Sinn Fein ‘flip flop’ over Ritchie’s stance…

According to the BBC Sinn Fein has performed a 180 degree turn from Tuesday, when its MLAs were lining up a series of hostile questions for Margaret Ritchie, announcing that, contrary to expectation, they are going into today’s meeting to back the Minister’s decision.

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  • BOM

    I wonder has the flip flop got anything to do with the outrage among Nationalists about their lack of support for Ms Ritchie?

    Disgraceful behaviour from SF and the Nationalist voters should let them know this!

  • spiritof07

    SF have proven a total disragce. they were for her, against her, condemned her, said nothing and now they ‘support’ her. a total unprincipled disgrace. where are you Chris?

  • Sir Herbert Mercer

    In yesterday’s Irish News the SDLP are praised beyond belief (and for good reason)

    But for some reason Shinners weren’t critised for supporting UDA funding

  • Pounder

    Those that feed from the same bowl are always most vicious with each other, though as I said in another comment the Shinners have always been very adaptable at knowing what way the wind of public opinion is blowing. Bare faced shamless cheek? Sure, welcome to politics.

  • Disbelief

    Come on Shinner bloggers – where are u to defend this totally disgraceful behaviour towards Margaret Ricthie?

    I have been told both today and yesterday by quite a few people who would usually be supportive of the Shinners that they are shocked and disgusted at their lack of support for Margaret’s decision. I only wish that there had been a Westminster election in November now to see how their behaviour would reflect at the polls!

    I suspect that Sinn Fein have reached their peak!

  • Nevin

    The SDLP’s flip-flop on the politics of inclusion obviously caught the Sinners -and others – out.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    spiritof07: “SF have proven a total disragce. they were for her, against her, condemned her, said nothing and now they ‘support’ her. a total unprincipled disgrace.”

    Look on the bright side — at least we know their not a poll-driven organization… they change their positions faster than the Kama Sutra flip-book.

    SHM: “But for some reason Shinners weren’t critised for supporting UDA funding ”

    To take a moral stand, one needs moral authority.

    Pounder: “Those that feed from the same bowl are always most vicious with each other, though as I said in another comment the Shinners have always been very adaptable at knowing what way the wind of public opinion is blowing. ”

    Not sure this instance qualifies as a good example of SF putting their fingers to the wind and following the breeze… If they had, they wouldn’t have done such a wonderful imitation of a freshly landed fish.

    Personally, I suspect the Peter-principle is a better explication.

  • Kudos to them, acting as a governing party should.

  • veritas

    Nevin
    what are you on?
    how many elected political reps do the uda have to include in anything?

  • Nevin

    Veritas, IIRC the politics of inclusion was about putting everyone in the barrel, including the rotten apples. It’s sometimes called the Peace Process …

  • URQUHART

    Nevin, I thought that nonsense had been dealth with elsewhere. The SDLP has always said that it was worth talking to terrorists if it stopped them killing. That position hasn’t changed.

    But bankrolling them is a different issue and is the issue under discussion in this case. So catch a grip.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Nevin: “Veritas, IIRC the politics of inclusion was about putting everyone in the barrel, including the rotten apples. It’s sometimes called the Peace Process … ”

    And if the bad apples can’t/won’t/don’t play politics, Nevin?

    Given recent events, it would seem apparent that the UDA is not all that interested in even playing at peace, preferring turf struggles and extortionate demands. What’s worse, the DUP hustled over to try and make sure that they got their danegeld. At some point, idealism has to give way to reality.

  • patrique

    Maybe some of the money could be used to defend the loss of 900 jobs in the CSA, also announced by the same minister. These job losses were welcomed by a “socialist” Sinn Fein MLA called Brady.

    They were not mentioned by any other party.

    Long way still to go.

  • Greenflag

    No disarmament no money . End of story . This s***e has gone on long enough .
    Greenflag

  • Nevin

    Urguhart, chill. I’ve pointed out that this paramilitary bankrolling has been going on for a long time. My concern is that the drama surrounding the SDLP ‘flip-flop’ could have consequences for ordinary decent folks.

  • Lorraine

    ideological sommersaults are the core of sinn fein politics these days: the idealism along with the socialism is long dead. never thought i’d live to see the day when sinn fein would give succour to the uda

  • Urq,

    Chris’s thread from last raises a possible unintended consequence of the Minister’s legal advice: it might constrain her (and various other Ministers) from providing further PUL only funding.

