Alliance wriggles a little

The Sunday Times reports Alliance have agreed to talks with the DUP about the devolution of Policing and Justice:

“…willing to negotiate if the terms on offer meet his party’s requirements.”

Wriggling away from the previous position:

“This executive is incompetent, it’s time they got with doing the job that they were set up to do. It’s a very definite and a very emphatic no.”

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Presumably Robbo had to move on this becasue of pressure from El Gordo and presumably Davy had to move on this because there are actually some sensbile people in his party.

    Of course Pete Baker’s pet theory that SF were in a bind on this issue is not entriely disproved as the DUP and Alliance may just suddely and very generously decided to help them out.

    But whatever the reason – this sounds like good news.

    p.s. Timed to coinicide in Spetmeber with a decision against the Maze?

  • Brian Walker

    It wasn’t a good start from the normally competent Ford to assume that an Alliance J&P;minister would not play a full part in the Executive. He should have checked the terms of engagement first before slapping them down.Constitutionally, how could he been denied them? But do I hear faint echoes of Mugabe and Tsvangirai or am I being unfair? The technicalities of an Alliance minister are tricky and need to be explained to me at least. How can d’Hont legally be avoided? (Presumably if there are no candidates from the other parties). Would not the existence of an Alliance J&P;minister expose a weakness in voting by designation? i.e Alliance MLA votes are of no account on cross community measures proposed by the Alliance minister. Would such an appointment stiffen collective responsibility by the Executive as a whole? Presumably the others would be unwilling to give an Alliance minister his/her head, a la Catriona Ruane. The thickets of negotiations will be dense. But that said, it looks as if we will have movement at last. I would like to think Maurice Hayes’ magisterial outburst helped. Soon, I suspect all parties will realise how little powers ministers will enjoy in this otherwise totemic post or posts.

  • fair_deal

    BW

    “How can d’Hont legally be avoided?”

    There is presently no legal requirement for D’hondt to apply as the manner of P&J;was not agreed. It can have its separate procedure similar to the FM and DFM positions.

  • DC

    “Alliance MLA votes are of no account on cross community measures proposed by the Alliance minister.”

    As on other posts about this matter this out-of-touchness re Alliance and Stormont throws up problems. That is why I mentioned about designating into both blocs in order to circumvent some obvious problems and Alliance could have caricatured a new political image for itself by using votes wisely in either bloc. Instead doth 9 members really amount to a genuine United Community down still officially as ‘other’?

    Now whatever Alliance does it looks terribly out of character especially to accept these powers unless there is remarkable structural change, which if delivered will be immense as it is well above its democratic station; however, there is still the problem of image after clearly contradictory posturing, so just what is it that Alliance really really is and what does it really really want, ah-zig-a-zig-ah?

  • Comrade Stalin

    fair_deal,

    I don’t see that the Alliance Party’s position has changed, any more than Peter Robinson’s position changed on policing and justice, when he said that he would be willing to talk to SF about it. The answer is “no” and I would be 99% confident that it will still be “no” after these talks. Just because you agree to talk about things does not mean that your position has changed, and Alliance never said at any time that it would refuse to even discuss this matter.

    Sammy:

    Presumably Robbo had to move on this becasue of pressure from El Gordo and presumably Davy had to move on this because there are actually some sensbile people in his party.

    You’ve still never managed to explain this silly old wank. What pressure is Robbo under and what do you think Gordon has used to put pressure on him ?

    Of course Pete Baker’s pet theory that SF were in a bind on this issue is not entriely disproved as the DUP and Alliance may just suddely and very generously decided to help them out.

    Do you want to put money on it ?

    But whatever the reason – this sounds like good news.

    What good news ? People are talking. Just because they’re talking doesn’t mean that anybody’s position has changed. So what exactly is the net change, as you see it, as a result of this development ?

    Brian,

    If there is a deal then I don’t think the British government would hesitate to put through the required legislative changes to make it work. However, I’ve no reason to believe it will come to this, yet. It’s most likely to me that the SDLP will take the seat, the detail to be worked out being the question of whether d’Hondt needs to be re-run again from the top down.

    so just what is it that Alliance really really is and what does it really really want, ah-zig-a-zig-ah?

    Nobody has actually asked that question yet, and as such the party has not been given an opportunity to make it’s case.

  • DC

    If you want my future forget my past,
    If you wanna get with me better make it fast,
    Now don’t go wasting my precious time,
    Get your act together we could be just fine

    I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
    So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
    I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really
    really really wanna zigazig ha.

    If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends,
    Make it last forever friendship never ends,
    If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give,
    Taking is too easy, but that’s the way it is.

    What do you think about that now you know how I feel,
    Say you can handle my love are you for real,
    I won’t be hasty, I’ll give you a try
    If you really bug me then I’ll say goodbye.

    Com’n Alliance get with the love-in at Stormont!!! Sorry couldn’t resist

  • Pete

    Alliance would just be confirming that it really is just another unionist party when it feels that it has some entitlement to the SDLP’s seat on the executive. I suppose that’s what happens when you get a unionist party to think that it actually has principles.

    It will only be helping Sinn Fein signal that it is running scared of the SDLP with another social democrat minister at the helm.

    It would be a bad day for democracy.

  • Garibaldy

    CS,

    Does Alliance have to wait to be asked to make its case? It seems to me it would have been better laying out groundrules/negotiating positions to the electorate rather than the rather petulant statement Ford issued. Surely parties have to try and set the agenda, and this is a chance to do so?

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Comrade Stalin, calm down, calm down. Allegedly the following conversation in Ulster Scoots took place some weeks ago.

    El Gordo: Robbo when ye gooin tay agree tay transfer them polis poowers.

    Robbo: I’m nay of a mind.

    El Gordo: That Grizzly fenian will pull the hale thing doon and I’ll give the papal hoors in sooth mare poower if yeh dunneh.

    Robbo: Oh yeh wooudne?

    El Gordo: Oh aye – I wooud.

    Robbo: I’ll be Lundified – and may party will oxter me oot if I day.

    El Gordo: Aye laddie aye, now do what yer toold ‘n stop fookin aboot.

    Translated that means – (as I have pointed out to you before) – that the DUP only signed up to STA because of threats of Papal influence from ROI so its more than likely he’s being remined he’ll have more of the same if Grizzly collapses the assembly. Geddit?

    I’ll bet you ( or other ) a tenner ( winning money to Slugger ) that Robbo jumps before new year and a fiver he jumps before October.

  • cynic

    I think P&J;should be devolved but if Alliance take it on what seem to be the proposed terms they are mad. It will destroy them.

    Better for the two Governments agree that they will devolve it anyway and require the Assembly to run d’Hondt for all the posts and see what happens . That will force them all to choose – devolved power (with salaries and power) or nothing.

    Then either way they can all blame the Brits so honour will be satisfied all round (as usual)

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    cynic,

    that sounds like a plan. I suspect the DUP are not willing to have a Nationalist in the post – and that’s why the Alliance are in the picture although some have suggested that SF would also prefer Alliance. It would be interesting to know the answer to that – if SF are blocking the SDLP that will be (rightly) damaging to them – though presumably we would have heard this from the SDLP already?

  • Sammy

    the DUP only signed up to STA because of threats of Papal influence from ROI so its more than likely he’s being remined he’ll have more of the same if Grizzly collapses the assembly. Geddit?

    I don’t think that you’re right about Sinn Fein’s goal here. The last thing they really want is the Irish government back at the helm since the Irish government tends to see things through SDLP eyes. They would lose out on appointments and all that.

    But more than that the basis of their argument with dissident republicans and their American cousins is that this (Stormont) is an Irish solution no longer involving the Brits. Even joint sovereignty would be too dangerous for them.

