December 08, 2004

DUP Block Deal Yet Again

It seems, yet again, that no definitive agreement on power sharing has been reached between the parties in Northern Ireland. The problem: decommissioning of IRA weapons and how to prove that it has taken place. All parties appear to have agreed that decommissioning will take place and even gone as far as discussing independent witnesses. Indeed, all the deal appears to be sticking on is whether photographs will be taken of the decommissioning process. DUP leader Ian Paisley suggested that photographs would be a "punishment" for the IRA. Sinn Fein stated that the IRA would never be humiliated. And that was that - impasses and nobody will budge. It seems that as in the past it is the DUP that is blocking the process by making demands they know will not and cannot be met by the Republican side. Indeed, one wonders sometimes if the DUP actually want a power-sharing arrangement at all such is their obstinance. A decade ago the IRA were still planting bombs in London, and the Republic of Ireland continued to lay claim to rightful ownership of the North. Times have changed and all parties must move on from their sectarian partizanship - it is in everybody's interest that a peaceful democratic agreement is made.