NI elections: Can devolution now be restored?

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#1
Report Thread starter 15 years ago
#1
Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Hain has repeated his call for a commitment from political parties to the deadline for devolution.

He was speaking on the second day of counting in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

The DUP and Sinn Fein have so far taken more than half of the 108 assembly seats.

Mr Hain is meeting with both parties to discuss power-sharing in the wake of the results.

What is your reaction to the results? Can devolution now return to Northern Ireland? Send us your comments.
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yawn
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#2
Report 15 years ago
#2
The electorate have spoken - they want local politicians to manage local concerns.

Can devolution be restored - yes, because of the above.

Will devolution be restored? I doubt it because Paisley will do everything in his power to resist it on non-existent grounds. All the 'goal-posts he keeps attempting to move cannot be moved anymore since there is nowhere to put them.

Paisley does not want to share power with Catholics, period. It is against his quasi-religious principles.

His last public words on the matter last night were:

“Sinn Féin are not entitled to be at the table until they declare themselves for democracy. I am a democrat. I do not speak to loyalist paramilitaries. I do not talk to Sinn Féin."

I still see the film images of him preaching in his church. The sign over the pulpit said "We preach Christ crucified." He was preaching hatred against the Catholic Church. :rolleyes:

He will clutch at all straws and the running of NI will in all probability be overtaken, on a joint basis, by Westminster and Dublin.

That will be a great shame, because his intransigence will deny the NI people a say in their own destinies.
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abc88
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#3
Report 15 years ago
#3
(Original post by yawn)
The electorate have spoken - they want local politicians to manage local concerns.

Can devolution be restored - yes, because of the above.

Will devolution be restored? I doubt it because Paisley will do everything in his power to resist it on non-existent grounds. All the 'goal-posts he keeps attempting to move cannot be moved anymore since there is nowhere to put them.

Paisley does not want to share power with Catholics, period. It is against his quasi-religious principles.

His last public words on the matter last night were:

“Sinn Féin are not entitled to be at the table until they declare themselves for democracy. I am a democrat. I do not speak to loyalist paramilitaries. I do not talk to Sinn Féin."

I still see the film images of him preaching in his church. The sign over the pulpit said "We preach Christ crucified." He was preaching hatred against the Catholic Church. :rolleyes:

He will clutch at all straws and the running of NI will in all probability be overtaken, on a joint basis, by Westminster and Dublin.

That will be a great shame, because his intransigence will deny the NI people a say in their own destinies.
I agree. Unfortunately I do not see Paisley co-operating for the good of the NI people. It is a shame as Devolution is possible but certain politicians refuse to let go of the past in order to achieve it. In the end the people of NI suffer.
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tbtommyb
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#4
Report 15 years ago
#4
I don't think it will happen, I expect the Assembly to collapse and we'll have direct rule. And Paisley will blame everyone but himself.
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Sticky
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#5
Report 15 years ago
#5
I think it will happen because, much to the dismay of the Republicans who don't realise this yet, a stable, prosperous Northern Ireland is one that will keep the political status quo. I think the DUPs have finally realised that.

If you listen to both sides, they're all saying "Shut up, you guys lost the war, now let's get down to politics."

On the other hand, Republicans probably believe that they can somehow get unification... the only way that is going to happen is if Northern Ireland becomes incredibly prosperous, is paying too many subsidies to the Mainland and realises it's better off with its rich prosperous Southern neighbour. Many people have been saying that it will be the lure of the money from the South that will encourage the North to separate from the UK. It's not as simple as that.

In recent Western history, regions/countries have separated from their state when they have become prosperous, self-sufficient and there is no economic need to be part of a larger country (I'm not looking at Northern Ireland from the Catholic/Protestant conflict point of view, but simply as a region that would look into breaking off, just like England, Scotland or Wales might do).

For example: Slovenia, the richest part of Yugoslavia; the Czech Republic deciding to separate from Slovakia; the separatist movement in Catalonia, one of the richest regions of Spain; the separatist movement in Quebec, Canada.

There's always the nationalistic feeling (i.e. on the Unionists' side, being British and on the Republicans' side, the feeling of being Irish and especially not British) but that's not the only factor in play.
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technik
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#6
Report 15 years ago
#6
cant see it.

i cant think of any other place in the world where the people are forced to accept a government that consists of 4 parties by design rather than seeked coalitions. i also cant think of anywhere in the world where you put more conservative right wing parties (the unionists) with more liberal and in some cases blatently leftist parties (like SDLP, SF) and then expect anything coherent to happen.

there is also sinn feins lack of support for the police and their continued links to the IRA. this also would not be accepted in any other country in the western world.

i'll take direct rule until the conditions are right for me personally.
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technik
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#7
Report 15 years ago
#7
(Original post by Sticky)
I think it will happen because, much to the dismay of the Republicans who don't realise this yet, a stable, prosperous Northern Ireland is one that will keep the political status quo. I think the DUPs have finally realised that.

