Monday, March 26, 2007


Welcome to Bizarro world

Wow, now there's a Kodak moment. Talk about surreal.

In a historic deal brokered by the DUP's Ian Paisley and Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, the Irish and British governments have agreed to accommodate the new target date of May 8th for the restoration of power-sharing.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair discussed this morning's developments in a phone call this lunchtime, and agreed to the six-week delay, in view of what is seen as an 'absolute commitment' to restore the institutions.

If you're finding that hard to believe, get a load of this quote:

"We must not allow our justified loathing of the horrors and tragedies of the past to become a barrier to making a better and more stable future for our children.''

Who said that? Ian Paisley that's who! Unbelievable stuff.

I still don't see why the DUP have to wait until May for devolution. Something just doesn't add up here.

And while I expect to hear gushing praise given to all concerned from most quarters today, I remain very sceptical of today's events. Notice how no one has been left with egg on their faces, no one has lost out. EVERYBODY involved has profited in some way.

Prior to the elections it was all about the two governments, the DUP and Sinn Féin. Now, after this announcement, who are the big winners? Why funnily enough it's the two governments, the DUP and Sinn Féin!

Tony Blair can now leave office and pass the 'torch of history' if you will unto Gordon Brown leaving his legacy in our island intact. The Secretary of State Peter Hain, the notorious Brown-noser, can make his historic speeches and claim to be the Secretary of State who got the two sides talking.

Bertie Ahern and the Fianna Fáilers can march confidently toward the summer elections here in the Republic claiming to be the boys who finally sorted out those pesky rejectionist unionists. They can claim they brought about stability to the island.

Ian Paisley and the DUP can claim they got big concessions from Sinn Féin and have done what was required of them by the unionist people (as dodgy as that will sound). No doubt today's events will make for a nice part in the Paisley film that's meant to be on the way.

Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin meanwhile can continue pushing themselves as the party for the future. The guys who want to see an island of equals etc. They will remind us at every opportunity of the huge sacrifices that they have made and how they got rejectionist unionism to embrace their all-island agenda.

And you know what? I reckon quite a few people will buy into all this. It is certainly a great deal achieved by all parties. Greater than many may realise.

Me? I'll not get swept along by the inevitable euphoria. I suspect we're going to hear the word "progress" uttered quite a lot in the coming weeks and months but I would ask you to reflect upon this quote from the great Irishman George Bernard Shaw:

"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people."

Seems more than appropriate don't you think?


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