“Sinn Fein must stop running away from its responsibilities..”

More words, from both parties, on the devolution of policing and justice powers.. and on the summer u-turn agreement that now, apparently, never was. [No wonder the “party’s” losing patience.. – Ed]

, , , ,

  • Quagmire

    Me thinks we are in the final days of Stormont. Have to say that I am elated that SF have finally grown a back bone and dug their heels in recent times. Its not just about P&J;alone, its about the ILA, its about respect and ultimately its about equality. This place is ungovernable within a 6 county context. The state was founded on a sectarian headcount to ensure a protestant/unionist majority, hence the annexation of Counties Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal from the original gerrymander. The problems/stalemate that we are encountering at the moment have nothing to do with lack of agreement between the DUP and SF, as many commentators would have us believe, but rather are more deeply rooted and can be attributed to the undemocratic foundations on which “norn Iron” was built upon. In other words the architects of the northern/orange state never envisaged the growth of a large/strong catholic/nationalist/Republican demographic. In essence the original concept i.e. a prod parliament for a prod people, is no longer sustainable. In my opinion the DUP and Unionism in general must face up to and indeed come to terms with this reality and ultimately the inevitable out workings of the peace process i.e. Irish reunification. There can be no going back nor can there be any stagnation, there can only be progression or forward movement.

  • I am not so sure that Sinn Féin has grown a backbone – where is this latest strategy taking them? it seems to be going nowhere and SF ministers appear to be going around in circles which are ever decreasing. The problem is there is no real choice – SDLP are no better.

    The DUP is a complete shambles and the UUP/TUV/Tories represent the complete dregs. So that leaves the Alliance and the Greens and a few odd independents…moving swiftly on. Perhaps that’s what SF are doing – they have managed to get [most of] the Brits out [of government] and now they’re proving that NI is ungovernable even by its own political representatives so as to hasten the day of reunification…

    Which brings us to Fianna Fáil, Labour, FG, the PDs…..

    oh dear me!

  • Nomad

    I had the greatest of distain for Peter [King] Hain when he was ruling Northern Ireland, but now I miss him.. Who needs self governence anyway?

    🙁

  • Comrade Stalin

    Quagmire,

    The republican narrative that you’ve repeated died a quick death whenever the Good Friday Agreement was endorsed by the people here. People want to see powersharing work. The collapse of the executive will not improve things for people here, and Sinn Fein need to think this through very carefully.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    So we have 3 the governments and the 2 nationalist parties saying yes to the transfer and ALL the Unionist parties including the Alliance saying NO. All the jibber-jabber by Wee Davy and Wee Reggie does not disguise them hiding under the DUP political coattails. Same old tired old Unionism – same old story.

  • the futrures bright, the future’s orange

    No deal was done on P&J;Sammy. Never mind the 3 governments, it’s up to our lot to come to an agreement. Unionists are sick and tired of SF tantrums and sabre rattling. In the old days, this was swiftly followed with a bomb in england. That is why decommissioning was so key. Take away that threat over the negotiations.
    There will be a compromise, P&J;will be devolved, but only when a compromise is sought.

  • ellie

    Sinn Fein have been backed into a corner and they know it and now the only card they have to save face is P&J;.

    Now they have to convince their supporters that this is being done for them when in fact they are looking for a way to get out of devolution without the blame on them

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    the futrures bright, the future’s orange

    Unionists are out of step – whatever way it is dressed up – they, including Alliance who some would expect to know better – are threatening by not implementing fully the STA ( engleze governments words) to unravel progress to date. Unionists have a right to say NO but history shows that when they eventually get round to saying yes they get a wosre deal. Same old tired old unionist story.

    We have the ridiculous situation this week where the DUP want to influnce British policy on abortion but yet dont want to take repsonsibility for it – they dont undertand evolution or devolution.

  • Its big boy rules now for Sinn Fein, no more threats and blackmail. Now is not the time to throw a hissy fit over the devolution of P&J;, surely having the DUP setting out what a department would look like and saying that they want to see it devolved is itseld an achievement? What about Nigel Dodds’s ‘not in a political lifetime’?

    There are more urgent concerns for the executive to be getting on with.

  • ??

    sf position is ludicrous, they are going to pull stormont down because P+J is in the hands of the brits. Bringing down stormont will then leave P+J in the hands of ..er.. the brits…. brilliant idea

  • The Raven

    Ignited – good point and very well made. In response to Quagmire, it’s like this: every time you use the old mantra of prod parliaments, and ungovernable six counties, you run away from the problem.