  • IJP

    Just for the record, the original idea was absolutely to have a Minister outside the Executive. The DUP does itself no favours denying that.

    Comrade

    Yes – this whole thing can be put much more basically that the very technical way laid out in the Sunday Times.

    Basically, Alliance would need a Programme for Government and a Budget it can agree with before entering the Executive.

    Since the current versions fundamentally differ from Alliance’s political priorities, that’s not likely. But it’s worth a try.

  • Brian Walker

    I must thank Fair Deal for correcting my typo of the name of the famous Belgian. All the same, the non-application of D’Hondt might set an interesting precedent that could be the first crack in the rigidities of the system.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Garibaldy,

    Does Alliance have to wait to be asked to make its case?

    You seen any interviews with Alliance politicians in the past few weeks, asking for their story ? Nope, that’s right.

    Sammy:

    Translated that means – (as I have pointed out to you before) – that the DUP only signed up to STA because of threats of Papal influence from ROI so its more than likely he’s being remined he’ll have more of the same if Grizzly collapses the assembly. Geddit?

    No, I don’t. Gordon Brown is a lame duck who needs DUP votes in the Commons to keep things moving. The Republic of Ireland is busy trying to improve relations with the unionists as you can plainly see through it’s recent actions, funding the whole Boyne visitors centre, shaking hands with Paisley, the whole nine yards. Why do you think they would move to piss the unionists off ? Show me a shred of actual evidence that supports your weird beliefs and then we’ll have something to talk about.

    The DUP will not do a deal until they have found a way to present it in their favour. Arguably, it is not in the DUP’s interests to have the executive collapse, but I wouldn’t underestimate their willingness to allow this if they calculate it will damage SF more than it damages them.

    I’ll bet you ( or other ) a tenner ( winning money to Slugger ) that Robbo jumps before new year and a fiver he jumps before October.

    Hasn’t Robbo “already” jump by establishing a deal with SF to allow for an Alliance justice minister ?

  • observer

    If what I read in the Sunday Times is correct then the Alliance Party is about to make itself the biggest laughing stock of all time. How can we ever forget Wee Davy standing outside Stormont surrounded by a crew of nodding dogs as he played at being tough. It was all “watch my lips” stuff etc as he laid out what was a fairly principled position. What’s with all this crap now about not having the full facts when he played Rambo? Alliance’s position was quite clear that they had no intention of moving in to do the DUP/Sinn Fein dirty work. Fordy said they created the situation they can solve it. Then Wee Geoffrey offers a better prize and the Alliance Party is falling over itself to do everybody’s dirty work. Boy do they have their price. Forget about the feeble Alliance apologist’s PR rhetoric about new budgets and a new programmes for Government. If they take this Ministry now they will become just another bunch of political prostitutes and Mrs Long becoming a Dame or Davy being made a Lord will never compensate what will be the biggest turn around by any Northern Ireland politician ever!

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Sorry.. am I missing something here? What electoral mandate to the Alliance Party have to hold such an important ministry? If we ignore the elections we might as well give it to Rainbow George.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Comrade Stalin

    again 2 inconsistent statemets

    1st

    “I don’t see that the Alliance Party’s position has changed, any more than Peter Robinson’s position changed on policing and justice, when he said that he would be willing to talk to SF about it. The answer is “no” and I would be 99% confident that it will still be “no” after these talks.”

    2nd “Hasn’t Robbo “already” jump by establishing a deal with SF to allow for an Alliance justice minister ? ”

    The “shred of evidence” of threats is that both Ian and Robbo have indicated that the Englezes threatened them with ROI influence to get them to sign up to the STA. Given that the Englezes share SFs view regarding the requirement for the transfer its reasonable to assume they will be threatened again not to mention the fact that Robbo was summoned to Downing St for talks at SF request. The more you are told the more you dont hear. If your not with the message this time I’m giving up on you. Have you perchace been partaking of pop?

