“Huffing” Sinn Féin should “roll up their sleeves”

While Sinn Féin were issuing statements ahead of meeting the Prime Minister on devolving policing and justice powers, the DUP’s Peter Robinson waited until after he had met Gordon Brown. As the BBC reports

Mr Robinson said Sinn Fein were doing nothing to resolve outstanding issues. He said there were three remaining issues which needed to be agreed. They were identifying the name of the Justice Minister, outlining what their powers would be and solving the issue of parading. The DUP leader was speaking after meeting the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Mr Robinson claimed Sinn Fein were refusing to come to meetings and he said there would be no date for devolution until the outstanding issues had been resolved. He accused Republicans of huffing and said they should “roll up their sleeves” and get on with it.

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  • Ciaran

    The Dup are leading unionists into a big crisis.

    Since the joinded the assembly in 2007 all they have done is block every issue. they cant even agree on the councils now

  • Ian

    I see that the ‘pre-condition’ of retaining the full-time reserve in some form has been quietly dropped there. Going through the list:

    “The name of the Justice minister” – should be quick and easy to resolve.

    “Outlining what their powers would be” – what’s meant by this? How the minister powers relate to those of the Policing Board? I thought the list of matters which are to be devolved to the Ministry was already established. It could relate to Alliance concerns that the minister must be able to remain independent of the FM/DFM, given that in theory the latter could jointly vote him or her out of office?

    Finally, “solving the issue of parading” – could this be the sticking point? Or will it go the way of the FTR issue? In any case, why am I not surprised that the last card to be played is the Orange one?

  • Ian

    Anyway, unless I am mistaken this is the first time that Peter Robinson has listed a finite number of issues that, if resolved, would allow for progress on setting a date for devolution. Until today’s statement there was the potential for the DUP to issue a non-ending sequence of pre-conditions, each to be rolled out in turn as soon as the previous demand was met, all in the name of achieving ‘community confidence’.

    But Robinson shouldn’t be surprised if that ‘community confidence’ phrase comes back to bite him. Expect Jim Allister to issue staements pointing out that the TUV-voting community doesn’t have sufficient confidence to allow P&J devolution to go ahead. (After all, it was only ever about the confidence of part of the community.)

  • joeCanuck

    From my (naive?) point of view, the Parades issue is sitting just waiting to be resolved.
    Robinson says no P&J until the Parades Commission is replaced with the Ashdown recommendations whereas McGuiness says that the Parades question will not be resolved until after P&J.
    So, let them happen together. Implement the Ashdown recommendations on same day as P& J devolution.
    There is no way that these recommendations will allow the OO or others to march anywhere they want. They mandate local agreement or a tribunal to decide.

  • Ian

    as a whole.)

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Er, because you’re a bigot who imputes sectarian motives to themmuns?

  • Ian

    (My post #5 was meant to append to the end of post #3.)

    JoeCanuck, assuming that the key players sign up for the Ashdown recommendations, one problem with the timing of your suggestion is that the Ashdown proposals allow local councils a say in parades decisions – that shouldn’t really kick in until May 2011 when some of the more unbalanced councils are done away with in favour of fewer, larger ones that have a more sizeable representation from the minority community. I can’t see SF wanting to wait till May 2011 for devolution of P&J.

    But agreement on a date for devolution in return for agreement on a (later) date when Ashdown is implemented might be plausible.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    @Ian, comment 2 btw.

  • Ian


    “Er, because you’re a bigot who imputes sectarian motives to themmuns?”

    Firstly, is it sectarian to refer to the parades issue as ‘the Orange card’? Given that the Orange Order is one of the biggest (though not the only) parading organisations in NI?

    By stating I am not surprised that it falls to be the last issue to be resolved, I am merely suggesting that the Orange Order is not exactly the most rapidly evolving institution, quick to embrace the new order of things in these rapidly changing times in which we live.

