“Sinn Fein needs these powers to be devolved..”

Sinn Féin’s u-turn over their previously demanded “safeguards” in any devolved justice ministry, however Martin McGuinness cared to portray it, might have bought them the appearance of movement.. however briefly.. But Gerry Adams is still talking about failure of the “indigenous” deal threatening to take the ball away. And he’s still pointing, again, to ‘promises’ at St Andrews. Not that he can point directly at such a promise on policing and justice.. as the DUP’s Peter Robinson has re-stated. The problem for the Sinn Féin leadership is that those promises were made elsewhere by them, and to a particular audience – as Maurice Hayes identified in March.

Sinn Fein needs these powers to be devolved, not only because they represent the last piece of the Patten jigsaw, but because it was a main element in the bill of sale on which they persuaded republicans to buy into support for policing.

For Patten, it was a defining function of government, and a manifest of the commitment of parties to defend the institutions and the common good, that they should exercise these powers. For Sinn Fein and republicans, it is symbolically important that these powers should be exercised by local politicians responsible to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Without that, the Sinn Fein leadership would not have got agreement, and failure to deliver will seriously damage their credibility.

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  • kensei

    O% new content. It’s fucking, spam Pete.

    And also: Political party wants to deliver key promise or else it loses credibility? This is a key fucking insight? Really?

    In any case, there are reasons why it got to be a key demand in the first place, some of them ideological, some of them practical. SF do not want it devolved for the sake of it: they want it devolve because it is a key pillar of government, and important for a Republican perspective that the power is exercised in Irish hands. It also helps cement the settlement, important at a junction where fragmentation is occurring within Republicanism.

    Adams is 100% right in threatening to take the ball away, and 100% should if necessary.

  • ulsterfan

    The natural instinct of any political party is to weaken its opposition.
    The DUP don’t owe any favours to SF. As a matter of fact they should frustrate their demands for devolution as long as possible because they owe it to their supporters that these powers will only come to Stormont when the Unionist community have confidence they will be properly used.That confidence does not exist.
    If this causes problems for Adams it is tough luck.The DUP can call his bluff because he has nowhere else to go.
    Remember the mantra ” GFA is the only show in town”— How he must regret saying this.
    He can be pushed much further to give concessions such as ILA, Maze and restoration of academic selection if desired by parents.
    Where does that leave us? Back to original Unionist demands.

  • kensei

    The DUP don’t owe any favours to SF. As a matter of fact they should frustrate their demands for devolution as long as possible because they owe it to their supporters that these powers will only come to Stormont when the Unionist community have confidence they will be properly used.That confidence does not exist.

    Pure, steaming horseshit.

    “Community confidence”? Has anyone ever set out an objective standard for this? Attempted to give any criteria? IRC, the last survey had over 50% of DUP supporters supporting the devolution of justice powers in May. I could add that there is a significant section of the Nationalist community that don’t have confidence unless the powers are devolved. No, there is no criteria other than what the DUP can get out of SF.

    Which is fine, but it does mean that

    1. The DUP are soft on crime. There is basically what amounts to an epidemic in West Belfast. Normally, public outcry would cause minsters to act a la knife crime in England but whoops, no, we have no minster to act. Every murder, every rape, every police fuck up, every miscarriage of justice — the DUP deserve a wee bit of the responsibility for them by blocking a change that means we might be able to make changes that changes those outcomes.

    2. The DUP have zero interest in actually create a stable NI, but are rather only interested in pure sectional advantage. Having a rump of society completely divorced from its institutions is utterly bad from us all. Have we learned nothing.

    No, the DUP owe SF squat. They owe their constituents better.

  • ulsterfan

    kensai

    I am a little confused. Since when did the GFA become a settlement? Sf describe it as part of a process leading to something else and when did fragmentation of support take place. Here again we are told the leadership enjoy the confidence of all.

  • Comrade Stalin

    kensei, you’re drinking that strange SF koolaid which says that crime will mysteriously stop in West Belfast as soon as the new (non Sinn Fein) justice minister takes over. I’d be very careful about buying into that idea.

    If Adams wants to take the ball away, then fine. All party talks again, and given that Sinn Fein have burned all their bridges with the SDLP, they’ll be isolated and out of government for a long time.

  • kensei

    CS

    kensei, you’re drinking that strange SF koolaid which says that crime will mysteriously stop in West Belfast as soon as the new (non Sinn Fein) justice minister takes over. I’d be very careful about buying into that idea.

    No, I’m not, and don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t have particular faith in our local politicians to do anything serious or inventive enough to really tackle crime.

    But they will at least try something, and you can always be surprised. What is absolutely, 100% certain is they will not do anything while the powers are not in their hands. In the future the blame could be fairly leveled at the Justice Minster and the Executive in general. At the moment it’s entirely fair to leave at the door of the DUP for being soft on crime.

    UF

    I am a little confused. Since when did the GFA become a settlement? Sf describe it as part of a process leading to something else and when did fragmentation of support take place. Here again we are told the leadership enjoy the confidence of all.

    It’s, shall we say, the current settlement. If the DUP are serious about it being a permanent settlement, then they need to draw outsiders in. Sectional advantage won’t cut it. It won’t cut it for SF either, if they want to move us elsewhere.

    As for fragmentation, follow the news. SF do still enjoy a remarkable amount of support. But councilor here, adviser there, creeping dissident support. A lot of it with the breaking point being policing. The principle of P&J;has been conceded by everyone. It’s in everyone’s interest then to get it here and make it work. If it helps stem the drift to dissidents and has people more comfortable for policing structures, that’sa win for everyone, not just SF.

  • slug

    Are Sinn Féin committed to powersharing?

  • kensei

    Are Sinn Féin committed to powersharing?

    I guess it depends. Are the DUP going to share power?

  • ulsterfan

    Looks like a stale mate.
    Who is going to blink first?

  • slug

    “I guess it depends. Are the DUP going to share power?”

    Sinn Féin has the same power as the DUP.

  • ulsterfan

    slug
    In theory SF have the same power but in reality DUP are in a more dominate position.
    For example if SF want some significant changes they require approval from DUP and vice verse.
    On the other hand DUP can keep the status quo without any support from SF.

  • DC

    If Sinn Fein could walk on water rather than marvel at that the DUP, Peter and Iris Robinson, would ridicule them for not swimming.

    The problem is the DUP continues to focus on personalities rather than a new middle-class electorate who voted for SF to ensure historic deals were finished off, IRA wound up, and policing backed and back in the hands of people, all people.

    It is a mandatory coalition, parties must show leadership and innovate politically to deliver inside these constraints to grow wider NI confidence in devolution. Until there is credible belief at elector level that the Assembly will not bifurcate into its negative designation blocs to block rather than overcome contentious issues, then the public will see to it that mandatory coalition remains.

    Ergo, no chance nor opportunity to renegotiate the shape and operation of NI assembly governance.

    It’s time to inspire, grow support, change attitudes and lead people into acceptance of power sharing not banking up shares of power to the advantage of a particular ethnic group.

  • Pete Baker

    Talking to me again then, ken?

    You might want to check your percentages too.. since you don’t actually click on my links. And as long as Gerry continues to claim that promises existed, I’ll continue to point out the reality of the current situation.

    But your argument/futuring is not un-reasonable as far as it goes.

    Not withstanding Comrade Stalin’s reasonable caveat and your own admission that you “don’t have particular faith in our local politicians to do anything serious or inventive enough to really tackle crime.”

    But if they do have any ideas they can still lobby the current minister in charge of criminal justice matters – who happens to be introducing new measures as we speak.

    Now that Restorative Justice, SF’s big idea, hasn’t worked.

    As for

    As for fragmentation, follow the news. SF do still enjoy a remarkable amount of support. But councilor here, adviser there, creeping dissident support. A lot of it with the breaking point being policing.

    Policing, eh? And not the repeated claims to promises that never existed.

    That’s where the credibility gap exists.

  • DC

    Pete in this case your micromanagement is tantamount to bad political mismanagement!

    There’s no IRA now, no London face to save nor any British prestige either. Either local politicians build up confidence in Northern Ireland in terms of operability and stability; or, the British exchequer runs it down, and more back deal talks with SF et al.

    News management will see to it that consensus over the next decade or two delivers in the right direction. Unionist are fecking idiots.

    At a time when local councils are working together delivering strategies to work up on local image and branding through amplifying a common direction together; unionists fail to see the same need to get over a retarded past and work on building up regional image themselves.

    It’s a nonsense. The proof of this is the fact that roughly speaking the DUP cant bear to see a SF minister over policing with a DUP one, so instead they are happy with a ministry to go to someone else inside a devolutionary system. It is personnel and not politics at stake here and that sums up the DUP. Person before politics, which roughly speaking is an illness throughout much of NI politics. People well into themselves rather than the people who put them there to lead up change and to get the best deal on their behalf.

  • Pete Baker

    DC

    “It’s time to inspire, grow support, change attitudes and lead people into acceptance of power sharing not banking up shares of power to the advantage of a particular ethnic group.”

    As a start, how about certain party’s stop being economical with the acualité?

    To their own supporters.

  • Dewi

    Pete – when SF were conducting all those town hall meetings re policing quoting the May 08 deadline do you think that:

    a) They were making it up or:
    b) They believed that the DUP were committed to the timetable.

    Personally I suspect b)

    To be honest I reckon that SF would have been happy with a later deadline – as lond as the path was clear.

  • Pete Baker

    “Personally I suspect b)”

    Dewi

    That would require you to ignore everything that both the DUP actually said and the UK government eventually confirmed.

    But you believe Gerry et al if you want to..

    After all, despite everything that’s happened, Gerry’s sticking to his guns on this one [pun intended].

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Pete,

    thanks for that reminder to everyone about the importance of the transfer of Police and Justice to the PEACE PROCESS. We have The Irish Government, The British Government, The US administration, SF, SDLP in favour of the transfer and the DUP against.

    If Grizzly has to collapse the assembly because on non-movement by the fundamentalist-anti-gay-anti-evolution party then I think its pretty clear who is going to take-one-up-the-jacksey for the failure at Stormont – if you’ll pardon the imagery.

    Kensei,

    dont let the feckers grind you down.

  • DC

    How about calling that inspirational, what SF did. Otherwise Dr No, would never have jumped what with his decades of negativity in suits all grouped around him. And we would be blogging about Joint Authority being a bunch of..? Yea?

    People have been exposed to decades worth of political negativity culminating in legitimised sectarianism, in the year 2008 it’s about time certain factions either moved on emotionally and politically, or do an Iris Robinson. That is if morally it is too much for them then they should just give up office and lobby for change outside of it rather than do nothing within, whenever other people especially at local government level and beyond clearly are doing something together.

  • dunreavynomore

    why would s.f give any support to a police system that connor murphy described in an phoblact on thursday past as ‘heavy handed and politically inspired’? this so long after they had told their troops that they would ‘put manners’ on the p.s.n.i. does anyone in s.f. actually have any real idea of where they are supposed to be going? i hae me doots!

  • I chanced on “Inside Politics” today and I heard Gerry say something rather strange: “Peter Robinson is the senior partner”. He was referring to the OFMDFM, a ministry of supposed equals.

  • cynic

    kensei

    You are starting to believe your party’s own propaganda. SF have been talking up crime in West Belfast to bolster the case for devolution to ‘make things better’ and to justify their own focus on community restorative justice to solve the serious problems in the area. But as the PSNI Annual Report shows

    “There were 108,468 crimes recorded by the PSNI in 2007/08 compared with 121,144 in 2006/07, a decrease of 12,676 (-10.5%). Decreases in crime were also achieved across all 8 of the PSNI’s Policing Districts.”

    So crime is down overall and down in all policing areas. Crime per capita in NI is also well below that in the rest of the UK.
    Undoubtedly there are some serious problems in West Belfast but nowhere near as bad as some would allege.

    I think there are two factors in this.

    First, some of this may of course be displacment therapy. Get people to think about the bogeyman so they don’t dwell too long on other less palatable things, like what the hell was 35 years of murder for?

    Second, and even worse, is the issue of perspective. For 30+ years the scum and hoods respected SF (i.e. feared PIRA). That fear is still there but is weakening. If you have been used to being the voice of the community who defines what people think then its a real blow when they all start talking with different voices, including the hoods who may even talk back.

  • Intelligence Insider

    There is very little support within the Unionist community for the devolution of P&J;as things stand at present. Personally I think it is much better to let sinn fein continue to fragment over the issue. Just as it was the republican plan to fragment Unionism now we should play the long game and wait until they are torn apart internally over this issue and any others possible.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Intelligence Insider

    a cunning plan….except you may well experience greater ROI influence when Grizzly pulls the plug because the fundamentalist-anti-gay-anti-evolution-democratic-unionist-party will rightly take the blame for the costly decision “to let sinn fein continue to fragment over the issue” as you like to put it.

    If the peace process has taught Unionists anything then it should be that when the British are forced to make a choice that normally favours Nationalism.

