The Stormont blame game… January 12, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Newton Emerson’s latest column on the collapse of the Executive at Stormont is interesting, as much for what is not said as what is. But when he writes that:
McGuinness may be leaving office with his dignity intact, and many in Sinn Féin will relish the firmer line to come, but his departure still represents failure for all sides in Northern Ireland….truth is that the actual thrust of what he says places the blame firmly at the door of the DUP and not just Arlene Foster. Indeed for those of us used to his rather sneering comments about SF over the years the tone and substance of this piece is something of a surprise.
Sinn Féin made sincere efforts for weeks, at risk to its own credibility, to avoid bringing the Executive down.
It is clear from McGuinness’s letter, not to mention from observation, that Foster’s personal conduct tipped things over the edge.
Under pressure from the anger of Sinn Féin’s own constituents, McGuinness has had no choice but to pull the plug.
He says he has done so with deep regret and reluctance, and that is entirely believable.
Whatever street games both sides were playing in that first tense summer after the flag protests, the Maze centre was a long-term project, painstakingly worked out in Robinson and McGuinness’s office. It had only just commenced when the DUP leader pulled the plug in disrespectfully temperamental fashion, by late-night email from his Florida holiday home.
Quite specific promises made to Sinn Féin at St Andrews, such as an Irish-language act, were put on permanent hold.
McGuinness has challenged republicans and nationalists with his outreach to unionists, only to be frustrated when he felt this was not reciprocated.
McGuinness has fulfilled his role as deputy first minister for 10 years in good faith.
Of course Emerson is no fan of the DUP but this is striking.
Furthermore one name does not appear – that being one I. Paisley. No one would accuse him of being an emollient figure but contrasted with Robinson and particularly Foster his tenure appears more rather than less constructive – words I never thought I’d write.
And Emerson makes one incontrovertible point to conclude:
Once again, unionists are about to be taught the lesson they never learn: deal with nationalism now, or get a worse deal later.