‘Off stage noises’ revealing hand

In his Good Morning Ulster interview this morning (40 mins into show), Peter Hain referred to the “off stage noises” from the DUP side of the fence which were emphasising a negative interpretation of the current state of affairs.
As if on cue, Chief Apostle, Jim Allister MEP, followed the British Secretary of State with an interview (1hr 45mins into programme) in which he spelt out his opposition to a deal.

According to Allister, the entire St. Andrews timetable– most notably the proposal for the formation of an Executive by March 26, 2007- is being challenged by the DUP dissidents.

Allister slammed Peter Hain for the “clever attempt by government to try and blur” the issues he identified as the necessity for a credible period before the formation of an Executive, never mind the devolution of Policing and Justice. On the latter, Allister was uncompromising, stating that it would be “a considerable distance down the road.”

  • Percival

    OK Chris – the DUP are engaged in debate over timing. Sinn Fein are balking over the very principle of supporting the police. Spot the difference?

    PS. Good to see you conforming to my analysis provided on another thread. Connolly House will be proud.

  • Percival

    This from Ian Paisley:

    Speaking this afternoon DUP Leader Dr Ian Paisley MP, MLA said,

    “Over the course of the last number of days I have made clear to the Prime Minister that upfront delivery is required from Sinn Fein on the issue of support for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Courts and the rule of law.

    I welcome the Prime Minister’s assessment. Sinn Fein must deliver on policing in a real and meaningful way. There can be no movement unless we have clarity on the need for everyone to support the rule of law.

    The Prime Minister is well aware that we are willing to make progress on a level playing field when there is full support for, and co-operation with the police.

    The time for action from Sinn Fein is now. If we are to see further political developments then it must be in the context of full and final delivery from Republicans. On this there will be no weakening.

    We have remained steadfast on the need to achieve full delivery and if confidence is to be built then it is up to Sinn Fein to match their words with deeds.”

    Yeah Chris, it’s the DUP that’s holding the thing up and not being positive enough. Do you actually believe your own drivel?

  • Yokel

    I was going to comment on this but I totally lost my train of thought, seeing those pics of the commemoration thingy in teh right hand corner.

    Imagine agreeing to participate in a grand role play where you were celebrating the losers……..its almost as odd and ridiculous as that great pic of some UDA geezer from years ago holding a rifle the wrong way round. Clearly he had never fired it or else his nose would have had damage from spent cartridges.

    It’s incongruous.

  • Chris Donnelly

    “the DUP are engaged in debate over timing”

    But are they, P? It would appear more of a debate over the principle of power-sharing to me.

    “Sinn Fein are balking over the very principle of supporting the police”

    Again, wrong. Read Gerry Adams’ proposed motion to the Ard Fheis. You’ll find quite clear and unequivocal support being offered by Sinn Fein, in language much more transparent than that being offered by the DUP in regard to power-sharing.

    Finally, again I ask: if you want real credibility, why not reveal your own actual identity, rather than hiding behind a little nom de plume?

    I’m not ashamed of my political background and nor indeed have I attempted to conceal it.

    Why are you?

  • Yokel

    Maybe it was a UVF one..or PAF or RHC or OV or something…anyway plain stupid.

    Jim Allister has a lot of independence don’t he? A lot. I notice Bob McCartney isn’t blowing off as much though, where is he?

    Percival, I think its wrong to slam Chris quite so much. Everyone has their role to play in their cause, he is merely playing his, just like those people doing that role play down in Fermanagh.

  • Percival

    Chris Donnelly

    The DUP are not engaged in a debate over power-sharing – they accpet power-sharing and that SF have a right to be in an executive once violence is given up and once the support for the police and the rule of law is forthcoming. That incidentally is also the position of the British Prime Minister judging by his comments last night.

    You can come on here and spin for Sinn Fein all you like, but the truth of the matter is that this Ard Fheis should have been held weeks ago, if Sinn Fein was really interested in making progress.

