Election, shmelection..

We might not be actually voting until tomorrow, but Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern already have a convenient meeting scheduled to discuss which way we’re voting – on Friday on the fringes of the European Council’s spring summit in Brussels. Oh and, according to the Taoiseach’s spokeswoman, “Mr Ahern said the two governments and the political parties were entering into an intense period of activity in the following three weeks”. What’s this election actually for again? I suppose we should be grateful that, at least, they’ve decided to hold back on publishing the latest IMC report – presented to the two governments last Thursday – until next week.. after the election.. shouldn’t we?

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  • parcifal

    yes we should be grateful, its tough enough for Blair/Bertie/Hain getting bums on potties.
    Pampered political class.
    Really looking forward to you guys taking responsibility, and stopping whining.

  • Pete Baker

    You might be grateful, parci.

    I want as much information made public as is available to the governments. Thanks all the same.

  • parcifal

    I think they know what they’re doing pete; its a delicate tightrope exercise. Too many B1gots on all sides that can ruin the show, so timing is everything.

  • Pete Baker

    Your faith in Blair/Bertie/Hain is touching, parci.. but somewhat naive.

    There are legacies, and careers, at stake. And all dependent on delivery now.

  • parcifal

    well aware of all of that, don’t give a damn how they manipulate things as long as they get the elected reps herded into Stormont and operating
    that what over 80% of people want.

    Do remember its the immaturity of the parties to agree to settle their differences that means spoon-feeding and nursing has to be the order of the day. Musn’t grumble.

  • Pete Baker

    You might not give a damn how much manipulation of the democratic and judicial system takes place, parci, but some of us do.

  • parcifal

    I do give a damn, but this is means to ends stuff, and here the end definately justifies the means, esp with parties looking for excuses.
    They need cattle-prodding.
    I’d say the contrib of Blair/Bertie has been exceptional wouldn’t you?
    History will record the main achievement and forgive the sleight of hand. Its politics pete.

  • Pete Baker

    “the end definately justifies the means”

    In your, and Peter Hain’s, opinion.

    I’m more concerned about the end I’ll be left with.

  • Pete Baker

    And I don’t see the current means delivering what’s necessary in the long-term.

  • frank

    “I’d say the contrib of Blair/Bertie has been exceptional wouldn’t you?”

    They have both invested a huge ammount of time on us.

    Blair especially, and i thank him for it.

  • parcifal

    The end is surely what the people of norn iron make of it post power-sharing.
    What more can “visitors” do? why do Bertie/Blair have to keep playing nursemaid?
    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.
    Norn Iron has to be weened off the nipple someday.
    Anyway good luck with your election.

    ( unofficial sect of state for NI )

  • Pete Baker

    There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that, parci.

    If you’ve been paying attention.

  • GrassyNoel

    “There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that, parci.”

    Please elaborate.

    Because the closer the election/results get, unionists always seem to panic & fall into the old default “no fenians about the place…nofenians about the place…” mode, chanting the mantra like a bunch of demented Daleks, as powersharing looms larger and larger on the horizon.

    Are you saying that if the results go the way everyone is expecting that the DUP should be allowed to back out of the deal without the consequential measures, plan B or whatever you want to call it, announced by the governments?

  • Pete Baker


    I wasn’t referring to either the election or to power-sharing.

    What the DUP, or for that matter SF, do or don’t do is entirely their decision.

    The end I’m talking about is what sort of democratic/judicial system we’re left with.

    The means, as employed by Blair/Hain/Ahern et al, has seriously undermined that end.. as I, and several others, have pointed out repeatedly on Slugger and elsewhere.

  • Ian

    Pete, I’m not sure why you’re so upset about the delay in releasing the latest (14th) IMC report. This one’s even more meaningless than the usual ones.

    At least the reports on paramilitary activity are ‘independent’ assessments of what the British and Irish governments want to hear about what the paramilitaries have been up to.

    This one will be a report on what the British government have told the IMC about what the British government have been up to (in terms of demilitarisation).

    So there won’t be anything in it that you couldn’t ascertain by perusing the Slugger archives.