Hain is giving consideration to possibly some form of partial blinking, maybe.

Peter Hain has called for a new Executive to be given space but an Executive must be appointed next Monday. This may explain the Irish Times front page speculation. UPDATE: Downing Street seems to be be having similar considerations.

  • wee slabber

    I suppose it takes time to turn around the “oil tankers” that make up the DUP!

  • Yokel

    I owe a debt to, Rubicon I believe it was, for pointing this technicality out weeks ago which could say goodbye to my bet on no restoration on the 26th. On reflection, it enabled me to lay off a bit at the very last moment.

    Pop in for day, make a few prouncements then piss off for another bunch of weeks. Devolution considered up and running. I assume they get paid to boot.

  • What a waste of energy from the DUP to focus on delays, transitions, shadows and so on.
    All that drive could instead turn towards getting ministers into office, examining portfolios, getting the photo-ops right and organising the tea-party.
    Will the DUP ever be ready?
    I really hope there’s no wobbling.

    Having done some acting myself, this process is
    like rehearsing for a stage play, you have to keep the pot on the boil.
    If you over rehearse the performance is flat, under rehearse and you forget your lines.

    Too many dress-rehearsals? Bad idea !

    March 26th seems fair to me to go LIVE.

  • Cato

    I have to say I am becoming a little confused and would appreciate the help of some chap or chapette on this one.
    If the DUP nominate by letter on Monday, does that not mean that the Assembly is live and that if, for example, Peter Robinson is nominated as Finance Minister, he automatically takes responsibility for that on Tuesday morning?
    Without any amending legislation, which Frank Millar says, rightly I believe, is impossible, surely nominating by letter will have the same effect as a nomination in person?

  • Nevin

    “if Dr Paisley was ready to accept the office of first minister and to nominate DUP ministers on Monday, this might be done by letter rather than on the floor of the Assembly.” .. IT link

    What!! No photograph of the leader of the Decommissioned Unionist Party? ;>)

  • joeCanuck

    “I really hope there’s no wobbling.”

    Sorry Parcifal, it has already begun.

  • joe
    genuine concerns or more spoon-feeding?
    can a DUPer answer this pls?

  • Nevin

    Parcival, it might be worth keeping an eye on the DUP website. There’s been a recent burst of activity following an unusually prolonged period of silence.

    “We said that there would need to be a credible period of testing for Sinn Fein. Some of these matters have been addressed but not fully resolved. The credible period of testing has not begun, given Sinn Fein’s a la carte approach to policing in the form of the MP Michelle Gildernew’s refusal to offer her support for information to be given to the Police on dissident activity, all of this adds up to the absurdity of Peter Hain’s constant carping on the 26th deadline and what it will mean.”

    This comment was made only yesterday. So, when will the DUP give us the starting date?

  • Nevin
    Yes I’ve been keeping an eye on that site.
    Personally am of the opinion that this “credibility period” is an affront to democracy. How are SF to credibly test the DUP’s commitment to power-sharing?

    Its clear that both SF support for the PSNI, and DUP commitment to power-sharing are the twin pillars, which stand or fall together.

    DUP insistence on testing is another example of further humiliations they wish to visit upon republicans, and an unchanged mindset.

    Getting the institutions going is the best way to ensure continued support for the PSNI on all sides, ina power-sharing executive.

    I find the DUP dishonest, as they’re not honestly making a go of it, finding obstacles instead. Its that negativity and superiority that is choking the process. To reasonable people all the outstanding issues have been addresses.
    Ergo DUPers are being “unreasonable”

  • Ian

    From the Belfast Telegraph:

    “Some DUP MPs argue the timetable which emerged from the St Andrews deadline was not adhered to because of the length of time it took for Sinn Fein to call its special ard fheis on policing.

    And they have pointed to their party’s agreed position which in effect requires some form of monitoring period before powers are devolved to an Executive.”

    This is a “self-imposed condition” that the DUP are up against, and it is up to them to amend or fudge their Executive policy in order to meet the St Andrew’s deadline of next Monday. That’s what SF had to do with regards to the date for devolution of Justice demanded by their Ard Fheis policy.

    Gregory Campbell:

    “The credible period of testing has not begun, given Sinn Fein’s a la carte approach to policing…”

    Tough, the “credible period” is not mention in the StAA. If the DUP don’t nominate on Monday then the DUP and they alone are in breach of the StAA.

  • merrie

    To be honest, I do not think that the new Assembly is going to work – though I would very much like it to work – we had all of Trimble’s little dramas and collapsing last time. The DUP appear to already be setting themselves up for even more drama and collapsing. I bet they’ll reject anything SF suggests, no matter how worthy and valuable to the community, just out of sheer nankiness.

    Stuff them, let’s have Plan B which I understand is more power sharing with Dublin, and the super councils. I hope Hain sticks firmly to the deadlines set. Stormont can be turned into a block of council flats. Lots of space around it for further real estate development.

  • wee slabber

    Poor DUP, they thought for so long they were the chosen ones, above the mire and murk (as they would see it) of dealing with Fenians. Now they have no where to go and are frantically looking for all sorts of get out clauses. Sorry lads, your day has come! Get on with it.

