Mark Carruthers and guests review the week's political events from Stormont and Westminster and follow the highs and lows of the political week.
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When is an agreement
not an agreement?
On the one hand Sinn Fein
claims a deal was done,
but not so says the DUP.
So where does the truth lie?
And does anyone, anywhere,
know what happens next?
Welcome to The View.
Tonight - the talks process that
choked on a language law.
We'll hear from the DUP
and Sinn Fein on why they couldn't
strike a deal and exactly
what the stumbling blocks were.
We'll also speak to the other main
party leaders to hear
whether they think the prospect
of a deal any time soon
is dead in the water.
And "making an accomodation"
in Commentators' Corner
are Fionnuala O Connor
and Alex Kane.
On Monday the Prime Minister
and the Taoiseach arrived in Belfast
hoping to endorse a deal to restore
Yet, a little over 48 hours later,
the plug was well and truly pulled
by the DUP, the devolved government
here left languishing
on life support.
It's been an eventful week,
even by the standards
of Northern Ireland politics.
The soundings from both in
Gloucester and Mr McDonald were
positive and I am hoping they can
make an accommodation in the days
Good evening. Today I have
been meeting with the leaders of the
main parties involved in the talks
and I have urged them to make one
final push for the sake of the
people of Northern Ireland.
not a deal yet. What there is is
very good progress and we will keep
at it and continue to work on that
progress and that is why we are here
We are not exactly they're
just yet, but there is nothing
insurmountable if there is the
political will, if there is the
There will not be a freestanding
Irish language act. There will not
be compulsory Irish in schools,
there will not be quoted in the
civil service and there will not be
bilingual directional signs.
the time for decisiveness and
leadership and we cannot be
distracted. In other words, the DUP
have to make up their mind.
unfortunate where we have ended up
in the position where we are, we are
not able to have an Executive at
I am sure we had a way
forward on all the issues and we had
making her party's position clear, a
deal was on the table.
And this afternoon the first details
of that draft agreement began
to emerge at a Sinn Fein press
conference at Stormont.
We had a draft agreement by the end
of last week. At that time we
advised the leadership that the deal
should be closed before those
opposed to it could unpick
everything we had achieved. We made
it clear that if there was a delay,
that there was every chance that the
package would unravel. And so it
came to pass. The DUP failed to
close the deal and then went on to
collapse the talks process. A lot of
mistruths and inaccuracies have been
peddled about the content of the
draft agreement. So, for the record,
the draft agreement included an
Irish language act, and altered
Scots actor, and respecting language
and diversity act. The Irish
language act included provision for
the official recognition of Irish
and the creation of an Irish
language commissioner. The repeal of
the ban of Irish in the course was
also to be legislated for. Let me
make it clear, at no stage was it
envisaged to make Irish compulsory
for anybody or to apply quotas to
the public services. These were not
considerations. There was no meeting
of minds on marriage equality. We
did, however, anticipate that the
issue would be fully considered by
an incoming Assembly in the form of
a private member's bill and it was
acknowledged that no party alone
could table a petition of concern.
There was agreement to review the
petition of concern and to establish
a committee to look at the bill of
rights. Separate from the agreement
between the DUP, Sinn Fein had and
has a commitment from the British
Government to put to consultation
the legacy mechanisms agreed at
Stormont house and, crucially, to
release the funding requested by the
Lord Justice, the Lord Chief
Justice, for coroners' chorus. Sinn
Fein accepted in the draft agreement
the DUP proposal on the stability of
the institutions. There was
agreement that the British
Government will legislate so that
the Justice Minister will be elected
in the same manner as other
ministers, that is to say following
the Assembly elections in 2022. We
understood above all else that we
had a deal. We understood that we
had landed on a respectable,
workable accommodation. From what I
have told you, you will gather we
did not get it on your own way. You
never expect that to happen. We did
make room for issues like the
sustainability piece which was
critical. We were
critical. We were told that about
all the package of legislation that
contains the Irish language
legislation also had the Ulster
Scots legislation and had explicit
legislation that recognised and
protected British values and that
sense of identity which we do not
deny and which we do not seek to in
any way undermine.
According to the
Sinn Fein leader the draft agreement
as she called it contained explicit
legislation that recognised and
protected British values and
identities. If that is the case, why
did the DUP rejected?
I'm joined by the DUP
MP Gregory Campbell.
She could not have been more clear
than what she said this afternoon.
The two parties had arrived at the
draft agreement last week and the
DUP failed to deliver on it.
look at the comments made yesterday
and today. Yesterday, just to remind
people, Michelle O'Neill said we had
reached accommodation on all the
issues. It was described as an
accommodation and on all the issues.
Now today we hear from the newly
installed leader and she described
it as a draft agreement, but there
were some issues that we did not
reach agreement on. You pay your
money and you make your choice.
would you describe? Put us out of
our misery because it sounds like
you are dancing on the head of a
pen. There was an accommodation, and
agreement, some kind of draft deal
that both are you had agreed as a
framework for potential full
Can you see that point?
No, that is what Sinn Fein would say
and I have just outlined to you how
it changed in 24 hours from
yesterday to today. In our position
we said privately to Sinn Fein and
publicly on scores of occasions that
we would not agree to an Irish
language act. That is what we said
repeatedly, ad nauseam, in the
public domain and privately to Sinn
Fein. White then in the weekend when
Gerry Adams was about to leave the
stage would Sinn Fein say we know
what they said privately and
publicly, but we have got them to
change their mind and we are going
to do a deal and we have signed up
to it. What fools do they take us
What do you make of what she
said today? They were not going to
publish the details of the draft
agreement in their entirety, but she
wanted to give people a sense of
what had been agreed between the two
parties, a respectable working
accommodation as she described it.
It seems there was an Irish language
act in some shape or form. There was
also to be official recognition for
the Irish language and the
Commissioner for the Irish language.
How did you everything you would be
able to sell that your supporters?
Well, we did not. You are making the
mistake others are making. Because
Sinn Fein has a list of demands, I
wish list, and then wishes to prepay
or portrayed that some sort of
accommodation or draft agreement,
depending on the day you speak to
them, you accept that as fact.
of commentators and journalists have
spoken to people engaged in that
process, and I have as well, and
there was some kind of paper that
you had signed off together to go to
and take that to your respective
supporters for further consultation.
Can you see that point? There were
papers exchanged throughout the
Was there a final paper at
the end of last week?
No, there was
not. I do not understand why
journalists like you and others do
not ask Sinn Fein why did you not
make it the day before Sinn
make it the day before Sinn Fein let
Gerry Adams go? If there was a deal,
why did it only emerge on the day
before Gerry Adams was going to
retire? It is utter nonsense.
would put questions like that to
Sinn Fein if the party agreed to
There you go.
That is their
choice and I am talking to you. It
is also clear in what Mary Lou
McDonald said today is that it seems
like, and I cannot understand why
you will not concede this point,
that you got quite a lot of what you
wanted in this final draft paper. No
stand-alone Irish language act in
spite of what Sinn Fein says, no
quotas, no compulsory learning of
Irish, protection for British
identity in a consolidated culture
act, you sidestepped marriage
equality legislation, why would you
throw all of that away after so much
hard work and plunge us into this
Again you have
accepted what Sinn Fein want as a
wish list as some sort of agreed
document which it is not.
It is more
than a wish list is ignored?
agreement on all the issues that
Michelle O'Neill said yesterday, or
is it agreement on some of the
issues and just an accommodation as
they were outlining today?
I do not
understand why you will not concede
the point that there was some kind
of final paper that went to
consultation with DUP members. I
know that to be the case, I have
spoken to people in your party who
have confirmed there was a draft
paper that they took back to talk to
MLAs and MPs about. Why will you not
There were a series of
There was a final
document that was consulted on.
I will not remain
I will not remain name
I thought you would say that.
It would embarrass you. I tell you
what, embarrass me. No, I will not.
Documents have been exchanged and
swapped back and forth over recent
months and weeks.
I am talking about
the final document, the latest
document. You were not there, of
course, you were off for ten days
and not part of the negotiating
Unfortunately people cannot
prevent being ill.
You accept you
were not there.
I was there on a
series of previous occasions.
were not there at the end of last
week and people we have spoken to
work there at the end of last week.
I was brave continuously as were all
the other officers and there was no
deal upon which we could agree.
There was no deal, but there was a
draft consultation paper for you to
There was no draft
document. Mark, I don't know why you
cannot accept some real politic
here. Was Gerry Adams leaving the
stage last weekend? Never mind about
Gerry Adams. I am asking about why
the DUP did not clinch the deal that
was apparently on the table last
weekend. It was to be rubber-stamped
You can keep asking the
questions and I will answer them the
way I want to answer them. Well
people believe you? Was Gerry Adams
going to leave the stage last
Saturday or not? Did we all know
that that was the case? Did anybody
get any indication of some draft
document 48 hours before he left the
stage? No, nobody had any, and there
was no gossip, talk, reference or
commentators saying there was going
to be an agreement because there was
not an agreement on the table.
There were plenty of articles
written in newspapers. You know that
very well. On Thursday of last week.
You discussed that on The View last
That's correct. On
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when
talks were ongoing, there was no
indication from anyone involved in
the talks or on the periphery of the
talks or even commentators or
reporters, and no indication
anywhere that a draft document was
going to be circulated, until we
come towards the weekend when Gerry
Adams was about to leave the stage.
If you do not want to make that
correlation or look at that, I am
sure that there are many others who
well. They can draw their own
Explain this to me,
Sinn Fein made it clear today that
they will make the text of the deal
available to the British and Irish
governments and they will also
briefed parties north and south. How
can they make available a text which
you have said does not exist?
certainly make some text of some
kind that they may have put forward,
we can do whatever they want in
terms of some sort of repeats of
documentation to our government and
their own government and the public.
-- release of document. Mary Lou
McDonald said today... You will have
to let me finish, what they cannot
do is misrepresent that document as
an agreed document. It is their own
No one said it was an
agreed document, they have said it
was a final stage document which
both of you were going off to
consult on, your rank and file
members on. This is what Mary Lou
McDonald said, she said she had a
firm understanding that it was an
agreement, only presentational
matters were outstanding. Are you
telling us she was not telling the
She said she had an agreement
with the dealership of the DUP. Is
that not correct? That is correct.
And you have played a clip in the
news before this programme started
for the leader of the DUP made it
absolutely clear that no such
document existed, she also indicated
that we have the collegiate
leadership in the DUP. Now, you are
asking me and my colleagues in Sinn
Fein, telling them they are liars
when you ask that? Did Nigel Dodds,
Gregory Campbell, Arlene Foster
agree to this draft document? Ask
that question and see if you are not
laughed out of court.
What are the
implications for this mess of the
leadership of Arlene Foster, because
the way that it looks too many
people outside of the process is
that whatever you want to call it,
whatever the paper was, whatever the
latest thinking was, that she then
discussed it with her senior party
members, they did not like it, she
could not sell it, and people are
asking whether she is now in charge
of her own party.
Well, you see,
Mark, a very small number of people
have asked that ridiculous question.
Well, lots of people have asked
Why do you not answered? I
definitely will answer it.
definitely will answer it. Have you
got any deviation from the answer
I'm going to give you?
I do not know
what you will tell me.
Arlene Foster has no difficulty
within the party, did not have any
difficulty last weekend and will not
have any difficulty this weekend. Is
that clear enough?
That is pretty
And it is clear and you will
get that same answer from every
person that you pose the question
to. So, any nonsense that people are
peddling that this calls into
question Arlene Foster's leadership,
I mean, you really need to get a
grip. Unionism gave the answer to
Sinn Fein's demand that we accept
the wish list. We were never going
to do that and we did not do that.
You might have wanted to give a
farewell present to Gerry Adams,
that is fine if they want to do
How does Arlene Foster as your
leader get this
leader get this process back on
Well, you are
pejorative and how you have put that
question, Mark, when you describe as
my dear leader.
Why did you do that?
How does she get the process by
contract again? We are running out
of time. Give me a quick answer,
We would not have run out of
time if you had not blocked my
questions and not allowed me to give
answers. What we must do is be calm
and settle down, everyone has to
settle down, we have to get the
budget passed next
budget passed next week so that
important issues like health,
education, all of those matters can
begin to be addressed. Then we have
to get a cool, calm period of
reflection when parties can sit down
and say, are we going to go back
into some sort of process any more
realistic tone this time. So we will
do away with preconditions and come
with an open-ended book and we will
seek within a short, sharp time they
read we can get an agreement that we
can all buy into.
And we will end up
where we are the last weekend, it
all leads to the same conversation
and the same hurdles have to be
Our view is that we can
set up a government tomorrow. We
know that. You have known that all
along and estate that somebody who's
like Sinn Fein has said that we will
not set up a government until we get
what we want. That cannot lead to an
agreement. Also people will have
time for reflection now and we can
try to reconvene in a much more
constructive mode and anymore and
that is designed to get agreement
and consensus that we can all buy
into, not just one party and one
party saying it is our way or no
way. That will not result in an
We will have to leave it
there. Gregory Campbell, thank you
for joining us.
And by the way, we had hoped
to speak to someone from Sinn Fein
live on the programme,
but our invitation was declined.
So, we've heard the views of the two
main players at the heart of this
But what about the other parties?
In a moment we'll hear
from the SDLP, Ulster
Unionists and Alliance.
First though, here's how some people
in Belfast reacted to the news
that the current talks process
was dead in the water.
Pretty ridiculous, to be honest. I
just think that in this teenage they
should be able to agree on something
for the country.
I do not think any
of the issues that anybody has been
talking about that people on the
street really care about more than
getting health, education and other
parts of the government working
again. Sinn Fein represents a lot of
waters and I do not think it is
unreasonable that they would like to
have an Irish Language Act. I do not
think it is a huge expense when you
consider the number of people that
I think it is awful
and they should put the lot of them
into a boat out in sea no worse. Or
stop their wages. I am working 30
hours each week for less money that
they are getting, £30,000 each year
and they are sitting on their
bottoms for nothing!
Sinn Fein want
everything and do not want to give
everything or anything back.
there be some compromise around the
Irish Language Act?
concerns you about it?
best thing I can tell you at this
moment in time is never say never.
All we can do mainly and I know it
has been said many times before, but
it is just to keep our heads up, go
forward and wait and see because it
is out of our hands. We have to hope
that it gets sorted.
I think we need
direct rule for ASAP for at least
And joining me now are
representatives from the three other
main parties at Stormont.
The SDLP leader, Colum Eastwood,
is in our Foyle studio.
His Ulster Unionist counterpart,
Robin Swann, is with me
in the studio, alongside the deputy
leader of the Alliance
Party, Stephen Farry.
Welcome to you all.
Welcome to you all.
Robin Swann, your party was very
clear that an Irish Language Act
should not be part of any deal,
and on that rock, this deal
appears to have perished.
Are you happy about that?
Our party has been clear on the
position of an Irish Language Act
for 20 years. We did not see any
need for it in the Good Friday
Agreement but back then we did want
the creation of two distinct bodies.
We knew back then that when language
and culture was brought into
politics and given to the hands of
politicians that would cause a
problem. That is really want to be
and that is a problem we are at low.
Politicians have made this into an
issue that it not be.
reflection on Gregory Campbell who
maintains that there was no draft
agreement, there was no
accommodation, there was no deal.
Mary Lou McDonald has a different
perspective on things. How do you
square that circle? It is not up to
me to do that. What is your
We believe that there
was a draft agreement.
On the basis
On where we got two on
Monday and Tuesday. It was clear on
Friday had the Secretary of State
had sight of an agreement at that
stage and she said no. Over the
weekend something dramatically moved
enough to bring the Prime Minister
and the Taoiseach to Northern
Ireland, so there had to be
something germinating between the
two parties. There had to be
something more than just a hope
surely for both the Prime Minister
and the Taoiseach to appear in
Colum Eastwood joining us,
do you believe there was a draft
deal or has that been overplayed?
course, we were not in the room when
these things were being done, but it
is quite clear that my best guess
was that there was a deal and I am
told that it was on the table and
October and people have walked away
from it and walked back to it a
number of times ever since. The most
important thing that people need to
be talking about, not whether there
was a Friday night were not, but
what we have now is no government
and the prospect of the
and the prospect of the British
government bringing any budget here,
a British government who are in
cahoots with the DUP. So what this
has delivered is the DUP taking
decision to Northern Ireland on
their own. That goes against
everything that the Good Friday
Agreement stands for, it goes
against both of the progress that we
have met. The Good Friday Agreement
is underpinned by the idea that
there are two different
nationalities and they both have to
have a place. We cannot accept and
nobody should accept the British
Government with the DUP making
decisions in Northern Ireland. Let
me tell you this, Mark. Unionism I
believe has been badly served by
people like Gregory Campbell and
Arlene Foster. And as a nationalist,
I would like to tell Unionists that
my Irishness is not threatened, your
Britishness is not threatened and we
have to find a way to bring that
common endeavour about to bring
about something that will work for
each other because this is going
nowhere. Unless we get a grip of
this thing. People have to
understand that people like Arlene
Foster and Gregory Campbell are
driving nationals away from the
notion of Stormont and I will do
everything it can to bring them back
to the position that we have to have
partnership and co-operation but we
need help and we have to move each
other into the middle. This cannot
go on like this for much longer and
people have to understand the
seriousness of this.
Before I come
to the Alliance representative, how
do you respond to that?
is not threatened by his nationalism
and vice versa, we have seen that in
Northern Ireland. We have seen that
for the first ten years since the
Good Friday Agreement and we have
tried to make this place work. In
the last two elections we have seen
polarisation in Northern Ireland. We
have to build the live side by side,
we will always have our differences
and we have to work through them but
it is how we solve that. I am not
threatened by the Irish Language Act
or Ulster nationalism, I have no
problem with the Irish language. The
Irish language actor something very
But the sky would not
Mary Lou McDonald talked
about a commissioner and when we
look back at the draft in 2015, a
commissioner would have the same
powers as a High Court to.
not know that. I was told it was a
very watered-down version of an
Irish Language Commissioner that the
strap was suggesting.
You are saying
that and so am I. The 2015 draft
consultation... We have not seen
I am only
telling you what I have been told.
An Irish Language Commissioner can
mean lots of different things. Yes.
Stephen Farry, let me ask you first
week, at the beginning of this
conversation, Mary Lou McDonald said
there was a draft deal, Arlene
Foster said that is not the case,
what do you think?
It would seem
that there was some accommodation
reached last week.
Why do you say
We had a briefing given to the
Belfast Telegraph, I would doubt
that was Sinn Fein doing that. The
first paragraph carries the material
of the DUP and I would suspect the
other source of that briefing. They
were confident enough, the DUP, to
spurned. Can I tell you on the wider
point, Northern Ireland today is in
a very precarious situation, we have
been pulled apart by the fact that
there is no government, polarisation
is more intense than at any time in
the previous 20 years. There are
massive problems around Brexit and
we need something in place to manage
any form special arrangement to get
this through this massive challenge.
None of that is currently on the
table. We can only have power
sharing in terms of our governments,
we have to reflect the unionist and
nationalist traditions and people
from other backgrounds and the
reality is that other people put it
on the table or not, the reality is
that we have to have an
accommodation on the language issue,
that is no route did evolution that
does not run through some form of
accommodation, and what we have seen
even from Robin, there are a lot of
things being erected as to what this
act was going to have. They were
false claims, you were talking about
Gaelic and campaigning for things
that were never going to be the
final product. They put for this
compromise around the potential
bells and I am pleased to see that
that has been reflected on what has
been breathed so far. But we have to
have a realistic approach to the
Irish Language Act. We voted against
the previous version because we
thought that was too extreme and too
far reaching. But equally we
recognise we have to have some
Colum Eastwood, have you spoken to
anyone in Sinn Fein about the
contents of this apparent
accommodation or draft agreement? Do
you know any more detail about what
was in it?
No, we will be speaking
tomorrow. I was disappointed to hear
the announcement today after a year
of being asked whose rights are you
going to compromise on? People were
telling me I was sitting at the back
of the bus because I was asking
people to compromise. We wanted to
ensure that any deal around language
would be maintained and sustained.
To find out there is no work done
and that marriage equality has been
left again in a way that it will not
succeed through the Northern Ireland
Assembly is very disappointing. If
we want to get back to this again,
we have to get back to the things
that we have been saying, that we
have to deal with the fact the
Assembly is set up in such a way
that provides a unionist veto. I do
not want anyone to have a veto over
people's rides and that is what that
Sorry to cut across
you. Do you think maybe the DUP
played a pretty good hand during
negotiations and managed to water
down some of what may have seen some
of the more acceptable demands of
Sinn Fein, on things like same-sex
marriage and on some of the things
like the Irish language demands?
do not know the full detail of the
Irish Language Act, but it seems to
me they watered down all of it apart
from the language. Let's wait and
see the detail. If we are going to
get back to a process of discussion,
everybody should be involved because
I for one will be making a very
strong case as I have done for the
last year that the petition of
consent to make sure that issues
like language do not get picked as
we go through the legislative
process. We have to make sure it is
not a dead-end veto against people's
right. That is what happened in the
last couple of assemblies and that
has to stop if people are serious
about a rights -based society. That
is the biggest bloc to people
achieving their rights. If we are
serious about getting back to this,
let's do it properly. What I have
seen so far is I do not think the
DUP have done the job that they set
out to do.
Nobody seems to know what
the next move is. What is it?
need to go to Westminster.
precedent had been set. Then do we
need to go to an election?
Technically that is what needs to
If an election is called and
the Secretary of State thinks that
is where we need to go, it would not
change much. Let's see where we are.
