“The real issue is that the DUP has to learn how partnership and equality work.”

In his column this week, Brian Feeney cites Alvin Jackson’s assertion that, from 1972, the role of unionist leaders in the Six Counties has been to mediate British policy to their followers. Their ability and willingness to do so determined their fate as political leaders. To Feeney, Peter Robinson knows this, and he knows – particularly after Brown’s Stormont speech– that British policy is at odds with the DUP regarding the failure to devolve Policing and Justice powers.

Correctly, Feeney identifies that
“The DUP refusal to deliver on policing and justice is simply the occasion of the dispute, not its cause. Sinn Fein has bigger fish to fry. The real issue is that the DUP has to learn how partnership and equality work and subscribe to that ethos.”

  • “to mediate British policy to their followers”

    Can someone please explain, in simple language, what Feeney means?

  • Dave

    He means that the DUP’s purpose is the same as that of SF, i.e. to direct their supporters to support polices that are devised by the British Intelligence government to promote British national interests under the pretext that the polices are devised by the respective party to promote the interests of the party’s supporters. Fake autonomy, puppets, stooges, ect.

    That is true about SF under McGuinness/Adams but it is not true about the DUP. No-one controls that party except the leadership of it, and that party promotes the interests of its supporters rather ruthlessly. It was British government policy that SF should lead their supporters into the reformed political system and that other parties should facilities that policy, but that was not a shared policy of the DUP. Hence the DUP refused to play along until Paisley decided that it suited his interests to do so, not the interests of the British government.

    SF will prop-up Stormont because that is where their controllers have told them to do. Their current act of defiance and nonchalance is simply a cynical charade that is designed to create the bogus impression among the questioning supporters that they have autonomy in the matter.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    “Sinn Fein has bigger fish to fry”

    Dont agree with that. This is the biggest fish for the Republican pan.

    “The real issue is that the DUP has to learn how partnership and equality work and subscribe to that ethos”

    This is a load of malarkey – SF will be twice as awkward as the DUP and less committted to “partnership and equality ” if it suits their purposes. This is 2 political parties at each others political throats after 30 years of being after each others actual throats – and that will continue for the forseeable future.

  • DC

    Yup Sammy SF’s agenda is always problem-driven not policy-driven because equality will require an understanding of their own opposite partners.

    SF put forward ethno-cultural demands to unionists in ways that make it utterly improbable for unionists to visibly compromise making the deadlock certain hence applying community veto.

    Take wrapping Irish language around the Courts, it is like suing for a decoy replica of Irishness ensuring that SF can go to its supporters saying it demanded the most of the language just like the status in the Republic.

    In doing so they must know that unionists will reject because the reason why there is a Northern Ireland is because people here don’t want a replication of the Republic for very fraught reasons.

    So a more incremental approach is the obvious approach, but they wont do it – even re policing and justice. The very nature of the big and bulky demands rather than reconciliatory ones at bite size steps leaves unionists with their own narratives and mindsets pegged to the wall, or collapsing into the veto.

    This is because SF leave no natural pathway out, yet have credibility to turn to their own electorate and say under equality that we are trying to replicate a culturally OTT agenda. The supporters understand, but the truth is a different matter as it involves understanding other people’s positions to ever ‘legitimise’ any of SF’s demands.

  • runciter

    “to mediate British policy to their followers”

    Can someone please explain, in simple language, what Feeney means?

    Unionists are puppets of the British government.

  • ??

    Unionists are puppets of the British government.
    Posted by runciter on Sep 28, 2008 @ 03:32 PM

    wouldnt that be Sinn Fein?

  • ulsterfan

    I think that Feeney may well be a SF candidate for the next European election.
    Has this proposition ever been put to him and what has been his reply?