It’s not entirely clear just how good-natured those exchanges noted earlier were between Ian Paisley and Peter Hain, with one report describing Hain as grim-faced, but other reports fill in some of the detail of what was said.. and the BBC’s Mark Devenport adds a tangential note on the breakfast’s sponsor – Belfast Chinese restaurateur, Man Lee House [mischeivous by Mr Devenport, that should be the “Foo Kin Noodle Bar” – Ed]
Just to add, what most of the reports pick up on is the DUP leader’s reference to calling for an immediate election should any deal be reached.. something for the UUP to ponder over..
And the Guardian report has several quotes from both Peter Hain’s speech and Ian Paisley’s including the one I’ve used in the post’s title
Speaking to a breakfast audience at a fringe meeting, Dr Paisley said he was not prepared to “take the godfathers of violence into government. There cannot be two police forces, two laws or double standards.”
He said Sinn Féin’s “£200m organised crime empire” must be demolished. “Sinn Féin must cross the river of no return,” he said.
An Independent Monitoring Committee report is expected in the next fortnight declaring that Sinn Féin has ended its paramilitary activity.
He also said he did not merely want a Sinn Féin statement promising to cooperate on police issues, but evidence on the ground that cooperation was occurring.
Suggesting the November 24 deadline might have been set to give Tony Blair a legacy, Dr Paisley added: “Northern Ireland must work to a solution that will work, rather than to a deadline that is both unrealistic and is only designed to square with other domestic requirements.
“Ulster people have demonstrated over and over again they will not be bullied, and if they are bullied, they will become more and more obstinate. No Ulsterman responds to threats.”
He added he was unconcerned if there was no agreement by November 24, saying he would sleep perfectly well if he was excluded from Downing Street, as he had in the past.