“in truth there’s the whiff of failure around Hillsborough Castle”

BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport queries the direction of the governments’ “pathway” and relates a “brief comic interlude” ahead of the press conference at Hillsborough. [Do we have the video? – Ed] Not yet… Adds It’s below the fold.

We were summoned into a room inside the castle not far from where Tony Blair once talked about the hand of history on his shoulder. But this was not to be a repeat performance. There was a brief comic interlude when Gerry Adams in shirt sleeves walked in by accident, not realising the press had assembled there. It was a little reminiscent of the moment when Cherie Blair went to open her front door the morning after becoming the wife of the prime minister.

Here’s that video clip. Sadly no audio…


Video courtesy of UTV

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  • joeCanuck

    The two Premiers need to set themselves up as “Final Arbitrators”.
    For those unfamiliar with the concept, The Final Arbitrator meets over a few days with parties in dispute. Then each Party sets out a paper giving their final position. The Final Arbitrator then accepts one of the positions in its entirety. No slitting the differences. The decision is legally binding.
    It’s not used that often but, in my experience since I have been involved in it, it has a wonderful effect of moving both parties close together because of the consequences of losing.

  • The Impartial Observer

    You could hear in Brown and Cowen’s voices just how exasperated and pissed off they were! The 48 hour deadline is just to enable them to get clear from the wreckage and probably for Brown to get the suspension legislation ready to go through Westminster on Friday.

    So who’s looking forward to direct rule?!

  • Jaggers

    Judging by the body language and indeed some of the spoken language, I’d guess SF’ll give it until Friday for talks, consult over the weekend and announce their resignation on Monday.

    As PR says about P&J, there’s no urgency among the general population. Equally there’s no urgency for the DUP and UUP to do a deal now and after all there’s no telling what dispensation was discussed by Owen Partisan last week. So the unionists will be easy about SF withdrawing.

    SF and to an extent the SDLP should be sticking it to both governments as guarantors of the Agreements and should be clamouring for the Irish govt, and perhaps even the Americans, to have a bigger role in what is likely to be another suspension.

    Non co-operation by either side in the Executive should carry consequences, and presently the consequences for unionism are limited. After all their philosophy is government by London as part of the union, so a suspension suits them more or less fine. Introduce a green hue into direct rule and that attitude might change.

  • VI Lurgan

    Again it seems that the people of Northern Ireland will be denied political stability by sectarian narrow-mindedness in that somehow a small, and increasingly smaller, issue such as a few loyal order parades is somehow more important that Education, Health, Transport and the Economy. Still not surprised to be let down again though.

  • RG Cuan

    What planet are the DUP on? (Sorry, we know the answer to that, one which is 6,000 years old…)

    And how can two governments allow a ridiculous OO-inspired demand regarding divisive parades bring the Assembly to its knees? SF have a right to be disappointed that GB and BC didn’t have the balls to ensure all parties fully implement St Andrew’s.

  • mayday

    It’s just as well Gerry A rolled up his sleeves. Where would be be do day if he hadn’t? Maybe I have missed something? – off course SF have the vision of bioptic bats. They can see a great future – darkness the same as in the past.

  • So what is it that the children cannot agree on?

    Are the religious bigots holding everyone to ransom? And getting well paid for everything which has produced nothing, and with expenses too for their pleasures, is a neat trick too.

    And 1.8 million buck eejits in the country paying them taxes and respect to squander too. Christ, it certainly beats working for a living, whenever all you have to do is talk nonsense and argue and try to turn the clock back rather than stepping forward in the Future with new ideas. Aye, it’s in a rare wee state indeed.

    And what is Biffo and Crash Gordon’s Master Plan, and why whenever we are always going to ask what are the problems, has everything been done behind closed doors in secret as if it was a big deal and only the chosen few could do anything about it, whenever quite clearly, they are pathetic at coming to an sensible understanding.

    Secrets and dirty little deals are the problem…. Transparency Rules the Roost Nowadays, so Embrace IT…. or we’ll be starting to think that y’all in the Big House are Severely Retarded and manic Depressive and most Unsuited to Executive Public Service.

  • Neil

    And how can two governments allow a ridiculous OO-inspired demand regarding divisive parades bring the Assembly to its knees?

