More Executive stress..

Mick pointed to the missing administration on Saturday and yesterday I added the UUP leader Reg Empey’s comments on the not “sufficiently mature” performance of the Assembly and Executive. Today the BBC’s Martina Purdy, picking up on the on-going threats from Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, starts by referencing policing and justice powers, adds examples of other cancelled meetings, and gathers together some pertinent quotes – although Rick Wilford’s quote should probably be measured against the recollection of Mitchell Reiss. From Martina Purdy’s report

Professor Rick Wilford, from Queen’s University’s politics department, said problems are being posed by the fact the DUP cannot be sure of Sinn Fein’s commitment to power-sharing. He pointed to recent implied threats by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams who, concerned by the failure to implement an Irish language act as promised at St Andrews, spoke of meltdown.

Professor Wilford said: “We’ve seen a variety of signals particularly from Gerry Adams that he is prepared, I think, to pull the plug. “That is going to increase and enhance the pressure to try and get agreement on some sticky problems fairly quickly. “If Adams is true to implied threats being voiced we could be in for a very sticky period indeed over the new few months and it is not inconceivable (the executive) could unravel.”

  • joeCanuck

    the DUP cannot be sure of Sinn Fein’s commitment to power-sharing

    The opposite is true also.
    The TUV has the DUP nervously looking over their shoulders, I think. They can’t have ever imagined that there would be another Party to the right of them.

  • Sam Flanagan

    Something tells me Punt better end the Terrocratic “abomination” (as Iris would say) ASAP.

  • El Paso

    “the DUP cannot be sure of Sinn Fein’s commitment..”

    Proffessor Rick makes it sound like a bad thing. Of course the DUP should not take SF for granted, it’s the first sign of contempt and guaranteed to wreck any marriage.

  • Pete Baker


    To be fair to the DUP, they haven’t yet threatened to collapse the Executive simply because, on their own, they can’t deliver what they promised to deliver for their party members and activists.

  • El Paso


    You are only half right. The DUP can, on their own, deliver what they promised: a block on progress. So why would they threaten to collapse the executive?

  • El Paso

    Does ‘activist’ mean ‘voters’? An oddly constructed sentence, it’s almost the kernel of a NARRATIVE.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The DUP should tell SF to go and f*** themselves if they want to pull out. The executive can operate without them.

  • El Paso

    The executive can operate without them.

    Like it survived with Seamus Mallon? And David Trimble?
    The way Stormont survived without taigs about the place?
    I’m not so sure…

  • Dewi

    Pete – hope about suggesting a way forward?
    Joseph – like that has worked in the past?

  • Dewi

    how about – sorry

  • DC

    Well all I can say to Robinson and Co is that “I warned ya” about sitting on your hands, as it is tantamount to really doing nothing.

    If the executive does unravel maybe some bright militant will plant enough explosives on the last day of the Assembly sitting to wipe out Stormont and every last politician, or is that fatally undemocratic?

    Now that would be a revolution.

  • joeCanuck

    True, Pete.
    But what I meant to point out that there is a great deal of mistrust on both parts.

  • Quagmire

    Of course Sinn Fein could pull the plug at any time. After all their whole raison d’etre is to bring about Irish reunification by whatever means possible hence their allegiance is not to the success of power sharing per say but rather to their primary goal of Irish unity. The reason why they are sharing power at Stormont is, rightly or wrongly, due to their belief that power sharing at this time is conducive to this this noble aspiration. If at some future juncture another opportunity arose which presented SF with an alternative way to peacefully achieve their aims they would surely ditch power sharing and travel the alternate avenue. Jim Allister is correct in at least this assertion that SF is not in Stormont for the benefit of or in support of the state-let, but rather in attempt to seek its destruction at some point in the future whilst at the same time providing a stable govt for the sake of peace and stability ,as to maintain these two ingredients at this time is a recipe for Irish unity at some future date, from their perspective.

  • picador

    I think SF should give it another six months and if they can’t get agreement on the transfer of policing and justice powers by then they should pull the plug.

    The DUP’s intransigence on the Irish language is infuriating. However I don’t think many people would thing it worthwhile bringing down the executive over it.

    Ditto for the Maze – a white elephant in my view.

    Policing and justice is the key.

  • picador

    It’s worth pointing out that the likely outcome of any future Assembly election is that designated unionists will be in a minority.

  • percy

    I think SF and the DUP need to be careful, the longer they are seen to be in disagreement, the more likely they’ll be turfed out at the next elections.

    Who would seriously vote for more stalemate? and in those circumstances norn iron would return to SDLP and UUP as majority parties.

    SF/DUP cannot take the electorate for granted.
    Hence the reason I believe neither will collapse the executive.

  • Quaysider

    The real question is why a BBC reporter – apparently on a solo run from her presently holidaying colleagues – is helping to push this Gerry Adams grandstanding as some sort of crisis. It’s a non-story. Internal tensions in SF have more to do with it. There’ll be no plug-pulling, period.

  • Elvis Parker

    Have to say I agee with Quaysider – cant see how SF pulling the plug would either pacify the dissenters amongst SF’s supporters or promote their wider agenda.
    Effectively they would be admitting to the critics in their suppporters that they got it wrong.
    They would be ushering back Direct Rule – and within a year or so that would be a fairly unsympathic Tory Direct Rule (not that Gordon seems overly sympathetic)

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Whoever took Gerry’s teddy bear, would you please give it back to him immediately?

  • truth and justice

    Adams is behaving in a very childish manor bring the power sharing arrangements down and the whole world will blame Sinn Fein because they through the bath water out with the dummy.

  • Comrade Stalin

    El Paso:

    Like it survived with Seamus Mallon? And David Trimble?

    No, like the way it survived without the DUP in the first few years.

    Why should the entire system collapse because a minority (~25%) desire it ?

    The way Stormont survived without taigs about the place?

    Since in this case the taigs are threatening to exclude themselves, I don’t see the parallel.