“That’s simply not how negotiations work.”

Northern Ireland Acting First Minister, the DUP’s Arlene Foster, MLA, responds to the comments by Sinn Féin vice-president Mary Lou McDonald – noted by Eamonn earlier.

Video courtesy of UTV
And some quotes from the UTV report

“The sort of deadline that has been given by Sinn Fein is very, very unhelpful and we may have reached the point where we need government facilitation in relation to move matters on.”

“We’ve had a team of negotiators sitting around all day waiting to talk to Sinn Fein about the outstanding issues and they have not been here,” she said.

“Sinn Fein’s position seems to be that they expect us to move to them. That’s simply not how negotiations work,” Mrs [Foster] told UTV.

“There’s been a certain element of stone-walling going on.

“What we want to see is a real resolution of the outstanding issues.

“We’re up to do this deal. We want to see it happen.

“But I have to say, I question Sinn Féin’s bona fides in all of this.”

, , , , ,

  • LabourNIman

    are the shinners losing the plot? Sounds to me like their negotiating skills aren’t up to the DUP’s hard stance.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Let the electorate give their opinion.

  • danielmoran

    Foster in her response, ignored that McDonald clearly said in her statement that SF weren’t there to negotiate but to see original agreement honoured.

  • tacapall

    are the shinners losing the plot? Sounds to me like their negotiating skills aren’t up to the DUP’s hard stance.
    Posted by LabourNIman on Jan 21, 2010 @ 06:37 PM

    Tell us all “What have the Shinners got to lose” by matching the DUPs “Hard stance”

  • LabourNIman

    Panic – as much as I agree with you, the fact is we will come back with the same two parties leading and still no progress.

    This is simply leading to a collapse where the british goverment will bring in peanut butter and jelly (like they did with water charges) because the locals can’t swallow their pride.

  • JohnM

    If the DUP signing up to an agreement means Orangemen free to walk down the Garvaghy Road and other hotspots then I am fully supportive of SF withdrawing from the assembly.

    Everyone was against the Wootton Bassett march; what’s the difference here?

  • Dec

    Arlene clearly missed the following section of Mary Lou’s comments:

    “the process that we are involved in is really one of completion and not renegotiation.”

    We’ve had a team of negotiators sitting around all day waiting to talk to Sinn Fein about the outstanding issues and they have not been here,” she said.

    Particularly rich given the UCUNF-DUP tête-à-tête at the Wannsee Conference last weekend.

    However connoisseurs of comedy will find much to savour in Foster’s comments, particularly those remarks that accuse others of Stonewalling and the doubting of others’ bona fides.

  • LabourNIman

    tacapall – i’ve no idea but we all know that they benefited from a peace hungry UUP. I’m just saying I think they got used to unionist parties giving things away with no come back.

  • UlsterWatcher

    Loving it…the sight of Dupper pleading for the Shinners to come and talk.

    Never thought I’d see the day – but loving every minute!

  • tacapall

    If the DUP signing up to an agreement means Orangemen free to walk down the Garvaghy Road and other hotspots then I am fully supportive of SF withdrawing from the assembly.
    Posted by JohnM on Jan 21, 2010 @ 06:43 PM

    Nationalism has nothing to bargain with, nothing that Unionists dont already have !

  • Scaramoosh

    The DUP, in the current climate have to play hard, but also have to see agreement reached and the Assembly kept up and running. If this is not the outcome they are going to be suffering some big losses at the next election.

    The Shinners win either way; crash the assembly and be seen to have stood upto DUP intransigence; get P&J devolved and be seen to have held out against the DUP’s hard ball stance.

  • LabourNIman

    I personally wonder, once P&J is brought in, what will the next crisis be? lets start laying bets..

  • Marcionite

    Is SF being let down by Mary Lou – again. Just what does Adams see in her that the rest if us don’t? At least he’s not putting Ruane forward. Is Martin not negociating? They should at least be present.

  • tacapall

    Is SF being let down by Mary Lou – again. Just what does Adams see in her that the rest if us don’t? At least he’s not putting Ruane forward. Is Martin not negociating? They should at least be present.
    Posted by Marcionite on Jan 21, 2010 @ 06:53 PM

    Because she’s easy on the eye, just like Arlene Foster, people tend not to be insulted by them.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    LabourNIman said

    “as much as I agree with you, the fact is we will come back with the same two parties leading and still no progress.

