“there is a danger that Sinn Fein are trying to create a crisis..”

Some political responses to Sinn Féin’s threat to collapse the Northern Ireland Executive take the ball away. From UUP leader Reg Empey

Commenting on the statement from Caoimhghin O’Caolain, Ulster Unionist Party leader Mr Empey called for clarification from the Sinn Fein leadership. “If Martin McGuinness does not distance himself from this statement then a full-blown crisis is facing the Executive next month,” he said.

Which would prove those “prophets of doom” right.. Meanwhile, from NI Junior Minister, the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson

DUP junior minister Jeffrey Donaldson says the comments are not helpful. “I think there is a danger that Sinn Fein are trying to create a crisis. Policing and justice devolution can only occur if there is sufficient public confidence in the ability of politicians to handle such a sensitive matter.

I think the question is this – will these remarks by Sinn Fein convince anyone out there that this is mature politics when people are threatening to pull the whole thing down?”

And in the BBC report

Mr Donaldson said the DUP needed to know where Sinn Féin stands on [Caoimhghin O Caolain’s] comments. “Bearing in mind the statement went through their official press office, one is left with the impression it’s a bit of kite-flying by Sinn Féin. These comments were not off the cuff or out of the blue.”

Adds From Republican Sinn Féin

Director of Publicity, Richard Walsh, said: “Comments such as these are clearly part of the pathetic choreography surrounding the so-called ‘policing and justice’ saga. Members of Mr. Ó Caoláin’s own party are disenchanted not only by the failure of their leaders to secure the devolution of such powers to Stormont, but also by their cosy relationship with the DUP.”

Update Sinn Féin didn’t provide a spokesman for TalkBack today to discuss Caoimhghin O Caolain’s claims, citing the bank holiday.. And the NewsLetter report has this [page 2]

A Sinn Fein spokesman last night responded: “Martin McGuinness is on holiday and Sinn Fein has no interest in responding to demands by Reg Empey.”

You can listen to Suzanne Breen’s Talkback contribution here [RealPlayer stream for now]

“It isn’t going to get any better for the [Sinn Féin] leadership. The Maze stadium will soon join the Irish Language Act in the political morgue. Talk about incompetent negotiating. Policing and Justice by May hasn’t happened. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a united Ireland by 2016.”

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  • PeaceandJustice

    Sinn Fein PIRA = Wreckers’ Charter

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Gerry Adams was voted the most stroppiest Politician in 2008. Author of “The Neuroscience of Gerry Adams” Dr. Amit Kumar, found that the stroppy politician had a damaged hormone receptor, which is more prevalent in the part of the brain which regulates emotion during puberty. This appears to reverse the normal calming effect found in normal politicians.

  • Mayoman

    UMH: “found that”. How did he do that then? Biopsy his brain? I think GA is on to something when comments like this appear. Comments of no intellectual substance, just sneering, and funnily enough, given your comment, peurile, nonsense.

    I’m just glad to see unionists fiddling while Rome burns. The long game is being played. Political unionism (rather than all unionists, I know how touchy people can be!) is too bigoted to play straight, Stormont will collapse. Britain wants out. Go figure. Danny Morrison’s predictions coming true before the closed eyes of unionism. There is more than one way (thank God!) of showing NI is a failed and un-governable entity.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]UMH: “found that”. How did he do that then? Biopsy his brain?”[/i]

    Aye, MI5 carried it out.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    SF re-state their position and the other parties do likewise.

    … meanwhile, in the small worried province that is Non Iron the forlorn cries of a freightened moggy go unheard as it struggles to find it way back to roof of the garden shed from the overhanging branch that….

  • young fella

    UMH, WTF?

    Stroppy? That is the nature of politics as a whole in Northern Ireland, has been for some time. It looks like they’re both quite happy for it to go right down to the wire, I just don’t see what the DUP could achieve in another round of hard-core talks. Army Council perhaps? Can’t see the worth in that really?

    They must be fairly confident this will look worse on SF, but I’m not convinced.

  • PeaceandJustice

    This is a chance for the SDLP to show that they have moved on from the Pan-Nationalist Front. Let the Sinn Fein PIRA wreckers give up their seats on the Executive and allow the other parties to continue on. In such a scenario, they might actually get some work done!

  • Pete Baker

    There are some updates to the original post.

  • dunreavynomore

    “The long game is being played….” How long? Another 80 years? We were constantly told by S.F.that Stormont and the G.F.A. was the only game in town and now we are getting hints that that may not be factual. Have you any more clue as to what S.F. s plan is than they appear to have themselves?

  • Greenflag

    So it’s the old ‘scorpion on the back of the frog in midstream ‘ time again . Will the SF scorpion revert to nature’s urge or will the frog ever stop looking over it’s shoulder ?

    Short answer – Never or not as long NI in it’s present format continues to exist .

    NI is once again in chicken and egg land . They can’t have Police & Justice devolved until there is confidence and they can’t reach for confidence until Peace & Justice is devolved .

    That chap David Dunseith must be a saint . How does he put up with those callers . And that COI Clergyman was very naive. Nice chap no doubt but not of this world or to be more specific the world of ‘dirty ‘ politics .

    It may be dawning on both SF and the DUP that if the plug is pulled there will a significant drop in the numbers on both sides of the divide who will be shouting for another ‘revival ‘

  • DC

    Greenflag, there is a certain truth that dare not speak its name about what you say.

