Still on duty…

Peter Robinson says a deal can be done: He said:”It is perfectly possible if everybody was prepared to move that little bit further.” Conor Murphy says there is no deal. He said it has been “a defining day.””It shall have to be called soon.” He added.

Adds: The nastiness seems to be clearing. Adams said at a press conference this evening that he would not still be here if there was nothing on.

  • How do the expenses work out for you Eamonn?

    By my reckoning you should be there until Tuesday afernoon.

  • Greenflag

    When the DUP have to choose between a deal on P&J with SF and the OO not being permitted to march wherever they like in parts of Northern Ireland that would prefer they march elsewhere there will be no deal .

    The ‘orange card’ is being played for all it’s worth by Saulters and the OO . Robinson & Empey are both in hock to the Order .

    Saulters is looking more like the real First Minister to judge by this charade .

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Publishing journalists expenses is not necessary as they are obviously all “wholly necessarily and exclusively” in connexion with their job.

  • Mark McGregor

    Knock it on the head lads. Eamonn gave a lot of time to tweeting updates for free.

  • Kevsterino

    I imagine it is approaching closing time, negotiations-wise. I would like to personally thank all those who made it possible for me to follow events from where I sit.

    The Parades Commission would appear to be safe, for now. I still don’t understand why so many think that institution is a failure, all things considered.

    Who can say how much blood that body has kept off the streets? But it doesn’t appear to suit the bowler-brolly walkers. So it goes… (Vonnegut)

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Oh I agree Mark..but dontcha think that a headline “still on duty” is just a little over the top and crying out to be parodied or satirised.
    Journalism is not the fourth emergency service…is it?

  • iluvni

    Seems Sinn Fein prefer to keep rubbing the noses of the Orange Order in it over a few parades rather than getting the policing and justice deal they claim is so important to them.

  • Kevsterino

    #7
    Does Sinn Fein run the Parades Commission?

  • I’m sure Eamonn is not that precious.

  • cut the bull

    Is there any feedback on the TUV meeting in the Albertbridge Rd orange hall.
    Has Ulster been saved.

  • joeCanuck

    Eamonn,
    Tell us more about putting the queen down.

  • Mark McGregor

    cut the bull,

    follow @anguslambkin on twitter, he has been covering it live

  • John O’Connell

    No harm if they did, iluvni.

  • lamhdearg

    i wonder if it falls will they still get payed?

  • …shall we give Eamonn the evening off?

  • cut the bull

    Thanking you mark

  • lamhdearg

    according to gerry (radio ulster news 10pm)talk still on

  • Bad Billy

    Watching the DUP at Hillsbourgh this week I noticed that one of their big guns was missing namely Jeffery Donaldson. He was nowhere to be seen at the negotiations or on the media. I find this very strange as he is one of the DUPs top negotiators but has been replaced by lesser lights. The media has not even mentioned it or asked anyone from the DUP “Where’s Jeffery” He’s just vanished. The last DUP Politician who disappeared like this from public view was Iris Robinson. Jeffery Donaldson is one of the highest profile Politicians in Northern Ireland so why is the media so quiet on this?

  • Brenny

    Peter Robinson says….
    WTF,didn’t he stand down for 6 weeks?
    We all know the excuse, he planned to care for his wife, who is undergoing acute psychiatric treatment…blah-blah
    Doesn’t Iris need care anymore…?

    I wouldn’t be too shocked if there’s no deal…Does anybody imagine a DUP justice minister investigating the doggy deals of certain Hotel in Giants Causeway? Or dealing with the orange marches like the PSNI did in the WhiteRock 2005? Or a SF minister investigating the murders of R.McCartney,Paul Quinn…?

  • Davros

    I hear he’s at home watching DVDs

  • Bad Billy

    Has Jeffery Donaldson been dumped by the DUP? If so why? Perhaps Eamonn can shed some light on this.

  • Kevsterino

    Yeah, little Jeffrey doesn’t get out much, being a celebrity and all.