    Good point, especially given that other parts of the UK ban parades they don’t like or want, such as in Scotland (due to the cost) and Wootton Bassett (due to the idea that drawing attention to the hundreds of thousands of Muslim civilians is offensive to the families of the 251 dead British servicemen).

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Ah if only “Northern Ireland” was ruled by bloggers……political anoraks who know how to sign up to “Word Press”, “MySpace”…whatever.

    What planet do bloggers live on is the real question.
    Self appointed intellectuals with “O” level politics who denounce local politicians for…….well for not being bloggers I suppose……and witter on about the electorate being deprived.

    The point is……these people were elected…….and at the next election 90% of them will be re-elected.
    Nothing will really change until the electorate is replaced by people who have an O level in Politics…….people like er Bloggers.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    So its our fault now? Don’t tell the mugs up in Hillsborough, they are desparaetly looking for some poor scapegoat to tie their sins onto and dispatch into the wilderness.

    Another ten years of discussions will do me nicely, no half baked ‘Ministers’, no salaries, and with any luck half these ding dongs will have been dragged off to prison or better still ‘shuffled off this moral coil’!

  • PACE Parent

    FitzjamesHorse

    It’s the flawed system that has to change. The Belfast Agreement (GFA) and SAA were voted for my this electorate. Given what is happening with education under the Stormont arrangement O-level politics is a qualification worth having. The question is – are the pupils now smarter than their masters?

  • Scaramoosh

    Better failure than cordite; at least nobody has died, and the clowns, can just go and get back to the circus

  • RobertEmmett

    whereas nationalists were thinking that Unionism had moved on, that times were different, in reality Unionist leaders are still stuck up on Drumcree Hill. The prospect of Unionism tolerating a Nationalist first minister is quantum leaps away…

  • Kevsterino

    Stormont falls and another 108 dysfunctionals are loosed on the streets.

  • Nordie Northsider

    Better failure than cordite; at least nobody has died…

    Not yet, Scaramoosh, but the dissidents will love this. You can almost hear the headline: ‘Northern Ireland state unreformabale, admit SF’.

  • Harry J

    issue such as a few loyal order parades is somehow more important that Education, Health, Transport and the Economy……….

    It is sinn fein who are walking away from the assembly and these issues not the DUP..

    IRA..I RAN AWAY , so true

  • The Raven

    “The point is……these people were elected…….and at the next election 90% of them will be re-elected.”

    Not by me. And probably only by one in ten of people that I would call friends or colleagues. There are alternatives. They may only amount to wasted votes, but as I say time and again, it is time for a very singular electoral message to be sent to (certainly in the first instance) two particular parties, and (following on from that) all of the Big Five.

    It’s over to all of you now.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    No Oscar……its no more your fault than anyone elses……..and no less your fault than anyone elses.
    Alas you and I are as much part of it as anyone else and all the sanctimonious “holier and cleverer than thou” clap trap that bloggers type onto their websites wont solve anything either.

    Maybe we should actually stand for election….but lets face it…….that takes a committment and hard work…….and no self respecting blogger would go down that road.
    Much better to sit in our jammies staring at the computer and sharing our half baked thoughts at 2.30am.
    Always hoping of course thats theres some poor sad anorak out there at 2.30am who actually thinks we are interesting.

  • heamaisbharney

    If the assembly falls what will we see different in the following days and weeks? Will anything change at grass roots level, anything at all?
    Will hospitals close? Will road works cease? Will agricultural problems get worse?

    A few wives will have their husbands under their feet more than usual and likewise a few husbands with their wives but otherwise?

  • The Raven

    “Maybe we should actually stand for election….but lets face it…….that takes a committment and hard work…….and no self respecting blogger would go down that road.”

    Utter shite, Fitzjames and you know it.

    “Oh hi there Ulster Unionist/DUP people! I’m a “let’s look at this United Ireland thing again” type Prod, who has very left-leaning environmental views, am death on developers, and certainly in favour of higher green taxes, while looking at re-distributing dormant and unused housing away from absent landlords and towards young families. I love my fellow Roman Catholic NI dwellers. I think we should expand local government, scale down Stormont, privatise many of its functions away from the control of politicians, and completely re-engage with the working classes that you have so completely ignored for 20 years. Which means a lot of you are going to have to go. Can I stand?”

