DUP/SF deliver nothing by Groundhog Day on Community Relations

Sinn Fein accused the “usual naysayers” of opposing their and the DUP’s new “Together Building a United Community” (ex CSI (ex Shared Future)) strategy, or even simply told opponents effectively to shut up (“So what?”) – both of which were revealing, as the “naysayers” are actually right and Sinn Fein and its similarly authoritarian DUP chums know it.

I may want peace walls down by 2023; indeed I may want Northern Ireland to win the World Cup by then; but that isn’t worth anything without a clear plan to achieve it. No such plan exists. Sinn Fein and the DUP know that too.

This is just “Groundhog Day”. There is nothing of any real substance in the document at all. They didn’t show it to anyone else – even their Executive colleagues – in advance because they knew that too.

The other three parties, of course, face a resultant challenge of their own. If the Ulster Unionists are so opposed to care home closures, the SDLP so opposed to Welfare Reform, and the Alliance so opposed to no movement on a Shared Future, what are they doing accepting collective responsibility for them? On the other hand, a supposedly “new” process gives them an opportunity to contribute once more.

Regardless, the fact remains that this Executive is both fundamentally incompetent and fundamentally sectarian. It is not one with which I would be accepting collective responsibility, except if I wished to be complicit in the on-going breakdown of community relations, the on-going ignoring of the Rule of Law, and the on-going decline of the local economy. But so what, eh?

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3 thoughts on “DUP/SF deliver nothing by Groundhog Day on Community Relations

  1. Yes, Ian, but our clever consociational arrangements mean that there isn’t supposed to be any collective responsibility in the Northern Ireland Executive — it is actually designed so that individual Ministers can act individually, without fear of the whole Executive collapsing for lack of coordination. Awful design I agree, but no one in the Executive is actually under the pretence of collective responsibility.

    Does beg the question, though, that if you can’t stand this arrangement and want collective responsibility, then isn’t it about time to form an alternative? Crucial proviso is that it must be more than one party and be bi-communal.

    Can UUP, SDLP and Alliance get their collective act together? Or would that be a bridge too far?

  2. harryaswell says:

    So what, Ian? So what? indeed!! Somewhat to my own surprise, I at last find myself in full agreement in what you say in this instance. The root of the problem actually lies in the fudge that the GFA actually is. The whole thing was horribly rushed, with our representatives being forced to work all night so they voted “yes” in desperation for sleep! A recently much used political ploy it seems. The glorification of Bliar, all hail Bliar! The obvious, though difficult, answer is, of course, to re-negotiate the terms and systems of the GFA and get something better than D’Hont that will get us a properly democratic system. Sinn Fein will not like this, but are they important now? With the on-going rise of Dissident Republican Groups who never agreed to anything, who IS the more important?

    • As you know, the Alliance Party has long advocated a different form of power-sharing – accepting the principles of the Agreement but changing the sectarian mechanics.

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