Monday 23 January 2017

Faux crisis just another tantrum

The mollycoddling of the North's political version of spoiled toddlers has to stop, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 31/01/2010 | 05:00

LOSING SLEEP: Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen have
more pressing problems to be dealing with than spending
their days and nights trying to cajole the Sinn Fein and DUP delegations into agreement on policing.
LOSING SLEEP: Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen have more pressing problems to be dealing with than spending their days and nights trying to cajole the Sinn Fein and DUP delegations into agreement on policing.

Crisis, what crisis? Former British Prime Minister James Callaghan was pilloried for supposedly uttering those words when he arrived home in the late Seventies in the midst of industrial chaos.

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Actually he never said them, but the current holder of the post, together with the Taoiseach, could have done worse last week than repeat the infamous dictum as Sinn Fein and the DUP summoned them to Northern Ireland for the latest round of -- yawn -- crisis talks.

What's happening in the North right now isn't a crisis, it's simply the latest in a series of opportunistic tantrums from people trying to divert attention from their own internal problems by manufacturing a phoney political debacle. Even if you take Sinn Fein's version of events entirely on trust -- namely that the institutions of the power-sharing government at Stormont cannot be allowed to stand a moment longer unless policing is devolved -- the tactic makes no sense. So policing hasn't been devolved yet. So what?

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