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Observer,

    I agree with that – but I would also add that had they stuck with their previous position they would have looked ridiculous – Wee Davy should never have issued that statement in the first place. If the Alliance has a conference, as mentioned before, it is difficult to envisage it without the red noes the ladders and the buckets of water.

  • Garibaldy

    CS,

    I was talking about with the other parties. But are you really telling me that an offer to have an interview with Ford on this topic, on what conditions Alliance wanted, would have been turned down by the media? I seriously doubt it, espcially during silly season.

  • Brian Walker

    Is discussion of mandates and party size even relevant? Once the broad shape of the party structures are established in an election, everything is up for grabs, all can win prizes and all can take part in government, even it seems, Alliance. It’s an entirely pragmatic issue. The compulsory coalition can expand or contract at will so long as it commands a cross community majority. The principle of consociationalism intrinsic to the system allows the main party leaderships to do this with impunity. Parliamentary democracy it aint but it may be progress on the way.

  • Half Pint

    So there won’t be ANY opposition MLAs soon if this comes off – not that Alliance were ever going to be much of an opposition to undemocratic powersharing in the first place. After all, that had alwways(?) been party policy.

    Secondly, the prob with the devolution of p and j – as Fair_deal knows – is that it gives MMG power over judicail appointments. Now what’s the DUP line on that?

  • cynic

    Is it just me? Isn’t it sad that all the debate on this is how the can manipulate it for party advantage and not about what is in the interest of NI?

  • DC

    “Secondly, the prob with the devolution of p and j – as Fair_deal knows – is that it gives MMG power over judicail appointments. Now what’s the DUP line on that?”

    In Britain they have a Judicial Appointments Commission for Eng and Wales anyway, so perhaps another Commission, or moreso perhaps not and alot of deadlock.

    “Is discussion of mandates and party size even relevant? Once the broad shape of the party structures are established in an election, everything is up for grabs, all can win prizes and all can take part in government, even it seems, Alliance.”

    Yes of course, in a power-sharing debate sure dish it out to whoever; however, what about things such as values and sensibilities. Values have been eeked out over the last 2 years if not beyond that Alliance is opposed to Stormont and therefore sensibilities would dictate that Alliance would do otherwise than accept.

    Now, don’t get me wrong Alliance should have conditioned itself better by positioning the party more sensibly, shaping up so that it could go for this. But over the last while everything has just become one big blur and roughly speaking it sits across Unionism and Nationalism too, not just Alliance.

  • Brian Walker

    There is a Judicial Appointments Commission for NI headed by the Lord Chief Justice. Senior appointments like the Court of Appeal are ratified by the FMDFM and the LCJ is also endorsed by the Prime Minister.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    DC,

    “Now, don’t get me wrong Alliance should have conditioned itself better by positioning the party more sensibly, shaping up so that it could go for this.”

    Surely there must be some debate in the party about the suitability of Ford?

  • Dave

    “Is it just me? Isn’t it sad that all the debate on this is how the can manipulate it for party advantage and not about what is in the interest of NI?”

    I totally agree, cynic – and wouldn’t it be great if folks horsewhipped politicians who put selfish interests before the public interest rather than legitimised such perversity by discussing it as though it was the proper order? Still, if the multiverse theory is true, then one of my other selves is blissfully horsewhipping politicos to within a quarter inch of their worthless lives. Damn, I envy my other self.

  • slug

    In my opinion Ford is an excellent leader and he has in fact reversed the decline in their electoral fortunes. I have a lot of respect for him.

  • DC

    Politics is about people Ford is a people person, which is a positive as he has probably saved Alliance at top-level participation from disintegrating.

    I think it’s an inherent problem with all parties post 98 in that none won, none will continue to win alone and that it isn’t Westminster where the media focuses on sole leadership as a means to shape wider-party image and direction.

