Before looking at SF’s game-plan, let’s consider a few facts about the DUP
The DUP’s game-plan is clear, obvious and evident – back to the past.
Back to the glory days of the 1950’s.
“No surrender! No Surrender!”
Its main features are sectarian arrogance, political irresponsibility and contempt for nationalists and republicans at Stormont and in local councils.In a sectarian society where one party has supremacy it is not enough to assert triumph once. It has to be reasserted on a daily basis.
With DUP domination Northern Ireland has scandals like the RHI/NAMA/RED SKY/CHARTER NI etc. See here
Add in contempt for Irish culture, ethos and values, blocking an Irish Language Act, the Maze/Long Kesh Conflict Resolution Centre, marriage equality, a Bill of Rights, legacy inquests and British files to be made available to victim’s families. A lot of posts on this site deal with these issues.
In other words DUP exploits built-in vetoes to block all moves towards an equal society.
Indeed, DUP voters, who are a large minority of the NI population oppose equality, endorse “Us vs them’uns” politics and regard anything Catholics get as a loss to them.
Current evidence suggests sectarianism and hatred run too deep in them to change.
What’s the outcome?
A hollowing-out of the GFA and all the other promises Unionists and the British government made in solemn agreements.
What’s the SF game-plan?
neither Republicans nor anyone else agreed to uphold political institutions at the cost of civil and democratic rights.
But SF has failed to get its agenda through DUP blockades
Remember: There’s no Agreement if one partner has made repeated and reasonable attempts to negotiate and reach a mutually acceptable compromise but has been consistently ignored and insulted.
Indeed, realisation that the set-up at Stormont blocks and mocks Nationalist aspirations on every occasion has led to a drop-off in SF voters, as well as dissatisfaction, disillusion and disconnect in the Nationalist/Republican community.
Look at the gulf between what Republicans/Nationalists believe could have been achieved and what has been achieved.
Remember: The DUP never wanted the Stormont Assembly to work with republicans/nationalists onboard in a power-sharing agreement
Sinn Fein have bent over backwards to show tolerance towards the protestant / unionist community. Each act and gesture was thrown back in their faces
Queries: 1)Why is SF willing to appease the DUP at every opportunity?
Because they agreed to uphold Stormont.
At all costs? Come what may?
2) SF have abandoned all Republican ideals and politics for money and power in Stormont
3) SF are being blackmailed
By whom? And what’s the hold over them?
4) SF are busy horse-trading.
On the grounds that 10+ years contempt and humiliation = One Irish Language Act ?
5) SF’s doormat technique
is really a strategy to discredit the DUP. Working on the premise . .
Remember: Unionists haven’t allowed the GFA to work.
The central tenets of the GFA, parity of esteem and power-sharing have been trashed.
The DUP doesn’t want to, or are socially unable to, understand the “joint” nature of the First Minister/Deputy First Minister’s office.
Democracy for the DUP, democracy for the Unionists and nobody else – that is democracy in NI
With regards to the Ash for Cash scandal the DUP is in a weak negotiating position. No amount of bluster from First Minister Arlene Foster can change that. Sinn Féin, like other parties in the Stormont Assembly, has demanded that the FM stand aside pending an investigation.
“I don’t roll over to my political opponents.”
The DUP refusal makes the position of all the other parties – and therefore devolved government – effectively impossible.
She’s also demanding a special Stormont Assembly recall to put forward her plan to deal with the costs of her heating scheme and, since she says it does not involve financing, there’s no need to inform the Finance Minister .
Asked if she would accept Sinn Féin proposals for an independent investigation into the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) scheme, Mrs Foster replied bluntly: “No”.
Arlene Foster’s behaviour shows us that Stormont is ultimately unworkable.
It is unworkable because it gives a permanent green light to religious bigots and anti-Irish xenophobics.
Who want to continue their policies of entrenchment and discrimination for the forseeable future.
6) The doormat policy is a SF strategy to pull the rug from the Stormont assembly and cause another election
With the number of MLAs dropping from 108 to 90, SF risks losing up to 5 seats. As things currently stand we can envisage the following election messages:
DUP : Sorry, we made a mistake over RHI but we’re fixing it. And we kept the boot on SF’s neck.
SF: We should be returned to office so we can back down to the DUP over almost everything and allow them to
Given the sectarian voting patterns another election is expected to lead to the same government.
A DUP majority will most probably return to dominate the Executive, thus reinforcing their belief they have the right to do as they like, whenever they want.
Queries: Why should Nationalists and Republicans connive in keeping Stormont on a sectarian course that maintains their 2nd class citizenship status?
Why should they have to watch the people and the party they voted for being publicly humiliated
Rather than needing an election, SF need to get some results that show the GFA is working for their voters
7) Being/playing the doormat
is a SF strategy to pull the rug from the GFA on the grounds of DUP’s non-co-operation and refusal to adhere to GFA principles. Just at the right time to add to England’s difficulties with its Brexit debacle.
Some utterances by prominent SF representatives appear to support this hypothesis.
“If the DUP does take a unilateral approach, disregarding the authority and joint nature of the Executive Office on an issue which is cross-cutting, with massive budgetary implications and which is undermining public confidence in the political institutions this will have grave consequences.”
Martin McGuiness, Deputy First Minister, Stormont Assembly
“Political institutions cease to have value when they do not reflect equality, mutual respect and parity of esteem, and have become detached from the lives of citizens they are meant to serve.”
Declan Kearney, National Chairman of Sinn Féin.
“Today, we have a word of warning today for those who are clearly hell-bent on hollowing out the Good Friday Agreement and denying the rights of nationalists in the North – do not assume that republican patience is limitless!”
Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin MEP
“If the first minister does not take the actions that society desires and deserves and which a sustainable process of change requires, then Sinn Féin will bring this ongoing and totally unacceptable state of affairs to an end.”
Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin President
If SF collapses the whole Stormont arrangement, will the party return once all Agreements have been implemented?
If they return, how can they block the next wave of DUP candidates and the next round of humiliation at their hands?
Or will Stormont be gone for good?
PICS and REFS