    This is simply leading to a collapse where the british goverment will bring in peanut butter and jelly (like they did with water charges) because the locals can’t swallow their pride.”

    There may be some differences for example Sinn Féin as the largest party and the entitlement to nominating First Minister (yes, equal to DFM).

    It will be interesting to see if the DUP and the UUP will be willing to partake in an executive with a Sinn Féin First Minister.

    We need to know if these parties are interested in an inclusive and egalitarian future and institutions.

  • mastermcgrath

    Its beginning to look like the unonist get together in England was about salvaging something for the DUP from an early Assembly Election. Given the attitude of that party to the Ulster Unionists in the early part of the process I am surprised they are even entertaining talks with them about some form of pact. If the two Governments become involved as Arlene wants then it is a wonderful opportunity to pin the DUP to the wall, both governments want a date asap so let them come in tomorrow and if there is no deal by end of play on Friday then the Ard Comhairle pulls the plug on Saturday. This prolonging of the negotiation is only buying the DUP time and putting some distance between the Robinson affair and the election, SF MUST not allow this…. lets get the posters and and leafltes ready…

  • Garza

    “This is simply leading to a collapse where the british goverment will bring in peanut butter and jelly (like they did with water charges) because the locals can’t swallow their pride.”

    The British should threaten to make abortion legal in NI, then you will see both sides falling over each other to get a deal done.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    After an election can you imagine if Sinn Féin are the largest party and you have smaller Unionist parties unwilling to partake in negotiations/powersharing with them.

    Surely sane Unionists can see that this would be absolutely ridiculous.

  • danielmoran

    I’ll make a prediction. After the shinners have finally pulled the plug one this one, in london
    they’ll be slowly catching themselves on that this is what is going to happpen every election cycle walkouts endless to-ing and fro-ing to prop up stormont, when if they hadn’t more money than sense London would say, ENOUGH. back to indirect rule. No more half baked, half understood agreements at fancy stately homes or golf courses. Withdraw all salaries and expenses and sell stormont off to the japanese. Game over.

  • Carsons Cat

    “Tacapall, you say Arlene Foster is ‘easy on the eye’????”

    Actually that was “our” own dear Mallie who first said that about the Acting First Minister.

    danielmoran
    “Foster in her response, ignored that McDonald clearly said in her statement that SF weren’t there to negotiate but to see original agreement honoured.”

    Except that its been pointed out time and time again that there were absolutely no legal or political commitments signed up to by the DUP on Policing & Justice. SF oversold to their people and its been ever so slowly coming back to bite them on the a*se ever since.

    They “jumped first” this time away from their original position that they wouldn’t re-enter devolution until the powers were devolved. At that time they threw away just about the only leverage they ever had. It was crap negotiation but they can’t put that genie back in the bottle – even by throwing a hissy fit now and threatening to walk away.

    They’ve slowly morphed into Trimbles – and everyone knows that isn’t pretty, or smart.

  • joeCanuck

    And so starteth the blame game.

    It would seem that although both Parties have been talking this past week or more, neither party has been listening.
    As regards Government facilitation both Governments should refuse outright. They have both consistently and repeatedly set out their stalls for many many months; namely that there should be no further obstacles and that P&J devolution should be done asap, quickly even.

  • Can’t really see any logic to the DUP’s position of agreeing to intensive day after day talks unless they are going to make deal. Expect it to run a few weeks yet and Arlene to then stay in post, if she negotiates a good deal that the DUP grassroots can live with then she will deserve it.

  • joeCanuck

    Thinking a little bit more about my 1st post (#25, page 1) maybe the reason that she is asking for Government facilitation is that she needs cover to do the deal.
    Woodward or even someone higher comes over, calls both parties to side my side meetings in an hotel, following which they all come out together and say “It’s been agreed, devolution of P&J in 4 weeks time”.
    When pressed by the Apostles why she signed up she’ll say “The devil made up do it”.
    “How did he/she (the facilitator) do that?” they’ll ask.
    She’ll reply (same as oul Paisley) “He/she whispered ‘Plan B’ in my ear”.

