It looks like a Fair Deal!!

We’re getting whispers that Sinn Fein have anted up sufficiently to give the DUP room to manoeuvre. We won’t have a clear view of what the DUP’s response is until later this evening.

  • kensei

    “Contrast DUP strategy with UUP tactics of the past when they jumped first. Pushover Unionism would never have got this agreement. Bring on the election to wipe out the UUP and put in place a DUP majority on the Executive that will bring about real change in Northern Ireland.”

    Paisley could not have avoided the prisoners getting out, the loss of the RUC and demilitarization, North South bodies, Mndatory Coalition and a whole host of things that Unionism didn’t like in the GFA. He let the UUP take the heat for those, then crushed him. I admire it in it’s ruthlessness, but the people it benefited was the DUP.

    You also appear to be confused as the Executive works. It is likely that the UUP will still weild executive power.

  • Bushmills

    Pith

    There’s nowt worse than a sore loser.

  • I wonder…

    …if the parties could do something about the element of the water charge which does not go to support the water and sewerage piping etc, but is actually made up of a dividend payment to the Treasury?

  • I wonder…

    …if they could in fact freeze the water charge at the level at which this is due to be introduced in April 2007 (one-third of the eventual total)?

    It’d make a change for them to put money in the pockets of people here, rather than take it out. They DO owe us. 🙂

  • Comrade Stalin

    Henry94, thanks again for that nice piece of writing (and also TAFKABO). I appreciate that it would probably be way, way too much for the SF leadership to say what you have said, but the positive impact it would have on things here would be tremendous.

    Reflecting on the whole St Andrew’s thing, I think there is cause for people to calm down a bit. The document that we’ve seen is a proposal by the two governments; an attempt to nail down the centre ground where the parties can meet. There is no credible indication right now that the parties will definitely decide to go for it. Yes, they’re making lots of nice noises, and there are mutterings from anonymous sources – but anything could happen over the next month. Probably about the best thing that we can do is urge our elected representatives to hold their nerve and do the deal. Really, we all need to stop bickering and bury the petty party politicking – let’s bury the hatchet now and save that for the assembly elections in 2007/8.

    “I wonder”, I’d say the first thing our politicians need to do if/when they get back to work is to start a comprehensive spending review. If we are going to insist on revenue cutbacks, then state services will have to be cut back as well. Then, we need a long-term economic development plan, taking a long hard look at the role of InvestNI and corporation tax, to see how we can better support and promote local as well as international businesses. The potential for economic development is exciting and I believe the right plan will unlock some serious future prosperity for everyone here.

  • Kingbean

    There is also nothing worse than an ungracious winner!

    You may despise the UUP but you have to recognise that we have literally sacrificed ourselves putting down the foundations for this to happen. The DUP deserve all the congratulations in the world and I don’t shy away from giving it to them but as the winners, as you have trumped us again and again, a little more graciousness would be nice.

  • abucs

    Well said Henry94 and Comrade Stalin.

    Hopefully once over this bump, the retro mindsets can also be decommissioned in favour of a progressive shared vision, whatever that may lead to.

  • John East Belfast

    Bushmills

    “I have just read the document:

    1. Capping on rates
    2. Saved Academic selection
    3. Funding for victims
    4. Investment from HM Treasury for deprived areas
    5. Review of Parades Commission
    6. Veto on Policing and Justice powers being devolved.
    7. Amendments to the Ministerial Code
    8. Committment for more support for Ulster-Scots

    My God, Paisley played a blinder!!!! ”

    Somehow doesnt quite have the same gravitas as

    1. Drawing the sting of militant Irish Republicanism

    2. Removal of Articles 2 & 3

    3. Crystallisation of the Consent principle

    4. Recognition of NI by Irish Republicanism

    5.Securing NI ‘s place within the Union

    6. Reaching an historic Agreement with ancient enemies

    ie the kind of thing Nobel Peace Prizes are won for.

    I wouldnt crow too much about what the Johnny Come Lately DUPs have signed up for – especially that stuff about the Irish Language and the ability of Dublin Civil Servants to be planted here.

    Anyhow onwards and upwards for the Union.

  • joeCanuck

    fer fecks sake folks.
    Stop the crowing and the begrudging. We’re moving forward.
    Yippee.

  • Paul P

    Unionism got a fairly good deal(certainly better than previous ones). It was probably share power or be ruled by british/irish civil servants. So DUP went for power sharing with all who except the Police Force of NORTHERN IRELAND..get it SF lost on this one.

