They think it’s all over, it’s not quite…

JUST watched Gerry Adams’ presser after Sinn Fein’s ard chomairle on News 24, in which the SF leader said Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson should meet urgently. Martin, he said, would have a “very specific brief”, suggesting things won’t be allowed to drag out much longer. “It will be a critical and defining engagement,” he said.

However, his call for the British and Irish governments to act as guarantors, rather than referees, suggests that even failure at this meeting won’t be the end of matters. I would think the prospect of hothouse (all-party?) talks involving the governments later makes it less likely for any SF-DUP talks to succeed beforehand. Perhaps of more concern is Adams hint that if policing and justice powers are not devolved, the political institutions as they stand “beome pointless and unsustainable”.

Adams’ full statement below the fold.Adams statement:

The Ard Chomhairle has been meeting throughout the day and Martin McGuinness and I have been briefing colleagues on the detail of the recent discussions with the DUP.

It would have been our hope when the Ard Comhairle was originally put back two weeks ago that we would have had something positive in terms of a resolution of current difficulties to put to this meeting. Unfortunately we are not in that position despite my very firm view that with the necessary political will all of these matters could and should have been sorted out before now.

Within three months of the St Andrews Agreement, Sinn Féin had held an Ard Fheis on policing and had fulfilled our obligations.

That was three years ago and we are waiting on the DUP to honour theirs.

The failure thus far by the DUP to honour this St. Andrews obligation is symptomatic of a much bigger problem – their refusal to work partnership government, and in particular to work the office of OFM/dFM properly.

The only agreement worth reaching is one which deals with this core issue. The political institutions can work and can deliver – but only if they function on the basis they were established. They are not sustainable otherwise.

Equality and partnership are central to all of this.

Our negotiating team has been given a very specific brief. Martin McGuinness will be seeking an urgent meeting with Peter Robinson.
This will be a critical and defining engagement.

The two Governments have been in touch with us last night.
The Governments, who are the guarantors of the St Andrews and Good Friday Agreements, are also in default in outstanding issues. Particularly equality issues like Irish language rights and North/South structures.

The governments need to set a date for transfer now.

Martin spoke to the British Prime Minister and to a senior official in the Taoiseach’s Department. But let me say, the governments are not referees in this; they are guarantors with responsibilities and obligations. We will of course meet them but it is in the context of them coming forward with a date.

Much of the commentary around this issue has been characterized by talk of Sinn Fein collapsing, or forcing an election. This is not about Sinn Fein hyping things up. This is not a game of poker. If the institutions are not working and not delivering – then they become pointless and unsustainable. What we are about is fixing the problems and returning to the basis upon which these institutions were established – Good Friday Agreement and St Andrews Agreement.

If that is not possible then no self respecting public representative or political party would want to be part of what would be nothing less than a charade.”

  • Quagmire

    Mc Guinness will hit Robbo with an ultimatum, knowing fine well that Robbo won’t/can’t budge, hence illustrating to the wider public that SF have exhausted all avenues only to be undone once more by unionist intransigence. They will then at that point walk and the blame game will begin. For me SF have done all they can to make this work. After all this time it comes down to the orange card again and getting orange feet on the Garvaghy Road. Speaks volumes for where the DUP are at. Blame should squarely be apportioned to the DUP and their negative, bigoted, sectarian politics that they espouse.

  • Cynic2

    Apart from the sickening tone of self righteousness and the attempt by Grizzly to blame everyone but his own Party, this is actually quite positive.

    In the changing circumstances brought about by the possibility of some form of Unionist internal rapprochement (in whatever form), the Shinners seemed to have blinked. That’s actually to everyone’s advantage. So let’s applaud the common-sense and hope that we can now get the talks back underway on a sensible basis.

    That, of course, is not necessarily the model that Gerry is suggesting but this is better than a walkout and in a far better place than we might have expected just 10 days ago.

  • pacman

    So, once again the Shinners demonstrate that they haven’t the balls to collapse the whole charade.

    The Dupers have them exactly where they want them (again).

  • Henry94

    Who would miss the institutions? And if nobody would they probably should go. Perhaps the next generation of political leaders might consider reviving them in about a decade assuming they can share power and not just office.

