“There is no doubt in my mind that the DUP and Sinn Fein have the numbers to pass this resolution”

According to the BBC’s report, and the UTV one, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness has said that the UUP have “three days to sort themselves out” over the issue of policing and justice [and OFMDFM’s less than transparent approach on other issues? – Ed]. An “ultimatum”, no less. Or else what, Martin? Who, exactly, is “threatening the political institutions” over this issue? And what would your collapsing of your best only evidence of Sinn Fein’s “ability to deliver” tell the electorate in Ireland? After all, Sinn Féin and the DUP can carry the vote on Tuesday, alone.

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  • FitzjamesHorse

    Does it really matter?
    Waking up in say a months time to find that there is no Executive would hardly drive people onto the streets.
    Plan B…Direct Rule…gives us all the opportunity to do what we all do best. Blame the British.
    Whether the British or Irish governments can work themselves up to a frenzy of activity for getting a Plan C….depends on the level of violence.

    The stark question is whether violence will actually increase and if so from whom.
    I cant see that the loyalists will feel much threatened by Direct Rule. The lunatics in the dissident republican side will say “I told you so” and it will be make your mind up time for all Republicans.

    SF-IRA and DUP do have the numbers but both actually “need” the fig leaf that there is a consensus…not least for electoral advantage.

    Whatever happens its not 1969.
    Id as soon live without an Executive than live with one.

    Certainly “Slugger O’Toole” reflects the view that most of the chattering classes in the Overclass are not in favour of the Executive…..either because they dont like who is in the Executive or because they dont like that they (British Tory, British Labour, Alliance or weird Workers/Trots types) are not in it.

    But how many REALLY feel passionate that he Executive MUST survive?
    I dont.

  • For all sorts of reasons (few of them wholly honourable) DUP and SF are in lock-step here.

    Either party (or, in strict grammar should that be “Party”?) have been given, on a silver platter, the opportunity severely to embarrass the UUP. So, why miss out on a proferring?

    P&J cannot now be avoided (though why it should have been still eludes me), so get on with the job. Who loses out? Should we weep over it?

  • Dear goodness! I can’t cope with this!

    I’m in the same approximate area as FitzjamesHorse @ 11:54 PM!

    My G.P. is saying to me, “Smaller portions!” I must equally resolve, “”Quicker editings!”

  • I can’t understand why either the SDLP or UUP would support the Hilsborough “agreement”.

    Seems that only the latter has the balls to say no.

  • Driftwood

    Who loses out?
    Malcolm, the taxpayer dear boy-beyond your comprehension perchance?

    Conquistador
    yep.
    There was no ‘agreement’ beyond SF getting their way. The rest is fudge with green marshmallow on top.
    Of course Iris, sitting by her pool in Florida, will be thinking of what time the next showing of ‘Desperate Housewives’ is on.

  • Coll Ciotach

    let it fall

  • joeCanuck

    The Humpty Dumpty of N.I politics fell off the wall and, like the original, is irretrieveably broken.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    martin has three mantra’s. One is he can work with the dup, two is any republican who disagrees with him is a traitor and three anyone in the uup who doesn’t march to his tune—is threatened with an ultimatum. Me thinks mcguiness is a wee dicator.

  • Rory Carr

    Unfortunately, and this will prove to be a great disappointment for Pete and his ultra-Republican bedfellow, Kathy C, McGuinness issued no ultimatum. He merely stated the simple facts of the matter in order that Reg might have time for a reality check.

    He was doing the poor fellow a kindness really when you come to think about it.

  • Impartial Reporter

    The DUP executive meeting on Monday evening is going to be one interesting place to be.

    There will be a room full of DUP members sitting waiting to hear what the UUP executive (meeting at the same time) vote before they give out their decision.

    DUP are split on P&J regardless of what the ‘power’ at the top says. DUP are praying that the UUP executive vote against P&J because they can then say it is not their fault that P&J failed.

    This protects the DUP from having to show the public that they are split down the middle, with at least 6 MLA’s saying they will ‘go TUV’ if forced to vote.

    PR is shitting himself that this will go to a vote on Tuesday, because he, and his party, are history if it does.

    If the UUP did not have so many DUP ‘Fifth Columnists’ inside their Executive, they could keep the Monday night vote secret and really put the pressure on the DUP.

  • joeCanuck

    Interesting analysis IR, but well have to wait until Tuesday to see if it holds water.
    I’m pretty sure it will pass. If not then indefinite direct Rule will ensue and Parliament will pass any necessary legislation, Constitutional nonsense notwithstanding.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Some people have a weird perception filter attached. Looking at most of the comments over the past number of months on Slugger (even taking this particular thread as an example) the “chattering classes” who contribute here mostly seem unenthusiastic about the whole thing.

    I prefer to look at the last election results where all the major parties received an endorsement to proceed with making it work. I don’t expect that to change very much. A return to direct rule will indeed be bad; apart from anything else it will allow the dissidents to claim a victory, just like the Provos did in 1972. Sinn Fein supporters in particular need to think carefully about exactly who will lose the most if there is a collapse.

    Impartial Reporter :

    DUP are praying that the UUP executive vote against P&J because they can then say it is not their fault that P&J failed.

    That’s not very convincing. Provided there is no rebellion, the DUP can carry the vote by themselves. I think it’s already a dead cert that the UUP will be voting against it. The DUP have, over the past few days, been attempting to backpedal against the idea they floated that there would have to be unanimity among unionists before they could proceed.

    If there is a rebellion, Robinson still has the resignation letters/contracts that all his MLA candidates were compelled to sign, and he can easily replace them all. Not likely to be realistic if there’s a lot of them, though.

    PR is shitting himself that this will go to a vote on Tuesday, because he, and his party, are history if it does.

    I’m still not convinced that the TUV have been able to make especially significant inroads to the DUP’s support.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Comrade Stalin,
    There is a certain irony that the Alliance Party are warming to an all party coalition at exactly the precise moment they are getting a seat in the Executive. Hypocrisy of course.
    So wouldnt it be fun if the process collapsed before David Pointless picked up his first cheque.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Alliance’s position has been one of campaigning for increased fairness in the political structures via reform, and opposing the policies of those operating them at the moment; it has never been about collapsing the institutions, and indeed the party have taken political risks to uphold them (eg redesignation). There is no hypocrisy here, except in your imagination.

    But trying to win an argument with you is like trying to persuade a giraffe that it is an elephant.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Hi Rory, thanks…I’ve been called many things on this site…I like being called an ultra-Republican–it demo’s I’m for an united Ireland. My comments about mcguiness…time frames in the north are a bit of a joke because they are many times changed that is why I viewed what mcguiness said as an ultimatum to the uup because he wasn’t giving or offering more time if they needed it. Again–thanks for the compliment!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Kathy, the only time I’ve heard McGuinness call anyone a traitor lately was in reference to the murders which occurred around a year ago. That was a little more than a matter of “disagreeing” with the protagonists, don’t you agree ?

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Hi Comrade, a traitor is someone who commits treason. A murderer is someone who commits murder. The two are not the same. Treason is a crime against the sovereign head of the state. The queen was not threatened or murdered,thus treason did not occure. In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more serious acts of betrayal of one’s sovereign or nation. If those who committed the killings are Irish then they did not threaten their ‘sovereign or british state;…they might have committed murder but definately did not commit treason against the crown.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Kathy, the people who murdered those soldiers were attempting to overthrow the express wishes of the Irish people. From a republican perspective, does that not make them traitors ?

    There’s nothing in your response, by the way, that really gets to the heart of the matter. It’s misleading of you to try to suggest that McGuinness believes that anyone who disagrees with him is a traitor, when he was using that term in relation not in reference to a political opponent, but to an act of murder.

  • Comrade Stalin,

    I think it is fair to point out a certain amount of position adjustment by the Alliance party, but that is to be expected, as at least half of what all parties say is opportunistic and the Alliance are no differnent in that regard.

    Regarding the UUP voting NO, they have been phoned by Hilary tonight but more significantly they must be getting a serious earful from the Tories and it is surely impossible for project UCUNF to stay afloat if they do vote NO or abstain, as the Labour Party will point out the dreadful judgement and choice of electoral partners by Cameron. An arguement that will be very difficult to refute.

    IR, surely any DUP defections because of support for a deal would have taken place already?

    Prediction: DUP snd UUP both to vote YES and no defections from the DUP.

  • Comrade Stalin

    MU, Alliance have attempted to style themselves as the opposition. This means criticizing the administration, rather than the structures, although the party has been consistent about the need to bring in voluntary coalition through agreement and it has not changed this position. Reform of the structures, through all-party talks and agreement, is the key. Alliance has never acted unilaterally to bring down the assembly or executive, indeed it when push came to shove it made sacrifices in an attempt to keep it running.

    Accepting the role of justice minister adds an extra dimension to this, of course, as any attempts to marginalize or interfere with the minister could put him in the position of having to resign and, accordingly, put the executive/assembly at risk. Interesting times, as they say.

    On the subject of phonecalls from Hilary, I actually think these probably do more harm than good. Nobody wants to be seen to have moved because the Americans tried to push them into doing so. And in any case I don’t see what authority the US brings to bear – although David Cameron may see benefits if he wants to get off to a good start with them if he becomes PM.

    The trouble for Reg is that he’s going to look awfully silly if he backs the deal after he already poured copious cold water, and after several of his MLAs came out and said that they couldn’t go through with it; and especially now that they seem to be hinting that support should be conditional on progress on other factors in the executive such as academic selection. I hope your prediction is right, though, and that they see sense.

  • joeCanuck

    ..they see sense.

    Well that would be a first. I think I smell smoke.

  • lamhdearg

    if it can be maintained it shall be maintained. if peter and martin where found to be fred and rose west stormont would survive, what is the option.

  • CS,

    If you rewind about a year Alliance sounds very similar to the UUP.

    There must be some very, very angry Tories who are totally pissed off with the UUP antics. How can the UCUNF project survive the non support of the UUP for the deal?

    …but perhaps this is what Reggie wants?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Comrade Stalin,
    I suppose we should be grateful for Alliance being the “opposition” although they would happily have made it a five party coalition if it had not been for the rather unfortunate problem that they didnt have enough seats.

    Now David Ford is just as happy being in government.
    But are we not overpaying him?
    Im sure that as David wanted to sell his principles so much, that we might have got a better bargain if we had offered less money..

    As to Reg and his “we are not supporting it on Monday” scenario.
    Probably means that he has to stick to it or agree to Sinn Féin-IRA ultimatum.

    Either way the Executive is still on life support

  • granni trixie

    For the record, DF has not in any way sold principles. If he did I would be the first to complain.

  • Comrade Stalin

    MU, I rewound about a year and I still don’t see any coherence in the UUP line. Thinking back, I hear talk of “new politics” on one hand, and I see the de-facto Orange Order agent within the party, David McNarry, railing about the BBC’s GAA coverage on the other.

  • bohereen

    “Turncoat Tory”, wow, the gloves are off.

    Hold firm, Reg.

  • CS,

    What the Alliance were saying a year ago is very similar to what the UUP are saying today.