    So as things stand here in NI there would appear to be an awful lot of absolutism knocking about in a political system that requires nothing of the sort. A working knowledge of others’ mandates and ideas must be acknowledged and there needs to be an acceptance that these aims will have to be openly discussed, so that refusal to implement is fully explained to the people Northern Ireland. Hopefully new strength can be determined from this as to whether parties are making right or wrong choices.

    After the DUP-SF signing up in my opinion it marked a new beginning for some seriously reconsidered views on approaches to NI and politics here. Not least because the two extremes have compromised and in doing so fundamentally altering previous political paths for which they must explain to their own voters why they did that and what they hope to gain.

    I think that debate has not happened and it is stand-off politics delivered via the media throwing out ossified stances to prove the others lack of willingness to openly debate some very real demands for change.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    DC,

    “Not least because the two extremes have compromised ”

    It looks like the party that had most diffiuclty with this is the Alliance Party. Having made the claim that the complicated system at Stormont didnt work they were always going to look wrongfooted if it started to do so. What caught people by suprise was their decision to opt out of helping it to work and to apparently retreat into a self-fullfilling – it still does not work. This was not a credible positon and had to be rowed back from – trying to mask this by suggesting that everybody is having difficulties adjusting to the new situation is a little disingenuous. Alliance have done a quick rebranding from the Reasonable Party to the Silly Party and Wee Davy will hopefully have to explain to his party what the feck he was up to.

  • DC

    The problem could be that Alliance views SF and DUP negatively and rightly. But, if you fight negativity with negativity on all fronts you end up as bitter as the rest of the other parties despite having very good reasons for doing so.

    The thing is NI political landscape has changed so much over the 10 years not just to do with the Agreement but also because of changes in Britain and Ireland and Europe. Globalisation, changed working patterns where human knowledge has improved with communications, technology, interaction between people of all races arising from on the ground relations via immigration and of course the internet too. Also the outworking of Fair Employment legislation where people live out lives in work and are adjusting now to realise that the blunt political ideologies do not reflect the wider character of NI life.

    People have a subtle understanding of what is modern and view mobility as part of being modern, a life open, open to travel, open to live anywhere in the EU, open to new jobs, new training, new social relations, new nightclubs, etc, a life politically closed out is something that limits them.

    What is outdated I find is Unionism and Nationalism and it is something that is terribly outdated; big political ideologies with blunt constitutionalism and blunt takes on culture both of which have largely been reduced because of economics, capitalism and the flourishing genres of other cultures that thrive across the culture spectrum in particular. When this jars at political level, even at identity level it runs in contrast to what people already do on the ground and it is no threat as Irishness for example should sit as acceptable, as do other behaviours informed by other cultures and music, sports, lifestyles etc.

    So, therefore I find Unionism and Nationalism outdated and so the apparent response to that Alliance is perhaps outdated too. Some of the reasons you raise Sammy prove it to be stuck in the mindset well belonging to Unionism and Nationalism. Politics has become something of a game where it is played out like theatre on the hill rather than actually reflecting realities on the ground, moving along to change particularly in the context of factors affecting life in Britain and Ireland.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    DC

    “What is outdated I find is Unionism and Nationalism and it is something that is terribly outdated”

    These 2 ideologies are actually on the rise as per the results of SF and the DUP. I think your analysis will hold true – but only after a period of constitutional calm – if that ever comes about.

    Changing demogrpahics mean the constitutional question will remain open for some time as pressure for greater all-island integration will intensify.

  • Twiggie

    “What is outdated I find is Unionism and Nationalism and it is something that is terribly outdated”

    Yes apathy and indecision is all the rage amongst the yoof these days!

  • Comrade Stalin

    observer :

    If they take this Ministry now they will become just another bunch of political prostitutes and Mrs Long becoming a Dame or Davy being made a Lord will never compensate what will be the biggest turn around by any Northern Ireland politician ever!

