Another question.. no answer though..

This is another question from the same transcript that I noted below but needs a separate thread as it deals with a particular topic that has been highlighted here over the past weeks, Sinn Féin’s position on policing, and specifically, what the Prime Minister expects to happen..From the transcript of the press conference


Taoiseach, Prime Minister, two questions. For the Prime Minister, before there would be an Assembly up and running would you expect Sinn Fein to say that it’s supporters should give their backing to the police service? And Taoiseach we saw the very fine documentary on television last night about the hunger strikes, and I suppose it put in context how far this society has moved. The violence, in many respects, has stopped. How important or otherwise is it that there should be a Parliament in place here at all, if it’s going to be as dysfunctional as at present?

Prime Minister:

On the first point, I obviously want everyone to make sure that they support the police in the work that they do. If there is somebody who is guilty of a criminal offence the community needs to support the police in bringing those people to book. That is the way a democratic society works and that of course is important. And incidentally on the point about the Preparing for Government Committee we had some quite graphic accounts of its work so far. But I think that in the end the fact is the more that people are at least sitting round a table and talking the better. The only way you’re ever going to get this thing back up and running again is if people accept the reality that they are going to be working alongside each other in government. And, you know, at some point there has to be a sufficient ability within the process for people to understand that this is, in part, about reports and rules and processes, but it’s also, in part, about an attitude of mind that respects the other person and is willing to work with them. No government will work unless that is the case.

Nope, I can’t see where he answered the question either…

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  • na


    You can’t see the answer? You going blind?

    ‘On the first point, I obviously want everyone to make sure that they support the police in the work that they do’

    So it wants it but doesn’t/can’t insist on it. Glad to help.

  • na

    Or was it just a case of not being the answer you wanted?

  • Pete Baker


    Thanks, but, as I pointed out, that doesn’t answer the, quite specific, question.

    Here’s the key phrase for those finding it difficult to keep up:

    ..before there would be an Assembly up and running would you expect..

  • victor

    i think he must have misheard the question, thinking he asked-“so, tony, what do you think about the police?”

  • na


    I think it’s clear he wants support but isn’t insisting on it, he has no expectation or stipulation merely a desire.

    I’m surprised you find it so difficult to comprehend. He has answered the question, just not how you seem to want him to.

    (you seem to have the difficulty in keeping up)

  • Pete Baker

    Rather than going back and forth on this, na..

    I recommend looking, again, at the interview the Irish Times journalist Frank Millar did with Peter Hain.. where, imo, the background to Blair’s evasion of the question is laid out a little clearer

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    You are both right in a way. This looks like a licence from Blair to continue to “negotiate up to the deal, through the deal and beyond the deal”. My inkling is that the DUP will indulge this so far as they judge they can sell it to their core voters.

    SF, so far as I can see, will continue to hold out on policing so long as it doesn’t cost them electorally. The drama remains the thing.

    Pete is also on the money though, because the question had a clear enough context not to have been misconstrued by the PM.


  • Pete Baker


    As you say, “the question had a clear enough context not to be misconstrued by the PM.”

    The post is noting his evasion of that specific question – the latest addition to the questioning of the key players on this topic, as linked above.