    If the rails come off their will be no doubt were the blame lies.

    On anonymity:

    I am not compelled to reveal who I am to you, and the fact that you are making it an issue shows how vaccous your arguments are.

  • Yokel

    Can we start a Bob McCartney disaffected votes ticker?

    Last time he said anything it was upto 21 000 votes, give or take the usual exaggeration that all politicians spin.

    It could be like a Blue Peter appeal……

  • Percival

    Yokel

    If my info is correct Bob’s on holiday.

  • Chris Donnelly

    I am not compelled to reveal who I am to you, and the fact that you are making it an issue shows how vaccous your arguments are.

    Wee Percy

    I’m not the one referring to Nazi Germany- twice in a 24 hour period, no less!

    In any case, I’ll repeat my challenge from another thread: you hide behind anonymity and question my motivation in writing on this site.

    In that case, I’m quite entitled to ask you to reveal your identity, political background and
    status within any political party.

    Care to answer?? Or will I wait for that postcard….

  • interested

    “If my info is correct Bob’s on holiday.”

    Good to see he’s so annoyed with how things are going that he’s decided to go and calm down in the south of France!

    As for the DUP – its not exactly news that Jim Allister has problems – however he’s a bit part player in the DUP it would seem.

    Anyway, the debate isnt about whether the DUP will share power with SF, its about when, i.e, when the conditions are right.

  • Percival

    Chris

    “Wee Percy”? In the well-established Provette tradition on this site, when you can’t answer the points attack the person making them, especially if they are an anonymous poster.

    In referring to Nazi Germany, I was merely pointing out how adept you are at attempting to deflect due criticism of Sinn Fein by plastering stories of internal DUP dissent on this site. You’ve done it before, but it will not serve to deflect most posters from observing the reality of the situation.

    We are at this point not because of anything the DUP has done, but because the Sinn Fein leadership has dragged its heels, delayed at every point possible and failed to manage it’s internal opposition. Now having been caught on a hook, they are attempting to blame the DUP for their failure.

  • Mick Fealty

    Guys,

    can we drop the rabbit punching? Chris is entitled to make arguments and others to counter them. Of course he (like all of us) is conditioned by his own views and biases, but as I am fed telling everyone who raises bias on Slugger (Chris, mine and others), the argument is the thing!

    Now play the feckin’ ball lads!!

  • Percival

    “Anyway, the debate isnt about whether the DUP will share power with SF, its about when, i.e, when the conditions are right.”

    Correct. Only a fool or a liar would attenpt to contend otherwise.

  • Percival

    Mick

    I have countered the argument, whilst at the same time advancing my own assessment of what has motivated the argument in the first place i.e. a naked attempt to move the focus of the debate for party political reasons.

    I would have thought that Chris Donnelly as one of your resident bloggers would know that it’s bad form to demand people reveal their identities as a means of counter-argument.

  • Yokel

    Bob & some radical Free Presbyterian dissenters, thats such a natural mix.

    They have their part to play though…..

  • Yokel

    Is it just me or is Jim Allisters pic like the before shot for a hair restoral clinic?

    I should call him J.A. if thats the case..

  • Chris Donnelly

    Percy

    “only a fool or a liar” – or, as Bob Hicks would contend in jest, “a communist!”

    What has ‘motivated’ the argument is the central relevancy of the issue, nothing else, in spite of your own paranoia.

    Now I’ll leave you alone as your world would seem complicated enough..

  • Realist

    I think its clear that the DUP are leaving themselves some space to withdraw from powersharing even if the SF Ard Fheis has a positive outcome.

    What SF are justifiably concerned about is going ahead with the Ard Fheis and then the DUP saying that they are not going to go ahead with powersharing if policing is to be devolved in 2008 which the British government is clearly backing.