  • or perhaps he’s cosying up to Jim, Jeffrey has a good nose for the right time to jump ship.

  • tacapall

    Has Jeffery Donaldson been dumped by the DUP? If so why? Perhaps Eamonn can shed some light on this.
    Posted by Bad Billy on Jan 29, 2010 @ 10:23 PM

    Ready to jump ship again I suppose, or rounding up a posse of disgrunted unionists to protest when the deal is finally made.

  • lamhdearg

    peter robinson says
    did he not also say that he would still stay involved in the justice talks.
    also psni/whiterock when was the last time the peelers and or army used “live rounds”against nationalist rioters as they did during the whiterock disorder, ps they also fired 278 baton rounds, on trusting the dup or sf with justice i would not trust them to get me a loaf from the shops.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    “a very devious young man”.
    Maybe hes holding the fort at Stormont as duty minister or some such.
    But as politicians often have family matters to attend to in much the same way as the rest of us, I wouldnt read too much into him not being at Hillsborough.
    Peter Robinson probably thought he would like Nelson McCausland where he could see him.

  • Marlaghman

    24.Has Jeffery Donaldson been dumped by the DUP? If so why? Perhaps Eamonn can shed some light on this.
    Posted by Bad Billy on Jan 29, 2010 @ 10:23 PM

    I here he will not come out of the house as willie fraser is looking for him

  • PUP called it and went home for the night.

    I think that DUP/SF are pendulum swinging and what it needs is a bump of courage or more faith/trust in each other. Not much anyone else can do, no one can help them now except each other.

    Whoever asked about Eamonn’s Queen comment, I noticed that to – there is a photo of the Queen on a writing desk inside which I noticed flipped over face down any number of times over the last few days – I assume the staff keep returning it to its original position.

  • Bad Billy

    There were no signs that Donaldson was unhappy with DUP policy. I can’t see him going to the TUV under any circumstances. It’s very strange that the DUP would sideline one of or perhaps even their most experienced negotiator when facing such important talks. Even stranger is the Medias silence about his absence in the past weeks. Have the media been gagged? I wonder!

  • Kevsterino

    Is it time for a “Where’s Jeffery” thread, ala Morgan?

  • Bad Billy

    I’ve certainly heard a lot of people in Lagan valley asking “Where’s Jeffery” .

  • ardmaj55

    ‘It’s very strange that the DUP would sideline one of or perhaps even their most experienced negotiator…’

    Could it be, Bad Billy, that they would only need him if they were negotiating in good faith and not simply outstaring shinners hoping they would pull the plug. the stalling is now pointless as the govt. won’t let them hang on till may. This will be thrashed out one way or the other, too soon for DUP plans.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Maybe someone should take the pic of the Queen home as a souvenir (if its autographed it might do well on ebay)…thus saving the jobsworth at Hillsborough the work.
    I dont really see Stewart Finns point about them needing a leap of faith courage or whatever…to agree.

    An act of faith/courage to pull the plug …would be just as welcome.
    At this level any agreement will be presented as one or other side “blinking”.
    Better for them therefore to pull the plug.

  • Bad Billy

    He would still be on television and Radio as a DUP spokesman as he’s good with the media. He was always on Talk Back, Nolan Show , Politics show , hearts and Minds , BBC NI , UTV live and Newsnight to name a few but not recently.

  • tacapall

    Wee Jeff’s gonna be the saviour of Unionism, when the talks wrap up and nothing agreed, wee Jeff’s gonna come riding in like the sheriff, take over the reins from peter robinson, unite Unionism and save the day. Just unbelievible he’s not there, alternative endings have been envisaged.

  • I disagree and would rather see a deal than any plug pulling.

    I dont think it is ‘blinking’ or a leap of faith. I think there is a deal to be had and that both sides can benefit from it. They just need to get over their nervousness and do it.

    As long as their is a date for P&J and something measurable for the DUP on parades – everyone wins.

    I dont detect any appetite in the public for failure or plug pulling – more an impatience/anger that they just cant get on with it.

  • I need to be able to edit my typos 🙂

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Mr Finn
    I myself am neutral on whether to agree or pull the plug on the farce.
    My point is that with the wish list so well known (particuarly on parades) any agreement would necessarily favour one side more than the other.

    There is little room for splitting the difference (although splitting the difference is a very bad way to negotiate anyway).
    Its in the nature of politics…particuarly at election time for …one side maybe even two sides to present the result as a victory.

    The perception is as important as reality.

  • West Sider

    The bottom line is the DUP introducing the poisonous, murderous and vile parades issue to hold off arch hypocrite Jim Allister – Torrens Knight how the hell are you, you murdering, sectarian bigot.

    There will be no marches down the Garvaghy Road or the lower Ormeau by misfits, and bigots and sneaking unionist terrorist regarders.

    If there was, Sinn Fein are finished.

    Funny, I know lots of unionists, and they’re confident, and they want policing and justice devolved and they regard the OO with the same distaste as most of us view paedophiles.

  • tacapall

    I nearly believed you untill I got to farse, FitzjamesHorse.

  • joeCanuck

    The MIA may be off having massages.

  • @FitzjamesHorse

    We are going to disagree I this, as I said:-

    “As long as there is a date for P&J and something measurable for the DUP on parades – everyone wins.”

    I honestly believe that the Assembly will only truly grow up and come of age when it has P&J devolved – the fact that Sinn Fein also want it is irrelevant to me personally.

    But in these negotiations Sinn Fein want a date for P&J and the DUP have made an issue of finding a solution to the parades issue. If they can find a deal where both get something (which I believe they have been tantalizingly close to in recent days) both sides win.

    The benefits will be:-

    The Assembly will have grown up and have control of P&J.

    The destabilising parading issue will have a system with cross party support.

    Hopefully this process itself and the matter of the deal will have repaired the difficult relationship we all saw in the Executive and specifically in OFMDFM.

  • joeCanuck

    Stewart Finn,

    Do you really believe that once this latest kerfuffle is sorted that we will have two parties working together in harmony from then on?
    Are they throwing the Education mess into these discussions for example?

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Good point re education Joe — I personally couldn’t give a rats ass about parades — our kid’s education is a thousand times more important.

  • Kevsterino

    If they do reach an agreement, I hope they both come out at least agreeing on what was agreed and signing the damn thing.

    Both the Good Friday Agreement and St. Andrews were hobbled from the start by the parties’ various interpretations of the letter and spirit of the documents.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    GerryLvsCastro….I cant help wondering if your kid goes to school in Ardoyne or Garvaghy Road.

  • There is definitely something queer about Jeffrey’s absence.

  • heamaisbharney

    I can’t help wondering what has happened to last week’s continuous demand for ‘product.’ It seems to have stopped so perhaps we no longer need ‘product’ or it wasn’t the main thing after all.

  • Bad Billy

    Makes me think of something I heard last week Intelligence Insider.Regarding not one person but two. If true it will make the Iris Robinson episode look like walt Disney but its all rumour so far and nothing in the papers yet

  • Secret Squirrel

    Does the rumour involve the Poison Dwarf and high-heeled shoes ?

  • joeCanuck

    We Jeffrey must be kicking himself in the arse right now. He’s seems to have been mainly interested in his own advancement but he jumped ship too soon. If the DUP is going to implode, the UUP could again be the unionist’s top dogs and Jeffrey could have become leader, rather than being a nobody, essentially, in the DUP. Can he successfully re-rat?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I think there is only a limited number of times that a rat can desert a sinking ship……sooner or later the other people on the ship would consider the rat to be bad luck.

    Lets face it Jeffrey….once in South Down and joined at the hip to Enoch Powell…..once in Lagan valley joined at the hip to Jim Molyneux is not short on ambition. He emerged as a leading UUP man in part because he was at Stormont AND Westminster adding to his seniority…….and he also climbed the Orange and loyal Order ladder.

    In fairness he has always been a believer in one Unionist Party (the Orange Order like that kinda thing) so it joining the DUP was perhaps a sign of his ambition as much as his politics.

    Can he find a way back to the UUP or to TUV. Well if Jeffrey thought it was good for Jeffrey, he would do it.
    Reg Empey is over 60. The UUP will never choose a leader like Basil McCrea…..could Jeffrey one day lead it? Hes only 47.

    Yes there is the slight problem of his disloyalty.
    But Reg is ex-Vanguard Party.
    So was “Lord” Trimble.
    Not impossible

  • Henry94

    Makes me think of something I heard last week Intelligence Insider.Regarding not one person but two. If true it will make the Iris Robinson episode look like walt Disney but its all rumour so far and nothing in the papers yet

    Was it John Terry?

  • Eamonn, it is morning now, are you still there, did you doze off, what is happenning?

    We send you over to Stormont to tell us what is going on, not to snooze through the whole thing.

    Can you confirm that the deal is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon?

  • Bad Billy

    “Was it John Terry?

    No John Terry chases other women but just like the John Terry affair the truth will Come out!

  • @joeCanuck

    I don’t think it will fix everything and they will live happily ever after – no.

    However…..

    I know that the constant issue of P&J has poisoned the Executive, OFMDFM and Robinson&McGuinness; on a personal level too.

    I also know that parades can do the same.

    With these two issues sorted out as well as a practical discussion on how the executive can function better which is also going on – they can then provide more effecient government and a better working relationship between individuals and parties- to the point where they can properly discuss issues such as education.

    If they can’t or don’t we should go to an election, then another, then another until we get parties that can function together.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Stewart Finn,

    Well said.

  • Bad Billy

    Last night I looked at a lot of news and political forums in my search to find Jeffery but he’s Gone, Disappeared, vanished. Perhaps taken by aliens and somehow these aliens have erased him from the memory of the media. Reminds me of the Germans episode of faulty towers where Basil says “Don’t mention the war” It’s now “Don’t mention Jeffery” .
    We can rule out that he’s going to jump ship again. I’d be amazed if he went to the TUV besides he seemed happy enough with DUP policy. Don’t you all think It’s strange when a party ditches a man who’s media savvy and a very experienced negotiator for crucial talks?

  • Stewart

    Jeffrey seems to have disappeared

    I wonder why?

  • Jaggers

    Maybe Jeffrey has had an epiphany akin to the chap in that Mitchell and Webb scene

    They’re coming!Now we’ll see how these Russians deal with a crack SS division.
    Eh, Hans?
    Have courage my friend!
    Yeah, eh Hans I’ve just noticed something….
    These communists are all cowards?
    Have you looked at our caps recently?
    Our caps?
    The badges on our caps, have you looked at them?
    What, no, a bit?
    They’ve got skulls on them.
    Hmmm?
    Have you noticed that our caps have little pictures of skulls on them?
    I don’t, erm?
    Hans, are we the baddies?

  • I think it’s more likely that Jeffrey will be made to walk the plank than have an opportunity to jump ship. Jeffrey normally has something out on his website every week, strange there has been nothing since 28th December.

  • I would imagine that one of the only things Jeffrey and myself have in common is a love of Chelsea F.C.. However given that Chelsea captain John Terry has had his gagging order on the press lifted, will another gagging order also be lifted soon? A story much bigger than Irisgate could be very close to “coming out”.

  • Bad Billy

    Intelligence insider I’m also starting to think there’s some sort of gagging order here. What else could explain the Medias silence? Without going into details I heard something a few weeks ago from a very reliable source and my information is the press have all the details and it’s absolutely massive, totally explosive and will make Iris look like Mary Poppins . To be honest I found it hard to believe at first but I’m starting to believe that there may be something in it.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I note that while reviewing the Press on Sky TV last night, the reviewers Iain dale and Yasmin Whatshername from the Independent were discussing the John Terry gagging thing and mentioned that they both know of a similar gagging order in relation to a politician.
    I am surprised that the many journos on the message board have not dampened the feeding frenzy on this thread.

  • Bad Billy

    “Iain dale and Yasmin Whatshername from the Independent were discussing the John Terry gagging thing and mentioned that they both know of a similar gagging order in relation to a politician”.

    I wonder who that could be?

  • soln

    billy you do know linking time lines and backslapping your six friends can make you look shockingly biased…

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Indeed

  • joeCanuck

    Oddly enough, I asked Mick on a thread a couple of weeks ago if there was any sort of gagging order. He didn’t answer. So on another thread where he was engaging I asked him was it possible under UK law not only to issue a gagging order but to order that the presence of a gagging order was gagged too. Again he didn’t reply.
    That sort of nonsense was used in Canada 10 or 15 years ago to protect a mining company’s foreign misdeeds. When it came out there was such a public outcry that I think the Government changed the rules.

  • My own London based friends have informed me that a broadsheet paper have a story regarding a leading N.I. politician which has had a Public Interest Disclosure certificate placed on it. Backing from Downing Street led to the PID as it was felt that the story would be enough to bring down the Assembly, and may place national security at risk.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    JoeCanuck…..I think the “super gag” is where a gag exists but cannot be even acknowledged. Exposed a few eeks ago….some mining company in West Africa had one overturned.
    Just how effective these super gags and gags can be in the age of the Internet is problematic.

  • ardmaj55

    tacapall [24] It could be that wee jeffrey and his alter ego Mr O’Donnell, are planning to come out as the new John and Edward. It might distract from his other er…. difficulties.

  • ardmaj55

    If a deal is actually done, it will surely mean no more DUP bragging that they’re getting their own way, because after P&J is on board, nobody will believe the DUP after such a humiliating come down. And how’s Gregory going to explain away the ‘community confidence not there a fortnight ago, and suddenly, voils! it’s here.

  • Comrade Stalin

    So on another thread where he was engaging I asked him was it possible under UK law not only to issue a gagging order but to order that the presence of a gagging order was gagged too. Again he didn’t reply.

    Yup, they can require you not to mention that a gagging order has been created in the first place.

    As Fitz says, can’t see how this is supposed to work in the era of mass communication.

  • Comrade Stalin

    ardmaj:

    And how’s Gregory going to explain away the ‘community confidence not there a fortnight ago, and suddenly, voils! it’s here.

    Supposedly, the parading stuff was supposed to create that “voila” effect. I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t find that terribly convincing.

  • Bad Billy

    So basically the government may be gagging the press because this scandals so hot people here couldn’t handle it and it would wreck the assembly. What about the freedom of the press? As citizens and voters have we no right to know what our politicians are doing? This British government is doing its best to turn us into something like the old East Germany.

  • Kevsterino

    The power of Canadian courts to gag the press was challenged during the Karla Homolka mess, with one newsgroup page gaining a bit of historical notoriety.

    As I recall, the judge even banned American press from the court room in the hopes that the Canadian folks wouldn’t spill the beans.

    The way the story was disseminated over the internet became a bigger story than a couple that raped and killed together. Go figure…

  • Alias

    “Just how effective these super gags and gags can be in the age of the Internet is problematic.” – FitzjamesHorse

    True, but made less problematic by the State placing Google on the DA-Notice committiee.

  • The sinn fein one, which will follow, will be the biggest of all though. Dynamite indeed!

  • lamhdearg

    II what the fact that all the top men are all british agents? or from outer space? or wear womens undies,if your going to start a rumour at least give us a clue

  • Secret Squirrel

    Does the Poison Dwarf incident involve Iris and a wet lettuce ?

  • lamhdearg

    a few weeks back on radio 2s afternoon show “dj” jeremy vine discussed the iris affair with two guests,they where falling over themselves in there criticism of her as “an homophob”the host had to cut one of them of when they started to say that (not sure if this is word for word but)”there is much more to come about the robinson family and (this is where i cannot remember the words used but the idea was)a gay scandal, unforunalty i also cannot remember the date but it was the week starting 04/01/10,did anyone else hear this or can it be checked out, could it involve someone else from the dup,???.

  • lamhdearg

    sorry i forgot to add do we care/give a f

  • Alias

    I can’t see how his rumoured homosexuality is relevant to the public interest unless he made anti-gay statements as a public representative, but none of the comments on this thread make such a connection. Why then would it be a “scandal”? Simply because some of his party colleagues are homophobic or because he is a member of the DUP and that’s reason enough to pray for his downfall?

  • lamhdearg

    alias i agree however lets look at the way the media has dealt with a 59yo (sorry 57 at the time)women havin an affair with 19yo if there is a story out there that hurts the dup the media will play it for all they can.

  • tacapall

    So basically the government may be gagging the press because this scandals so hot people here couldn’t handle it and it would wreck the assembly. What about the freedom of the press? As citizens and voters have we no right to know what our politicians are doing? This British government is doing its best to turn us into something like the old East Germany.
    Posted by Bad Billy on Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:07 PM

    We’re still obviously homo erectus to the british bad bill, we cant comprehend what good or bad for us, wee Jeff is lucky he has something on them, otherwise it would be public knowledge.

  • ardmaj55

    Secret Squirrel [5] No, maybe it involves [if wee Jeffrey is in the frame] a a wet iris and a ‘let us pray’ This will run and run.

  • Bad Billy

    Certainly the DUP cannot afford another scandal on the same scale as the Iris Robinson affair their grass roots would abandon them in droves and it would probably result in the end of that party. May explain why the DUP are suddenly so keen on Unionist Unity because they know they are going to be annihilated in the next election. They only have themselves to blame they took the moral high ground and lived in the gutter.

    “Carlsberg don’t do sleazy political parties but if they did”.

  • ardmaj55

    Comrade Stalin. I’m sure it’s whoever finds that convincing will be feeling alone, rather than the rest of us. Greg is a bit of a loose cannon, that Robbo would probably want overboard.
    I suspect Nationalists who saw Conor Murphy’s expression on Thursday and Friday, would be confident nothing had been ceded by SF on the Parades issue, but after last night, they must now be wondering how SF are now optimistic that a deal was now closer.

  • ardmaj55

    EM, I don’t know if this is the form, to refer to a thread on another forum here, but right now on the Talkback MB [the one i was obliged to leave recently] Red, discussing with Merit]is suggesting that SF must have blinked, and the parades Commision is on the altar, but didn’t Adams say in public only on thursday that “anyone who thinks the price of P&J is a walk on the Garvaghy Rd is ridiculous”? He left his party NO room for moving on PC. He knows he’s toast otherwise.

  • ardmaj55,

    “anyone who thinks the price of P&J is a walk on the Garvaghy Rd is ridiculous”? He left his party NO room for moving on PC. He knows he’s toast otherwise. ”

    There will be tweaking of the mechanisms sorrounding the PC which will be both large enough for the DUP to justify a deal to their supporters and and small enough for SF to justify it to theirs.

  • ardmaj55

    MU [15] that’s the question, isn’t it. Whether the tweaking, while not changing anything really [from SF viewpoint, but still involving a change of name, would let the DUP claim they had got rid of ‘the Parades Commision’
    OR leaving the name and organisation intact, but changing too much of it’s remit for SF’s voters.
    I think a lot of their voters would rather SF pull out and hope they don’t get DUP after the election. I believe SF have been haemorraging nationalist voters all through this term at Stormont, and can ill afford to be humiliated at Stormont as up till now.

  • ardmaj55

    “humiliated at Stormont as up till now”.

    SF have made numerous threats to pull down Stormont, if there is no deal and they carry on with the Assembly they will be ‘humiliated’, if the DUP do a deal under threat many people will say the same about them.

    Very high stakes.