If it looks like fudge and tastes like fudge..

Despite the clear indication of fudge ahead the Secretary of State for Wales etc, Peter Hain, is still maintaining that Friday 24th November is a rock-solid deadline.. and he is not being flexible about it.. honest..From the NIO statement

The Secretary of State said that Northern Ireland remained on track for devolution but warned that if the process fails, he will move to dissolve the Assembly.

He said: “The future of devolution for Northern Ireland rests on the twin pillars of the St Andrews Agreement; if either one collapses the whole edifice collapses.

“We must know that the parties want to move forward to March 26 on that basis.

“That is why November 24 is important. When that deadline was set, I said that we needed to know by then that a deal was on and we were on track for a lasting political settlement.

“That is still the case. Without knowing that, there cannot be a Transitional Assembly, an election nor devolution.[added emphasis]

“The sequence set out at St Andrews will not be set aside and no-one should think that this is some kind of a virility test to see who blinks first.

“If the Assembly has to be dissolved because we cannot move forward then it will be but I sincerely hope it will not come to that.”

So, by 24th November we will get a commitment on supporting the rule of law from Sinn Féin, as set out in the St Andrews Agreement legislation [and the same commitment from the Secretary of State? – Ed], as well as the corresponding commitment on power-sharing from the DUP? Or are we still waiting for lessons to be learned?

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  • joeCanuck

    well Pete,
    we’ll know for sure in 3 days time.
    TICK TOCK

  • joeCanuck

    Preempting Saturday’s wagsters:
    Q. When is a deadline not a deadline?
    A. When Peter Hain says it is.

    But on the other hand, the man has so little credibility left, perhaps he might decide to surprise us.

  • Greenflag

    Be reasonable lads . Hain has done his best just like all the other Secretaries of State . In the business world if a job has proven to be beyond the talents of say 3 successive managers who have succeeded elsewhere in business then it’s not the ‘individual ‘ who has failed but the job itself . In other words the job needs restructuring or in this case -Northern Ireland needs restructuring . Who said repartition .

  • joeCanuck

    Greenflag

    I don’t disagree with you that this is an extremely hard task. But I wasn’t talking about the task, I was talking about his credibility if Friday passes with no “nomination” and he doesn’t dissolve this utter farce.
    With regards to your pet hobbyhorse, it isn’t on the cards. However, if the assembly fails, perhaps the super-councils might get a few extra responsibilities and there will essentially be a defacto repartition.

  • joeCanuck

    On reflection, of course, the ones who really hold the responsibility are Tony and Bertie.
    But when the tinderbox that all of them are sitting on, playing with matches, does catch fire, poor Peter will be the fallguy.

  • Greenflag

    JoeCanuck,

    I agree re his credibility if he does’nt dissolve the farce . I’ve absolutely no idea what is hoped to be achieved in any March election .

    The failure of the SAA and the installation of the super councils de facto ‘repartition’ will soon lead to demands from the mainly Nationalist areas for de jure repartition . This will be the only political avenue remaining for those nationalists in NI who wish to see a brighter economic and political future for the next generation.

    It will be repartition by default initially and later people will just come to accept it as they more or less did the first partition . There is as I’ve said many a time no point in having 850,000 alienated , disgruntled Unionists forced into a UI simply because in 2016 or some such date 51% of the NI electorate decides to vote in favour of a UI.

    Another reason why Nationalists and Republicans should eschew the present SAA is that it locks them into a moribund, stagnant sectarian political entity which is public sector dominated to such an extent that the ‘limited economic powers’ of a devolved Government will be as nought.

    All of this so that Paisley and Adams get to talk directly to each other ?
    Sorry I’d rather no Irish Nationalist or Republican politician had anything to do with Paisley -ever . No point .We can do just as well in a 30 county Republic as in a 26 county one . Leave Unionists to their own devices under Paisley and his ilk . If they find DUP one party rule not to their liking then they will find other options .

  • Crataegus

    Greenflag

    I’ve absolutely no idea what is hoped to be achieved in any March election .

    Nor do I, but regards councils, large councils do not equal repartition.

    As a matter of interest does anyone favour the election, and WHY?

