“Now that they are running the country..”

A succinct report in today’s Irish Times [subs req] on the launch of Ed Moloney’s biography of Ian Paisley at the Linen Hall in Belfast last night.

Introduced by historian Lord Paul Bew and US political lobbyist Frank Costello, Moloney didn’t say anything specifically about the First Minister but took the opportunity to question why the DUP and Sinn Féin “with arguably the most responsibility in perpetuating the Troubles were the ones who were rewarded when it ended”.

“I have always been of the belief that both these parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin, needed to be closely watched. Now that they are running the country, they need to watched very, very closely.” He also joked that the prospect of the devolution of policing powers to such a government made him happy he now lived in New York.

Some of us are not so lucky..

, , , , ,

  • Greenflag

    Moloney need’nt worry . The Assembly is not going to last . The cracks are now emerging.

    ‘He also joked that the prospect of the devolution of policing powers to such a government made him happy he now lived in New York.’

    IIRC there were congratulations a few years back when ex presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani managed to get the annual murder rate in New York down to to three figures i.e 980 approx . How many murders did Belfast have last year ? 10?
    Facts and numbers of course don’t sound as good as the sound bite !

    ‘Some of us are not so lucky.

    You may be luckier than you think at least until the House of Cards collapses and even then Direct Rule can probably keep the lid on .

  • Juan Kerr

    Er, I think you’ll find that if the assembly does collapse like a house of cards the days of outright direct rule are history, it will be joint administration from now on. At least that was what was on offer at the time of the St Andrew’s Agreement?…in any case I can’t imagine either country wants the additional headache of trying to govern NI in the current uncertain economic climate, so I’d imagine each government will be trying to offload as much responsibility as possible onto the other.

  • DC

    “He also joked that the prospect of the devolution of policing powers to such a government made him happy he now lived in New York.”

    Oh another journalist feeding of the manure of local politics that fertilised alot of careers while the writers did nothing themselves to impress upon politics enough to effect change.

    They are the beasts that fed the pictures and narratives into the minds of the local electorate. The amount of time and coverage given to shock politics was so disproportionate that it made Northern Ireland out to be a place firmly supportive of that kind of stuff.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I think you’ll find that if the assembly does collapse like a house of cards the days of outright direct rule are history, it will be joint administration from now on. At least that was what was on offer at the time of the St Andrew’s Agreement?.’

    You could be forgiven for thinking that but once the Assembly ‘collapses’ the SAA like Sunningdale becomes history and there will be a ‘new’ situation. At that time both governments will revert to former practice.i.e

    ‘Lift the lid of the cauldron , look again into the mess of NI sectarian politics , do a patch up /band aid job, quietly despair and put the lid back on again‘

    It will be DR with some more direct input from Dublin. JA is a non runner. Too impractical . NI already costs too much to govern . JA would only increase those costs .

    There is of course always a ‘repartition’ solution waiting in the wings . A basis for repartition may exist if and when the new ‘Councils’ are established .

    ‘I can’t imagine either country wants the additional headache of trying to govern NI in the current uncertain economic climate’

    The UK did it well enough for 30 years plus . They can keep the lid on .It’s their 5 billion going down the swannee anyway. And Northern Ireland’s Unionist parties did not appear to miss local democratic accountability for some strange reason ? Bertie will be more concerned with his ‘legacy’ . Gordon Brown will cough up the necessary kudos to keep the place from imploding in the midst of his ‘re-election’ campaign .

  • Steve

    I don’t think Brownie will be too happy with this file landing on his desk along with the accompaning blame for nIreland implosion.

    I think this time the unionists are in for a hard landing as they won’t be welcomed lovingly back into the fold.

    As previously noted the english are well sick of the sectarian politics

  • Dk

    “I think this time the unionists are in for a hard landing as they won’t be welcomed lovingly back into the fold. ”

    Were they ever! From Churchill wanting to shell them to Thatcher implementing the Anglo-Irish government, British policy has been about keeping them as far away as possible.

  • ulsterfan

    It all depends who gets the blame for collapse.
    You know each side will blame the other.
    In any event the Shinners need the Assembly more than Unionists because SF have nowhere to go.
    They have been kicked out of political life in the South where they have little or no influence and Unionists will be able to walk all over them for fear of collapse and SF left holding the blame.
    What will their friends in USA or ROI say?

  • Greenflag

    ‘I don’t think Brownie will be too happy with this file landing on his desk along with the accompaning blame for nIreland implosion.’

    For Gordon Brown it would be no more than an inconvenience . Following on 40 years of various failed attempts to restore some form of political normality to the province there would in any event be little blame attached to Brown . Blair perhaps for being too idealistic . The British voter is so used to NI ‘failing’ that they have long since blamed the failure on the locals both Unionists and Republicans .

    ‘I think this time the unionists are in for a hard landing as they won’t be welcomed lovingly back into the fold.’

