Dodds: DUP unfazed by ‘NIO spin’…

After yesterday’s wall to wall statements saying it will all be alright on the night, Nigel Dodds tells Peter Hain he is in no position to suggest 26th March is a now or never date (subs needed).

Mr Dodds rejected Mr Hain’s assertion that the choice on March 26th lies between “devolution” or “dissolution”, and that failure then and any subsequent attempt to restore devolved government could take years and would require fresh elections. Questioning the legal basis for Mr Hain’s position, Mr Dodds insisted that a new Act of Parliament could simply re-instate the Northern Ireland Assembly on the basis of last week’s election – even if it was dissolved following a failure to appoint an executive on Monday week.

Mr Dodds cited the precedent set by Mr Hain himself in creating the “transitional Assembly” that paved the way for last week’s election. “The DUP is in no way fazed or intimidated by the NIO line and this talk of a new election,” he asserted. “We know it’s nonsense, they [the British government] know it’s nonsense, and they should just get on with delivery.”

As the Belfast Telgraph has noted, whatever the spin it will take two to tango.

There is agreement now across all sections of the DUP that party leader the Rev Ian Paisley is eager to become co-equal First Minister in a new executive with Sinn Féin’s deputy first minister-designate Martin McGuinness, and that he would like to take office on Monday week.

As reported in yesterday’s Irish Times, some DUP MPs pressing for a longer period in which to “test” Sinn Féin’s bona fides also suspect Dr Paisley might be prepared to force the issue to a positive outcome at the party’s executive meeting.

However, one said last night he did not believe “it would come to that”, suggesting Dr Paisley would rather judge the mood of the party before committing himself. A second well-placed source also said that deputy leader Peter Robinson would be important in assessing the implications for long-term party unity of meeting the deadline, rather than seeking delay possibly until May.

Interesting to note that the transitional Assembly (yep, it’s still alive) will debate the Ministerial Code in which Minister’s are expected to pledge support for the PSNI – which, in absence of any pronouncements from the Ard Comhairle, represents Sinn Fein’s only visible intention of formally supporting the police.

Long term watchers of the Process™, will know what to expect: negotiations up to, through and even past a deal. Since we now know that the Process™ IS the policy, it’s hard to see how either No 10 or the NIO can now make any set deadline stick.

  • Other factors include Gordon Brown’s lunch box of goodies, which he won’t be giving unless there’s the go ahead on March 26th.

    Bush urges Sinn Fein and DUP to meet deal deadline.

    So glum-faced Dodds needs to pipe-down and admit to being out-finessed; get his head down, tie himself to the mast, and stop looking for delays in power-sharing.

    There’s something perverse in attemting to make or re-visit rejectionist glory-holes.

  • Mick Fealty

    parci,

    The Process™ is the policy!

  • Henry94

    And not just the policy of the British government.

  • Well Mick that’s exactly the problem
    Endless continuity where there is no beginning or end.
    Just like a sewerage plant endlessly pumping out waste.
    To make a clear break with the past, and a new beginning requires a meaningful cut; which in this case fear prevents.

    The maths has to be discrete mathematics, I believe Blair/Aherne/Hain/Adams understand this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrete_mathematics

    “Discrete mathematics, also called finite mathematics, is the study of mathematical structures that are fundamentally discrete, in the sense of not supporting or requiring the notion of continuity. Most, if not all, of the objects studied in finite mathematics are countable sets, such as integers, finite graphs, and formal languages”

    or more prosaically

    “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” T.S.Eliot

  • Mick Fealty

    Or you might just call it ‘blanket tugging’?

  • Nevin

    “Remember back when love first found us

    we’d go slippin out a town

    and we’d love beneath the moonlight

    on a blanket on the ground”

    Somehow I can’t imagine Ian and Martin sharing a blanket, especially as it might be a republican one.

  • Dewi

    Pure Maths, Country Singing, Poetry and NI politics – love the thread – keep it up !

  • carlosblancos

    Depsite Gildernew’s faux pas on policing on the day of the election, the DUP have been very quiet since then which, to me, suggests a deal will be done. The last part of the article hits the nail on the head: Paisley wants it but won’t force it, Robison is the decider. As heir apparent and a devolutionist, he’ll go for it.

