Thursday, 28 January 2010

Brown Needs to Wind His Neck In on Pledging Billions in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan

'Following the failure of Mr Cowen and Mr Blair [sic!]to secure a deal between the parties, the pressure is now on DUP leader Peter Robinson and Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister and chief negotiator Martin McGuinness to decide by tomorrow whether to agree their own proposals or accept the governments’ draft ones.' .
 ...' if the parties could not agree a way forward by tomorrow, they [the leaders of the UK and Irish governments, ed.] would publish their own “specific” proposals for an agreement.
If in turn the British-Irish blueprint is rejected, it seems virtually certain that the Northern Executive and Assembly will collapse and Assembly elections will be called..... if there was no agreement, the £800 million Mr Brown has pledged to support the setting up of a Department of Justice would be withdrawn.' (see this morning's Irish Times).

Another enormous sum pledged by the Prime Minister of a country he has reduced to debt-ridden penury.  That's £8oo million for the transfer of UK state powers to a Northern Irish region partially governed by republican separatists.  To which is now to be added, insult to injury,  £500 million to a fund administered by a 'global' (or international as we used to say) non-democratic governance body to buy off the enemy UK troops have been sent to  fight  in Afghanistan (oh how we all sneered at the Italian government when they explained their fighting tactics included paying the enemy to lay off).  That makes £1.3 billion, which we have not got - to borrow a phrase - to do what?  Dismember the Union and fund enemy Taliban fighters. 

In Northern Ireland the United Kingdom  and Irish Republic  prime ministers  want to set a pre-election date in May for transferring policing and justice powers to the Northern Irish Executive – which is Sinn Féin’s key demand – yet their proposals are not yet fully detailed.  These are supposed to be proposals for addressing  such issues as: North-South  relations (surely the relations between a UK region and a foreign power are reserved expressly and permanently to the UK central government); dealing with the  sectarianism that plagues  Northern Ireland,  (sectarianism that plagues parts of Scotland and parts of north-western England too, so coping with sectarianism and its ugly political product could well be reserved to the central UK government for it is a multi-regional problem),  the status in the region of the Irish language (Irish is nice, like Welsh is nice; that looks like just a filler issue); and Parades (well parades are part of sectarianism,  being singled-out to raise the 'you don't want fighting on the streets again do you?' threats).   Talk of 'enhanced mechanisms' for 'addressing issues' is  garbage.  Labour wants to hand over state power to separatist movements in a UK region.

'During their press conference, Mr Brown described the proposals 10 times as “reasonable”'.  How unfortunate that they are without detail; still we do have Brown's assurance that 'reasonable' applies to them, whatever they may be. And that they are accompanied by an £800 million bung.

'“We look forward to receiving an update on progress from the First and Deputy First Ministers on Friday,” Mr Cowen and Mr Brown said in their joint statement.
“If it proves impossible for the parties to resolve the outstanding issues, we are prepared to bring forward  'our specific proposals at that point for wider debate and discussion.”

Go for it Northern Irish Unionists!  Hang in there refusing to be 'reasonable'.  As it's our money and our United Kingdom as well as yours, we are relying on you to force this living dead  Labour government to bring forward  their '...specific proposals at that point for wider debate and discussion.” '

Earlier yesterday, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, speaking in Irish [nice, as we noted, lovely language, the Welsh speak in Welsh  to make a point sometimes] said he was “very dissatisfied” with developments.  [well, he would be wouldn't he?] Martin McGuinness said Sinn Féin would “not be subject to a unionist veto or an Orange Order precondition”. [not so nice,  is that fighting talk, McGuinness?]
Peter Robinson said that issues of “life-and-death concern” were identified during the talks, and that they were “committed to ensure that devolution works in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland [it would also be nice to keep the interests of the Union as a whole in mind, Robinson] and will not accept any second-rate deal simply to get across the line to suit someone else’s deadline.”



Nick Drew said...

Brown solving everyone else's problems (with our money) - watch this (starts around 13:20) as the NuLab stooge says - what's important in Afghanistan is "to tackle the root causes of their poverty"

to which the doughty Andrew Neil responds - your government doesn't even know how to tackle the root causes of poverty in Glasgow, where male life expectancy is lower than in Kabul !

no knighthood for that man

hatfield girl said...

If we are going to buy compliance with our objectives what are we sending troops to die in these places for first? We should just cough up straight away.

'How much not to attack us or our interests' isn't too hard a question to get an answer to. I fear that what the real question too often asked is:

As you're more resilient, determined and dangerous than we thought and we're facing unacceptable losses we cannot explain at home, how much to let us get out without losing too much face?

And how many times have Labour got us into these kinds of negotiations in their 13 years?

Steve Hemingway said...

This is what politicians do: use taxpayers' money to create personal and party advantage. To complain about this is like complaining that the cat has killed another bird.