The Prime Minister visits

Gordon Brown will be visiting the Assembly today and into the midst of the ongoing problems caused by Sinn Fein’s blocking of Executive business. On Our Kingdom I examine the issues involved, SF’s problem with the practicalities of power-sharing and argue that how the manner in which the process got here is not the means to bed it down:

Stability will be produced by giving parties no other option but to resolve their differences and fight their battles on the power-sharing pitch.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    El Gordo will presumably make some financial package available to Stormo if the
    DUP move on Police and Justice.

  • steve48

    keeping the policing budget out of the Barnett formula in the long term will be of more use than any short term windfall

  • Sinbad

    El Gordo will presumably make some financial package available to Stormo if the
    DUP move on Police and Justice.

    Didn’t the DUP get one last year when they held out for a couple of weeks after the March Election?

  • Dewi

    They’d better make some quick progress – he might not be PM by the time he gets home:

    An important Scottish resignation

  • DC

    Oh great idea David Cairns, with New Labour’s vision built on good capitalism and on fairer opportunity to access it, who in their right mind can construct a vision whenever the ground on which a vision must be built is missing!

    Labour MPs prepare to hang yourselves before your term is up…

  • Big Maggie

    Fair Deal

    In Fairness I think you’ll find there are two a-tangoing up there on the hill.

  • DC
  • Dewi

    When is he due DC?

  • percy

    imminent Dewi.. follows shortly

  • DC

    He pulled up to the doors in a Landrover, a Chelsea tractor, with his SoS mate Woodward and Goggins plus entourage; so he is in Stormont somewhere…

    I dont imagine it will be a resignation speech 😉 but hey ya know, who knows????

  • Dewi

    Pete’s opinion poll cynicism well founded eh? Not a bad speech so far.

  • This could well be his farewell tour so try to be nice the lot of ye.

  • Dewi

    Can’t be more direct than that can you? Get on with it ….. with a deadline. Not sure of the widdom of the approach though – there’s nothing as thran as a unionist being told what’s good him….

  • DC

    Good speech, for all the complaints about him as a leader his speech was 1000 times better than combined leaders up in Stormont; he said NI had a better chance than the best places in UK to succeed and gain investment; skills placed with the people to lead NI into a better future, focused on Bombardier, stayed positive.

    Optimistic speech, decent drive and focus on crucial work to complete devolutionary journey about NI gone beyond cross-roads and to create a positive permanent future.

    Good message to reach final settlement on peace, British Government will match progress and help out the Assembly in meeting any demands post-policing transfer. Quid-pro-quo by the British government?

    He said “don’t give up or give in” keep the faith towards the untravelled bend towards peace and justice.

    Good speech by Gordon Brown, “better in your hands” he said but I didn’t see any hand clapping by SF at the end, miserable bunch 😉

  • percy

    yeah DC, he’s just vindicated all SF’s arguments, miserable sods

  • DC

    Yes he did, but wasn’t public opinion always flowing that way, I mean it’s been 10 years of peace, IRA gone in 2005, the party out of position has always been the DUP.

  • percy

    If only he’s said
    The British Gov’t takes the view that devolution of P&J;is the next step towards Irish Unity 😉

  • Neil

    the party out of position has always been the DUP

    That would depend on who you listen to, don’t get me wrong I agree with you. But listening to big fat Stevie Nolan spouting off at Barry McElduff this morning was like a DUP party political broadcast. It’s all SF’s fault didn’t ya know.

  • DC

    Yes that would have forced a smile on John O’Dowd’s face that would have split his rhino-hide in two.

  • doctor

    Given that Gordo is now officially rowing in behind the “devolve ASAP” argument, can we expect pedantic thread #1001 later today on Slugger about how May was only a target date?

  • USA

    The lead in to these postings is typical of the Unionist inability to see reality. It is so far off base the writer loses all credibility.
    Comments such as “problems caused by Sinn Fein”, and “SF’s problem with the practicalities of power-sharing” are just stupid. They cannot possibly reflect a mature understanding of where the six counties stand politically at this moment in time.
    Any objective observer can see that the British Prime Minister came to Belfast today and in the usual “diplomatic” terms told Peter Robinson and the DUP that they better get on with devolving P+J. Behind closed doors this messege will be brought home by the British delegation.
    Jim Alister knew this was coming and is ready to pounce on any movement by Peter Robinson. This is going to be much harder on Robinson than anyone else.

  • Comrade Stalin

    USA,

    Comments such as “problems caused by Sinn Fein”, and “SF’s problem with the practicalities of power-sharing” are just stupid. They cannot possibly reflect a mature understanding of where the six counties stand politically at this moment in time.

    So tell us what your mature understanding is then?

    At the minute the power sharing government is effectively suspended. The reason why it is effectively suspended is because Sinn Fein is refusing to attend executive meetings, and their basis for doing so is a wilful misinterpretation of the text of the agreement they reached with the DUP. It really is that simple. The problem is caused by Sinn Fein and their intransigence, in the same way that the same problem was caused by David Trimble and his intransigence during the previous administration a few years ago.

    I want to see police and justice matters being devolved immediately. However, the idea that Stormont is useless and can safely be dispensed with if this does not take place by a fixed short term deadline is nonsense, and you need to give some serious thought if you really believe that most people in NI want to junk powersharing if this matter is not resolved immediately.

    Any objective observer can see that the British Prime Minister came to Belfast today and in the usual “diplomatic” terms told Peter Robinson and the DUP that they better get on with devolving P+J. Behind closed doors this messege will be brought home by the British delegation.

    The other side of that coin is that I saw no endorsement of SF’s position. The British delegation, as you call it, is in no position to “bring home” any message to the DUP while they continue to hold the effective balance of power in Westminster.

  • Dewi

    “The other side of that coin is that I saw no endorsement of SF’s position”

    No matter whose position it is I got the overwhelming impression that Brown was endorsing a rapid timetabled implementation (quoting the polls and the IMC report). It surely is time for the DUP to act (on their own terms).

  • Comrade Stalin

    Since when have unionists ever taken orders from the British government ?

  • Dewi

    Never, Never, Never…about the bigget paradox of the lot.

  • DC

    Apologies for cutting across your argument Stalin but:

    “The reason why it is effectively suspended is because Sinn Fein is refusing to attend executive meetings, and their basis for doing so is a wilful misinterpretation of the text of the agreement they reached with the DUP.”

    The St Andrews agreement when signed was meant to provide the confidence for that devolution of policing and justice power, it is now fast approaching two years since that agreement.

    St Andrews:

    The Governments have requested the parties to continue these discussions so as to agree the necessary administrative arrangements to create a new policing and justice department. It is our view that implementation of the agreement published today should be sufficient to build the community confidence necessary for the Assembly to request the devolution of criminal justice and policing from the British Government by May 2008.

    We believe that all parties should be able to endorse this agreement and to implement it in good faith, building the trust and confidence necessary for a stable and lasting settlement.

  • tiberius

    Since when have unionists ever taken orders from the British government ?

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Sep 16, 2008 @ 08:16 PM

    since the day you accepted them as your masters, surf.