Was Junior more conciliatory on Monday?

L� reckons it has discovered some ambiguity (link in Irish) in Ian Paisley Junior’s blog on Monday, entitled St Andrew’s – Food for Thought, which contasts with a harder line from the party ever since.Specifically:

…the DUP leader will, if he agrees, have to be called from the end of November �first Minister designate�. Designate means �in name only� but not installed. Sinn Fein will receive the title deputy �designate�. This symbolism is a mark of intent but progress to government will only occur if and when Sinn Fein delivers on policing and then only after electoral support has been achieved. The pain of recognising in name what is in effect the status of the two parties should be regarded of less concern to unionists than it will be for republicans. I

It’s certainly the nearest Ian Junior has got to conciliatory words towards the ‘oul enemy’. But he does follow this up with the party’s general (and contested) condition that “the office holder must swear and pledge allegiance to serve the interests of the Ulster people but also to support the only police service (PSNI (RUCGC)) and Royal courts of justice.”

Confidential note to Ian Junior: Please, please, turn the music off…

  • alex benjamin

    interesting that Junior’s pltaform piece was pulled from the Newsletter today (they trailed it on Tuesday) following Allistair’s stuff. Maybe the good cop/bad cop routine has just been replaced with bad cop…

  • the other one

    the bad cops are kicking the shit out of the good ones down our way.

    To quote one DUP Cllr “It’s the two governments agreement, we are signing up to nothing”

  • Yokel

    I’d prefer it if Paisley Junior was called Scrappy Do from now on.

    Thanks

  • Cllr Junket

    Funny when asked what they thought of the “St Andrew’s Agreement” at our local Council this week all our DUP friends could say was “Traitor Trimble, sold us down the river, wibble wibble…”

    They are in a state of total shock here in the backwoods and were not prepared for any sort of deal.

    This latest written/ verbal/ minuted/ side deal ‘assurance’ about some sort of an oath is making their heads spin.

    Slap it up them

  • dolt

    I don’t know how to start up a new subject here but I wanted to draw attention to the amazing similarities between the St Andrews Agreement and the Comprehensive Agreement of 2004.

    The two are almost identical in impact.

    The big change is the section in Annex E on Policing which relates Sinn Féin’s wishlist in terms of policing. Everything else was already in the original agreement.

    The allegation that Paisley secured a reprieve of the 11+ is mistaken. The exam itself is long gone and what has been reprieved is a discussion on the form/extent of academic selection at 11. This is pretty much where Martin McGuinness left off on this in the past.

    The so called accountability mechanisms that even Jim Allister is crowing about in his piece are nothing more than the original commitments in the Comprehensive Agreement in 2004. Furthermore, they don’t restrict Ministerial freedom within their own areas of competancy. This is a critical victory for SF as the DUP had wanted Ministers accountable to the Assembly.

    The RPA has not been reversed merely the Assembly Efficiency Review Panel (under FMDFM) will take account of its work.

    If the DUP can sell this to their base, I’ll be surprised. SF is ready for policing.

    What is critical is the new cross-community controls will make the Executive much more wieldy that in the past. I forecast that even if this assembly gets up and running it will judder from one crisis to the next.

    Anyone wants proof of any of the statements above – I should be able to provide detail.

  • oh dear

    And now David Burnside comes out against the deal!

    Just when you’d think the uup should just sit back and enjoy the show, instead they reveal they’re just as split as ever. There’s something congenitally wrong with that party!

    Is it true there’s a poll going around that has them on 12%?

  • Carson’s Cat

    dolt
    The DUP were happy with the vast majority of the Comprehensive Agreement – it provided the template for the changes to the structures. There was also remarkably little criticism from SF about it too.

    Are you suggesting that it is somehow surprising that the SAA is similar to the Comprehensive Agreement then? Obviously the policing bit was not in the CA but that is a unionist extra – SF have to deliver.

    “The allegation that Paisley secured a reprieve of the 11+ is mistaken.”

    Anyone who claims the DUP has secured the future of the 11+ is indeed a fool. The DUP does not support the 11+ but supports academic selction. The situation now is that the abolition of all forms of academic selection has been stopped and therefore any removal of selection will have to be passed by a cross-community vote.

    “The so called accountability mechanisms that even Jim Allister is crowing about in his piece are nothing more than the original commitments in the Comprehensive Agreement in 2004..”

