“Yet this could be a pyrrhic victory..”

As yesterday’s hint of blue sky looks like being clouded over, again, by more comments from Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport makes the important point that “the Deputy First Minister and other Sinn Fein politicians are increasingly talking themselves into a corner” over their latest manufactured “crisis”. And he has a good assessment of the potential pros, and cons, to that party of collapsing Stormont. Adds Ken Reid predicts processing ahead. Update From another BBC report

Mr Robinson said he did not know what to make of Mr McGuinness’ remarks and said it would be a “massive mistake” if he resigned as deputy First Minister. He said he thought they were making progress, only to find Mr McGuinness was “ratcheting up the threat levels once more”. “How can you do business when somebody behaves in that way?” he said. “Trying to hike up a crisis isn’t going to help anybody to resolve these issues.”

  • dodrade

    I don’t know why all the atention has been on the DUP and the so called “12 apostles” when it’s clearly the shinners who are panicking and losing their nerve while Robinson has been calm, sensible and measured throughout. I reckon SF are so desperate for a deal by christmas Robbo will have them eating out of his hand agreeing to terms even RBS bankers couldn’t match.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Once more, Brer-Punt, ‘oh puhleaze don’t throw me into that tarpatch (of, er, you fools being foolish enough to foolishly collapse Stormont’).

    Let SF do a Trimble: it’ll do them at least as much good as it did him.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Seriously, SF’s masterplan is either: a.) the reintroduction of London rule (!) or b.) giving the Punt an election, where he’ll be able to shout at any and all potential TUV voters, ‘look, I didn’t roll over: no Trimble me: that’s why these hoors have had to collapse the whole thing’. FWIW – and in my spread-betted case, it’s worth vastly more than, oh, anything Shillers has to say – if SF really are stupid enough to cause an election early next year, the DUP will comfortably remain the largest party at Stormont. Which will be no opening at all to UCUNF’s dreams of half a dozen Westminster seats later in the year. So, the DUP don’t want, but shouldn’t be fazed by an early poll, the UUP shouldn’t want one, the SDLP can’t want one, thus we’re left with only the TUV wanting one, and SF pretending that they do. Go on then, do it.

  • The problem with a direct rule plan B (green-tinged or not) is that it will always hold some residual attraction to those unwilling to make the hard decisions. “Sure, we had direct rule for thirty years, it’s wasn’t that bad…”

    The only way politicians in NI will catch a grip is if plan B is unthinkable, like being sold off to China or some such. So long as the option of running back under mother’s skirts is there, Northern Ireland won’t grow up.

  • JoMax

    Have just seen one of the ‘personal’ letters to the 108 MLAs from Robinson and McGuinness inviting applications for the Justice job. McGuinness’s signature is a stamp but Robinson’s appears to be signed personally.

    Presumably signing his name 108 times in a row was beyond Martin.

    As someone who despises both of them, I suspect that Robbo is running rings round administratively and every other way round [text removed – mods]

  • 2050

    Not surprising ! SF have been very patient and the Dup are not honoring their part of the Saint Andrews Agreement in good faith. Failing to make politics work here with their petty antics up on the hill. Leaderless since big Ian left !

    Ignored the best efforts of the British , Irish and US goverments to resolve this issue & consolidate the peace process. Choosing instead to block progress with some vague bullshit excuse called community confidence & pandering to the sectarian Orange order thus holding us ALL back. Think everyone is well aware of who the wreckers are .

    Let’s face it hardline unionism Dup & especially TUV will never deliver anything for the people here except division & same old pointless religous bollocks ! The world is moving on & we all have plenty of things to worry about. ! Roll on the election

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Honouring, my plastic friend, honouring. But thank you all the same: once upon a time Slugger’s Provettes used sparkling names like ‘Lib2016’. That’s fallen weirdly silent . . . You may well be onto something with “2050”: at any rate, you’re certainly fractionally less onto to something! As to your, uh, point, yeah, of course, whatever, when SF run away the institutions, it’ll be the DUP’s fault. Shure, wasn’t it also the fault of all them hoors that the Provos murdered too? Poor them, being froced to plant those bombs, equally poor them, being forced to abandon playing politics because they’re so crap at it.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Presumably signing his name 108 times in a row was beyond Martin.l

    Clever chap I’d say . Why sign the same form letter 108 times personnally when your admin assistant can stamp the bloody thig 108 times in a couple of minutes . Meanwhile over on planet slow FM Robinson has nothing better to do than sign his name 108 times ? Is that what he’s paid for ?

    No wonder McGuiness beat Robinson ragged in the most ‘impressive ‘ categories listing 😉

    Roll on the election – a defeat for the DUP and the collapse of the Assembly following McGuinnesse’s ascent to the FM position and then roll on ‘repartition ‘ and be done with the ‘failed’ entity that is the 6 county NI state .

  • aquifer

    Robinson was not a big enough man for the job, and if Martin goes he essentially resigns Peter also.

    I thought that repartition was defacto DUP policy.

    Sectarian Apartheid with added martyrdom. Pathetic if it were not so reckless with lives and livelyhoods.

    I think I’ll vote SF, to teach the DUP a lesson:

    If the Brits tell you to go to, go to.

    Also when that means sharing power with people who did not have their sectarian supremacist fantasy underwritten by the British army.

  • exile

    All these idiots arguing for “repartition” must live in Newry or Strabane and not Belfast or Cushendun. By the way, lads: have you consulted Biffo on this great new idea?

  • sean

    Maybe Sinn feins plan all along was to become top party and show the world that unionist wont share power unless they think they our in control.

  • slug

    If SF pull out of the Executive then does that result in an election. And if we end up with SF as the largest party, does that make any difference? If they become the largest party that may help to further emphasise their impotence, because there is nothing they can do as the largest party that they can’t already do. Bring it on.

  • Pete Baker


    So, it’s been a cunning plan all along…

    Was there a turnip involved?

  • slug


    Have SF dropped the title “Chief Negotiator” for Martin McGuinness, lately?

  • Pete Baker


    I would imagine so.

  • joeCanuck

    This Odd Couple badly need “marriage” counselling.

  • Greenflag


    ‘This Odd Couple badly need “marriage” counselling. ‘

    Nah what they need is a good divorce lawyer or two -preferably jewish in both cases so as to minimise the sectarian spin off of the ‘split’ Let’s face it this was a forced marriage and both of the partners would have preferred to wipe each other off the face of the earth than cuddle up under the blankets .

    Get ready for ‘repartition’ methinks following a period of direct rule which will do nothing for NI politics except put the clock back !

    The glass is falling – Let it break and good riddance to the failed 6 county political entity. It’s more trouble and expense to keep it alive than to take off the drip and let it die .

  • Greenflag


    ‘I thought that repartition was defacto DUP policy.’

    No it’s more the TUV’s . That’s why it’s so strnage that Turgon is a TUV man . In any repartition I would’nt expect Fermanagh to be on turgon’s [referred side of the new border ??? 😉

  • ruaglic

    The DUP is obviously spooked–big-time–by the prospect of republicans obtaining equal say on justice matters and the running of the Northern Irish police. The core problem is that the DUP do not believe in equality, don’t want it, and will fight it tooth and nail. And when was it any different? Compromise is simply not a part of their nature. However, if even Big fire-breathing Doctor No was eventually forced to toe the line, how does the bland Peter Robinson think he’ll do any better? No, Peter, the full weight of world opinion is opposed to your bury-your-hed-in-the-sand-and-hope-this-equality-stuff-will-just-go-away approach. You and your fellow cave-dwellers ultimately have no choice: slowly but inexorably, induced by political sweeties or, if necessary, kicking and screaming, you will be dragged into the light of ordinary common sense reality. The demand for equality is not going to go away–it’s enshrined in the GFA and the St Andrews Agreement, both internationaly-recognized legal documents, of which your party is a signatory. So, time to get real, Peter, and to move on. When your predecessor finally did the dirty deed (it’s still hard for me to credit the sight of him and the head of PIRA laughing like a pair of old chums in a Belfast bar), political unionism was out-maneuvered. It wasn’t that the Old Fox mis-calculated or anything, he just recognized that the old game was up. Peter: get real.

  • It wasn’t that the
    Old Fox mis-calculated or anything, he just recognized that the old game
    was up.

    Of course he didn’t miscalculate. All Paisley ever wanted was to be First Minister of Northern Ireland. As soon as he felt he could close the deal without getting knifed in the back, he went for it. Granted, he probably didn’t plan on retiring so early, but that’s another matter.