    The other DUP clause is that SF actions on the ground would have to change and you would have the DUP calling on SF to say certain things about PSNI investigations into past alleged republican activity otherwise they would fail the DUP ‘testing period’ and right-wingers in the DUP would like to use that to pull the plug on power-sharing.

    The DUP must make a firm commitment to powersharing in March if this is to move forward. To date ‘they won’t be found wanting’ is not good or clear enough.

  • the other one

    “just had an interesting update on the current situation. Apparently it has little to do with policing.

    Following Paisley’s dropping of part of his agreed text in Nov there was concern about DUP commitment to power-sharing by March 27th.

    Blair Paisley and Gerry worked out an agreed text to be dropped into Paisley’s New Year message. Surprise surprise just like Nov Paisley forgot the important pre-agreed bit.

    Now it seems that the issue is whether or not the DUP position is about never sharing power in a political lifetime not the devolution of policing by 2008. Now read Tony’s statement and note the bit about both parties supporting the St Andrew’s agreement. Kinda puts a different spin on things.

    Posted by the other one on Jan 04, 2007 @ 07:24 PM”

  • Yokel

    Speaking of photos of people acting like soldiers does anyone remember the pic of a few guys posing with masks and all(from the 70s I believe) but they clearly didnt have enough guns to pass round so one was pictured looking through a pair of binoculars?

    I’d like to see that again….

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The recent statement by Allister married to yesterdays statements by the likes of Dodds and Campbell do throw into question the ability of the DUP to share power.

    Yesterday, Tony Blair interpreting the mood music in the DUP stated quite categorically that if SF delivered their committment on policing etc then the DUP would meet theirs regarding the devolution of policing and powers by May 2008.

    No DUP spokesperson of any note has stated this to be the case. In fact the front runners for Paisley’s mantle have been at pains to say exactly the opposite. Ranging from ‘we never agreed to any date’ (Baby); ‘Herod and babies (Campbell, via Mark Durkan; ‘a political lifetime’ Dodds. So clearly the DUP is hopelessly split on the issue or are not serious about the whole idea of power sharing.

    On the SF side the holding of a AF would be a tangible and definite example of the party living up to its committments. There is nothing similar on the DUP side only Tony Blairs interpretation of what he believes is going on within the DUP. To be quite honest no one I know is prepared to stake the future on Tony Blairs interpretation of anything.

    The SF AC has committed publicly to its position on policing. There is contradictory messages on the DUP from Blair and from the DUP itself. This contradiction needs to be reconciled.

  • Nationalist

    A quick look at Paisleys statement raises some questions on what he is requesting?

    Paisleys statement reads “Over the course of the last number of days I have made clear to the Prime Minister that upfront delivery is required from Sinn Fein on the issue of support for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Courts and the rule of law.”

    On this is a statement of support from AF telling members to give support to recognise the authority of the courts not up front support or what type of support does the DUP want to see? Should it be of the type of support that the DUP have given in the past then there would be further problems.

    He goes on “I welcome the Prime Minister’s assessment. Sinn Fein must deliver on policing in a real and meaningful way. There can be no movement unless we have clarity on the need for everyone to support the rule of law.”

    As stated above the AF motion would make clear the paries stand on the issue.

    “The Prime Minister is well aware that we are willing to make progress on a level playing field when there is full support for, and co-operation with the police.”

    This is were we start getting into the muddied waters in that once the AF has given full backing to and instructered all members to recognise the authority of the police and courts then what co-operation do they mean? Surely SInn Fein cannot be expected to be held to aaccount should large numbers of Republicans and Nationalists not follow their lead – is it not a free democratic society we live in?

    “The time for action from Sinn Fein is now. If we are to see further political developments then it must be in the context of full and final delivery from Republicans. On this there will be no weakening.” Full and final delivery of what exactly? If they state they are supporting the police and the courts then there is nothing more they can do – unless the DUP are suggesting they send baseball bat teams round and force Nationalists to be totally obedient a bit like the way the B Specials used to police the North.

