DUP pledges positive response to SF movement…

Is this protracted game of political chicken heading for a soft landing?

  • GrassyNoel

    I don’t see what SF or the nationalist community has to lose at this stage by just signing up to P&J and getting on with things.

    The DUP can’t realistically back out if they do and the Policing issue has been so spotlit at this stage that I really don’t see how Nationalists would have anything to fear in the way of police corruption. I know I will be dismissed as a naive idiot for suggesting this, but surely the police ombudsman and several other organisations such as Amnesty et al will be keeping an eye out for any signs or evidence of bias/prejudice towards one particular section of the ‘cumyonniduy’ (sorry I just can’t resist those elocutionary digs every once in a while.

    On a related note, I see the SNP have a considerable lead in the latest opinion polls….

    http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/special-reports-storypage.jsp?id=4328

  • Pete Baker

    Perhaps, Mick.. but “[his party] will not be found wanting” was Paisley’s New Year message.. the one that wasn’t positive enough..

  • Paul P

    Internal dissent within the republican community as a whole has SF hoping that Paisley looks like the Naysayer. Paisley’s apparent ambiguity has SF cornered.

    I wonder will Gerry Adams be making a “well done Ian” soundbite?

  • Yokel

    The problem is that SF have requested specifics.

    This is probably the best they will get publically, espcially after Hain’s words yesterday about ‘government targets’ Will it be enough? For some like Gerry I’d say yes, for others maybe not.

    It’s a good get out clause for SF if they want it but I think the expectation outside of SF amongst every other party including the governmets is that they will go to the special AF.

  • Yokel

    Anyone have any ideas about how to stay still in a gale at all?………………..

  • DK

    Looks like the usual from the DUP. But how can Sinn Fein reject policing today: A paper today (Irish news?) has the headline that 1 in 8 applicants to the PSNI is Polish. Policing has clearly moved with the times, it’s about time the politicians did too.

  • Yokel

    But only about 1% of them will actually get shortlisted and into training.

    Got to hand it to those Poles they’ll give it a crack

  • comeinwarsaw

    Poles in the PSNI would be a massive cultural change, police officers with a work ethic!?! The criminal justice system wouldn’t be able to cope 😉

  • Crataegus

    We are listening to a lot of nonsense at the minute. SF have to jump if they don’t they will suffer. The game to watch is the south not here. In due course we will find how the DUP respond. I wouldn’t fret over any of it and I would give the comments of both as little publicity as possible. I want actions not words from both of them, the constant droning became tedious long ago.

  • Crataegus

    Yokel

    Anyone have any ideas about how to stay still in a gale at all

    Easy sink the ship.

  • J Kelly

    No one in the DUP have yet to state that they will sit in an executive come the 26th of March never mind P&J in May 2008. The taliban have won the day.

  • Yokel

    Crataegus

    And a more relevant metaphor for NI politics I have yet to read…..

    I suspect the British Army will be taking notes about the Poles willingness to work as well.

  • GrassyNoel

    I disagree that the Taliban have won the day, after Policing I don’t see what issues they can cling to. Policing is the last serious issue outstanding (as far as I’m aware), and that’s it. I’m sure they’ll pull a few sneaky tricks out of their coat sleeves to delay the whole process of deveolution and power-sharing as much as they possibly can, but perhaps that’s why SF are taking their time as well, because it’s the last wall of resistance for them and they want to show they can dig their heels in as well.

    If there are going to be provocative sneers from the Unionists in the next few months along the lines of “na-na-na-naaa-na, youse took the very last step before we did”, i.e. signed up to policing before the DUP announced their willingness to row in with the whole devolution mechanism procedures, well Nationalists should be big enough to live with their taunts. But even writing that feels foolish…to make such an issue out of who does what at this stage in the ball game seems utterly ridiculous to me.

    Every serious Republican surely realises now that there will never be a ‘United Ireland’ without the unity of the people and if there is going to be this constant locking of horns and ti-for-tat, one-upmanship at every single turn it will only serve to prolong the hostility between the two traditions and demonstrate further what contempt both sides have for each other. Sure what would be the point of having a UI anyway if it looked anything like the NI we have today? I don’t want a UI that’s ‘united’ in name only. Anyone who wants that is a complete cretin. But even if that IS the attitude amongst SF supporters – I say call the Ard Fheis, sign up to P&J, then sit back and watch the DUP stew in their own juices as they desperately search for another reason to avoid sharing power. They’ll tear themselves apart trying to renege.

    The bottom line is, 1m Unionists will always have to be accommodated, even if a UI were somehow magically announced tomorrow. But in the present cirumstances, you would be looking at the same scenes of civil unrest we saw from the 60s until now, and probably for another 40 or 50 years. So surely the deal that’s on offer at present is worth taking. Blair’s only got another 4 or 5 months to go anyway, and Brown will be far too preoccupied with foreign affairs and trying to ensure he gets (re)elected in 2009 to pay much or any attention to NI in the short to medium term.

  • kensei

    “Sure what would be the point of having a UI anyway if it looked anything like the NI we have today? I don’t want a UI that’s ‘united’ in name only. Anyone who wants that is a complete cretin”

    Sorry, crock of shit. United and Divided is still better than not United and divided.

    A United Ireland would also look nothing like the mess we have here.

  • Yokel

    There you go GrassyNoel as Kensei ses it Unionsts dont have to be anything. They’ll just have to shove it. if they cause trouble, beat them with sticks ad shoot the bastards.

    If we said the same for Northern Nationalists however, well no can’t do that, disgrace, terrible, suppression

    I look forward to that agreed Ireland that Kensei aims for, one of us will be quicker on the trigger…

  • kensei

    “There you go GrassyNoel as Kensei ses it Unionsts dont have to be anything. They’ll just have to shove it. if they cause trouble, beat them with sticks ad shoot the bastards.”

    Yeah, because that is exactly what I said.
    The situation here is completely unacceptable to me and a lot of other people. but we have to deal with it because 50%+ of the population want it that way. If that changes so 50%+1 want it the other way then you are just going to have to learn to deal with it.

    As a Republican I believe that British exercising authority in my country is a negative thing and disempowers and disenfranchises everyone here; it is only natural I would believe that a United Ireland is a positive step, even if we were divided. We are already divided, so no change.

    I is equally true a United Ireland would look nothing like what we have now. Proper democracy with safegaurds is much more likely.

    “I look forward to that agreed Ireland that Kensei aims for, one of us will be quicker on the trigger…”

    In the event of a United Ireland occurring and a section of the population still feeling separated, then it would be the number one priority of Republicans open this Island to build a state and a society where they could be comfortable and included, just as the number one priority should be uniting the island now. Would I prefer to have an “Agreed” United Ireland? Of course. that wasn’t however, the question.

    Refrain from misquoting me and sticking words into my mouth.
    kthanxbye.

  • DK

    Yokel,

    We are closer to a united Northern Ireland. Then what….

  • Uatu

    Kensei

    I have to agree with Grassy & Yokel on this one. You sound like someone arguing that would be better to be in a bad marriage despite the damage it’ll doing to the kids. ”Sure – we’ll still have problems, but we can pretend everything is OK in front of the kids. AND it’s better being married.”

  • GrassyNoel

    Kensei

    Would you not agree that a UI will or would come about far more naturally – and probably a lot quicker – if there weren’t such a chasm between the two communities? I personally can never see a UI happening through any kind of coercive means, either physical force, legislative or otherwise. If you do not get the substantive will of the people inhabiting the 6 counties to go along with a costitutional change NI will always and forever be the war-torn shithole it has always been and remains today. It might sound a bit woodstock and airy fairy but the people will have to learn to get along and put up with each other first, because this great demographic shift people bleat on and on and on about on this blog is a) never going to happen; and

    b)would most likely lead to a serious risk of a repeat of the paramilitary campaigns that were visited on NI for 30 years, and even a possible full-scale re-occupation by the British just to restore order, because there is absolutely no way in hell the Irish army would be able to cope with that type of situation.

  • Yokel

    DK

    A united NI means we must have some kind of largely mutually acceptable agreement.

    Kensei

    What you say in exact words and what your underlying sentiment is can be somewhatdifferent and I’m not the only one to have looked at the words and picked up on the underlying sentiment.

    I have a stick and I’ll poke it in the nest without hesitation and I’m not giving up the stick.

  • kensei

    “I have to agree with Grassy & Yokel on this one. You sound like someone arguing that would be better to be in a bad marriage despite the damage it’ll doing to the kids. ‘’Sure – we’ll still have problems, but we can pretend everything is OK in front of the kids. AND it’s better being married.’’”

    No, it’s absolutely nothing like that at all, but no doubt Greenflag will turn up, run with the analogy and state the only option is therefore repartition.

