Sinn Fein were part of the choreography – the pace quickens

As is being discussed on Radio Ulster, Sinn Fein are part of a process to seize the opportunity of the bizarre turn of events to make a breakthrough.
On Newsnight, Shaun Woodward has just said: There have been three lengthy meetings today on the issue ( of J&P)… between the DUP and Sinn Fein and there will be the further meetings tomorrow… There are many politicians who looked over the precipice… and are now engaged on the issues.. Nobody can afford to grandstand on this.. ( I think he means, issue ultimatums)… The attempted murder of the policeman was a reminder that this is not a game..”

  • Paul Doran

    We are sick of it from ALL Parties grandstanding on this issue. Do the deal , move on and lets get down to real politics.

  • union mack

    if we get P&J through, there will be another crisis over a Language Act, followed by more grandstanding. its a cycle that will continue each time SF cant pursue an agenda of theirs

  • Marcionite

    I fully agree. If the DUP can countenance SF serving on police boards and becoming members of PSNI then as a logical extention, their fear if SF taking the P+J helm is unfounded if not based on the symbolic aspect of P&J being in the hands of non unionists.

    On a wider point, should the unionist vote be split 3 ways at the next Stormont elections and SF emerge as the largest single party, surely it would be only fair that the post of FM be given to the largest party within the larger of the two designated community groupings? Under the hypothetical scenario I paint above, we could have SF being FM and DUP being DFM even though the unionist family could be a larger one than the nationalist one.

    If this plays out, would the Dup countenance such a deputy position ? Was this scenario ever envisaged? I fear not. I fear this could be another potential stumbling block down the line borne from the symbolic nature of the posts at Stormont

  • Chris Donnelly

    Hardly surprising, Brian, and a good sign that the republican leadership are ‘on the ball’ over events.

    Fact is, Sinn Fein hold the ace cards right now, and that tipping of the balance may be just what was required to convince the DUP strategists (beyond Robinson) that a deal now would at least alter the backdrop to the pre-election campaign gathering pace.

    Listen to the statement issued by Cowen tonight, described by Tommie Gorman on RTE as a’greening’ of the Taoiseach’s stance.

    That’s not without reason; without the Robinson saga we would already have been in meltdown phase, and it’s clear that both governments have accepted Sinn Fein will collapse the institutions less there is a deal by week’s end.

    Perhaps the British government have indicated that they won’t introduce new legislation to stop an Assembly election being triggered in the event of immediate collapse. Such a suggestion may just swing it for the DUP, who won’t want to face Allister in two elections with the current saga fresh in the voters’ minds.

  • Chris Donnelly

    On a wider point, should the unionist vote be split 3 ways at the next Stormont elections and SF emerge as the largest single party, surely it would be only fair that the post of FM be given to the largest party within the larger of the two designated community groupings? Under the hypothetical scenario I paint above, we could have SF being FM and DUP being DFM even though the unionist family could be a larger one than the nationalist one.

    If this plays out, would the Dup countenance such a deputy position ? Was this scenario ever envisaged? I fear not. I fear this could be another potential stumbling block down the line borne from the symbolic nature of the posts at Stormont

    Marcionite
    Was it not the DUP which presided over such changes being introduced at St Andrews? In any event, the smart move for Sinn Fein in such a scenario would be to push for the redesignation of the Office as being ‘run’ by two Joint First Ministers, which has the benefit of accurately depicting their joint status and removing yet another potential point of crisis.

  • Marcionite

    There is something Weimar like about northern political arrangements but without the cabaret scene. I agree with Union Mack’s sentiment, could endless crises themselves be what SF had in mind of their ‘peace’ strategy ie engineering ungovernabily at carefully spaced apart junctures while using the space between to pretend to be good stewards if government ?

    Here’s another scenario, if the Sdlp stopped being SFs bridesmaid and went on it’s own to form voluntary coalition with unionists without SF, would SF countenance being in opposition? Is there a situation where SF would be out flanked and deem Stormont a failure? If so, would they advocate armed struggle again? These hypotheticals should be aired and discussed because they may happen and are not outlandish in any way

  • iluvni

    So we have a man tainted with questions to answer about a paedophile scandal, a man who’s had to ‘step aside’ because of a sex/financial impropriety scandal and Martin McGuinness (!) in a room discussing policing and justice.
    And this is seen as progress and an opportunity to be seized?

    A sick joke.

  • Henry94

    if the Sdlp stopped being SFs bridesmaid and went on it’s own to form voluntary coalition with unionists

    Ah Sunningdale. Who’s sorry now?

    Marcionite

    On a wider point, should the unionist vote be split 3 ways at the next Stormont elections and SF emerge as the largest single party, surely it would be only fair that the post of FM be given to the largest party within the larger of the two designated community groupings?

    The sensible thing would be for pro-Agreement unionists to form a single party. They would than have a lock on the position for a decade or so.

  • Alias

    It’s hard to know why Mr Robinson chose to make negotiations over P & J one of his three priorities in standing aside as First Minister but a cynic might think that the timing of the revelations is connected to the British state displeasure with Mr Robinson making chumps out of their prize puppets, the Shinners. And if Mr Robinson was such a cynic, then this might be a holding position while he consolidates his support within the DUP. Not so much in preparation for further timely revelations, but deterring them by effectively saying to the British state that he is working on this issue in good faith while very likely all the more determined not to be pushed on it. I suspect that Mr Robinson will hold on, very much enhanced, and that the transfer of P & J will not come one second before Mr Robinson, the DUP, and their supporters think the time is right.

  • ding dong

    So as Peter’s parting gift to Ulster he is going to plan and execute the devolution of P&J and then stroll off into the sunset.

    Clearly he’s finished but the DUP need him as ascapgoat to do the final dirty – devolve P&J then they can blame him, castigate him etc yet shrug their collective shoulders as they always do and claim it wasn’t their fault!

    Spineless politicians and Robo is willing to pay this price, to be allowed to go in six weeks as opposed to now.

    Pathetic

  • “Fact is, Sinn Fein hold the ace cards right now”

    Chris, Conor Murphy is holding the joker. The EU Commission has yet to complete its investigation into certain aspects of the Rathlin ferry contract. Conor’s answer about when the DRD knew about this investigation is at odds with a DRD briefing to at least one MLA on the issue.

  • wild turkey

    ‘On a wider point, should the unionist vote be split 3 ways at the next Stormont elections and SF emerge as the largest single party, surely it would be only fair that the post of FM be given to the largest party within the larger of the two designated community groupings? Under the hypothetical scenario I paint above, we could have SF being FM and DUP being DFM even though the unionist family could be a larger one than the nationalist one.’

    well Marcionite, cry me a river!!

    it’s the old story isn’t it?
    you pays for what you get and get what you pays for , and that is for sure !

    ‘the unionist family ‘ do you not do irony and ignore recent events?

    the words unionist and family are oxymorons.

    that said, it now seems neanderthals were brighter, and shinier, than previously given credit for . see link below

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jan/11/caveman-neanderthal-makeup-spain

    so although the DUPers may come to realise that all that glitters is not gold. at least they can make-up…and then deal with the consequences of their current behaviours and past agreements.

    if they cannot, well, that is a working definition of dysfunctional families. families symbolic or actual, eh?

  • JD

    “the smart move for Sinn Fein in such a scenario would be to push for the redesignation of the Office as being ‘run’ by two Joint First Ministers, which has the benefit of accurately depicting their joint status and removing yet another potential point of crisis.”

    It is symbolic and only a name, however making that “sacrifice” Sinn Fein can negotiate something in return.

    It should be joint first ministers anyway – that will probably be the solution when the time comes

  • Chris,

    “Was it not the DUP which presided over such changes being introduced at St Andrews? ”

    Yes and Jim Allister has been on about it for months as further evidence of Robinson selling Ulster out.

    It seems likely that Robinson will now do a deal or his party would surely not have agreed that he step sideways for 6 weeks as this would leave the DUP in a vulnerable position in the run up to an Assembly election. I always thought that he would have done a deal if this crisis had not arisen but we may have to wait until there is a senior party defection to the TUV (or UUP) or someone writes a book to find out.

    Unionism needs pragmatic leaders like Robinson to gain the upper hand in the DUP and who can also stem further losses to the TUV, hopefully he can now both seal a deal with SF and also clear his name.

  • Ulick

    Not to worry ding dong, I’m sure they are reupholstering a seat for him in the House of Lords at this very moment.

  • joeCanuck

    Unionism needs pragmatic leaders like Robinson to gain the upper hand in the DUP and who can also stem further losses to the TUV,

    MU,

    Too late, I fear. He may be that rarity; a duck with no legs.

  • Ding Dong,

    “Clearly he’s finished but the DUP need him as ascapgoat to do the final dirty ”

    The DUP will only move if they think it the least bad option which it looks like it is, and it is not going to fool anyone that a damaged leader could sign up to a deal without his party support.

  • Driftwood

    MU

    We have 4 months until the Tory cavalry arrive.

