Preparing for government…

Or not.. If the first meeting of Hain’s Committee the Preparation for Government Committee is an indication of the prospects of an executive being formed then we can look forward to a prolonged period of further direct rule. As the Alliance Party leader David Ford, one of only two party leaders who took a seat on the committee, said – “If they cannot even agree on how to chair a meeting, what hope is there that they will agree to form an executive within the next six months?” or, as Gerry Moriarty, in the Irish Times, put it recently “Some way to run a country.” UpdatedAn additional note in the BBC report caught my eye

Some of the parties are writing to Secretary of State Peter Hain to clarify whether the need for “consensus” means the committee can only move forward on the basis of unanimity.

*shakes head*


From the statement by Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain [and also on the short-list of candidates to take over from John Prescott – Ed]

“The Committee will reconvene tomorrow.”

Try again.. fail better?


  • dodrade

    Why did Paisley want two more weeks? Is it just to see how far back he can push the deadline?

  • Pete Baker


    I think his argument is that Peter Hain has been refusing to set Assembly business for two weeks because Sinn Féin have been boycotting the debates.. and, now that he seems to be setting business for debate again, the Assembly should have those two weeks back.

  • fair_deal

    It would also give greater time for the consultation option Robinson talked about.

  • Paul P


    You mean two extra weeks for an election campaign?

  • fair_deal

    Paul P

    No if it is the election option my guess is it would be in 2007.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    “Both Sinn Fein and the Alliance Party have accused the DUP of adopting a negative attitude to the committee. ”

    Of course… there are “Catholics about the place.” Besides, did not DUP run on the notion of abolishing the GFA? Mayhaps, for their purposes, direct rule from London is good enough.
    Let’s face it — if the DUP are kvetching about the place-settings and ancilliary matters, how seriously can they be taken in this matter?

  • Paul P


    Surely the DUP will not enter an executive before going to the electorate?

    If they did it could be suicidal.

  • fair_deal

    Paul P

    “Surely the DUP will not enter an executive before going to the electorate?”

    I don’t think they would or should but the ambiguity of the consultation idea does leave open such a possibility.

    “If they did it could be suicidal”

    I agree, I think they should go to the electorate, not a fan of the consultation idea.

  • they must not give in anymore to Paisley

  • spirit-level

    who “they”?

  • kensei

    “It would also give greater time for the consultation option Robinson talked about.”

    Here is a wacky idea. Like the rest of the planet, the DUP could just start its work so that it finishes in time for ther dead line, rather than playing silly buggers.

  • Pete Baker

    One of the more interesting statements made recently by Martin McGuinness.. and no, not on the topic you might think..

    He suggested on the BBC’s Politics Show on Sunday that by the end of June, at the end of this first run of the assembly – which Sinn Féin are currently selectively boycotting – that they may decide not to participate in the second run.. in September.. at all.

  • joeCanuck

    I’ve had second thoughts about it over the years, but now I’m so glad I emigrated.

  • pid

    the way I see it….

    The DUP do want Plan A and are pretending not to.

    Sinn Féin don’t want Plan A and are pretending they do.

    Simple really………

  • Greenflag

    ‘Why did Paisley want two more weeks?’

    So he can say NO for 2 weeks longer . Irish Republicans and Irish Nationalists in Northern Ireland are wasting their time even attempting to deal with Paisley . That much should be obvious to all but the most naive, blind and deaf among the Irish people in Northern Ireland .

    The way forward for the SDLP and SF is to seek representation in the Dail or the Irish Senate and to ignore /boycott permanently any Stormont Assembly . In the first instance the Assembly is a waste of taxpayers money ( and even English taxpayers do not deserve to be milked by 104 useless MLA’s) Secondly the system of Government proposed by the Assembly is a ‘forced coalition ‘ and it serves only to strengthen the primitive forces of sectarian politics for which Northern Ireland is world renowned . Thirdly the Assembly will have no tax raising powers and thus the elected MLA’s and Ministers will not be fully accountable to the electorate for their ‘spending’ . The people who will be paying the piper in this instance will be 98 % English , Scots and Welsh .

    It’s time for Mr Hain and Mr Ahern to say goodbye to the Stormont farce and to move on instead to a fair Repartition of the 6 county NI State . It can never be a normal western style democracy in it’s present form . Irish Nationalists and Irish Republicans need to respect the wishes of the British Unionist minority in the North East of Ireland by agreeing to a new Partition which would leave most Unionists in a smaller two county size area . It would then be up to the British Unionists themselves to decide whether they wish to continue with devolution or instead prefer direct rule from Westminster . For the rest of Ireland this would have nothing to do with us .

    Under a fair Repartition carried out by a neutral international agency approx 96% of the people living on the island of Ireland would be resident in the State of their first preference . There would be 15% minority of Irish people in the new British Unionist State(100,000) and a similar number of British Unionists in an enlarged Irish Republic (approx 2.5 % or less than a quarter of the present total of non Irish immigrants in the Republic .