  • Its not looking good merrie, tangled up in DUP blues: high class games of sorrow !

  • merrie

    Nice bit of semi-haiku, Parcifal

    The only thing I could take issue with is the “high class” if it refers to the DUP. It is of another sort of class altogether (not necessarily lower)

  • jimbo

    Yet again Hain is fudging.

  • Ian

    From UTV:

    Northern Ireland’s new power sharing executive could have an eight week gap between its first and second meetings.

    As pressure mounted on the Rev Ian Paisley to agree to power sharing with Sinn Fein by next Monday, talks sources hinted there could be an eight week bedding in period for power sharing ministers.

    “The St Andrews legislation is very specific,” a source said.

    “The choice for the parties is to either nominate a full executive or face the closure of the Assembly.

    “The DUP have been saying for some time it could be May at the earliest before they can share power but I think there`s a realisation that nominations must take place next Monday.

    “The question is whether you can create an arrangement which allows the parties to have devolved ministers but then give them time to bed into their new roles. Ultimately that would be a decision for the executive.”

    A question: Could Ministers take any decisions during that eight-week period in advance of an agreement on a Programme for Government?

  • Harris

    “Yet again Hain is fudging.”

    You got that right!

    After all is said and done, Hain actually goes back on his word for devolution. Did anyone ever think that he wouldn’t somehow give in to the DUP demands of “not until May”? Isn’t it funny how the ‘breathing space’ just happens to be 8 weeks to May. Northern Ireland politics has to be the biggest farce on this planet.

    “Hain offers politicians ‘breathing space’

    Northern Ireland’s new power sharing executive could have an eight week gap between its first and second meetings, it emerged tonight.

    As pressure mounted on the Rev Ian Paisley to agree to power sharing with Sinn Féin by next Monday, talks sources hinted there could be an eight week bedding in period for power sharing ministers.

    “The St Andrews legislation is very specific,” a source said.

    “The choice for the parties is to either nominate a full executive or face the closure of the Assembly.

    “The DUP have been saying for some time it could be May at the earliest before they can share power but I think there’s a realisation that nominations must take place next Monday.

    “The question is whether you can create an arrangement which allows the parties to have devolved ministers but then give them time to bed into their new roles. Ultimately that would be a decision for the executive.”

    Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain was returning to Belfast tonight in preparation for the possible resumption of devolution next Monday.

    Mr Hain will have to sign a restoration order by midnight on Saturday, recalling the Assembly to appoint a power sharing government.

    All eyes will, therefore, be on Saturday’s crucial DUP executive meeting which will decide if the party will go ahead with nominations to a devolved government on March 26.

    Gerry Adams insisted today that devolved ministers must be allowed to fully exercise power from next Monday.

    The Sinn Féin president stressed: “The choice is very clear. Either we allow the current very unsatisfactory arrangements to continue where British government ministers impose all types of punitive measures, or locally mandated politicians take up their positions and try to deal with all of these matters.

    “In other words, that we govern and we govern from Monday when ministers are appointed.

    “We have an unprecedented opportunity and a huge amount of preparation work has been done to get us to this point. We cannot allow the rejectionists or those that don’t want progress to set the pace.”

    The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern today also stressed the need for power sharing ministers to be nominated next Monday.

    “The legislation is absolutely clear that what must happen on Monday is that ministers will be appointed and power will be devolved,” he told RTE Radio.

    “That’s if the parties are willing.”

    He added: “It is then up to the executive to take forward how it does its business amongst the parties — not for Peter Hain, not for Dermot Ahern, not for the Irish or the British Government — but for the parties themselves.

    “If they decide not to do that, then the whole situation goes back to Plan B.”

  • Greenflag

    Ian

    “The question is whether you can create an arrangement which allows the parties to have devolved ministers but then give them time to bed into their new roles.

    There you are then . The answer is perfectly simple . It’s obvious that whereas Ian Paisley and his DUP would be Ministers need 8 weeks or more to get ready for ‘bed’ it’s also obvious that Martin McGuiness and his SF would be Ministers are ready for work on Monday morning (so much for the work shy Fenian myth :).
    So McGuinness as Deputy First Minister takes on the reins of First Minister until such time as Paisley can summon up the requisite energy to either get in or out of bed whichever is applicable .

    The present gobshittery being put forward for this next round of ‘devolution’ is already sowing the seeds of it’s later failure . It’s the Trimble/Mallon show this time with Paisley in the role of prima madonna !

    Pull the plug Hain and flush Paisley and his ilk into political oblivion and be done with it ! Plan B will do . Admittedly it may be less entertaining than the Ian and Martin laugh in of an Assembly that has taken 35 years to sit and needs another 8 weeks to get ready for bed ?

    Hilarious 🙁

    Over to the real world

    Paisley : Peter I can’t come into work on Monday

    Peter Hain : Why not ?

    Paisley : I need about 8 weeks to get ready and anyway I kinda got used to you paying me for not coming into work so I’m having a little conceptual difficulty in motivating myself to actually pitch up on the job .And anyway I still don’t like that f*&** er McGuinness as my Deputy ?
    Can’t I have Rev McCrea instead?