    Lets live with stasis until then.

  • Alias

    “So as Peter’s parting gift to Ulster he is going to plan and execute the devolution of P&J and then stroll off into the sunset.” – ding dong

    Which is as good an explanation as any, I guess. A seat in the upper house…

    On the other hand, it is obviously very important to the British state that the grassroots supporters of the Shinners are led to fully endorse its security services without reservation, most usefully by their own leadership. The DUP are throwing a spanner into the works by attaching conditions for selfish political advantage, so the security services will rightfully put the British national interest ahead of any party’s local interest.

    If he now judges that the British state is playing dirty, and that there is a fair bit of dirt in 40 years of a contentious past (not alleging that there is), then he may well sell-out the party for a dignified exit and a comfortable retirement in the Lords.

    But I still go with my first guess…

  • Driftwood,

    recent history (the last 30 years ) suggests that if anything, the Tories are actually less Unionist in practice than the Labourt party, they have appeared to think that making a few of the right noises will blind Unionists to their actual views although we can only hope, once again, that Cameron is as good as his word.

    A hung parliament requiring DUP or UUP or even dare I say TUV support or all three would be a nice insurance policy.

  • wild turkey

    ‘The sensible thing would be for pro-Agreement unionists to form a single party. They would than have a lock on the position for a decade or so. ‘

    Henry, it gives no pleasure in saything this but..its called the conservative party, led by David Cameron.. and likely to be the govt at Westminster for the next 7 to 10 years.

    If the Westminster election(s) is/are close fought things, perhaps pro-agreement Unionist would secure a place at the Cabinet table?

    and probably long before SF does in the Republic, Ireland, the 26 counties or whatever is the correct moniker for the south

  • Driftwood

    MU
    Cameron wants to spend less money. So treating us like the Isle of Wight is not only cheap, but simple to administer. Problem solved!
    Nationalists can easily be bought off by a facile North -South talking shop, in fact they have already.

  • Driftwood,

    unless Unionism unites an increasingly Nationalist assembly will push hard in all the constitutional soft spots offered by the GFA and the last thing Unionists need is a naive British government that doesnt realise Northern Ireland is not the Isle of Wight but rather is inhabited with a growing percentage who would remove every vestige of Britshness from the inside.

  • Ulick

    Cameron – is that the boy who was on BBC radio 5 earlier and when asked a question about Robinson, felt he couldn’t comment because he didn’t know enough? Hehe… aye he’s the man to ride to your rescue…

  • tacapall

    Do Loyalist really believe members elected to parliament who form a government are the ones who formulate and decide british government policy.

  • Driftwood

    MU
    Unionism can only unite with the backing of mainland support, David Cameron has given his word on this.
    Parochial unionism cannot survive without this support. Only the Ulster Unionists recognise this.
    The DUP were (and are) founded on a bedrock of anti- Catholicism and Paisleyite vitriol.
    The greatest politician NI has ever produced, Captain Terence O Neill had an outlook that would have ensured the troubles never would have happened was brought down by this lunatic cult.
    We embrace a secular future. End of.

  • Davros

    “The greatest politician NI has ever produced”

    Chaim Herzog?

  • Driftwood

    Davros
    Herzog deserves to be up there with Churchill, O Neill, Faulkner, Gandhi,Disraeli,Stroessner, Mandela, Pinochet, Kissinger,Ben Gurion, Thatcher and Bismarck as 19th/20th Century Greats.
    But his connection with his British homeland is transitory.

  • [Part 1 of 2]

    [quote][i]That’s not without reason; without the Robinson saga we would already have been in meltdown phase, and it’s clear that both governments have accepted Sinn Fein will collapse the institutions less there is a deal by week’s end …Posted by Chris Donnelly on Jan 11, 2010 @ 11:17 PM[/i][/quote]

    It surely should be recognised, and acknowledged widely right across the Northern Ireland community [which incidentally, has a population no bigger than the size of a small city, and yet has its own bickering grandstanding government tasked with creating a new nation from the ruins of the terrorist state funded “Troubles” (and you can work out yourselves which states they were, funding the stupid irrational hatred) and delivering nothing innovative and exciting, even though they all be new to the game. And yes, Mr Woodward, despite this unfortunate nonsense, which I believe is yours … [i] The attempted murder of the policeman was a reminder that this is not a game..” [/i] it is a game being played, with deadly consequences whenever it is not played seriously. And it has been noted that there has been no leadership with the offer of an agreeable solution to the impasse from the NIO and whatever Intelligence Services the Government would be consulting for their daily agendas/work sheets] that Sinn Fein [b]CAN collapse the institutions, but they have not.[/b] And the DUP have the affrontery to throw out the red herring spinner of a need for confidence in the community before they will do what they are supposed to do, and have been elected to do, and stood before the electorate and promised to do … take control of all aspects of administration for the people of Northern Ireland to give them control of their own fate and destiny, rather than it being decided by faceless unaccountable bureaucrats in a remote location/foreign and alien land.