    The six counties are here and now. They may not be here to stay, but it’s what has to be dealt with now. There is no getting away from it, and, as someone else pointed out above, the old narrative was abandoned the day the Shinners signed up.

    Not for one second should you think that every Prod in the North is supportive of either the DUP ideology or its current behaviour. Probably anybody outside of the traditional strongholds, and under the age of 30 think the whole lot of them are a pampered, overpaid shower.

    The current stand-off does indeed represent a throwback to the bad old days, but that doesn’t mean we all approve of it.

  • IJP

    Sammy

    What are you on about??

    Alliance is keen to see the powers devolved – but isn’t daft enough to allow it to happen on others’ terms. Remember the Victims’ Commission? Nuff said.

    Try to learn a thing or two about a party’s position. Condemning it for holding a position it doesn’t actually hold is getting a bit tiring.

  • ulsterfan

    SF are in trouble because they do not know how democracy works.
    Robinson and the DUP will let them stew for a little while longer and then agree to P&J;being devolved on terms which SF have to accept and not on terms dictated by them alone.
    Wait and see how all the other parties come together and leave SF out in the cold.
    Sf think they can click their fingers and everyone else dance to their tune—-those days are long past.
    They have not yet sat down with SDLP or UU to discuss the terms of the legislation and as this is a complex matter it will take a while to reach agreement.
    The sooner they get back into the Executive the better.
    The rest of us have no problem with devolution but it will come about by agreement at the right time and not solely at the insistence of one party.

  • Mayoman

    Some people like Quagmire can see the reality, whatever ‘narrative’ is used. The politicos here can play reductionism all they like, but the vast majority of people who vote in the UK are unlikely to care who signed what at St Andrews. The message is loud and clear. The DUP agreed to something, but lied through their teeth. Too bigoted to deal straight or afford the artificial province any form of democracy. Thats the message people here. The DUP squandering a (last?) chance to self govern. The here and now includes a Britain that is disengaging. SF simply supplied the rope that the DUP is hanging itself with. IMHO, they knew what the DUP would do wiith the rope from the beginning.

  • Greenflag

    In France during the Fourth Republic it was not uncommon for visiting tourists in Paris to get up early to see the changing of the Government . Can’t be too long before somebody with entrepreuneurial flair in Belfast will set up a bus tour for tourists to see the collapsing of the Assembly 😉

  • Greenflag

    Two Unionsists meet outside Stormont in Jan 2007.

    ‘Well Billy ‘ said one of them grimly
    ‘Do you think we’ve already reached 100% devolution or will it get worse ‘?

    ‘It’ll get worse ‘ said the other .

    Two Unionsists meet outside a boarded up Stormont in March 2009.

    ‘Well Billy here we are again ‘ said one of them grimly

    ‘Do you think we’ve already reached 100% power sharing between Dublin and London or will it get worse ‘?

    ‘It’ll get worse ‘ said the other .

  • autocue

    Mayoman

    The DUP never signed up to anything. Just because Gerry Adams says something doesn’t make it so. Shaun Woodward in the House of Commons recently said that he endorsed Nigel Dodds’ analysis that the DUP was under no committment regarding P+J powers.

    And if some SF cheerleaders on here want to play numbers games – how’s about this one. 3 out of 4 party who have been charged with running the Stormont Executive want it to meet. There are more than 30 papers needing to be actioned by the Executive, which hasn’t met in more than 120 days.

    Sinn Fein cried for inclusive partnership government for more than 10 years and now they’ve got it they don’t want to work it! Also, please spare us all the meaningless drivel about equality. Equality does not equate to getting your own way over every single issue.

    Given Sinn Fein’s past and what they engaged in they should consider themselves damn lucky that Unionists can even bear to be in the same room as them. Someone else said this is real politics – you abandon violence and the threat of force and start to play by the same rules as everyone else – which means that you need to command a majority here, in NORTHERN IRELAND – not London, Dublin or Wahington to get what you want.

    I am broadly in favour of devolution of P+J powers but it is not the most pressing issue facing Stormont at the present time.

