DUP: Six week delay was pre arranged…

The DUP is now claiming that they have already agreed a six week with Downing Street on Friday – presumably after the PMOS re-scheduled Monday as a negotiation day, rather than sign-up day. Another deadline wobbles, no doubt before falling… Interesting spin from the SoS articulated on This Week today, in which he said it was up to Sinn Fein and the DUP to ‘do it their way’. If it’s already been okayed at the top, that would seem to take the tension out of finding ‘a third way’ tomorrow, and today has simply been window dressing for a fudge. Unless Sinn Fein decide not to play ball?

  • Henry94

    As Gordon Brown might say, “if I had a pound for every time I thought I had a deal with Tony Blair I could afford to give you some new money Dr Paisley”

  • kokane

    Tony, will it be ok if I shoot myself in the foot?

    Yes, Certainly Ian

  • SuperSoupy

    The interview with Ahern being shown on BBC News 24 is a reiteration of the previous position. If the DUP think they have a deal with the British Ahern has just quoted the very real deal the Irish government has with the British, the StAA , and stated it is supported by legislation.

  • joeCanuck

    someone has to fall on their sword tomorrow.

  • Unless Sinn Fein decide not to play ball?


    Can I ask what your agenda is this last couple of months?

    Every story that comes out that is in anyway anti-Unionist you try to present it as a challenge to Sinn Féin.

    It is the DUP who are not playing ball, not Sinn Féin!

  • Yokel

    Expect nothing until late tomorrow then.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, Bertie is a cheerleader here, Tony would upset him if he was confident of DUP delivery.

  • SuperSoupy

    Hain and Ahern seem unaware of any side deal between Blair and the DUP.

    As noted earlier a 6 week delay would hand SF a media bonanza just before polling in the Dail election.

    I’m sure Ahern will not be too keen on supporting this proposal over the agreement he reached at St Andrews.

    I wonder if the DUP’s understanding is correct. As Mick also notes the reaction of SF will be a major factor.

    The fat lady isn’t even on her way to the theatre.

  • Yokel

    I refer again to perhaps the most striking post in ages on here, by someone I took as an SF supporter a couple of months back. They said that Bertie would love a Plan B because it would give him a tool to pan SF with whilst looking like he runs NI with none of the pain.

    That post stuck in my head.

    Some oen knows what is going on but is it just me or is there an absence of comment from No10 sources?

  • SuperSoupy


    Both Blair and Ahern are at the EU summit.

    Ahern has spoken on the issue twice today – once calling the DUP’s position unacceptable and the other referencing the agreement he struck with Blair at St Andrews.

    Blair has only made time to comment on the Iran issue.

    The only official British response has been Hain saying any deal must be agreed by all parties.

    Either everyone but Blair and the DUP are out of the loop or the DUP have made a serious miscalculation.

  • mchinadog

    Ahern is only a bit player in this it is the PM that says what happens, and yes Peter Hain was in the loop he is only trying to save face. If the PM does not honour his agreement with the DUP then everybody loses including himself.

  • Yokel

    Which brings me back to one possibility then….the two outfits apparently not saying much, officially, today are a) the DUP and b) No.10

    Yes it could be that the DUP are gunning for collapse but whilst that may please a few at the top, it’ll screw a hell of a lot of their vote.

  • Yokel

    Here’s the part that does worry me more.

    If there is in fact a deal to delay with No.10 you are being left with some upset people. the least of which are SF.

    Bertie will be miffed, Hain will be miffed, there will be a lot of shouting but the deal is done.

    It could have been handled better.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Poor Hain he is being humiliated at every turn. If such a deal was agreed then he was lying through his teeth as regards deadlines etc.

  • Yokel

    He may well already know Pat though he’s acting well, IF a deal has been done.

    Bear in mind current circumstances may be being used by London to ensure that the DUP mean it. In after 6 weeks, no more delay.

