P&J according to the PM

In the light of Fair Deal’s analysis, I’m not sure what this means about timing, from Gordon Brown in the Queens’ Speech debate..
I can also say that, following the historic agreement between the parties in Northern Ireland, we will bring forward proposals to sustain devolution in Northern Ireland. I thank all parties in Northern Ireland for coming together to make the final part of a devolution settlement possible and now something that can be delivered, with policing and justice devolved in the next few months.

  • Rory

    Oh, dear! We must be kind here and break this news very gently to Pete Baker.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    …and very gently to Deputy Dodsy

  • “in the next few months”

    Perhaps shortly after the European election …

  • Pete Baker

    Your concern is duly noted, Rory. But unfounded.

    Brian

    “I’m not sure what this means about timing”

    Not a lot, I’d suggest.

    The “final part of a devolution settlement” was always possible.

    Gordon Brown indicates a readiness to implement the necessary legislation through Parliament.

    The passage of that legislation remains subject to a request, endorsed by the Assembly, from the First and deputy First Ministers acting jointly.

    The Government have been saying much the same thing for some time – it’s up to the DUP and Sinn Féin to agree when.

    The difference, post the summer sulk, is that no-one [ie Sinn Féin] is saying that it must happen by any particular date – something that was always unenforceable.

  • edward

    funny pete seems to be enforced lol

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    That is what I thought he said when I was watching it earlier. I wonder if a few DUP members are going to be surprised at how quickly the necessary public confidence is going to manifest itself.

    I think FD is being a little optimistic in assuming that he just meant the legislation I think Gordon slipped there and let the cat out of the bag. There is no timetable if you can’t see the timetable.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Pete,

    Is this the sound of the unlocking of one of the 3 funny locks?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Pete

    “summer sulk”

    are you referring to Robbo when everyone realised there were no “serious consequences” and SF tactics and Engleze government pressure were forcing the DUP to implement the STA?

  • runciter

    Sammy,

    What do you think about SF agreeing to exclude nationalists as part of the deal?

  • Comrade Stalin

    are you referring to Robbo when everyone realised there were no “serious consequences” and SF tactics and Engleze government pressure were forcing the DUP to implement the STA?

    SF’s ingenius tactics include backing off from a boycott without a deal being secured – always a clever negotiating tactic to signal your opposition that you mean what you say; and almost certainly acceding to DUP demands that the IRA be disbanded first (you even predicted this yourself, Sammy), and that no nationalist take the P+J ministry until at least 2011. But hey, if it suits you to believe that all of this amounts to SF calling the shots, I’m very happy for you.

  • ulsterfan

    There seems to be some confusion about a date.
    Why not ask Gerry because this time last year he was saying that these powers would be transferred in May.
    Did he not go to the Ard Feis and make this promise.
    Lets wait until the next Ard Feis and then he might give us another date.
    Maybe Martin will tell him not to rely too much on what Brown may think because the last word still rests with DUP and the all important show of public confidence.
    We still await a date but I for one am prepared to be very patient.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    runciter

    As long as powers are transferred thats fine by me – for SF’s position see the Irish News today but it is more or less the same as my own. The DUP have excluded themselves as well as SF – whatever about the unsuitability of SF based on their past actions – the wild religious beliefs of the DUP ought to be enough for all the rest of the parties to conspire to keep them away from such a ministry until they move forward to the 21st century. The DUP maybe crazy, crazy people, if SF were not there to keep them honest they would be dangerous, but hey – they do give us some good laughs.

    ps I cant believe any Unionists admit to voting for the DUP when they go to the mainland. lol

  • USA

    IWSMNWDI,
    What do you mean “go to the mainland”. Are they all living on Rathlin Island and only visit Ireland (the mainland) on occassion?

    Nothing to see here, P+J will be devolved. That’s been obviouos for quite some time.
    I see Robinson made a speech in Dromore where he was obviously laying the groundwork for the inevitable. Am I wrong that this will take place prior to the June (?) European elections. If so it will leave Robinson vunerable to attack from Jim Allistar.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    USA,

    I think the reference to the mainland is to the mainland of the United Kingdom because the UK is is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and hence from a Northern Ireland perspective a visit to the larger part of the UK ie GB is a trip to the mainland. Its easy when you embrace the constitutional reality of the UK.

  • Billy

    Comrade Stalin

    “But hey, if it suits you to believe that all of this amounts to SF calling the shots, I’m very happy for you.”

    I don’t know if Sammy thinks SF are calling all the shots or not – I certainly don’t.

    However, you are still pushing the line that the DUP won everything and SF lost everything.

    You (and Pete Baker) must be the only people in the world (including the DUP) who believe that garbage.

    Some sort of deal has clearly been done behind closed doors – that is obvious to anyone (except perhaps those who choose to blind themselves).

    No-one knows the exact details except the particpants – I don’t but neither do you or Pete Baker.

    There is no doubt that SF played this badly but, with their electoral manadate, there is no way they went back without some sort of compromise being reached with the DUP.

    I think that Gordon Brown’s statement shows that more specific progress was made than has been revealed in public.

    I think that the European elections are key – it is probably best for everyone that nothing dramatic happens that could strengthen Allister’s hand.

    However, after the European election (when hopefully he has been dispatched), I expect to see things move on.

    I don’t know why you make such a big deal about no SF minister for a predefined period of time. So what? – there can be no DUP Minister either!

    As a moderate Nationalist, I can fully understand why many Unionists would find a SF minister of P&J;hard to take – particularly given that many of the current SF leadership have, shall we say, “baggage”.

    Equally, there is plenty of sectarian “baggage” associated with senior DUP members and they are completely unacceptable to Nationalists as P&J;minister at this point.

    In times gone by, Nationalists would have had no voice and had to accept some sort of blatent bigot such as Brookeborough being given this role.

    Those days are gone – any candidate must be acceptable to BOTH Nationalists and Unionists. The fact that you see that as a “victory” for Unionists speaks volumes about you. As someone born and raised in the Belfast Nationalist community, I see it as a major step away from the disgrace of Unionist misrule and a step towards decency where justice is blind to one’s religion, colour etc.

    If you want to believe that this is a massive victory for the DUP and that SF and their voters can just do what they’re told – I’m happy for you.

    I’d be more inclined to believe the Prime Minister than Pete Baker or yourself.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Billy,

    Sammy thinks that the DUP are against the wall and that SF are in control of the situation. Ask him yourself.

    However, you are still pushing the line that the DUP won everything and SF lost everything.

    No, I’m pushing the line that SF have a greater vested interest in keeping the institutions running than the DUP do, and this is borne out by the concessions they’re making, and the risks they are taking, in order to try to keep things afloat. The reason for this is because without the assembly and executive, Sinn Fein will be indefinitely shut out of decision making for the foreseeable future – they have no voice in London or Dublin.

    Because SF need the institutions more than the DUP, it is they who are in the position of weakness. Joint authority is not in the interests of the DUP, but their calculation is that they are safe because Sinn Fein will resist it as well.

    You (and Pete Baker) must be the only people in the world (including the DUP) who believe that garbage.

    Add Sinn Fein to the list. If they believed that pressurizing the DUP would work, then why didn’t they insist on a date for P+J devolution ?

    I don’t know why you make such a big deal about no SF minister for a predefined period of time. So what? – there can be no DUP Minister either!

    It’s not a big deal to me, I think it’s great that Alliance are going to get the seat. I’m surprised that (seeing how you call yourself a nationalist) you’re not concerned that Sinn Fein have agreed to a process where nationalists are deliberately deprived of a seat in the executive that they would otherwise be entitled to under the d’Hondt system ? Fair play to you, your sense of sacrifice is greater than I thought. It’s truly noble of you to abandon your political principles in response to DUP demands. I freely admit, I don’t think I could ever be as noble as you are.

