Saturday, January 08, 2005


Durkan Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In an interesting part of this crisis in the peace process,the DUP have turned their attention on Mark Durkan and the SDLP to see how they react to the situation.

Today,DUP leader Rev Ian Paisley stated that: "It is now up to both Tony Blair and Mark Durkan to take up our challenge and allow the people of Northern Ireland to have good government free from the taint of terror and criminality."

DUP Deputy leader Peter Robinson went even further saying: "Let the rest of us go forward without them.And the challenge therefore goes down to people like Mark Durkan and the SDLP.

"Are they prepared to leave go the hand of Sinn Fein and recognise that they aren't the kind of people that can be in government?

"Is Mark Durkan thinking that it is possible for him to be in government with bank robbers and terrorists?"

Mark's tame reponse to the news on Friday has left him in a precarious situation.
His failure to lambast Sinn Fein leaves him in an unenviable situation with the nationalist community.
I stated that it was vital for Mark to criticise Sinn Fein severely if Hugh Orde blamed them for the bank robbery.I stated that his response should be just as harsh as the unionists,if not more so.
The fact is however,very few people would've known what Mark said on the issue!
If Mark had blasted Sinn Fein over the actions of the Provos,people would've taken notice,especially those within the nationalist community.

Alas,Mark's failure to do this means that no one really knows his stance on the bank robbery and if he agrees with the DUP,in the eyes of the nationalist community he is too weak and is bowing to the pressure of Paisley.
On the other hand,if he sides with Sinn Fein,his credibility is undermined especially with unionists.
If he does nothing,the SDLP's dismal position remains the same.
Mark has messed up.Big time!

I have said it before and I'll say it again-it is time for a Fianna Fail/SDLP merger.
The nationalist community is crying out for a respectable alternative to Sinn Fein.


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