Robinson goes on offensive over policing…

On Sunday the DUP Deputy Leader, Peter Robinson sounded fairly relaxed in considering the future, accepting that the IRA had substantially decommissioned its weapons and come out with its most positive statement to date, but that the deadline of “November 24 is an arbitrary date with no independent significance outside the personal timetables of Tony Blair’s retirement and Bertie Ahern’s election”. More important, he argues, is to judge the deal by whether circumstances are right.

The formula for progress we have adopted has worked so far and, if we stick at it, I am confident that it will also deliver the final elements to make sure that which has undermined the community here can be dealt with once and for all.

It is only in such an environment that devolution is likely to survive and prosper, making a difference to the people of Northern Ireland. History has taught us that moving too soon leads to suspension and collapse of the institutions.

Sinn Fein has also to face up to dealing with the issue of policing.

  • spirit-level

    Being a closet fan of Robinson, now “self-outed” I can agree with much of what he has to say.
    However the sentiment expressed in his comment
    “Left to their own devices, the IRA would never have decommissioned or dealt with the issues of paramilitary or criminal activity.” causes me to reflect and ask the question.
    Left to itself the DUP would never have even recognised an equality agenda, which begs the question : To what extent has the IRA campaign begun and now ended, brought norn iron to where it is now? Has armed struggle worked? or even TUAS?
    Definately republicans need a police service, so I’m asking that the talks in October can focus on exactly what the gov’t has to deliver to SF, when, and how this is all related to power-sharing. will I be heard?

  • seabhac siulach

    “History has taught us that moving too soon leads to suspension and collapse of the institutions.”

    History may now be teaching us that the opposite is also the case…

  • seabhac siulach

    Robinson says:

    “…that November 24 is an arbitrary date with no independent significance outside the personal timetables of Tony Blair’s retirement and Bertie Ahern’s election.”

    How is it an arbitrary date when it is constrained by these two very important facts? The truth is that with Blair gone and, potentially, Fine Gael in power in the 26 counties the chance of a devolved govt. in Stormont may not come around so quickly again…

    The issue of policing is a red-herring. A statement of Gerry Adams of today states that Sinn Fein will consider policing (and, reading between the lines, basically then rubbber stamp it in a special Ard Fheis) when the Brit. govt. implements the required reforms needed and asked for and previously conceded.

    If the DUP wish to wait for every ‘t’ to be crossed and every ‘i’ dotted then there will be no progress and no Stormont. This could, of course, just be the DUP playing hardball in advance of real negotiations next month…

    Robinson says:

    “If unionists have learnt nothing else from the last 10 years, it is that republicans will only move when they have no choice, and they will always do the least possible.”

    If nationalists have learnt nothing else from the last 10 years, it is that unionism will not move even when it has the choice (a gold-plated oppportunity as now), and they will always do the least possible (relying instead on Brit ministers to take the heat on unpopular decisions).