“but they have nobody to blame but themselves..”

In the NewsLetter, Liam Clarke notes the irony of the venue for Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin’s threat to take the ball away

Crossan’s commemoration was an ironic venue to choose for a call for the return of control of security powers to Stormont but O Caolain didn’t stop at that. “If we are forced to conclude that change will not be forthcoming from the Executive, then we will have no option but to pull out our Ministers and seek to put pressure where responsibility ultimately lies, which is on the British Government in London,” he went on.

It is a sign of how far republicans have come when they are now threatening to pull down a local Irish administration with a cross-border dimension in the hope that the British government will fight their corner for them. Sinn Fein’s position is unenviable, but they have nobody to blame but themselves.

And, for the benefit of those still not paying attention, he spells it out again

It is Sinn Fein, and not any other party or group, which put itself in this position. It has made a shibboleth out of the devolution of policing and justice. It has become a matter of pride, and the leadership has so oversold it to their membership, that they will lose face if they can’t deliver.

The upshot is that the DUP are now in a strong position and, behind the bluster, Sinn Fein has been giving ground in an effort to move things along. They have caved in on their demand for two separate ministries and have conceded that, for the foreseeable future, Sinn Fein will not hold the portfolio. There will never be a better moment for unionists to ignore the verbals and cut a deal with them.

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  • Ulsters my homeland

    Stick it out Gerry, Santa’s coming soon.

  • kensei

    There will never be a better moment for unionists to ignore the verbals and cut a deal with them.

    Sure. But currently the DUP are refusing to cut any deal. Passing up the best moment EVAR is hardly a good diea, no?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Kensei

    IRA/sinn Fein never cut any deal on decommissioning until the Americans forced them. IRA/Sinn Fein in their generosity decided not to shoot the good people of N.Ireland, but hold them hostage with their guns.

    Give me one good reason why the Unionists wouldn’t think it’s payback time?

  • Steve

    Its good to see some people believe this drivel

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “It has become a matter of pride, and the leadership has so oversold it to their membership”

    Sinn Fein have been demonstrating for some time an alarming over-estimation of their own abilities, that’s for sure.

    But who would have thought that any politician, party or institution demanding local involvement in policing and justice, a cornerstone of democracy, could “oversell” the concept. Is it not that important?

    It certainly seems to be a principle currently being strongly sold to the people of Iraq, Georgia and Afghanistan by various world leaders, governments and the UN etc.

  • Pete Baker

    b-JR

    Interesting attempt to reframe the discussion.

    It wasn’t the concept that the Sinn Féin leadership oversold to their membership, it was what they claimed to have secured at St Andrews.

    But you knew that already.

  • kensei

    UMH

    Give me one good reason why the Unionists wouldn’t think it’s payback time?

    That wasn’t my point. My point was — if there is never going to be a better time to cut a deal, then not cutting a deal at this point is, by definition, a mistake.

  • Traditional_Unionist

    Pete,

    SF/IRA have gotten themselves in an almighty mess regarding this issue. Your quite right, they knew the had no real agreement on policing and justice dates with the DUP. They knew this but now are threatening to bring down the executive over the issue and their impatience. They made promises to their electorate that they knew they couldnt keep unless there was a massive (enormous infact) weakness shown from the DUP.

    I far from agree with alot of the DUP regarding many things this last while, but even the DUP are not stupid enough to sign their own death warrants and agree to SF/IRA demands regarding a thing as vital as policing and justice

    I am actually rather sure now that the executive will fall as I dont see any way out of this current stalemate.

    One of the two main parties would need to fail massively and take an enormous hit if they backed down to the other.

    election time is looming

  • cynic

    Look at this from a DUP perspective.

    If they do a deal to let SF off the hook they face significant electoral risks, not least looking like the successors of Trimble.

    If they don’t do a deal then SF either

    (i) withdraw the threat to collapse the Executive – in which case SF look weak and the DUP revel in their strength at having beaten them down

    (ii) collapse the Executive in which case the DUPs shout that its all Republicans fault. They will also calculate that this will have caused immense damage to the SF leadership who will be seen to have misled their own people. The SDLP will undoubtedly make hay and the DUP will face a more fragmented nationalism in the next round of negotiations.

    So it heads i win and tails I win for the DUP. Now can anyone tell me, just why would they help SF out?

    I not advocating this as a principled position. I just see it as part of the analysis and the only solution lies in some major concessions by SF on other issues. But even that is hard to see given the hardline positions taken by the DUP in recent days.

  • West Belfast

    The DUP have been simply awful since they agreed to share power with SF.

    They were so impatient to ‘show who was in charge’ that they shot everything SF wanted down. In fact they went 5-0 up, so to speak! That would be great if this was a game of football but it is not.

    What being 5-0 up means in politics is that the next ‘victory’ will inevitably belong to SF. Why? Because there is nothing else for the DUP to shoot down – they either stick to their position and refuse to share power or they join in in a bit of quid pro quo and agree to some SF demands. That is not a great position for them to be in with wee Jim looking over their shoulder.

    As a SF supporter I genuinely want to see power sharing work but only on the basis of equality. I am quite happy for the current charade to come tumbling down. That will trigger an election which I would welcome.

    So Liam Clarke can argue this point until he is red white and blue in the face – I am very happy with the stance being taken and trust that SF will see this through to whatever outcome is necessary.

  • Richard James

    Looks like a win-win situation for the DUP.

    If Sinn Fein bend the knee after this hissy fit and go back into the Executive without an agreement to devolve P&J;then Robinson can point to Republican mopery to reassure his right wing he isn’t weak.

    If the Shinners collapse the Executive then the blame will fall on their heads, and lacking Blair’s missionary zeal on Ulster and the need for DUP support in the Commons you won’t rushing to help SF out.

    And with Cameron’s orange voting record and a Tory alliance with the UUP, don’t be expecting a future government to be any friendlier. The future’s bright, the future’s orange :o)

  • Richard James

    *Gordon Brown rushing to help SF out.

  • lorraine

    the last thing sinn fein would want right now is another election with the disater of the last 26 county one still fresh in memories. dissatisfaction with sinn fein on the ground is a real phenomenon with a glaring gulf between leadership affluence and base poverty becomming more apparant.
    an election campaign now would be nothing more than a sectarian shouting match, rallying the troops on each side with sweet f all to offer the future.
    on the evidence before us sinn fein need to get over the fact they were outmanoeuvred by the dup in the negotiations at st. andrews and lord gortahork is not as infallible as the party faithful believe.

  • Nomad

    I’d like to suggest that Mick (where has he gone to anyway?) enable a Slugger filter on the phraze “The future’s bright, the future’s orange :o)
    ” so that it never appear anymore.

    Many thanks!

  • Traditional_Unionist

    I think the orange phone reciption is getting better though so why not celebrate it? 😉

  • Traditional_Unionist

    I think the orange phone reception is getting better though so why not celebrate it? 😉

  • Richard James

    You can’t filter the future Nomad. Time for Nationalists to settle down and realise the best they can aspire to is being a junior servant of the Crown like Martin McGuinness :o)

  • Traditional_Unionist

    ohhhhhh

    your being very controversial here Richard 😀

    dont let marty hear you! 😉

  • West Belfast

    Richard – as long as you settle down and realise that unionists can’t spend a penny or make a single decision about their beloved Ulster without the say so of the former Chief of staff of the IRA.

  • Traditional_Unionist

    West belfast,

    you are quite correct of course

    but I would suggest you should be aiming your “settle down” comments at the SF/IRA leadership.

    They are getting all excited about the policing and justice issue and making threats left right and centre because they know they misled their electorate and members by promising something they knew wasnt agreed to.

    They and the SF/IRA support need to realise that policing and justice will not be being transfered anytime soon. Indeed with their latest outbursts I would say it will be even longer now before they get their grubby, blood stained hands on the powers of policing and justice

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Pete,

    In relation to the DUP’s position – I asked you this very simple question last night on another “SF have got it badly wrong thread”

    I’ll give it another go.

    Do you accept the DUP are out step with the 2 Governments on the issue of the Transfer of Police and Justice?

  • Inspector Cleauso

    Do you accept the DUP are out step with the 2 Governments on the issue of the Transfer of Police and Justice? IWSMWDI

    So what?

  • Richard James

    West Belfast,

    Ministerial accountability doesn’t bother me one little bit. It’s not like Poots had any grand plans to blow the entire DECAL budget on Orangefest anyway.

    On the other hand a Unionist veto has been exercised on the Irish Language Act, Policing and Justice and the Bobby shrine.

    All in all, a rather agreeable outcome wouldn’t you agree?

  • Dave

    Sammy, so SF supporting the British government’s role in Irish affairs and enjoying the support of the British government is good news for those who those who are supposed to be opposed to the British government’s role in Irish affairs? As Liam Clarke said, “It is a sign of how far republicans have come…”

    It’s odd that Clarke puts an emphasis on SF’s ‘overselling’ of the importance of devolution of P and J to their membership as the cause of the current problem rather than lying to that membership about a deal being agreed. I suspect he is right, though: I doubt it matters much to the membership if SF lied to them. It matters more that a promised ‘victory’ wasn’t secured.

  • Rooster Cogburn

    To (please God) stop Sammy from his single transferable posting – the DUP are *not* out of step with HMG (the only government that ultimately matters), nor even the Republic’s government. Unless the position of one or both governments is that, Policing & Justice should be transferred (ie devolution of these powers should be imposed upon NI politicians) without prior local agreement (as previously determined it should be) but solely because one local party (SF) are demanding that it should be. Is that the position of either or both governments? And to save myself the boredom of having to drone on Sammy-style, I’ll not merely ask the question, I’ll supply the answer to my question: no, that’s not the position of the British government, nor even that of the Republic’s. Their position is very simple: while it would be nice if this devolution of powers occurred, it should (and can only) occur once agreement has been reached between the local parties. And with no agreement, merely one party’s incessant, disingenuous, fooling no one-whining, no transfer (as yet). Okay? So now, please, ffs, think of something else to say, or else join that circle of SlugHell reserved for the monomaniacal likes of repartitionistheanswer Greenflag et al.

  • West Belfast

    Richard – thats your problem – you see everything as short term – we play the long game.

    There will be an Irish language act, p&j;will be devolved and as for the so called shrine – well the only real losers will be the norn iron football team – suits me fine.

    By the way ministerial accountability suits me fine too – thats what powersharing is all about – dual veto. So I am happy that SF is reminding everyone that it also has a veto and two can play that game.

    100 years ago the crown ruled over the 32 counties – now 26 are back where they belong. 40 years ago Unionists ran the north how they pleased and now the six are administered jointly by Sinn Fein. You could say its revolution by evolution!

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>Ministerial accountability doesn’t bother me one little bit. It’s not like Poots had any grand plans to blow the entire DECAL budget on Orangefest anyway.

    On the other hand a Unionist veto has been exercised on the Irish Language Act, Policing and Justice and the Bobby shrine.

    All in all, a rather agreeable outcome wouldn’t you agree?

    Can’t seem to find the correct form of words to describe this smug self satisfied and completely worthless contribution. Sad and pathetic just don’t seem potent enough. God help decent Unionists that actually want to make a go of this thing.

  • Rooster Cogburn

    “God help decent Unionists that actually want to make a go of this thing” – goodness knows, He’ll doubtless be even keener to do so when we’re still here, still saying, ‘yes, we’ll play’ after that other shower have huffed and cleared off.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Rooster

    Are you saying that you will begin to behave like grown up’s AFTER the Taigs have left the stage?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Inspector Cleauso

    Do you accept the DUP are out step with the 2 Governments on the issue of the Transfer of Police and Justice? IWSMWDI

    So what?

    It is a measure of the separation from the real issues of Pete’s threads that you might still be pondering on that one.

