Blair’s worth nothing any more in Northern Ireland…

THE St Andrew’s talks are a busted flush already. Who gives a **** what Tony Blair thinks any more, or his so-called ‘legacy’ over Norn Iron? One-up to the DUP? Well, we did warn about his diminishing influence…

  • Billy

    One-up to the DUP?

    Yeah, it was really the DUP who have weakened Tony Blair’s position.

    Tony Blair will still be PM on November 24th and, assuming there is no local agreement, the “assembly” will be dumped and the joint stewardship measures will be legislated onto the statute books.

    The DUP have been living in hope that as Gordon Brown is a Protestant – he will be more sympathetic to them. In itself, that speaks volumes about the DUP attititude.

    Gordon Brown is a lifelong Labour member and socialist. I suspect NI policy is not high on his priorities. He isn’t going to change the NEC/Cabinet policy on NI. The replacement of Peter Hain would also be a cosmetic exercise – the policy will remain the same.

    From what I have read, Brown wants to recoup some of the money spent in Iraq by eliminating wastage within the civil service. The Prime target is obviously the bloated NI public sector and I doubt that the Iron Chancellor will have any qualms about cutting costs there.

    On a personal note, the DUP may be happier about dealing with Brown and presumably a replacement for Hain. However, if they think that this will signal a complete change in UK govt policy in favour of Unionists, I fear they are in for a major disappointment.

  • Crataegus

    Blair was interested in a legacy and to my mind we lost an opportunity.

  • barcas

    Billy’s point above draws attention to the fact that, as Gordon Brown is a protestant it will make him, possibly, more sympathetic to the DUP cause.

    Maybe I am missing something, but to the best of my knowledge, Tony Blair is also a protestant and I do not see any great sympathy to the DUP cause issuing forth from that source, either.

  • barcas

    “Tony Blair is also a protestant and I do not see any great sympathy to the DUP cause issuing forth from that source”

    regardless of why (and I suspect it has nothing to do with what he does on a Sunday morning) you have identified an hostility from the current PM towards the DUP. In those circumstances wouldn’t it be politic to for the dupers to sit tight and wait for the new guy gambling that if there remains a lack of sympathy at least you explored the possibility of a better hearing?

  • Butterknife

    One-up to the DUP? I have to agree this is their mentality and no doubt their supporters will highlight this fact and suggest that the fair deal to Protestants is a good deal for the union with GB.
    I beg to differ. No company now wants to invest in Northern Ireland because of export duty imposed by our Exchequer and the babyish antics of this loyalist party. We saw from past IMC reports that the DUP where quick to point fingers; lets hope that they are mature enough to accept this one!

  • Bog warrior

    All this assumes that Brown is nailed on as the next man in no.10. IS that a certainty? Brown is obviously the hot favourite and the heir apparent but when Thatcher was ousted everyone assumed Heseltine would step in nobody really thought Major would emerge. Surely Blair’s camp will be doing all they can to stick the knife in Brown’s ambitions and trying to install, well, anybody but Brown as PM?

  • DK

    “No company now wants to invest in Northern Ireland because of export duty imposed by our Exchequer and the babyish antics of this loyalist party.”

    You must have missed the full employment and increasing prosperity that everyone else here seems to be enjoying. Something must be going well. Perhaps direct rule is for the best.

  • Butterknife

    Maybe DK but more public jobs in lieu of private sector jobs will only last for so long and out of these how many are minimum wage jobs.
    I see a problem in future with fuel poverty etc. Remember folks you heard it hear first.

  • unionist

    If Brown does take over Hain will still have a seat in the cabinet and will still have his say.

    I suspect that the fallout from the fall of Blair (which is what this is becoming) will leave labour as a lame duck government for the next few years. Brownites seeking to undermine Blairs legacy and Blairites seeking to undermine Brown.

    It shows the shear audacity of the man that he is more interested in his legacy than in the potential legacy of a Labour government surviving another two terms.

    As for us, methinks if we dont have control locally Mr Brown is going to squeeze us very hard financially.

  • Bushmills

    I donj’t think the DUP position is that Brown would be better because he’s a Prod. If one reads the recent article by Paul Bew in the Parliamentary Review, it comes closer to explaining the Unionist position. Our community simply don’t trust Balir or believe a word that proceeds from his mouth. In terms of selling any new deal to the Unionist community, Blair commending it would actually make it less likely to stick.

  • Butterknife

    Bushmills

    Could you give me directions to Paul’s article for he is always a good read.

  • Young Fogey

    In those circumstances wouldn’t it be politic to for the dupers to sit tight and wait for the new guy gambling that if there remains a lack of sympathy at least you explored the possibility of a better hearing?

