The reign of Hain – more calls, mainly on Sinn Fein…

IN his keynote speech last night, the Secretary of State told Northern Ireland’s politicians that they don’t live in the centre of the universe, and argued that a shared future is an economic necessity. Peter Hain pointed towards more north-south co-operation for mutual benefit and indicated Sinn Fein should continue engaging with the police on practical issues (‘practical’ is used five times, co-operation a central theme) until they could actually back them, acknowledging that this wouldn’t happen until policing and justice powers are devolved. Oh, and he’s still dead serious about the deadline. You can read the whole thing here.

  • Travis

    “I have been told by some that the deadline set by the Governments is not realistic. But the truth is that four months is easily enough if the political will exists to reach agreement. If the political will is not there, then no amount of extra time will help.”

    Peter Hain is right. It’s put up time or shut up time for everybody come November 24. This deadline should not be extended.

  • John

    Well said Travis.

    Also, one very important note on the education system which Peter Hain mentioned. As a catholic I have always thought that segregation in education is part of the root cause in our society. I would support integrated education.

  • aquifer

    But what sanctions can be offer. He is not going to change the local enactment of PRSTV that lets the extremists in irrespective of their capacity to deliver a government. How many community crossing votes for someone on the ‘other side’ ever counted?

  • Ringo

    The reign of Hain – more calls, mainly on Sinn Fein…


  • baldrick45

    I wonder who loses most if there isn’t a deal by the deadline?

    SF – Would seem likely to complain loudly but be secretly pleased to only have to work with London/Dublin on an increased North / South agenda – It just proves their long time assertion that NI is a “failed poilitcal entity”.

    SDLP – Not sure what their take is but I would guess they would prefer to be playing in an active local political scene to help justify their existence.

    UUP – Failure lets them point the finger at the DUPs and say every bad decision taken by the direct rule Ministers is all Papa Doc’s fault.

    DUP – despite their bluster about an arbitrary deadline, seem likely to be the big losers as they are left, despite their mandate, as an irrelevence to all political decisions effecting everyday life.

    If the shutters come down on the party “up the hill” I believe “NI – the final solution” drops off Tony, Bertie & Gordon’s agendas for 3-5 years during which all manner of North / Southery develops and both Governments make an active point of not consulting local parties on major decisions. Real politics simply passes NI by (as it has so often) and voter apathy grows.

    And you can bet that everyone except the DUP faithful will be putting the blame for failure to get an Assembly back squarely on the DUPs which should lead to a haemorrage of “natural” UUP voters back away from them, though whether that would be back to the UU’s or into that growing swathe of “non-voting apathy” remains to be seen.

    Either way – the overall Unionist “vote” seems likely to continue to suffer in a the absence of a settlement, SDLP probably also likely to continue to lose support, SF – happy days!!

    My thoughts anyway – Lets hear a few counter arguments please.

  • lib2016

    Sinn Fein have things to do and can’t afford to wait around for ever. Their electorate is fed up waiting and it would only take a relatively few people and a convenient pretext for the Dissidents to re-emerge.

    The unionists are in much the same boat. At present they have neither unity nor the strength to resist whatever the governments impose, still less any realistic political plan bar a retreat to the ghettos in order to preserve their community.

    It will come with honeyed words but the pressure will be on to force a split which will destroy their internal majority.

    Once we have a nationalist dominated NI how far behind can reunification be?