Thursday 17 August 2017

Parties keep on delivering insults to electorate

Sam Smyth

THE DUP has dictated the progress of the talks with a slow, slow, turn and stall waltz over the past week.

Just when all the issues seem to be sorted out, Mr Robinson finds another reason to delay an announcement, yet he is careful not to appear to be nitpicking.

The leaders of the DUP are anxious to keep the views of their backwoods members -- as voiced by minister Gregory Campbell of Derry -- away from the airwaves and newspapers.

It is precisely this element of the DUP that Peter Robinson is anxious not to leave behind. But in truth, they don't really care what anyone else thinks about them and they take pride in their stubbornness.

Last night, Robinson was at it again, warning that the DUP does not respond well to threats of bringing down the assembly, while also assuring everyone that his party is committed to power-sharing.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly emphasised how close his party was to a deal with the DUP, adding that it must be frustrating for journalists.

However, he ignored how exasperating all of the stop-start and the secrecy must be for the public who elected Sinn Fein and the DUP.

Stalling

No one in Sinn Fein or the DUP appears to notice the insult to the electorate of two sovereign prime ministers waiting with packed overnight bags for a call from Hillsborough.

Nor do they have much thought for the people of the North, who have been vocal about their anger at the politicians stalling the talks.

Everyone connected to the talks seemed to think the deal was done at lunchtime yesterday. But as the outgoing SDLP leader Mark Durkan reminded us, next weekend will mark the 1,000th day of devolution and still the DUP and Sinn Fein can barely exchange a civil word.

The Taoiseach and British prime minister did nothing for the dignity of their high offices when they dashed to Hillsborough last week.

Yesterday morning, the Taoiseach called off a meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister, lest he be required to make the 100-mile dash.

Such is the egomaniacal nature of the North's politicians that they expected US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was in Paris last Friday, to visit Hillsborough. Mercifully, she declined.

Irish Independent

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