    “Would you not agree that a UI will or would come about far more naturally – and probably a lot quicker – if there weren’t such a chasm between the two communities?”

    Probably. And I think there is an imperative on Republicans to try and reach out to Unionism, and to live up to the ideals of the flag. But if you are asking me if 50%+1 happened and we still hadn’t got support, would I opt for the staus quo rather than a UI? Of course not.

    “I personally can never see a UI happening through any kind of coercive means, either physical force, legislative or otherwise.”

    We set up the rules. It’s 50%+1 on the Constitutional question and that’s it. How it is found is irrelevant. Otherwise, all bets are off and I want JA right now.

    “If you do not get the substantive will of the people inhabiting the 6 counties to go along with a costitutional change NI will always and forever be the war-torn shithole it has always been and remains today.”

    Not necessarily.I also think it is the only way our problems – economic, social and the rest – will be sorted in the long term. A UI also has a finality to it that makes people more likely to accept it in the medium to long term.

    “It might sound a bit woodstock and airy fairy but the people will have to learn to get along and put up with each other first, because this great demographic shift people bleat on and on and on about on this blog is a) never going to happen; and

    “b)would most likely lead to a serious risk of a repeat of the paramilitary campaigns that were visited on NI for 30 years, and even a possible full-scale re-occupation by the British just to restore order, because there is absolutely no way in hell the Irish army would be able to cope with that type of situation.”

    The logic here is blinding. Unionism stoically refuses to bow to IRA violence for 30 years, but if they put up that threat, we should just back down? Nope.

  • kensei

    “What you say in exact words and what your underlying sentiment is can be somewhatdifferent and I’m not the only one to have looked at the words and picked up on the underlying sentiment.”

    No, what I say is what I mean and I think I have explained my opinion perfectly clearly and in fact, said absolutely nothing of the sort you said.

    So, with all due respect, shut the fuck and stop calling me liar, you little fucking prick.

  • Yokel

    God, it didnt even take a big stick.

    Thanks for giving me and everyone else a laugh with that. I’m showing it round the office now.

  • Yokel

    Only joking, I;m not showing it round the office really.

    But thank you for the laugh.

  • kensei

    “God, it didnt even take a big stick. ”

    No, just one obnoxious asshole. Amazing that.

  • ian

    Kensei:

    “We set up the rules. It’s 50%+1 on the Constitutional question and that’s it.”

    Don’t you know that the rules (i.e. consent principle) only apply as long as the outcome is favourable to unionists and then the minute it goes the other way then Unionists have the right to change them?

    Remember the consent principle was being implemented in 1912 with regards to Home Rule, which is what led to the Ulster Covenant, gunrunning from the Kaiser and the formation of the ‘old’ UVF, developments that Unionists still equivocate about despite their clear contravention of the ‘rule of law’ that they claim to support.

    It’s called hypocrisy dear. It’s a defining characteristic of political Unionism, so you’d better get used to it.

  • Yokel

    You rose to bait that wasn’t even there, thats what I find remarkable but the entertainment value was good on a crap windy day in Belfast.

    I appreciate it.

  • mickhall

    SF have to jump if they don’t they will suffer.
    Posted by Crataegus on Jan 11,

    Crataegus
    I think you might be wrong here, if you mean SF will suffer electorally in the south. For it may be the case by bending the knee to the UK state and Paisley, Sf’s southern core support base may well conclude they are much the same as the rest of the political parties, i e opportunist and in it for themselves alone, and take their vote elsewhere, independents, SP, dissidents, greens, who knows.

    But accepting the writ of a foreign police force in Ireland is not something that will add in anyway to SF imo, not least because in the RoI their opponents may well demand of them what the hell were the last thirty odd years about. The party may have been able to side step this question, but not with this leadership as they were at the helm throughout much of that period.

  • GrassyNoel

    I’m not saying Nationalists would or should back down in the face of a paramilitary threat. But I also seriously doubt the capacity of our armed forces and/or our Keysone Cops Police force to deal with a NI on the brink of civil collapse circa 1970’s Belfast/Derry.

    It’s all very well to say we’ve made great contributions to UN peacekeeping missions over the years but there’s a big difference between helping to build sewerage treatment plants and hospitals and playing soccer with schoolkids in Africa, and being a daily target for a million or so angry lunatics still screaming ‘No surrender’ & ‘home rule is Rome rule’, trying to relive 1912.