    Like I say – the DUP had more or less tied up the accountability issues in 2004 – that’s why they are still there now. They were good then, and surprise surprise they are still good now!

    ” Furthermore, they don’t restrict Ministerial freedom within their own areas of competancy. This is a critical victory for SF as the DUP had wanted Ministers accountable to the Assembly”

    Have you read the SAA?

    Annex A, Point 2:
    There would be arrangements to ensure that, where a decision of the Executive could not be achieved by consensus and a vote was required, any three members of the Executive could require it to be taken on a cross-community basis.

    Annex A, Point 6
    An amendment to the 1998 Act would provide for referrals from the Assembly to the Executive of important ministerial decisions. Thirty members of the Assembly might initiate such a referral, within seven days of a ministerial decision or notification of the decision where appropriate. Before he could pass the referral to the Executive, the Presiding Officer, following consultation with the parties in the Assembly, would be required to certify that it concerned an issue of public importance. The Executive would consider the issue within seven days.

    There is accountability of deicions from the Assembly – referring it back to the Executive at which point 3 members can call for a cross-community vote.

    The Executive may or may not judder into problems – that remains to be seen. But it will be accountable.

    As for the DUP selling it to its base. Everyone is doing a little too much crowing about the DUP given this was not even published a week ago. There is quite some time to go and I wouldnt get too excited about what they can and cant sell as yet.

    My own view is that the unionist community (and the DUP membership) is more content than most people think about this. Also I know that this is completely unscientific but all of the media vox-pops have had much more trouble finding sceptical DUP voices than sceptical republican voices. They will get the party on board and the average DUP voter is somewhat different to the average DUP member. Once its sold internally its much easier to sell afterwards.

  • páid

    Fair play do Lá. Iriseoraí ag déanamh a gcuid obair bhaile, comhartha eile don feabhas atá tagtha ar Lá le cupla mí anuas IMT

  • Nationalist

    Was there not always going to be some form of seletion for entry to schools,just not the 11+, and it was up for debate as to what form the transfer entry to post primary education was going to be.

    That in mind exactly what is it the DUPies are trying to take credit for?

    On Spotlight Jeffrey Donaldson stated that the Oath of office was not an organisational Oath but an Individuals Oath, that being the case Martin McGuinness can say some form of words which state he accepts and supports the rule of law and it’s defenders.

    All in all the DUP have dropped their hardline stance and Jeffrey went further the other day by stating in a report that whilst the DUP want the IRA to “return all ill gotten gains” but that it was up to the authorities responsible to handly that and that it was their (DUPs) job to get into Government.

    So enough has really been said, the DUP are going to make it look like they are making demands and have Sinn Fein jump through the hoops, but really they are dropping the demands but have to make it look good for the badly educated Unionists from the Shankill etc. whom they want to keep control over.

  • Butterknife

    Is it not the case that in Parliament you have a choice between oath and affirmation?
    Matt. 5:34-7 says:

        But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by      
        heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the              
        earth, for it is his footstool; or by          
        Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great 
        King. And do not swear by your head, for you  
        cannot make even one hair white or black.  
        Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,'    
        'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil 
        one.

    This should be an adequate argument to escape from any oath: that is unless the DUP want to cherry-pick the Bible…

    PS. I just want Paisley to secure his legacy…

  • Kevin

    Butterknife…That is excellent, but what about Isaiah 1:18 “Come let us reason together sayeth the Lord”. Maybe these pages are missing from Paisleys Bible.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I find the idea of having to swear allegience to the police and courts very disturbing. It makes me think that some people want to create a police state reminiscent of something that Robert Mugabe might come up with. The police and courts do important work and I support them in their efforts to do this; but they do screw up from time to time, and when they do, they need to have the book thrown at them.

    It should be sufficient to take a ministerial pledge to uphold the law; clearly politicians who resort to paramilitary means are not upholding the law and would be in violation of this code. As suggested above about the oath, I wonder if it is some kind of game. Strictly practicing Catholics are not allowed to take oaths.

    It’d be great if Sinn Fein made an issue out of the DUP’s previous paramilitary-related history. Historically unionism has not upheld the law, and has subverted it with the help of the UDA and UVF on several occasions when they thought it was necessary. Last year, unionist politicians and Orangemen refused to condemn riotous incidents which saw live rounds and crossbow bolts being fired at police lines. I also haven’t forgotten the Rev William McCrea’s appearance alongside Billy Wright on a podium, or the condemnation of the police by the DUP following an intelligence-led raid intended to damage the activity of the UDA in North Belfast. Ian Paisley Jnr’s got a hell of a lot of nerve claiming that unionists will have no problem swearing allegience to the police; will they do it through their teeth ?