    Anyhow who do you think unionists will trust to represent their interests in a power sharing goverment? Reg Empey, Bob McCartney?lol

  • bushmills
    There’s nowt worse than a sore loser.

    What about a hypocrit then?

    Tis interesting just flicking back through the archives.

    On a serious note, will the DUP be removing their election manifestos off the site now?

  • joe

    If there is a fresh election in the new year, how does everybody think the UUP would get on?

  • Paul P

    FYU

    No. But they will probably put into a manifesto what position they take on the St Andrews Agreement and stand before the electorate on it.

  • the other one

    “After the election Sinn Fein is likely
    to be the largest nationalist party.
    If David Trimble has the votes to become
    First Minister a Sinn Fein/IRA Deputy
    First Minister will also be elected.”
    DUP manifesto 2003

    After the election Sinn Fein is likely
    to be the largest nationalist party.
    If Ian Paisley has the votes to become
    First Minister a Sinn Fein/IRA Deputy
    First Minister will also be elected.
    DUP manifesto 2007

  • TAFKABO

    MAybe we should also look back in the archives to see how many of those who berated the DUP for their seeming inflexibilty are now complaining that they have taken steps for peace?

  • the other one

    MAybe we should also look back in the archives to see how many of those who berated the DUP for their seeming inflexibilty are now complaining that they have taken steps for peace?

    Posted by TAFKABO on Oct 14, 2006 @ 05:42 PM

    The DUP made berating the UUP an art form. To suggest that no-one should point out their hypocrisy is in itself hypocrisy.

    Sorry boys and girls of the DUP you are just going to have to suck it up.

  • pith

    Bushmills,

    “There’s nowt worse than a sore loser.” That’s a bit na na na na na.

    Is anyone who isn’t singing the praises of SF and the DUP a sore loser?

    Didn’t Ian* look lovely on his birthday?

  • Carson’s Cat

    kingbean
    “You may despise the UUP but you have to recognise that we have literally sacrificed ourselves putting down the foundations for this to happen.”

    Oh woe is indeed you – because people are really going to remember that when they go to the polls aren’t they….

    JEB
    Strangely enough the unionist electorate dont seem to agree with you….. And what exactly is the UUP’s USP going to be at the next election then?

    a)Well the DUP only finished the job we started (very badly) – hasnt worked in the past and unlikely to work in the future.

    b) Well the DUP have done a better job than we did.

    Hobson’s choice indeed.

    FYU
    “On a serious note, will the DUP be removing their election manifestos off the site now?”

    Not unless they need the bandwidth to put up profiles of new Assembly Members come next March…..

    As for your earlier point about numbers in Executive etc – looks like the Assembly election will sort that one out.

    Pith
    “Didn’t Ian* look lovely on his birthday?”

    It was his wedding anniversary actually.. Tsk – is it too much to ask to get the details correct?

  • Observer

    Anyone else reminded of Animal Farm by George Orwell?

    Not that I’m saying an enduring settlement is a bad thing (far from it), it’s just cynically amusing that Sinn Fein have repudiated abstentionism & armed struggle and are now participating in the very state structures they sought to overthrow.

    The DUP have also done a few political backflips since the smash Sinn Fein days. While they might take all the credit for ridding NI of IRA arms, it’s a prospect that wouldn’t have even been on the table if Trimble et al hadn’t laid the groundwork in the first place.

    The British just want Northern Ireland stabilized and viable and a terrorist-free-zone, so I guess amid the dismantling of a Protestant state for a Protestant people and the dilution of core Republican tenets they’re the ones who might have actually achieved their objective.

    Well, anyway, I hope the deal pays off this time. Despite my cynical tone I don’t bear any bitterness to the protaganists and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  • pith

    Carson’s cat,

    Oh dear, what a faux pas. I’ve sent the wrong card. He has a lovely smile whatever the occasion. Let’s just abolish the title of First Minister and replace it with First Big Fluffy Grandaddy and give the “job” to big fluffy Ian because he’s great.

    The Bob Jones University – Is that a form of selective education?

  • Paul P

    The Other One,

    The difference is that Trimble would have had a SF deputy that refused to support the Police Service of NORTHERN IRELAND.Why don’t(wont) people get the significance of SF signing up to policing and that before power sharing is established.

  • smcgiff

    Paul P,

    The weather has been quite good of late, so when was the last time we’d a shower.

    Your arrival at the same time might explain you not realising the DUP were going to sit in government with SF without SF signing up to policing as long ago as 2004.

