7 signs that there won’t be a government by Monday’s dreadline…

1. MPs say the Government could find the time for emergency legislation to extend or alter the March 26 deadline if they want.

2. The economic package for Northern Ireland announced by the Chancellor today represents only a “modest” improvement on his previously ridiculed proposals – most of the ‘new’ money in it was actually from the Republic’s national development plan.

3. Secretary of State Peter Hain, devoid of any credibility, is now talking about offering politicians a ‘breathing space’ to get things under way. Translated, it means nominations on Monday, but no Ministers taking up their positions for months.

4. While primary legislation is an issue, “temporary amending legislation would be less of a problem for Mr Blair“.

5. Gerry Adams has been telling Sinn Fein not to get “fixated” on the deadline.

6. At the DUP executive meeting on Saturday, the officers won’t be able to tick off progress on matters like parades, which are crucial to the party. The DUP has said it will be condition-led, not calendar-led, and it will look stupid otherwise.

7. I’ve been predicting it won’t happen until the second half of 2007 for over a year.

Can you make it a top 10?

  • Diluted Orange

    Hate to say I told you so – but I told you so … next time maybe, hopefully, the electorate won’t act like lemmings.

  • bpower

    7. I’ve been predicting it won’t happen until the second half of 2007 for over a year.

    Thats a joke right? Using a past prediction as the basis to make the same prediction in the present is a bit strange.

  • SuperSoupy

    8. The entire UUP and SDLP teams have gone on holiday.

    (either that or the BBC doesn’t invite them on Lets Talk any more)

  • another_pleb

    9. This sort of thing always happens.

    I know I shouldn’t but I can’t stop getting my hopes up every time.

  • GavBelfast

    Unfortunately, the DUP does appear to be split on the issue – as if anything can change in the three remaining days. They’ve rather brought it on themselves.

  • “9. This sort of thing always happens.” I know it wasn’t meant to be funny but for somereason that made me laugh out loud.

  • Crataegus

    Will Paisley ever be 1st Minister? Reminiscent of Faust.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    The slpits in the DUP are about to become evident, if there is an assembly on the 26th there are going to be a lot of unhappy hardline DUP voters and if there isn’t there are going to be a lot of unhappy DUP voters who will have to pay for their votes in hard cash. Unless of course Blair/Hain do another ‘U’ turn and make themselves look even bigger fools than they already do.

    Corner and paint come to mind for both sides.

    The one thing we all know is this brings no credit to anyone and is not the way a country should be run.

  • bootman

    No. 10 Unlike the republican leadership, Paisley seems too weak to bring his own party forward in any meaningful way.

  • Greenflag


    After intensive discussion with all family members Christ has decided that he can’t marry Beelzebub after all – well not for 8 weeks maybe . Despite the fact that the marriage date was announced last October he still has difficulty getting into bed to do the business.Also many of his family members are not of a mind for the consummation of this marriage of convenience.

    Roll on Plan B . The sooner the better.

  • Harris


    “Roll on Plan B. The sooner the better.”

    There is no real plan B of substance. Sure, we’ve been led to believe that there is, but the two governments so-called ‘plan B’ is harmless to the DUP, which is why if they decide to bypass Monday’s deadline, you’d see thme getting what they want (the May time-line).

    Hain & Blair don’t have the balls to call their bluff!!

  • Harris

    This has nothing to do with Monday’s deadline, but I thought this was an interesting quote from Tony Blair, on his support of Margaret Thatcher’s decision to send troops to the Falklands in 1982.

    “I have got no doubt it was the right thing to do… for reasons not simply to do with British sovereignty but also because I think there was a principle at stake, which is that… a land shouldn’t be annexed in that way and people shouldn’t be put under a different rule in that way,” said Mr Blair.”

    Somehow the six counties keep coming to mind!

  • 8. Attention-seeking behaviour. Missing deadlines creates crisis. Crisis brings attention. Attention brings gratification, and cash.