  • danielmoran

    Carson’s Cat. I agree that the St Andrew’s outing was a dog’s breakfast thanks to SF and DUP and govts for not making it legally binding.[they were so relieved that Paisley agreed, they didn’t worry about the detail] It’s clear that neither party can rise above their old tendencies, and neither party is fit to govern. In fact none of the parties here are up to it.

  • tacapall

    Except that its been pointed out time and time again that there were absolutely no legal or political commitments signed up to by the DUP on Policing & Justice. SF oversold to their people and its been ever so slowly coming back to bite them on the a*se ever since.
    Posted by Carsons Cat on Jan 21, 2010 @ 07:19 PM

    Its not like the DUP to give anything they never agreed to, to Nationalists never mind Sinn Fein so whats the “Outstanding Issues”

    http://news.bbc.co.u

    Mrs Foster accused Sinn Fein of taking a “new position on parading” and said she hoped it would not “stand in the way of making progress on the outstanding issues”.

    I guess The Shinners have introduced “Wootton Bassett and the Islam4UK march” into the parading issue.

  • joeCanuck

    Thank you, Moderator for removing those offensive “wisecracks” about people’s personal appearance. Man/woman playing of the basest sort.
    The same thing is/was going on on another thread; not sure which one.

  • alf

    Its clear that SF would be happier with a deal, they just wont do it at any price and would be almost as content to walk away and bring it down, then sit abck and watch the electorate punish the DUP for the imminent elevation of SF to the top spot, SF have no responsibilty for the DUPs current squeeze

  • Driftwood

    The British should threaten to make abortion legal in NI,

    Nope Garza

    The government of the United Kingdom should apply the law on abortion throughout its jurisdiction, which would make de jure what is already de facto here anyway.

  • Garza

    “The British should threaten to make abortion legal in NI,

    Nope Garza

    The government of the United Kingdom should apply the law on abortion throughout its jurisdiction, which would make de jure what is already de facto here anyway.”

    As always DW, I agree with you lol.

    Its unbelievable that abortion isn’t legal here. But the British government could use it as leverage to get a deal done.

  • alan56

    SF may have missed the moment. A few weeks ago or when Robbo introduced the Parades Commission then they could have gone for an election and justified it on the grounds that the DUP were not being serious about agreement.
    Now the DUP are looking reasonable and serious about negotiations.

  • alf

    I would disagree and change reasonable for desperate, :0

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Who ever posted that the Dup might need Btitish/Irish goverments to come in and play bad cop, bad cop as a cover for the Dup to do a deal is probably on the right track.

    The Americans could also come in and play bad cop but you know three is a crowd.

    A telegram (how old fashioned) from all three goverments would be enough to let the Dup know how they feel.

    Something along the lines of “We wanted this done ages ago, DOH”

    All of these goverments may be too busy to be constructing fig leaves for the DUP though.

    Sometimes thats the bed you find yourself in (As the Religious hypocrite said to her young business associate)

  • tacapall

    SF may have missed the moment. A few weeks ago or when Robbo introduced the Parades Commission then they could have gone for an election and justified it on the grounds that the DUP were not being serious about agreement.
    Now the DUP are looking reasonable and serious about negotiations.
    Posted by alan56 on Jan 21, 2010 @ 08:14 PM

    How do you work that out when Sinn Fein have introduced “Wootton Bassett and the Islam4UK march” into the equation. Unionism has lost the battle on parading, they would have to agree to a United Ireland to get it back on the table.

  • alf

    Now the DUP are looking reasonable and serious about negotiations.

    Posted by alan56 on Jan 21, 2010 @ 08:14 PM

    The SF electorate do not care for negotiations, and as stated by Richie the wider nationalist electorate are not either, and with the DUP now looking over to the right and left it is they who are snookered imo..

  • Comrade Stalin

    tacapall:

    Tell us all “What have the Shinners got to lose”

    I think I have already explained this at length, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.

    Once again for the slow learners. Sinn Fein have everything to lose. They’ll lose the ability to wield power in the face of a unionist-friendly Conservative administration (I suspect the DUP visit to London was more of an attempt to spook them into believing in the existence of a “unionist plan B” than anything else). Instead they’ll find themselves frozen out in some kind of joint authority scenario. The form that joint authority takes is open to debate. But I can’t see how Sinn Fein will be able to make any hay out of it. What capital city does Gerry run to whenever there is a problem ? I’ll give you a hint – not Dublin. Expect this problem to worsen if Fianna Fail finds itself out of power.

    The DUP have a lot to lose too, of course. But they’re still in Westminster and there is a chance they’ll hold the balance of power. Discounting this chance would be an extremely risky gamble on SF’s part.

    We also need to be asking ourselves – who benefits the most from an election ? Right now, while I suspect that Sinn Fein will be mostly unscathed, I think it’s safe to bet there will be protest votes. The fracture in unionism will likely be quite serious, which leads to the other question for republicans – will it really be easier to negotiate with divided unionism ?

  • crazy fenian 32

    garza

    I agree whole heartly with u sinn fein should abort this whole discussion an walk away.

  • tacapall

    Comrade Stalin, Joint Authority would do the Nationalist people just fine, as for Sinn Fein, who cares, Nationalists want “Equality” in government it matters not who’s in government.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Joint Authority would do the Nationalist people just fine

    Tell me what you think you’ll get from JA.

    Nationalists want “Equality” in government it matters not who’s in government.

    Nationalists already have equality in government. Like the DUP, they have a mutual veto.

    What nationalists don’t have is unionist assent to the Sinn Fein shopping list. I’d genuinely like to understand why you think JA will change this.

  • abc123

    tacapall – do you have a day job besides working as a blogger for Republicans?

  • crazy fenian 32

    Theres only so much keek sinn fein can swallow arleen.That might explaine why there was no shinners there today if they really wanted to send you a message that they were not interested in keek talk they would sent sue ramsay.lol

  • alf

    Comrade nationalists will likely get more out of JA than they ever have out of unionists ! Also more dublin interference which is always fun

  • alf

    Nationalists already have equality in government. Like the DUP, they have a mutual veto.

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 21, 2010 @ 08:41 PM

    clearly this is not the case at local level, which JA will not change regretably

  • danielmoran

    Garza msg 17. ‘Jelly and peanut butter’, Garza? we’re getting perilously close to ‘last tango in Paris’ territory.

  • `SF weren’t there to negotiate but to see original agreement honoured.`…..erm except the DUP never signed up to SAA

    `The Shinners win either way; crash the assembly and be seen to have stood upto DUP intransigence; get P&J devolved and be seen to have held out against the DUP’s hard ball stance.` erm p&j devolution is in the DUP manifesto so it`s hardly a `win` for Sinn Fein. Crash the Assembly and a Tory government might just look into weighted majority voting voluntary coalition particularly since a `review of the institutions` was built into GFA / SAA.

    I think the shinners loose either way. The only way the DUP will loose is if they cave and get a shoddy deal. Sinn Fein crashing the Assembly will show the DUP as having the shinners by the short and curlies.

  • Stewart

    Its fairly clear that if the Shinners pull it down they will be supported by the majority of the Nationalist community.

    The DUP decided to introduce the parades issue as some sort of deal breaker & it looks like they won’t move.

    If i was Martin & co. i would withdraw Monday am and force elections.

  • `I would disagree and change reasonable for desperate, :0 ` hmm I think you are mistaken, Unionists are in no panic for p&j devolution. If the circumstances are right then by all means but `desperate`..i dont think so..the TUV are totally against and both the DUP and UUP are dependent on the detail.

    If the Shinners pull the plug then I don`t expect an Assembly back anytime soon unless it is voluntary coalition with weighted majority which would be good.

  • alf

    `SF weren’t there to negotiate but to see original agreement honoured.`…..erm except the DUP never signed up to SAA

    `The Shinners win either way; crash the assembly and be seen to have stood upto DUP intransigence; get P&J devolved and be seen to have held out against the DUP’s hard ball stance.` erm p&j devolution is in the DUP manifesto so it`s hardly a `win` for Sinn Fein. Crash the Assembly and a Tory government might just look into weighted majority voting voluntary coalition particularly since a `review of the institutions` was built into GFA / SAA.