  • páid

    Hope an oath to the Crown doesn’t squeeze out partition as a reason for Civil War.

    Martin can ring up Éamon Ó Cuív if he is short of tortured logic for swearing one.

  • Paul P

    Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’
    ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil
    one.

    In other words say it like it is.No spinning.

    More than Ian Paisley needs to learn this.

  • Buterknife

    At least we agree Paul P that Ian is a bullsh1t artist of the zenith degree (even if he has done things out of good intentions).
    Heard an interesting story the other night from a former B-Special who stopped Paisley while he was manning a checkpoint. Having queried the officers right to stop him he then suggested that he go down to the Curia (I have no idea of the spelling or the place but I am sure other bloggers may help me out in reference to the story) as a lot of fenians where getting out and shoot them. The ironic thing is the officer took offence whereas Paisley became a demagog.
    As i said elsewhere if the DUP convinces the protestant community to destroy the UUP thus turning this place into a monolithic state their root hatred of all things Roman Catholic will become less subtle.

  • Nevin

    [i]There is accountability of deicions from the Assembly – referring it back to the Executive at which point 3 members can call for a cross-community vote.[/i]

    “6. Assembly referrals for Executive review. An amendment to the 1998 Act would provide for referrals from the Assembly to the Executive of important ministerial decisions. Thirty members of the Assembly might initiate such a referral, within seven days of a ministerial decision or notification of the decision where appropriate. Before he could pass the referral to the Executive, the Presiding Officer, following consultation with the parties in the Assembly, would be required to certify that it concerned an issue of public importance. The Executive would consider the issue within seven days. A second referral could not be made by the Assembly in respect of the same matter. Only matters covered by the Ministerial Code, as set out above, would require a collective decision by the Executive.”

    So it would have to pass the Presiding Officer hurdle first and it might also require agreement by the FM and DFM.

  • dolt

    Carson’s Cat…

    Obviously the policing bit was not in the CA but that is a unionist extra – SF have to deliver.

    Well, Sinn Fein did have to sign up to policing ahead of the enactment of the legislation on Policing and Justice and that was to occur by May 05. So SF had to jump ahead of devolution of p&j the last time.

    You are very wrong on Ministerial Accountability (I have studied this aspect in great detail)…

    Annex A, Point 2:
    There would be arrangements to ensure that, where a decision of the Executive could not be achieved by consensus and a vote was required, any three members of the Executive could require it to be taken on a cross-community basis.

    Annex A, Point 6
    An amendment to the 1998 Act would provide for referrals from the Assembly to the Executive of important ministerial decisions. Thirty members of the Assembly might initiate such a referral, within seven days of a ministerial decision or notification of the decision where appropriate. Before he could pass the referral to the Executive, the Presiding Officer, following consultation with the parties in the Assembly, would be required to certify that it concerned an issue of public importance. The Executive would consider the issue within seven days.

    CC> There is accountability of deicions from the Assembly – referring it back to the Executive at which point 3 members can call for a cross-community vote.

    Yes, but only issues falling within the remit of the Ministerial Code require a collective decision. I have to doubt your honesty with your quote as you delete Article 6 of Annex A to miss the most critical words…

    “Only matters covered by the Ministerial Code, as set out above, would require a collective decision by the Executive.”

    This is the part that the DUP are avoiding studying.

    The 3 members rule actually only benefits SF as without this line Unionists would retain a one-sided veto (through simple majoritarianism) on issues falling under the Ministerial Code, with this SF have a counter-veto. Effectively, all the DUP have secured is the ability to hold Ministers accountable on issues which are adjudged to be outside the Programme for Government – which is pretty much as per GFA – see Assembly standing orders. Furthermore, this power to hold to account is two-way. This is why I’m forecasting complete stalemate at the heart of any future Executive.

    CC> The Executive may or may not judder into problems – that remains to be seen. But it will be accountable.

    Ministers will still have full executive authority within their own areas of competance and within the terms of the PfG.

    CC> As for the DUP selling it to its base. Everyone is doing a little too much crowing about the DUP given this was not even published a week ago. There is quite some time to go and I wouldnt get too excited about what they can and cant sell as yet.

    I hope that they can sell it and we get devolved government in the north.