  • Cato

    I think the vast, vast, majority of DUP voters have the wit to realise that an extra two months of delay before an executive really makes no difference.
    I think it will be put back but this is more about saving face for people like Jim Allister and Willie McCrea, who originally talked about political lifetimes in the mistaken belief that Sinn Fein would be unable to carry their supporters on policing or would give them another lifeline a la the Northern Bank robbery.
    Being in regular contact with several middle-ranking DUP politicians, I know for a fact that they do not trust Sinn Fein one iota and were hoping for another bank job or enough internal republican dissidence to stop them having to go in.
    Now they seem to have little choice but at least this way, Jim and Willie et al can go to their own supporters and point to some kind of delay as evidence of a credible period.
    The rest of us, including the aforementioned DUP voters, will know it is purely a cosmetic exercise and find it humorous.
    The whole thing will be so inherently unstable until the day when D’Hondt is put to bed and the UUP have the guts to form a governing coalition with the SDLP and the United Community members.
    How funny would it be to see, the DUP and Sinn Fein, parties whose raison d’etre is brute power, squirming on the opposition benches.

  • Henry94

    It would be quite the irony that Paisley who made a career out of thwarting those who tried to lead unionism found himself unable to lead when the chance finally came.

    If what is reported is true then we will have to wait two months for a lame-duck first minister.

  • Crataegus

    I agree with Cato about face saving, but imagine dithering about until the end of May and then it’s OK just before the summer recess. So that should knock anything too awkward back to the Autumn.

    The only difference between now and May is the sun will be higher in the sky.

    As for not trusting SF who except SF supporters does trust them, but there comes a time when you have to give people the benefit of the doubt and accept their credentials at face value. If they screw up then that is a matter for later. Right now all this utter crap is doing is wasting time and is fueling ill will.

    This really is pathetic and makes Paisley look increasingly weak. Is there no one in the DUP with the balls to take control of the situation and say YES but we won’t tolerate any nonsense? Is that too simple? Have none of them the back bone to do this?

  • pacman

    I’m curious about something here and I can’t seem to find the answer so hopefully somebody here can explain.

    If all the nominations take place on Monday i.e. FM and DFM and then the ministries each party want, do each party also have to nominate their respective minister for the Departments on Monday also? And if so, and the DUP are allowed a two month “bedding in” period, what’s to stop the other parties ministers assuming their portfolios and carrying on regardless for the two months?

  • Ian


    It also begs the question, if that is the case (Ministers can get on with things for the two months), then what is the purpose of the DUP’s refusal to work the institutions immediately? Is it about not “letting” SF at the levers of power, or is it about the DUP not having to deign to sit and talk to them?

    I would have thought that from a DUP voter’s perspective, the former would be more important than the latter, which would be purely for the optics.

  • pacman

    Actually Ian, it’s difficult to tell which is more important to some of them. 😉

  • protorious

    10. After all the fun and self-important drama of the last election all the major political parties would rather have another jolly good election campaign than all that troublesome governing stuff (It just gets in the way of ideology really…).

  • philip

    Politics is the art of the fudge and spin. Direct rule is plan B all round so of course President Hain will cave in.

  • hotdogx

    If the DUP refuse government with SF they’ll be shiting on themselves and weakening the union as plan B as we all no is shared rule with the irish goverment, speaking rights for NI politicians will be the next thing. The british who unionists so dearly refer to as their countrymen are fed up of unionists and NI and 4 out of 5 Brits want rid of NI.
    Meanwhile SF is in a stronger position and maybe able to help direct funds from the republics national development plan in NI through its positions in the Dail. Its going to be interesting! Gerry will be smiling as he wins either way!

  • Henry94

    “The water bills are being enveloped today and they will be posted on Tuesday if there is no executive.

    “If they want to stop the charges, if they want to avail of the £70m (€103.3m) the Treasury is offering to defer the charges, they will have to form an executive on Monday.

    “If they refuse to appoint ministers, the Assembly will close down and MLAs will not receive any salaries or allowances.”


  • the road to damascus for the DUP

  • Yoda

    10. It’s Saturday.