    Meanwhile let the two governments deliver on the rest of the Agreement.

  • Cynic2

    “For me SF have done all they can to make this work”

    …. and what precisely, apart from shouting “I want, I want, Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee and No No No”, was it that they did to further the process and make this work?

    In all those days up in OFMDFM praying with Papa Doc, did some of the old firebrand’s past tactics rub off on Marty? Have SF become to the 21st century what the DUP was to the 20th?

  • Harry J

    sinn fein have bottled it, in jsut over a week Peter Robinson has vrtually destroyed the UUP/Tory alliance and also called SFs bluff

    Well done peter!

  • Kevsterino

    Cynic2, do you truly believe that SF have done nothing to make this work or is that just flippant rhetoric?

  • Henry94

    Harry J

    He does look to be the big winner in the short-term political game. If Sinn Fein don’t pull the plug now he will have effectively made them into a joke.

    Making a threat you are not willing to carry out is very foolish. I assume they are not that stupid.

  • Scaramoosh

    Listen, this is the best, best, bestest peace process in the whole wild world; if it wasn’t for it, innocent catholic policemen would be getting blown up by terrorist elements…What, it’s not, and they are …..

  • Ingram

    Greetings,

    I cannot envisage HMG allowing this situation too fester for too long, they will bring both parties to an agreement or at very least a deal that will last long enough to get them ( Labour) to the other side of the UK general election.

    Maneuvering SF is not the problem,they are under control. The party can hold a ard chomairle every weekend in Dublin it makes no real difference. The real decisions are not taken by the general party members, they just think they do ?.

    It is the DUP who are the problem .They do seem think the Grass is Greener ( No pun intended) on the other side of the fence at the moment . That is to be expected so close to a UK general election that Labour are unlikely to retain power once the election and post election horse trading are behind us.

    A political Vacuum is a dangerous environment,the outcome within unionism or indeed the UK general election is not certain. What is vital though is Gerry and Martin remain at the helm of Sinn Fein for the forseeable future. That is certainly HMG policy whether you are Orange,Blue or Red.

    Interesting times for all sections of the communities North and South in the coming months.

    Ding Ding

  • Framer

    Yawn.

    And Peter didn’t undo UCUNF it was the Tory candidates who could not cope with the UUP doing what it would always do. Be Unionist.

  • alf

    In all those days up in OFMDFM praying with Papa Doc, did some of the old firebrand’s past tactics rub off on Marty? Have SF become to the 21st century what the DUP was to the 20th?
    Posted by Cynic2 on Jan 23, 2010 @ 03:48 PM

    what are you on about ?

  • Cynic2

    Sadly, its not a flippant remark but a reasoned judgement and one I take little pleasure in.

    I am far from a DUP supporter but think there is some truth in what the DUP have said. Dont forget the 18 month boycott of Executive business, the appalling handling of Education where the Minister cant cope and wont listen, foolish remakes re crime investigations in South Armagh, etc, etc.

    Saying ‘this is my position, do this or the deal’s off’ is not negotiation on either side. We need them all to get real and negotiate. that means trading, winning and losing and getting agreement. I don’t see any sign of that on either side. I blame SF for part of that.

    So perhaps this move by SF is positive if its not just a crude ploy to lay off the blame for a collapse.

    Clearly its driven by political self interest but there is some hope in this and we need to see how serious they are.

    If Gerry’s statement is absolutely literal (and when have they ever been in the past) then there may be little hope. The tone is whining and full of MOPERY where he even blames the irish Government for failure to get an agreement. What exactly did he want them to do?

    The reality is that for 18 months the DUP have turned SFs own negotiation style back on them to hue effect. The SF strategy was then to collapse the Executive, blame it on the DUP and hope to emerge as largest single party in new elections. With the possibility of some sort of pact between the Unionists (no matter how loose) that looks very risky. So they are falling back, looking for time to assess what they can do and trying to avoid blame.

  • Harry J

    And Peter didn’t undo UCUNF it was the Tory candidates who could not cope with the UUP doing what it would always do……….

    really?

    this is Deidre Nelsons facebook:
    DUP have no intention of a unionist pact. They don’t play nice with the other children (tend to just beat them up) and they’re trying to take over the UUP by pretending they’re not the playground bully.

  • Cynic2

    Alf

    History 1,1

    In the 1980’s and 90s the DUP were famous for intransigence and the slogan ‘No, No, No’ to everything. That now seems to be the SF stance.

  • Paul

    It seems the sinners are running around like headless chickens not knowing what to do the trouble is they have being threatening to wreck the assembly for weeks if they didn’t get there way. Now they the sinners want urgent talks.Yet yesterday they the sinners said that talks had being concluded because they had run away frim them a sign of weakness if you ask me.Let them the sinners wreck the assembly they are weak and have being wrong footed and out maneuvered.

  • Sounds to me as if Brown has asked for a bit of slack.

  • Paul

    #

    Sounds to me as if Brown has asked for a bit of slack.
    Posted by malachi on Jan 23, 2010 @ 04:38 PM

    I don’t think the governments should get involved.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Wonder if the talk of unionist unity (including speculation of DUP and UUP backing for Tories in a hung parliament) will influence Brown’s attitude in the coming days…

  • Jaggers

    The British Labour Party got some decent mileage from the Conservative tie-up in the European Parliament with the European Conservatives and Reformists, which has as members some very unsavoury parties particularly from former Warsaw Pact countries. Surely the recent machinations by Owen Partisan have not gone unnoticed by Shaun Woodward and what remains of the Labour party in Northern Ireland. A tie-up between the Conservatives and DUP, whether directly or vicariously through the UCUNF, will surely be trumpeted by the Labour party on the mainland – I can see it now, “Look behind the veneer of what they claim is reformed compassionate Conservatism and you’ll find climate-change-denying, homophobic, bigots who believe the world was created 6000 years ago”. And if the local Labour party are slow at realising the value of Owen Partisan’s recent actions, then no doubt there are other media-savvy parties that will remedy that deficiency.
    And of course if SF do collapse the Executive, the Labour party will have every right to depart from it’s bi-partisan approach to Northern Ireland and blame the Tories and Owen Partisan for trying to wreck one of Labour’s crowning glories. Same old Tory party as 1997, same old policies which maintain a rotten state.

  • alf

    Alf

    History 1,1

    In the 1980’s and 90s the DUP were famous for intransigence and the slogan ‘No, No, No’ to everything. That now seems to be the SF stance.
    Posted by Cynic2 on Jan 23, 2010 @ 04:17 PM

    haha, you 2 are hilarious, i read your comments and laugh out loud

  • Pete Baker

    “The failure thus far by the DUP to honour this St. Andrews obligation..”

    And what “obligation” would that be, again, Gerry?

    “The governments need to set a date for transfer now.”

    That would be a consititutional nonsense.

    As for your party’s Ard Fheis Ard Chomairle decision on policing, that enabled the restoration of the Assembly in 2007.

    Remember?

    *cuckoo* *cuckoo*

  • alf

    At least try and be objective pete eh ?, the anger is hanging out of ya, suppose they must be doing something write then, ill not quote yoda though

  • Kevsterino

    Cynic,
    We will have to disagree that Sinn Fein has done nothing to make the new dispensation work. Please consider how far the SF leadership has taken their constituency from their previous position. I see them taking repeated risks, selling the agreement to their people and can point to several acts of good authority. They are flawed, of course, in that some folks can’t see beyond the past activities of most of their leaders. But there really isn’t anything they can do about that.

    The SDLP are now leaderless, the DUP leadership in serious trouble, the UUP appears to be abdicating their leadership to London.

    Maybe it is time to get a whole new batch of politicians. Disqualify anyone who held political office before and find folks who want to make the thing work, or be ruled from afar for the rest of their lives.

  • alf

    Hatred is one long wait. ~René Maran

  • percy

    patience, understanding .. not resentment

  • Driftwood

    the UUP appears to be abdicating their leadership to London.
    Kevsterino

    Sounds good to me.
    That’s our capital city, the centre of power, why would that be a bad thing?

  • tacapall

    Why dont the DUP and Sinn Fein publish what their definations of what the “Outstanding Issues” are, let the public decide who’s stonewalling or who’s just playing a game. To me as a republican it seems Sinn Fein is nearly getting on its knees now, begging the DUP for a bit more rope. They should throw the towel in now and admit its pointless.

