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…..



Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London