  • Greenflag

    First Minister Robinson is told by his Private Secretary that two visitors are waiting to see him ‘

    ‘Who are they’? demands Robinson

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Queen of Great Britain and Northern Irelander , Defender of the Faith , and the Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Honourable Alastair ‘Thunderbird ‘ Darling .

    ‘Show the Queen in first ‘, Robinson says , I only have to kiss her hand .’

  • Greenflag

    autocue ‘

    ‘Given Sinn Fein’s past and what they engaged in they should consider themselves damn lucky that Unionists can even bear to be in the same room as them.’

    on the other hand if we are going to have parity of disdain as well as parity of non esteem

    ‘Given the DUP’s past and what they engaged in they should consider themselves damn lucky that Irish Republicans and Nationalists can even bear to be in the same room as them.’

  • GavBelfast

    Will a Sinn Fein protest against the X-Factor now manifest itself?

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Can we try to keep the discussion focussed on the actual topic?

    Yes, I’m looking at you Greenflag.

    Mayoman

    “The DUP agreed to something, but lied through their teeth.”

    You need to revisit the record on this topic – particularly in relation to who has been lying about St Andrews.

    As Concubhar said..

    “I am not so sure that Sinn Féin has grown a backbone – where is this latest strategy taking them?”

    Indeed. What we have, as I said in the original post, is just more words.

    And no-one, so far, has asked the question, who are the “party” really losing patience with?

  • William

    Quagmire states:

    In essence the original concept i.e. a prod parliament for a prod people, is no longer sustainable.

    Once again the ould toot about ‘prod parliament….’ It was never uttered. The facts are that De Valera stated at the Ard Fheis of his party in early days of Partition that, ‘we are a Catholic people and this is a Catholic Dail’…..That was said on a Sunday and the following Tuesday, an Independent Unionist asked Sir James Craig about this statement. He retorted, ‘let him say that, we can equally say that this is a Protestant parliament and we are a Protestant people’.
    Get you facts right….Misquotes defeat the rest of the garbage you wrote.

  • Dewi

    Bring it down I think – DUP just not in the shared future mindset. Indeed – fairly pathetic point scoring.

  • Danny O’Connor

    SF conceded a veto to the DUP at St Andrews,it is not surprising that it is now being used,they will have to huff and puff till you blow that particular house down,don’t hold your breath for the DUP to give it away without something significant in return.
    Maybe SF will now learn that if you burn your arse you have to sit on the blister.

  • Padraig Caughey

    Sinn Fein are out manouvered, Sinn Fein are out gunned, Sinn Fein don’t know when they’re beat, Sinn Fein have painted themselves into a corner, blah, blah, blah, were have I heard all this before and after every election they clean Unionist and SDLP clocks ever more cleanly.

    Reports of their death are, as always very greatly exaggerated.

    Hissy firs about them being ‘unfit’ for power won’t make them fade away in a puff of smelly black smoke.

  • Billy

    Dewi

    “Bring it down I think – DUP just not in the shared future mindset. Indeed – fairly pathetic point scoring”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    This is about much more than P&J;. It is simply the latest and highest profile example of the DUP only being interested in appeasing their own backwoodsmen and blocking anything that they see as being a benefit to Nationalists.

    As a constitutional Nationalist, I would rather have decisions that effect me made by a UK Minister in Westminster than by a Campbell, Wilson or Foster – slightly better chance of a fair shake for Nationalists, I think.

    It always makes me laugh when the Unionists here whinge about how they don’t like Sinn Fein and don’t trust them.

    Fair enough but do they imagine for one second that Nationalists like or trust people like Campbell, Wilson, McCrea, Robinson, Simpson or Foster?

    Oddly enough, the answer is a resounding NO – and given the DUP’s track record, we can hardly be blamed.

    To date, the “assembly” has shown that the DUP are not interested in real cross-community govt or moving beyond using their position to block anything that might assist the Nationalist community.

    As far as I’m concerned (and the overwhelming number of fellow Nationalists that I know feel the same), we are at make or break point.

    There is absolutly no point in wasting time and money at Stormont if the DUP simply want to block anything that benefits Nationalists.

    I think the UK govt should lay down a deadline and, if the DUP can’t alter their attitude and show real leadership and participate in real partnership govt, the we should go back to London rule in consultation with Dublin.

    When Dodds raised the current impasse in Parliament, he crudely tried to goad Shawn Woodward into blaming Sinn Fein for everything. Not only did Mr Woodward NOT do this but he implied very strongly that the DUP were acting outside the spirit of the STA.

    In his recent speech at Stormont, Gordon Brown made it very clear who he blames for the current impasse.

    If the “assembly” does fall, it will simply show that Unionists still can’t be trusted to administer authority impartially – as soon as they are given it, they can’t help but abuse it.

    If the whole thing crumbles, it will simply make the DUP’s already woeful “reputation” at Westminster even worse.

    I suspect that it’ll be a very long time before any UK govt will waste their time and trust Unionists with authority again.

    From a Nationalist point of view, that’s no bad thing.

  • Cahal

    Stormont didn’t have a very long shelf life anyway. Once a nationalist first minister is nominated the place is dust. That can’t be far off.

  • ??

    As a constitutional Nationalist, I would rather have decisions that effect me made by a UK Minister in Westminster than by a Campbell, Wilson or Foster – slightly better chance of a fair shake for Nationalists, I think. ………………

    That is already the case, so why the fuss

  • Padraig Caughey

    I am always amused by this phrase ‘Constitutional’;
    what Constitution?

  • GavBelfast

    “Constitutional” as in wouldn’t revert to bombing or shooting you if not always getting one’s way?

  • Greenflag

    ???

    ‘That is already the case, so why the fuss ‘

    The cost of the ‘middlemen’ who let’s face have proven themselves to be all too middling /muddling when it comes to a power sharing. The DUP never wanted it -still don’t and never will . SF are wasting their time and they know it .

    Cahal above was being optimistic when he wrote that once a nationalist first minister is nominated the place is dust.

    Might want to rephrase that to ‘once a nationalist Peace & Justice Minister is nominated the place is dust:(

  • Hold the front page

    “Unionist fail in goverment of Northern Ireland again”
    The world if it cares will think is this deja vu.
    What was it this time?
    Some minor disagreement over devolution and intransigence about a gaelic language.
    You mean after all that negotiating the Unionists threw the lot away over that?

  • iluvni

    So, Gerry Adams, after realising that a functioning Stormont assembly delivering the goods in Northern Ireland wasnt exactly going to help his project of destroying Northern Ireland has decided to ramp up the aggro again.
    Well, there’s a shock.

  • percy

    maybe if SF were nice, they might get somewhere.

  • Greenflag

    percy ,

    ‘maybe if SF were nice, they might get somewhere.’

    Being ‘nice’ did’nt help the SDLP at Sunningdale -Why would it help SF ?

  • lee

    “Constitutional” as in wouldn’t revert to bombing or shooting you if not always getting one’s way”

    I seem to recall Robinson etc.. calling themselves constitutional politicians while taking part in, and organising paramilitary organisations like ulster resistance and the third force.

    Pot, kettle…

  • Padraig Caughey

    [b]“Constitutional” as in wouldn’t revert to bombing or shooting you if not always getting one’s way? [/b]

    Oh yes as in Afghanistan and Iraq??!!

    I repeat my question, which you so studiously avoided.

    [b]What Constitution?[/b]

  • Danny O’Connor

    Padraig, most of the clouds of smelly black smoke were created by the provisional movement ,let us not forget that.

  • Padraig Caughey

    The cart follows the horse. the horse in this case being massive gerrymandering, human rights abuses and the disenfranchisement of the entire Nationalist community.

    If you kick a Fenian dog hard enough and long enough he’ll rise up bite Orange asses.

    If if even O ‘Neill’s patronising advise to ,’Treat Catholics like Protestants and they’ll behave like Catholics’, had been carry out, the ass biting would never have happened.Their were always enough SDLP Uncle Toms to ensure this.

    But all the cake was better than half for Unionist elite. So the dog kept getting kicked. the Provos were the Frankenstein of Glengall Street Unionism.

    Still no word about this spectral ‘Constitution’

  • ??

    The cart follows the horse. the horse in this case being massive gerrymandering, human rights abuses and the disenfranchisement of the entire Nationalist community……..

    tell me patrick, what rights do unioinists have that nationalsits dont??

  • ??

    the Provos were the Frankenstein of Glengall Street Unionism. ..

    according to SF the provos where fighting for a 32 socialist repulbic, not against the UUP

  • Padraig Caughey

    IF Glengall Street had not established a Protestant people you would never have had bombs going into the city centre.

    The folks from the Markets and the Falls Road would have been gainfully employed in the Sirocco Works, the Shipyard and Mackies.

    Incredible concept isn’t it? But then what would have been the good of a Unionist state if the Fenians got the good Jobs? Crazy.

    Better of with the Semtex and the good old boys with the big pay packets.

    Sharing the cake was never an option to the Lodge.

    Despite some interpretations the IRA did not arrive here in flying saucers from other planets.

  • Padraig Caughey

    Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

    Or to put it another way, if you urinate off off Islandmagee in a strong wind, don’t be surprised if some of it blows back and hits you in the kisser.

    No , no flying saucers landed in the Falls Road, just the old Fenian dog decided it had enough of being kicked.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Padraig,why then were all those innocent people killed ,people who were not kicking anybody.The provos do not represent my views,and I will not be an apologist for them,in the same way that I would not be an apologist for any of the loyalist murder gangs.Murder is always wrong,and two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • ??

    IF Glengall Street had not established a Protestant people you would never have had bombs going into the city centre.

    The folks from the Markets and the Falls Road would have been gainfully employed in the Sirocco Works, the Shipyard and Mackies. …………….

    patrick, NI has had some of the strictest fair employment laws for the last 30 years, during that time the provos were gleefully murdering protestants, so it was hardly about jobs them..

    Then again, nationalists will always find excuse for murdering protestants

  • Padraig Caughey

    I am sorry I lost the plot.

    The plot being. Devious, rebellious Fenians rise against rightful English King, reject peoperly reformed faith.
    King places mostly Scottish planters on rebel Irish lands .
    Devious rebellious Irish treacherously rebel and slaughter dour, loyal peaceable, Ulster folk. Rebels get whats coming to them.

    Press fast forward button. Treacherous, disloyal, sly, Fenian’s as part of international Communist conspiracy and with the complicity of Rome Rise again to slaughter unsuspecting, brave, loyal planters. Planters selflessly sacrifice themselves to stem tide of murdering Pope heads.

    Loyal Planters stabbed in the back by London who shove shocking sell out down Loyal Planters throats.

    Shook , horror , swoon.

    Its alright now , I’m back on track, murders, traitors rebels, I’m back on plot now carry on. Murderers right, sorry I forgot. not the UDR, not the B Specials, not the RUC, not the British Army. The Rebels are the murderers , the Unionists are the Loyal Defenders. Right, sorry, carry on. Makes things a lot simpler and less confusing. Thanks for explaining.

    Film. Shppt Action!!!

  • Padraig Caughey

    By the way I’m still wondering what ‘Constitution’ the nationalist population should have been loyal to? And why?

    Or am I off plot again?

  • GavBelfast

    That’s a right hissy-fit you’re having there.

    Though we should perhaps be thankful tha these days the Internet provides a relatively harmless outlet for such anger.

  • Padraig Caughey

    You’re the one who’s doing the name calling.

    Not me.

    Doesn’t that qualify you Miss Hissy Fit rather than me? ..and doesn’t you r use of the word imply a certain heat under your very own collar?

    Missy?

  • Padraig Caughey

    Pot.

    Kettle.

    Black.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Patrick,
    The constitution of the United Kingdom is the set of laws and principles under which the United Kingdom is governed. The reason one would be expected to have been loyal to them is that they are the law. Somehow I get the feeling that being loyal to the law of a country would be strange to you, no matter what that country was, unless it was the criminally controlled 32 county socialist republic you so obviously aspire to.

  • fin

    “The constitution of the United Kingdom is the set of laws and principles under which the United Kingdom is governed”

    …is a direct cut and paste from wikipedia, which in turn is the first site returned from a google search.

    Moving on, elsewhere google says “There seem to be four main ideas at the foundations of the
    British constitution: it is (i) based on a system of democratic government
    which (ii) is responsible to parliament; it is (iii) absolutist and (iv) it is
    constitutionalist.”

  • Padraig Caughey

    Well thanks for the Google folks it shows initiative , maybe not a lot of insight into the issues, but well it takes time and trouble to Google so thanks, anyway.

