Back to Plan A, then..

Which seems to consist of the Secretary of State for Wales etc, Peter Hain, waving a big stick.. Meanwhile Gerry Moriarty, in the Irish Times, has some background [subs req] to the return of the bad cop scenario.

The [London] sources acknowledged that such methods of interpretation are tortuous and beyond the interest of most people but that nonetheless the “converse of Dr Paisley’s response must be true, which is that he would share power if Sinn Féin delivers on policing”.

And that interpretation..

Dr Paisley said last night: “If a government cannot be formed on March 26th because Sinn Féin fails to deliver it will be clear that Sinn Féin alone is to blame.”

While ostensibly negative, London sources said it was also implicit in this response that if Sinn Féin delivers on policing then a restored Northern executive can be formed by the St Andrews Agreement deadline of March 26th.

The Irish Times quotes the Prime Minister’s Chief Spokesman

His chief spokesman told The Irish Times last night: “Dr Paisley’s comments, taken alongside the outcome of the Sinn Féin ardchomhairle at the weekend, confirm the prime minister in his view that it is possible to arrive at a situation where there will be full support for the police and a powersharing executive by March 26th.”

and more from Ian Paisley..

Earlier yesterday Dr Paisley issued a highly guarded positive response to the weekend decision by Sinn Féin to hold an ardfheis on policing on Sunday week.

“The Sinn Féin decision to call their special conference to take a decision on policing is a step forward.

“However it only amounts to movement when there is full delivery on the ground,” he said.

but that

“Any analysis of the motion passed on Saturday allows for several different, if not contradictory, interpretations,” said Dr Paisley, referring to this point.

“The question is do they intend to proceed with offering support to the police and the courts and encouraging their supporters to do so as soon as the motion is passed. The DUP will not be moving until there is full delivery on the ground and the DUP will not be found wanting if there is,” added Dr Paisley.

While SF are pointing to Martin McGuinness’ interpretation of the proposed motion..

Mr McGuinness said: “The question has been asked, if the (ardfheis) motion is passed what does this mean? It means it’s over to you, Ian.”

Making the current Plan A resemble increasingly another round of ‘pass the [blame] parcel’..

One additional point to note. The focus of Peter Hain’s statement is the March 26th deadline.. not the May 2008 target date.