  • ulsterfan

    II
    The signs of fragmentation are already there.
    In due course some SF voters will see the benefit of remaining in the UK and become unionist.
    This will evolve over the next 30/40 years and no one will take seriously talk of U.I.
    The union can only get stronger when we think of the great number of people moving from England and Scotland to live here.

  • Dewi

    “we think of the great number of people moving from England and Scotland to live here.”

    That’s interesting ulsterfan – I’ve been trying to find out about population movements from the rest of the UK. Are your thoughts anecdotal or do you have evidence?

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy

    If Adams pulls the plug he will not have any friends in London Dublin or Washington.
    He will be on his own and can kiss goodbye to any electoral advance in the South.He will be on his own ignored by everyone else.
    If ROI do become involved Unionists will clearly dictate their terms which will be seen as reasonable.
    Any talk of a new leader for SF?

  • ulsterfan

    Dewi
    When I turn up the figures I will let you know but I am certain more are moving into the North than leaving and this takes into account the large number of Protestant children who move away to University and generally speaking don’t return.
    From an anecdotal point of view you only have to listen to accents in places like Coleraine,, Ballymena, Belfast and Bangor.
    Estate agents will confirm the interest expressed by those living on the mainland up until the recent housing crisis

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Ulsterfan,

    re. “great number of people moving from England and Scotland to live here”

    Indeed.

    They must be attracted by the images they see on TV – with those very colourful anti-catholic marches that close Belfast down for the day and the regular fundamentalist utterances attacking gays and scientists.

    Perhaps an advertising campaign, along the following lines, could even increase the ‘great number’ even further…

    “Move back in time from the uncertainties of the liberal attitudes of 21st Century Britain to the more fundamentalist Non Iron where you can enjoy the cultural attitudes and religiosity of the 17th century.”

  • Rory

    “… Unionism … should play the long game and wait until they are torn apart internally over this issue and any others possible.”

    And then what, Intelligence Insider ? What does your “inside intelligence” advise you as to the likely outcome of such a scenario? Do you imagine that the last 80 odd years have been some sort of strange football league and that if you can only prevent your opponents from scoring this time then you will have achieved some drunken status close to heaven on earth?

    The world has been told and reassured again and again that agreement has been reached by the two communities to move forward together to build better government and that this would be demonstrated by the co-operation between the parties that represented those communities.

    The UUP showed that unionism could not hold to an agreement because of pressure from its backwoodsmen and now the backwoodsmen have made much the same agreement they appear simply to have no intention of adhering to it.Is this how you percieve victory for unionism – as a combination of deceit and reckless intrangicense? Has unionism learnt nothing whatsoever from the hope and horror of the last 40 years? Must it all be repeated and hope sacrificed on the bloody nails of “Not an inch”?

  • observer

    If the peace process has taught Unionists anything then it should be that when the British are forced to make a choice that normally favours Nationalism.
    Posted by It was Sammy McNally what done it on Aug 09, 2008 @ 11:27 PM

    ——————

    that was until gordon needed the DUP votes, and reg cuddled up to the Tories

  • dory

    Rory, the all-party committee which suggested that the P&J;minister be chosen by 50:50:50 consent (the consent of the majority of each of the three designations) also suggested that it be the first appointed ministry and that it should count in the d’hondt allocation of other ministries.

    The committee was chaired by the Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP and this suggestion was supported at the time. The problem is that Alliance aren’t entitled to a ministry (they’d need another seat) which creates a question over whether they’re entitled to an executive place and SF are refusing to nominate/support the SDLP. If SF did support the SDLP so would the unionists and alliance.

    SF are the only ones causing this problem. Perhaps they’re worried about a northern Michael McDowell.

    The other alternative is the UUP but that would require a re-run of the whole d’hondt round as they’d need to give up an existing portfolio.

    Anyway – why are you blaming the prods again?

  • kensei

    Talking to me again then, ken?

    More berating the lack of anything new, and kind of hoping someone else would come along to talk to.

    You might want to check your percentages too.. since you don’t actually click on my links.

    Tell me, how the hell am I supposed to identify which link has the info I want? In any case – is this not the last survey:

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/lies-damned-lies-and-statistics/

    I could add, since your spin in thatpieces was on the support decreasing, that fuck me political leadership does work Shame the DUP is moving it in the wrong direction.

    And as long as Gerry continues to claim that promises existed, I’ll continue to point out the reality of the current situation.

    If you are going to continue to post without adding anything new at all, I’m sure I could write you a script that will post it up to Slugger every two minutes.

    Not withstanding Comrade Stalin’s reasonable caveat and your own admission that you “don’t have particular faith in our local politicians to do anything serious or inventive enough to really tackle crime.”

    But if they do have any ideas they can still lobby the current minister in charge of criminal justice matters – who happens to be introducing new measures as we speak.

    I sorry, Pete, I don’t view that running to our colonial masters to beg that they might, possibly, if they feel like it have a go at sorting out the problems for the natives. If that’s the road we’re going down, why not just hand back the Assembly? In any case, it’s the type of patronage politics that is unfitting for Irish Republicans, and SF have been engaged in too much of that already.

    Now that Restorative Justice, SF’s big idea, hasn’t worked.

    Not so sure it can be written off entirely yet. Did you not blog about some being approved recently? Long run it may have a role to play, and it mightn’t be exactly where SF wanted it to fit. But that’s hardly unique in politics.

    Policing, eh? And not the repeated claims to promises that never existed.

    That’s where the credibility gap exists.

    SF promised wrongly, but is that what is causing people to leave. It is neither the first or last promise they will break. What you seem wholly ignorant of is that this isn’t simply “symbolic”, or wholly created so SF can have a win. It is causing them bother because substantive themes and ideology underpin it. People did not leave because SF broke a promise. They left because the broken promise meant SF was supporting institutions under conditions they found untenable. It wouldn’t have mattered if SF had not have made the promise in the first place. It’s the underlying situation that gives the difficulty.

    Of course, for some not even devolved P&J;would have been enough. But for some it would, and essentially the DUP are playing cheap games for sectional advantage for a principle they’ve already conceded. Which fine, and how the game is played an’ all, but people need to be at least aware of that when the next wave of violent crimes is hitting and our politicians are powerless ot make any real changes to combat it.

  • kensei

    cynic

    You are starting to believe your party’s own propaganda.

    I am not a member of any party. I am an independent Republican. Currently the SDLP is completely ineffectual, so we’re left with SF.

    SF have been talking up crime in West Belfast

    I’ll assume the reported murders and rapes did not happen.

    “There were 108,468 crimes recorded by the PSNI in 2007/08 compared with 121,144 in 2006/07, a decrease of 12,676 (-10.5%). Decreases in crime were also achieved across all 8 of the PSNI’s Policing Districts.”

    How much crime goes unreported within strongly Republican areas?

    So crime is down overall and down in all policing areas. Crime per capita in NI is also well below that in the rest of the UK.

    Is it 0? Is there no way our politicians might have ideas to improve thing for the better?

  • kensei

    Pete

    That would require you to ignore everything that both the DUP actually said and the UK government eventually confirmed.

    Two questions, yes or no will do:

    Has everything in The Process been stated publicly?

    Has every statement from the DUP and the British Government been truthful?

  • kensei

    CS

    If Adams wants to take the ball away, then fine. All party talks again, and given that Sinn Fein have burned all their bridges with the SDLP, they’ll be isolated and out of government for a long time.

    Completely missed this. It does not matter one bit what the SDLP do. SF draw strength from the Nationalist electorate here. If they back SF and the SDLP defies them, then they will be wiped out and SF will have to be dealt with in the long run. If they don’t, then it is SF who are toast. That is SF’s gamble if they want to make it.

  • SF/ArmaghFan

    Although I couldn’t travel to Dublin today for the Armagh match (due to work commitments), I drove past Lurgan PSNI barracks at lunch-time on my break for noseyness sake to see the eirigi protest.

    Although I only expected to see about 10 or so there, I was surprised at the turn-out. 40+ people and I was also surprised at many of the faces that were there because I thought some of them would have been sound SF supporters.

    While I still believe in SF, I have to say it was a better turnout than the “political policing” pickets of 3/4 years ago.

    I know I might get jeep from people in work or in the pub about where SF is at, or where they think they see SF going this weather, I didn’t think that Duffy and Mac Connithh could attract that type of support locally.

    I still don’t think eirigi is a threat to SF, but it may be a wake-up call for us in SF to get back to basics.

  • cynic

    Kensei

    “How much crime goes unreported within strongly Republican areas?”

    Quite a lot (as happens everywhere) but with the new dispensation we might have expected a rise in reporting in Republican areas. However recorded crime there is falling. This suggests that the underlying real drop in crime is even higher in those areas.

    No i am not suggesting that ‘those murders and rapes didn’t happen’ and thats a specious argument. This is a hard inner city area. No matter where it was and no matter what the local politic, there would be murders and rapes in any city. Those problems must be policed confronted and minimized.

    My point was that they were being talked up in West Belfast to help bolster the case for devolution while the figures show that crime is falling and the Police are getting on with their jobs, however imperfectly.

    Again we have SF on a variation of the MOPE strategy. Things are awful. You arent getting what you need. Trust us to solve it. We will put manners on the police.

    A real alternative would be to tell people the truth – that things are much better and that the changes in policing are delivering in co-operation with the community. But then there might not be so many votes or photo-ops in that.

  • “So crime is down overall and down in all policing areas.”

    Cynic, the statistics are for reported crime. Perhaps there has been a drop in reporting rather than a drop in crime.

    I was shocked quite recently to hear a Presbyterian church elder say that he decided to report ‘anti-social’ activities to someone associated with paramilitarism rather than waste time reporting them to the PSNI. I wasn’t impressed to see PSNI officers participating in community projects that were being directed by folks with alleged paramilitary affiliations.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Rory,

    “What does your “inside intelligence” advise you as to the likely outcome of such a scenario?”

    I would imagine that long term, the continued fragmentation and splintering will lead to a decline in sinn feins vote removing the entitlement to the DFM post in possibly 2 elections time. Any return to terrorism and criminality by these splinter groups would be easily managed and in a post 9/11 world we really could take the gloves off in dealing with them. Already the likes of cira/rira are full of covert human intelligence sources, almost to the same extent that pira/psf were/are.

  • Comrade Stalin

    kensei,

    One reason I’m suspicious about the link being made between crime in West Belfast (and other places) is because I haven’t seen a proposal from Sinn Fein about how the problems might be addressed. The Police Board is responsible for policing policy and practice at the moment, and I’ve seen no evidence that SF have put any proposals forward there to improve the situation. It may well be argued that the Police Board is ineffective; so where’s the evidence ? There’s no indication that SF have exhausted all of the avenues to try to sort things out in West Belfast.

    Like I said, the idea that this will magically change once we are in charge of the policing ministry, particularly in the absence of any specific plan, seems highly fanciful. The executive parties, broadly speaking, have shown no inclination to challenge the worldview of things put forward by the civil servants, and I’m sure we will agree that the civil servants who have been in charge of policing and so on for the past 30-odd years are going to be, shall we say, somewhat set in their ways.

    Despite how it may seem, I don’t actually disagree with you on the core issue, I think policing needs to be devolved quickly and I think we need to get a local minister in charge to make a few radical changes. However, that is my attitude about the whole executive, and let’s face it, the executive has been precisely the opposite of radical on the limited areas it has managed to agree on. Overall, I do not think this matter is worth bringing the house down over, and the only reason why Sinn Fein do is because they made some promises they couldn’t keep. By following this headline-grabbing pact with the DUP path, rather than having an all-inclusive political process, you have given the DUP the rope which they are now strangling you with.

    BTW, the reason why I think SF are short on policing proposals is because they know that the only way to sort things out in West Belfast and elsewhere will be for the police and courts to toughen their line. You’re going to have Sinn Fein politicians and former republican prisoners looking on while the police baton-charge hoods, like the ones up in Dunclug, off the streets. I think swallowing the StA is going to give you guys some serious indigestion.

  • Comrade Stalin

    kensei:

    Completely missed this. It does not matter one bit what the SDLP do. SF draw strength from the Nationalist electorate here. If they back SF and the SDLP defies them, then they will be wiped out and SF will have to be dealt with in the long run. If they don’t, then it is SF who are toast. That is SF’s gamble if they want to make it.

    A lot of people, including myself, have underestimated the resilence of the SDLP vote despite their own silliness. Personally, I do not think that the nationalist electorate right now have time for politicians who walk out.

    Despite Sammy etc.’s weird assertions, a walkout will leave SF isolated and without a negotiating hand. I would predict that all-party talks will resume and the resulting governmental structures will see a substantially diminished role for SF. The aftermath of the IRA’s disarmament will be Gerry Adams hand-delivering letters of protest to the doorman at Stormont. That’ll make republicans really happy.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Intelligence Insider

    “[i]There is very little support within the Unionist community for the devolution of P&J;as things stand at present. Personally I think it is much better to let sinn fein continue to fragment over the issue. Just as it was the republican plan to fragment Unionism now we should play the long game and wait until they are torn apart internally over this issue and any others possible. “[/i]

    Too right. The shinners held their guns as ransom against the decent people of N.Ireland for far too long. Let them rott.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I find this “let them rot” talk sickening, and utterly dishonourable given that SF have met the requirements made of them concerning disarming.

    Personally, I have no specific reason not to want SF in power, other than the fact that they are incompetent and have crap policies. I don’t consider them any more or less fit for government than the UUP or DUP, both of whom continue to maintain tenuous relationships with loyalist paramilitarism. At present, though, their mandate and the present rules give them the right to be in government.

  • Greenflag

    ulsterfan,

    ‘The natural instinct of any political party is to weaken its opposition.’

    That it is and in any normal democracy it could even make sense especially if it led to electoral gains at an upcoming election. Northern Ireland is NOT a normal democracy and neither can it ever become one in it’s present 6 county format .

    It would seem that you have either forgotten or are oblivious of the political history of the past 40 years in NI 🙁 You have heard of Sunningdale ?

    I guess you miss the good old days of Unionist majority rule or you may even hope for the possibility of the SDLP replacing SF in some new coalition ?

    Dream on .

    Adams is right on this one. NI needs to see Justice devolved a.s.a p . Failing that SF need to collapse the Assembly , and I would’nt worry about taking the blame . Unionists pulled that particular stunt on at least two occassions if I recall. Given ‘parity’ of esteem why should there not be a parity of ‘collapse ‘ surely it’s SF’s time anyway ?

    Any future ‘settlement ‘ will only result in a further weakening of the ‘unionist’ political position so Northern Nationalists and Republicans should’nt worry unduly . After all when Northern Nationalists and Republicans look at the political record over the past generation they can point to most ‘progress’ for their position being achieved under Direct Rule than under any Unionist Government .

    The Assembly is a House of Cards. I don’t mean that in the comic sense even if Mrs Robinson and Mr Storey have mistakenly chosen politics instead of ‘comedienne /comedian’ for their careers . It’s also a massive waste of time and taxpayer’s money . The sooner NI nationalists and Republicans bring it down the better .

    Roll on ‘repartition’ – it’s yer only man – and the sooner the better !

  • Intelligence Insider

    Well done Greenflag, you left repartition to the last sentence this time!
    Unionism should definitely not let P&J;be devolved as things stand. Let’s adopt the wait and see approach and watch sinn fein flounder and fall apart. There’s nothing I would rather see, apart from maybe them getting guns involved and shooting each other like the inla frequently did/do.

  • observer

    I find this “let them rot” talk sickening, and utterly dishonourable given that SF have met the requirements made of them concerning disarming.

    —————————–

    big surprise there from ALliance, we`re talking about terrorists who murdered men women and children. Tell me what is honorable about them NOT killing us. Totally sickening comment

  • manichaeism

    Ulsterfan,

    I wouldn’t get too excited about the accents. We have lots of people in the Republic with English accents but their parents or grandparents were Irish. The same might well be true in Northern Ireland

    Greenflag,

    I love your repartition idea.

  • Comrade Stalin

    observer, given that you’re a DUP sympathizer, you’re in no position to make judgements on people using violence.

    Greeflag, repartition is a load of wank. If we’re going to dick with the border, we might as well get rid of it. I don’t anticipate that in the short or medium term, however. The problem is that the political parties seem to want to make us believe that we can “solve” things without addressing the core problem. The fact that Iris Robinson was able to make the remarks that she did and get away with it is symptomatic of the problem.

  • Greenflag

    intelligence outsider .

    ‘Let’s adopt the wait and see approach and watch sinn fein flounder and fall apart.’

    For the cerebrally challenged of a unionist disposition ‘

    A short history of Unionist political idiocy .

    1920 -1968

    Let’s grab what we can -and give the Fenians feck all .

    Result .

    Oh s**t that did’nt work then did it ? Wonder why?

    1969 -1972

    We have to do something – there’s blood in the streets and the TV cameras and investigative reporters are making Northern Ireland’s Unionsts look like stone age throwbacks. Maybe Paisley has the answer or would that be Craig or Chi Chi .

    Result

    More S**t . No end of it 🙁

    1972 -1974

    Let’s do power sharing with the nice Catholics like the SDLP because they’re tame and any way we don’t want those Republican gunmen getting their hands on power .

    Result –

    Oh s**t got it wrong again 🙁 This is getting to be a habit .

    1974 to 1995

    Lets pretend it is’nt happening and we are as British as Finchley and fish and if Mr Molyneaux can’t win us integration in the UK a la Finchley then perhaps Enoch Powell will become Prime Minister and he will save us from the Fenians .

    Result
    Oh S**t got it wrong again

    1995 to 1998

    Mr Trimble’s fish and chips policy is definitely the answer and all of these talks about talks will sort out the problem surely

    Result

    Oh S**T got it wrong again .

    1998 to 2007

    GFA has saved the day . Trimble the fish and chip traitor is now gone and we are to be saved by Mr Paisley who has always stood up to the Fenians by refusing to share power with them -until now that is .

    Result

    Oh s**t it looks like we got it wrong yet again or so the TUV say . Maybe they have a plan ?

    2008 .

    Quite frankly from this outside observers opinion enough is f*****g enough !

    Say goodbye to Unionism in it’s every manifestation , shape and form for it is incapable of reforming itself from within or without . Time for Irish Nationalists and Republicans in Northern Ireland to start to prepare for real politics in a 30 county or so Republic following a fair ‘repartition’ of the abysmally dysfunctional 6 county State .

  • Greenflag

    manichaism ,

    ‘I love your repartition idea.’

    Well it beats looking forward 🙁 to 40 more years or longer of SF and DUP playing ‘here we go round the mullberry bush ‘ for the millionth time pretending it’s self government or ‘democracy ‘

    As I said a House of Cards and no longer funny not that it ever was .

  • Greenflag

    CS ,

    ‘If we’re going to dick with the border, we might as well get rid of it.’

    Great idea in theory -In practice simply neither practical , possible or even desirable from a Southern perspective either economically , politically or from a constitutional long term stability perspective . We have as a nation a moral obligation to those Northern nationalists and republicans who were cut off from the Irish State against their expressed democratic desires in 1918/20 . Thus ‘repartition’ . We can be ‘good ‘ neighbours with our Unionist fellow islanders across a new border . To be blunt . The crap has gone on long enough . There is no Godot and not only is he not arriving but he’s nothing to offer anyway .