    For example, with the extremes bound into the process it is clear that if they continue to grind themselves together by resisting like rock-and-hard-place situation they may well turn themselves into dust.

    The DUP and SF are two negative parties wherein a process of power-sharing only positive action will sustain political momentum.

    A while back I sent an email to Mick, I think I was probably drunk at the time, but nevertheless I believe that certain unionist and nationlist ideology is finished with.

    The truth that dare not speak its name is perhaps Northern Ireland, SF want policing but cant dare say they want it for it means they want a better NI. It puts SF in situ, and in contrast, the DUP can kiss any notion of Ulsterism goodbye.

    The only problem at the moment is that neither Unionism or Nationalism can put people first, which requires putting Northern Ireland first, for obvious reasons across the political board neither party can bring themselves round to talking about policy at the NI regional level.

    One thing is for sure, NI has no stomach for a return to war, values have changed, there is now no reason as to why people cannot live lives successfully in NI as goals essential to both ‘communities’ have been reached – hence the GFA.

  • Greenflag

    DC ,

    ‘they may well turn themselves into dust.’

    Greenflag will shed no tears if they do – as long as they don’t turn thousands of others into dust alongside them .

    ‘ The DUP and SF are two negative parties wherein a process of power-sharing only positive action will sustain political momentum. ‘

    100% DC ! nail on head and all that .
    As the old song says 🙂

    You’ve got to accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    Latch on to the affirmative
    Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

    You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
    Bring gloom down to the minimum
    Have faith or pandemonium
    Liable to walk upon the scene

    In NI pandemonium comes usually armed and marches rather than walks upon the scene 🙁

    ‘NI has no stomach for a return to war, values have changed, there is now no reason as to why people cannot live lives successfully in NI ‘

    Somebody may have said that in 1964 and been blown up or shot or burned out of their homes a few years later -so I don’t think people in NI can afford to be complacent.

    As I see it according to the strict letter of the St Andrews Agreement the DUP have SF by the short and curlies on this one . The DUP might do well to reflct that the last time an Irish Nationalist Party was subjected to the ‘short and curlies ‘ method was the SDLP in 1974 at Sunningdale . So what did the DUP and the Ulster Workers ‘reap ‘ from destroying the Sunningdale Agreement ‘

    You guessed right they got Sinn Fein . What will they get next time ?

    To be fair to both parties the ‘system ‘ of government which has been designed looks like it was designed to ensure that both the DUP and SF will spend so much time avoiding decisions and/or provoking each other that within a year or so there will be a general outcry for the return of DR .

    The DUP need to move quickly to devolve P& J in my view and both parties need to accentuate the positive otherwise the electorate may rouse itself to eliminate both negatives . Alas in Northern Ireland there’s never been much room for Mister in Between Alliance or for the Messrs Has Beens of the SDLP and UUP no matter how worthy .

  • DC

    “Somebody may have said that in 1964 and been blown up or shot or burned out of their homes a few years later -so I don’t think people in NI can afford to be complacent.”

    It would be appropriate to look back to 1969 and see the Army on the streets, with the army breaking down doors and the state doing internment in response and Bloody Sunday, onwards. It therefore boils down to values and sensibilities. Was it possible to value life in Northern Ireland if you were a Catholic back then and was it sensible to do what the British did in response to demands for change?

    Now look at life today, it is possible to value life here because key aims have been met where republican and nationlists can pursue their political aims by using unfettered politics alone in doing so can live out their lives with respect, be treated not just fairly, but given opportunity to make decisions to shape change: justice for peace. Of course the problem with operating politics internal to NI and wishing for that internal to be part of another external (the Republic) is that it throws up big contradictions. Certainly for SF it is not possible to pursue a UI through Stormont – this is what I mean about shredding of the ideology; however, a grand narrative and new approaches can still be delivered in parallel. Nonetheless, SF will have to accept market-based economics both inside Stormont and out – another contradiction waiting to be overcome.

    But back to the point, public life in NI can be valued, it has more going for it than against it, it is illogical to hate the police in the way dissidents do, and far more sensible to be involved. Regardless of what state you are a part, all policing will be local and there is an open opportunity to manage the service, shape the style and direction with the potential to legislate at the political level. So, it makes no sense carrying on murdering the police given the fundamental changes to the nature of NI life. That’s the difference.

    Sadly SF are trapped and hamstrung, locked in the negative mindset because to be positive will leave them open to persecution by dissident hardliners who will slate them for being positive about the very concept of NI. So instead SF must be negative and hark back to grievance culture in order to fallback on a narrative of outstanding equality – the final piece of the jigsaw. But that will hardly entice the unionists. SF have not done the post-98 leg work in terms of envisioning their constituents and voters to explicitly accepting the devolved situation for medium term. They have to stay silent for want of a new narrative. In contrast, the DUP cannot come out and deliver as it will lose votes to Jim Allister who can tap into to the negative unionist pysche, cultivated by Paisley over the years, the DUP is hamstrung in a similar yet opposite ethnic fashion.

    There is cleary new ground opening up, as it isn’t hard to second guess the direction in which NI is going over the medium term; but, the ingrained ideologies of the DUP and SF mean that this truth cannot speak its name, as a result you get flabby and somewhat half-hearted approaches for change in local politics. Whereas, outside of unionism and nationalism, it would be easier to construct a post-98 vision of life here, especially now those two extremes have bought into the actual system.