    As a moderate Nationalist, I can fully understand why many Unionists would find a SF minister of P&J;hard to take – particularly given that many of the current SF leadership have, shall we say, “baggage”.

    Now you’re defending the DUP’s definition of the past of republican politicians and, in effect, defending the DUP’s analysis of the entire conflict. This is mind boggling.

    I find the idea of a DUP minister hard to take, what with all of their long-known distant links to loyalist paramilitarism, but I have to put up with it. The reason why you can’t say “you’ll just have to put up or shut up” to the unionists is because you’re not in a position to do so, thanks to Sinn Fein’s superlative negotiating skills and ingenius tactical positioning.

    I’d be more inclined to believe the Prime Minister than Pete Baker or yourself.

    I think it’s fantastic that nationalists (and republicans?) are placing their faith in the British Prime Minister to deliver the goods for them.

    This thread reads like some sort of DUP wet dream. The DUP are extracting concession after concession out of Sinn Fein, and Sinn Fein are busy spinning those concessions to their supporters without putting up a shred of resistance. The Sinn Fein supporters are telling us that of course – obviously – a secret deal (that nobody knows the details of) must have been done, because it’s very important that nationalists and republicans back down to save Peter Robinson from Jim Allister and his cronies, and if you can’t see this then you must be stupid. Me, I’ll wait and see what clothes the emperor has.

  • USA

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]
    In my view the six counties are part of Ireland, it is even recognised in the British name of northern Ireland. When I am on Rathlin and look south I see the mainland, when I am on Rathlin and I look East I see Scotland (Britain).
    I accept your point regarding the constitutional position, but this is a question of geography, not politics.
    We will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • Ian

    Pete B:

    “Gordon Brown indicates a readiness to implement the necessary legislation through Parliament.

    The passage of that legislation remains subject to a request, endorsed by the Assembly, from the First and deputy First Ministers acting jointly.”

    I think you’ve got into a muddle there with your implement and your passage, Pete.

    (You might want to see a nurse about that – remember to say that you were just cleaning the house naked when you fell accidentally!)

  • fair_deal

    I fully accept I could be wrong on the timetable, but I think even the practical arrangements make April ambitious plus there remains the unresolved issues around future budgets.

    It is possible Robinson could be thinking he has all the safeguards he needs for devolution to go ahead so will proceed and then take Allister head on in the Euros arguing the doom-laden predictions etc were false and that the DUP achieved Unionist goals by working within rather than shouting from without and to a degree it is a fait accompli.

    The difficulty I have with that is that it’ll be a campaign more about the past, it’ll probably boost Allister’s vote to a degree (and the more he gets the more viable the TUV will seem), Allister loves sucking people into detail so will be in his element and the conversation with the electorate the DUP needs to be having is pushed to the side ie where it is planning to take Unionism.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Comrade Stalin,

    “I think it’s fantastic that nationalists (and republicans?) are placing their faith in the British Prime Minister to deliver the goods for them. ”

    Their (the Englezes) record since 1998 as been very good – they appear to be keen ( hand of history an all that) to make up for the sins of their past i.e. Unionist miss-rule.

  • runciter

    As long as powers are transferred thats fine by me – for SF’s position see the Irish News today but it is more or less the same as my own. The DUP have excluded themselves as well as SF

    But SF didn’t just exclude themselves – they agreed to exclude all nationalists.

    Not only that, but if they had insisted on D’Hondt nationalist representation would have increased overall.

    How is is this a good deal for the community they claim to represent?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Their (the Englezes) record since 1998 as been very good – they appear to be keen ( hand of history an all that) to make up for the sins of their past i.e. Unionist miss-rule.

    So, does this mean that the case for nationalism/republicanism no longer exists, because the British can be trusted to deliver and can be relied upon to underpin nationalist interests ? I continue to find your open minded and constructiveness very refreshing.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Comrade Stalin,

    in so far as they have cut a deal with Nationalism via the GFA and encourgaed unionism into acceptance (I know you dont like the term coercion ) then to be fair the Englezes have delivered.