    What fold ? Unionists were always outside the fold anyway . From 1920 to 1972 they had their own show anyway . Since then HMG has been carrying the political can simply because the locals cannot or refused to or would not agree to !

    ‘As previously noted the english are well sick of the sectarian politics ‘

    That may well be but IMO the ‘english’ could’nt care less one way or the other as long as NI is quiet and keeps it’s bombs and murders over there !

    Unionists know that they cannot be put out of the Union without their consent . Such a situation would be GUBU – gross -unbelievable -bizarre and unprecedented ! No democratic country has ever ‘expelled’ a part/region/province of itself against te majority wishes of the local electorate in said province .

  • “‘As previously noted the english are well sick of the sectarian politics ‘”

    Not just the English.

  • Greenflag

    ‘In any event the Shinners need the Assembly more than Unionists because SF have nowhere to go.’

    SF perhaps but the Irish people of Northern Ireland may opt for repartition as being a better bet than a longer term uncertain future .

    ‘They have been kicked out of political life in the South where they have little or no influence’

    Eh ? They were never in political life in the Republic . The established parties are too strongly entrenched . At most they got 8% ? Same or even a little more than AP in NI.

    ‘Unionists will be able to walk all over them for fear of collapse and SF left holding the blame.’

    Unionists collapsed Sunningdale – Trimble walked out several times in the last Assembly . No matter what comes to pass Unionists will always earn the kudos in the perpetual Assembly Handicap Collapse Stakes . Their political reputation for division , intolerance , and sheer inability to compromise is so well founded that SF would have to be seen doing a Reichstag job complete with torch in hand to get any of the blame. Even then they would still come up smelling like roses 🙁

    Never underestimate Unionist political incompetence . And I mean never ! Just look at what they’ve been electing for the past generation or more !

    ‘What will their friends in USA or ROI say? ‘

    They’ll believe whatever SF tells them . They certainly won’t believe the ‘unionist’ version nor will anybody else this side of Jerusalem.

  • John O’Connell

    “I have always been of the belief that both these parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin, needed to be closely watched. Now that they are running the country, they need to watched very, very closely.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    With Paisley gone there will be enormous pressure on the press to raise the past scandal that he, Paisley, has been part of, i.e. David Ervine’s wallpaper remarks. Republicans may feel that the pressure is then off them to maintain Gerry Adams as a similar god-like figure, and – not needing to show the same loyalty any more – they may begin to release information that takes away from his divine image. Paisley and Adams feed off each other. Paisley going will enable their enemies to attack both theses demagogues and this may mean that Adams has to go too.

    I predict that there will be strong pressure on Adams to go in May too. He is after all a spent force so far as the South is concerned, and a weary potential liability in Northern terms. Remember “I am not and never have been an IRA member.” That’s a risky approach.

    I guess that the press will move into overdrive in their pursuit of both these characters in the next sixty days.

    Events, i.e. the demise of the DUP and SF parties, will be worth watching very, very closely then.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    The good political folk of NI can’t seem to agree or make it work? The Assembly about to collapse?
    Kinda schizophrenic society stuff in NI formed by fear and paranoia over the years. Probably will never heal either. Well, not in this generation. When a Unionist looks in the mirror he see’s a hardline Republican looking back, his greatest deepest fear, and vice versa. Dr. Frankenstein and the monster he made! Oh, what to do with the monster.

  • ulsterfan

    The assembly will not collapse.
    SF will do anything to keep it going.
    I am tempted to say they would sell their souls but this was done some years ago and they can only re mortgage any thing left behind.

  • Grassy Noel

    Ed says elsewhere that he was sickened by how the Sinn Fein and the DUP fed off eachother on their way to the top.

    Funny, all the while Ed was feeding off them: Secret History of the IRA and now this.

    His bank manager must be thanking him. Must be great to be a self-appointed moral judge.

  • Greenflag

    ‘When a Unionist looks in the mirror he see’s a hardline Republican looking back, his greatest deepest fear, and vice versa.’

    ‘The glass is falling hour by hour
    The glass will fall for ever
    But if you break the bloody glass
    You won’t hold up the weather ‘

    Louis MacNiece

    Paisley’s recently put on new face may have broken the glass /mirror.

    And the weather will continue -uncertain -cloudy with storms ahead . No political blue skies on the horizon.

  • Dewi

    Is Moloney from NI? He was on the tele the other day and I couldn’t place the accent at all.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Good one Greenflag!

    Aspects of that MacNiece poem seem to sum up the dithering NI Assembly today….

    It’s no go the picture palace, it’s no go the stadium,
    It’s no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
    It’s no go the Government grants, it’s no go the elections,
    Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Ha ha, there’s more.

    Think of the folk at Stormont when reading this……

    It’s no go the merrygoround, it’s no go the rickshaw,
    All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
    Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
    Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison.