“informal gatherings..”

The Not-an-Executive met yesterday and it looks like we’re in for a period of administration by correspondence. Other ministers, it appears, are also having “informal gatherings” elsewhere.. with no authority to conduct any business.

Mr Robinson previously warned of “serious consequences” if yesterday’s Executive, which has not met since mid-June, did not convene. He said yesterday that the first such consequence was that the cancellation of the Executive meant that today’s meeting between the Southern and Northern Ministers for Agriculture Brendan Smith and Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew could not take place under the official aegis of the ministerial council in Ballyconnell.

The two Ministers and Minister for Rural Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív will instead hold a trilateral meeting in Ballyconnell. This will not have ministerial council status as such meetings must be authorised by the Executive and involve a nationalist and unionist Minister from the North. Mr Robinson said if Sinn Féin’s boycott continued then a scheduled full North-South Ministerial Council meeting early next month and a British-Irish Council meeting next week would be cancelled.

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  • KD

    I’m feeling decidedly depressed this Friday over the failure of our political leaders this week. While I agree with Sinn Fein that Northern Ireland is well capable of dealing with police and justice, I do not agree with how they’ve used this subject to threaten the hard earned political system that everyone in Northern Ireland long deserves.

    Sinn Fein lacks one characteristic which is very important in politics – diplomacy. Yes it is right that SF raise the policing issue and question how policing is controlled and yes I agree that the Northern Irish people are better placed to control the PSNI than English civil servants. But no, SF is not right to threaten everything that has been achieved over the past ten years over this single issue.

    Sinn Fein has the least parliamentary experience of all our political parties because of their, up until recent, refusal to sit in Dail Eireann or the House of Commons and to be honest that inexperience is now threatening everything that has been achieved to date. SF needs to learn that politics is about persuasion, it’s about bringing people around to your ideas. It’s not about bulldozing everything around you simply because you are not getting your way on an issue. Some you win, some you lose and some you leave to another day.

    As for the DUPs claim that the people of Northern Ireland are not confident enough to have policing devolved – where is your evidence to support this claim.

    I believe SF and the DUP miss the attention they get when a crisis is at hand. They miss the applause they receive when they pull it back from the brink. Well I for one am feed up with this style of politics.

    One thing is for sure, while this political vacuum continues, hard line dissidents are filling your places. And another thing, history will scoff and laugh at your failings.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    I presume Robbo belatedly took legal advise which explained to him that he could do feck all – he really should have done that before he started blustering.

    SF should give Robbo another few weeks and then actually deliver “serious consequences” in the shape of no more Stormo.

  • KD

    Yes I agree. SF, while having a relevant point regarding policing, appears to have entered into something without a clear strategy – unless their aim is indeed to cause political instability, prove that Northern Ireland is incapable of governing itself and give dissidents a free hand.

    SF’s language and behavior on this issue lacks political sophistication. What they have achieved is a stand off. Everyone is backed into a corner and any attempt to find a middle ground will now appear as weakness.

    SF needs to question the road they’ve taken and the leader who has pointed out this direction as the way to go. Mr. Adam’s, who has been undoubtedly played a huge role in the peace process, may simply not have the political skills necessary in a post conflict era, where co-operation and persuasion will achieve SF goals rather than non participation and threats.

  • barnshee

    “SF should give Robbo another few weeks and then actually deliver “serious consequences” in the shape of no more Stormo”
    agreed just add the word ever

  • KD

    SF and the other parties need to deal with the issue of policing without imposing ultimatums or threatening the political stability.

    Policing has come a long way in Northern Ireland . The Chief Constable appears to have the confidence of both communities, Nuala O’Loan kicked a lot of butt while in the Ombudsman role and I’m waiting to see how her successor develops. People from both communities are taking part in the District Policing Boards. The Prime Minister has ordered an inquiry into the role of the secret service in the Omagh bombing.

    Indeed policing in Northern Ireland is arguably far more transparent than the police force in the Republic of Ireland.

    Yes the control over policing and justice needs to be devolved, but if the Stormont Executive fails to meet how will this happen. SF has scored an own goal.

  • Steve


    Its nbice to see you transfer all the responsibility to SF but this all began at St. Andrews where apparently did agree to a time line and then reneged add to that the crowing from the dupers about stopping the Irish Language act and their general intransigence it is infact a crisis manufactured by the dupers.

    It is infact the dupers who are showing no class or distinction but have retreated to croppie lay down. SF seemingly willing to bend to any demand have finally quit bending and have snapped back to attention and its now up to robbo to do some very public bending

    Let’s see if he has the spine for it. If not then its off to plan B and a great deal more imput from the republic on the running of the wee 6.

    SF wants are very reasonable and well with in the norm for a modern democracy and will likely get most if not all the things they want save P&J;.

    By the way KD how long have you worked for the dupers

  • RR

    Do you not think it’s rather childish games going on at Stormont? I don’t see the point of the Executive if they can’t just get on with the job in a mature, considered way.

    I’m really suffering from ‘crisis’ after ‘crisis’ fatigue and I’m certainly apathetic about the nonsense that seems to be happening up there.

    Seems to just be silly schoolboy antics. Get Westminster back involved and send these no hopers packing. I’m not so bothered about “English civil servants” running NI – at least they’d be running something.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    Do you not think it’s rather childish games going on at Stormont?


    A better way of looking at it might be as the expected difficulties of an arranged (or a decommisioned shotgun) marriage between a couple who had nothing in common and disliked each other intensely as they tried to find a way to live together.

  • “as they tried to find a way to live together.”

    No, really. I thought the intention was to get one over on the other, Sammy.

  • DC

    Some feel-good factor for our depressive MLAs:

    Search for the hero inside yourselves!!!

    Sometimes the river flows but nothing breathes.
    A train arrives but never leaves.
    It’s a shame.
    Oh life like love that walks out of the door.
    Of being rich or being poor.
    Such a shame.
    But it’s then, then that faith arrives.
    To make you feel at least alive.
    And that’s why you should keep on aiming high.
    Just seek yourself and you will shine
    You’ve got to search for the hero inside yourself.
    Search for the secrets you hide.
    Search for the hero inside yourself.
    Until you find the key to your life.

    In this life long and hard though it may seem
    Live it as you’d live a dream.
    Aim so high.
    Just keep the flame of truth burning bright.
    The missing treasure you must find.
    Because you and only you alone.
    Can build a bridge across the stream.
    Weave your spell in life’s rich tapestry.
    Your passport to a feel supreme.

    Even Gordo can do it and he’s a goner so the impossible isn’t really that impossible – aim high.

  • iluvni

    Perhaps its time for a referendum on whether P&J;should be devolved.
    Surely Sinn Fein would settle for that.

  • Steve


    Would the dupers?

    If it came back yes wouldnt it go to show how out of touch and irresponsible they are?

  • borderline


    i presume that the referendum would be bounded by the object of your love iluvni.

    Get this. I don’t accept that ni is fit for a referendum on anything. It was a state designed to deliver votes for a referendum. To make a false minority out of the nationalist people of Ulster and Ireland.

    No wonder you love it.

    I live in it and I hate it. I want it to die. Now, more than ever.

    It is a sectarian artificial statelet, designed by British Nationalists to deliver maximun lebensraum whilst not threatening a contrived majority.

    Get to fuck with your “ni” referendum.

  • Billy

    “SF should give Robbo another few weeks and then actually deliver “serious consequences” in the shape of no more Stormo”

    Exactly – Robinson is full of bluster and nothing else.

    What exactly are the “serious consequences” he can inflict? The only one is a collapse of the pathetic “executive” and a return to direct rule.

    So what!

    Direct Rule wouldn’t be a problem for most Nationalists. We would certainly get a better deal than we’re getting from the DUP with their triple jobbing minister’s and homophobic MLAs.

    The UK govt, as are all others, is currently fighting the credit crunch. Add to that immigration, flooding, crime etc and the internal difficulties of the Labour party and they really don’t give a toss about the North.

    Gordon Brown made it crystal clear that he wants P&J;devolved as do the US and Irish administrations.

    The last thing the UK govt want is to take back direct running of the North with it’s basket case economy and whinging “politicians”.

    If the Executive collapses, the UK govt will gladly give the RoI even more influence in the running of the North.

    And, contrary to Unionist mythology, Sinn Fein won’t get the blame. The overwhelming majority of people in the UK are just worried about their jobs and mortgages.

    There is little interest in the North and even less support for the Unionists and their constant demands for more public money.

    Of the few people who are interested, the blame will land at the DUP’s door. If the “executive” crashes because the DUP take a stand against the preferred policy of the UK, US + Irish govts, the govts will ensure that the finger of blame points exactly where it should.

  • iluvni

    Cant you almost feel borderline’s pain there. I havent felt as emotional since Detective Simone died in NYPD Blue, right enough.

  • George

    Looks like Sinn Féin are following the no-brainer policy as expected – no movement until you deliver on policing and justice as demanded by the US, Irish and British governments. It was always going to be so.

    And the worst the DUP can do in response is stop the likes of Brendan Smyth meeting Michelle Gildernew in an official capacity.

    Irish nationalism must be quaking in its boots at the prospect of its forthcoming isolation.

  • Alan

    I really had hoped that we had cracked it when the provo’s and the lemon suckers of the d.u.p. had agreed to govern this part of the U.K. as equal partners and as mature adults. What a disappointment they have been!

    Once again big daddy has to intervene and try to sort out their childish disputes.

    As a unionist I want to see the policing and justice powers handed over to the people of N.I. but I have to say I don’t believe that the provo’s should have control over this department. If this happens they might as well make Shankill bomber Sean Kelly the next childrens comissioner.

    If the s.d.l.p are next in line give it to them if not let’s have direct rule as it is better than what’s going on at the moment.


    Who gives a monkey at what the usa thinks. I thought republicans( especially in the south) were for irish independance and didn’t like to be told what to by a foreign power especially as they have now given the vatican the boot ( after 60 odd years of Rome rule. By the way, well done on gaining your independance.