    I think the shinners loose either way. The only way the DUP will loose is if they cave and get a shoddy deal. Sinn Fein crashing the Assembly will show the DUP as having the shinners by the short and curlies.
    Posted by Kilsally on Jan 21, 2010 @ 08:56 PM

    In the end it comes down to the election, which I doubt SF fear, can you express the same confidence re. the DUP ? If not your whole comment is (well)

  • alf

    SF weren’t there to negotiate but to see original agreement honoured.`…..erm except the DUP never signed up to SAA

    some one shoulda told Bob Mc Cartney that

  • Hard to say but if the shinners crash the Assembly elections won`t matter as the Assembly won`t be back in it`s current form ….which might well play to DUP`s argument whilst boosting argument for reform of the institutions toward`s DUP`s preferred voluntary coalition model (which the Tories favour too)

  • danielmoran

    kilsally 24. that’s deluded thinking.
    for voluntary coalition needs both sides to agree [Nats will get behind SF and SDLP won’t get involved knowing they don’t represent nats. Dream on.

  • alf

    .which might well play to DUP`s argument whilst boosting argument for reform of the institutions toward`s DUP`s preferred voluntary coalition model (which the Tories favour too)

    Posted by Kilsally on Jan 21, 2010 @ 09:10 PM

    This is a dream

  • 25. No. Westminster could implement it. The Tories have already indicated they are in favour of it and if the UUP-Tory link up produces some MP`s for them and Trimble in Government..then who knows. Like I said it would likely be weighted majority voting to ensure equality whilst avoiding the deadlock we presently have.

  • In the end it comes down to the election, which I doubt SF fear, can you express the same confidence re. the DUP ? If not your whole comment is (well)

    If SF bring the whole charade down (and I wish they’d get their arse in gear and hurry up about it)what’s the point in having new elections to a body which has quite clearly failed in purpose?

  • Why is it a dream? If Sinn Fein collapse the Assembly then it shows it doesn`t work and the institutions will have to be looked at, particularly the designation issue that excludes Alliance and the mutual veto and no opposition with parties in government perpetually. Weighted majority system solves that and ensures equality.

  • alf

    25. No. Westminster could implement it. The Tories have already indicated they are in favour of it and if the UUP-Tory link up produces some MP`s for them and Trimble in Government..then who knows. Like I said it would likely be weighted majority voting to ensure equality whilst avoiding the deadlock we presently have.
    Posted by Kilsally on Jan 21, 2010 @ 09:19 PM

    right right, so in the end the DUP have kept the best hand till last, that is some great foresight, nat are truly F’ed

  • A estminster election will also sort out the DUP, UUP and TUV and I would predict the TUV getting nowhere with nobody elected but taking enough votes of the DUP to give seats to the UUP-Tories.

  • Alf – I`m just saying collapsing the Assembly might not prove fruitful for Sinn Fein in the slightest…it could infact lead up roads they don`t want to see it lead.

  • alan56

    The problem about going for an election now is that neither SF or DUP can be certain how their electorate will react. The result could well be back to the same DUP/SF coalition. What then?

  • alf

    As stated the nat electorate are happy with JA for a time, which will leave SF/SDLP under no pressure (electorate are well use to direct rule so id suggest they could stomach JA)

    But can unionists handle JA ?

  • alan56

    I think that all the talk of Joint Authority is a bit disingenuous. It will be Direct Rule, especially given that there will probably be a Tory government.

  • Cynic2

    If the SF don’t want to negotiate they don’t want to do politics. So fine. Where does that leave them. Let’s see. With NI run by a Tory Government from London in consultation with an Irish Government in Dublin that has not time for them? With all matters debated in a UK Parliament they don’t attend but Unionists do?

    Sounds a great recipe for NI Conservatives and Unionists. Even the DUPs with so many MPs may feel very comfortable

    So bring it on. Backed up, perhaps, by a few more investigations into the tasty little sidelines that has funded the lifestyles and Donegal houses of certain individuals in the movement that preaches ‘you cant be a criminal and a republican’.

    And perhaps a re-examination of all those sex abuse cases and who acted as the Bishop covering them up and getting members of the movement off to other ‘parishes’ when their behaviour became just too obvious.

  • cynic – my point exactly – Unionists are not quaking in their boots about direct rule by a Tory government in Westminster with UUP & DUP MP`s. A hung parliament would suit fine and some UUP Ministers serving in the Tory cabinet?

  • alf

    [play the ball – edited moderator]

  • Scaramoosh

    “I`m just saying collapsing the Assembly might not prove fruitful for Sinn Fein in the slightest…it could infact lead up roads they don`t want to see it lead.”

    Are you talking, like, unapproved roads there… 🙂

    The Assembly as it currently is, whilst being the product of the bestest best peace process that the world has ever known (at least in the minds of the former IRA leadership), is nothing more than a charade; a sticking plaster; a blind alley.

    The Shinners will not lose support if they crash it, and they know full well, that whatever comes next, and whoever is in government, they are going to have to engage with them.

    Politics to Sinn Fein is a new phase in the long war, a way of allowing middle aged, balding fat men, who once ran around in the border fields, to put their feet up, whilst the much vaunted United Ireland comes slowly dripping down.

    The end game for the Shinners is always the same, whether it takes fifty or one hundred years. For the DUP the whole process is just akin to putting a sticking plaster over a cut that will never stop bleeding.

  • alf

    Some uup ministers ? jesus

  • Comrade Stalin

    alf:

    Comrade nationalists will likely get more out of JA than they ever have out of unionists !

    Like what ? List all the things that nationalists got between 1985 and 1998, the period that the Anglo Irish Agreement was in force.

    Also more dublin interference which is always fun

    You think it will be “fun” for a government to be able to make decisions without ever having to answer to an electorate ?

    In the end it comes down to the election, which I doubt SF fear

    SF aren’t afraid that the electorate may not think too highly of their efforts to cover up child abusers ?

    Kilsally:

    Crash the Assembly and a Tory government might just look into weighted majority voting voluntary coalition particularly since a `review of the institutions` was built into GFA / SAA.

    While the Tories are less likely to accomodate SF, I simply don’t see them participating in a move to exclude what will likely be the largest party in NI from power. Sadly, we are not ready for voluntary coalition until the day when SF are.

    Scaramoosh:

    The Shinners will not lose support if they crash it, and they know full well, that whatever comes next, and whoever is in government, they are going to have to engage with them.

    How can you engage with people who disengage from the political process, which is what SF are going to do if they withdraw from the assembly ?

    Direct rule will be government by consensus. Decisions will either be based on the path with most consensus, or bad medicine for all, as the government will not want to be seen to be taking sides.

    Politics to Sinn Fein is a new phase in the long war, a way of allowing middle aged, balding fat men, who once ran around in the border fields, to put their feet up, whilst the much vaunted United Ireland comes slowly dripping down.

    How do we get from where we are now to a united Ireland ? What do we do in the meantime ?

    The end game for the Shinners is always the same, whether it takes fifty or one hundred years.

    If 50 or 100 years of direct rule are preferable to SF than devolved government, then what the hell have we been wasting our time doing for the past ten ?

  • wje

    In all of this there is a bigger picture which both SF and DUP can see. Its what is coming down the tracks later this year and in 2011. Both Labour and Tories have indicated public spending cuts of around 10% in the aftermath of the general election. That will be followed in 2011 by further public expenditure cuts.

    Those cuts will impact quite heavily here. Even though the budget will be set in Westminster, it will be the local parties and the local ministers at Stormont who will get the blame when the axe falls even further on health, education, housing, social care, job creation, etc.

    Both, if not all, the parties would be privately glad to see a suspension of Stormont for a period of 3-4 years so they can avoid that blame.

    All that’s going on now is that they’re seeking ways to get out of Stormont, while simultaneously pretending to their respective constituencies that they “really” want to stay as they try to find a way to blame the other side.

  • heamaisbharney

    “Is SF being let down by Mary Lou – again” “Is Martin not negociating?” Marconite.

    Yes, and maybe Martin does not want to be linked to failue.

    “Just what does Adams see in her that the rest if us don’t?” Marconite,
    There are a lot of people wondering about that.

    “Because she’s easy on the eye” tacapall,
    Should have went to spec savers.

  • Cynic2

    “The end game for the Shinners is always the same, whether it takes fifty or one hundred years. ”

    …..that’s the same mantra as religion ….one day we will all be in Heaven but god knows when. So if that makes people happy, it’s fine by me.

  • Comrade Stalin

    wje,

    Both, if not all, the parties would be privately glad to see a suspension of Stormont for a period of 3-4 years so they can avoid that blame.

    Do you think we, the electorate, should facilitate them in their avoidance of administrative responsibility ?

    I do not accept that a significant cut in funding from Westminster means that front line services need to be cut here.