  • Roisin

    Listening to the Hain interview, it sounds like the position is the same. Legislation will close the Assembly tomorrow at midnight unless the DUP reach agreement with Sinn Fein. Unless someone heard him say something different, looks like Papa Doc will have to ask the Bearded One if it’s alright with SF if he and his backwoodsmen take a short holiday to try to recover their dignity.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    I cannot believe that some people insist that Tony Blair and DUP(at least those who in reality about things) are going to bollocks things up.

    A number of times on this site I have said that the DUP would push through the deadline and then enter goverment in 6-8 weeks. It’s in the bag boys and girls. In the end the legacy of Tony Blair means a helluva lot.

  • Plum Duff

    I find it unusual that SF have been very quiet in the last few weeks given the maelstrom of fevered speculation we’ve come through. Even today on the Radio Ulster Seven Days program (from Crossmaglen), we had Conor Murphy sounding statesmanlike while a local schoolteacher was left to wield the Nationalist baton for the abuses of the British Army in the area over the decades.

    There’s a whiff of choreography about it all. The DUP get their pre-allotted half-pound of flesh in that Paisley is seen to have stood up to and bested Hain’s deadline, there’s the signed ‘shackle’ agreement to tie defaulters in and things are set to roll for real just before the Southern election. No wonder SF have been quiet!

  • mchinadog

    Inspector Clouseau

    The DUP have always said they were not calendar led but condition led. I am not sure why everyone other than you seems to be surprised. What a comedown for Peter Hain.

    Pat McClarnon
    Poor Hain he is being humiliated at every turn. If such a deal was agreed then he was lying through his teeth as regards deadlines etc.

    I agree but he had only himself to blame the DUP told him often enough and who says he was not there when the deal was done with the PM, he needs a face saving mantra now instead of his usual deadline mantra which I will not repeat so he will say anything.

  • SuperSoupy

    Purdy just reported that Downing St are denying the DUP received a commitment to a 6 week delay.

    Seems they have made a serious miscalculation.

    I’m sure Gerry is waiting for Ian’s call.

    Their buff has been called.

  • Cato

    What Downing Street says on the record and the reality are two completely different things.
    The Government did not admit to facilitating a back-door contact between the DUP and Sinn Fein over the Ard Fheis policing motion either.
    If Blair thought he had to wait another six weeks for the Shias and the Sunnis in Iraq to agree to share power, then I suspect he would be unlikely to demand that they do it immediately.
    There is a big difference between tomorrow and the DUP deadline. The DUP never agreed to the former but they themselves have set the latter.

  • Rubicon

    Hain may yet be found to have been consistent – none of the speculation promises the Assembly will not be dissolved as set out in the SAA. If Paisley gets his 6 weeks he may not be spending them in Stormont and he could be doing it at his own expense.

  • observer

    once again Ahern and SF have found that N Ireland really is British and that they are just onlookers and the British government will look at its citizens here regardless of what the foreigners think!! lol

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Tomorrow will be a very interesting day.

    As I see it there are various outcomes

    1. There is an operating assembly.

    This will make a split in the DUP seem certain

    2. The assembly is dissolved.

    Hain says this will mean lots of nasty bills for the NI voters as well as an end to academic selection

    3. The parties jointly ask for more time.

    This would be a climb down for SF and the other parties who want to go into government tomorrow and is against everthing they have said.

    Those outcomes are all possible under the Hain statement.

    4. Blair decides to give the DUP the 6 weeks they want.

    This makes fools of all the other parties and governments who said it would not move.

    5. Some fudge where Paisley and McGuinness become FM and DFM but no other ministers for 6 weeks

    Again see 4.

    6. Some other maschinations or Machavellian plot that will only serve to make the whole polictics of NI look even more ridiculous than they already are.

    The only thing we can all be sure of; Blair is not to be trusted with anything and if the DUP took his word after what happened to the UUP they deserve everything that is coming to them!

  • Rubicon

    Are these ‘foreigners’ the ones you support the DUP sharing power with in 6 weeks observer?

  • Henry94


    The British have said there is no problem with the six weeks if the DUP can get the other parties to agree.

