Archive | December, 2006

The power of numbers

With a January Ard Fheis called possibly called the last barrier to 7th March election has may have been removed plus being off gave me the time to do some number crunching. Voters are generally creatures of habit so past elections can give a reliable guide to the likely outcome of the upcoming election. So more…

Paisley main obstacle to settlement in 1976

A document released into the National Archives in Dublin under the 30-year rule records a meeting between an Irish government minister and then Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher. The memo, carrying a note attributing it to Ireland`s Foreign Minister Garret FitzGerald, shows he told senior Tories the political realities meant Mr Paisley was the main more…

US State Department thinks it’s go…

Clearly the US State Department thinks that a policing deal is as good as in the bag… Does it imply an extra dimension to that Irish Times editorial from this morning: There must be an understanding that the latest intensive negotiation has been multilateral, extending beyond Downing Street and Sinn Féin…

On the dawning of this next historic moment we are awaiting

A little tongue-in-cheek rebel music: Everybody, sing! The Impartial Police Force If you’re in Andytown or the Creggan we’ll greet you with tiocfaidh ár lá, Oh we’re nice and polite, by day and by night, we’ll answer to “níl agus tá”? Don’t mind the machine guns and pistols we wear them now only for show, more…

“any necessary steps..”

Several reports pick up on the UUP leader, Reg Empey’s criticism of a letter from the Secretary of State for Wales, etc, Peter Hain, to the transitional assembly’s sub-group on Justice and Policing. While the Belfast Telegraph say they have seen the letter there is only a short paragraph quoted from it. Reg Empey highlights more…

Decommission the IRA, get a CBE

BBC News reports “two members of Northern Ireland’s arms decommissioning body have been appointed honorary CBEs.” A third man involved in the decommissioning of the IRA has also been awarded. Peter Hain described it as a “fitting recognition”. “Through their integrity, diligence and commitment to peace, they have helped to deliver what many thought would more…

Victims of a Big Political Swindle

Patrick Murphy, in today’s Irish News (subs only), writes of the remnants of the war: old soldiers that now must be tidied away. “The remnants of war must now be tidied away, so that a new and sanitised version of the past can underpin their joint achievement of political power. The most obvious of those more…

What was the real 'Plan B'...

What was the real ‘Plan B’…

One thing we Irish (of all political stripes and none) are good at is myth making. In recent years much time, energy and imagination has been devoted to the myth of ‘Plan B’. For most of the period of the Assembly’s suspension it has been lauded by nationalist commentators as the easy route to joint more…

Sinn Fein’s drafted motion to be robust…

Although we’ve not had sight of the precise wording, Slugger understands that the motion hammered out at yesterday’s marathon meeting provides for acceptance of policing in Northern Ireland in full measure. Indeed, any half measures or perceived wriggle room at this stage are likely to be seen as a willful return to the stasis of more…

A fudge now will simply not work…

Today’s editorial in the Irish Times is worth reproducing in full. It seems that this long game of ‘catch up’ (accepting the principle of power sharing in the case of the DUP and full acceptance of the state by Sinn Fein) with the Belfast Agreement of 1998 is drawing to a close. The Irish Times more…

An OBE to ease the pain

Bertha McDougall was awarded an OBE for services to the community. Need I say more, other than congratulations of course?

“if the DUP respond positively…”

Alex Attwood reckons that Sinn Fein’s Ard Chomhairle’s decision is an unalloyed positive move. But of course there are conditions. The ball, he reckons, is now in the DUP court.From Alex Attwood “The provision of Sinn Fein’s is welcome and brings a sense of relief. It is welcome that having called policing so wrong for more…

Would that be white smoke I see?

Cheers to Parcifal for spotting this: Sinn Féin edged closer to an historic acceptance of policing in the North by tonight calling a special party conference for January on the issue. Sinn Féin tonight edged closer to an historic acceptance of policing in the North by calling for a special party conference on the issue more…

Don’t worry about a thing

Dermot Ahern, Irish Foreign Minister, seems to be advising everyone to relax. Sinn Fein shouldn’t worry about getting 100% support on policing. Plan B is nothing for Unionists to worry about as most of it is already in place, they haven’t bothered working on it lately and anyway the constitutional question is settled. Although, he more…

No white smoke yet..

Sinn Féin’s ard chomhairle are currently meeting in Dublin, SF statement here, and there’s a lot of coverage of what the hyperbolic Secretary of State for Wales etc, Peter Hain, refers to as – “This move by Gerry Adams is of enormous significance and is of seismic importance.” The Irish Times also has an interview more…

The Price of Shame

Many of the papers carry details of the 1976 state documents now released and several focus on the murder of Christopher Ewart Biggs, the British Ambassador to Ireland who was less than 2 weeks in the job before he was killed along with an aide. The Daily Telegraph reports that Martin Taylor, a PIRA man more…