    And what do you mean by ‘themmuns’? Are you implying (incorrectly) that I am one of ‘usuns’?!?!?

  • Ian

    (‘Usuns’ being presumably how those who [i]you[/i] might think of as ‘themmuns’ might refer to themselves?)

  • Ian

    “I see that the ‘pre-condition’ of retaining the full-time reserve in some form has been quietly dropped there.”

    … perhaps in light of this development:


    … the Police Federation and the DUP now seemingly accepting the judgment of the (new) PSNI Chief Constable, notwithstanding the (previous) Chief Constable’s flawed lack of consultation on the issue.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    far from telling you what you’re are, I’m afraid, Ian, I’m merely chortling at that empty little rhetorical question you asked yourself: ‘why am I not surprised that the last card to be played is the Orange one?’ You’re not, of course, ‘surprised’ because, surprisingly enough, the answer you’ve come to on that score is obviously the one that tallies with your political preferences. Funny that, though not, to repeat, even in the slighest bit surprising.

  • Ian

    Okay, well since you claim to know all about my political preferences, you’ll not be surprised to hear that I won’t be surprised if the recent Tory-Unionist alliance (UCUNF) ultimately falls apart over the issue of parades. Will Cameron then get tagged as a ‘sectarian bigot’ as well?

  • Dec

    From my (naive?) point of view, the Parades issue is sitting just waiting to be resolved.

    Well Joe you are being naive. The argument over mechanisms for settling contested parades may be settled. Settling the parades issue is another matter altogether and is beyond the power of any SF or DUP politician. That being said, I wish the DUP would adopt a more honest approach and instead of referring to ‘settling the parades issue’ they should spell out exactly what they mean: freedom to march anytime, anywhere at someone elses expense.

  • Scaramoosh

    Listen, at least he can only accuse them of huffing, for, as we know, they no longer also blow peoples’ houses down.

    Ah progress.

  • joeCanuck

    freedom to march anytime, anywhere at someone elses expense.

    Dec, I may be naive but that ain’t gonna happen ever again unless there is local agreement.

  • joeCanuck

    Funny, Scaramoosh.

  • Dec


    Local agreement doesn’t factor into the DUP’s bright new future for parading.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    RE. “Local agreement doesn’t factor into the DUP’s bright new future for parading.”

    That is what is a little suprising about the DUP wanting to abolish something before they can guarantee the replacement will be more to their liking.

    What is also not clear is why SF are opposed to Ashdown’s report as it is effectively recommending that SF are included in the loop at local, council and Stormo level.

  • file

    A few things:
    Just say a Minister for Justice & Polcing decided that the police would no longer provide any stewarding for any parades? That may solve a few contentious parades and save us all a lot of money.
    Also, when is some journalist going to pull the DUp on the phrase ‘community confidence’? What the DUP means by the phrase is ‘Unionist confidence’ and this needs to be addressed.

  • paddy

    before pj is handed to any idiot is there not a few bodies need recovering a few yrs down the line a sf member could be minister for pj you may as well have ian brady as minister it wouldnt happen in england while the provies hold these graves pj must be a dream

  • danielmoran

    msg 4…. joecanuck. as far as i can make out, if the parading issue wasn’t a dealbreaker at st andrew’s, robinson is in default of that agreement by bringing it in now. mcguiness must know that he won’t have room for backtrack over his xmas threat, therefore he must have decided to bring this saga to a head, and robinson will have misjudged the situation completely. robbo is running scared of the dirty dozen AND the TUV. he is to political leadership what jedward are to singing.

  • danielmoran

    a few things……
    it’s a bit flexible isn’t it, file. we’re in alice through the looking glass territory. robinson said at the time sf ended it’s boycott just after the euro elections that P&J wasn’t an issue on the doorsteps so he was starting to move on it, but now the dirty dozen have put the screws on him again, he’s in full retreat. the private DUP polling must be fairly grim.