    I’m sure everybody is willing to listen to their case. But 30% can’t simply dictate to 70%. I do hope they understand that. And if they think it is in Toy Blair’s power to push everybody else around on their behalf then they are wrong.

    Sinn Fein will be the least of their worries. The UUP would want to be saints not to kick Paisley when he’s down. Because when the boot was on the other foot there was no mercy whatsoever.

  • wild turkey

    does anyone know if the bookies are giving odds tomorrow on the various outcomes, and permutations thereof, of just what the state of play will be come tuesday 12:01am?

    am off to watch a dvd box set of the first two series of 24. the narrative line is far more simpler and convincing than this bullshit

    ‘scuse me while i kiss the sky’

  • Yokel

    Jesus there could be more permutations than the Grand National as everyone walks their way through this.

    There doesn’t look to be much more to be said on this at the moment.

  • observer

    Are these ‘foreigners’ the ones you support the DUP sharing power with in 6 weeks observer?
    Posted by Rubicon on Mar 25, 2007 @ 07:06 PM

    Lets rememebr they`re playing by british rules, in a british parliament with british laws –

  • yingyangsang


    Do you believe that laws made by irishmen remain british because the north is officially british?
    Or do you simply believe that Irish passports are just ribbons on an empty box?

    ps-watch out for major sinn fein black ops in the next three weeks and mcallister puttin ghis foot in it and walking around the living room without even realising

  • picador

    The failure to from an executive was second top story on the news here in New York this morning (after Japanese earthquake).

    The story didn’t make the BBC front page or even the UK page top three stories.

    It seems that the BBC serves a differnent agenda than the news stations in New York.

  • Glen Taisie

    “We have won the war ..now lets win the peace”-Joe Cahill

    Sunningdale for slow learners

  • Brighid

    Face to face talks between SF and the DUP are already scheduled. Will SF save Ian’s fat arse? Stay tuned!

  • Cato


    From what Hain said on the Politics Show, it doesn’t matter a jot what the UUP do. If there is a deal between Sinn Fein and the DUP, then he will agree to procrastinate further.

  • páid

    Well according to Tommie not-so-gormless the deal’s in the bag as outlined by Inspector Clouseau.

    Go live in May with no new conditions

    gets McCrea Campbell and Dodds on board. Simpson out to show DUP can take hits but wont be dictated to.

    gets Gordon past the Scottish elections without showing favouritism to NI

    gets the Shinners entering peaceful govt just in time for Southern election

    gets Tony his legacy

    gets Bertie kudos in the election

    gets Peter his deputy leadership

    No water charges, no academic trouble, and an Irish language Act

    Now, everyone happy?

  • Ian

    “Face to face talks between SF and the DUP are already scheduled. Will SF save Ian’s arse? Stay tuned!”

    It seems to me that there is a simple trade-off to be made between the DUP and SF. The DUP’s Executive position binds them to hold off from power-sharing until early May, notwithstanding tomorrow’s deadline. SF’s Ard Comhairle position states that they need to be satisfied that justice powers will be devolved, before they join the Policing Board, etc. If the two sides do negotiate directly at this stage and each side facilitates the other with their respective requirements, then it would bode well for the two parties working together in government.

    If however the DUP refuse to countenance agreeing to a date for devolution of justice powers, but expect SF to facilitate their faffing around, then SF should tell the DUP to go hang.

  • SuperSoupy
  • picador

    Thanks for the link Soupy. The article (which I’m sure will be posted on Slugger in full shortly) clears a few things up but so much remains unanswered.

    Does Sinn Fein have to consent to the extension?
    Why would they consent to it? What happens if they refuse?

    How will this impact on the transfer of justice powers issue? Does the issue have to be resolved within the next six weeks?

    And what about the Irish language act? Will the DUP still be able to scupper it?

    What, other than the actual formation of the executive, has to be negociated between the DUP and SF? Will the governments take a back seat now?

    And who gets the rap if there is no executive in 6 weeks time?

    Is Michael Stone still locked up?

  • Dewi

    I think another election is now necessary to clarify matters…..