    In which case, we may now have the real reason that Sinn Fein shifted with the wind and finally agreed to back her in today’s meeting.

    If so, I am not surprised Robinson is livid.

  • Nevin

    Greenflag, I understand Bertie is (still?) bankrolling these good burgers …

  • The DUP are also performing a subtle change of direction here… Peter Robinson now claims he only wanted to help Margaret Ritchie. That’s not how it sounded to me on Tuesday afternoon.

    Both the DUP and Sinn Féin have realised that they are a long way from their supporters’ views on this issue. Hence the fancy footwork.

    As far as inclusion and all that goes, after the McCartney murder and Northern Bank, even the most starry eyed inclusionists worked out that carrots didn’t work without a bit of stick. Remember, this money was for what was called the ‘Conflict Transformation Initiative’. What was that? Transforming the UDA from an organisation that shot Catholics to one that intimidated Protestants or something? Ask people in Kilcooley or Carrick how much transformation they see going on.

  • joeCanuck

    could have consequences for ordinary decent folks.

    Repeating the UDA attempt at blackmail Nevin?
    Shame

  • Reader

    joeCanuck: Repeating the UDA attempt at blackmail Nevin?
    I assumed he meant Prods! That’s who the UDA seem to be harming most these days. So, feel free to ignore the threat/consequences/whatever.

  • Nevin

    Joe and Reader, I meant ordinary decent folks of all persuasions and none. And I don’t do blackmail.

  • veritas

    nevin
    you still have not answered the question.how do you include something which does not exist.the uda have no mlas (unless by proxy in the dup it would seem)or any other political representation to “include”in any political decision making process.there is a huge difference between talking and persuading people to give up violence and being held to ransom by them.there is a difference between persuaders and apologists.

  • Nevin

    “And if the bad apples can’t/won’t/don’t play politics, Nevin?”

    Well, I suppose we have to blame the electorate, Dread. Just imagine. We could have had McDonald and McGuinness in the FMDFM office!! Who would have occupied the other ministries?

  • Nevin

    Veritas, there’s no easy answer to that question. Consider #24.

  • joeCanuck

    “blame the electorate”

    The people have spoken.
    The rotten bastards.

  • Red Diesel

    POLINT chaps here in Holywood are saying the meeting began just before 2PM adjourned after 20 minutes as Ritchie refused to accept minutes of the meeting of 8th October, which were basically written onthe Robinson line – that she had committed herself to coming back to the Executive before making any decision. She insisted there was no other condition than sharing her legal advice with First and Deputy First Minister and Robinson. The 15-minute adjournment was for the First and Deputy First Ministers to consider the CTI situation. SIGINT reckons they will tell Robinson and Ritchie to sort it out today, but that would mean Ritchie wins.

  • Red Diesel

    Update – just seen a rush SIGINT transcript, rather garbled but indicating McGuinness is livid that the old trick with two sets of minutes was not brought to his attention. LATEST- sources saying row is defused but Robbo reserves right to take a different line of legal action.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Nevin: “Well, I suppose we have to blame the electorate, Dread”

    And just when, dare I ask, did the UDA get elected? And who, dare I ask, was foolish enough to elect them?

    Nevin: “We could have had McDonald and McGuinness in the FMDFM office!! ”

    Given that McDonald couldn’t get elected dog-catcher, I’d ask you drop the flights of fancy and keep the conversation grounded in something approaching reality.

  • Red Diesel,

    You want a day blog to go with the day job?

  • URQUHART

    If Red Diesel is correct, Robinson is, to put it politely, fucked.

  • Eamonn

    Sinn Féin = IRA

    DUP = UDA

  • spiritof07

    it appears that UU and SF ministers agree with Ricthie’s recollection of last weeks meeting. who is isolated now? who should now relfect on his position?

    very interesting.

  • Nevin

    Dread, if the electorate was capable of voting for McGuinness then it could just as easily have voted for McDonald. Two peas, different pods.

  • Who writes the minutes? Surely, the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service is also ex officio Cabinet Secretary?

    Who is Permanent Secretary of a UK Government Department that was briefing agains the NI Social Development Minister?

    Who had a blazing row with the Social Development Minister in the first floor corridoor in the Assembly? Perhaps ‘red diesel’ could enlighten us?