    The last time an Irish battalion was involved in any kind of serious combat situation, which as far as I’m aware was in the Congo about 50 years ago, they were wiped out. And I would have NO faith whatsoever in ANY of the current crop of Irish politicians in the South being capable of managing a ‘messy’ NI situation if it were ever to come back under our control in the near future. Just think – what use would a stuttering and stammering Bertie Ahern be to families up north whose houses are getting petrol-bombed by angry mobs just because they happen to live on the wrong side of a particular street? Not f*cking much, I’d say. Lok at the chaos and mayhem that was caused in Dublin last February, for God’s sake, and any fool who’d even done Junior Cert History could have predicted it.

  • Reader

    Kensei: We set up the rules. It’s 50%+1 on the Constitutional question and that’s it. How it is found is irrelevant. Otherwise, all bets are off and I want JA right now.
    I’m an unionist, and perfectly sympathetic to your 50%+1. A deal is a deal, after all. I wouldn’t even predict a lot of violence, especially if it’s a few years down the line when people have got out of the habit. But I don’t think 50%+1 aspirational nationalists is the same as 50%+1 “united Ireland right now” type nationalists, and you’ll reach that voting target much sooner if people don’t expect upheaval and protest. So, once you’ve accepted the principle of consent as a working target, it’s still up to you to get there as fast as you can…

  • DK

    Reader – spot on, 50% nationalist is not 50% united Ireland please. Expecially if NI has adapted so much that the pain of moving to a UI is really not worth the bother purely for an aspirational target with no clear advantage. Add in the immigrants, who clearly favour the status quo and would be against constitutional change and you can see why no-one has seriously even begun to make plans for a UI. Oh well, suppose getting the Brits out of Northern Ireland is a sort of victory.

  • 50+

    “beat them with sticks and shoot the bastards………….”

    That sounds familiar!

  • lib2016

    DK,

    “Add in the emigrants, who clearly favour the status quo.”

    Not the emigrants whom I personally know but of course that is anecdotal. Have you any evidence on either side of the debate?

    It seems to me that the unionist community have gone out of their way to drive away support from outside their own community but that could be just my prejudice.

    Reader,

    No veto means no veto. It is unionism which disgraced itself to such an extent that it can never again be allowed majority rule and no such proviso exists for republicans. An nationalist majority means nationalist rule whereas the reverse does NOT apply.

    I personally favour the GFA and peaceful moves towards devolved rule from Dublin but the alternative is integration with the South, not permanent Direct Rule as a British colony.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Probably. And I think there is an imperative on Republicans to try and reach out to Unionism, and to live up to the ideals of the flag. But if you are asking me if 50%+1 happened and we still hadn’t got support, would I opt for the staus quo rather than a UI? Of course not.

    I’m not against reunification although it doesn’t make me excited or anything. The free staters have let us down as often as the Brits. There’s nothing to say that rule from Dublin will be any less engaging, the people here are a world apart from the people down there.

    For that reason and others, I would rather 50%+1 be treated as the trigger for an overall renegotiation of the entire Irish constitution and state, rather than an automatic termination of the border with the Brits leaving on a big boat at midnight. It must be overarchingly clear from the outset that people’s culture and religion are going to be respected.

  • kensei

    “You rose to bait that wasn’t even there, thats what I find remarkable but the entertainment value was good on a crap windy day in Belfast.”

    I have this thing were I see red when people misrepresent me. I really should try to lose it, but then again you really should stop.

    Grassy

    “I’m not saying Nationalists would or should back down in the face of a paramilitary threat. But I also seriously doubt the capacity of our armed forces and/or our Keysone Cops Police force to deal with a NI on the brink of civil collapse circa 1970’s Belfast/Derry.”

    I do not believe that we are incapable of handling it if necessary, and I believe Unionism is likely to split over the threat of violence, particularly if the British lay down some home truths.

    A 50%+1 vote for a United coupled with an attempt to suppress the will of the people would however almost inevitably lead to civil war.

    Reader

    “I’m an unionist, and perfectly sympathetic to your 50%+1. A deal is a deal, after all. I wouldn’t even predict a lot of violence, especially if it’s a few years down the line when people have got out of the habit. But I don’t think 50%+1 aspirational nationalists is the same as 50%+1 “united Ireland right now” type nationalists, and you’ll reach that voting target much sooner if people don’t expect upheaval and protest. So, once you’ve accepted the principle of consent as a working target, it’s still up to you to get there as fast as you can…”

    I believe that if there is ever a gap of a couple of percent then I believe that would probably be enough to carry it, major Unionist opposition or no, particularly if you had the right sort of campaign from the South and a passive British Government. But that is a hypothetical. It is up to republicans to make the case and I would hope by the time it happens we have at least some Protestant support and at a minimum a greatly reduced fear of it.

