Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Northern Ireland Briefing: Here we go again.

The recent IMC report is regarded as the most positive to date and it prepares the ground for local parties as they pack there bags and head to Stormont once more. The reconvened Assembly will commence on 15th May with no executive power. The Irish and British governments hope that the parties will come to an agreement about the future shape of devolution over the summer months. A final deadline of November 24th has been set by which time the parties must have agreed a way forward or the Assembly will once again be dissolved and the governments will implement 'plan B'. This plan has not be unveiled but the governments hope that hinting at some sort of joint authority will concentrate unionist minds.

Peter Robinson has emphasised his willingness to work with Sinn Fein in a recent speech in the USA. But he and the rest of the DUP know they need to bring their electorate with them, something that David Trimble never achieved. Many within the DUP feel it may take longer to persuade their followers to give Sinn Fein another chance.

Sinn Fein view the DUP as the stumbling block. Indicating their willingness to put the Agreement into practice, but warning they will not dance to the DUP's tune.

Devolved government at Stormont was suspended in October 2002, but MLAs have continued to be paid. If agreement is not reached by November 24th, payment will stop. MLAs and their staff will be out of work. The governments appear to believe that the threat of removing salaries may be the only way to achieve political progress in Northern Ireland. Sad to say, they may well be right.

2 Comments:

Anonymous the insider said...

I thought Students' Union Council had sorted out the IMC.

4/27/2006 12:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The IMC will become a cheerleading organisation for IRA/Sinn Fein.

4/27/2006 11:20 pm  

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