  • Cynic2

    Jaggers

    ” a tie-up between the Conservatives and DUP”

    Except that Patterson has made it very clear that that is not on offer.

    But then of course you go on to suggest that this is part of a deliberate plot to destroy power sharing. So I assume that fact and logic aren’t really your forte? Have you caught a dose of the Shinners disease.? Next it will be the Securocrats, British Government, Irish Government and NI Civil Service’s fault. And if you think that’s far fetched have a look at the Great Leaders statement today and blog yesterday. Double portions of MOPEry all around.

    Apparently, however, we should all be grateful that none of the blame should attach to the Shinners even though we know from recent stories in the Tribune that engagement, showing empathy and counselling arent really their forte.

  • joeCanuck

    That would be a constitutional nonsense.

    Indeed, Pete.
    But that was predicated, I believe, on the existence of a devolved Assembly.
    Under Direct Rule (JA?) the Government can/will do as they think fit.

  • Paul

    The trouble is the sinners talked up all of this now it all backfiring on them

  • Comrade Stalin

    We will have to disagree that Sinn Fein has done nothing to make the new dispensation work. Please consider how far the SF leadership has taken their constituency from their previous position. I see them taking repeated risks, selling the agreement to their people and can point to several acts of good authority. They are flawed, of course, in that some folks can’t see beyond the past activities of most of their leaders. But there really isn’t anything they can do about that.

    Kevsterino, I’m not clear about what you’re trying to persuade us of. If Sinn Fein expected something in return for the concessions it gave, then why didn’t it enter a binding agreement with the DUP ? What you’re really saying here is that SF are crap negotiators in a weak position.

    Maybe it is time to get a whole new batch of politicians.

    Agreed.

    Disqualify anyone who held political office before and find folks who want to make the thing work, or be ruled from afar for the rest of their lives.

    Nope, I disagree. I think people should get the government they elect.

  • Paul

    I don’t think there will be an election to me its pointless the problems will still be there.Suspension I think will happen

  • Kevsterino

    Comrade, I was merely pointing out how far SF have moved in order to get the current system up and running.

    These arrangements can only make sense in an environment of shared power and responsibility. Can you point out any actions by the DUP or UUP leadership to make room for a republican presence in government? Or to persuade their constituents that sharing power with republicans was a good idea?

    Cynic made his point that SF have done nothing to make the GFA/SAA work. I was just offering my opinion that they had probably done more than any other party to move their constituents to a position where it could work. Nothing more.

  • Cynic2

    Let me be clear. I think threat SF have gone a long way to bring their community forward and I respect them for that – especially Maguinness and Adams. Along the way they have abandoned a number of cherished ideals and concepts. The Unionists have also had to eat humble pie and swallow many changes (often unwillingly).

    My point was that in the final stages of negotiations – say that last 2 years – that process has reversed. That may be because they have met tougher negotiators for the first time and have no longer been so able to rely on London and Dublin to smooth their path despite our beloved PMs attempts to grease that path with large amounts of money

  • Cynic2

    ” Suspension I think will happen ”

    There is no power to suspend. It would require an Act of Parliament in London

  • Comrade Stalin

    SF have indeed moved far, and taken risks, often putting themselves in danger. I fully accept that.

    But there was no need for them to do this without being clear about what they would get in return. You’d think they would know this, having shafted the UUP over decommissioning in similar circumstances.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Er, isn’t there already the Mandelson legislation to allow suspension ? That was used when Trimble resigned in very similar circumstances ?

  • Paul

    #

    ” Suspension I think will happen “

    There is no power to suspend. It would require an Act of Parliament in London
    Posted by Cynic2 on Jan 23, 2010 @ 05:59 PM

    I am aware of that and I think steps will be taken if need be to avoid the collapse of the assembly.

  • alf

    My point was that in the final stages of negotiations – say that last 2 years – that process has reversed. That may be because they have met tougher negotiators for the first time and have no longer been so able to rely on London and Dublin to smooth their path despite our beloved PMs attempts to grease that path with large amounts of money

    Posted by Cynic2 on Jan 23, 2010 @ 05:58 PM

    You seem to throw out these worthless statements without thought or back up to your argument, Point these reversals out pls, in the end it is the implementation of GFA/STA that we are dealing with and and involved inc London/Dublin want progressed, and both have stated this, I fail to see the outcry amoungst moderate/level headed unionism against this devolution which a single party is stone walling.

