Tick, tick, tick…

As the clock moves towards 4.00 pm, pundits and presenters are getting all twitchy and bug-eyed: will there be a deal? Will the DUP’s success at extracting funds from Theresa persuade republicans to go back into government? And why did they pull the institutions down anyway – isn’t it a matter of learning to compromise and work together?

Which is a load of fairly smelly bilge-water.  I’m not sure if it was John O’Dowd or Gerry Kelly or someone else on the Sinn Féin negotiating team,  but they said that there could be agreement within hours if the will was there. But it looks like it’s not.

The simple facts are that Sinn Féin came out of the Executive coalition because they had learnt, the hard way,  that their partner wasn’t to be trusted. Clearly somebody wasn’t to be trusted with the RHI scheme, since it set up the potential loss of hundreds of millions of pounds. Whether it was Arlene or Jonathan or whoever, it was someone in the DUP who couldn’t be trusted to handle public money. Then there was the matter of commitments made in past Agreements: to an Irish Language Act, to a Bill of Rights, to mention but two. Now when your partner starts solemnly telling you they’ll do something and then not bothering their little botty to do same, you know the partnership is headed for the rocks. Talk of compromise is like saying “OK, darling, I know I’ve been sleeping with someone else but let’s be reasonable, for the sake of the kids. Let’s agree that I’ll be unfaithful in future only at weekends.”

It doesn’t work like that. Either you make commitments and you follow through on them, or you don’t. And really, how much money you’re carrying in your hot little fist doesn’t enter the equation. We’re talking about trust and being true to your word. Money doesn’t solve that and compromises don’t solve that. You either can be trusted or you can’t. And from what we’ve heard, the DUP has done nothing to repair the trust that was so clearly lacking at the start of this year. For Sinn Féin to say “Oh, well, for the sake of the people we’ll go back into the Executive and together we’ll spend Arlene’s loot from London on good causes”  would be a monumental misreading of the situation.  And I don’t think Sinn Féin will be so blind as to consider walking into such a clusterfrack…

10 Responses to Tick, tick, tick…

  1. Ryan June 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    If Sinn Fein cant get a stand alone Irish Language Act, Bill of Rights, etc then there’s no point re-entering Stormont because there’s no benefit in it for Republicans. Its also important to note that the DUP refuse to allocate funds on the basis of Objective Need. For people who don’t realize what that means, it basically means the DUP refuse to allocate funding in Housing, Jobs, combating Poverty, etc on areas where it is needed most. Now why would they have that attitude? does the fact that many Catholic majority areas are in most need play a part? I’ll let people make up their own minds on that one….and yes, Sinn Fein have said if Protestant areas were most in need then they should be given priority.

    Look, there’s no point being in talks and making agreements if agreements are not being met. Its a waste of time. Enough is Enough. If things don’t change Republicans should just keep the doors of Stormont shut, that’s what the vast majority of the Nationalist electorate/people would want. You cant reason with unreasonable people.

  2. Mick June 29, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

    For the DUP to agree to something in the GFA and then deny they agreed to that even though it’s right there in black and white within the document should show not only the people of our Northern state but also the Tory government they cannot be trusted. Spot on Jude!

    • paul June 30, 2017 at 11:03 am #

      I am curious ( or maybe not) that Brokenshire has not commented on thge obvious fact that the DUP is not following the GFA. Can the S of S not see what is written in the GFA for all to see?

  3. Scott Rutherford June 29, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

    The Stormont can is kicked down the road, it seems.

    SF need a standalone ILA or else it’s politically impossible for them to enter the executive. That’s the minimum they’ll take I’d say.

    DUP will probably capitulate to the ILA come September.

    SF will drop Bill of rights, LGBT rights and Fosters standing aside.

    It’ll be a wait and see summer and other events might decide the direction of things, such as BREXIT, Theresa Mays position and how opinion polls show support holding up for the respective parties.

    The SOS and Irish foreign minister are taking a non interventionist stance but that can’t hold forever. Eventually someone has got to make decisions.

    I favour joint rule ministers with the assembly in place to vote on legislation. Might as well try to get Bengoa implemented and some infrastructure built until they get a executive sorted.

    That’s if they don’t resolve things by September of course.

  4. Eolach June 29, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

    Scott, are you not missing or perhaps evading the whole crux of this? Presently the DUP could agree to all manner of things …. even a United Ireland…. bottom line is they are duplicitous….they can’t be trusted….they even shaft their closest friends…… could or would you trust them?

  5. Bridget Cairns June 29, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    now that we know for sure that the DUP can be bought, how much does Varadkar need to buy a UI……………………

  6. Niall June 30, 2017 at 2:25 am #

    I really hope SF stand there ground , and before they make the deal read Martin Mc Guinness letter off

  7. Eolach June 30, 2017 at 5:24 am #

    The ILA , Bill of Rights , Equal Marriage Legislation etc etc, are not benefits or wins for one side only , they don’t benefit someone on the Falls more than the Shankill …..they would be the signs of a progressive society accepting the 21st century.The DUP sells everything to its supporters as wins over or losses to….they’re pathetic. If you examine their modus operandi , to gain power , or stay in power , they whip their supporters/voters into a frenzy…the ordinary 5/8 protestant is no better off than his catholic counterpart and the DUP have not increased their living standards one iota ….in fact their intolerance and bigotry scares the bejasus out of potential employers setting up here. Their greatest fear is that ” Sammy and Mick ” might become friends and start sorting out their future together.
    If the DUP are steadfastly unwilling to compromise with anyone then one wonders what sort of nefarious, underhand deals were concocted with their odious friends in Downing Street. It will be an interesting few weeks until the ” house of sand ” collapses.

  8. paddykool June 30, 2017 at 8:54 am #

    I think Stormont is finished and it’s all down to the DUP. a stand alone Irish Language Act is one thing and there is no real rational reason why that should ever have been an issue.The money argument went right out of the wundow the minute Theresa May started pulling that first £billion off the newly discovered Magic Money Tree. Money is obviously not the problem at all. that’s very clear. the real things are the Bill of Rights and all that other equality legislation .What’s the problem with equality? What’s the problem with Peace, Love and Understanding? (or should that be PUL?) That is the real problem that the DUP have on each of those counts as far as Stormont is concerned.There should be no problem with them but the DUP seems to have a problem with reality.It’s a pity but there you have it.The dUP are noyt fit for the modern world and until they are able to catch up only the drowning Tories want to deal with them….Let’s face it , they really don’t want to deal with them at all.We saw a little of the DUP’s real face yesterday when Wee red-faced Sammy did his best “Dad’s Army”, Mr Mainwaring impression when he had an apoplexic fit, blowing a gasket in the house of Commons. That’s the real DUP.
    No ….if Sinn Fein were to join in their awful game without all those respect issues which crashed the bus in the first place , nailed to the door for all to clearly see, their supporters and voters would be forced to walk away from the party in droves. They were elected for this reason alone.

  9. fiosrach June 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm #

    I think Sinn Féin have got the message. John O Dowd put it well when he advised the whingers and criers to examine why Stormont was pulled down in the first place. They would sicken you – AP,UUP,SDLP etc – all looking to get assembly up and running and then we’ll discuss it. Fool me once ……