Friday, October 06, 2006


"Deal or No Deal" is set to be the most hackneyed headline on Irish political blogs in the next two months. Will we get devolved government up and running again, or will Paisley and Adams face each other down? Again.

Whatever the negotiation - in politics or private matters - there's always a pattern: pre-negotiation posturing and saying what a decent, flexible chap you are, then the horse-trading, and finally blaming the other guy for lack of progress down, in part, to your own intransigence.

Pessimistic. Nah, realistic - look at our history. But this time could be different because the Republican movement is more mainstream than it's ever been and, as its old warhorses age, is even getting a wee bit 'establishment' if you ask me. But that's good, not bad.

Consider Gerry Adams' "Stage 1" positioning today following a meeting with Tony Blur at Chequers. Sure that in itself is indicative. A million miles from the old Milltown Cemetry shots. And guess what? Sinn Féin is a law-and-order party. In Gerry Adams' words, "Sinn Fein is for law and order, we are for social justice, we are for decent, accountable civic-controlled policing. Let's get that and then let's move forward". Now as long as social justice doesn't involve kneecappings or baseball bats I think we may have - dare I say it - a good chance of a result in the upcoming Scotland talks.

As long as it's more than nice words. As long as he really is talking for his party's support base and not doing a David Trimble, i.e. stretching so far ahead of your core electorate that they snip the elastic and send you hurtling into political oblivion by your own momentum.

And another thing. Don't talk to me of "an historic opportunity". We've had enough false dawns. The Big Thing here is less hype and more listening. And anyway it's "a historic opportunity".


At 7:33 p.m., Anonymous Arthur said...

Welcome back BU. Good post. There will never be a better time than now.

A deal is definitely do-able IMO.

At 10:27 p.m., Anonymous levee said...

Good post BU. Loved the mental image of Trimble shooting off like that. Poor David.....

At 5:41 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

Nice to see you back. I think Gerry Adams has almost total control now. He started in the beginning with his own agenda and has connived and manipulated PIRA into exactly where and what he wants it to be. He is the epitomy of a great politician. If he is ever going to be president of Ireland (in toto) then he must do it politically. Ian Paisley, on the other hand, is doing exactly what I mentioned in an earlier post by highjacking the democratic process. While representing only a portion of the electorate, he wants to set and control the agenda, set all the preconditions (my way or the highway) and will stop government from happening unless all his preconditions are met. That is protestant hegemony as defined by Ian Paisley.

At 4:41 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...



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