Was it possible that the Government were playing the ‘joint’ aspect up in the hope of provoking a reaction from unionists. This would help cover up and distract nationalists/republicans from the fact that the Assembly proposed isn’t very different from the shadow Assembly they rejected and said they woudl play no part in?

  • urquhart

    Hain is a monkey. He appointed a PUP leader to the Police Board in the hope that the UVF were on the verge of disarming. Turns out the’re not now because they claim to be nervous about Hain’s Plan B. So he announces that the first announcement wasn’t what it said it was.

  • Keith M

    This is what I’ve been saying since Thursday. I’m surprised it’s taken the penny to drop for nationalists and republicans. The statement by the goverments on Thursday made it clear that Plan B would be within the framework of the 1998 agreement so “joint authority” was never an option.

    However unionists should not be clompacent. Plan B would involve a lot more north-south bodies and co-operation without their direct involvement.

  • ingram


    We did tell you on more than one occassion that J/A is not even a remote possibility.


  • English

    Tony Blair stated that in the absence of agreement there would be “a step-change in advancing North-South co-operation and action.”

    To me this seems clear, he is talking about an intergovernmental approach. Unionists will only have themselves to blame if the Republic has a greater influence on internal affairs through the development of North-South bodies and greater influence in joint decision making. Joint rule wouldn’t be possible in practice, but an intergoverntmenal approach is.

    I also am pretty sure that local government will have increased power, in place of the Assembly. Which will mean the West of the province will be dominated by a Nationalist agenda.

    If I was Paisley I would say it would be safer to attend the Assembly.

  • Dave

    I seem to remember a statement that went something like this (there is no plan B) maybe this is just a false memory I have developed or a trick of the mind.

    Can anyone help me out on this, is it true that at one stage of the (game) there was no plan B)

    What events need to take place before a plan (C) comes into play and when it does I’m sure a lot of people won’t like it.

  • abucs


    there is no plan C. :o)

  • ingram


    Quote”there is no plan C. “Chuckle”

    Faced with the might and capability of Loyalism there is only one game in town for now and they ( Loyalist) have the complete deck of marked cards and a compliant dealer.


  • Brian Boru

    Of course they are not going to call it “Joint Authority”. What they are going to do is expand the powers of existing North-South bodies and create new ones. Even that isn’t “Joint Authority” in the strictest sense, but that is what will happen.

  • slug

    North South bodies are bodies for all-island institutions so it means the NI ministers ‘interfering’ in South to the same extent as the Irish ministers ‘interfere’ in North. They are not institutions whereby there is ‘interference’ from South to North only, it goes vice versa. Absent the NI Execitive, under plan B, the NI ministers ‘interfering’ in Southern affairs are British.

  • slug

    That should finish with:

    “are the British Direct Rule ministers”.

  • heck


    your loyalist buddies are so high on their own crack that they can’t do anything without being organised by your other buddies in the “security services”

    “the might and capability of Loyalism” is their willingness to be armed, used and discarded by your former(?) paymasters.

  • Tiny

    The Dupes shouldn’t build their hopes up on the back of the Hain interview, he simply stated the obvious, the constitutional position of NI will not change, however while Dublin may not have the power to put up Irish language road signs in Lisburn, they can always ask the brits who do!

  • Brendan, Belfast

    Dave asked

    “Can anyone help me out on this, is it true that at one stage of the (game) there was no plan B)”

    that was from monkey number 2, Hanson, and related directly to the question of the location of the stadium. still does as far as i can tell – but that’s a whole other thread.

  • Dave

    It’s ok folks, I’m not losing it. i was sure that someone said there is no plan (B)

    “Peter Mandelson said: “What all of us need to do, all of us need to be committed to doing, is making sure that the Good Friday Agreement gets implemented.”

    “There is no alternative to it. There is no plan B. It is that or nothing.”

    So what happened to the nothing bit of this statement? if the belfast agreement can’t work for whatever reasons and it also looks very much like Plan (B) won’t work either (has no support) What the hell is Plan (C) going to be made up of?

    Of course there will be a plan C there always is!!

    Come on you “Sluggers” what should plan C consist of?

  • abucs


    i think they’ll move straight to plan D and bypass plan C altogether. :o)

  • ingram


    By the end of this year the History of this IRA campaign will be re written and it will not be nice reading for you boy.

    The Loyalism I refer to is not the ten pound crack head hanging around the Sandy Row mate. I mean the boys and Gals who have been in uniform ! Oh and while we are on this subject let me be clear once more. As a Nationalist I hate Biggots on both sides but what really anoys me more than anything is naive individuals who cannot see the wood from the tree`s.

    Like I said, not long now and the truth about the Big one will be made public and then you can make your own mind up such has it is, how and why Republicans are this pickle.


  • abucs


    just play along and tell Martin how you long for one party Stormont rule and hate all this equality talk and Bertie sticking his beak in.

    Give back the power to the boys and girls in uniform while they still have uniforms.

    Please stop all this talk of green rule in Belfast and west of the Bann, i just can’t stand it.

    And now we are threatened with another big time Republican working for the British. No, say it ain’t so. As if this would evaporate the changes over the last 35 years.

    You see, it would spoil Martin’s psychosis to think Nationalists are actually content with how politics have been transformed over that period.

    Better for us to be blind bigots who have been shafted by British Intelligence into something… well… that we actually don’t want.

    You can’t lead someone where they don’t want to go Martin.

    Ah, we are in such a pickle.

  • Brian Boru

    “You can’t lead someone where they don’t want to go Martin. ”

    The only way to avoid a greater input for Dublin is powersharing. Do it….or maybe not! 🙂

  • Dessertspoon

    Plan B ??? Isn’t this place already up to plans X,Y and Z.
    Hands up if you’re bored with it? We need a few real politicians, ordinary ones who want to work on the economy and cut waiting lists at hospitals, important things like that. I couldn’t give a monkeys who the next informer is going to be, or what comes after plan B,C, or D. I just want to know that if I go to my locally elected representative with a problem they have slightly more than a snowballs chance in hell of doing something about it or getting something done about it.

  • GrassyNoel

    I reckon the South is already running the North. Let’s face it have you ever seen that episode of ‘Yes Minister’ where some poor bastard makes a complete hash of something and as punishment, in the cabinet re-shuffle, gets posted to Northern Ireland? I reckon Peter Hain & his civil servants have about as much interest in NI as George Bush has in Greenpeace.