Rumour Mill: Hain weakening on six weeks delay?

We’ve not much to go on at present, but look out tomorrow/Monday for confirmation of the DUP’s request for a six week delay on a deal. Other things to look out for are inclusion of a Northern Ireland representative on the Cabinet Office’s Intelligence and Security Committee, to keep an eye on the enhanced activities of MI5 in Northern Ireland. The one additional seat available to Westminster is likely, if confirmed, to make its way to the DUP.

Adds: From the Irish Times (subs needed) the day after St Andrews:

…it was also claimed last night that the DUP has secured Mr Blair’s agreement to nominate one of its nine MPs to Westminster’s Security and Intelligence Committee – a move they believe would leave them no longer reliant on the Independent Monitoring Commission as they seek to “test” republican promises against actions on the ground.

Further detail from that same report:

…authoritative DUP sources subsequently made clear they were equally unconcerned and pointed back to the published document. And by their account it suddenly appeared that the really significant “movement” that had occurred had been on the part of the British and Irish governments.

According to this assessment, shared with Downing Street, Sinn Féin’s endorsement of the PSNI would come two weeks before the formal nomination of Dr Paisley and Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness as First and Deputy First Ministers designate on November 24th. At that point the parties are required to confirm acceptance or rejection of the St Andrews agreement, paragraph six of which says: “We believe the essential elements of support for law and order include endorsing fully the PSNI and the criminal justice system, actively encouraging everyone in the community to co-operate fully with the PSNI in tackling crime in all areas and actively supporting all the policing and criminal justice institutions, including the Policing Board.”

The DUP regard “all the policing and criminal justice institutions” as including the British Security Service, MI5, and the Special Branch [emphasis added].

  • Truth& Justice

    Looks like the DUP are playing a blinder

  • Greenflag

    ‘Looks like the DUP are playing a blinder ‘

    Old Chinese saying.

    ‘When blind lead blind – beware ditch’

  • Truth& Justice

    The only ditch will be when it happens and you fall into it with shock!

  • Yokel

    The ISC issue has been ongoing for some time with the DUP getting a seat so its porobably nice timing.

  • Truth& Justice

    Very true Yokel

  • Greenflag

    Not being blind I can see the ditch. Maybe your eyes are not seeing what your ears are hearing or perhaps it’s the other way around .

    I won’t be shocked either way . As of now the DUP is reaping what it has sown . Expect a poor harvest either way !

  • SuperSoupy

    Who cares if an additional british mechanism confirms to the DUP that SF are squeaky clean.

    Given the DUP’s past form of revealing confidential security documents it is the british government that have most to fear from letting this leaky sieve anywhere near delicate security briefings.

  • heck

    What’s the betting it will be six weeks and then six weeks and then another six weeks from Paisley?

    666 paisley –gedit!! LOL

    Seriously -this it just another excuse not to share power with fenians. If the British government give in then all that will have happened is that the DUP will have succeeded in humiliating Hain and showing Honest Tony’s deadline to be one more lie.

  • Greenflag


    ‘the DUP will have succeeded in humiliating Hain’

    Not to mention destroying Hain’s chances of ever becoming Labour Party leader ‘

    ‘ and showing Honest Tony’s deadline to be one more lie. ‘

    The DUP have never been kind to British Prime Minister’s . Remember to the DUP they are/were all traitors including Margaret Thatcher . One wonders if British political leaders have any self respect left . Bend over Peter and you too Tony – Rev Ian would like to give you both one in the rear . And you too Gordy when the time comes !

    I’m beginning to feel a certain amount of sympathy for the poor sodding English politicians .

  • Watcher

    According to the Cabinet Office’s Intelligence and Security Committee, THE THREAT ‘quote from Report’ from Official Report comes from:-

    “6. The UK faces a range of threats to its security:
    • There is a serious and sustained threat from international terrorism to the UK
    and its interests overseas, the most significant being from Al Qaida and
    associated networks.
    • Dissident groups remain active in Northern Ireland and continue to pose a
    threat, both to Northern Ireland and to the UK mainland.
    • There is increasing international tension over Iran’s nuclear programme and
    backing of groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah. There is a possibility of an
    increased threat to UK interests from Iranian state-sponsored terrorism should
    the diplomatic situation deteriorate.
    • The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is another potential
    danger to the UK’s security.
    • The threat from espionage remains, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in
    the early 1990s. Several countries are actively seeking British information and
    material to advance their own military, technological, political and economic

    God help their wit!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aisling

    Come May, the DUP’s excuse will be that they need until the end of August (End of Marching Season) to see if things have changed, Don’t forget that parades were on the DUP wish list. All eyes move to Portadown and Garvaghy Road – watch this space.

  • Paul

    Ignore the ungamely machinations of the DUP in retreat, the game is now afoot and it’s most gratifying that the proponents of Unionism still don’t see the reality of what will unfold over the next 15 years.

  • Rubicon

    For the delay the DUP are demanding the British Government are going to have to pass primary legislation. If they’re minded to do so I hope they’re not so naïve as to rely on the DUP delivering in 6 or 8 weeks. While revising the dates they should also consider making a few further revisions that bind the DUP – or allow devolution to move on without them.

