No sitting for Stormont today (as deadline is postponed at the last minute)…

So, in order to avoid Stormont disappearing into another pointless election to nowhere, it looks like postponement is on the cards. This is likely for the avoidance of a terminal outcome. Parliamentary recess in  Westminster gives the break a patina of respectability.

For their part, Sinn Fein seems to have decided negotiations are not for them. Arlene Foster is puzzled by Sinn Fein’s inflexibility. Naomi Long, looking like the only grown up at a children’s tea party, points out no direct mulilateral talks have actually taken place.

Now, politicians do and can change their mind. But the British ministerial position on all of this is: sort out your devolved mess yourselves.


  • Katyusha

    Foster criticises SF for a lack of flexibility, while being completely inflexible on her own position and on the red lines laid out by her party. The irony is overwhelming. I don’t think she has the self-awareness to realise it.

    Typical DUP attitude, where negotiation means the croppies must bend to accommodate us. Not any longer.

  • andrewjohn

    The DUP seem to be determined to maintain a scorecard of perfect failures. They failed on RHI. They failed to prevent the collapse of the institutions, they failed to maintain a unionist majority in Stormont, they failed to protect their ability to launch a petition of concern, they have failed to live up to previous agreements, they have failed to secure agreement by today, they even failed to show up yesterday for talks. An A ++ of failures.

  • Nevin

    “But the British ministerial position on all of this is: sort out your devolved mess yourselves.”

    Ditto the Irish ministerial position:

    Charlie Flanagan: “After three weeks of intensive engagement, in which I and my officials have actively participated, the political parties in Northern Ireland have not yet been able to reach agreement.

    [Adds] Charlie’s attitude might or might not impress Jim Allister!

  • Donagh

    “Sinn Fein seems to have decided negotiations are not for them”

    The DUP refuse to even turn up for negotiations, but it’s all the fault of Gerry and the Shinners. Change the record Mick.

  • Nevin
  • Deeman

    It’s not Arlenes wee country anymore, it’s ours and theirs, aka as power sharing.

  • Lucian Fletcher

    Sinn Fein had no interest in a deal. DUP quite fancy another election. The SoS is useless. Everyone else is irrelevant.

    And people thought a deal was likely?

  • Gavin Smithson

    We have a v aptly named Sec of State. Northern Ireland is, indeed, a very broken shire

    Teresa May reminds of those pre Major Tories who didn’t give a damn or didn’t want to know about us.

  • murdockp

    No surprise at the events unfolding. If Gerry Adams backed off and let the elected politicians get on with the jobs they were elected to do, not him, we might stand a chance.

  • Jag

    “The implications of that [there being no Executive, or newly appointed Speaker] are for others to consider” says the current Speaker

    Isn’t the established fact, forget about implication, we don’t have an Executive within 21 days of the previous election’s results, and a new election needs to be triggered now, if that twit, the SoS is “minded” of course. Otherwise, it’s direct rule from Whitehall.

  • mac tire

    Garbage. Irrespective of Adams being there or not, the issues would remain the same – non implementation of previous agreements and the breaking of the spirit of those agreements.
    Using Adams as an excuse for the talks breaking down is lazy and wrong.

  • Granni Trixie

    And SF have succeeded?

  • Granni Trixie

    But it takes two to tango – Sf AND the DUP have to be less intransigent, more compromising and willing to work with each other’s other, in other words, they have to get real.

  • Granni Trixie

    Both SF and the DUP do not seem to get it – the public however read the present situation as an inability to do what they were electrd to do. In other words they are a failure.

  • andrewjohn

    2nd March

  • Nevin

    James Brokenshire has spoken:

    We are rapidly approaching the point at which Northern Ireland will not have an agreed budget.

    This is not sustainable and will have consequences for public services.

    From Wednesday financial resources to allow Northern Ireland’s Departments to deliver key public services will fall under the control of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

    I believe that there remains an overwhelming desire among the political parties and the public here for strong and stable devolved government.

    I have spoken to the leaders of each of the main Parties this afternoon and there is no appetite for any alternative.

    I will be making a Statement in Parliament tomorrow on next steps.

    We now have a short window of opportunity to resolve outstanding issues and for an Executive to be formed.

    Everyone owes it to the people of Northern Ireland to grasp that and provide the political leadership and the stability they want.

    But the focus remains very much on the local parties to cut a deal:

    Yet it is also clear that there remain significant gaps between the parties, particularly over issues surrounding culture and identity.

    Throughout this process the UK Government has been active in making positive proposals to try and bridge these gaps and help the parties to move things forward.

  • Barneyt

    The Ulster unionists ( not the party) are the real deal when it comes to unionism. They spoke out quite rightly regarding English votes for English laws, as they saw it as going against the idea of the union collective. It seems to me that England in particular can take or leave the union when it suits. If I was a unionist I’d be extremely dischuffed by the English shenanigans and inconsistency with regard to the uk and it’s constituent parts. We can rule ourselves ye know

  • banana man!

  • Barneyt

    I think all sides agree re the sos. I wouldn’t be too confident if I was sf or DUP. I think sf might and the DUP could have a reduced vote. Swann may not make a huge impact… can’t see him sticking his neck out. Alliance would improve but sf and DUP could be looking at about 26 seats each. Pure guess of course

  • Deeman

    Really? I can see SF and DUP gaining a few more seats easily. Alliance will hold and may even gain a seat. Sdlp and UUP will be the most hurt.

    Maybe it’d a different scenario depending on location within NI.

  • mac tire

    Granni, making agreements and not sticking by them is as real as it gets. Why should SF compromise on the point that some parties seem to want to agree on issues but not have to implement them?

  • NotNowJohnny

    Going further back they also failed to ….. “Smash Sinn Fein”, “save the RUC”, “save the UDR”, prevent the Anglo Irish Agreement, prevent Irish government interference in the affairs of Northern Ireland, “save Ulster from sodomy”, “keep Sunday special”…. the list goes on and on and on. So much so that you could be forgiven for legging it down to the bookies every time the DUP opposes something to stick a tenner on it happening sometime soon. I think I’ll pop down now and stick a tenner on an Irish language act.

  • Croiteir

    SF are doing exactly what they were elected to do – they enter Stormont without achieving what they proposed at their peril

  • Croiteir

    Rubbish – we have had 20 years since the GFA and still no ILA. Too late for that craic now.

  • Katyusha