    So reversals where are they ?

  • The Impartial Observer

    Comrade, IIRC that legislation was repealed as part of the legislative changes that morphed the GFA into the St.AA. However it could be dusted down and put back through Westminster in a day or so if needed.

  • Harry J

    I fail to see the outcry amoungst moderate/level headed unionism against this devolution which a single party is stone walling.,,,

    the dup arent willing to devolve at the moment,, neither are the UUP and teh TUV , well you ve got no chance. So i would say 99% of unionist opionion is against it at the moment

  • Marcionite

    According to Eamonn Mallie in Twitter
    Tory/Unionist story so intriguing! All hell to break loose! Will run and run! Stay in touch on Slugger O Toole – Monday. about 2 hours ago

    what kind of hell is he teasing us with?

  • Marcionite

    If there is a monolithic unionist party, will the god bothering wing win the internal power struggle or the secular wing? Remember, to give the UUP their due, they must be doing something right when they are attracting high calibre RC members and candidates but would those people really stay if the anti Catholic DUP form a sizeable chunk if the new party?

    The UCUNF link makes sense from a right wing point of view but any deal with the DUP is just an exercise is maximising the returns based on a sectrarian headcount

    if any Tory MP uttered the bigotry that seems the de rigeur of the DUP they would be deselected.

  • danielmoran

    Comrade stalin. msg 13. As far as i know, CS, the suspension facility was removed at SAA talks after the mandelson stunt so SF could control things in their own time and how they want it. I wonder if all the talk was nothing more than a DUP bluff to dissuade SF from calling the election, because I don’t think DUP/UUP would have been able to organise the link up in the time available, and would encounter opposition with old feuds going back decades between the parties. Perhaps they thought a lot of meetings and talk would convince SF the pact was inevitable. And unionist voters who are stay at home types now, won’t change their habits just for these discredited parties

  • Garza

    If a UUP/DUP pact is formed anyone fancy starting up a new, secular, non-secretarian, progressive unionist party lol?

  • danielmoran

    Garza 21. I thought the idea of the UUP/DUP link up was to deprive unionist voters of choice at the election[s], [fancy democrats doing that, lol] But the problem with that is those unionist voters who may resent being herded like sheep might just either stay at home to sabotage what they see as a sectarian carve up. They have the TUV as an option even if they would normally vote for them. SF could still come out on top in assembly election especially if SDLP voters lend SF their votes just this time to sabotage the carve up.

  • Cynic2

    Dear Alf

    You seem to have a inside track on what exactly was in the STA. Please tell us in detail including teh secret side deals and assurances that appear to form part of it but were never published.

    In terms of the devolution of P&J (which I happen to think should be done) the reality is that SF lied to their electorate when they claimed there was a firm date. There wasn’t. SF failed to tie down the DUP.

    So far as I understand it, SF also have a shopping list of things they want done ranging from education though the Maze Shrine to Murderers to the Irish Language. Great. Lets all talk about it.
    But SF then say…all of this is non-negotiable . It not only must be done but it must be done exactly as we prescribe and in no other way. No consultation, no negotiation, nothing. Our way or no way. Gerry says no!

    Would you , as the other party, accept that if you hadn’t signed up to the fine print and detail? Why should Unionists? And when other voices are raised the answer is ‘no no no’.

  • Paul

    hich a single party is stone walling.

    So reversals where are they ?

    The only party playing games is Sinn fein who just happen to pluck a date out of the air. The sinners then talked up a crisis which they and they alone are responsible for because they cant get they own way.So if every time there’s something the sinners want and don’t get they then can threatened to wreck the assembly every time they don’t get there own way.Well tough.The blame for this is clearly the Sinners

  • Paul

    no you and jeff peel on your own lol

  • Kevsterino

    I don’t believe the blame is at all clear nor with a single party.

    As for whether Sinn Fein can bring the government down when they don’t get their way, evidently they can do just that. So can the DUP, by the way.

    Whether or not it is advisable for them to do so appears to be the providence of their opposite partner (not to be confused with an opposition, damn this system is cryptic).