    Is there any basis for thinking that, pakman, or is this just more DUP wishful thinking?

  • Bushmills

    BK

    Sorry I don’t think the PR has a website. Also in todays news Daily Ireland has gone bust. Expect an announcement that the rag will be folding soon (i.e. next few days)!

  • Bushmills

    Ahh feck! Beaten to it!

  • spirit-level

    Gonzo,
    The very fact of you threading this shows how little grasp there is of norn iron’s future in norn iron.
    For the millionth time guys, its not up to Tony Blair or anyone else, but the parties in norn iron to deal with the problems of norn iron.

    post 24th Nov days of spoon feeding and nappies is over .

    Time to grow up and take responsibility.

    I mean on the hand hand people can’t wait to get rid of him , and on the other hand they’re panicking and saying ” oh no that’s it, the talks are a busted flush, cos tony has lost his authority”

    Make your mind up time methinks!!!!

  • Congal Claen

    Blair handed NI 2 avidly pro UI secretaries of state. Maybe Brown will give Kate Hoey the job? That would certainly be to Unionism’s advantage. It would also be a stiffer test of the Ra’s ceasefire as that will only be truly tested whenever they stop getting their way…

  • Occasional Commentator

    I think Tony Blair is Roman Catholic. He can’t admit it because there are laws restricting what a Catholic PM can do. His wife and kids are RC and he hasn’t denied receiving instruction from an RC monk in Downing Street and talking Holy Communion in RC services. He’s officially ‘CoE’.

    I think Brown’s emphasis on ‘Britishness’ in England, Scotland and Wales recently also served the purpose of telling the DUP not to bother waiting for him.

  • slug

    Come February Blair will be really just serving out a few months. Is this good for the country? Maybe he should just go now.

  • barcas

    OC

    Sorry you can not have it both ways.

    Tony Blair belongs to the CoE, therefore he is a Protestant.

    The CoE is a Protestant Church. Ask the head honcho, Her Majesty.

    You “think” Blair is a Catholic.

    He is either one or the other, he can not be both. Your schitzoid in your reasoning man.

  • Occasional Commentator

    I never said Tony Blair actually was CoE. I just said that he was ‘officially’ CoE. I don’t mind being told my conspiracy theory is rubbish, but I’m not contradicting myself.

    On an unrelated note, isn’t the CoE just a fudge with a variety of theology including de facto Catholicism, just not with the Pope as its head?

  • Brian Boru

    “Our community simply don’t trust Balir or believe a word that proceeds from his mouth. In terms of selling any new deal to the Unionist community, Blair commending it would actually make it less likely to stick.”

    Since when has your community trusted anyone?

  • Reader

    OC : On an unrelated note, isn’t the CoE just a fudge with a variety of theology including de facto Catholicism, just not with the Pope as its head?
    Well, it depends on whether you include transubstantiation, mariolatry, intercession and confession as part of “de facto catholocism”. If so, then, No.
    But the CoE is a sort of low church pre-reformation Catholocism – the English reformation seems to have kept most of what was available at the time, without the later add-ons. So it’s not the CoE that’s the fudge either…

  • kensei

    “Well, it depends on whether you include transubstantiation, mariolatry, intercession and confession as part of “de facto catholocism”. If so, then, No.

    But the CoE is a sort of low church pre-reformation Catholocism – the English reformation seems to have kept most of what was available at the time, without the later add-ons. So it’s not the CoE that’s the fudge either…”

    Except, of course, that transubstantiation, respect for mary, intercession of saints and confession were all around at the time of ther Reformation. Try to get it right, kids!

    I can confirm that at no point has the Catholic Church worshipped Super Mario.

  • barcas

    OC

    Look back to your blog 20 above and try to square what you say with the following extract from the Coronation oath taken by the Brit Monarch:

    “Archbishop: Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

    Queen: All this I promise to do.”

    Seems pretty conclusive to me. The Queen is the head of the (Protestant) Church of England. Tony Blair is a member of the Church of England. Tony Blair is a Protestant. QED.

  • Crataegus

    Blair was and is interested in his legacy as Prime Minister, how history will see him. The me me complex which reminds me of some deep seated insecurity. It was a weakness that the politicians here could have exploited to obtain much greater devolution and power to the NI Assembly if local politicians had only decided that their common interests were greater than their differences. That will of course never happen, but news headlines like, “settlement possible but for the obstinacy of Britain,” now that would have been a much more interesting game.

    Trying to play this process to gain some ephemeral gain over one side or the other is plain stupid for the common interest is greater than the difference.

    As for what religion, sibling revelry can be intense as is argument with close religious relations. The question should be not what religion is Tony but does the constitution require change to reflect changed times?