    But once the enocuragement(coercion) of the DUP is complete ie the GFA fully implemented then as your post may be suggesting we will have to monitor their behaviour carefully as we should not forget that the mad feckers only recenetly got a rush of imperial blood and invaded Iraq.

    Altohugh one should never say never they appear to have learned from their previous mistakes in Ireland and can leave this part of our country to largely look after itself.

  • Comrade Stalin

    in so far as they have cut a deal with Nationalism via the GFA and encourgaed unionism into acceptance (I know you dont like the term coercion ) then to be fair the Englezes have delivered.

    Unionists have been encouraged to support the GFA (a document which is itself, beyond a few tacit scraps for nationalists in the form of Irish language proposals which have not materialized, reads like a small-u unionist manifesto) because nationalists and republicans have been offering significant concessions, particularly in terms of their ideology.

    So you’re not doing a terribly good job of making the case for this idea that unionists have their backs to the wall and are being made to play ball. Unionists have had to make very few real concessions beyond agreeing to share power with nationalists. The British government have set things up such that unionists do not have to stretch particularly hard.

    If you want to use words like “coercion” you have to look at where it’s most appropriate to apply it. Which side was forced – coerced ? – to dispense with it’s core ideology (ending the British state) and unilaterally disarm itself ?

    But once the enocuragement(coercion) of the DUP is complete ie the GFA fully implemented then as your post may be suggesting we will have to monitor their behaviour carefully as we should not forget that the mad feckers only recenetly got a rush of imperial blood and invaded Iraq.

    You can “monitor” all you want but you can do feck all else, if the British decide that they’re going to back away from provisions in the GFA. Take the Irish language stuff as a case in point.

    Altohugh one should never say never they appear to have learned from their previous mistakes in Ireland and can leave this part of our country to largely look after itself.

    The important thing is that the GFA represents the marginalization of the republican agenda, and it has united the British, Irish and American governments (as well as the Irish people, most importantly) to a small-u unionist agenda with some token concessions to nationalists, and a guaranteed role in a powersharing government which nationalists have not been able to effectively use to do anything of significance. I’m very happy that you are willing to settle for these circumstances as a victory. It is, in effect, a capitulation; but then again, someone was always going to have to capitulate.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Comrade Stalin,

    you are going back round in circles again.

    The GFA was supported by the vast majority of Nationalists including SF and the SDLP and (possibly) a small majority of Unionists who knew they had no where else to go. Unionism has had to be dragged painfully slowly into the agreement – as witnessed by the virtual wiping oput of the UUP and the current lets-pretend-we-have-a-veto-on-police by the (originally/still) anti-agreement DUP.

    The GFA is a reasonable compromise brought about by republican violence and those are the 2 main reasons Unionists have such difficulty with it.

  • runciter

    Sammy,

    How is abandoning D’Hondt and agreeing to reduce nationalist representation a good deal for the nationalist community?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Runciter,

    “How is abandoning D’Hondt and agreeing to reduce nationalist representation a good deal for the nationalist community? ”

    Are you suggesting the party of the muddle (Alliance)are not going to operate in an evenhanded way – they are an Irish party after all. The key republican principle is that justice is adminstered fairly by Irish people or it wont have the support of the Nationlaist people. Looks like that republican condition is going to be met.

    After the next assembly elections with Wee Reggie and Posh Boy DC and possibly big Jimbo in the mix the shareout of portfolios may be different – does that not mean that the UU may lose out rather than the SDLP? Is this the case?

  • runciter

    Are you suggesting the party of the muddle (Alliance)are not going to operate in an evenhanded way

    No. I am suggesting that abandoning D’Hondt and agreeing to reduce nationalist representation was a really bad deal for the nationalist community.

    It really looks like SF coudn’t think beyond their own selfish party interests in this case.

    The key republican principle is that justice is adminstered fairly by Irish people

    Didn’t powersharing used to be a ‘key principle’?

    Funny how things change.