Government not playing Chicken (anymore)…

Hain seemed to be targeting unionist apparent reluctance (his Glenties speech was aimed at Republicans) to move towards the November deadline, and even threatened to pull the plug on the Assembly if he saw fit. However, he denied this was not a game of political chicken. At the British Irish Association last night he addressed them directly when he said, “the Union itself is evolving – it is not fossilised – and Northern Ireland cannot proceed as if it was hermetically sealed from that development”. Hain also reassured unionists they had:

…every right to be confident in their culture, in their politics, in their politicians” as the “ballot box is the ultimate guarantor of security”. In a power-sharing government based on equality, everyone is stronger by definition, because everyone is respected and given weight.

“The Union of 2006 is different from the Union of 1926 or of 1966. Being part of the Union now means being part of a forward-looking, dynamic economy and a society that has long ceased to be mono-cultural. The Union itself is evolving – it is not fossilised – and Northern Ireland cannot proceed as if it was hermetically sealed from that development.”

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    “he denied this was not a game of political chicken.”

    So, is it or isn’t it a game of political chicken?

    As for the doom and gloom part of his speech..

    He warned that if this [deadline of November 24] was not met, “Northern Ireland will slip further behind in the global economic race and community relations will stagnate or deteriorate as each side blames the other for the lost opportunity”.

    Well, that would say a lot about the quality of the joint-stewardship..

    No mention of policing there, either.. but praise for Loyalists leaders who “genuinely want to move away from violence and criminality”… and talk of the 400th anniversary of the Plantation of Ulster.. I had wondered where he plucked the 3 years time-line from..

  • Mick Fealty

    To be fair he defers to his Glenties speech for reference to policing Pete.

  • Pete Baker

    Ah yes, Mick, the “patronising republicans” speech.. where he failed to address policing again.

  • Nevin

    [i]I had wondered where he plucked the 3 years time-line from[/i]

    After the next Irish and then British general elections ….

  • JR

    What a laugh! How many times must the ‘Unionists’ be told the Union doesn’t want NI?

  • peter

    “Northern Ireland cannot proceed as if it was hermetically sealed from that development.”

    So has he never met Ian Paisley if indeed anyone from the DUP

  • Bushmills

    I must say the crying from Republicans on this site is quite amusing. “Please Mr. Hain keep the pressure on the bogey-man (Paisley) so we can get our six-county, British, partitionist assembly up and running”. Excellent.

    Anyone who thinks the DUP will be intimidated by deadlines or gloomy warnings of apocolypse from Peter Hain, doesn’t understand either the DUP or the Unionist community as a whole.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Being part of the Union now means being part of a forward-looking, dynamic economy and a society that has long ceased to be mono-cultural.’

    Well yes of course . Any visit to London,Bradford , Dublin, Paris or Amsterdam will confirm that .

    ‘ The Union itself is evolving – it is not fossilised ‘

    This is also true. The European Union is evolving . As a subset of the EU the British Union may be evolving along different lines . The Scots appear to be already fed up with the ‘devolution ‘ solution and seem now to be moving towards full independence .

    ‘Northern Ireland cannot proceed as if it was hermetically sealed from that development.’

    Why does NI have to proceed ? It’s never proceeded in it’s 80 year political history apart perhaps from a brief early 1960’s period ?

    Northern Ireland has missed the economic boat and the huge investment boom which the Republic has enjoyed over the past 20 years . And now courtesy of the DUP -Northern Ireland looks like missing the ‘devolution’ .

    Based on the Scottish experience this is probably a good thing .

    There are only three political options for NI

    1) Repartition
    2) A United Ireland
    3) Finchley North West ?Status Quo

    The problem with No 3 is that NI is not Finchley .

    The problem with No 2 is that NI voters by a small majority are against it and it would mean the end of the Union.

    That leaves No 1 .

    PS -For all those naive Northern Nationalists and even naiver Irish Republicans who still cling to the belief that Unionists can be persuaded to willingly join a UI – I have some good news .

    You will waste less time , energy and money by standing on the basalt stones of the Giant’s Causeway trying to teach the seagulls how to speak Portuguese .