The other problem for the deputy First Minister is that his analysis elsewhere is, at best, flawed – now that we are in May.. In the Irish Times he’s repeated his claim that the DUP told him that they “would stand by St Andrews” [subs req]
“When I asked the question about St Andrews I was told on the Saturday prior to the 26th (of March) – that was the 24th – that the DUP would stand by St Andrews,” said Mr McGuinness.
“It was Ian junior that said it. But nobody at the meeting said: ‘No, we can’t do that.’ When you negotiate with people and someone tells you that they will stand by it and nobody else disagrees, I think it’s fair on our part to leave the meeting on the basis that you have an agreement.”
As the Irish Times report also notes
However, the DUP rejected Mr McGuinness’s account of the March 24th meeting.
“At no time during the meeting did any DUP representative give a commitment to devolve policing and justice powers by May 2008,” a spokesman said.
He said the DUP at that meeting said it would “stand by any commitment it made at St Andrews”, but never “during or after St Andrews did the DUP make a commitment to devolve policing and justice powers within the Government timetable”.
“Whilst the DUP favours the devolution of policing and justice powers, we have stated in our manifesto, and in other public comments, that the confidence does not exist to support any move.”
For those still confused, there may be some, here’s a post from November, 2006, on the difference between target dates and commitments – or deadlines and conditions – and what the St Andrews document actually said.
Or you could read the DUP’s Iris Robinson’s response to Martin McGuinness’ previous assertion that the DUP had given the commitment he claims.
While it would seem foolish for republicans to accept the outlandish boasts and rhetoric of the Sinn Fein leadership when playing to their base and not see through them, it would be even more foolish for unionists to fall into the trap of believing them.
Now that we are in May..