Where are the DUP going with plan C?

It has been mentioned here that the DUP is floating the idea of a possible plan C, to press for greater institutional cooperation between administrations in London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and other parts of Britain and Ireland. But what exactly does this mean and what do the DUP require for this to happen?
Looking back at the DUP’s “North South East West” document seemed the best place to start.

First on the list seems to be constitutional certainty, a “cast iron guarantee” that there will be no change in the status of Northern Ireland and that the first opportunity for any referendum on the status of Northern Ireland “will be in 30 years time”.

Naturally, any parties wishing to be involved in government in Northern Ireland should sign this “solemn constitutional contract”.

Secondly, as the document points out, there were 65 meetings of the North-South Ministerial Council during devolution but just 10 of the British-Irish one.

As Northern Ireland’s relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom is “significantly more important” than the relationship with the Irish Republic, and because it is in Northern Ireland’s “economic interests”, this imbalance has to be addressed.

How better to do this than to form a council “encompassing the totality of relations within the British Isles”, as the DUP puts it.

Of course, the relationship between the British Government and the Irish Government “should be addressed within the context of the council”.

A Secretariat should be created to look after the relationship with regular meetings. A “British Isles” Parliamentary Body should also be established.

“Given Northern Ireland’s pivotal role in the British Isles this Secretariat should be based here.”

  • Yokel

    Round the edge sprucing, looks good, means nothing. Swords out, waving about.

    Bt like Tony’s MI5 clarifications…

    In short, big deal…….

  • DK

    Nice idea, but will the Irish be interested; or the Scottish or Welsh for that matter.

    You could understand a Scottish-English council, or a Welsh-English council as there are clear land borders, but is there really anything that all 5 regions can talk about in a meaningful way (i.e. not already covered by EU law)?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    They’re giving out about not enough meetings of the British – Irish council i.e the one they’ve been refusing to attend since it’s inception?

  • Sean

    its all a big sop to the undereducated bottom of the ladder traditional dupers.

    If they can successfully float the idea of the possibility of something other than SAA or Plan B then maybe they can retain their hardliners.

    Its all crap and their wont be a plan C, I wont guarantee their will be a plan B but obviously paisley is barking mad if he thinks he will exclude Sinn Fein from Storomont

  • Ian

    “Given Northern Ireland’s pivotal role in the British Isles this Secretariat should be based here.”

    That’s hilarious.

    “First on the list seems to be constitutional certainty, a “cast iron guarantee” that there will be no change in the status of Northern Ireland and that the first opportunity for any referendum on the status of Northern Ireland “will be in 30 years time”. Naturally, any parties wishing to be involved in government in Northern Ireland should sign this “solemn constitutional contract”. ”

    Naturally, that would exclude the SDLP from government, never mind SF. So Plan C is basically a return to Unionist majority rule? I can see that being a goer.

  • Plum Duff

    The more I read George’s analysis of possible DUP alternatives for their so-called Plan C, the more my eyes widened with incredulity. If we accept what he gives as a probable DUP wish-list, I wonder who on earth they think it might attract.

    ‘First on the list seems to be constitutional certainty, a “cast iron guarantee” that there will be no change in the status of Northern Ireland and that the first opportunity for any referendum on the status of Northern Ireland “will be in 30 years time”’.

    – Irrespective of any possible change in demographics??

    ‘…any parties wishing to be involved in government in Northern Ireland should sign this “solemn constitutional contract”’.

    -First they wanted sack-cloth and ashes – now do they want the signatures in blood?

    ‘…form a council “encompassing the totality of relations within the British Isles”’ and ‘A Secretariat should be created…’

    -Do they propose (in Government) to carry out *any* meaningful decisions themselves or do they wish to kick everything into touch by establishing more and more committees /councils /secretariats?

    And finally the clincher:

    “Given Northern Ireland’s **pivotal** (my emphasis) role in the British Isles this Secretariat should be based here.”

    -I burst out laughing at this one. What effing planet are these guys on? We are a net drain on the British exchequer and always have been since NI’s inception. Gordon Brown is tightening the purse-strings on a monthly basis, apart from his and past Governments’ starvation of infrastructural funding. You’d imagine if you were a pivot that the engineer would grease the bearings (or whatever) once in a while instead of cutting off the supply.

    This isn’t a plan anything. This is a manifesto to DUP followers and nothing else. It’s utter nonsense.

  • Balloo

    DUP trying to prop themselves up for the election. I think it shows how badly they failed in the SAA that they are trying to throw in more conditionality into the mix.

    The DUP blushes are there for everyone to see. Their arrogance gave birth to the incompetent “negotiations” in Scotland.

    For the DUP to share power with Sinn Fein/IRA they need 4/5 weeks of Sinn Fein paying lip-service to the PSNI and rule of law, and secondly a big handout from the exchequer?

  • baldrick45

    The BIC is a well intentioned body but when you expand any “axis” to include 8 independent administrations such as BIC (particularly given the hugely differing economic and social issues effecting the three Isles as opposed to the other members) it is harder to find areas of relevance to all participants and hence to agree on common work areas which will make any quantifiable difference to the people on the ground in each region.

    As such, strengthening BIC seems an entirely futile exercise grounded solely in a desire to have”our thing” to counterbalance “their thing”; a bit like the DUPs obsession with flushing money down the pan on a largely dead dialect just because “themmuns” get money for Gaelic.

    If it was a choice between 1 more hospital ward and the Ulster-Scots Academy I know which I’d be choosing. Similarly I’d much rather see another £1M going to education than see it paying for a standing Secretariat for BIC.

    My 2c worth anyway.

  • GavBelfast

    The DUP are like the veteran heckler who’s finally got onto the stage and in the spotlight, but then suffers from stage-fright.

    In the driving-seat, with responsibility, they haven’t got a clue.

  • Plum Duff

    You got it in one, Gav. It’s the easiest thing in the world to be an ‘aginner’. It takes guts to govern.

  • Plum Duff

    Hat tip to Baldrick45 on exposing the con job of Ulster Scots. The first time I meet a family speaking (au naturel) in the ‘Hamely Tongue’, or as Baldrick says, in a ‘largely dead dialect’, God, I might even pay the next taxi fare for Laird Laird.

    ‘“themmuns” get money for Gaelic’.

    That’s the bottom line.

  • The DUP are like a drunk with one foot nailed to the floor.
    No matter how hard they try, they only go round in circles, back to the same position of not wanting ever, I repeat ever, share power with Republicans.

    Trouble is they are fast running ouit of excuses for the mainstream public and this is proving difficult to bare.

    The DUP, like UKIP, are a one policy party.

    UKIP is leave Europe at any cost, DUP is never share power with Republicans.

    When you have spent a lifetime, in power like the Vichy, then refusing to share power at any cost, it is hard to establish credibility when the deal is there for all to see.

    Unionism is praying for an event that will supper power sharing without getting blamed thenselves.

    A hit on Martin McGuinness would be a start.

    I feel sympathy for the DUP as they have spent a lifetime saying no, difference this time is they are in a cul-de-sac, up shit creek without a paddle.

    Why don’t the DUP be truthful to their electorate and come clean and say they will never share power with Republicans, Sinn Fein, whatever the conditions, how ever many hoops Sinn Fein pass through.

    Lord Lucan riding to Stormont on Shergar should do it.

    At least then people will know where they stand.

  • Crataegus

    The DUP are pinning their hopes on the word delivery.

    That is going to wear a bit thin very quickly, delivery of what exactly and how exactly?

    Perhaps they have all been taking courses in Midwifery? Wonder how they would fair on breech deliveries? Will their baby suffocate?

  • My son, bless him, overheard me talking about the DUP wanting Sinn Fein to wear Sack-cloth and Ashes.

    He asked “Is Sack-cloth and Ashes” like “Dolce and Gabana.”

    I replied, “Funny enough, yes, Sack-cloth and ashes is a must fashion accessary for every level headed Unionist to demand from Republicans”

    Out of the mouths of babes come forth wisdom.

    For everything else in NI use Danegeld-card (mastercard)

  • Billy

    Plum Duff

    “This isn’t a plan anything. This is a manifesto to DUP followers and nothing else. It’s utter nonsense.”

    Dead right. However, I must give the DUP some credit. This is the funniest thing I have read in ages (especially the punchline about NI’s “pivotal” role in the British Isles).

    I’ve had a rough week at work and this really cheered me up.

    My thanks to all the folks at DUP HQ.