Well, colour me surprised

Paisley has moved the goalposts again, now insisting that there will be no Executive until Sinn Féin accepts the PSNI.

No doubt the SDLP will soon be agreeing with him, followed by the Irish Government (it suits both of them better if we, rather than the DUP, are the obstructionists) and before you know it it'll be those bloody Shinners holding things up again, just as it was when the words of the GFA were mysteriously rearranged to reveal a "prerequisite" of total IRA decommissioning.

None of this is surprising. What I find disappointing, however, is how Sinn Féin are playing right into our opponents' hands by accepting the premise that Stormont actually matters.

Let's cast our memories back to 1998 and the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement. Who was pushing for a devolved government in the North? Not us. We accepted it because we had to - it was created as a sop to unionism. Now we're going around saying that the Assembly has to be restored, that it must have real powers, that the formation of an Executive is crucial. What, precisely, has changed?

A couple months ago either Adams or McGuinness, can't remember which, said something along the lines of: If we can't get a proper Assembly up and running, we may as well scrap the whole thing and focus on the implementation of the rest of the Agreement. I would agree 100% with that, but I haven't heard any of our party leadership repeat it since. Instead we're giving out about the absence of an institution which we never wanted to begin with.

Now I'm not saying that devolved government is a bad thing, in and of itself. I accept that there were and would be some benefits to it. But I completely disagree with the extent to which we have allowed its restoration to be equated with "progress". First, because I think it's largely irrelevant to our long-term goals and second, because it's the one area where the DUP actually can block progress and of course, as long as they can, they will.

How many more concessions from us is it going to take before we realise this?

1 comment:

Chris Gaskin said...

I agree Wednesday

I was watching Hearts and Minds last week and McGuinness was talking about restoring the "Government" not the executive but the Government!

I fucking cringed!!

  Subscribe with Bloglines