If you listen to both sides, they're all saying "Shut up, you guys lost the war, now let's get down to politics."

On the other hand, Republicans probably believe that they can somehow get unification... the only way that is going to happen is if Northern Ireland becomes incredibly prosperous, is paying too many subsidies to the Mainland and realises it's better off with its rich prosperous Southern neighbour. Many people have been saying that it will be the lure of the money from the South that will encourage the North to separate from the UK. It's not as simple as that.

In recent Western history, regions/countries have separated from their state when they have become prosperous, self-sufficient and there is no economic need to be part of a larger country (I'm not looking at Northern Ireland from the Catholic/Protestant conflict point of view, but simply as a region that would look into breaking off, just like England, Scotland or Wales might do).

For example: Slovenia, the richest part of Yugoslavia; the Czech Republic deciding to separate from Slovakia; the separatist movement in Catalonia, one of the richest regions of Spain; the separatist movement in Quebec, Canada.

There's always the nationalistic feeling (i.e. on the Unionists' side, being British and on the Republicans' side, the feeling of being Irish and especially not British) but that's not the only factor in play.
many unionists aren't adverse to the idea of a united ireland if the conditions are right. infact i suspect many expect it will happen at some point anyway although probably not for a significant period of time as it would require a referendum and most polls show around 20% of the catholic population (probably the upper middle class catholic vote) are still happy enough for the status quo. there is still a protestant majority of around 10 percentage points too which, at current birth rates, will take longer and longer to close and will probably freeze long before there is parity or even a catholic majoirity. few protestants would ever vote for the idea but a large proportion would accept a united ireland if it meant the mother of all gravy trains. this is something missed by most people who don't actually live in northern ireland and therefore have less idea what they are on about. (im not suggesting this of you btw sticky as i don't know your situation). few outsiders appreciate the feeling of abandonment by the british government that we've seen in recent years. but then what more would you expect of a labour party...

my personal opinion is that the loyalists have realised that the nationalist-esque attempts of blair and hain and the continued interference of ahern shows the path the governments are trying to pursue. they'll sit and wait for the next stage of the war. it only takes a few hundred of them to start blowing the **** out of everything for it to return to the way it was in the 70's and 80's particularly. and then you'll see the recruits flying in.
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yawn
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#8
Report 15 years ago
#8
Now the SF have endorsed support of the PSNI and the IMC have maintained for their last four reports that the IRA have ceased their campaign, there is no further excuse for the DUP to resist power sharing.

It is obviously in the best interests for the people of NI to have their own assembly and already, the politicians on all sides have included strategies for local policies in their election campaigns - and it is heartening to see that SF and the DUP share the same proposals for water rates!

NI can share in the same prosperity that the Republic have been enjoying for many years now with closer cross-border links.

I just hope that Paisley can see further than the end of his own nose.
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Jim-ie
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#9
Report 15 years ago
#9
The only excuse for the DUP not to go into devolution is one that they will never say in the media, they dont want to see anyone other then themselves in power. To be quite honest, Paisley can recieve my bill for water charges if it comes in. Neither me nor my family will be paying it. He's spent 40 years saying no, and now he wants to say yes but can't because he'll be labelled a traitor even more, maybe now he knows how silly he's been now he's in the shoes of the same people he oppossed over 40 years.

As far as economic prosperity goes some people over-rate the speed of NI and some people under-rate it, I personally over-rate it. We're doing decently now but we're only playing catchup and we will never be able to compare to even the secondary and third English cities, we'll never compare to Dublin either and that's sad to be honest. Money talks in Government down south, money talks in every country in the world so I dont see why people would be suprised that Dublin isnt very keen on bringing us in, its about as keen as the UK is to keep us. The difference is that in the end it signed up to the GFA through referendum which had an overwhelming majority and is obliged to take the north in, in the event of a majority saying yes north and south. Don't kid yourself that its not going to happen, it probably will, considering the state of the UK, that doesnt mean its going to happen overnight.
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Sticky
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#10
Report 15 years ago
#10
(Original post by technik)
few outsiders appreciate the feeling of abandonment by the british government that we've seen in recent years. but then what more would you expect of a labour party...
It's pretty obvious that what Tony Blair would want more than anything is for the UK to no longer have Northern Ireland on their hands. His attitude towards Gibraltar is the same (although I wouldn't want to compare the two entities as they're very different,simply the fact Gibraltar isn't part of the UK shows that): even if you have 95% of the population wishing to remain British and who are proud to be British citizens, he'll trade them off to improve relations with Spain. To him, being British is not really something worth making any effort for.

I think this transpires in other British (mostly English) people's posts here. No longer really understands why people would want to be British. Progressively, British opinion has become more and more insular. The average Brit becomes more interested in "cross-border" squabbles within, than Britain's position in the world. Brown's desire to establish British values is in response to this. Hopefully he'll be able to repair what Blair has done, but that's really unlikely.

Sure, Labour's done some great things for the economy: the average Brit is a lot richer but in return, the average Brit with a bit of money dreams of buggering off abroad, with a total lack of attachment to a country they no longer know.
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Daragh
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#11
Report 15 years ago
#11
For as long as Paisley and certain loyalist groups continue to cause problems for the Catholic people in Northern Ireland, and disrupt SF marches, devolution will not be granted.

The British Government will not grant devolution to a country where the political parties cannot agree on the key issues at hand.

It is most likely that the British will continue to interfere in NI politics, and the Dáil will most likely want to stay out of it.

As for a powershare between Britain the the ROI, I don't think it will happen.

The reason for the split of the 6 counties from the original 32 was due to a vote in the Republic. They voted they did not want the 6 counties to be part of their country (IIRC), and I personally don't think the Dáil will contemplate a power share with the British if that is still the case.
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GerardT
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#12
Report 15 years ago
#12
I'm gonna say.... cautiously.... yes. Don't think Paisley will give up probably his final chance for power before he retires from politics (one way or the other).

I only hope the two governments don't move the deadline again, if it isn't gonna happen by end of March it's dead in the water, there are no more hoops they can make Republicans jump through and I think the electorate's patience with the DUP is wearing thin.

On a different note, woohoo for the first Green MLA, elected in my consstituency!!
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Jim-ie
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#13
Report 15 years ago
#13
(Original post by deej)
For as long as Paisley and certain loyalist groups continue to cause problems for the Catholic people in Northern Ireland, and disrupt SF marches, devolution will not be granted.

The British Government will not grant devolution to a country where the political parties cannot agree on the key issues at hand.

It is most likely that the British will continue to interfere in NI politics, and the Dáil will most likely want to stay out of it.

As for a powershare between Britain the the ROI, I don't think it will happen.

The reason for the split of the 6 counties from the original 32 was due to a vote in the Republic. They voted they did not want the 6 counties to be part of their country (IIRC), and I personally don't think the Dáil will contemplate a power share with the British if that is still the case.
Not really, the British are already trying to give devolution if the two main parties agree, thats the whole point.

Also, the reason for the split was because it was part of a treaty, the Dail that voted on it was an all ireland parliament, it was signed because an even bigger war was threatened and it could not be risked, the attitude of the time (even by some unionists) that the north would crumble in 5 to 10 years time.

Since the Irish government signed up to the GFA they wont be backing away from involvement, at least, as long as Fianna Fail are in power. Fine Gael arent too fussed about the whole united ireland thing.
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Daragh
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#14
Report 15 years ago
#14
(Original post by Jim-ie)
Not really, the British are already trying to give devolution if the two main parties agree, thats the whole point.

Also, the reason for the split was because it was part of a treaty, the Dail that voted on it was an all ireland parliament, it was signed because an even bigger war was threatened and it could not be risked, the attitude of the time (even by some unionists) that the north would crumble in 5 to 10 years time.

Since the Irish government signed up to the GFA they wont be backing away from involvement, at least, as long as Fianna Fail are in power. Fine Gael arent too fussed about the whole united ireland thing.
Remind me to shoot my source :p:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6443835.stm Theres some rather interesting things in that article.

Basically, Stormont have to decide upon a power share, or they're shut down again and the MLAs will have their pay stopped.

That should be a good incentive...
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seaweasel
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#15
Report 15 years ago
#15
I'm hoping that the assembly will get back on track as I'll be moving to Northern Ireland in all likelyhood within the next year or two. And I'm also cautiously going to predict that it will, however it's not a dead cert and it will happen at the last minute.

A couple of good points have already been mentioned, firstly that however much Paisley despises making any sort of compromise, he'll want his last stab at political power, and more importantly, money. The Northern Irish economy still has a long way to go, but it's developing rapidly. I've only been going over for just under three years, but every time I'm there (specifically Co Armagh), there are new housing developments appearing everywhere (the irony however is that we won't be able to build our own house on my fiance's family's land unless the recent planning legislation gets overturned, anyway I digress). The Republic is also throwing money at the North and I think it's only a matter of time before even hardline Unionists see the benefit for Northern Ireland (and their own pockets) for cooperative government and encouraging economic growth. Coupled with the increased popularity of civic nationalism throughout the UK, I don't think it's inconceivable that Northern Ireland could find itself leaving the UK (not in the near future however).

Good to see a Green MLA getting elected too.
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Jim-ie
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#16
Report 15 years ago
#16
I wouldn't really say Paisley is worried about money to be honest, he's went about 40 years on saying No with an income and he still gets paid for being an MP, he's dead in a few years and he wants to be the first minister of the state he see's himself as the protector of.

You're right though, unionism is modernising and as far as I can see its starting with the PUP ideas, or more specifically Ervine, but he died a while back anyway. Half of the DUP wants to go more forward and the other half don't, its pretty much the same in Republicanism aswell.
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