When Peter Robinson refused to go to Downing Street to meet Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister jumped on a plane and came to Stormont House. It was something of a rebuke for the First Minister. Portraying himself as ‘a cool dude’ after the meeting with Mr Brown Peter Robinson asked “Do I look under pressure ?” He was under pressure. Sources close to Mr. Brown spoke of his ‘tetchiness’ at Mr. Robinson’s behaviour. Gordon Brown was genuinely concerned that the DUP would pocket all financial gains in the policing and justice package and then sit back. That is precisely what Peter Robinson has done. He has pocketed what was in the till and now he is doing a ‘Mr. Micawber’ coming back for more. To sicken Sinn Fein the DUP has raised the bar in holding up the transfer of policing and justice powers in seeking the dismantling of the Parades Commission.
This provoked a backlash from Gerry Adams and from other Sinn Fein spokespersons in which the Dup rejoiced. “Calm down” has become the new DUP catchphrase. There was worse to come. On Friday last Gerry Kelly discovered former police reservists were in the running for a twenty million pounds windfall. This drove Gerry Kelly apoplectic. The DUP had done a side deal with Gordon Brown and didn’t tell Sinn Fein.
The junior minister rumbled this development when a Downing Street letter was directed to the office of first and deputy first minister but was essentially for the attention of Peter Robinson. The First Minister accused Sinn Fein of “snooping” on his correspondence.
Can you imagine Gordon Brown publicly accusing his chancellor of “snooping” on his correspondence?
The DUP’s Gregory Campbell is back again prodding Sinn Fein in the ribs appealing to Martin Mc Guinness to ask his colleagues “to calm down.” Collective responsibility, collegiality my eye! Where is all this leading?