Is that it?

So P&J’s all done and dusted? No 4am tweets from @eamonnmallie? No sullen visits from Gordon and Brian?

The cup-a-soup vendor at Hillsborough has got to eat, you know?

Living in London but working all over Britain and Ireland. A left-leaning Labour Party member and blogger. I’m on twitter as @paul0evans1 and I blog mainly at the Local Democracy blog though I’m in lots of other places as well. I’m a massive fan of Google Reader – please follow me and share the better posts from your feed?

  • alan56

    Can’t help wondering what all the fuss was about.
    Woodward looks silly I think… not to mention Bush,Clinton et al..

  • John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard

    Lord Cornwallis said that the Isle of Ireland was the largest open air lunatic asylum in the world.What else is there to say as the lunatics are now running the Asylum.

  • TellMeMa

    All this brought about by Iris Robinson, I think. Inadvertently, she forced the DUP to have a change of heart…

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Hmmm…..Willie McCrea was at a funeral.
    He could have gone to Stormont and attended the DUPs funeral

  • bohereen

    See, I just don’t think those people are fit for purpose, not fit to govern.

  • Drumlins Rock

    So lets reflect on whats happened, if you asked us to predict a year ago what will happen, most would prob say the following would happen,
    SF would force a “crisis”
    High pressure talks would result
    A deal would be cobbled together
    The SDLP would wine about it but fall in line
    The UUP would oppose/abstain on “principle”
    The Alliance would pretend to hold out, for all of 15 minute
    And the DUP would have rebels but probably whip them into place

    And things have went to plan more or less, with a wee bit of help from Iris.

  • TellMeMa

    @Drumlin: a wee bit of help from Iris

    Her help might have been wee, but it was the tipping point.

  • Sammy Morse

    oodward looks silly I think… not to mention Bush,Clinton et al..

    Oh, you think they’re the ones who look silly???

  • Did they want the UU to vote for it or did they want a diversion. A bit of a flap to make it seem exciting rather than an ordinary and long overdue commencement of ‘normal assembly business’.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Posted by TellMeMa

    ” 7.@Drumlin: a wee bit of help from Iris

    Her help might have been wee, but it was the tipping point. ”

    Stop talking dirty !. Its doing things to me it should’nt.

  • TellMeMa

    Interesting article from Denis Murray in The Guardian today entitled “Belfast: this deal is a big deal”:

    And also quite a few thought-provoking comments, like this one (from “Offworld”):

    What nobody mentions in all of this (out of deference to Unionist sensibilities presumably) is that this is not just an internal six county “Northern Ireland” settlement but one in which the Irish government is centrally involved. Peter Robinson’s point recently that Direct Rule now means Dublin rule sums this up perfectly.

    The all Ireland agreement now in place means that the unionists can never go backwards to the status quo ante but rather have no choice but to “settle” with their Irish neighbours.

    North American influence is important in the short term but it is the march of demographic and political time that provides the context for the deals now being made.

    To put things more bluntly. Jim Allister is right in saying that these are all moves towards a united Ireland but Peter Robinson is also right in saying that unionists have no choice but to cut a deal now.

    The above places the Guardian’s Ireland correspondent (Henry McDonald) in a weak position as he argues in his plethora of books and elsewhere that the Good Friday Agreement is an internal settlement in which the Irish government plays no part. What utter rubbish.

    Mr McDonald should consult Denis Murray about what is required to be a real journalist.

    Despite the warm feeling that the UCUNF might given to some UUP supporters that they can now vote directly for a British Prime Minister, NI is gradually separating from Great Britain. Not necessarily towards reuniting with the Republic, but it is pushing away, or being pushed away.

  • June 76

    Was that it? Really; was that it? What ever happened to that concept of Unionist confidence that was all important just a week ago.

    Peter and the DUP tell us that the Unionist community is fully behind the deal and they point to the latest series of NIO inspired polls to support that contention. However, those same polls indicate that community support is only somewhere between 68% and 72% of the total population in Northern Ireland. Now, bearing in mind that Nationalists make up 44%+ of that population, even the most optimistic definition of “Unionist” couldn’t put that segment of society at any more than 56% of the total population. Assuming that Nationalists are close to 100% in agreement with the devolution of P&J that would indicate that the Unionist community are, at best, between 40% – 45% in favour. That doesn’t sound like “confidence” to me.

  • TellMeMa:

    Northern Ireland has been semi-detached from GB since 1922. The failure of GB parties to make any headway is surely proof enough of that.

  • TellMeMa

    Andrew: Yes, I know that.

    Sadly, no one can persuade many Unionists to accept the fact that the closest NI could get to GB was at arm’s length, and the distance between them is getting wider.

    Great Britain knew even in 1922 that NI is foreign, not British. It set up a government in NI that matched the Irish one in Dublin, not one that matched either a Scotland and Wales version.

    It’s a pity GB did not have the sensibility to overcome the hubris and agreed to a united Ireland then.

    It would have saved a lot of trouble over the last 40 or so years.