    I was thinking more of the underpinnings of this little Protestant Statelet in North Eastern Ireland which up until 1972 was the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Which was, effectively the manifesto of a ‘Protestant state for a Protestant people’

    How a so called ‘Nationalist’ could call himself/herself a ‘Constitutionalist’ under such dread circumstances baffles me. Drear thoughts of turkeys voting for Christmas and ‘Uncle Tom’ spring to mind.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’ve definitely lost the plot with this thread. We have people claiming to be nationalists saying that the prods can’t be trusted, and that we can’t have a government with those filthy Orange bastards in it, and harking back to comments made by unionist politicians who died several decades ago. And I’m supposed to believe that it’s the unionists who are the problem ?

    If there is to be a 32-county Irish republic, and I believe that it will happen eventually (not by 2016 though), you’re going to see constitutional measures to protect the Unionist identity, and you’re quite likely to still have some kind of devolved administration. The Dublin government, as I have said repeatedly here, have been working quite hard to win the trust of unionism; and likewise they have worked hard to undermine Sinn Fein south of the border. You guys need to stop fucking whining and realize that this wanky fantasy 32-county state where you will be able to realize your dream of marginalizing the Prods is not going to happen. Personally I would consider it my duty to take up arms myself against it if I thought that some of the Nazis posting on this thread were going to have any say in it.

  • Padraig Caughey

    Wow this is a cool site. I didn’t know you could curse and swear and use crude neolithic threats to shoot people you don’t agree with.

    Sounds like fun.

    …a…I thought I was the one having a hissy fit?

    Get himself a gun and shoot people,{maybe even dead} sounds like the opening sequence in the Sopranos.

    Who can argue with eloquence like this?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Padraig,

    Your mis-informed 1970s-era contributions to the debate here completely ignore the reality of life in 21st century Ireland. I get the distinct impression that you don’t live here and you get all your news from out-of-date history books, although it would be a depressingly familiar story if you actually did reside on this island.

    Powersharing is the only way that people in this region of the island of Ireland are going to be governed for the foreseeable future. That may be in the context of the UK, or in the context of a 32-county republic, but either way, you are not going to get away with avoiding the Prods. You’re going to have to learn to like them, and work with them, and they you. The positive side to this is that despite the sectarian tribal narrative of people like you and Billy, Prods and Taigs have been working together more than they have at any time in the past and, with a small bit of effort, powersharing will work just fine.

  • Padraig Caughey

    You’re the guy was talking about getting a gun and shooting folks.

    I’m not

    You’re the one thats using words like ‘Batards’

    I’m not.

    But I’m the one who is living in the ’70’s..presumably by you narrative somewhere in the Hindhu Kush.

    Remarkable.

    Words like ‘denial’ and ‘psychosis’ spring to mind. Please don’t threaten to shoot me again, I’m not a bad person.

  • Billy

    Comrade Stalin

    “I’ve definitely lost the plot with this thread.”

    That sentence is 3 words too long.

    The rest of your one-sided rant simply confirms it.

    Have you noticed the odd Unionist (or 50) on here saying that they shouldn’t be in government with Sinn Fein, that they can’t be trusted etc etc?

    I can certainly understand that trust will have to be earned.

    However, you seem to think that the DUP are wonderful people who have always been fair and decent to Nationalists – what colour is the sky on your planet?

    Oddly enough, the overwhelming majority of Nationalists don’t trust the DUP (and given the past behaviour of people like Paisley, Wilson, Campbell, Robinson(s), McCrea, Foster etc, are you really saying that they have earned the trust of Nationalists ?). The answer is NO.

    I’m not a Sinn Fein supporter but they have delivered on their major commitments – disarmament, recognising the PSNI etc.

    I don’t totally agree with some of their actions on removing British symbols. However, they are generally trying to establish either equal or neutral working environments.

    Unionists on the other hand, seem to want to retain all “their” symbols but ban any and all Nationalist symbols. Hardly my definition of either equal or neutral.

    This “assembly” was only going to work if both sides recognised the culture and identity of the other and treated it respectfully.

    Sinn Fein have certainly made mistakes but they’ve made a far better fist of co-operation and partnership than the DUP.

    The DUP attitude has been clear from day 1 – block anything and everything that may benefit Nationalists. They have made no effort whatsoever to seem open minded or even handed. Their agenda has been blatently sectarian and plain for all to see.

    It is clear that the DUP currently have neither the willingness nor the political courage to move their supporters towards genuine co-operation and partnership.

    Until they do, the ‘assembly’ is a waste of time and money. It has simply illustrated that Unionists (the DUP in particular) are not fit to be entrusted with even limited authority.