  • Cahal

    12 years since the first cease fire.

    People are getting restless. I hope Hain pushes on with JA. At least it is movement in ‘some’ direction.

    It is shocking that a large section of unionism still refuses to even talk to republicanism – 12 years later. Has this ever happened before in any post conflict situation?

  • Butterknife

    Greenflag it is comments and the continued mindset such as this that confirms many unionist’s fears and in particluar those unionists whom you presume to be all protestant to do not identify with the DUP to vote for him rather than Sinn Fein.
    The fact remains that the IRA sees themselves as the lawful Army of the Republic thus they do not recognise Óglaigh na hÉireann and are therefore enemies of the Irish State. I agree you to a certain extent that Paisley if he truely was a man of his word would never deal with Sinn Fein, but things are a changing.

  • nmc

    The fact remains that the IRA sees themselves as the lawful Army of the Republic

    I was under the impression that the one thing they don’t see themselves as is an army.

  • Ian

    “As a matter of interest does anyone favour the election, and WHY?”

    Here’s a question: Given that there’s going to be an election, why is the SoS only expecting two of the parties (DUP and SF) to INDICATE who they would put forward as FM/DFM when power-sharing resumes?

    Given that by this Friday we won’t know the results of the elections in March, shouldn’t the UUP and SDLP (and for that matter the Alliance Party I suppose) also indicate candidates for the posts?

  • joeCanuck

    Absolutely Ian.
    That’s part of the reason I called the whole thing a farce.
    The reason (presumably) for the now forgotten deadline of Nov 24 was to allow Paisley and McGuiness to start role playing so that, come next March, if their parties prevailed, they could slide seamlessly into the “real” roles.
    It is totally presumptious of the SoS to forejudge the outcome of the election.

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus,

    ‘ large councils do not equal repartition. ‘

    I did’nt say they equal ‘repartition’. But they will lead to a situation in which for a large number of Nationalists in the South and West of NI ‘repartition’ will seem less unpalateable .

    The increasing prosperity and opportunities on the other side of the border will do the rest.

  • Greenflag

    Butterknife,

    ‘Greenflag it is comments and the continued mindset such as this that confirms many unionist’s fears and in particluar those unionists whom you presume to be all protestant who do not identify with the DUP to vote for him rather than Sinn Fein. ‘

    What fears ? There is nothing I can do about ‘unionist ‘ fears . I do not presume that all unionists are ‘protestant’. I don’t expect any ‘unionists’ to ever vote SF . If they did they would no longer be Unionists . Unionists have nothing to fear but themselves anyway . They made a mess of the first partition and now find themselves up the proverbial political creek without a paddle . Their business. If they believe Paisley will lead them to the promised ‘land’ then all I can say is I admire their faith but don’t share it .

    ‘The fact remains that the IRA sees themselves as the lawful Army of the Republic ‘

    I don’t care what the IRA see themselves as but they are not the lawful Army of the Republic . There is only one army in the Republic .

  • Greenflag

    Cathal’

    ‘It is shocking that a large section of unionism still refuses to even talk to republicanism – 12 years later. Has this ever happened before in any post conflict situation?

    The short answer is yes . North Korea has never signed an official peace treaty with South Korea . For 40 to 50 years both sides did not talk face to face . Only in the past 6 years or so has there been a slow thaw in relationship.

    Another point of comparison is that North Korea is led by an hereditary monarchical communist whereas Northern Ireland Unionists are led by a fanatical monarchical religious quasi imperialist age jingo zealot.

    The Korean ‘question’ is of course far more important for the future of the world than the ‘rumble in the jungle’ in Northern Ireland despite Paisley’s claims that the CIA/Vatican/Foreign Office/all British Prime Ministers since and including Harold Wilson/the USA Government /the EU etc etc are all engaged in a vast Trialteral conspiracy to undermine the ‘Union’ .

  • Greenflag

    Joe Canuck & Ian,

    So March rolls around and then what ? Hang on a minute that’s a bit close to the ‘marching season’and the summer break etc etc so maybe the new Assembly won’t get going until Nov 2007 ?

    Put an end to the farce now and move on without Paisley and Adams !