    Dodds is playing a hard line for the eventual leadership challenge which will follow.

  • I think it’s just a “comfort blanket”, the ones you have as a child; there’s plenty of duvet for all; the Union is Safe.

    Sad to see Nigel try to spoil the weekend with a sour grapes story; a “damp blanket” to keep today’s theme.

    politics of hope and not politics of fear.

    Happy faces 🙂

  • Shandyman

    Dodds: DUP ‘unimpressed’ by Planet’s spin…

    Mr Dodds rejected science’s assertion that the choice lies between “evolution or “creationism”, and that failure then and any subsequent attempt to restore reality could take years and would require fresh thinking. Questioning the scientific basis for Mr Darwin’s position, Mr Dodds insisted that a new Act of Intelligent Design could simply re-instate the idea of creationism on the basis of last week’s banging of heads against walls and chanting of religious mantras – even if it was completely ignored by everyone with an IQ of over 15.

    Mr Dodds also questionied the existence of gravity, and said the only reason the sun cam up in the morning was because the Ghost of William of Orange commanded it to.

    He added: ” No Fenians about the place. Ever.”

  • 2050

    “The DUP is in no way fazed or intimidated by the NIO line and this talk of a new election,” he asserted. “We know it’s nonsense, they [the British government] know it’s nonsense, and they should just get on with delivery.”

    What are deadlines for? “Get on with it” is what the vast majority expect. If the DUP don’t and they are the only ones holding up progress now then the same majority expect Hain to close the lot down and stop the money. They have had since 1973 and its not rocket science. Simple really “Get on with it”.

    The DUP have been playing their cards close to their chest since SAA but in fairness they are making positive statements this week and we all await the 26th for the big man to nod the head the right road.

  • mchinadog

    2050

    The DUP will get on with devolution when the conditions are right. It is not the DUP that has to deliver for devolution, it is Sinn Fein/IRA and the British Government who have to deliver.

    The DUP have fulfilled all that was asked of them, they are ready for government once all the conditions and commitments given to them by the British Government and Sinn Fein/IRA are all in place.

    Therefore, it is up to them to step up to the mark not the DUP

  • joeCanuck

    It’s a straight pissing contest now.

    mchinadog:
    Can you be a bit specific?
    What exactly do SF have to do to step up to the mark? No waffling, specifics please.

  • bruce

    Why is everyone concerned about the 26th March? Sinn Fein needed extra time before calling their Ard Fheish in order to keep unity in their organisation so why should the DUP not be given the same flexibility?

  • joeCanuck

    And exactly how much extra time beyond what deadline were SF given?
    let us count the days…..

  • Comrade Stalin

    The DUP will get on with devolution when the conditions are right. It is not the DUP that has to deliver for devolution, it is Sinn Fein/IRA and the British Government who have to deliver.

    Will DUP contributors please stop repeating this, and outline exactly what it is they are waiting for ?

  • bruce

    “And exactly how much extra time beyond what deadline were SF given?”

    SAA announced in October anf SF took until January to get its act together so I suppose we are talking about 2 months or thereabouts.

  • merrie

    I look forward to the time when Mr Dodds shakes hands with Mr McGuinness and Mr Adams – instead of turning his back on them with his nose in the air.

  • joeCanuck

    What was the deadline date that SF missed Bruce?
    Still counting?

  • overhere

    mchinadog must be trying to sniff some specifics out !!

  • 2050

    “The DUP have fulfilled all that was asked of them, they are ready for government once all the conditions and commitments given to them by the British Government and Sinn Fein/IRA are all in place.
    Therefore, it is up to them to step up to the mark not the DUP”

    At risk of repeating the obvious didn’t SF deliver decommissioning & on their SAA commitments to fully support police & justice. At least republicans had the balls to swallow their very bitter pills & face down their dissenters.

    Only basic & equal powersharing with the other half of the NI community is required of the DUP and at no risk to anything or anybody. Everyone in Ireland North & South, the International community & St.Patrick expect and their better be some good & specific reasons for Devolved government not to be formed.

    Happy St.Patrick’s Day to all.