O’Dowd: “If they fail to do so, it will become very clear…”

Well in spite of Brian Feeney’s criticism of the air of unreality that hangs around the Transitional Assembly. Sinn Féin Assembly Group Leader, John O’Dowd MLA confirmed this morning that Sinn Féín would play a full part in its coming workload. He calls for the DUP to to step forward and engage fully in this process, otherwise it will be clear that “they are not at this stage willing to find agreement on power sharing, policing or any of the other outstanding matters.” It’s an intriguing form of words. Does it mean Face to Face negotiations with the DUP are now a precondition for agreement?From John O’Dowd, MLA

“In recent days the Sinn Féin Assembly team and business group have met to discuss our approach to the working of the Transitional Assembly. Already we have played a full part along with the other three government parties in the work of the Programme for Government Committee.

“We intend to intensify this work in the coming weeks and are already at an advanced stage in preparing for meetings of the six sub groups agreed last Monday.

“Last Friday we put forward Martin McGuinness for the position of Deputy First Minster and he accepted the role of leading the next Executive alongside Ian Paisley.

“We have also decided to play a full and active role in plenary sessions of the transitional Assembly. We view this as a valuable opportunity to advance the work of preparing a radical and effective programme for the incoming executive. There is a massive mount of work facing an incoming executive, not least issues such as Health, Education, Water Charges, Rural Planning
and the rates issue.

Sinn Féin will participate in the debates planned on Monday and Tuesday and will bring proposals for a number of debates which we would like to see happen to the Assembly Business Committee.

“Sinn Féin are determined that the opportunity which now exists to see the power sharing and all-Ireland institutions put back in place is not squandered. We are willing to play a full role in this transitional arrangement. The two governments St. Andrews proposals are clear, the end point of this period has to be the establishment of a fully functioning Assembly and Executive. The DUP now need to step forward and engage fully in this process. That is the only way in which progress will be secured.

If they fail to do so then it will become very clear that they are not at this stage willing to find agreement on power sharing, policing or any of the other outstanding matters.”

  • Pete Baker

    Interesting that he uses “Transitional Assembly”.. after all, it’s so very different to Hain’s Assembly.. isn’t it..

  • Greenflag

    MF ,

    ‘Does it mean Face to Face negotiations with the DUP are now a precondition for agreement? ‘

    One would hope so . There is a penalty for political ignorance . The people of NI have paid through the nose for it over the past generation or more .

    Rational political behaviour requires direct negotiations between opposing parties if there is ever to be an agreement that can stick.

    Reactive political behaviour only requires the usual sectarian based reflex actions that are naturally wired into Northern politicians .

    The DUP have excelled in the reactive to such an extent that they seem incapable of the rational.

  • joeCanuck

    Mick

    I might have said this before.
    Sooner or later we’re going to have the following conversation:
    Marty: “Dia duit Ian”
    Ian: “Morning Marty”
    Marty: “So what will we do today?”
    Ian: “Why don’t we walk into the chamber holding hands and scare the bejeebers out of the whole lot of them?”

  • Greenflag

    JC ,

    You need to cure these ‘visionary ‘ impulses .

    Here’s how 🙂

    During Craigavon & Brookeborough’s time Northern Ireland was a cold cave , a very dark place for Fenians but for many if not all Unionists somewhere ahead there always shone the light of imperial protection .

    During the Sunningdale period and the 80’s Northern Ireland was more like a roller coaster ride – everyone was constantly shaking and feared being thrown over board and many were .

    During these post GFA and pre SAA days Northern Ireland is more like living on a ship: long range perspectives and distant horizons are visible but meanwhile everyone is getting sea sick, no one can get off, and land is nowhere in sight . Meanwhile a large bird from some island over the horizon has flown over the ship and dropped a large dollop of waste from it’s political rear end on all the passengers. Although well used to receiving the mushroom treatment since the days of Noah some of the passengers are no longer amused .

    Many of them can no longer see the mushrooms from the shite or vice versa . To be fair many don’t even want to – or care less .

  • McGrath

    “If they fail to do so then it will become very clear that they are not at this stage willing to find agreement on power sharing, policing or any of the other outstanding matters.”

    I think what SF is saying, come next Monday and Tuesday, if the DUP dont participate in the various functions and sub functions of the transitional assembly to the same level SF are prepared to participate, then SF will assume policing really isn’t the issue, rather overall power sharing is.

    Why bother going to your electorate to convince them about policing, when in fact devolution remains impossible?

    Monday and Tuesday will be a test.

  • McGrath

    Gloomy days ahead if SF and the DUP wont work together. Forget about this this proverbial Plan B. Based on Hain blowing his ominous Nov 24th deadline, it very likely there really isn’t a plan B. Even if Hain threatens to wipe out plan B, he has no bluff left.

  • McGrath

    I meant whip out, note wipe out, in the previous post.

  • Truth and Justice

    I think the Governmwnts Plan B is real and its nasty and i hope we dont live to see it!!!!!