Hain proposes breach of agreement…

THE BBC and Sunday Times report that the November 24 deadline – not unexpectedly – is to be fudged. The ST reports: “They [the British and Irish governments] are considering a plan to allow Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary, to choose the ministers. This would require Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists to agree by letter to accept the nominations at some future date, if their conditions are met”, while Mark Devenport reported Hain on Inside Politics “didn’t appear to rule out ways around the 24 November problem, such as the DUP and Sinn Fein confirming by letter who would fill the top jobs if their various other concerns are met.” What a wonderfully convenient cover Mr Hain may be providing, but if true, Hain is also diminishing his own authority, since he will have shown the Nov 24 ‘deadline’ to be a movable feast (but he won’t care, as he expects to be Deputy PM and well away from here in the near future). What he is proposing also appears to be in breach of the St Andrews Agreement, which states that parties’ nominating officers “shall make a nomination to the Assembly Presiding Officer” on Nov 24 after having confirmed acceptance of the deal, not via letter to the Secretary of State without backing the SAA.

  • Plum Duff

    B.Gonzo, (that sounds like an atrocious pun – not intended, BTW!)

    You write ‘What he is proposing also appears to be in breach of the St Andrews *AGREEMENT*’ (My emphasis).

    I’m not sure what you mean by this statement. As far as I’m aware, nobody agreed to anything at St Andrews. Not one of the parties, who allegedly have major parts to play in the future governance of this little neck of the woods, entered into any agreement whatsoever. They still haven’t. The two governments issued a statement that an agreement had been ‘reached’. Was it ever signed and, if so, by whom, does it have any validity in law and, if not, why should anyone give a tuppenny damn?

    IMHO, the only thing concrete to come out of the Scottish do is reinforced fudge.

  • aquifer

    “Hain is also diminishing his own authority”


    Authority exercised is authority strengthened.

    Hain can take an electric cattle prod to them, whatever it takes to get them through the gate.

  • Yokel

    Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm reinforced fudge……….

  • Gonzo

    Plum Duff

    The St Andrews Agreement was an agreement between the British and Irish governments that the parties have been asked to endorse (but haven’t).

    Since Peter Hain is a pretty key part of one of those governments and is proposing something that is outside the agreement signed by his government, that diminished his authority. It’s not unusual for Hain – see Pete’s posts, ad infinitem.

    Why sign an agreement if you have no intention of abiding by it? Hain’s making it up as he goes along, making genuine agreement by the parties less obtainable in the long term, since they can’t take him at his word.

    And Hain doesn’t care, he just wants to be the next Deputy Prime Minister and spends all day Brown nosing.

  • Plum Duff

    You’ve just confirmed my point on the SAA. I understand that we have an agreement (of sorts) between two gov’ts. It is not the law of the land, however, and appears to me to have been a mere procedural ploy to have a positive *SOMETHING* for the papers. But if we have no agreement whatever among the rest of the protagonists surely this makes the whole daft thing null and void anyway if, at the end of the day, none of the NI parties sign up to it. What then do you think of its chances of survival? Zilch, imo. The only agreement to be ratified *IN LAW* has been the GFA and look at the trouble we have had getting that off the ground.

    On your point of Hain winging it, I couldn’t agree more. He’s been doing it from day one with his hard cop-soft cop, bribery, blackmail and/or any other tactic which, if successful, will assure him a smoother passage to his goal of DPM. Which again brings me to my point ‘What Agreement, what breach?’ I think we’re coming at it from different perspectives – or semantics, if you like – but the conclusions appear to be the same – Hain’s a hungry hoor.