Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Devolution, not evolution

When your negotiation oppo makes a unilateral concession, the easiest thing to do - and boy it's always tempting - is to dig your heels in and get more. Sinn Féin did it on policing after the Good Friday Agreement. And now the DUP can't resist it either.

Two years to devolution, says Rev Ian, cutting off his nose to spite his face. The truth is there's no reason not to start inclusive self-government as soon as the IRA decommissions. Invite Rev Ian along to the oxyacetaline shin-dig, and let him bring the Polaroid if he wants. Then, as the last armalite melts, ask him what the "D" in DUP stands for. It's hard for your average Prod to sit down with ex-terrorists, but they're humans too, and the truth is: a fair few people want them there.

Do the Big Thing, Ian:
Accept Sinn Féin's mandate and enter inclusive devolved government as soon as the last IRA weapon goes.


At 4:29 p.m., Anonymous beano said...

Nice idea, of course one problem for Ian is knowing which IRA gun was the last and whether there are more.

I'm not sure how big a deal decommissioning is when you've got £26m in the bank to restock should you feel the urge, but they have to sit down together sometime.

At 10:21 p.m., Anonymous levee said...

That's the sticking point with decommissioning, isn't it? And it works very well for intransigence - "Oh yeah, the IRA say they've given up all their guns, but how do we know for sure?"

Almost as ridiculous as letting killers go free...


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