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Political choreography February 13, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Are we back in the land of political choreography again? I guess it would have been undue haste for the reinstatement of Executive and Assembly yesterday. And so we have the inevitable arrival of PM and Taoiseach. And presumably their departure. And so on and so on.

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1. An Sionnach Fionn - February 13, 2018

The old Stormont hokey pokey. Very early 2000s. We’re going backward, not forward, and Theresa May seems to be just spinning in circles. Brexiteers to right of her, Dupes to left (or the further right!).

I can’t see what the political payoff is for SF going back to Stormont? A “hard border” will make any arrangement temporary, as the Executive will split down the middle over that anyway. Are they hoping to be in power at Stormont, get EU-approved regulatory alignment for the 26 and 6 Counties, see the DUP storm out of the administration, then hope to cobble something together with the SDLP, APNI and UUP moderates? They won’t have the cross-community numbers and the UUP are not far behind the DUP on the Brexit line. Under Swann their handful of pro-EU moderates are sidelined.

There is no appetite, that I can see, among northern nationalists for a return to Stormont. More than a few are hoping for joint-authority by the back door.

I’m not sure if a “government” in Belfast with SF participation will make any difference to its electoral chances in the rest of the country if Varadkar risks a general election. Voters down south don’t really care that much about the minutiae of the north. SF in or out of Stormont will have little effect beyond Micheál Martin soundbites.

In latter case, he will just switch from SF won’t/can’t govern in the north, the hypocrites, to SF is overseeing Tory austerity in the north, the hypocrites…

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WorldbyStorm - February 13, 2018

I’ve run through it in my head and arrived at precisely the same thoughts – o wonder though has it got to the point where they’ll try something, anything, to push their support upwards?

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An Sionnach Fionn - February 13, 2018

Yeah, maybe SF’s willingness to deal is predicated on good optics for southern voters. But it won’t give them much of a bounce if any with that electorate. And risks shedding votes in the northern powerhouse after knocking the SDLP and PBPA almost out of the nationalist electoral game.

I can’t see any upside, unless I get into deep and convoluted political strategies. Though, in fairness, that is where a certain G Adams excels.

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2. CL - February 13, 2018

‘Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster has said there will be no free-standing Irish Language act….
the DUP leader said there would be no compulsory Irish language in schools, no one would be forced to learn Irish, there would be no quotas for Irish speakers in the civil service and there would be no bilingual road signs….
The DUP leader said her test for any proposal is whether it impinges on the rights of those who are British or in any way weakens the union….
the party’s manifesto makes it “absolutely clear” that the DUP “won’t sign up to any deal that diminishes Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom”….
Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy said the DUP… know that the agreement requires an Acht Gaeilge.”
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43048025

‘”Whether it is this week, whether it is in a couple of weeks or whether it’s in a couple of months what I must ensure is that we have an accommodation that everybody feels content with.” said Foster
Mrs Foster also made clear that if devolution is restored she expects to be first minister of the new administration.
Sinn Féin had previously ruled out her return to the post while an inquiry into a botched green energy scheme continued.”
https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2018/0213/940408-power-sharing/

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3. CL - February 14, 2018

‘The Democratic Unionist leader, Arlene Foster, has said there is no prospect of restoring Northern Ireland’s devolved government….
Foster said attempts to find a stable and sustainable resolution had been unsuccessful.’
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/14/arlene-foster-no-prospect-restored-government-northern-ireland

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WorldbyStorm - February 14, 2018

Interesting how this has all happened isn’t it?

