Adams and McGuinness: hard cop, soft cop routine

What are we to make of this?  Who calls the shots?

Gerry Adams 24 September ( party leader but unelected in the jurisdiction he’s pronouncing on)

Sinn Féin would be willing to allow the Northern Ireland Executive fall and new elections called if the parties cave in to the British government imposing budget cuts of up to 6 per cent, Gerry Adams has said..

The Executive must find £200 million (€256 million) of cuts, amounting to 4 per cent of departmental budgets and up to 6 per cent if health spending is protected, as the British government has penalised the North for not endorsing welfare reforms passed by Westminster in February last year.

“It isn’t that we want an election but if some of the parties in the North are going to follow this agenda, then let them bring it on to the floor of the Assembly and give the people their say,” said Mr Adams .

Martin McGuinness 29 September  ( Northern Ireland  deputy first minister)

“I don’t accept that there’s any inevitability about the power-sharing Executive collapsing,” Mr McGuinness told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland. “There is no alternative to power-sharing and the all-Ireland institutions. There is absolutely no alternative to the Good Friday Agreement..

Mr McGuinness said the parties in the North were in broad agreement on a range of issues but that matters relating to the past “need to be dealt with”.

“Last week myself and Peter Robinson sat down with our senior civil servants and we went through our programme for government commitments, and we’re well on our way to reaching over 80 per cent of them, so many many many positive decisions are being taken,” he said…..



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  • Ernekid

    I think that Gerry is just posturing for the Folks back home. He’s not serious and everyone knows it. It’s up to Marty to be the statesman whilst Gerry can comment from the sidelines. I expect that when Gerry retires in the next few years SF’s tune will change.

  • Croiteir

    The party leader talks for the Party.

  • Michael Henry

    Gerry Adams is the Sinn Fein leader for the 32-

    Suppose we will have to wait to hear that David Cameron is unelected here in spite of his threats to the Assembly- Come on- you can say it about Gerry but not Cameron- surly that is a two faced position-

  • Nevin

    “What are we to make of this? Who calls the shots?” .. Brian

    IIRC, there’s supposed to be a collegiate approach to the making of key decisions. In other words, such decisions are likely to be made by the PRM Army Council, the ‘legimate’ government of the island of Ireland.

  • Brian Walker

    Michael, I don’t want to be to too pedantic but Cameron is the elected PM of the state to which however reluctantly you have to acknowledge NI is currently a part. It’s not a perfect mandate I agree but it’s just a bit better than Gerry Adams’s despite his all-Ireland leader’s tag, as Cameron is in charge of the public money when I last looked. Not that this is really my point… just that McGuinness’s emphasis was different on the day.

  • Barneyt

    I fail to see why the SF party structure and decision making mechanisms has been conveniently jettisoned here by many commentators. It seems we are to believe they have a party dedicated to NI affairs and another wing operating in the ROI. It is widely understood that they have All-Ireland ambitions and whilst adjusting to the current partition to participate in government, they do not work on the basis that partition will last. Clearly they want to change this. In this context it is wholly reasonable for SF to form a wider strategy, and despite operating in two political jurisdictions on the island of Ireland, shape their policies and approach to achieve their overall ambition. If Gerry Adams has “called the shots”, why is that such a shock given the manner in which the party is organised and the fact he is the leader of the party. I would regard it as remiss if SF did not take this approach. I suspect other All-Ireland parties, such as the Greens, would be allowed to cross-pollinate as they see fit, in order that they stay “on message”.

  • Michael Henry

    Cameron is not elected here and none of his party will stand in next years Westminster elections here Brian- I fail to see why you would want to make excuses for undemocratic silly Brits-

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It does create a few issues though if SF can’t tell the difference between one country and another. (Clue for them: the one where you killed all those people, that’s Northern Ireland; the one you hid in and collected brown envelopes from government ministers, that’s the Republic). Their harrowing struggles distinguishing fantasy from reality have been well documented of course. Yet we humour them, don’t we, like a senile aunt:”Of course it’s one country, of course it is, yes that’s right, you are the biggest party in Ireland, yes dear. Yes TVs are hard to switch on these days. No, I haven’t seen your glasses … etc etc”