    It is community confidence in the ability and suitability of the DUP as a sharing and enabling partner in government which is being sorely tested, by the crazy and paranoid actions being exhibited by the DUP themselves, and they are shown to be severely wanting in all departments, with their legacy NO, NO, NO attitude and arrogant presumption of virtuous moral superiority.

    [quote][i]We are sick of it from ALL Parties grandstanding on this issue. Do the deal , move on and lets get down to real politics. …
    Posted by Paul Doran on Jan 11, 2010 @ 11:01 PM[/i][/quote] … Pick up the baton and run with it, for it is sound advice. Do something decisive yourselves rather than blaming the community for your inability to show a lead in a divided and divisive party … for that it what everyone sees.

    And are we now to understand that Arlene Foster is the next DUP leader, for surely they would have presented their best and brightest team player to be acting as First Minister, whilst Mr Robinson undergoes debriefing treatment/political surgery/constructive suspension … or is she just a convenient Dr No Puppet, proving that the DUP have a Leadership Crisis with all being Big Picture Intellectual Minnows?

    [quote][i]We have 4 months until the Tory cavalry arrive.

    Lets live with stasis until then. ….. Posted by Driftwood on Jan 12, 2010 @ 12:03 AM[/i][/quote] ….. Are they bringing new technology/methodology/ideas with them, Driftwood? 🙂 HyperRadioProActive IT for Enriched Media ProgramMING ….. in Pulsating Waves Generating Interest and Growth in an Intellectual Property Economy ……. Virtual Base ….. which is very Revolutionary and therefore Perfectly Suited to the BiPolar Celtic Warrior United Irish Gene/Meme?

    You can be sure that it is the Reality and Virtual Reality in Extreme XSSXXXX Global Gaming Factory Fabrications for NEUKlearer NIRobotICQs, which would be something which the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry should be interested in. Any idea who leads that in NI?

    [quote][i]Do Loyalist really believe members elected to parliament who form a government are the ones who formulate and decide british government policy. …. Posted by tacapall on Jan 12, 2010 @ 12:46 AM [/i][/quote] …… 🙂 Have you worked out how it all works and who/what you must target to make everything change, tacapall? Would you care to dare win win and share it, your conclusion/suspicion/thoughts? And do you think they are any good or have you decided, on all of the media evidence presented daily, that they are pathetically poor and atrociously bad/serially incompetent, criminally negligent and grossly self indulgent. In other words, Useless and Unfit For Future Better Beta Purpose, but Perfectly Positioned to Fund and Run with a Program that is ESPecially Phormed and a Perfect Fit for Futures and Derivatives of IT, which is Inclusive of Past Systems in Novel Mentoring Recovery Projects and Programs?

  • 0b101010

    There are many politicians who looked over the precipice… and are now engaged on the issues.

    Certainly sounds like the right noises are coming out now, right Shaun? Better late than ever, even if it takes a shove or two. Sunningdale for slow learners indeed.

    How many Swords of Damocles do we have strung up there, ready to snip when required?

    At least the dirty polticians are easy to manage.

  • [Part 2 of 2] …… For the Really Advanced MetaPhysicist/NEUKlearer Processing MetaDataBase Scientist ……. and Radical ARGonaut/AIMMORPGamer ….. which some may like to Spin as Psychotic Programmer but that would have them stepping up to the wicket to bat against a Ball and a Field which will have the Distinct and Overwhelming Advantage of being Dynamically Flexible in IntelAIgently FailSafe Designed and FoolProofed Irregular and Unconventional Settings.

    Welcome to Cinderella RockerFeller ProgramMING from the Offices and Theatres of CyberIntelAIgent Security in Live Operational Virtual Environments. A Colossal Loughside Titan of an AI Civil CyberSpace Project about which One Only Needs to Know what One Only Needs to Know, for to Know Too Much and More than One can Fully Understand, would be a Silly Waste of Everyone’s Time, although of course, that is one Thing that there is probably definitely surely an Infinite Supply of in Space ….. Time for Thoughts to Imagine and Realise what is Out There in a Shared Imagination to Virtually See and Visit/XXXXPerience.

    Is that the Quantum Relative Singularity that Unites Time and Space and the Fate of Man to Create his Own and Earth’s Greater Destiny in a Simple Crazily Good Master Plan Shared with All and Global Operating Devices, for the more that know of a Plan, the more who are available to realise ITs Shared and Expanding Dreams and thus is Reality Servered and Delivered of Imagination with which to Build, for that is the Virgin Solid Rock Base upon which EVERYTHING has been Built?

  • PACE Parent

    amanfromMars,
    Are you in the same ward as Iris?

  • ^Or god forbid the same bed ?

  • Daithí Ó

    I can’t help feeling that Robinson has turned his misfortune around and set up Arlene as some kind of Michael Collins type sacrificial lamb to do the deal he knows has to be done.

    Maybe he would prefer to be remembered as a cuckold than a “sell-out”.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    victor1 said

    8.”^Or god forbid the same bed ?”

    Or maybe the one head !

  • tacapall

    Posted by amanfromMars on Jan 12, 2010 @ 06:22 AM

    Got a bit of a headache reading your post, dont know if its the flashing imaging type capitals or the brainwashing of the message, but yeah I got you,
    ” but Perfectly Positioned to Fund and Run with a Program ” You’re on the wrong forum for advertising, you want to bring that stuff to the DUP and Sinn Fein headquarters, they love that gobblydook, and it sounds better than what they come off with for excuses to questions about the moral fibre or their respective leaders.

  • koan

    A wounded leader limping towards the Exit door of history is the perfect fall guy to deliver P&J on behalf of the British/Irish Governments, while permitting the DUP backwoodsmen to distance themselves from the decision.

    The mysterious confidence of the Pro Consul last week regarding progress on P&J suggests that this crisis was identified as an opportunity by the masters of the dark arts a long time ago.

    The emotional smokescreen thrown up around Iris Robinson, and the resulting soap opera, has disguised a series of power plays by both Governments (aligned with SF’s insistence that progress must be imminent).

  • Hi, tacapall,

    [quote][i]”but Perfectly Positioned to Fund and Run with a Program” You’re on the wrong forum for advertising,you want to bring that stuff to the DUP and Sinn Fein headquarters, they love that gobblydook, and it sounds better than what they come off with for excuses to questions about the moral fibre or their respective leaders. [/i][/quote] … Posted by tacapall on Jan 12, 2010 @ 12:16 PM

    Err, I have troubled myself in the recent past to visit the Falls Road Sinn Fein office and Mr Robinson’s DUP Belmont office, and of course, much more recently, have sent both the FM and DFM and Mr Adams and Mr Dodds, directly to the convenience of their email inboxes in Stormont, an Invitation* to transform Politics and Governance Systems with the SMARTer Use of IT and Media, but it maybe kinder of me to say that maybe their mail is intercepted and they maybe didn’t receive any documents left for them, rather than speculating wildly with a malicious and gratuitous slur that they maybe were not be bright enough to grasp the concepts which would be so easily explained to them.

    And don’t think that you will get as a matter of routine, even just a simple electronic acknowledgement of communication with Offices in the Assembly, because you don’t, and that makes it very convenient to deny all knowledge of contact. A trick they probably picked up from Westminster and No 10, who are also guilty as charged. But they have no trouble in using whatever info they may be provided with for themselves, but that will not surprise anyone, I’m sure. After all, they are politicians and such is their stock and trade?

    But to be honest, in the much bigger Great Game scheme of things, is Northern Ireland and GB, wee buns and small potatoes, and if the political powers that be are so insulated and isolated from a Better Bigger Picture Real Life and unprecedented Virtual Developments and would prefer to work in their own little bubbles, they will be left behind to explain to their paymasters, the electorate, why they were so blinkered and naive and stubbornly ignorant, whilst trying to make sure that they weren’t thought to be just in it for the money they were creaming, playing the Old System with all expenses paid and billions to play with amongst themselves.

    And it is also the case, that the less you presently know about how everything works in the Big Picture Production the better, for those running things would not survive your righteous rage at their callous and manipulative disregard of your well-being, for the love and power of artificial money ….. but don’t take just my word for that, for it is no secret and has been shared long before now.

    [b] It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning …. Henry Ford [/b]

    [b]I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, …The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply. …. Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild [/b]

    * “Holywood vs Hollywood ….. QuITe Titanic Quarter Style with NIRobotIQs and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActivity” …Sent: Friday, 24 April, 2009 10:48:22 ……tested the water and found it …. lacking.