    From a Nationalist point of view, we’re much more likely to get a fair shake from a Lab/Con minister who will act in the interests of ALL the people rather than just those who “dig with the right foot”.

    It’s a pity that things can’t be sorted out locally but clearly the DUP can’t yet be trusted.

    When will they learn that the only way they have any chance of retaining their precious “wee pravince” is if they drop their Protestant Ascendancy attitude?

    Based on their behaviour to date in the “assembly”, the DUP certainly don’t seem to have learnt that yet.

    Ah well, I’m sure we’ll be back here again after a few more years of Direct Rule. However, as always happens, the Unionists will be in an even weaker negotiating position with even less support inside and outside NI (and that’s starting from a pretty low base!).

  • the future’s bright the future’s orange

    ‘ The DUP attitude has been clear from day 1 – block anything and everything that may benefit Nationalists. They have made no effort whatsoever to seem open minded or even handed. Their agenda has been blatently sectarian and plain for all to see. ‘

    I guess the 3 major issues have been:
    1. P and J
    2. ILA
    3. maze
    4. education

    1. P&J;was never signed, sealed and delivered. However, the DUP has indicated that a compromise can be sought. I believe this will happen in the next year.
    2. An ILA act would be a bottomless pit. I believe significant funding should be provided to promote the language in NI – but to go for a full-blown act would be a bit daft.
    3. Take away the terrorist shrine and I think unionists would have embraced a maze stadium. That said, I’m a big fan of stadiums in the middle of the city: eg Mellenium, cardiff.
    4. Education. How could anyone agree with Ruane. She’s a mini dictator. Expect her to ‘retire’ in the coming months.

    Basically, SF have their own wee wish list. With the British Government they got used to getting what they wanted. Now that they actually have to compromise the rattle gets thrown out of the pram.

  • cynic

    Quagmire says that NI is ungovernable and that SF have finally grown some backbone.

    Well, sorry to disappoint. For around 9 years in the last 13 NI was very successfully governed by Direct Rule as an integral part of the UK. We then saw low unemployment and an economic boom – largely fuelled by the public sector but a boom none the less. A local assembly isn’t a pre-requisite for good Government here. It may be better (debatable having seen the behaviours recently) but not essential.

    SF may have grown a backbone but unfortunately it doesnt seem to be connected to a brain. They appear unfocused and disunited. There is clearly internal dissent / disagreement at the top. The evidence:-

    1 at St Andrews they did a deal on P&J;. The wording is clear – well, clear in that it is ambiguous.

    SF claim there was an ‘understanding’ that it meant devolution by May 08. There is no evidence at all that this is true. SF have been masters of the ambiguous wording of agreements in past and the only conclusion can be that:

    (a) they made a mess of this one or
    (b) having gauged internal views they are trying to manoeuvre to cover up and for electoral advantage with the MOPE crowd – the ‘big bad prods did us down’ manifesto and
    (c) they are lying

    None of this is good politics if you want to see democrarcy in NI and have any committment to a shared future. It exposes them as a narrow sectarian rump.

    2 then there’s the agreement that Martin McGuinness signed in the recent P&J;negotiations. This is slightly different in that the words are unequivocal and in plain English. It’s a committment that if there is devolution of P&J;the appointment of the Minister will require a cross-community vote in perpetuity. Except that Martin denies that that is what it means.

    Sorry, but we can read it. That won’t wash. Between signing and speaking someone in the SF hierarchy changed Martin’s position for him. Now who has the power and authority to do that? And why do it and destroy whatever vestiges of good faith was left?

    One view in all this is that SF are just totally cynical and never had any intention of operating devolved Government at all. It was simply a holding exercise to further build their support for the next phase of the campaign.

    I think that goes too far and hold the second view.

    Since they failed in the Irish elections they simply all at sea. They seem to rely totally on the Great Leader for all political Direction but they have an ageing top team who now have no clear, shared vision of where they want to go or how to get there. Many of the ‘rising stars’ have proved to have feet of clay. Through political miscalculation the Great Leader has no seat – no political platform North or South from which to speak. He is continually forced to protect his proteges who show such stunning lack of political nous and couldn’t run a market stall never mind a Government.

    And so they agree, then disagree, then blame everyone else. Meantime it all spirals down

    Now the DUP may not be much better but they appear more focused and united.