    NI is a liability . There is little prospect of it ever being anything else in the short to medium term ie the next 10 to 50 years .

    ‘ The problem is that the political parties seem to want to make us believe that we can “solve” things without addressing the core problem.’

    Just another diversionary Godot then. It’s a never ending story and always will be while NI is a 6 county State .

    ‘ The fact that Iris Robinson was able to make the remarks that she did and get away with it is symptomatic of the problem.’

    Throw in Mr Storey and others of the pentecostalist / born again /creationist / ilk into the equation and if you can add one and one you should be able to deduce that these NI politicians are so far out on the looney fringe that we in the Republic are better off having nothing to do with them. NI nationalist and republicans have to do with them simply due to the ‘present ‘ border’ location .

    Good people that Robinson and Storey may be they belong to a different century . We want to move forward and not be dragged back to ignorance and superstition .

  • Greenflag

    As an SDLP supporter I can say that repartition is an extremely attractive proposition at this juncture.

    In fact I’ve published a booklet about such an outcome. See
    http://johnoconnell.org/an_irish_velvet_revolution.htm

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Greenflag,

    I thought you were a bit isolated on your pet topic – but turns out God is batting for it as well.

    Have you considered repatriation – for the Ulster Scots – it not only sound repartition but might also lead to civil war?

  • observer

    observer, given that you’re a DUP sympathizer, you’re in no position to make judgements on people using violence.

    —————-

    Really? hows this all those connected of terrorist offenses should remain behind bars for life with murders receiving capital punishment…too harsh ?? sure let them all out and give the shinners a few pressies

  • Greenflag

    ITSMNWDI,

    ‘but turns out God is batting for it as well.’

    I don’t think so. The Intelligent Designer is too busy at the moment trying to establish if his follower Robinson seriously expects him to intervene personally so that all the gays can be cured . I mean where would he find the time ?

    ‘Have you considered repatriation – for the Ulster Scots -‘

    No. They already have a country. It just the border that needs adjustment so that ‘politics’ can work .

  • declan

    Greenflag, I conjecture that repartition will become a more attractive option to many nationalists in the six counties in Scenario 2021: a hypothetical scenario in which nationalist demographic/political growth is seen to come to a halt short of the critical mass needed to generate a vote for Unity in the six counties. (Basically it’s like Betamax versus VHS in the 1980s, critical mass is what is needed and at some point its clear whether it is going to be attained). If nationalism fails to get the needed critical mass then nationalists will begin to look favourably on a fair and agreed repartition. Many people are now coming out already: e.g. well known letter-writer RG Cuan and highly-regarded Derry Journal business columnist Gerry Murray.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Greenflag,

    as I always like to say times like these – do you think we could get shot of Cavan during the re-partition – as a sort of payback to the Englezes for their misbehaviour over the years?

  • ulsterfan

    Greenflag
    Are the West Brits in Dublin area free to join the unionists in NE Ireland.
    Perhaps the new border will run from Coleraine to Waterford and include all territory to the East.
    Hows that for re-partition? Nearly as sensible as your proposal!

  • Pete Baker

    If we could get back to the actual topic..

    ..rather than Greenflag’s pet hobby-horse.

  • kensei

    CS

    One reason I’m suspicious about the link being made between crime in West Belfast (and other places) is because I haven’t seen a proposal from Sinn Fein about how the problems might be addressed. The Police Board is responsible for policing policy and practice at the moment, and I’ve seen no evidence that SF have put any proposals forward there to improve the situation

    I’m sure they could propose, and Hugh Orde could tell them it’s an operational matter. In all seriousness, have the Police Boards done anything? In which case, scrap them and replace them with something that has at least some teeth.

    Like I said, the idea that this will magically change once we are in charge of the policing ministry, particularly in the absence of any specific plan, seems highly fanciful. The executive parties, broadly speaking, have shown no inclination to challenge the worldview of things put forward by the civil servants, and I’m sure we will agree that the civil servants who have been in charge of policing and so on for the past 30-odd years are going to be, shall we say, somewhat set in their ways.

    The existence of the ministry creates its own momentum. If have it, and a minister, then proposals need made. Questions will be asked to the Minister in the Assembly, and in committees. Failure will carry a political cost. It is wholly better than where we are now.

    A lot of people, including myself, have underestimated the resilence of the SDLP vote despite their own silliness. Personally, I do not think that the nationalist electorate right now have time for politicians who walk out.

    I will note the Alliance leaning keenly honed instincts toward the Nationalist electorate. Then like any sensible person, ignore them completely. The SDLP have avoided a total UUP style collapse but are still falling, and are vulnerable in a few places. Being cast as Uncle Toms will not do them any good. I doubt they have the balls for it in any case.

    As I said, it’s SF’s gamble, and what the SDLP do is not directly relevant.

    Despite Sammy etc.’s weird assertions, a walkout will leave SF isolated and without a negotiating hand. I would predict that all-party talks will resume and the resulting governmental structures will see a substantially diminished role for SF. The aftermath of the IRA’s disarmament will be Gerry Adams hand-delivering letters of protest to the doorman at Stormont. That’ll make republicans really happy.

    The aftermath of that scenario is dangerous instability. Absolutely no one wants the scenario you’re after and I have absolutely no idea what would happen in such a scenario. If SF retain support then they need dealt with. The entire thrust of the Process has been locking people in.

  • Greenflag

    IWSMNWDI <'do you think we could get shot of Cavan during the re-partition'No them mane Cavan b*****ds own all the good pubs . We'd die of thirst 🙁Declan ,I don't ever see a future referendum on the issue despite the 'theory'. I agree re your 'critical ' mass but don't see why people should wait until 2021 to prove what's already known fact. Any movement towards repartition would of course have to be generated by nationalists and republicans from within NI.ulsterfan ,' Are the West Brits in Dublin area free to join the unionists in NE Ireland.'Of course all three of them - but not being retards they know which side of the border earns the most dough and has the brightest medium term future . Just because they may be West Brits doesn't mean they can't count 🙂Anyway as PB says back to the main issue lads .What will SF actually do if Justice is not devolved ? Will or can Unionists ever trust an SF Minister of Justice ? or vice versa ?Trust comes dropping slow we know - but it can't be a half way house if it's to work effectively . I can see all kinds of difficulties for an SF Justice Minister.The fact that ten years on from the GFA that this kind of issue is still extant just adds to the ' great but necessary 'fudge' that the GFA was bound to be . Adding the St Andrews 'modifications' onto the original bill of sale to mollify DUP voters has quite naturally led to an opposite effect on SF voters .I mean seriously folks can anyone really look forward to a generation of DUP v SF poncing about over flags in offices , kerbstones , language , protocol , and who's turn it is to stick to the other side .The fact that it beats what has gone on for the past 20 plus years is a valid one but I wonder for how much longer .

