Gerry Adams on P&J and the lessons of history…

Gerry Adams has his take on the Policing and Justice debacle on Leargas… I hate to say it, but this blog can only respond to his pointing at May 2008 as evidence of a breach of the St Andrews Agreement, with an “We told you so…” at the very moment when you (and others) were telling us otherwise Gerry…

The reality in the six counties is that the greater the political inequality, the lesser the political stability. That’s the lesson of history. And while nationalists and republicans have been prepared to continually bend themselves to help this peace process, a key political condition has always been the maintenance of a system of equality and partnership as the basis for peaceful and democratic evolution towards a united Ireland.

That’s the bit the DUP – and their ideological counterparts in the Northern Ireland Office – hate the most.

But the British and Irish governments need to realise that’s why things are in difficulties now. And they need to ensure that in keeping with the commitments made at St. Andrews, that the full devolution and implementation of Agreements needs to happen. At St. Andrews all of the parties agreed that signing up to that Agreement meant that the transfer of policing and justice powers would take place by May 2008. We are long past that agreed date.

What is it about May and breached timetables in the Northern Irish peace process? This from Wikipedia:

A date of May 2000 was set for total disarming of all paramilitary groups… The Assembly and Executive were eventually established in December 1999 on the understanding that decommissioning would begin immediately, but were suspended within two months due to lack of progress, before being re-established in May 2000 as Provisional IRA decommissioning eventually began.

Or as Tommie Gorman put back in December 2004, they had ‘a consistent reputation for coming up short and offering ‘post dated cheques’. The deed was eventually done in September 2005

Still Adams’ statement (not to mention Chris’ bold argument last night) deserves a considered response from the DUP telling us exactly why they are continuing to hold out for ‘confidence’ and what, for once, the term actually means…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty