The deadlines won`t slip…

The Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has expressed “concern that his party has yet to meet the DUP.” But he’s talking specifically about the new Programme for Government Committee. The Hain Preparation for Government Committee has, actually, been meeting, with both SF and DUP representatives present.. and they’ve been discussing the Ministerial Oath of Office [we don’t have the actual transcripts at this time – Ed]. Meanwhile, the governments are checking their watches.. and the DUP’s Peter Robinson says [paraphrased – Ed] “Get on with it if you can.” – the reference being that Ard Fheis.. and according to the Secretary of State for Wales etc, Peter Hain, “The deadlines won`t slip”Tick Tock

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  • T.Ruth

    Mr.Hain reminds me of those teachers who want to punish the entire class because one or two people are misbehaving. The continuous bully boy mantra of “Devolution or dissolution,” indicates a lack of statesmanship and certainly reveals that he has a lack of any real concern for the democratic process. He fails to accept that asking democratic law abiding people to admit to government those who have been directly associated with those who bombed and murdered people over thirty five years while is asking a lot. Asking people to admit to the Executive level of government,a party which sees support for the PSNI and the judicial system as a bargaining chip in negotiations, is also asking a lot. What is Sinn Fein offering in return? We are not even assured that they will work wholeheartedly to create a better Northern Ireland for all our people. It is not clear if Republicans will acknowledge the futility of striving for short term advances towards a unity that no one in the Unionist majority community wants.Indeed the large majority of people in the Republic are opposed to a united Ireland of the type envisaged by SF.
    Mr.Hain would be better employed in quiet skilful negotiations out of the public eye attempting to remove the impediments to successful democratic devolution. No one wants to live under the threat of terrorism but the Unionist community wants a form of devolution that is inclusive, accountable and democratic, especially in relation to Law and Order.

  • Rubicon

    T. Ruth – If Mr. Hain reminds you of a teacher then I can but hope that he’s getting through a clear message of this being the time to make close the deal. It is not only unionists who’re finding this accommodation. It is one thing to be disgruntled but quite another to attempt to bring the political structures down because of that. I remember a political party that endeavoured to do just that in the past.

    Dodds’ attempt to defer devolution of criminal justice “for a political generation” is far from acceptable and his reasons illogical. SF would not be holding a justice portfolio unless the DUP choose not to hold it. If SF signs up to policing they’ll be on the Policing Board – with or without justice being devolved.

    Refusing to contemplate the devolution of justice for “a political generation” is the same as saying “for my generation” – the very generation that lived through the ‘troubles’ and is most concerned that the problems of that time don’t return. Accountability is crucial – and I see that a form of accountable government is what you want too. You also mention “inclusive” – I’m afraid you’ll have to spell out what you mean by that. Your post suggests more of an exclusive preference.

  • T.Ruth

    Unionists still have understandable difficulty in entering into a form of devolved government that does not allow for voluntary coalition at a future date.They have understandable difficulty in putting faith in Sinn Fein promises. They are seeking delivery from SF on Policing and Justice before committing themselves.It is not a lot to ask that all parties to a mandatory Executive are equal and unequivocal in their support for PSNI. Membership of and support for the Policing board would be a necessary requirement. The devolution of Policing and Justice to an Executive would not be possible until the level of community confidence in the system of policing indicated a public willingness to move to that position. Sinn Fein is the party that has the longest way to go to create that confidence. SF could determine(in a forseeable timeframe),by giving positive support to the forces of Law and Order,that the necessary public confidence had been established. P.Hain should be more specific and focussed in his approach to the problems associated with the STA.Public threats to Unionists do not encourage them to move forward at his command. He should be involved in patient,discreet diplomacy and not “grandstanding” to advance his credentials for personal political advancement.

  • nmc


    Do you honestly not see why there is a problem for nationalists with the RUC/PSNI? I suspect you’re not attempting to, but try and think about this with empathy. The police was a sectarian force, it was almost entirely protestant, and it has been proven that it colluded with Loyalist terrorists.

    What some people on here argue is that the police of the state deserve unquestioning support from everyone in the community, regardless of their behaviour. It’s possibly one of the only careers one can choose where so many people will support your right to do absolutely anything you like.

    The police, the government, royalty, everyone is open to criticism, a lack of support and accountability. The police here, over the years have committed a huge number of crimes, including murder, against the catholic (and to a lesser degree the Loyalist) population here.

    Attempts are being made to change that, and there will come a time when the PSNI will be deserving of support from the nationalist community, probably some years after SF endorses them.

    In the mean time, and in the future, people should hold all their officials count, regardless of their rank/profession/bank balance. They’re all civil servants at the end of the day, they’re paid by the public and it is right that they should be answerable to them.

  • kensei

    “Public threats to Unionists do not encourage them to move forward at his command. He should be involved in patient,discreet diplomacy and not “grandstanding” to advance his credentials for personal political advancement. ”

    You seem confused. Hain was posted here because years of being nice with everyone didn’t work, and instead everyone here needs treated like a child. It’s all about incentives, and it’s about time someeone started giving the politicians incentive to get on with things.

    As for voluntary coalition – forget it. Nothing is going to happen in this place without the consent of Nationalism, because you screwed up before. And the wonderful thing about democracy is you don’t get to pick the other side. The GFA was ratified by referndum, the rules mean SF is entiteld to Executive position. Hold your nose and deal with it. It’s what Nationalism is having to do with the DUP. Then again, we respect democracy.

  • Yokel

    Kensei I think that statement of dmocracy and the importance of things not happening without nationlist consent are very important.

    In order to complete the circles that you began to draw:

    1. Being demcrats as ‘you’ (whoever that is) are, support for the forces of law & order is widely considered a basic pre-requisite of all western democracies for those who wish to take their place in the government in such democracies. Whilst being eelcted may not require such clear support, in western democracies its accepted that you don’t get into government without such support being clear. Thus being democrats Sinn Fein will support that, preferably soon.

    Completing the second circle, nothing will happen without the consent of unionism who’s body of opinion has in fact shifted since the GFA. Being democrats we of course accept that nothing stands still and circumstances and opinions change. Thats why we have elections to vote people in and out every few years. Otherwise how could Sinn Fein have risen to dominate Northern Nationalism at the ballot box if such an understanding that opinions change not be accepted as fundamental to democracy.

    Thus, nothing can happen if Unionists say no now because, thanks to parity of esteem, if nothing can happen without the consent of nationalists then the same stands for unionists.

    Excellent thats all circles nicely closed and round. Makes perfect sense to me. Agree with your logic totally. Of course it may well be that the Sinn Fein leadership is infiltrated by the Brits and they are really running the show…maybe Peter Robinson is a Brit agent too, or wee Jeffery…..