  • Dave

    “The natural instinct of any political party is to weaken its opposition.” – ulsterfan

    True, but only true if both parties are competing for the same voters. As this isn’t the case with SF and DUP voters, the actual opposition is constitutional/ethnic/quasi-sectarian (take your pick) rather than political, with the ‘opposing’ voters being on opposite sides of the constitutional issue. I say voters there rather than parties because both parties are actually on the same side on the constitutional issue (as resolved in the GFA/St. Andrews agreements) whereas SF voters have an understanding of where their party stands on that issue that differs from where the party’s leadership actually stands. Their surreal view is that their leadership is leading them toward a united Ireland, when the reality is that the leadership is implementing the British government’s policy of normalisation of the status quo in return for self-serving concessions from the British government for the leadership and its cronies and lackeys, e.g. lucrative high-profile careers, get-out-jail-free cards, turn-a-blind-eye and keep-your-buried-treasure deals, etc.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Greenflag,

    I can only read the first three lines of your contributions before falling asleep. You might want to find a more terse way to get your point across. I’d just reiterate that tinkering with the constitution of the state, no matter what way you do it or what direction you take it in, is a sideshow.

    kensei, thanks for the reply:

    I’m sure they could propose, and Hugh Orde could tell them it’s an operational matter.

    Which is exactly what he will tell a minister. You then get into the dangerous territory of deciding what is an operational matter and what isn’t.

    Government ministers cannot, by the way, interfere in operational matters. They are there to set the policy to guide the implementation, not do the implementation itself.

    In all seriousness, have the Police Boards done anything? In which case, scrap them and replace them with something that has at least some teeth.

    The Police Board runs the PSNI and all PSNI staff are it’s employees. I would be willing to entertain the argument that it is ineffective, but I see no particular evidence, as I said, that any representations have been made by Sinn Fein to address any of the specific law and order problems we have here.

    You said yourself earlier something along the lines of “we do not want to have to ask a British minister to fix it, we want to do so ourselves” which was revealing, suggesting that this is a matter of principle to some people rather than a matter of tackling law and order problems more effectively. Sinn Fein MPs have to represent their constituents in London on a regular basis, so there is nothing new about this idea, it’s the reality. Sinn Fein should be meeting the security minister to discuss how policing policy could be improved. If I had heard that they had went to the minister with a set of proposals (which is what they would have to do if it was devolved) then I would have less of a hard time believing that they were serious about this.

    The existence of the ministry creates its own momentum. If have it, and a minister, then proposals need made. Questions will be asked to the Minister in the Assembly, and in committees.

    I can’t dispute the merits of these points.

    Failure will carry a political cost. It is wholly better than where we are now.

    But I can dispute these. The political system here shields the parties from political cost. I guess that is one of the main problems for Alliance.

    The aftermath of that scenario is dangerous instability. Absolutely no one wants the scenario you’re after and I have absolutely no idea what would happen in such a scenario.

    I appreciate that you’re not in favour of a return to violence by the IRA, but I don’t think the circumstances or the motivation exist for it. People aren’t going to go to war over the absence of a locally-run policing service or the fact that the street signs aren’t in Irish. The volatility of 1969 is not in the air. I don’t like to overestimate the stability of this place, but the serious grievances of that time do not exist to the same extent.

  • kensei

    CS

    Which is exactly what he will tell a minister. You then get into the dangerous territory of deciding what is an operational matter and what isn’t.

    The minister will have the teeth for a fight. So when Order makes a crazy 0statements like whether the PSNI becomes an unarmed force (or the rate of doing so) is not a political manner he can kindly tell him otherwise.

    Someone needs to define the lines in any case. You can’t simply have the Chief Constable pronouncing and that’s it, either. Like most things in the world, the lines can always blur. We also nee dot get out of this “the police want it therefore it must be right” attitude before we wind up with habeus corpus fully suspended.

    suggesting that this is a matter of principle to some people rather than a matter of tackling law and order problems more effectively. Sinn Fein MPs have to represent their constituents in London on a regular basis, so there is nothing new about this idea, it’s the reality

    Oh please. Of course there is principle behind it. Is this revelatory? The belief that it would better tackle crime stems from the underlying principles. I know that’s hard to grasp, since Alliance don’t have any other than a vague “Why can’t we all get along”?

    The “reality” may be as you say but the direction and movement should be clear. Republicans should be avoiding patronage politics. It’s the politics of Unionism, and debilitating. If they make demands, it should be the demand for the ability to do it ourselves.

    But I can dispute these. The political system here shields the parties from political cost. I guess that is one of the main problems for Alliance.

    SF are getting a kicking over their performance in the Assembly. The deadlock is hurting the DUP too. The idea that there is no political cost is a lie. If the DUP or SF were reduced to the status of the UUP, you think they’d be happy? It goes double for a ministry that could well be isolated.

    I appreciate that you’re not in favour of a return to violence by the IRA, but I don’t think the circumstances or the motivation exist for it. People aren’t going to go to war over the absence of a locally-run policing service or the fact that the street signs aren’t in Irish. The volatility of 1969 is not in the air.

    No, but instability might emerge if a whole section of society was being sidelined. It also does not take out and out violence for this place to regress. You really want to start lighting matches and test your confidence?

  • colin

    Just watched the BBC recording of the June nominations of the FM and DFM and in particular
    Martin’s insistence that his electorate both needs and wants professional policing.

    I can’t help but feel that, rather than appoint a new minister, Martin should get the Justice role as DFM/Tánaiste. Who else to take on and close down the irregulars in the defence of the new state but an ex-leader of the Volunteers turned chief negotiator and politician.

    Best keep him away from West Cork.

  • Mick Fealty

    AAl,

    Plenty of committment and (mostly) good play from all those concerned (especially on the first couple of pages) on this thread. Worth a bookmark, I reckon.

    There might be some value in recapping the overall themes arising here (although I suspect that this is the wrong time of night to attempt something of that nature).

    Ken,

    It’s probably worth nothing that most compromises on Habeus Corpus in the UK have been driven by politicians, not the cops themselves. At this moment I am not entirely sure what political controls on policing are likely to become available which could fulfil either SF’s optimism about their potency in tackling crime in Derry or West Belfast.

    Or indeed, for that matter, the DUP’s fears about what might happen if they fell into the ‘wrong hands’.

  • LURIG

    There’s NO doubt that there is growing frustration within the Nationalist & Republican community at the foot dragging by the DUP & British Government on the Policing & Justice issue. There is now an obvious attempt by both Britain & Unionism to link this with IRA Army Council disbandment. They are moving the goalposts ONCE AGAIN. While Loyalists still hold on to their weapons and are under NO real pressure to disarm the media reports today that Republicans have told the DUP & Britain to Get To F**k would be in line with most Nationalist thinking. Many within the Catholic community are sick to the back teeth with the IRA being forced to take the ENTIRE blame for the conflict and the meek acceptance of a weak Sinn Fein leadership in all of this. Is it any wonder the Shinners are losing members?

  • Dave

    ” They are moving the goalposts ONCE AGAIN” – lurig

    Are they moving the proverbial goalposts? If the SF leadership and their masters wanted a pretext to disband the Army Council with minimum resistance from the remnants of ‘the movement’, then what better way to do it than to have it linked to unionist caution about the transfer of P and J as a pragmatic requirement to end the stalemate? SF supporters won’t see the dogmatism (de facto termination of SF/PIRA’s claim to be the legitimate government of Ireland and the oft-proffered justification for its sectarian murder campaign, i.e. that they were a government entitled to declare war rather than a self-appointed murder gang) for the pragmatics, seeing the disbandment as a victory for ‘republicans’ rather than another surrender for militant nationalists, etc.

  • kensei

    It’s probably worth nothing that most compromises on Habeus Corpus in the UK have been driven by politicians, not the cops themselves. At this moment I am not entirely sure what political controls on policing are likely to become available which could fulfil either SF’s optimism about their potency in tackling crime in Derry or West Belfast.

    Oh certainly, authoritarian politicians will push the legislation, but the cry will always and forever be “the police say they need these powers to stop crime”. Oh course they do. It’s called a police state for a reason.

    As I said, the transfer of powers, however limited, creates it’s own momentum. There is also the tendency of devolved institutions to demand more when they run up against those limits, too.

  • Mick Fealty

    The weight of police opinion on ’42 days’ seems to have been anti- rather than pro-. That’s hardly ‘always’, or ‘forever’.

    Closer to home, there has been a fair amount of dissembling going on around this issue, and from more than just SF. As for momentum, I’d want to know just what we’re getting before we buy that particular pig in poke. The precedents are not promising.

    The double veto of St Andrew’s – an agreement which was sold to the public by Gerry Adams, and not Pete Baker, as an ‘indigenous deal’ between Sinn Fein and the DUP – has given us fouled up government: apparently because that deal is not actually the deal Adams claimed, to the public and his supporters alike, it was last year.

    As it happens SF’s attempts to extricate itself from the actuality of St Andrews have only served to highlight the weakness of its own position. Not least because in signing up to St Andrew’s SF willingly gave powerful safeguards to the DUP over the devolution of Policing and Justice, against the comprehensive ending of selective education across the state sector, and the Irish Language Act.

    Tragically, IMHO, this last has become little more than a minor political football for the distraction of the masses, and the purposes of political negotiation inside the Executive. Tragic, because the large Irish speaking community in Northern Ireland is an important public good which is ill served by its use as a political football. And all the more tragic when it is becoming obvious that such gambit could never have resulted in any discernible pay off when, under St Andrews, the best a radical party can achieve is stalemate.

  • kensei

    Mick

    The weight of police opinion on ‘42 days’ seems to have been anti- rather than pro-. That’s hardly ‘always’, or ‘forever’.

    I’m not sure I buy it. Why did they request 90 in the first place then?

    Closer to home, there has been a fair amount of dissembling going on around this issue, and from more than just SF. As for momentum, I’d want to know just what we’re getting before we buy that particular pig in poke. The precedents are not promising.

    Some control is always better than no control. Potential is better than nothing. And neither the DUP or SF will control the ministry.

    And all the more tragic when it is becoming obvious that such gambit could never have resulted in any discernible pay off when, under St Andrews, the best a radical party can achieve is stalemate.

    I don’t buy this one either. Paralysis in government cannot last forever, though perhaps some conservatives would like the experiment. The sides must move or collapse the whole show. If we have an unstoppable object meeting an unmovable force, then we have collapse. But SF’s “gambit” was that the DUP have more vested interest in keeping the Assembly running than collapsing it. Given we have seen some aparent movement in the past week that reality might be sneaking in. The wider question is are these initial particularly sensitive issues that once we get over, we get generally smooth running, or do we hit this problem every single time there is a disagreement?

    Can I also ask — when did devolving Polciing and Justice powers, supporting an Irish language Act and comprehensive education comprise a “radical” programme, exactly?

  • DC

    Mick, as Kensei has pointed out, you are challenging the non-democratic deal as something worthy of holding up when in essence the real work should be conducted within the democratic setting.

    It is this operation of devolution itself that the DUP have been unable to work; unable to give a reason worthy of delaying transfer of policing and justice, a structural transfer, remember, and it is refused because of lack of confidence. It doesn’t sit.

    Besides, if I were in SF I would be looking at the money raised in the bank and investing it on transforming itself in the Republic will merely standing still in the North allow votes to continue to be backed up with little expenditure on the easily copied responses to predictable DUP approaches and intransigence.

  • Greenflag

    kensei ,

    ‘or do we hit this problem every single time there is a disagreement?’

    Probably . It’s built in to the D’Hondt set up . When you have two parties who are diametrically opposed on the ‘constitutional’ question and who’s voters do not ‘transfer’ then it’s inevitable as night following day.

    The ‘constitutional issue ‘ may be a sideshow in the immediate political as CS suggests above, but it’s the rock on which both parties foundations are built .

    There is no escaping it -not 80 years ago – not 40 years ago -not now -not ever – as long as the NI State exists in it’s present format. We forget that the DUP and SF did not ‘willingly’ forge this coalition . It was pushed down the respective throats of both parties by their ‘outside’ guarantors .

  • DC

    “It was pushed down the respective throats of both parties by their ‘outside’ guarantors .”

    And voted on in favour thank-you, get over that one!

  • Greenflag

    DC,

    ‘And voted on in favour thank-you, get over that one! ‘

    No problem I did -get over that one I mean .

    The problem is the parties haven’t. Otherwise they would ‘trust ‘ each other wouldn’t they ?. No matter which way you look at this ‘forced’ marriage that’s all it is . It’s a house divided . Both D’Hondt and the GFA provide sufficient background ‘fudge’ to just about keep the rickety show on the road for now .