    In other words, the only way it can work is for the largest unionist party and the largest nationalist party to make room for one another in government.

    Can it work?

  • Dazzler

    Cynic2. Sinn Fein should not accept anything less than what was signed up to in the GFA and SAA. Why should they. Both governments have signed up to it. The UUP and DUP also agreed to it.

  • danielmoran

    This election season could be the coup de grace that finally holes the SDLP below the waterline [and on the eve of their 40th birthday too], as SF hoover up their voters,
    After all SF are going to get credit from nats voters for not ceding on parades, in spite of all the predictions on forums like this, that they would. No ground has been lost this week to DUP, and SDLP haven’t exactly hogged the media this week.

  • heamaisbharney

    “After all SF are going to get credit from nats voters for not ceding on parades,”

    I wonder how big an issue that is outside the areas in question?

  • alan56

    Wonder what next for Lady Sylvia after today’s executive meeting?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Let’s recap shall we:

    1. Unionism is led by a man whose developer friends gave his wife large wads of undisclosed and unexplained cash.

    2. Nationalism is led by a man who instructed child abuse victims not to report this abuse to the authorities.

    3. It is vital that these people are put in charge of the police as soon as possible.

    Is that a fair summary?

  • Alias

    “Er, isn’t there already the Mandelson legislation to allow suspension ? That was used when Trimble resigned in very similar circumstances ?” -Comrade Stalin

    Actually, that suspension placed the UK in abrogation of a treaty – the British Irish Agreement – being without the consent of the Irish government, so that makes a nonsense of Mr Adams’ demand the Irish government act as a guarantor. In theory, a treaty between two sovereign states in binding under international law. In practice, as we saw, one party to that treaty may abrogate its duties under it without legal consequences.

  • Stewart

    ‘I wonder how big an issue that is outside the areas in question?’

    I think it is a big issue within Nationalism. Few will have forgotten the UVF & UDA on Drumcree hill or sectarian behaviour of marchers on the Ormeau Road.

  • granni trixie

    For the record:It was not just marchers who demonstrated sectarian behaviour on the Ormeau RD (come to think of it, or in Drumcree).

  • John O’Connell

    Jimmy

    Strange but true.

  • New Yorker

    If there is no firm date of implementation in the Agreement, then it is the fault of those who should have made it part of the Agreement. If there was a firm date, the debate of the last several months would have been unnecessary. To collapse Stormont because you failed to get a firm date is to highlight your fault and incompetence to include a date of implementation which such agreements should contain.

    Jimmy Sands

    That is a very fair summary. It is insane to put political parties that are corrupt and possibly guilty of crimes in charge of police and justice. It is literally insane; yet that most important aspect seems to be largely left out of the debate.

  • heamaisbharney

    Where has the ‘crisis’ gone? Is it away looking for ‘product’?
    Can’t remember when I heard so much rubbish from politicians and I’ve heard a lot down the years.

    Stormont collapses, what changes? Nothing. Stormont survives, what changes? Nothing except fat salaries for the few continue as they play ‘minister’.

  • John O’Connell

    Does anyone get the sense that the real goal of each of these parties, DUP and SF, is to bring down the Assembly without being seen to be the one to blame?

    If that feeling is true, then there isn’t much future in power-sharing. Of course the only true power sharing can be between the Alliance Party as unionists and the SDLP as Nationalists. Involving SF, the UUP and DUP really just makes a nonsense out of it as they are against it at their core.

    We really just have to wait until things become so desperate that the parties of moderation rise to the top as of necessity. After a Rwanda, for example.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Maybe they just want the brits to put them up in a posh hotel for a week again.

  • alf

    It not only must be done but it must be done exactly as we prescribe and in no other way. No consultation, no negotiation, nothing. Our way or no way. Gerry says no!

    Would you , as the other party, accept that if you hadn’t signed up to the fine print and detail? Why should Unionists? And when other voices are raised the answer is ‘no no no’.

    Posted by Cynic2 on Jan 23, 2010 @ 06:49 PM

    No negotiation ? why would SF renegotiate, unless it was about a date and nothing else.

