Powersharing is only show in town” says DUP source…

“We got more on policing and justice at St. Andrews than Sinn Fein. We got control over when policing and justice will be devolved and that is how it is.” This is one of a number of key insights into how the DUP is approaching the current political deadlock in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein and the DUP are in a standoff as to when policing and justice powers will be passed to local politicians. The DUP source added:

“We are not going to give away what we negotiated out of process at St. Andrews. The DUP has political leverage on Sinn Fein. We are using that leverage. Who wouldn’t try to extract something from your political rival?”

According to the DUP some movement on matters of concern to that party could lead to change. The following items are on this shopping list:

1. The scrapping of the Parades Commission.

2. Access to personal protection weapons for former members of the security services who want arms.

3. Access to the experience and expertise of former full time police reservists.

The DUP accept personal protection weapons are a matter for the police and the chief constable. They further acknowledge how the chief constable deploys his officers is a matter for him. The DUP accept that many of the three hundred and twenty full time police reserve want to go next year.

Matt Baggott has told Peter Robinson and his colleagues that those who wish to continue to be linked to policing can apply to work in a civilianised capacity or apply to join the PSNI through the normal channels for a job in uniform. This approach has met with the approval of the DUP.

The DUP argue that publication of the ‘Ashdown Review‘ on parading could go some way to meeting their confidence demand. The first minister repeatedly talks about the need for ‘confidence’ in the community ( meaning the Unionist community) before policing and justice can be delivered. He has not stated unambiguously that he is dedicated to ‘equality’ ‘fair play’ ‘and power-sharing’ with Sinn Fein.

When the DUP source was asked to comment on the need for ‘a no ifs or buts’ declaration to clear up this Sinn Fein concern the DUP insider responded:

“No one can argue that attempts to improve the quality of Government equates to majority rule. Seeking to misrepresent the DUP’s commitment to power sharing with Sinn Fein will not help towards a resolution of difficulties. Power-sharing with Sinn Fein as of now is the only show in town. As long as the Sinners don’t want to collapse it – It can be resolved.

Why will Sinn Fein not get involved in serious negotiations on serious outstanding issues like the identity of a justice minister? Why not discuss the relationship between a minister for justice and the Executive?”

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward has spoken of “baby steps” having been taken this week towards a settlement of the policing and justice row. Speaking in America he drew attention to the completion of the justice bill in the Assembly and the sending of letters to elected members seeking nominations to the post of justice minister by the First and deputy First Minister.

  • If it’s the only show in town, then we need to close it down. Not a show, a pantomime.

  • The Spectator

    …as of now…

    And there’s the wiggle room.

    “Why will Sinn Fein not get involved in serious negotiations on serious outstanding issues like the identity of a justice minister?!

    But surely the proverbial dog in the street knows that’s already been agreed? It’s David Ford. Unless David has changed his mind and wants someone else in his party to do it?

    The whole point of the earlier negotiation was to avoid D’Hondt handing the post to SDLP, or needing all ministers positions reassigned.

  • The TUV goes from strength to strength….


    Go Jim (and Slugger’s very own sanctimonious judge, jury and executioner: Turgon)!

  • DUP the dogs bollocks

    “We are not going to give away what we negotiated out of process at St. Andrews”

    Thats the problem – as far as SF are concerned bring on a n election then we’ll see the DUPs run for cover.

    gerry for First Minister is what the DUPs negotiated at St Andrews and they’re not going to give it away – brilliant!

  • Dave

    “He has not stated unambiguously that he is dedicated to ‘equality’ ‘fair play’ ‘and power-sharing’ with Sinn Fein.”

    It’s a zero-sum world, kid. One side gains, and the other side loses. You can’t engineer that out of human nature or out of politics. Since the success of your current system is predicated on being able to engineer expedient fantasy as an alternative to reality, that’s why said your current system isn’t working.

  • The DUP did a lot of stupid things.

  • I can’t help wondering how the tit for tat strategy from Mick’s pamphlet, A Long Peace, applies here:

    “TIT FOR TAT is, initially at least, a ‘nice’ rule, in that it cooperates on the first move and continues to do so if its opponent is also nice. TIT FOR TAT balances its kindly qualities with a policy of immediate ‘retaliation’, responding with an ongoing string of defections once its opponent has defected for the first time.
    Crucially, TIT FOR TAT is equally swift at ‘forgiveness’. As soon as its opponent apologises by resuming cooperation, it cooperates in return. ‘While it pays to be nice, it also pays to be retaliatory,’ Axelrod comments. TIT FOR TAT combines these desirable properties. It is nice, forgiving, and retaliatory; it is never the
    first to defect; it forgives an isolated defection after a single response; but it is always incited by a defection no matter how good the interaction has been so far.’”

  • Driftwood


    Richard seems to think tit for tat was the logical outcome of the Provo campaign,,

  • BonarLaw

    “As long as the Sinners don’t want to collapse it – It can be resolved.”

    Indeed. Are they playing for a resolution or a crisis?

  • Geoffery Donalson

    Absolute balls. Only a party hack would believe that.
    The DUP are just the Shinners’ puppets, as long as Peter, Edwin, Sammy et all get big salaries, a ministerial car and are allowed to feel important, principles are circumspect/

  • Danny O’Connor

    Let’s face it none of them want a “traincrash”- especially not if it’s a gravy train.

  • danielmoran

    Eamon maillie….. i see that this DUP source you quote, thinks that parades should be in the mix over P&J. are we seriously to believe that an issue the DUP didn’t see fit to make a dealbreajer at St andrew’s, they can now insert as a pre condition and sill epect to be seen as honest negotiators?. i don’t think they would wear it if the boot was on the other foot.

  • Harry

    Mr Robinson seems stuck between a rock and a hard place with regard to devolution. If they do not devolve P&J, it would seem the Assembly will collapse and then all their arguments about “devolution is what’s best for the people in the North” will be the dead in the water and they will probably keep losing votes to TUV.

    If they do devolve P&J, then hardline unionists staying on in the DUP may abandon them, and cause loss of votes to TUV. I wonder whether this is DUP’s strategy – wait till the general election, campaign in it on a promise of “we will only devolve P&J when conditions are right”, prevent the loss of votes to TUV, and then devolve P&J straight afterwards. Mr Robinson has shown incompetence of the highest order since he became FM. The people of the North are sick and tired of this same old being spouted out by the sectarian parties. We want to be treated with respect and our vote is not taken for granted. I agree with devolution but Mr Robinson is still hell bent on ensuring that we don’t have devoloved gov’t but rather veto government. It’s time that politicians like Mr Robinson deliver for the whole of the North not just for a section of unionists whose support they fear they will lose at the general election.