Hmmm… Whilst Gerry Adams may be happy for Monday’s deadline to be made flexible (“up to, through and, if necessary, beyond a deal”)… the UK’s likely next DPM is not… The DUP, not entirely for the first time, share Sinn Fein’s assessment, that Brown’s offer was nothing more than confirmation from the UK Treasury of monies already offered by No10 at the time of Leeds Castle in 2004. The least hostile assessment we’ve picked up is that just £200 million of £1 Billion ‘new money’ is actually new, with the balance arising variously as £400 million from NI’s share of UK budget increases, and £400,000 coming from Brian Cowan in the Republic. But that’s a no show on one of only two things they DUP were asking for… Adams’ (and Gerry Kelly) is playing a blinder on his own personal approval of the PSNI, yet his party seems reluctant to give its collective approval of policing in Northern Ireland… which may be all the DUP needs to cry ‘default’, if pushed it by the British government…
Bush’s sudden re-engagement is interesting… His tax cuts seem to be finally paying off. A late, but generous, fiscal package from the US might help in bringing the financial offer into line with the DUP’s raised expectations.
But the issue of policing is likely to be more intractable: not least with some of the irregular happenings in Fermanagh.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty