No …I don’t think that the British Government at Westminster is a neutral player anywhere in Ireland.That is even more to the point with the Tories taking the Democratic Uniionist Party into bed with them.That’s not to say that the Tories/ DUP is not a good fit .They are perfectly suited .Between them they’ll attempt to reverse the laws of gravity and lie through their teeth in their craving for power. Money will be the driver for the DUP. They jumped into Brexit without even vaguely considering the consequences for Norneverland of losing the EU. They simply didn’t want those sleekid Johnny Foreigners in Europe forcing them to live by 21st century rules, but they now need all that lovely money replaced before the Norneverlanders notice how piss-poor they’ve suddenly become .
They’ll be very quickly asking for a replacement for all of that lovely gelt now.Have they time to get it before Theresa May’s Conservative party implodes? That’s the question on everyone’s lips. Make no mistake,though , these politicians are a greedy lot and it’s not for their voters or “their people”. All the scandals that led to the fall of the Norneverland Executive some six months ago ,were mostly financial ones and they all featured sticky unionist fingers in the till.There were plenty of other social scandals but it’s all about that money in the end, whether it’s money being burned up the chimney or kickbacks. The NAMA scandal still rumbles on in the background; Red Sky too.Then there is the “Loot For Soot”, multi -million £ loss of the RHI biomass boiler scandal which Arlene Foster supervised. Will she ask for some cash to cover her backside on that one?That’s one big backside to cover! There is so much unresolved with that one and the hubristic and mean-spirited way in which she handled it right up to her illegal one-handed ,final speech , echoes Theresa May’s similar denials, yet the ex -First Minister still expects the population to forget it all and simply get on with the show as if nothing untoward happened. If that were the case we might as well simply accept that DUP politicians are a cabal of gangsters ,with the UDA as their backup and paramilitary muscle and swallow it all down. Hang on ….what did I just say ? That obviously means that the UDA have just smuggled themselves and the Orange Order into the pockets of the Tories and will also be scrunching up on the creaking green leather seats of Westminster by proxy .The reality of that might just be starting to sink in with a party and a right-wing baying press who think that Jeremy Corbyn was simply a beardy -weirdy terrorist-hugger.
The British media will now be scrutinising the Tories and their best buddies with a microscope , so expect the DUP to pack all their Creationist/racist/anti LGBT /paramilitary/Orange etc dirty linen away in the cupboard for the short duration and watch them putting on their best anodyne faces. We here know who they really are but the British public have only just begun their own steep learning curve.


  1. Mark June 12, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

    ‘Between them they’ll attempt to reverse the laws of gravity’… thanks Harry, excellent point, I should disagree with a later point however. The scrutiny of the political wing of loyalist terrorism by brit media will, I doubt, be as questioning as we might hope.
    This is the media which gave us John Junor, an odious man and the eternal Fenian hate of Fleet St.
    To seek the overthrow of the tories may suit the Manchester Guardian, and it’s Sunday sister but, as papers of influence how effective might they be?
    In the alternative, social media, the new power in politics, where it is honest, can get the message across.
    Hopefully RHI, Red Sky and NAMA shall be to the fore. ‘Strong and stable’, we’ll see.

    • giordanobruno June 12, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

      Where it is honest? Where would that be?

      • Mark June 12, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

        On Jude Collins blog.

        • giordanobruno June 12, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

          How do you ascertain the honesty of sources on social media?
          That is a genuine question not a dig at Jude.
          Surely we are just engaging in a massive act of confirmation bias when we choose our sources these days?
          The truth is very hard to determine, and the whole truth is impossible.

          • Mark June 12, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

            Gio., I honestly agree but, what is now known as ‘Main Stream Media’ is so flawed and mistrusted that where can one find truth.
            Most social media sites have agenda, like any media but, readin comments can give a more clear picture, in my experience.
            Dunno if this assists but, where else do we actually determine what is best for our children’s future?

          • giordanobruno June 12, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

            These days I am completely baffled as to what is true and what is not.
            Every report from one angle is challenged from another.
            Every eye witness has a competing eye witness with a different version.
            Every truth is undermined by the bits that are left out.
            Those who think they know the truth should be treated with scepticism.

          • Sherdy June 12, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

            Gio, ‘Those who think they know the truth should be treated with scepticism’.
            Those who think they know the truth should be treated with respect, but those who insist they know the truth should be treated with scepticism!

