OFMdFM: “All decisions go into a hat where they sit until there is a breakthrough…”

With yesterday’s post at the Compromise After Conflict blog at QUB in mind, via Steven McCaffrey at The Detail a useful description from on of the major political players in Northern Irish politics, the Louth TD and President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams:

“Negotiations are ongoing. Negotiations are now part of life. There isn’t a day goes past that Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson – even though they might never use the word negotiation – aren’t talking about something and trying to come to some agreement,” said the Sinn Féin leader.

“Every so often it will come into very, very stark relief because there is a controversy or a dispute or a deadlock or gridlock around some issue. But it is ongoing.”

Steven also notes the words of a ‘Stormont source’:

“All the decisions just go into a hat, where they sit, until there is a breakthrough. And then issues are picked out – the DUP will want some, Sinn Féin will want some, and then a fresh round of decisions are made.”

Decisions largely in evidence by their absence (and this long after reducing the capacity of minor parties to interfere with any OFMdFM decisions to zero). It’s confirmation they’ve abandoned any tackle the easy stuff first approach.

Working or bust, it ain’t going away. The street violence is a floor show, not the substance of either the DUP’s or Sinn Fein’s profoundly symbiotic relationship with Stormont. There may be no love lost, and zero percentage trust.

But neither party has a meaningful elsewhere to abandon the Stormont ship for.

After six years we eagerly patiently await their first breakthrough…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty