Friday, October 13, 2006

SF must support policing

"DUP rejects governments' proposal". The BBC headline this morning is misleading. It was no great shakes, just a limp proposal to install a "Shadow First Minister and a Shadow Deputy First Minister" before Sinn Féin play their trump card, namely acceptance of policing in Northern Ireland.

Ian Paisley has already said he won't share power with SF until this happens. The UK government, increasingly in a mediating role between Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams, tabled the proposal as a (somewhat lame) way of getting Paisley to show Adams a bit of goodwill in order, in turn, to encourage Adams to hold a special SF Ard Fhéis (party conference) to secure grassroots backing for giving his party's backing to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Poor Tony Blur just wanted to break the deadlock between the DUP and Sinn Féin, but it didn't work and it makes him look a bit daft if you ask me.

To move forward Sinn Féin must play its trump card - the one that says "We support policing and justice in Northern Ireland". I'm with Paisley on that one. But Paisley has to recognise that's a bold, radical move for Adams. The solution is actually simple, and it's today's Big Thing for Tony Blur:

Forget shadows, Tony, get Ian and Gerry to sign a bit of paper with the following words on it:

1. Sinn Féin is wholly committed to constitutional law and order, will give its full active and enduring support to policing and justice in Northern Ireland and will play its part in shaping policing policy;

2. In view of the foregoing, the DUP hereby agrees to enter power-sharing negotiations with Sinn Féin and others.

Update: Well blow me, they've done just that (and spun it out to 18 pages). Bedtime reading here.

4 Comments:

At 12:52 p.m., Anonymous Arthur said...

"get Ian and Gerry to sign a bit of paper with the following words on it:

1. Sinn Féin is wholly committed to constitutional law and order, will give its full active and enduring support to policing and justice in Northern Ireland and will play its part in shaping policing policy;

2. In view of the foregoing, the DUP hereby agrees to enter power-sharing negotiations with Sinn Féin and others."

That's a great suggestion, one that could actually work.

I listened to Noel Thompson interview Nigel Dodds and Martin McGuinness at St. Andrews last night. I have to say I was a bit discouraged, I couldn't help but feel that the DUP man was trying to move the goalposts further back again...

It's early days yet, I still feel optimistic a deal will be worked out on or before November 24th.

 
At 8:49 p.m., Anonymous Arthur said...

Woo-hoo!!!!!!!!!!! Agreement at last!!!!!!!

 
At 12:21 a.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Wait for the fat lady to sing first. We're not there yet!

 
At 3:56 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

arthur, bless you, you are such an optimist.

 

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