  • Sean

    It seems that the UDA/DUP were right to question going into government with SF! The UDA/DUP dont seem to be fit for it!!

  • lib2016

    “Two peas, different pods”

    Quite clearly not so, just as on another thread you equated Paisley and Hume where that was also simply wrong. Whether unionists like it or not the two communities here are not perfect replicas of each other.

    With the ongoing demise of political unionism and the modern de-bunking of political Prodestanism there aren’t many excuses left for the existence of NI.

    Claiming ‘youse are just as bad’ isn’t an argument which will attract very many. It didn’t work for the Boers nor for Governor Wallace. It won’t work for you.

  • An Bearnach

    A wee bird told me the minutes of the Executive were passed on a majority Sinn Fein – DUP vote (Gildernew abstaining) with UU and SDLP against. When the chips were down, Martin, Conor and Caitriona lined up with Peter Robinson. this should play well in Cross and Carrickmore

  • A wee bird told me the minutes of the Executive were passed on a majority Sinn Fein – DUP vote

    Your wee birds are saying different things than mines are. More birds around here today than there are in Gibraltar at this time of year.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Nevin: “Dread, if the electorate was capable of voting for McGuinness then it could just as easily have voted for McDonald. Two peas, different pods. ”

    Simplistic analysis — I’d expect better of you, Nevin. You’re off your form…

    McGuinness, for good or for ill, hails from an organization that has almost always had a political agenda, a political wing, a political tradition and, not to put too much shellack on the point, political support. J-Mac has none of the above, Robinson’s efforts to give them cover notwithstanding. It would take a great deal of work to get J-Mac up to McGuinness’ level of social acceptability. M-McG has had a lot of polish applied to clean him up for public consumption… J-Mac is still in his “authentic gangsta” stage.

    On a strictly semantic point, it “could” rain fish from the skies this afternoon, but that doesn’t mean it will, now does it?

  • Big Bird

    “A wee bird told me the minutes of the Executive were passed on a majority Sinn Fein – DUP vote (Gildernew abstaining) with UU and SDLP against. When the chips were down, Martin, Conor and Caitriona lined up with Peter Robinson. this should play well in Cross and Carrickmore ”

    Posted by An Bearnach on Oct 18, 2007 @ 05:20 PM

    I assume that “An Bearnach”‘s bird comes direct from the executive, as he is responsible for dealing with the media for the SDLP on this issue and would be briefed by said minister!!!! Come on S.M!!!

  • After a long hard think and debate on the situation with the tutor of my politics class I have came to the conclusion that Robinson is panicing and made a very bad knee jerk decision which will cost his party dearly.

    He and his party are desprate to make every decision and statement a tribal issue to block out the fact that in terms of real politics his party can’t actually cut the mustard, the Shinners are in the same boat though they actually serve their consitstuants interests. With the looming question about water charges, the still supressed report from Deloite into the cost of a divided society (thank you Alliance Party) and DUP members dodgy land deals they are genuinely terrified that the eletorate will see them for the useless wastes of time they are and vote accordingly in the next election. If the working class loyalists and republicans remain ignorant to how real politics is supposed to work they remain more likely to vote tribally, if at all.

    Concerned Loyalist himself made this very point on a similar thread as this (accidently I’m sure) basically saying that there where no other options for working class loyalists other than the DUP or UUP, but with a working devolved government other options will pop up, The Conservatives, Labour etc are all planning a return in force and this rightly scares the DUP and Sinn Fein.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    It would be nice if we could get some ICM/Mori/YouGov-type polls more regularly in Northern Ireland the way they do across the water, it’s really hard to know how the public as a whole react to events like this.

  • The problem with such polls being that people in NI are unashamed liars. If recent polls where to be believed the majority of this country is moderate in their politics and just want to get along, these are the same people that then went out and voted for DUP and Sinn Fein. Both these parties are a lot of things, moderate is not one of them.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I think a survey would indicate a very high rate of support for Ritchie’s decision.

    The average punter cares little for the minutiae of arcane rules and regulations, and is likely not to see this as a technical legalistic issue. Some even might see the DUP and Shinners ganging up on a woman to defend a loyalist terrorist organisation… perception could be important here, and public opinion will affect how this pans out.

    I thought Ritchie’s performance on H&M was good, even if it did wander into dangerously high-stakes territory. She is not the mouse I thought she might be!