    I’ve a few suggestions:

    1. Any party entitled to nominate for; the Office of First or Deputy First Minister, a Ministerial Office or Committee Chair/Deputy Chair but fails to nominate will be deemed to have forfeited their seats in the Assembly. Bye elections would then occur to replace the seats forfeited.
    2. Candidates standing for election must sign an undertaking to fully operate the Assembly election procedures for the appointment of a)OFMDFM b)Ministers and c)Committee Chairs. Failure to do so will leave them liable for all bye-election (and associated) costs caused.
    3. Political parties may choose to nominate Committee Chairs/Deputy Chairs as an alternate to nominating Ministers.

  • against the head

    Fair play to the DUP, played a blinder. 6 weeks so satisfy the discenters, then go into government for a few weeks then off for the summer.
    nice work

  • Comrade Stalin

    From what I am aware of, it has been common knowledge in NI political circles even before the election that the March 26th date for devolution was unlikely to be met by the DUP. That suggests to me that the two governments and Sinn Fein knew all along that this announcement was coming.

    Strategically there is a certain amount of sense here. Separating the announcement to share power from the deed by six weeks avoids a shock effect and allows their supporters to get used to the idea so that when the time rolls around for it to happen it will seem like less of a big deal.

    At this stage, I cannot see how a further delay six weeks from now will be tolerated by anyone. I’d repeat what I said on another thread – I don’t see why republicans are being so unforgiving. It took them the best part of ten years to fulfil their implied obligations under the Agreement for disarmament and support for the police. The rest of us had to wait around while they got the finger out.

  • lorraine

    the dup are playing a blinder? really? the dup are trying to emulate sinn fein, only when sinn fein play these games they are original, strategic machinations which pay of dividends. the dup on the other hand are of the notion that if the shinners can do it, they can do it: when are they going to stop playing these games of trying to out-shinner the shinners and enter the real world, maybe even come up with an original approach. Paisley still remains with the choice of either of two poisoned chalices: mr mc guinness in power or mr ahearn exercising more power over the wee province than any of our elected representatives. ah, the pleasures of just sitting back and watching it all unfold….

  • Crataegus


    I agree it is hard to see what the strategic long term strategy of the DUP actually is. I don’t think they have one and in this respect the UUP are not a lot better.

  • Greenflag

    Kamerad Tovaritch

    ‘At this stage, I cannot see how a further delay six weeks from now will be tolerated by anyone.’

    The operative words being ‘at this stage’ . In 6 weeks it will be a different stage -same show -same circus -same farce.

    ‘I don’t see why republicans are being so unforgiving. It took them the best part of ten years to fulfil their implied obligations under the Agreement for disarmament and support for the police. ‘

    You have a point. However the power sharing odyssey in NI did not begin 10 years ago .

    There was a Sunningdale power sharing deal in 1974 .This was also upended by Paisley’s mob among others . You could just as easily make the point that the ‘rest’ had to wait around for 24 years while the UUP ‘gyrated ‘ in ever diminishing circles and was persuaded of the benefits of ‘power sharing ‘ by Senator Mitchell among others .

    But lets be clear about the role of the DUP in the whole ‘peace process’ leading to the GFA and this power sharing Assembly. The DUP are on record as being consistently against the GFA . They did NOT participate in Senator Mitchell’s peace talks . They dragged Trimble down as quickly as they could. Since 1998 the DUP have had a 10 years of ‘stonewalling’ and played the anti power sharing card from the sidelines. Based on the UUP’s record and counting from 1998 it would appear that 6 weeks is not what the DUP need – more like 14 years !

    So whether 6 weeks , 10 years or 24 years the political fact of life which the ‘media’ do not want to believe is that the leadership of ‘political unionism ‘in Northern Ireland does not want powersharing and will do everything they can to prise away from Irish nationalists and republicans any gains the latter think they may have won in the past decade or so in NI . Political Unionism in a 6 county NI context is inherently incapable of evolving or adapting to meet the challenge of the future . For it knows that to do so it has to acquiesce in it’s own destruction .

    The present high drama and prima donna tactics of the DUP leadership has been seen in the political record of Northern Ireland every time there was a faint possibility of power sharing from Brian Faulkner’s ill fated Sunningdale to the present .

    SF and the SDLP both need to walk away and turn their backs permanently on any devolved Stormont . It was always going to be just more of the same old sectarian shite dressed up in the same oul rags as before anyway !

    Plan B will do fine for the foreseeable future !

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    For SF the tactic now is to be very loudly disappointed and adopt the posture of the scorned bride, pointing the finger accusingly at the DUP. Then sit and quietly contemplate how best to use this to their advantage running up to the 26 county election.

    As stated elsewhere the 6 weekend extension will dovetail brilliantly with the final stages of that election.

    SF could not buy that publicity and being central to the whole story will be reported on as much as the DUPers. Thus will have an advantage over other southern parties.

    Way to go the DUPers

  • Where does this leave the DUP voters that voted with the promise of devolution on the 26th in mind and the expectation that the DUP would lead y’all to a restored assembly? Or is it that probably no one is really that bothered about it and half- expected it?

  • Henry94


    They need to arrange a meeting now with Sinn Fein and the other parties to win support for their six week delay. Otherwise it’s Plan B. Maybe that’s what they really want.