    “We have remained steadfast on the need to achieve full delivery and if confidence is to be built then it is up to Sinn Fein to match their words with deeds.” And where is the delivery of the confidence that is needed to the Nationalist people over 43.8% of the population, we would like some confidence delivery fromthe DUP!

    If all parties are stating they give support to the police and courts then what is the problem of stating a minister will be appointed on 31/12/2008? as both Sinn Fein and DUP are not going to take that ministry until after 2011 surely there is ample time for people to see delivery on the ground in the same manner as delivered by the DUP – or don’t they want that kind of delivery?

  • JR

    The vultures are definitely circling around the DUP leader. Maybe they know something about the ‘Big Man’ the rest of us don’t!!

  • I can’t wait till everybody’s happy about policing because that’s when the next obstacle comes up and I think it’s going to be the proposed Irish Language Act. Then we’ll see the true nature of the DUP obstructionist policy revealed – it’s the culture, stupid!

    Today in a court in Belfast, a young female teacher is appearing on a charge of disorderly conduct arising out of speaking in Irish and being overheard by a PSNI officer. She applied to have the case heard in Irish when the case was first mentioned during the Summer and after a lot of procastrination, the Courts Service refused because, by that time, the consultation process on the Irish language Bill had begun.

    That example shows the institutional bias against anything other than the ‘majority’ culture in the north, where it’s a cold house for minorities, including speakers of the indigenous language, Irish.

    Trust me, when policing is done and dusted, that the DUP will mount an objection about the Irish language. And because they will have tarried so long on policing, the legislation will have been enacted with the Labour Majority in Westminster in spite of their redneck efforts.

  • Elvis Parker

    ‘Tony Blair interpreting the mood music in the DUP stated quite categorically that if SF delivered their committment on policing etc then the DUP would meet theirs regarding the devolution of policing and powers by May 2008.

    No DUP spokesperson of any note has stated this to be the case.’

    Paisley has implied it and Blair is saying time for SF to move.

    SF in very weak position – must move by Tuesday

  • páid

    Gerry will call an Ard Fheis IMO.

    What this delay is all about is clarifying what happens exactly after the Ard Fheis.

    And I think the delay may be attributed to the Bearded One getting advice from David T about post-dated cheques.

    i.e. the Ard Fheis supports the PSNI and the Courts as long as policing and justice is devolved by 31 March.

    Bop! Over to you, Doc.

  • Allister may be the Chief Apostle but I’ve heard a rumour he’s set for deselection.

  • Yokel

    Allister is less the man to worry about as a potential leadership threat to Ian. It’s the MP’s from where any threat will come in future.

    What some of those MP’s had better remember is that they owe their seats to many UUP oters who wanted a better deal, not no deal.

  • Percival

    The DUP would be insane to de-select Allister. By far and away the most capable MEP.

  • John Donnelly

    This is how I see it

    Allister is a bit player and the North doesnt need him or his bitterness.

    SF will get on with the Ard Fheis etc

    Paisley may have to silence Allister and his cronies because the Doc is getting the parallel heat that Trimble got.Allister is shooting his mouth off too much and I know what happened before between Paisley and Peter Robinson-Paisley won!

    Others may cause a few problems in the months to come.They will only be fleeting.

    We WILL have devolved government no matter what the bitter bigots think!

  • Yokel

    JD

    I believe you are right, I think Paisley will make it happen and those dissenters in his own camp will not have many places to go. The thing is, I’m not sure that the dissent amongst those at the top table is quite what it appears.

    The problem right now is that Sinn Fein have their dissenters on a fundamental issue and they have to move on it first. Gerry really doesn’t want to face it off if he can avoid it but has been told to do it, now.

  • John Donnelly

    Yokel

    Well said. The Shinners must move. Lets hope it happens sooner rather than later. Then no one can say anything against them.Even if they do it will be seen as either a delaying tactic or a bitter swipe.So, Gerry Adams- Get on with it !!!!!!!!