    As one: “NO!”

    Ergo, big lad, no party machine, no support, and no chance. Have a harder wee look at just how some of these people get selected. Half the time, it’s because no other muppet put their name forward.

    When I am bored later, well before 2.30am, I’ll do an SF/SDLP skit. That’ll be £12.50, please.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    “Raven”……not overly impressed with potty talk.
    Alas you have only one vote and your similarly minded friends have one vote.
    And while only 10% apparently of your friends and colleagues who are no doubt almost as intelligent as you are….vote for the main parties……much more people do.
    Until they devise a scheme to attach more weight to the votes of intelligent people like you, your friends and of course me…..then we are doomed I say.

    Incidently dont believe that your friends are necessarily telling you the truth when you all gather round the water cooler. They might claim they are voting Green and Alliance…..but most people lie about it.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Would the orange order pay for luxury cruises for the poor souls that cannot put up with their ghastly marches and of course the security for their shenanigans.

    Failing that why not get the poor unfortunate british taxpayers to cough up yet again.

    Tunnels under or tempory fly overs all options.

    Conveyer belts with statuesque orange men.

    Orange men allowed to march so long as they hold hands with a good looking Sinn Féin member.

    Orange men contained in those giant ball like things and rolled down contentious roads (Well it would’nt be marching)

    Orange men in space ships with the invisable cloak thingy could be escorted well anywhere.

  • Cynic2

    Orange men allowed to march so long as they hold hands with a good looking Sinn Féin member.

    Oh what happy memories of days long gone

    http://www.portadownnews.com/06Jul01.htm

    Scroll half way down

  • joeCanuck

    Orange men allowed to march so long as they hold hands with a good looking Sinn Féin member.

    Are there Orange Women too or just dutiful wives who make the tea and buns at the fields since the Catholic nuns gave up that delightful sideline?

    On another note, is Iris’s young lover really a catholic? I’ve seen conflicting reports.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Thanks Cynic2

    Thats just my kind of humour.

    Thats the only way my mind can function.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Joe Canuck said

    “On another note, is Iris’s young lover really a catholic? I’ve seen conflicting reports”

    I don’t know but I doubt it as that would be a sin against the DUP and that would be quite serious.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    joeCanuck said

    “since the Catholic nuns gave up that delightful sideline?”

    You know you may have just stumbled upon where it all went wrong

    The catholic nuns were distributing Bromide infused tea with the desired effects.

    The catholic church had to have been doing some good some where !

  • heamaisbharney

    “…goodlooking Sinn Féin member.”
    Will we need another quango to advise on what exactly constitutes a “good looking Sinn Féin member.”? Will the DUP and SF agree on the definition? Will we need the premiers back againto decide on the issue? All these questions..

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    heamaisbharney said

    “3.“…goodlooking Sinn Féin member.”
    Will we need another quango to advise on what exactly constitutes a “good looking Sinn Féin member.”? Will the DUP and SF agree on the definition? Will we need the premiers back againto decide on the issue? All these questions”

    This might be a trifle more dificult that I had surmised.

    Brown and Cowen deciding a beauty contest !

  • joeCanuck

    Brown and Cowen deciding a beauty contest

    Thanks Panic for just ruining my supper. Back to the Uisce Beatha.

  • LabourNIman

    A whiff of failure? they must have strong noses on the hill as the rest of us have been smelling it for a few years now…

  • The Raven

    Fitzjames, the problem is that what they actually say at the watercooler is that they are voting for nobody. And that’s a bigger problem.

  • Cynic2

    Newton Emerson, where are you in our time of need. Will none of our daily papers start a new Portadown Times Supplement

  • georgieleigh

    The Shinners demanded P&J. No conditions.

    Robbo said we need cover on parades.

    Argy-bargy, enter browen.

    Brits tell DUPers to offer use of Irish in courts as a sweetener on parades as it’s coming in anyway via EU.

    Irish govt. also know this(!) and wise up Shinners.

    Exit Browen, making rapid distance from scene of failure.

    Marty tells Robbo its all over; Robbo says ‘ right ya be’

    Green-tinged direct rule it is lads.