  • smithsonian

    Carson’s Cat
    Ok so the DUP end up running the Assembly, the UUP are vanquished, but then what, no new ideas, no strategy, no shared vision.

    There are major challenges ahead for the SF/DUP partnership, not least of which is to adapt from opposition to the government to actually being the government, but I wish them well.

    The people of Northern Ireland are bored and fed up with the political process. Politicians are rated below traffic wardens. They need to start producing results and I don’t mean just dealing with artificial problems (rates and the 11+ for example)that have been created soley for the purpose of letting the Assembly have a few quick wins.

  • bertie

    Just out of interest, can anyone tell me who was in the press conference line up?

  • John East Belfast

    carson’s cat

    “Strangely enough the unionist electorate dont seem to agree with you.”

    the unionist electorate has not yet been tested on a post plan DUP.

    Firstly we want the DUP to complete the deal – it is in the interests of the Union.

    Therefore in the first instance I would allow Bob McCartney to wield the knife and await to see what the internal dissidents have to say.

    Ie with the latter I always thought that there were people in there who from a point of principal would not and could not share power with unrepentant terrorists – ever.

    If they are silent on this issue then it will confirm the DUP is nothing more than a cult of Paisleyism.

    The Unionist electorate will ultimately have to decide who is best to lead unionism out of this harbour and onwards.

  • TAFKABO

    I would have thought that the IRA’s actions (or lack of action) coupled with Sinn Fein’s willingness to buy into the policing of the state were more than enough indication that the movement has changed.

    Repentance is one of those words that can mean whatever you want it to mean.

  • TAFKABO

    As far as the future goes, us Unionists will have to get used to the idea that the destruction of the state through democratic means is a perfectly valid aspiration, and that those who work to achive this, through exclusively peaceful means, are entitlted to do so.
    And this is what will be happening on daily basis from here on in.

    We need Unionists that are up to the job of winning the arguments.

  • bertie

    “us Unionists will have to get used to the idea that the destruction of the state through democratic means is a perfectly valid aspiration”

    There are a lot of us unionists who don’t need to get used to this idea as it is a fundamental belief.

    It is terrorism and the toleration of it that has always been invalid and will always be so.

  • smithsonian

    bertie
    How do you feel about the American War of independence, what say you about the French revolution, do you think that we should leave North Korea unchallenged, should apartite have remained in South Africa, should we leave Darfur well alone, what about the ethnic cleansing by the authorities in Bosnia, Serbia? What about the Israel both now and during its formation, or the Warsaw uprising. What about 1921 and Ireland.

    Does anybody (only mankind of course) have a monopoly on righteousness? Why are you able to sit in judgement of everybody else? Does the end ever justify the means?

  • bertie

    smithsonian

    Nine of those questions are their answers make terrorism accpetable.

    “Does anybody (only mankind of course) have a monopoly on righteousness?”

    Those who aren’t terrorists are in a rosier postion righteouswise than those who arn’t.

    “Does the end ever justify the means?”

    Rarely! and it is a very slippery slope to adopt this.

  • smithsonian

    bertie
    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

    I am interested in your comment “Rarely” rather than never. I realise that saying “Never” has recently gone out of fashion, but please give me an example of when in your opinion the ends might justify the means?

  • bertie

    Smithsonian

    A terrorist is s terrorist regardless whatever one man or another may think.

    Re the rarely, I think that there are few occasions but lying to save a life would qualify,

  • smithsonian

    Bertie
    What about opposing Hitler or Mugabe or Saddam or Stalin?

    Your statement about a terrorist is a terrorist is not only inaccurate but fatuous.

    Is Nelson Mandela a terrorist? Is Bertie Ahern a terrorist? What about Bomber Harris? It depends upon the context and your POV.

  • tiny

    In 69 Terrence O’Neill called for mild reforms in unionism’s relationship with nationalism both within Northrern Ireland and the Republic, Paisley launched his “O’Neil must go” campain, now over three thousand deaths later he proposes a deal with the IRA for that is what it is, what were the past thirty years and three thousand odd deaths for, was it all about Paisley getting to the top, to hell with the price?

  • [i]It is terrorism and the toleration of it that has always been invalid and will always be so.[/i]

    Still waiting for unionist and British condemnation of the terrorist campaign waged by the death squads with the active aid of the security forces and the blessing of the unionist community and HMG.

    Clean up the unionist/British act first, bertie. You have much bigger job than your Irish/Catholic/nationalist/republican fellow citizens or subjects in cleaning up the act of the republican paramilitaries.

