matter how dismissive of superstition we may be,
it remains difficult to suppress an awareness
of Friday the 13th each time it comes around.
A rational mind knows that the chances of something
ominous happening on Black Friday are normally
1 in 365. But if on that day bad luck lands on
the doorstep there will be more than enough willing
to see the date as the main causal factor. Even
the rational fail to blank it out entirely.
Friday, the 13th, helped create the atmospherics
for Sinn Fein's performance at the St Andrew's
talks. The outcome however had nothing to do with
bad luck and everything to do with bad leadership.
25 years after the hunger strikes ended with a
rallying cry from the H-Block prisoners who shook
their emaciated but determined fists at constitutional
nationalism for its supposed proclivity towards
selling out, here were those whose political careers
were propelled by the events of 1981, selling
off everything republican in return for some British
power which the British state would allow them
to administer. For the one time republican party,
British rule is okay so long as it is not direct.
A shameful act carried out by shameless people.
their lust for mercs and perks they even abandoned
the children: 'damn your kids and the abolition
of the 11 plus - we want power.' The DUP smelt
the Sinn Fein power lust and decided to shame
Martin McGuinness, who while British education
minister promised the abolition of academic selection.
The next move will almost certainly be the release
of highly dubious details into the public domain
firming up allegations made earlier this year
that McGuinness is a British spy. The DUP must
reckon if it can hobble the Derry Catholic politician
sufficiently, it could end up forming a Paisley/Ruane
government. The allegations will unsettle enough
nerves. Only the drone and devotee could fail
to realise that 10 Freddie Scappaticcis could
not have destroyed republicanism as effectively
or thoroughly as McGuinness and his camarilla.
And like the mafia, some will think, 'why take
successful in destroying McGuinness, Paisley would
trumpet that he had sent the IRA slinking off
with its tail between its legs. The DUP electorate
would be more at ease with Ruane as deputy first
minister than McGuinness. What unionist would
seriously fear a Paisley/Ruane scenario?
is probably fair to say that few expected as much
ground to be covered at St Andrews as there was.
Brian Feeney summed up the outcome as being 'against
all odds.' Both parties knew the need to outmanoeuvre
the British government imposed deadline and were
certain to come up with a form of rolling arrangement
which, while well short of conclusive, would have
put the government on the back foot had it collapsed
all worked to the advantage of the DUP. A rolling
arrangement emerged in which Sinn Fein were rolled
over. Despite the party's earlier promise never
to embrace policing until the devolution of justice
and policing powers, the order of things has been
reversed. According to Frank Millar in the Irish
Times, the British Government and DUP both
agree that two weeks before the formal November
24th nomination of a DUP and Sinn Fein first and
deputy first minister, the prospective ministers
would have to take the following oath: