“And no other approach is acceptable to Sinn Féin.”

No word yet from the weekend chat with Gordon Brown, but after ushering out a little known placeman, followed by a slightly better known placewoman, on Sunday Sinn Féin passed the script to Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy, MP, MLA [Perhaps he had a different hat on – Ed]. He was speaking at the annual SF Edentubber commemoration of five men who “kept faith with the republican past” – they died in 1957 when the bomb they had been preparing exploded prematurely. An iol report has the relevant quote from Conor Murphy

“Gordon Brown must re-commit to the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement and he must not allow obstructionist tactics to further delay long overdue progress on policing and justice. “No other approach is acceptable from the British government. And no other approach is acceptable to Sinn Féin.”

Remember the “indigenous” deal, Conor? “Let no-one interfere with that”? And why Sinn Féin have been so exercised about this particular issue? But what are you going to do? Sulk? Again? Adds In Canada, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams joins in..It seems appropriate to re-quote the DUP’s Iris Robinson.

While it would seem foolish for republicans to accept the outlandish boasts and rhetoric of the Sinn Fein leadership when playing to their base and not see through them, it would be even more foolish for unionists to fall into the trap of believing them.

Here’s that “indigenous” deal again from 2006.

As I’ve said before, the Secretary of State may set a target date, and may hope to achieve that date, but the current mechanism for devolving powers on policing and justice already set out, in the NI (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, grants both holders of the offices of First and Deputy First Ministers a veto on whether that goes ahead.

Unless the government is now going to say that, in circumstances where one of the parties holding those offices do not agree that the confidence within the community exists for the devolving of those powers by March 2008 – they are then going to force through devolving powers on policing and justice by May 2008 whatever happens between now and then, the target date remains only a target date and not a commitment.

To do so would be a “constitutional nonsense”.

Of course, Sinn Féin may be signalling that they want out of the St Andrews Agreement?

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  • borderline

    It’s like this Pete.

    As we have been told repeatedly, the GFA and the SAA were a victory for Unionists, copperfastening the Union, and introducing local govt., albeit of a specially selected kind, to NI just like all other regions of the blah blah blah.

    So now the “victors” think they can sit back and long-finger full implementation, confidence-build, Parades et cetera et cetera. Hahaha.

    NI is the Unionists’ state and if they don’t want it to work, well, so be it.

    We’ll see what the weather brings.

  • igor

    SF waffle. The political reality is that SF are bound to the DUP in this dance. The DUP are leading and running rings around them, so SF are appealing to their NuLabour sponsors for help.

    Desperate politics by a bunch of no-hopers.

    But never mind. Perhaps Conor will step forward and show the dynamic leadership expected of an oft-touted heir apparent rather than just find solace in the actions of another bunch of incompetent no-hopers who blew themselves up while planning to kill fellow Irishmen.

  • fin

    I wonder what the Tories are thinking, sitting on the sidelines watching the awkward squad at word, is posturing to a small number of backwoodsmen really worth expending all that political capital?

    Igor running rings around SF?
    policing struggling with a budget cut by £17m but £20m payoff for ex-cops.

    the majority happy with the Parades Commission but Robbo wants it abolished.

    The DUPs handling of P&J criticised by all parties, both governments and the police chief constable.

    To the hardliners it may appear he’s running rings around SF but to ordinary decent unionists thats the feeling that they get, if you don’t believe me look at the election results.

    Robbo is playing to a smaller and smaller gallery, the knuckledraggers drifting of to the TUV and the normal people to the UUP.

    At this rate any perceived victory will be greeted by a very small round of applause indeed.

    I say perceived because so far he’s achieved a £2000 payoff for ex Trevors.

    He doesn’t know if he can get rid of the Parades Commission and if he does what will he get in its place?

    The holidays to Libya are going no-where

    Unlike the FTR which is going.

    And this is a speech that will make more that nationalists think twice.

    “They are seeking a £20m payment for former RUC reservists. I can think of many better uses for £20m – hospital beds, classrooms and roads to name but three.”

    “The DUP are also seeking legal weapons for former UDR (Ulster Defence Regiment) and RUC members.”

    “Isn’t it ironic that those who held-up the political process for years over the issue of getting rid of weapons now want to hold it up again to bring back weapons?”

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    The last time the DUP played funny-buggers SF correctly blocked all other work in Stormo until in November 2008 the DUP signalled that they would start to behave responsibly again and engaged themselves in the groundwork necessary for the process.

    Now that Robbo has had the red-white-and-blue scared out of him by the TUV (losing a third of his vote) he is throwing another series of funny Unionists shapes and SF have warned them that Stormo will go if they continue to block progress agianst the wishes of all sensible opinion – including the 3 governments.

    Having given in to political pressure (or ‘blackmail’ as Robbo would prefer to call it) once, we can assume he will do so again as he is now in a far weaker postion electotally than he was in Novemeber 2008 which now makes his decision to neogtotiate away Unionism’s right to be the first minister look like a spectacular own goal.

  • igor


    You make the mistake of confusing logic and politics. The DUPs have out Shinnered the Shinners in their negotiating tactics. They have something, SF want it and will have to pay a heavy heavy price.

    This morning Donaldson made it clear that he saw 4 deal breakers on P&J. The FTR was just one of these and I think he used the wriggle phrase of ‘at least’ 4 issues needed to make the Unionist Community confidence that the time was right to devolve. So that’s the starting point in the negotiations that havent even really started yet.

    So don’t expect to see any action until after the elections next year. Which may be a good thing – with all the concessions they will have to make SF may feel that they need a new mandate from the people anyway.

  • fin

    Igor, the price paid to date is £2000 per head for ex-trevors.

    The DUP aren’t in negotiations with Sinn Fein they are in negotiations with HMG.

    I think SF are more confident of renewing their mandate at the next election, its the DUPs vote thats gone into freefall, diehards moving to the TUV and saner people considering the new fangled UCUNF.

    Whatever happened to the DUP putting P&J to the executive to consider?

    Now the Libyans have laughed off the compo claim, including the much milder compo claim I guess that will disappear from the public eye.

    In fact Robbo’s gone a bit quiet on weighted majority voting.

    Not to mention the Parades Commission.

    Now the TUV have them in a tizzy over the FTR.

    The longer it goes on the more curve balls the TUV can throw at them.
    Possibly they should just have turned up with a wad of planning applications for approval like the did last time

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    With Gerry Adams saying up in Canada,

    “The DUP is in breach of the commitments it entered into at St. Andrews. It is also in breach of the commitment given by the DUP leader two months ago that if the financial package was secured he would go out and sell it to the community.”

    like dah….Gerry. What else is new.

    this is the time in the script that gerry adams and martin mcguiness usually go back to republicans for them to givve something up …all for the sake of peace process….and to demo to unionist that republicans want to make unionist feel secure….a trust builder.