Some clarity needed on “crisis”

One group not mentioned behind Martin McGuinness’s shoulder was the activists within his own party. Those activists were the victims of a sleight of hand by the party leadership which enabled that leadership to finesse a previous Ard Fheis decision in order to comply with the governments’ requirement that the party support policing before the Assembly was restored in May 2007. That endorsement by Sinn Féin was conditional on the basis that the “Ard Chomhairle is satisfied that the policing and justice powers will be transferred. Or if this does not happen within the St Andrews timeframe, only when acceptable new partnership arrangements to implement the Good Friday Agreement are in place.” The endorsement subsequently followed. Although, despite the bafflement of certain Sinn Féin MLAs, the only attempt to support that “satisfied” assertion was a short-lived attempt by Martin McGuinness to implicate Ian Paisley Jnr. There was some internal consternation when the “deadline” for devolving policing and justice powers by May 2008 passed. And we subsequently had the 154 day sulk which ended with an agreed process, but still no date for completion. Now that some within Sinn Féin have apparently decided that the DUP will not agree to devolving policing and justice powers ever – despite that party’s consistent position that the conditions on the ground will determine events – we now have another apparent “crisis” and Sinn Féin calling for interference in the “indigenous” deal.

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  • IRIA

    Insert “grandstanding” somewhere and you have a typical PB post. I think someone is jealous of McGuinesses’ popularity.

    Stick to the topic of Space.

  • joeCanuck

    C’mon, Pete.
    Just how many threads do you need on rubbing SF’s nose in it?
    Enough already! We know, we know.

  • Pete Baker

    “We know, we know.”


    See above.

  • Nollaig a chara

    Pete u raise some good points and i don’t always agree in the direction the leadership take but in this particular instance do u not agree that it is worth a chance to try and break unionist policing from the inside out rather than trying to break in all the time

  • joeCanuck

    I do, Pete, and I suspect that is true of all of us commenters here at Slugger, even the Republican ones. (Grandstanding by some notwithstanding).

  • USA

    I don’t know if Peter Baker is trying to convince himself or someone else.
    The constant jibes at SF, Adams, McGuinness etc are pretty pointless and his posts are void of any objective analysis whatsoever. But I guess he is not here to be objective.

    Over the last decade Sinn Fein have made massive and genuine attempts to move forward. This is not currently being reciprocated by the DUP, which is naturally leading to disenchantment from Sinn Fein. I would say that by and large the Sinn Fein membership and leadership knew what course of action they were taking. No one was tricked, it was an attempt to move beyond conflict and will remain so. I think SF have benefited greatly from these changes. The are in a strong position in the North but have work to do in the South.
    As for Bakers’ claim of a 154 day SF sulk; well that is just petty clap trap. The DUP have been trying to hollow out the package THEY and everyone else signed up to. Once the DUP stop acting like petty bigots, concentrate on devolution (not the TUV) and implement the deal in full then I am confident SF will move forward with administering devolved government.
    Peter Baker seems to have an one item agenda which is now seriously clouding his judgement and losing him respect throughout Slugger and the blogosphere.

  • GFAsupporterbutrealist

    Pete gives good non-sectarian analysis and annoys the hell out of the SF Amen Chorus who complain he doesn’t stick with his tribe of origin. It’s because he — and people like Malachi O’Doherty too — take an independent view that he is value added on this website. Get off your MOPE pulpits and get on with life. And Pete is just as hard on the DUP when they need a kicking. Both at the moment, SF and DUP, need their arses kicked, but at the moment it’s SF by a five per cent margin who need their arse kicked. Robbo is just doing what SF did for years under Trimble. SF whined, ran to Dublin and London and Washington etc but they had their arsenal and criminal acts to bargain with; now they don’t, so Blair, now gone and Ahern, now gone, leave only Brown and Cowen to run to and they don’t seem too interested and rightly so. Cowen and Brown have far more pressing matters to attend to. What a farce our alleged “joined up” government is. I doubt SF will pull out before Xmas or February and if they do then we will have an election and see what that produces. The voters threw Trimble and Durkan out and got what we have now. Maybe they need to try again. So it ain’t the end of the world. We DO have to worry about the unrepentant fascists of CIRA etc who claim allegiance ludicrously to the First Dail. SF used to do the same so I suppose we have made some progress and Old Paisley was Dr. No until he briefly won the big job on the Hill for a year or so and he made the decision to go into govt. with SF on pure ego, not altruism. How mature our politics is…….

  • Vito

    Man this stuff is boring. You small dick micks need to exercise your schweens more. Go out and get layed.

  • Skibereen

    Oh dear, it looks like McGuinness’ ability to be seen as a man who can breach the divide, is really hurting.

    As a professional psychologist, posts of this nature smack of utter despertion and reveal a large degree of defensiveness (it is not for example, as if you are going to convert anybody with your opinions). But what can one expect, I suppose, when all of your leaders reveal themselves to be one dimensional, yes men!

  • igor

    ” all of your leaders reveal themselves to be one dimensional, yes men!”

    If only they were!!! They are mostly ‘no’ me or even ‘no, no, no’ men

  • Brian Walker

    Pete, So what happens now?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    SF backs down from their ludicrous, self-harming threat to bring down the institutions. It’s self-harming above all else because the institutions Trimble set up in the first place are so deficient from a Unionist viewpoint (as *every* election held thereafter showed Unionist voters telling him, until he finally went). If SF had any sense of realism or wit, preserving this vast gain, for them, should of course be their number one political priority.

    However, there has to be a possibility that SF are sufficiently stupid, conceited, and, at the same time, frightened (which they are, having not a clue how they’re going to get themselves out of the hole they keep digging themselves even deeper into – that being the one Pete so forensically shines a light into), and out of sheer Micawberism, they crash the process, because the process so very obviously isn’t delivering as per the lies they sold their base. This, of course, is the scenario Unionists like me pray for: please, please, please let’s erase the best deal SF are ever going to get, and start all over again. I can’t believe that Adams is quite so incompetent, weak and afraid as to deliver on the TUV manifesto. But who knows, perhaps Santa has a present in his Box after all?

  • Sean

    andy pandy as usual completely wrong! SF has always done better under direct rule especially as many of their goals align better with London’s goal. Education Reform, policing reform and even parades reform are shared by SF and London. If you think London isn’t as embarassed as any one when the orange bigots and buckfast brigade hit the high streets it must be because you are looking out the bottom of a buckfast bottle yourself.

    This is the best deal that unionism will ever swing, next time I think republicans will negotiate guaranteed 50/50 seats in Storomont and then no amount of gerrymandering or single candidate agreements will do uniuonism any good. Before you tell me that it would be undemocratic since when has nIreland ever been a true democracy

  • Dec

    It’s because [Pete Baker]—and people like Malachi O’Doherty too—take an independent view

    Pass the needle and thread, the sides have split again.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    ‘Next time I think republicans will negotiate guaranteed 50/50 seats in Storomont and then no amount of gerrymandering or single candidate agreements will do uniuonism any good’ – winner of mostly cluelessly, unselfaware statement on Slugger ever, shurely?

    Meanwhile, I keep hearing all this chirping that SF would be bound to get a better deal if they scrubbed the current settlement. It must therefore be their simple generosity of spirit that stops them from doing just that, eh? Ho, ho, ho.

  • Sean

    Youre a funny boy andy

    They don’t scrub it now because they are earning major points by trying to work with the no men of unionism. So much infact that Mudering Marty as you call him rates almost as high with unionists as their supposed great leader does and higher than any other unionist politician

    Damn that has to hurt!

  • Pete Baker


    “So what happens now?”

    I’m waiting to see.

    In the meantime I’m pointing out what has happened up to now.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Who in this lovely fantasyland of yours are they earning points with? Unionist politicians? Nope. The Government – the real one, the one that takes the decisions? can’t see it myself, but if youse want to stake your all on London getting you out of that hole you keep digging yourselves ever deeper into, go right ahead. We all knew that Republican horsesh*t about the holy and unalterable ‘indigenuous’ nature of the deal was just so, but it is nice to see it being demonstrated ever more undeniably. But it’s good to see that you keep coming back to that poll – yeah, isn’t it wonderful that Unionist voters are so impressively non-sectarian, though something of a pity nationalist voters can’t bring themselves to be likewise?

  • Sean

    Unfortunately for you unionist politicians no longer control the future of nIreland, if they ever really did?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Right, so you’re a spacer. Ooookay: I chat to enough of those, no real need to add another one to the list.

  • Sean

    Run away andy it is your specialty (comments off)

  • J Blair

    I am sick of unionists getting blamed for the current state of the justice issue what decent politician would ever agree to devolving the bill with a party who would have us believe they have turned there back on violence they only condemmed the Massereene camp attack and the murder of the police officer in Lurgan because they were afraid of a loyalist backlash against there voters