    Within SF it’s all a mess and we all need them to sort themselves out before any of us can move forward

  • Comrade Stalin

    Billy,

    Every time I write a long reply to you, you fail to engage with the discussion. I find myself doing so again knowing that you will probably do the same.

    A couple of points :

    – nationalists and unionists don’t trust each other. Well, no shit sherlock. The whole idea here is to try to get them working together so that they will trust each other.

    It is clear that the DUP currently have neither the willingness nor the political courage to move their supporters towards genuine co-operation and partnership.

    The DUP haven’t violated any agreement that they have arrived at with Sinn Fein. They’re not the ones boycotting the executive. No, I don’t trust the DUP at all, they’re a bunch of lunatics. But this is one charge you can’t pin on them.

    Until they do, the ‘assembly’ is a waste of time and money. It has simply illustrated that Unionists (the DUP in particular) are not fit to be entrusted with even limited authority.

    I don’t think that either nationalists or unionists are fit to be trusted with even limited authority, but I don’t get to make that call – the electorate do. Replacing what we’ve got now with an alternative mechanism where the electorate are denied a say in how the country is run amounts to a return to imperialism.

    Frankly, the problems that we have got right now are because the electorate continue to endorse failure to agree, and they do so because the British and Irish governments can always be relied upon to bail them out and save them from making hard decisions. This is like rewarding a bad tempered child. The governments need to make it clear that it is the responsibility to impress upon their elected representatives the need to reach agreement.

  • Driftwood

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7692364.stm

    Bad news for most SF voters.

  • Greenflag

    Comrade Stalin,

    ‘Frankly, the problems that we have got right now are because the electorate continue to endorse failure to agree, and they do so because the British and Irish governments can always be relied upon to bail them out and save them from making hard decisions.’

    So it’s the electorate(NI’s ) fault ?

    ‘This is like rewarding a bad tempered child.’

    ( The precedent was set at the first partition ? and subsequently , Sunningdale , and later suspensions ?) The people and the politicians have been ‘conditioned ‘ to vote as they do .Much of this has been self induced and required little help from either governments’

    ‘The governments need to make it clear that it is the responsibility to impress upon their elected representatives the need to reach agreement.’

    So the Irish and British Governments need to tell the people of Northern Ireland how to vote ?

    CS – I always been impressed with your ‘analyses ‘ re NI but I’m ‘amazed’ that you can still have ‘faith’ in the longer term viability of this Assembly under present conditions.

  • Steve

    LOL driftwood that is the epitomy of bigoted sectarianism of a onionist

    Sometimes you just make the arguement for them

  • x

    folks the facts are clear –

    the DUP can’t run a government plus

    Sinn Fein don’t want to run a government

    and the electorate are happy enough with these mutually destructive positions.

    For all the talk and the analysis over the next month or so, the plans of our political pygmies is to continue the political vacuum, bring people onto the streets, create communal violence and blame the other side for all the problems.

    At all stages in our history whether 1968, 1974 or 1995 the patterns been the same.

    and you know what? we all love it!

  • Billy

    Cynic

    “as an integral part of the UK”

    What a joke! The North is not and never has been an “integral” part of the UK.

    It is a major drag on the UK Exchequer (“Spongers” as a UK Prime Minister said) and an international embarassment.

    Every UK govt (even Thatcher’s) for the past 40 years has been gradually disengaging and they’d all love to get out entirely.

    There is extremely little interest in NI in the UK and the overwhelming majority of those who are interested would be in favour of British withdrawal.

    There is extremely little sympathy outside NI for the NI Unionist position.

    When it comes to public support within the UK and internationally, Nationalism knocks Unionism into a cocked hat.

    Why does the UK govt not apply all it’s rules UK wide then i.e. flags and emblems, fair employment etc. If NI is such an “integral” part of the UK, why is it treated differently than all the other parts?

    Why does the UK govt give the Irish govt (and US govts) substantial and increasing input into the running of the North. Oddly enough, they don’t seem to do that in England, Wales or Scotland – because they REALLY ARE INTEGRAL parts of the UK.

    If you have any evidence to the contrary, please provide it.

    Otherwise, continue in your delusion about NI being an “integral part” of the UK while the rest of us get on with reality.

  • Steve

    Billy

    Be fair scotland would fall into the see and Wales would implode except for the integral role tha nIreland plays in the UK