Blair expected to push election starter button tonight…

Well Sinn Fein have been in their Ard Comhairle huddle (apparently trying to define more narrowly just what kind of policing they are actually going to sign up to). And the taoiseach’s been in Downing Street. Result, we are going to provisionally get an election, we think. Fat lady and British PM have yet to sing. We hope to announce our own provisional arrangements for live blogging the election in the next few days.

  • premature

    Sinn Fein do not fully support the police as set out in St Andrews, and reiterated repeatedly by everyone involved bar themselves as the standard to be met, in the words of the motion passed :

    “The Ard Chomhairle recommends: That this Ard Fheis endorses the Ard Chomhairle motion. That the Ard Chomhairle is mandated to implement this motion only when the power-sharing institutions are established and when the Ard Chomhairle is satisfied that the policing and justice powers will be transferred. Or if this does not happen within the St Andrews timeframe, only when acceptable new partnership arrangements to implement the Good Friday Agreement are in place.”

    Blair has made the same mistake yet again that was made over decommissioning several years ago. Sinn Fein have effectively agreed to nothing and have total opertunity not to deliver once the assembly is back up and the pressure is off. The press have seemingly ignored this last highly conditional section or not read the motion in the context of their past actions on decommissioning and the massive problems that those have caused. Sinn Fein are almost certainly going to cherry pick and generally mess about as soon as the election is through and the assembly is forced up by the two governments as is now in motion. A lack off stable government here is going to be the price to pay for that. This is the “don’t jump first for Sinn Fein” lesson and I can’t believe it’s not been learnt after all that’s happened in the last 8 years.