“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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