    Our way or no way. ? not quite, the agreement is done

  • granni trixie

    John O’C:except for an esssential difference which is that whilst it is likley that the SDLP are 100% nationalist, Alliance is not comprised of 100% ‘unonist’ – it is a hybrid party evolving in the particular circumstances of NI.

  • danielmoran

    John O’Connell. msg 13. That’s exactly it, JOC. You hit on it there. The DUP don’t want to go into an election while tied to shinners, and they’re happy to see it crash, as long as SF are blamed. SF are prepared to see the same, as long as DUP are blamed. The tricky part is, it’s only after you’ve done the deal that you can judge who the blame lies on. and then you can’t change it.

  • danielmoran

    That should have read
    ‘it’s only after you’ve done the deed’

  • Marcionite

    Perhaps Jimmy Sands has a bit of a point. Are some disputes and emnities just so intractable that they are beyond any reasonable attempt at reconciliation?

    GFA was probably historically inevitable and necessary. 12 years on, there is now a culture of nonviolently disagreeing and sulking which in itself is progress, but..

    We need good civic governance but we aren’t getting it for both SF/DUP grandstanding and more pointedly, lack of ministerial ability.

    Are the best people coming forward to politics? No. Do our electorate care? Largely not. Our elections are little more than psephological versions of a Celtic/Rangers match.

    The middle classes in NI boast at dinner parties about not being interested in politics. Where else in the western world would this happen? It seems our political system is merely the active manifestation of the sectarian working, under and agrarian classes ie a system which the largely nonsectarain middle class has opted out. It’s the chavs and the culchies who are slugging this out.

    It’s time the Emily’s and the Tomothies put their wine glasses
    down and joined in. Thier numbers would make a difference

  • John O’Connell

    granny trixie

    Alliance is a partty that reflects the true nature of unionism, that it is conflicted and divided to an extent but that it supports the union.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Hi ingram, of course you want martin mcguiness and gerry adams at the helm of sinn fein—

    “What is vital though is Gerry and Martin remain at the helm of Sinn Fein for the forseeable future. That is certainly HMG policy whether you are Orange,Blue or Red.Ding Ding

    Posted by Ingram on Jan 23, 2010 @ 04:07 PM”

    you are a self professed spy for hmg—so if you want them to stay…it’s all the reason in the world to get rid of them.

  • jack

    DUP influence within Gerry’s Ard comhairle!!!would you believe it.I have to salute you Gerry,masterly stroke well done.The DUP are now in a position to decide whether or not SF jump.

  • granni trixie

    John:Yes. Its official line is that it supports the status quo. But it is still all a question of definition as to what constitutes a “unionist party”. When you get round to grass roots supporters, I very much believe that many would describe themselves as “British-Irish” or Irish-British” as there is a lack of language available to people who aspire to get beyond the usual dictonomy. From one perspective, its a kind of catch-all party, in a positive sense, bearing in mind that political/cultural identities in Ni have assumed greater importance than in a “normal” society..

  • joeCanuck

    Lance Corporal “Ingrams” knows and knew nothing. He was a file clerk FCOL.

  • granni trixie

    JOhn: PS There are unionists and nationalists as well in APNI.

  • West Sider

    Expect the big lads to come in and knock heads together, as they have done in the past, and it’s so embarrassing that those people we elect can’t do a deal on their own.

    Grizzly is trying to make himself relevant, while Martin – the main power broker – stews in the shade, and Peter tries to ensure that Arlene’s tenure really is as temporary as he’d hoped.

    Meanwhile, the mentally ill will try to murder Irish people as a way of making their personal political statement. Reading a great book today: did you know that dissidents killed more Irish people on a single day (Omagh) than the Brits or the Provos or even the Loyalists managed?

    That’s quite a record.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Let the electorate give their opinion particularly on DUP milking expenses, Robinson shenanigans, and Unionist Unity (Jeremy Kyle as facilitator)

    And if the electorate decide to elect some TUV nut jobs, so be it.

    Light shown on TUV nutjobs is no bad thing.

  • jack

    Mick,stand by for more poo hitting the artificial wind making machine.Aine Tyrell has given Suzanne Breen another revealing interview.I believe that Peter Robinson’s control of the Ard Comhairle will be the least of GERRY’S problems.