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CL - February 14, 2018

Yes, it looked as if a deal was ‘imminent’,-was the word used. And with May and Varadkar arriving yesterday it seemed all set, And then,,

” The current strong force in the DUP are the ten Westminster MPs, with full time jobs and a new strategic importance for the British government, due to Brexit.
Arlene Foster has been unable to get the backing of all ten for the proposals that had emerged from four weeks of negotiations with Sinn Féin….The crisis in power-sharing has significant challenges for the British and Irish governments in their role as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement. Direct rule, against the backdrop of Brexit, will not be an easy option.” -Tommie Gorman.
https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2018/0214/940744-northern-ireland-politics/

‘The former first minister and her party have been shaken by the level of opposition within the DUP and in the wider unionist community over any deal that would include a standalone Irish language act as demanded by Sinn Féin, party sources said on Wednesday.’ -Henry McDonald.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/14/arlene-foster-no-prospect-restored-government-northern-ireland

Sinn Fein and the Irish govt. now have to react to the prospect of Tory/Dup rule of NI as the Brexit debacle stumbles towards a denouement.

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WorldbyStorm - February 14, 2018

Depressing, isn’t it? Interesting too how the DUP is getting the stick for this this time.

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CL - February 14, 2018

I’m not so sure it would be in Sinn Fein’s interest to be part of a NI administration if Brexit re-imposes a border.
Foster gave the cold shoulder to Varadkar on Monday refusing to meet with him saying it was all an internal NI matter. But now with the DUP propping up the Tory govt., and northern nationalism without any representation some form of Dublin involvement is inevitable, possibly bolstered by a pan-nationalist approach to Brexit. The unionists will again circle the wagons.

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4. CL - February 15, 2018

Mary Lou McDonald ” told IrishCentral that the two governments now must get centrally involved in finding a solution but there can be no compromise about an Irish language act which is already enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements….
McDonald stated she had met with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney to discuss next steps but emphasized again direct rule from Westminster was out. Despite the collapse she stated she remained optimistic a deal could be struck with the proper commitment from the two governments.”
https://www.irishcentral.com/news/politics/northern-ireland-talks-sinn-fein

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5. GW - February 15, 2018

I think where Sinn Féin went wrong was not naming the Irish Language Bill the

‘Irish Language and Amnesty for Ahem Oversupply of Wood Pellets and Related Issues Bill’.

That might have elicited a yes from the DUP. Might.

Is there a word for yes in Ulster-Scots?

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Fergal - February 15, 2018

Och aye!

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6. CL - February 15, 2018

‘”In fact we had a draft agreement by the end of last week. At that time we advised the DUP leadership that the deal should be closed before those opposed to it could unpick what we had achieved….
Sinn Féin at this time will not be publishing the draft agreement….
In keeping with our commitment to transparency we will provide copies of the draft agreement text to the two governments and we will brief the other parties in the Assembly and the Oireachtas.” MLMcD.

“the two governments must now move ahead to implement existing agreements on legacy and an Irish Language Act and meet their obligations for equality, by bringing forward legislation on marriage equality….
We are calling upon them to establish the British Irish inter-governmental conference as soon as possible.” Michelle O’Neill
http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/48267

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7. CL - February 16, 2018

‘Power, for the DUP, is not to be held nor shared but to be wielded. And wielded in defence of the few rather than for the good of the many…..Nearly a third of its members are Free Presbyterians – a denomination (founded by the late Ian Paisley) which constitutes just about 0.6% of the population in Northern Ireland….
The electoral dominance of Sinn Féin and the DUP is not an expression of passion for hardline nationalism and unionism….
Most in Northern Ireland don’t want to be forced to choose between Britain and Ireland -Katy Hayward.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/15/dup-responsibility-government-northern-ireland

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8. CL - February 16, 2018

‘the Ancient Order of Hibernians …has renewed calls for the appointment of a U.S. Special Envoy to the Northern Ireland peace and political process….
In a letter to President Donald Trump the AOH said ‘“The refusal of the DUP to meet with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as he attempted to aid in negotiations is an arrogant repudiation of the Republic of Ireland as co-signer and partner in the Good Friday Agreement….
“In September 2017, President Trump committed to appointing a Special Envoy to Northern Ireland; the AOH reminds the president of his pledge and asks him to honor it before the Good Friday Agreement is irretrievably undermined.”
https://www.irishecho.com/2018/02/talks-collapse-renewed-call-u-s-envoy/

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