    People look at surveys and stuff that say 99.9999% percent of Protestants couldn’t live with a United Ireland and say it’ll never happen. I think it represents opportunity. There are a lot of solid reasons for a UI, there are still a lot of myths and whatever the rights and wrongs of the campaign, you can guarantee it did the cause of a United Ireland great harm.

    I think that there is style the fear that a UI would mean the end of Ulster Protestants and the end of their culture. That would the 100% failure of Republicanism. The Orange in the flag should mean something. For example, rather than deride Ulster Scots, I think that Republicans should cautiously back it. It is ultimately unique to Ireland and has a place in our history. I don’t think, right this second it should have equal status to Irish because I don’t think the status is there yet even among Unionists, but in principle, I reckon we should be supporting it. If the OO cleaned itself up properly and got rid of the anti Catholic, loyalist and aggressive bollocks, we should back that and all for similar reasons.

    But saying all that, if we have a hypothetical situation where there is 52% Nationalist 44% Unionist 2% Other and referendum result comes out on the side of a UI even if there is 44% Unionism against, it should still go through because that would be the deal if the percentages are switched. It is only fair.

    CS

    “I’m not against reunification although it doesn’t make me excited or anything. The free staters have let us down as often as the Brits. There’s nothing to say that rule from Dublin will be any less engaging, the people here are a world apart from the people down there.”

    Irrelevant. The difference in a UI context is a binding Constitution, a proper democracy and a significant say in it. The North as it is now would have 15-20% of the seats. There would be no way to ignore us.

    “For that reason and others, I would rather 50%+1 be treated as the trigger for an overall renegotiation of the entire Irish constitution and state, rather than an automatic termination of the border with the Brits leaving on a big boat at midnight. It must be overarchingly clear from the outset that people’s culture and religion are going to be respected.”

    There would need to be changes to the Constitution , State and Symbols and it would be an opportunity to make the state and Constitution the best we can. But lets not forget the majority of this Island likes them as they are now and are proud of them; this isn’t going to be a Northern wish list and will probably be based on the current ROI in the fundamentals. Also we shouldn’t over emphasize the importance of Unionism in an All UI context, it is important, but equally important will be the million plus people we are going have of other nationality or descent pretty soon and the state will have to change to find a place for them too.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Can’t see what the fuss is all about the people of the South are becoming more British everyday.

    Look at the papers they read, look at the football teams they support, look at the TV programmes and channels they watch, look at brands of the clothes they wear, look at the shops they shop in, look at the food they eat etc. etc.

    We used to talk about the Americanisation of the world, now it is the ‘Britishisation’ of the South.

    Is there any difference between the average person in say Dundalk and Newry anymore… I think not the world has moved on to a new place.

    BTW the code to post this is ‘final66’ does this shown an English bias in the site?

  • Reader

    lib2016: No veto means no veto. It is unionism which disgraced itself to such an extent that it can never again be allowed majority rule and no such proviso exists for republicans. An nationalist majority means nationalist rule whereas the reverse does NOT apply.
    I had already agreed the “no veto” bit, hadn’t I?
    Your conditional support for majoritarianism is a bit surprising though – I assume you would say majoritarianism isn’t intrinsically wrong? But what about the management issues – for instance, does compulsory power sharing end if there’s a nationalist majority in Stormont, and get re-imposed if the majority is lost? I didn’t see that in any legislation, or indeed in any manifesto. Was that another failure of the SF negotiators?

  • kensei

    “Your conditional support for majoritarianism is a bit surprising though – I assume you would say majoritarianism isn’t intrinsically wrong?”

    It isn’t intrinsically wrong but isn’t appropriate everywhere. It requires at least the possibility of a change in government and widespread support for the state, which wouldn’t be the case here.

    “But what about the management issues – for instance, does compulsory power sharing end if there’s a nationalist majority in Stormont, and get re-imposed if the majority is lost? I didn’t see that in any legislation, or indeed in any manifesto. Was that another failure of the SF negotiators?”

    No, and no one is suggesting that. I think lib is talking in an All Ireland content. That would be “Majority nationalist rule” but would more importantly be real politics.