    But, as you asked, and I do like to answer the questions that are put to me – The British and Irish governements will be putting this house of fun together again if it collapes as a result of the DUP going back to saying NO.

    Dave,

    “Sammy, so SF supporting the British government’s role in Irish affairs and
    enjoying the support of the British government is good news for those who those
    who are supposed to be opposed to the British government’s role in Irish affairs?
    As Liam Clarke said, “It is a sign of how far republicans have come…”

    Where, Liam, and yourself may be getting a bit confused on this is that Nationalsits do not have a problem with British Governements but with British Governement POLICY – and since the Peace Process started – as the DUP told us time after time they apparently have switched sides to the
    good guys – if you’ll forgive the slight bias – and have given concession after concession to SF.

    Rooster me old Cock,

    Jeez. Complaining about repititon – what the feck are you doing on here – Pete’s umteenth thread on the same issue with more DUP spin than you would get at an anti-Darwinian/Gay/Fenian fundmanetalist bible meeting in deepest Ballymena?

    Also it might have been idea to address the question asked rather than one that suited you. I almost said Pete can answer for himself – but we will have to wait and see on that one.

    Pete, one more time- slightly refined. Do you accept that the DUP are out of step with the 2 governements position that police and Justice should be transferred now?

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mac

    What happened to the Englezes? ;o)

    Rooster’s given you a perfectly good answer, which I have very little to add to.

    But since you’ve subsequently rephrased that question..

    The DUP’s decision appears to be that the conditions on the ground do not favour the devolution of policing and justice at this time.

    The two governments may very well be of a different opinion. But they aren’t the ones SF has to find agreement with before the request to transfer those powers can be made – as specified in the legislation.

    Btw, I see you’re not making any references to those imagined ‘secret’ deals today.

    That’s progress I suppose.

    I know, I know, you’re now going to project some pressure to be brought to bear by those governments on the DUP..

    But you miss the point of noting the details of what is happening now.

    Just one other thing.

    “Pete’s umteenth thread on the same issue with more DUP spin than you would get at an anti-Darwinian/Gay/Fenian fundmanetalist bible meeting in deepest Ballymena?”

    Yup. I’ve been carefully following this topic for some time and noting the details as they emerge.

    But ‘spin’ implies falsification.

    And you haven’t provided any evidence for falsification of anything I’ve actually said. Let alone demonstrated any.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Pete Bravo.

    “The two governments may very well be of a different opinion. But they aren’t the ones SF has to find agreement with before the request to transfer those powers can be made – as specified in the legislation. ”

    The problem this presents to your analyis in the here and now is this. On one side of the arguement sit the Englezes(apologies for the oversight) and the Irish Governement SF and the SDLP and on the other the DUP. This is not a good position for the DUP to be in during the ongoing negotiations – the Newsletter rallying to the cause probably confirms that.

    re. Futuring/Threats etc
    There is an IMC report due in a few days.Do you think that the timing of this report is
    a)coincidental or
    b)designed to ‘encourage’ the transfer.

    To have repeated threads that seek to play up SFs difficulties and not to take due account of the difficulties – ie political isolation of the DUP – could have a number of explanations – the most polite of which is spin.

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mc

    “The problem this presents to your analyis [sic] in the here and now is this. On one side of the arguement sit the Englezes(apologies for the oversight) and the Irish Governement SF and the SDLP and on the other the DUP. This is not a good position for the DUP to be in during the ongoing negotiations”

    No problem whatsoever to anything I’ve actually said.

    What might happen next will have no effect whatsoever on what has already happened.

    In particular, it will have no effect on the Sinn Féin leadership’s misrepresentation [that’s the polite term] of what they claimed to have secured at St Andrews.

    You know, the bit of what has happened that you really really want no-one to focus on or talk about.

    While you might need to ignore that detail, the rest of us don’t.