  2. billy June 12, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    simply didnt want those johnny foreigners,forcing them to live by 21st century rules.that works both ways,if they force the new breed of johnny foreigners to live by uk laws and rules the majority of people in the uk will lap them up.

    • Mark June 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

      Billy, I suspect that’s just how my family saw it in 1169, ‘more Irish than the Irish themselves’ but, not really, especially after plantation.

    • paddykool June 12, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

      What I find incredible to hear (and not hear) is how talk of the Executive’s failing at the start of the year is never fully discussed. There is absolutely no real discussion as to why it failed. The DUP’s line currently is that everything was simply hunky- dory and there was no good reason to close the door.Even the local reporters…. and Steven Nolan in particular , know exactly why the Executive had to be closed at that point in time seem to have developed amnesia .We all watched it happening live on tv and listened on radio ; we read about every detail of it happening as it was reported and discussed.now . Two elections were fought on the back of it and yet we haven’t a reporter or a broadcaster with the savvy and the nous to state plainly that it all crashed after a long list of scandalous behaviour. Indeed we voted for thos specific reasons ands everyon eknows what the “status quo” meant.

    • Colmán June 13, 2017 at 5:19 am #

      You still havn’t let us know who you think the ‘common enemy’ from your previous commentary is?

      • paddykool June 13, 2017 at 7:05 am #

        This ,in relation to what, Colman? …what “common enemy” are you referring to here?

        • Colmán June 13, 2017 at 8:58 am #

          Sorry Paddy, I was referring to a comment Billy had made a couple of weeks ago. If it is the same Billy. I replied to you by mistake. And it wasn’t the “common enemy” just the enemy. Here follows the comment by Billy:

          “maybe seeking an end to the violence?..corbyn is whats known here as a balloon,imagine him as pm and that thing abbot as home secretary,they are calling on voters to let more of the enemy into england and ireland instead of the other way about.swanns right on this one definitely not pm material.”


          • paddykool June 13, 2017 at 10:21 am #

            Oh ,I see ,Colman. Billy is from the paranoid fringe in any case .It’s a bit like “the Reds under The Beds” scare during the Cold War of the 1950s ,with Billy. It seems that most of the Isis -styled terrorists are not imported at all though.Most seem to be home-grown legends in their own lunch-times, growing up in the UK and plotting and planning their mad destinies and deaths in their own little flats.

          • Colmán June 14, 2017 at 2:39 am #

            Old Corbyn seems to unite people while others would like to divide.

  3. paddykool June 12, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    There is something a little hypocritical about a party such as the DUP asking anyone to abide by even “civic “laws when they already have refused to abide by prior international agreements which were the structure that enabled local government to be pursued at all.It’s also a bit rich too to ask anyone anywhere to abide by the law at work when Arlene Foster refused to step aside while under investigation for a scandal at her own work (RHI).Had it been thee or me we’d be put on gardening leave before we had time to pick up our coats and clear the desk. Then there was the illegal unilateral speech she made on her home- run which made her DUP member , the Speaker take a partial stance ….the very things that brought it all down on her head.Has everyone forgotten how we got to this point and why Sinn Fein and their supporters cannot share power with her or her party?

  4. Jack Black June 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    My late Mother used to say many years ago…..”this place is the road to no town”………how right she was.

  5. michael c June 12, 2017 at 10:37 pm #

    Fake news is now being allowed to circulate that SF “irresponsibly” brought down the executive andare preventing us from having a government.Every other party backed a motion of no confidence in Foster but had’nt the power to achieve it.SF took action to bring Foster down and the others now lambast them for doing so when the passing of their own pathetic motion would have had the same effect.The SDLP should be asked by journalists for a straight yes or no answer- Can Foster return this side of an enquiry finishing?

    • paddykool June 13, 2017 at 7:15 am #

      That’s what I’m talking about , michael c.Where are the real investigative journalists and commentators.The local media certainly all seem afraid to talk about the truth of the situation.As far as I can see it was as plain as a pikestaff but no one in our media wants to upset the local worthies but telling it like it is.No matter the DUP’s dalliance with the unstable Tories or what lies the press feel free to print , the DUP are still snookered at the same point in time and haven’t moved . That’s the usual thing for them but this is really an end-game and no amount of fudge can change that .Commentators with nothing to lose or gain are simply saying ” things have moved on”,….”things have changed”, but they haven’t moved on at all and the DUP / Tory alliance is only a momentary blip in any case. The DUP have not implemented the agreements already agreed so how has anything moved on?

  6. fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    From the day and hour that SF, followed by the vocal but impotent ‘smaller’ parties, pulled out of the farce called Stormont a rising tide – nay, a groundswell of opinion and criticism – is rising from the principled NGOs and others in local society, all representing ‘the most vulnerable in our society’. These people stress the fact that they are non political and only wish that our politicians would grow up and get the circus back on the road. Surely all the problems could be sorted out when Stormont was operating again? The DUP have stated that they are ready to roll at a minute’s notice and it is obviously SF who are the stumbling blocks. Arlene the First has even threatened that if they can’t get their way at Stormont then they will get their way via Westmonster. Could all these hurlers on the ditch give an opinion about which red lines that SF should cave in on? Nolan’s stand in this morning managed to drag out of Dolores Kelly that maybe the SDLP were not 100% sure whether they would accept Arlene back as FM even if all else was agreed. Jim Allister wants a coalition of the willing to run Stormont. But willing to do what?

  7. Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    Regarding the Stormont talks SF in my opinion should only have one demand, reforming of the petition of concern to reflect the original intended use and not a veto over every piece of legislation.

    After that issues such as Irish Language act, LGBT rights, Abortion etc could be brought to a free vote and if the proposals are reasonable many could pass.

  8. fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    No Scott. The Irish Language Act has already been agreed by our British masters. We are merely waiting for it to be brought into force. The DUP have always denied signing it. The British aren’t really sure if they signed it or not. Who would want to do business with these people?

    • paddykool June 13, 2017 at 10:30 am #

      That’s it in a nutshell, fiosrach.Brokenshire can hardly pretend to be an honest broker of deals if the previous deal has not been implemented.Arlene can hardly pretend to be First Minister when she will not respect the limits of her position. Now that they are to be even more closely associated , if for only a short while, the power-sharing experiment has ultimately failed. What are we being asked to respect?

    • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 10:49 am #

      An Irish Language act (whatever that is ive never heard details) could pass in a free vote of the assembly.

      Its a a choice fiosrach, either a assembly up and running or direct rule with DUP influence. Which would you prefer?

      • fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 11:09 am #

        I would prefer to be able to take people at their word. What part of agreement do you or the Protestant Unionist Party not understand? Maybe they are like the oath takers in one of the non existent parties who cross their fingers behind their back.

        • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 11:50 am #

          You didn’t answer my question fiosrach.

          It’s clearly a choice between a functioning Stormont or direct rule with the DUP able to heavily influence those ministers.

          A combination of SF, SDLP, PBP, Alliance and the Greens have a clear majority in Stormont and could get a ILA and LGBT rights through if they got a free vote.

          SF have to realise they aren’t in the position of strength that they were in after the last Assembly elections. DUP are running the table now as direct rule suits them perfectly well, while SF will be irrelevant if it is brought in.

          Perhaps its politically impossible now for SF to go back into Stormont and they are happy to shelf Stormont and concentrate in the south.

          • fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

            I don’t have a preference and cannot influence any outcome. But I ask again. Why should we need a free vote – or any vote – on something that has already been negotiated and agreed? A bit like the Home Rule Acts,heh?

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

            Because the point of a devolved assembly is to vote on legislation. Legislation shouldn’t be a behind the scenes a agreement between the DUP and SF or the British government and SF.

            It comes to the floor, is debated and gets either a yay or ney. That’s how it’s suppose to work.

          • fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

            I thought that the St Andrew’s Agreement was between sovereign governments and various groups of spectators?

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

            I don’t see your point fiosrach?

          • paddykool June 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

            “It’s clearly a choice between a functioning Stormont or direct rule with the DUP able to heavily influence those ministers.” That’s it again ,Scott. There is a misunderstanding here.We didn’t have a functioning Stormont and MMG tried very hard to make it function “properly”. It wasn’t him who was found wanting in that respect.The man really tried hard.what you are suggesting is that we have the same old unfunctioning rigmarole all over again and realistically , who really wants that old movie? How does it improve anything when nothing has changed and nothing will change ? Many observers are pointing out that Brokenshire cannot possibly be neutral and it really is like gravity ….it is a stone fact.He is now even more entwined with the DUP who are his brand new allies ,, so on what basis can he even pretend to be neutral\? That’s only for starters.You might as well conclude that we have a form of Direct Rule operating already with the DUP onside.

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

            Paddy I’m largely in agreement with you the last 10 years of the NI assembly have been far from perfect, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there was some good work done which was made all the more difficult by a word wide recession. Walk the streets of Belfast and it’s clear to see to things have improved and I think people have a unrealistic idea that government should deliver utopia, but that’s a different discussion.

            As we rumble along I tragically find myself agreeing more and more with Jim Allister (scary thought) that the very system is flawed.

            It’s a governmental system built on the very principle that parties that are polar opposite need to agree to get anything done. It’s simply unworkable.

            Take it out of the NI context for a moment and imagine if the Conservatives under May and Labour under Corbyn were forced together and couldn’t do a thing unless they agreed. Seems like a recipe for disaster if you ask me.

            Perhaps direct rule is the only way we can have stability. Either that or we tear up the GFA and start again with a new deal?

          • Ceannaire June 13, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

            “I don’t see your point fiosrach?”

            The point, Scott, is that, through St. Andrews, both governments and all the main parties accepted what was agreed. In fact, that was required for it to work. Reg Empy (UU leader at the time) welcomed it as the GFA for slow learners, for example. It was a result of multi-party talks – agreed upon by those there.

            Refusing to implement parts of it (even 10 years on) is an enormous act of bad faith. Imagine 10 years on from it that SF had not signed up to Policing & Justice, like they had agreed.
            It’s not as if an ILA is such a contentious issue that it can’t or couldn’t be implemented. It’s certainly not as contentious as Republicans having to accept policing & the justice system here – and yet those difficult conversations were had – and, in the main, won.

            There is the perception of bad faith here, at best, and actual bad faith at worst. Nothing has been done to alleviate that. I don’t care what anyone says: who would enter any agreement with another person or party if that person or party wasn’t so hot about upholding previous agreements?

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

            So what next then Ceannaire?

            If they’ve acted in bad faith and don’t bring in a ILA do we keep Stormont closed permanently?

            The out workings of that is direct rule and at the moment at least direct rule with a heavy DUP influence. Is that the result SF really want?

            Beyond the ILA the other red lines like LGBT rights and Arlenes standing down still exist. Are they demands worth a permanent closure of Stormont?

            My point is that SF are in a bad political position. Backed into a corner by the DUP and their own red lines and the threat of irrelevance if direct rule comes in.

            It’s just my opinion but I think SF should bank whatever gains they can such as reformation of the POC, ILA/Minority language act through a free vote and a free vote for LGBT rights and get Stormont up and running.

            Politics is the art of the possible.

          • fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

            I think Ceannaire has summed it up pretty well. If you choose not to understand that is your problem. What we have or had with devolved government was an arrangement where the British gave us a limited amount of money and we squabbled over how to spend it. With Direct Rule the British will decide where to spend it. The British state will still maintain a colonial settlement here and we are where we are.

          • giordanobruno June 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

            I think you are right.
            It is a bit tricky for Sinn Fein at the minute and they are now in a fairly passive wait and see position.
            If the DUP do not screw it up (and they probably will) they can make some gains from the tories in the short term. They may be in no great hurry to return to the assembly.
            Talks about talks for now would suit them just fine. In the meantime RHI will blow over.
            This leaves SF out of Westminster and out of Stormont.
            They will, as you say, only be left with the South as a sphere of influence.
            How can they achieve any of their manifesto aims in this way?
            Special status looks very unlikely as things stand.
            An ILA might still happen but not in the short term.
            A border poll? No chance.
            Arlene will not be going anywhere as long as she can keep this coalition together.
            So of the two main parties in the talks which one is now keener to see Stormont up and running again, I wonder?

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

            Yip that’s mostly how I see it Gio.

            I’ve sensed the whole SF tone calm after the Westminister election. They certainly dont seem as sure footed as they have been.

            Its over to the DUP now to see how they can play this new arrangement with the Conservatives. There are massive opportunities but there is also huge pitfalls and they will have to handle the situation very carefully.

            Your playing senior Hurling now lads.

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

            PS Fiosrach and Ceannaire

            Im no expert on the St Andrews agreement but Ive noticed today on Alex Kanes twitter account he shows that theres to specific provision for a ILA.

            Refer to his twitter account for more information.

          • fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

            Scott (or Scoot as your friends call you) and gio. What exactly do you expect Sinn Féin to do at present? Is it not wise to sit and wait and see how things turn out? I can see that they don’t want to wade in until Arlene gets the goodies. It will surely be interesting to see how the goodies are spread out.

          • giordanobruno June 13, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

            It occurs to me that it might have been smart for Arlene to sit down with SF before talking to Theresa May, and say’
            ‘What can we ask for here that we all agree on?’
            As well as being the right thing to do, it would have gained her some kudos and goodwill from the media.

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 3:03 pm #


            Not for me to tell SF how to politik but in my opinion they should get the reformation of the POC, then get back into Stormont. With the effective POC veto removed they could drive through a ILA and LGBT rights if they handle the thing right. The DUP seemed open to reforming the POC before the Assembly election so it could be a easy win there.

            Arlene Fosters fate will be sealed by the inquiry thats currently going on. If its comes back damning her position will be untenable and her party will dump her anyway.

            SF would probably would have to spin the resetting up of Stormont as a way of protecting their electorate from domination by the Conservatives/DUP direct rule goverment.

            Clocks ticking though since apparently the 29th of June is a unmovable deadline. Who knows though since we blow through deadlines for fun in this place but would SF take that risk?

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

            Gio yes that would have been an excellent idea. Even if nothing came of it it could have been a media victory for her. In fairness though this DUP/CON deal is moving at breakneck speed and looks like it might be wrapped up today. Conservatives mightn’t been happy waiting on a DUP/SF deal to happen first.

          • fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

            From the SAA.
            The government will introduce an ILA reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland and work with the incoming Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish Language.

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

            Ill take your word for it fiosrach. I was just repeating what I saw on Alex’s twitter account.

          • paddykool June 13, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

            “So what’s next”, Scott? No Stormont for the forseeable future, is what’s next.The DUP might be able to make a deal with the Tories for a short time but it’s a toss -up which of themshafts the other first and reneges on any deal they make. They’v eboth got “form” on that one.The morals of alley cats, springs to mind. The DUP has joined -up with a tidy little coven of some of the world’s greatest backstabbers ,hovering in the background. iI will probably be down to who has the sharpest knives in the drawer and who needs to use them quickest. In the meantime …yes there will be direct rule, much as there is now… and stormont will likely be left to moulder for a generation.

          • Scott Rutherford June 13, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

            I agree Paddy direct rule is on the way I believe and SF have become irrelevant in the North and DUP are only relevant as long as the DUP/Con deal lasts which might no be to long but no one can tell.

            Devolution will be dead.

          • giordanobruno June 13, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

            Yes Scoot from now on!
            I agree there is not much SF can do now only wait.
            Do they want the assembly back now more than the DUP, do you think?
            Will their support be content with seeing them march out in a wee bunch to address the cameras every few days?
            How do they move their own agenda forward or is it all on ice?
            Supposing Arlene and Theresa defy the odds and make it last. They only have to keep their heads down until the summer recess, after which the junior partners will be forgotten by the media.
            As I say it is all a bit tricky for SF.

          • fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

            The nationalist people have been here before and are good at waiting. Seemingly one SDLP mp kept the Labour government up for 2 years. We have waited 800 years

          • giordanobruno June 13, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

            Great. Maybe SF should put that in their manifesto.
            ‘We have no plan, we are just going to wait.’

  9. fiosrach June 13, 2017 at 10:37 am #

    I think most of us are treading water until we see what way this cookie crumbles. You can only laugh when you see her majesty complain about SF and their red lines saying that the DUP have none. Then she trots out five conditions that the agreement must meet to be acceptable to the ‘people of Northern Ireland’. The RTÉ correspondent yesterday said when he was at Stormont Castle the DUP were in the adjoining room and they were all singing. He didn’t say what they were singing.

  10. Freddiemallins June 13, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

    Ultimately the DUP is too hate-filled to succeed. Their orange order driven demands will ruin them. Their inherent desperation to keep Norneverland cryogenically frozen in time, with no blacks, Muslims, gays, Taigs etc is doomed. They’ve had their 100 years of solitude. This is the last waltz. ( and any other book references you can think of!)