  • bertie

    re the post above

    I’ve said before – I don’t knowingly feed the trolls!

  • bertie

    smithsonian

    “What about opposing Hitler or Mugabe or Saddam or Stalin?”

    It depends on what exactly the means are and what the end might be and the link between them.

    “Your statement about a terrorist is a terrorist is not only inaccurate but fatuous.”

    Your opinion and it probably goes without saying not mine.

    “Is Nelson Mandela a terrorist? Is Bertie Ahern a terrorist? What about Bomber Harris?”

    I don’t know enogh about them but if they are, i.e. they fit the definition, then they are regardless of “one man’s” opinion or “another man’s”

    “It depends upon the context and your POV.”
    The context is part of the definition and your POV is irrelevant as to whether they are terrorists or not, it is just your opinion as to whether they are.

  • Yokel

    Tiny…yes it was..its called politics.

  • [i]I’ve said before – I don’t knowingly feed the trolls![/i]

    In other words, bertie, you would rather not face the issue of unionist and Bruitish criminality.

    Sorry, bertie, I don’t think peace is really set until you and too many like you finally admit that terrorism was even more a British/unionist tactic than it ever was for republicans.

  • allisterwatch

    Well it looks like reports about Allister’s unhappiness with the deal were right.

    Check out today’s front page in the newsletter.

    He’s off the reservation and a focal point for dissent within the DUP.

    A collective apology from all those who tried to rubbish posts to this effect on Friday would be appreciated.

    allisterwatch

  • smcgiff

    Allister was also on RTE radio one this morning pretty much saying that he couldn’t sign up to the plan as envisaged without more changes.

    The biggest stumbling block was that no party could be voted out, which I’m guessing is the problem and essence of power sharing.

    Further Unionist disunity could spell trouble at the elections.

  • wee ulsterman

    Well, now we know why Allister wasn’t standing on the podium at the DUP press conference.

    The Newsletter this morning was hinting at more defections to follow, and promising a full debate in their columns over the coming weeks.

    Will Morrow be next to split? Rumours had it that he joined Allister in walking out of the pre-deal Talks meeting.

  • http://lark.phoblacht.net/currentissue.html

    The chaps at The Blanket seem unhappy with this. It does seem a sell out. But probably that was inevitable as the armed struggle was a load of bollox from day 1. I feel sorry for everyone who has suffered, including the Republican dissidents in jail today who were sold the mother of all puppies, which allowed Adams, McGuinness and co slink away from the trail of blood they begot.

    I find it ironic that the hardliners who were there at the get go, Paisley and Adams in particular, are still with us today. Maybe things will improve when Paisley dies.

    I feel we also have to look at the immigrants in all this. I can’t see the 20% of the workforce who are non Irish and who are driving most of the increase in population losing too much sleep over the “dreary steeples of Fermanagh South Tyrone”.

    Time will move on and the steeples will raise their heads up once more in uncharted ways. The Ireland of the future will be neither better nor worse than the one we have left. Only different.

  • Butterknife

    If the extremists on both sides have been sold out does that mean the law biding citizen has won?

  • bertie

    “If the extremists on both sides have been sold out does that mean the law biding citizen has won? ”

    No.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Bertie

    “A terrorist is s terrorist regardless whatever one man or another may think.”

    But what exactly IS a terrorist? For your statement to be true, there would have to be an objective and demonstrable definition of “terrorism, bt “terrorism” seems more like a pejorative adjective describing a specific kind of violence.

    How does one decide that a particular instance of violence – say, a bombing – qualifies as “terrorism”, but another, objectively identical action, does not? I have never been able to square that circle, other than through Orwell-style doublethink.

    Now, fair enough. In life, one makes choices, one takes sides and at some point rationality fails us all and we embrace the assumptions of our fathers. Hence a unionist in NI will, at the same time, castigate the Enniskillen bombing as terrorism and sit his children down to enjoy the heroic tale of The Dam Busters.

    Fact is, there are two kinds of people: pacifists and the rest. The pacifists are entitled to the moral high ground. The rest are all killer-worshippers of one stripe or another.

    Are you a pacifist Bertie? If not, spare us the pieties. (Clearly the word “terrorism” is clearly a loaded adjective, not an objective signifier, and to accuse someone of “terrorism” is always about seizing the moral high ground.)

    Your statement implies that there is an objective standard by which an act of violence can be understood as terrorism AS A MATTER OF FACT.

    Is there?