  • Driftwood

    There can be no ‘Joint Authority’ unless the majority of people in NI agree to it. Direct rule from Westminster (and only Westminster)is the only ‘plan B’.
    It would be inconceivable, even under a Tory/unionist government, that Dublin would be frozen out completely. And quite frankly, Unionism needs them there in an advisory capacity at least. Discrimination (on sectarian grounds) will never be a feature here for the forseeable future.
    Whatever happens, and i’m more in favour of giving more power to local councils than a non functioning wee pretendy assembly. With absurd delusions of grandeur- ‘Ministers’ etc. George Osborne and Mervyn King will affect our lives more than any of our parochial kings and queens.
    So it goes..

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood,

    Gawd, not more of your imaginary crap.

    There can be no ‘Joint Authority’ unless the majority of people in NI agree to it.

    Did the majority of people in NI agree to the Anglo Irish Agreement, you know, the one enacted by a woman who declared NI “as British as Finchley” ? Strangely enough, my recollection is somewhat different.

  • Driftwood

    Comrade
    How can Northern Ireland be removed from the United Kingdom without a referendum declaring otherwise?
    Re: the Anglo Irish Agreement, sovereignty never was a factor as far as I recall. Maybe you can tell me different though. When did HMG reliquish authority here to a foreign state, other than advisory?
    Maybe I’m wrong and Brian Lenihan can overturn any decisions George Osborne makes in the budget regarding this UK region. Evidence?
    We are run from London. They are the piper.
    You wishing it wasn’t so doesn’t make it so. Even if you pray the Alliance leader John Alderdice (or whoever it is now) gets a pseudo-ministry, it’s merely a filling. That’s their purpose.

  • tacapall

    #

    Joint Authority would do the Nationalist people just fine

    Tell me what you think you’ll get from JA.

    Nationalists want “Equality” in government it matters not who’s in government.

    Nationalists already have equality in government. Like the DUP, they have a mutual veto.

    What nationalists don’t have is unionist assent to the Sinn Fein shopping list. I’d genuinely like to understand why you think JA will change this.
    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 21, 2010 @ 08:41 PM

    Tell me comrade just what is this shopping list ? and as to the matter of Equality, I’ve already had a discussion about that on other threads with yourself. You know my opinions on that ! Joint authority will give Nationalist an actual identity in their own country, a feeling of belonging to the state, an allegiance to this part of Ireland, something we could never give at present. Heres the evidence of your idea of equality.

    If the Shinners pull the plug then I don`t expect an Assembly back anytime soon unless it is voluntary coalition with weighted majority which would be good.
    Posted by Kilsally on Jan 21, 2010 @ 09:03 PM

    Yeah in a divided society ! majority rule is the best method of government, please wake up and come into the 21st century, I do not want to take your British identity or your way of life, your culture, your traditions, away from you, all we ask is that you, “Unionists” afford the exact same rights to “Nationalists” and govern equally for all the people of this “area”.

  • wje

    Comrade
    How can Northern Ireland be removed from the United Kingdom without a referendum declaring otherwise?
    Posted by Driftwood on Jan 22, 2010 @ 12:28 AM

    What about a referendum in England, Scotland and Wales to see what people there think? After all, tthe South had one on abandoning their claim over the Six!

  • danielmoran

    Scaramouch 11. Whatever about the shinners past failings in dealing with DUP stalling etc, I believe their firm stance this week will see them eat further into SDLP vote share and, if at the election[s] upcoming, they come out with the highest vote due to unionists failing to agree candidates, that will further encourage nats in greater numbers to vote for them. Result, stormont closes down for good. I look forward to that.

  • Ulick

    “We’ve had a team of negotiators sitting around all day waiting to talk to Sinn Fein about the outstanding issues and they have not been here,” she said.

    Adams responds on his Blog

    “This Blog had told Peter Robinson late the evening before that that phase of our discussions was over…

    …they told as they couldn’t do any business on the Sabbath – the very day they were busy on unionist unity business.”

  • danielmoran

    Ulick. So, arlene foster caught telling porkies on TV about hanging round all day. Is P. Robinson not speaking to her any more? He was told the night before where SF would be on the day in question. Spuriouser and spuriouser.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood, who said anything about NI being removed from the UK ? You completely pulled that our of your arse and then built a strawman out of it.