    Given that the DUP recently had a few Lords created just before they capitulated to being in government with Sinn Fein, I don’t think you’re in any position to talk about u-turns.

    I still cannot see Alliance taking this ministry and voting to become the DUP/SF justice scapegoats. No u-turn has happened yet.

    It’s not my perception that talks were ever ruled out. I think the point was that the offer that was being whispered about would never be acceptable. And I don’t think that any offer to come will be acceptable in the absence of significant changes to the way the Executive is constituted and run, and significant changes to the Programme for Government.

    Sammy,

    again 2 inconsistent statemets

    No, Sammy. The second was a question, not a statement. You seem to be waiting for Robinson to jump. My point of view is that he “jumped”, to use your term, a long time ago. Robinson has never ruled out devolving policing and justice, in fact the DUP have consistently said that they would go with it when the conditions were right. That was their line, and it’s still their line now. I’m detecting no change in the DUP position.

    The “shred of evidence” of threats is that both Ian and Robbo have indicated that the Englezes threatened them with ROI influence to get them to sign up to the STA.

    And Ian and Robbo would never tell a lie to get their supporters on board, right ? Your argument here is wafer-thin. Ian Paisley has built an entire political career upon refusing to be told what to do by the British government. Do you really think one day he just decided to cave in ? It’s rubbish, and your political acumen is sorely lacking if you really think this threat is what sealed the deal.

    Secondly, the Brits can threaten all they want, but what can they do to act upon the threat ? The parliamentary arithmetic means that Gordon cannot possibly make any threats to the DUP, or they’ll simply bring down his government. If you think that Gordon would overlook his career and bring a swift end to the Labour administration just to threaten the DUP, then once again, your lack of political acumen is sorely showing.

    It’s bizarre that you have to have this shit explained to you. Do you really think “I know! Let’s threaten the unionists with a united Ireland! That’ll show ’em!!” is a new idea that hasn’t been tried before ? Do you really think it will work ? How so completely stark-igorant of history does someone have to be to believe this cracked-out rubbish ?

    Given that the Englezes share SFs view regarding the requirement for the transfer its reasonable to assume they will be threatened again not to mention the fact that Robbo was summoned to Downing St for talks at SF request.

    No. It’s actually not reasonable to assume that they would piss off the DUP and bring their government down. And if you believe that it is, you frankly haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. For a precedent – look at the Major administration, or indeed the Heath administration. The UK government will act to save their skins first, even if it means totally screwing up progress here. That’s how the Sunningdale Executive collapsed.

    The more you are told the more you dont hear. If your not with the message this time I’m giving up on you. Have you perchace been partaking of pop?

    You keep repeating this rubbishy theory about a British threat to Robbo being the element that will force a deal. It’s complete twaddle, it’s a position that simply does not stand up to the known facts, and you have presented nothing to substantiate it any further. The deal may get done, but it will be because the DUP want it to get done, and frankly, I believe the DUP are sold on the whole idea and that they’re trying to find a way to present it to their constituents as something other than a concession to SF. Unionism has historically always damaged it’s own interests rather than do a deal which makes more sense, and if you believe that they have changed in that respect you’re even loopier than I thought.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Surely there must be some debate in the party about the suitability of Ford?

    Why would there be ? Nothing has happened. There’s an article in the Times speculating a lot. The only firm fact the article establishes is that talks are taking place – hardly a news item, given that talks were never ruled out.

    Having made the claim that the complicated system at Stormont didnt work they were always going to look wrongfooted if it started to do so.

    I wouldn’t oppose entering the executive with d’Hondt in place, if there was a concrete plan to reform it. I would completely oppose signing on to a deal where there was no agreement on the necessity of such reform.

    What caught people by suprise was their decision to opt out of helping it to work and to apparently retreat into a self-fullfilling – it still does not work.

    I hope the Alliance Party continues to surprise people. Where has being unsurprising gotten the party ? Less than 4% of the vote. Time to shake things up a bit.

    This was not a credible positon and had to be rowed back from

    What was incredible about the Alliance position ? I think I explained it to you in painstaking detail, and you haven’t really managed to put up much of an argument.

    Let me ask you a question. Do you vote Alliance ? Could you ever see yourself voting Alliance ?

    – trying to mask this by suggesting that everybody is having difficulties adjusting to the new situation is a little disingenuous.

    Who is masking the Alliance position ?

    Alliance have done a quick rebranding from the Reasonable Party to the Silly Party and Wee Davy will hopefully have to explain to his party what the feck he was up to.

    I’ve no doubt that David Ford has the complete support of the party executive and council. In fact I am pretty sure that the party executive would have been consulted prior to any decision being taken, one way or another.

    And don’t assume that we’re out of the long grass yet. The SDLP want this post, badly, and it sounds to me like they’ve been consulted even less than Alliance have. They’re going to oppose the changes in legislation that will be necessary to have a minister being elected outside of the existing legal framework.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Comrade Stalin,

    both Robbo and the very Reverend Doc have said (the Rev directly) that they were threatened into signing the STA. This is both embarassing and damaging to their party so we might assume it has an element of truth in it and we might therfore assume we will have more threats to finish off the last bit of the STA. This is quite simple and based on precedent.

    “but it will be because the DUP want it to get done”. This is an arguement of convenience. They may want it done but NOT within SFs timescales ie this year and with Big Jimbo and his Tuvvers and probably Wee Reggie ready to tear lumps out of him – as it will be seen as a SF victory. If he moves this year he’s been pushed. But either way I couldn’t give a shit as long as he moves.

    FYI The DUP cannot bring down the government unless Labour party members vote with the Tories to do so – as they have a majority.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Barney Rowan’s book is out on Friday, and in it Hain basically admits there was no Plan B…

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    BG,

    I was delighted when Hain was picked as secretary of state for Non Iron – a more double dealing fecker you could not find on an Orange march from Belfast to Rome – and just the boy for the job.

  • Comrade Stalin

    both Robbo and the very Reverend Doc have said (the Rev directly) that they were threatened into signing the STA. This is both embarassing and damaging to their party so we might assume it has an element of truth in it

    “assume” is right.

    So let me be clear about this. You think that bringing unionism into line is a simple matter of threatening them with Irish involvement ?

    and we might therfore assume

    You might assume. Not we.

    we will have more threats to finish off the last bit of the STA. This is quite simple and based on precedent.

    What precedent is there that threats have ever worked on unionism ? Every time the unionists have been threatened with Irish involvement, they’ve either stuck their heads in the sand or got the guns out.

    FYI The DUP cannot bring down the government unless Labour party members vote with the Tories to do so – as they have a majority.

    If Gordon Brown keeps losing votes in the Commons then his authority will become further damaged and he’ll be forced to call a general election. Make no mistake, he needs the DUP.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Comrade Stalin,

    this is what Robbo First Minister acceptance speech said.

    “There is no part of me that prefers being a bystander, unable to influence or shape the future; unable to change or improve the lot of our people; unable to govern ourselves and assigned to the sidelines while, under Direct Rule, London and Dublin decides our fate. ”

    and Ian has said directly that he was threatened into signing the STA.

    So you are saying that Ian and Robbo did not at least partly move because of the fear of Rome rule from ROI?

    I suppose you will also tell that Trimble wasnt coerced by the same fear even as he saw his party disappeared before his very eyes?

  • Comrade Stalin

    So you are saying that Ian and Robbo did not at least partly move because of the fear of Rome rule from ROI?

    No. I am asking the question “they did not move before. So why would they move now ?”

    I suppose you will also tell that Trimble wasnt coerced by the same fear even as he saw his party disappeared before his very eyes?

    Doesn’t the fact that his party disappeared before his very eyes answer your question ? The threats did not work. The party was destroyed.