  • Cynic2

    Alf

    ‘the deal was done’

    You appear to have an understanding problem so let me be clear. A deal was done to devolve. There was no deal on when. There was no deal on how. From the very day of the deal, the DUP clearly said ‘only when there is confidence’. The two Governments said they ‘hoped it would be done by May 2009’. SF didn’t query that until May 2009!

    Any deal was more of a pious half-baked hope. SF oversold it to their people. The DUPs out-negotiated them

  • heamaisbharney

    Jack
    what’s up? Did Gerry forget something important? Ms Tyrell must be happy enough with the Tribune’s handling of the story if there is more to cause worry for Adams.

    Any truth in the stories about people buying up the copies of the Tribune early on Sunday mornings from Newry to west Belfast? I wonder who tells Gerry what is in the Sunday papers seeing as he stopped reading them ten years ago. That’s going to be the most interesting part when he sues, the judge saying, “Mr Adams, how did you feel when you read the paper that Sunday morning?” “Eh, your worshipful master, I don’t read the Sunday papers, they only spoil a good Sunday morning and I’ prefer having a craic with yer man, yuh know?”

  • Alias

    “you are a self professed spy for hmg—-so if you want them to stay…it’s all the reason in the world to get rid of them.” -Kathy C

    Martin Ingram didn’t claim that it is his policy that the leadership of the Shinners remain in situ: he claimed it is the policy of the British government.

    He’s right. And he’s also right that it is Security Services who will decide when the time is right for Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to leave the helm of Shinners, and not the Shinner’s Ard Fheis – even though they will elect his replacement, it will whomever the Security Services move into position. They, of course, will be led to think that the timing and the replacement is entirely their choice.

    The Shinner’s Ard Fheis also thought that endorsing the police service would be their choice but the Ard Chomhairle did a slight of hand on behalf on the instructions of their handlers there too, didn’t they?

    “Lance Corporal “Ingrams” knows and knew nothing. He was a file clerk FCOL.” – joeCanuck

    I guess the existence, rank, and identity of Stakeknife was just a lucky guess then, eh? The significance of that one hasn’t quite dawned on the ‘republican’ muppets yet, but it means that the Security Services controlled the Shinners/PIRA for 23 years, with the poor witless fools having no means of detecting them within the ranks. The muppets being, of course, the ones who made the misguided sacrifices and not the ones who appointed Stakeknife and JJ Magee and kept him in place until he retired despite universal counter-intelligence practice being to rotate such management roles, i.e. Gerry and Martin.

    For someone making lucky guesses, it’s odd that he was able to direct the Stevens Inquiry to a heap of files they knew nothing about. Good with the old crystal ball?

  • jack

    Haemaisbharney,have just heard that delivery van carrying Sunday papers has been hijacked and burned at the border near near Newry.The ‘dissents’ will be held responsible for this too.

  • heamaisbharney

    I hope you’re joking! tell me you are joking or I’ll have to head for Dundalk or Carrick in the morning for my paper.

  • jack

    Haemais Put on yer fog lights an hit the road ..have ya far ta go ?

  • paul kielty

    Alias,

    What a load of crap.

    So these same security agencies/terrorist groups, TWICE overseen the near total annihilation of the entire british cabinet?

    Dream on!

    You will never be able to come to terms with the british inability to defeat the IRA. Stir whatever sh-t you want. The reality is there for all to see.

    Crawl back into the grassy knowl!!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Thanks for the correction WRT suspension.

    I’m actually opposed to suspension. The Northern Ireland electorate needs to understand that when it elects people, it is stuck with them.

  • heamaisbharney

    http://election.ie/2010/01/the-sunday-leads-230110/

    Seems you’re right Jack, about the article, whatever about the hijacking.
    Aine tyrell is saying she told Gerry about Liam working with youth more than once.

    “The piece continues with Tyrell saying that she never asked Adams to protect her anonymity and had asked him to address the fact that Liam Adams working on youth projects over and over again to no avail.”

  • heamaisbharney

    Aine Tyrell also castigates the PSNI for their failure over Liam Adams.

  • joeCanuck

    Alias,
    Bit strange but some of the language you have used above is virtually identical to that used by Ingram a couple of years ago when I challenged his bona fides.
    Does that mean that Alias = Ingram?