Now for the hard part

Believe it or not, I'm not disappointed that my scepticism about Paisley's intentions currently looks as though it was misplaced. I like being able to say "I told you so" as much as anyone - but the prospect of yet another delay, yet another extension of the Single Transferable Deadline, and above all yet another concession was just too grim to gloat over. So I'm happy if I've been proven wrong ... on this count. It remains to be seen, of course, whether the DUP are going to genuinely share power, or are merely going to use theirs to hold us back.

The media are all agog with reports of this "historic day". Some of you will probably say I'm just being cynical again, but I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. After all, haven't we already been here? Granted it's Paisley and McGuinness, rather than Trimble and Mallon/Durkan, at the helm and I accept all the blah-blah about Dr No finally saying "yes" but at the end of the day how much further along are we, really? I mean if you see the peace process as a vehicle to achieve a united Ireland - as the leadership and party faithful have always insisted it was - rather than merely as a conflict resolution device.

I remain of the view that we made a serious tactical error when the Assembly collapsed. Instead of telling the UUP "fair enough boys, it was your idea to begin with" we allowed ourselves to be sucked into the notion that the peace process depended on its restoration. In doing so, we handed rejectionist unionism the leverage to extract whatever it wanted from us. Now, after concession upon concession, the SF leadership has done well to convince most of the grassroots that getting the process back to where it was several years ago is "progress". We've really just come full circle, and it's still very much an open question whether the revived institutions will provide us the means to actually move forward.

1 comment:

The Youngfella said...

I agree 100%. I was going to blog it myself today, but I realised I had effectively said it all after the deal was done on March 26th.

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