  • Insider

    The DUP have boxed SF in. The tables have been turned. Once upon a time unionists were on the back foot threatening to walk out and huffing about their powerlessness. Now SF are apeing Trimble.
    The DUP have managed to create circumstances where SF are getting nowhere, are seen to be without clout, recognise threatening to cut their own throats is their only option and the Brits are on side as Robinson agreed how P&J;could be devolved and the process to reach agreement on it.
    If Robinson had stone-walled on P&J;he would have lost government support but his agreement on the way forward was welcomed by London. Clearly he moved with their knowledge and support.
    It is SF who lost their nerve. Having agreed with Robinson how to move forward they are abandoning the process before it is ever begun.
    Changed times. I’m enjoying SF’s discomfort. Who would have thought that the DUP would have outmanouvered SF so easily and so quickly.

  • Rooster Cogburn

    PE: “Are you saying that you will begin to behave like grown up’s AFTER the Taigs have left the stage?” Nah, what I’m kinda saying is that the ‘grown ups’ will be the one left still standing on that stage of yours. That’s the stage, to be precise, they’ll be standing on alone coz the Shinners have ran away, as I believe the turn of phrase once had it.

    Speaking as a Paisley-loathing ‘traditional unionist’ [even I don’t know what that means anymore – I think it had something to do with clucking disapproval when DUP thugs kicked Daphne, but at the same time idly wondering if Dave was actually going to have his stroke there and then], I’m hardly here to flag wave for the DUP. But as someone almost autistically interested in political techniques, my main interest in all this all along has been: how on earth have the Shinners managed to be so stupid as to needlessly box themselves in like this? The only answer I can come up with is, the fools had come to hubristically believe their own inevitabilist propaganda before the last Free State election, and thinking thus, when that went tits up, they haven’t had a fall back strategy here in the non-nixed Six. And now they’re skittling all over the place like punch drunk idiots. Ha, ha, hah. And there’s more where that *came* from. (And my top tip for a quick dash to Paddy Power? The Stoops, in terms of votes cast, to be the largest nationalist party again by the time of the next general election. Nowhere near a cert yet, but oh so much closer than it was even 6 mere weeks ago).

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Pete,

    “While you might need to ignore that detail, the rest of us don’t.”

    Details are important if they have political significance – the fact that the DUP think that SF lied to their Ard Fheis for example is political handbags and tittle-tattle and easily countercharged.

    To repeatedly concentrate on one set of details (the letter of the STA) that suits a particular ideological position, and ignores others (statements by the Governments isolating the DUP)not only results in a poor analysis but obscures the bigger picture.

    And talking of detail I notice you somehow managed to miss the detail of the timing of IMC report? So lets try again.

    Do you think that the timing of the IMC report is
    a)coincidental or
    b)designed to ‘encourage’ the transfer.

    ps The report has already been commisioned so dont trot out the ‘get out of jail card’ about futuring.

    Rooster,

    As befits someone with your sobriquet you appear to be counting your chickens before they have hatched – the boy Peter will have your ass for futuring.

    It appears we have a mutual friend in Mr Patrick Power – so I’ll wager you a tenner that Police and Justice will be transfrerred before the new year? Loser gives money to Slugger – could help towards the cost of restoring the sight in Peter’s other eye.

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mc

    “the fact that the DUP think that SF lied to their Ard Fheis for example is political handbags and tittle-tattle and easily countercharged.”

    It’s not the fact that “the DUP think that SF lied to their Ard Fhies”.

    It’s the fact, evidenced by the public statements by the Sinn Féin leadership, that they did.

    “easily countercharged”?

    I notice that you haven’t actually attempted to provide evidence of a counter-charge – let alone prove any.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Countercharges – lying to your own side.

    If SF bother to reply – which I dont think they should here’s a couple.

    We will smash SF.

    We will not share power with SF/IRA.

    Any answer yet to the question (detail) again overlooked on the IMC? A or B?

  • Dessertspoon

    I don’t really understand why either the DUP or Sinn Fein would want to collapse everything over 1 issue (allbeit a important one). Sinn Fein remind me of the dog in that story…you know the one who had a big juicy bone in his mouth. He saw a reflection of himself in a pond and thought it was another dog with another bone and decided he wanted that too so opened his mouth to bark at the other dog and lost his bone in the pond!