The DUP Executive Motion

The resolution of the DUP executive passed yesterday by a reported 90%.”The DUP is always anxious to make progress on a basis that is stable and which can command community confidence. Very significant advances have been made over the years since the DUP was mandated as the voice of unionism and our strategy is still working. We acknowledge that a significant opportunity exists to have devolution returned in a context which can make a real and meaningful improvement in the lives of all the people of Northern Ireland. We wish to advance that prospect consistent with our renewed and strengthened electoral mandate and based on our manifesto pledges.

The Party Officers having consulted widely, weighed up all the relevant matters and reviewed progress on outstanding matters recommend to the Party’s Central Executive Committee that the DUP would support and participate fully in a Northern Ireland Executive if powers were devolved to it on an agreed date in May of this year. Moreover, we are willing to bridge the short gap between now and then with preparatory work including departmental pre-briefings and finalising a Programme for Government.

This firm commitment is offered within an environment where no one, including the government, goes back on any of the advances and commitments made.

It is essential, in order to bring the overwhelming majority of unionists forward with us that all parties – ourselves included – use this short period to raise the level of confidence in the community and instil a positive attitude towards devolution and local control.

While this timetable may not dovetail with the arbitrary one set out by the government everyone will understand that throughout recent years many months have been set aside while republicans were allowed to prepare their support base and adjust to one set of circumstances or another. Unionists are entitled to the same breathing space.”

  • ingram

    quote This firm commitment is offered within an environment where no one, including the government, goes back on any of the advances and commitments made

    This does seem to get to the substance of the issue.

    Ding Dong Ding

  • slug

    Seems to me to be a reasonable and constructive statement.

  • dodrade

    “the DUP would support and participate fully in a Northern Ireland Executive if powers were devolved to it on an agreed date in May of this year.”

    To be fair I find it hard to see how the DUP could wriggle themselves off this self made hook in May if the British Government and SF give them the six week delay.

    It seems to be entirely a face saving exercise. Having made breaking the deadline a point of principle, the DUP want to be able to say they made the deal on their own terms.

    On the Stormont menu tomorrow, a three course helping of fudge!

  • darth rumsfeld

    “never! never! never! never!”

    has now become… “Er..well not for six weeks!”

    Pathetic spinning from the DUP to look tough when in actual fact they have climbed to the summit of pushover Unionism.

    Perhaps DUP voters should google the comments of Lord Carson in the debate in the House of Lords on the Government of Ireland Act to find the motivation of the DUP leadership.

  • Comrade Stalin

    To me, this statement is not a wrecker’s charter. It is all about the DUP positioning themselves as being in charge of the situation. Some salient parts:

    The Party Officers having consulted widely, weighed up all the relevant matters and reviewed progress on outstanding matters recommend to the Party’s Central Executive Committee that the DUP would support and participate fully in a Northern Ireland Executive if powers were devolved to it on an agreed date in May of this year. Moreover, we are willing to bridge the short gap between now and then with preparatory work including departmental pre-briefings and finalising a Programme for Government.

    So the DUP are saying that they are not going to twiddle their thumbs for six weeks; they’re going to get involved and do the preparatory work for getting the executive up. Moreover, they are giving a date upon which they say they will participate fully. To me this all sounds good.

    This firm commitment is offered within an environment where no one, including the government, goes back on any of the advances and commitments made.

    That figures, and I’m sure the other parties would expect no less themselves.

    While this timetable may not dovetail with the arbitrary one set out by the government everyone will understand that throughout recent years many months have been set aside while republicans were allowed to prepare their support base and adjust to one set of circumstances or another. Unionists are entitled to the same breathing space.

    Also, fair enough.

    To me this statement represents considerable progress.

    fair_deal, what do you make of all this yourself ?

  • against the head

    i don’t think we could have asked for much more. as a UUP voter i was pretty dismayed to see the DUP gaining such strength, as I thought they would never make progress. Fair play to them, they have stood by their ‘guns’ in that they have waited for the Ra to disband, and now that the circumstances are right they are moving forward.

    Fair play, Fair deal.

  • observer

    Anyone know who voted against this motion?

  • kokane

    Looks like a mistake by DUP after having played a stormer over last few months. Paisley has backed himself into a corner and is now reliant on Sinn Fein to help out of there – brilliant move by Hain. Uncomfortable for unionists as SF will be at their patronising best. But has Ian got another trick up his cassock? Enthralling stuff.

  • Henry94

    “You have reached Connolly House. Your call is important to us. Please hold and one of our operators will be with you shortly”

  • SuperSoupy

    Henry,

    LOL. But if you are preparing them in advance you are giving them the wrong info. They need to ring Sevastopol St and they will get the following answer:

    “Dia dhuit. Sinn Féin. Seamus speaking”

    The correct response for the DUP is:

    “Dia is Muire dhuit, Seamus. Ian here. May I speak with Gerry. Go raibh maith agat”

  • willis

    “While this timetable may not dovetail with the arbitrary one set out by the government everyone will understand that throughout recent years many months have been set aside while republicans were allowed to prepare their support base and adjust to one set of circumstances or another. Unionists are entitled to the same breathing space.”

    A NuDUP statement if I ever saw one. Acceptance that Sinn Fein is disengaging itself from the IRA, and tacitly accepting that they have to do the same.

  • Greenflag

    Resolution

    ‘While this timetable may not dovetail with the arbitrary one set out by the government everyone will understand that throughout recent years many months have been set aside while republicans were allowed to prepare their support base and adjust to one set of circumstances or another. Unionists are entitled to the same breathing space.”’

    Eh ? Unionists have had enough breathing space since the first ‘failed’ power sharing agreement to get used to the idea . Admittedly then (19740 it was power sharing with the hated SDLP that Unionists eschewed . Now it’s SF .

    The fine line between slow learner and retard has become even finer 🙁

    Nobody blames the DUP for being wary of SF or of this particular form of power sharing but their ‘excuse’ above is nonsense . Self created nonsense but still nonsense.

    Hain has successfully lobbed the ‘time bomb’ back into the lap of the DUP. Horror of horrors the DUP now has to contact SF directly to get the latter’s permission for the DUP’s present state of unreadinness ?

    The farce continues !

  • Crataegus

    We dither forward?

  • Whynot

    I was at a meeting in early January in which Peter Robinson said thar May would be the earliest for going into Assembly

  • Henry94

    It’s going to be very hard for Sinn Fein to agree to a six-week wait designed to test their own good faith. I’m all for devolution but there does come a time when enough is enough. I’d tell them stick it at this stage.

  • SuperSoupy

    Henry,

    If the DUP come cap in hand to ask SF’s permission for a short delay it would indicate eventual powersharing could come about on much more stable ground. I’d be inclined to see what they are offering in return for a very minor and short term fig leaf.

    If they aren’t even offering to treat SF as human beings and willing to talk directly I think your get stuffed response should be given.

  • Rubicon

    I suppose the one characteristic required more than any other in NI politics is patience. Comrade Stalin has posted some reasonable points – and they may be credible. Personally, I have my doubts.

    I also have concerns over the statement, “This firm commitment is offered within an environment where no one, including the government, goes back on any of the advances and commitments made.” On past performance, a lot of these ‘commitments’ will not be in the public domain. I note the statements doesn’t say ‘public commitments’.

    I think we can be pretty sure the DUP are not referring to any government commitments given SF on the Irish Language, OTR’s etc. – but SF may choose to push in such directions. Instead, the DUP seem to be expecting something else in the following weeks. What is it?

  • Henry94

    SuperSoupy

    You are probably right.

  • kokane

    DUP pass their ace – the veto – back to British Government. British Governement pass veto to SF an others. DUP now the only party – Unionist or Nationalist – with elected memebers against immediate power sharing. Time for Adams, Empey etc to milk situation but give the DOC a fig leaf say 3 or 4 weeks.

  • …Everyone will understand that throughout recent years many months have been set aside while republicans were allowed to prepare their support base and adjust to one set of circumstances or another…

    This was done by republicans to advance the peace process.
    What the DUP want, is time to find more reasons to stall that process.
    Enough is enough back to plan B and led the DUP carry the can for Irish ministers working the institutions in the north.

  • SuperSoupy

    Kokane,

    Would SF not be happier with Deputy First Minister McGuinness and their three other ministers being installed the week before elections in the south?

    6 weeks seems perfect and like the DUP just handed SF a media coup at the perfect time.

  • slug

    Lets not over-alalyze this.

    The DUP just agreed to powershare by the end of May.

    Therefore the major block has gone.

  • Ian

    “If the DUP come cap in hand to ask SF’s permission for a short delay it would indicate eventual powersharing could come about on much more stable ground. I’d be inclined to see what they are offering in return for a very minor and short term fig leaf.”

    SF should only agree to the six-week delay if the DUP agree to uphold the May 2008 target date for the transfer of justice powers (which, remember, will go to the UUP or SDLP, not SF or DUP, so what’s the problem?).

    A classic case of “You scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours”.

  • SuperSoupy

    Some DUP members clearly work on a Sunday.

    DUP sources are claiming the 6 week delay was preagreed with the British government.

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/breaking/story.asp?j=214359250&p=zy4359956&n=214360010

    Statements from the Irish government and SF today indicate they aren’t in on any loop.

    If true it would also mean Hain and Blair have spent the last while lying. Is that what the DUP are claiming?

  • kokane

    Time for compromise by SF, UU – but if they agree 6 weeks it encourages problems to be located.

    It will be intersting to see how “Big” Ian copes with a reduced fig leaf.

  • mchinadog

    Not sure, your contributors have been reading and listening to the same news I have been. According to the DUP they are not depending on Sinn Fein/IRA or anyone else for the 6 or 8 weeks delay depending on who you are listening to, they made the deal with Tony Blair at NO10, he agreed to it no matter what other people including Hain says. Hain has egg on his face and does not like it that is why he is trying to force the DUP to go cap and hand to Sinn Fein/IRA to plead with them for the delay, well he can think again. They have agreed to work Stormont at a date in May do you really believe that Tony Blair will allow it all to collapse at this stage, I do not this so. Good on the DUP for being so shrewd, showing Hain that March 26th was his deadline was not theirs.

  • Yokel

    If that Examiner article is true then all Hain is doing is going through the motions, whether he knows it or not.

    Nothing would surprise me with Blair but clearly everybody else seems be be releasing contrary statements on this issue which means that if a deal has been made with Blair, then everyone else may have been left out of the loop.

    Bear in mind the DUP have little room after this six weeks, most of all with their own electorate. They were elected to do a better deal, not no deal. The timing, howerver, is potentially very sweet for Tony, he’s due to resign shortly after the May elections. What a high note….

  • SuperSoupy

    DUP sources in the North are claiming they had a pre-arranged deal with Downing Street over their refusal to meet tomorrow’s deadline on devolution.
    If true, the claim is politically damaging to the Northern Secretary, Peter Hain, who insisted right up to the last moment that the date was written in stone.

    Mr Hain has signed the order restoring power to the Stormont assembly from midnight, but admits himself that direct rule will be re-imposed from midnight on Monday unless the DUP and Sinn Fein can agree by then on the six week delay being demanded by Ian Paisley’s party.

    There are differing signals from republicans with the South Belfast assemblyman, Alex Maskey, saying any delay is unacceptable but the party’s MP for Newry/Armagh, Conor Murphy, was not ruling it out completely.

    The DUP now say their proposed six week delay was agreed in advance during talks at Downing Street on Friday. If true, this certainly appears to be news to Peter Hain – not to mention the Irish government.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ireland/politics/article2391364.ece

  • Yokel

    Have to say, it wouldnt pay the DUP to be lying over this because ultimately they’ll get caught out.

    We all know that with Honest Tony that there is often huge middle ground for interpretation but its either yes, we’ll faciltate the delay or no we won’t.

  • kokane

    Side deal a possiblity but Bertie would have been left out to dry by Tony as well in that case as Bertie has appeared on BBC repeating Hain’s lines and quoting Tony. Looks like DUP have misplayed their veto. Perhaps Jeffrey should have stuck around on GFA negotiations to keep his eye in.

    Any collapse will only be for 2 years and Tony gets credit, though reduced, then anyway.

  • Yokel

    Two years, are you kidding me, the deal is 95% of the way there. Expect a revival under PM Brown because if there isn’t, in two years you may well have a Tory government and republicans may forget it, they arent likely to get quite as much out of London then.

    This is probably republicanisms best chance for a decent position at the top table and concessions, this deal, now.

  • kokane

    The boy Cameron will do his sums – the green ( as in oirish ) vote in Britian is not to be sneezed at. A greenish plan B and probable bigger gains for SF the longer the wait will suit them. 2 years punishment for messing about is probably fair – with the DUP taking the rap – even if they dont deserve it. Funny old game.

  • Henry94

    Yokel

    Republicans are ready to do a deal tomorrow as planned. If the DUP want a change in that they need to put their suggestions to the other parties and get agreement.

  • slug

    Yokel

    “the deal is 95% of the way there”

    I think, reading that DUP statement, that we are basically 100% of the way there.

  • Ian

    “SF should only agree to the six-week delay if the DUP agree to uphold the May 2008 target date for the transfer of justice powers (which, remember, will go to the UUP or SDLP, not SF or DUP, so what’s the problem?).”

    I would add that they would be entirely justified in doing this, as it would be in the interests of the long-term “stability” of the institutions, which is supposedly the DUP’s aim in all of this. To quote Donaldson today:

    “In the timescale of the Troubles, what is a further few weeks if it gets us in the long-term stable and enduring government?

    “I think in the years to come that people will say it was right to take those extra weeks if we get a stable devolved administration.”

    For the DU not to agree a date for devolution of Justice would be inconsistent with this.

  • mchinadog

    Do you really believe that Peter Hain did not know what Blair had agreed with the DUP, he is only trying to save face, as his mantra has been “Devolution or Dissolution”. It will be difficult for him, I heard him on the radio this morning stating the same old rhetoric when he knew full well what the PM had agreed. Poor Peter Hain he has dropped the ball should have been listening instead of talking and he may have been getting the plaudits himself now he is throwing his rattle out of the pram. Resignation might be an issue perhaps, being undermined by his boss Tony Blair.

  • kokane

    If the DUP do not have a side deal with Tony then they are going to be in a very awkward place and UU will get their revenge. To expect them to swallow devolution of justice at this stage would make their situation even worse. Time perhaps for side a Gerry/Ian side deal?

  • Henry94

    I think the DUP woke up this morning and realised that their bluff had been called. Their claim of a deal with Tony Blair is a fig-leaf to cover their embarrassment.

    It is better to look betrayed than incompetent. But it will be remembered how they excoriated David Trimble for trusting Tony Blair’s signature. They are now claiming they got a nod and a wink!

    I think the DUP have made the biggest political miscalculation in recent Irish history and the sooner they go cap in hand to Sinn Fein the easier it will be for them.

  • Yokel

    Henry

    I suspect they’ll find a mechanism to talk face to face. It may not be Paisley but it doesn’t need to be.

    Kokane

    The ‘Irish’ vote doesn’t necessarily vote on this issue as you may think, anyway if the historical stats are to be believed its solid Labour anyway and the Tories may never penetrate it. the Tories stood up in parliament opposing further greening as proposed under the mysterious (and currently non existent) Plan B. They can change their minds of course.

    I agree on the DUP, I can’t see them actually lying on this one, all that they have is the possibility of taking a Tony statement and mis-intereptating it but god you think their electorate is going to buy that? Assuming nothing odd happens over those 6 weeks then they will have to go or see their support shred and being locked out.

    Again though I refer to the timing…May, Blair resignation. It’s not conincidence.

    Anyway I’m going to listen to a football phone in to listen to England fans whinging again. Some things in life never lose their joy.

  • fair_deal

    Comrade Stalin

    Sorry for the delay in replying been out and about.

    It would seem those who believed the DUP was irrevoracably split were mistaken as were those who said the DUP weren’t up for making a deal. I find it difficult to see how there are any real losers with this scenario.

    The six weeks thing can become a circular argument very easily i.e. it’s worth waiting as you end up where you want to be versus if you’re going to do it it in six weeks why wait. So no point in going down that route. IMO opponents throwing spanners in the works now would be more out of spite/because they can rather than strategic interest.

    In terms of party and electoral management since St Andrews, the DUP has managed its internal rumblings and elections well. A motion of full support for St Andrews in November would have or lost narrowly at a DUP Executive and the need for more was noticeable at a senior level was clear. The Templepatrick gathering got them back on track and at the election it created a good message that the party kept united on and saw off its political opposition. Now its Executive has gave the commitment to power-sharing from over 90% – the media had kittens when Adams pulled off similar levels of support on the Policing motion.

    Everyone is pretty much agreed that financial package is pretty naff so six weeks gives some more opportunity to try and squeeze some more. Maybe Bush’s comment about financial support can be explored a bit further?

    In the negotiations with the government there seem to have been commitments on various issues – I don’t know what as everyone is holding their cards close to their chests. The six weeks means rather than rely on government promises that they will happen there is time to make sure they do.

    The motion creates some room for Sinn Fein. One of the issues in their policing motion was no commitment to power-sharing. This has now been addressed. Maybe they will view it as a positive sign and thus deal with the backwoodsmen and women of fermanagh/south tyrone ie no more dodgy statements or interference with witnesses.

    It deals with the Alliance complaint “how can these parties share power when they don’t speak to one another”. Six weeks of potential work to address that.

    I doubt if Hain is happy as he wants to use the next 6 weeks getting himself elected as deputy leader of the Labour Party. If he is really peeved off he can resign – might earn him some brownie points with Labour members – I stood up to Tony you know.

    Ahern will probably be peeved too. Whatever the presentation the actualite is that the key decisions are made by Blair not Ahern and Blair, plus the Assembly is really an internal matter. Bertie and Co were unhappy with Mandelson’s suspension but managed to live with their frustration. Dublin can jump up and down to ensure it keeps its credibility with northern nationalism but that is all it will be about.

    As Mandelson said the process is Blair’s policy, so he gives a little more processing and it appears he gets it all coming to fruition on his watch.

  • Greenflag

    When Patrick Mayhew replaced Peter ‘Clementine ‘ Brooke as SoS in 1992 the then deadlocked talks between the UUP and SDLP and SF were not going to get anywhere . On Sept 25th John MAjor and Albert Reynolds agreed to a time limit on the talks . Relying on their own relationship they began a Dublin London dialogue in the absence of the Unionists . Unionist ‘intransigence ‘ had helped to bring about the Unionist’s own worst nightmare (at that time anyway) the prospect of a deal between Dublin and London over the heads of the Belfast politicians.

    15 years on the Unionist political leadership has learned nothing . Instead of having to deal with moderately green SDLP they are now forced to sit in Government with SF or enjoy even greater Dublin ‘rule’ ?. How has it come to this ?

    Maybe ‘politics ‘ is not for Unionists . Perhaps they may do better in other areas of life . According to some the clerical life provides rich cash dividends in this life as well as the promise of ‘wings’ in the next ?

  • mickhall

    If true, this is just more sack clothe and ashes from the DUP and to suggest that the DUP would ask Gerry Adams the time of day, let alone permission to move the deadline back to May is infantile, and seems more like yet another excuse in the making for the SF membership to swallow.

    Having got the measure of Adams, the DUP leadership is simply telling their membership look, the shinners will swallow Ben Dover’s load to get their bottoms into a Ministerial limo, so if we dictate the date for entering a devolved
    government, we not the shiners or the Viceroy will be dictating the process. Sound tactics on their part which will go down well within Unionism.

    As to such a deal having Blair agreement, we will find out tomorrow, but the advantage for Blair with this May deal is that it will kick the Viceroys bid for the deputy leader of the LP into the long grass.

  • slug

    Fair Deal – a very clear and interesting analysis.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Yokel

    “Assuming nothing odd happens over those 6 weeks…..”

    I think you have stumbled over a significant issue here. The DUP are asking for six weeks – it doesn’t seem outlandish in the grand scheme of things, but it strikes me as suspicious. Why? Events, dear boy, events.

    I mean, how short are our memories? It’s only five years since a democratic executive was brought down in a coup d’etat here – remember Donaldson’s “spy ring”? When the DUP were cornered into showing their hand last December re. the nomination of a First Minister, Michael Stone showed up to get them off the hook. The last time a deal was narrowly averted – over the now clearly preposterous issue of a photograph – the Northern Bank robbery followed within days.

    So let’s say the six week period is agreed – who’ll bet against me when I predict that somehow or other, “events” will intervene and the executive will never meet in May?

    Of course the event itself will be almost irrelevant – as long as it’s enough for serious allegations to be made, probably against republicans, then that’ll be enough to punt the process into touch for another few years. The media will react exactly as the no-men would wish, and that will be that.

    One wonders what the DUP believe their fellow-travellers in the security forces/civil service will be able to do to get them off the hook in the next six weeks?

  • slug

    Or possibly a bank might be robbed 🙂

  • Yokel

    Billy P.

    I’m no fan of the DUP but I don’t think they are expecting something to come out of the blue. That things can occur that change the situation is undoubted and its in plenty of people’s interests to ensure that they don’t.

    The biggest impact in the 6 weeks pledge is actually on the DUP’s voters, many of whom I do not believe are natural DUP types. Quite simply if there are no unexpected upsets, the DUP have to deliver or else they’ll be in some diffs with their voter base. Even with some upset, unless its big, their voter base is after a deal.

  • slug

    Yokel

    Not a fan of the DUP either. I read it the same way as you. Their statements tend to have a lot of consistency and point in the same way. This 6 week delay combined with a commitment to powersharing is consistent with their whole pre-election message. They were never keen on the imposed date, but were talking a lot about being condition led and they actually seem to say in this statemnt that the conditions are now right and they are ready for powersharing. I am surprised that as many as 90% of their people voted FOR what was such a positive endorsement of powersharing. That seems like quite a skillful management, for a party sometimes described as very split.

  • mickhall

    Events, dear boy.

    Exactly Billy, and that is why if they have any sense the shinners will stick like glue to the time frame already laid down, whether they will only they know.

  • Yokel

    Slug

    I’ve somewhat let the 90% business bypass me but it is big, no doubt about it.

    I genuinely don’t know if a deal has been cut with No.10 and its just a shouting match going on but its largely posturing.

    IF it has been done, my current mode of thinking is that a) the DUP have leaked this to ensure there’s no backtracking and b) the government, through Hain is publically playing hardball with dealines to ensure that the DUP stick to the 6 weeks pledge.

    If it hasn’t, I have no idea what is going on.

  • Greenflag

    Yokel,

    ‘If it hasn’t, I have no idea what is going on.’

    Three weeks after an election and 6 months after the last October’s setting of the March 26th deadline . Ever feel your politicians are treating you like a mushroom :)?

  • Roisin

    mchinadog,

    [i]they made the deal with Tony Blair at NO10, he agreed to it no matter what other people including Hain says. Hain has egg on his face and does not like it that is why he is trying to force the DUP to go cap and hand to Sinn Fein/IRA to plead with them for the delay, well he can think again.[/i]

    Can you think of one good reason why Tony Blair would feck his SoS over for a DUP fudge that would only result in another DUP fudge six weeks later, and another fudge however many weeks after that? Could be so, but I can’t think of why he’d want to do that.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Yokel

    “Quite simply IF THERE ARE NO UNEXPECTED UPSETS, the DUP have to deliver or else they’ll be in some diffs with their voter base.” (My emphasis)

    But this is my point: if there is to be a six week delay, I would fully expect an “unexpected upset”.

    Then we’ll see claims and counterclaims, media hysteria and, very quickly, media and establishment consensus that whatever it is, it’s all the fault of republicans. Evidence either way will be unnecessary as everyone will believe what they wish to believe anyway.

    End result: the executive will never meet in May, or May ’08 or May ’10 for that matter.

    Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic, but then I’ve been paying attention to the way the NI state has been conducting its affairs, from partition right through to the Stormontgate coup.

    My prediction will still be in the Slugger archives come May – hopefully I’ll be proved wrong, but mark my words: if there is to be a delay, “events” will intervene and save the status quo for another few years.

    And most people will blame “the republican movement” – the ever-available Emmanuel Goldstein of the Northern Ireland state.

  • btw

    Out of interest who are the party officers in the DUP?

  • Yokel

    Greenflag

    The average voter isn’t exactly mean’t to know everything. Thats just how it goes.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Blair is too shrewd and devious to allow the 6 weeks to be conditional as stated in the DUP motion.

    He will not leave them any wriggle room this time. He will insist they are either in or they aren’t no pre conditions.

    I think the DUP are between a rock and a hard place, maybe just maybe they are not the negotiators they thought themselves to be – tomorrow will tell a major tale!

  • confused

    It is not clear if a deal was done with NO 10 but even if one was not done Blair is not going to drop Paisley into it by making a convincing denial.
    He will go along with the illusion of an agreement for the sake of “the process” and no one else can do anything about it. Perhaps a very cunning move by DUP.
    There may be a few banana skins lying around and SF will have to look where walking.

  • slug

    Listen guys, there is no point in propagandising about how this is a great victory for the DUP/SF (delete as appropriate).

    The parameters are set. There’ll be powersharing in May. Its all arranged bar the choreography.

  • Greenflag

    Yokel,

    ‘The average voter isn’t exactly mean’t to know everything. Thats just how it goes. ‘

    This is true but then I was’nt sugeesting you should know every nuance of policy as between the parties or even the policies of one party .

    Whoever that it doesn’t matter who you vote for the Government always gets in -obviously was not referring to Northern Ireland 🙂

    Anyway till high noon

    And now folks for the really final, final, truly final absolutely definitively final deadline of all deadlines I give you for the last time and last possible chance you know I mean it as I’ve meant it before or my name is not Peter Hain/Tony Blair /Bert Ahern (delete as appropriate) .

    Deja vu has never seemed so deja vu 🙁

    But look on the bright side . No Assembly means probably the end of Paisley’s political career . In a way it would be a supreme irony if having dispatched all other ‘pretenders’ to the Unionist throne and having set himself up for ‘history’ the oul fella shoots himself in the head (not literally) just as he is about to achieve his ambition !

    But seriously and we should treat this matter more seriously:) ! I’m sure we would if it wasn’t the 25th time this kind of last minute insanity is foisted on the political process by a bunch of political amateurs !

    Anyway before Paisley is ‘fired’ I would like to extend a thanks to him for his sterling work in achieving what no Irish Government and no Sinn Fein or Republican or Nationalist party ever could and that is the almost single handed ‘destruction’ of the Ulster Unionist Party and for making politics in Northern Ireland a far more ‘exciting’ and interesting ‘phenomenon ‘ than it really should ever have been . When the oul lad is gone what will the media do ? The Pope himself will be at a loss . Just imagine the missing headlines in fundamentalist Islamic newspapers .

    ‘First Minister of Northern Ireland condemns Pope Benedict as Anti Christ’

    Allah akbar Paisley inshallah Akbar !

  • pia lugum

    Looks like the Grand Old Duke has marched his loyal men up to the top of another big hill.

    Will he march them down again (for only 6 weeks)!

    Or will Peter Hain easter-egg them down for good!

  • philip

    Ireland has elections soon so SF can just flag up that the DUP has had time to play ball prior to the MLA elections and that was in effect what it was for.
    If SF walks away they go direct rule becomes joint authority and if so they would have a bigger say in the Dail if they become part of the rainbow Government down their.