If the Secretary of State wants to
call an election, I am not scared of
one, we will take it as it comes,
but it will not change the problems.
That is what this current set of
politicians were elected to do,
change the problems and come up with
solutions and work through them.
Stephen Farry, I made the point at
the end of the interview with
Gregory Campbell and all people say
that all roads lead back to the same
place and the issues have to be
resolved between Sinn Fein and the
The issues remain the same, and
there are other issues that need to
be addressed as well. But we have
had massive issues in terms of the
health system, the education system
and the economy and it is all
building up and sitting on the shelf
and we are falling behind in terms
of these challenges. Yes, we need
something clarified through London
sometime next week. But we have to
come back to some sort of talks.
There is a lot of bad blood as a
consequence of what happened this
week and also in terms of the
credibility of the people doing the
negotiations. But we have to get
round that in some shape or form. We
have to reflect the diversity of
What do you think needs to
happen next? I know you have talked
about the importance of the British
intergovernmental conference. It has
not met for a very long time.
is a first step and we have to
understand the spirit of the Good
Friday Agreement that recognises
there are two traditions and they
both need to be respected. We cannot
have the DUP and the British
Government making decisions for
everybody in Northern Ireland. The
Irish government has to be involved
in a real way. That is why the
British Government and the leaders
of all the political parties in the
South need to reiterate that call.
We cannot be left at the whim of
people like Gregory and Sammy Wilson
doing deals in Westminster. That
cannot happen, it would be a very
regressive step and one that would
be difficult to come back from.
Thank you all for joining us.
Thank you all for joining us.
Only one story to talk about tonight
with our commentators
Fionnuala O Connor and Alex Kane.
They have been waiting patiently.
Good evening. Thank you for joining
us again on the programme. Good to
have you both back. Let's talk about
Gregory Campbell. He is clear there
was no draft deal up for discussion
in spite of what Mary Lou McDonald
said. People will wonder how they
can both be right.
He was not clear,
he was evasive and it was very
difficult to think how he would
convince anybody when he kept going
off into that nonsense about Gerry
What was that about? I was
not sure. But he wanted to talk
about it. Did you understand the
point he was making about Gerry
Most extraordinary thing
about this process is these guys
have been talking point ten months
in a government of 30 months and
they have not got a clue about what
they agreed. Two people said they
did nothing but talk to each other
and they know nothing. You know I
never thought a deal was likely.
Last week it seemed likely and the
DUP said no. But by Monday morning
they were so spooked the DUP
grassroots put so much pressure on
the leadership that Arlene Foster
had to close it down. Whatever was
agreed at that point it scared them
enough to stop it.
It leaves Arlene
Foster very badly damaged.
annoyed I asked that question.
has been out of it for two weeks
with the flu or whatever and he can
say what he likes. But it is
undeniable. She is badly damaged and
I do not know how she goes forward
into another set of negotiations,
how anyone can take her seriously.
It is almost pitiable. Inside that
party there is nobody else who is
willing to take the job and there is
nobody else jockeying for it.
Everything she has touched has gone
bad and there is the inquiry coming
He was very robust. He
said he was fully briefed and he
knows what happened and he said it
was a ridiculous question even to
raise about her position as leader.
He would say that. He was put up
because he had not been at the talks
for the last couple of weeks and he
was going to say what ever needed to
be said. He was being very loyal, he
has not always been loyal to the
I think her authority
has been damaged, but neither of
these parties have come out of it
well. These parties made an
arrangement ten years ago that they
would provide consensus and a stable
government. They said they could do
better. They have had ten years of
stand-offs, of crises and after 13
months to say we are better, we have
got the Monday, and they still
cannot do it.
cannot do it.
Both parties failed to
Sinn Fein. They did
reach an agreement. I want to know
what they thought why they reached
an agreement. It is very hard to see
what they got out of it.
surprised by that?
I was surprised
how Mary Lou McDonald presented it.
She presented it as fact, there was
no attempt to dress it up.
We were told on
same-sex marriage would go to a
private member's build and one party
would be allowed to produce a
petition of concern.
One party could
not do it on its own.
The DUP and an
Ulster Unionist, Jim Allister, would
be able to cripple that bill.
struck by the fact that they said
they had an agreement, and they did
in Saint Andrews. But on legacy,
It is fascinating stuff.
That's it from The View for tonight.
There's no Sunday Politics this
weekend, but, unlike Stormont,
The View will be back next week.
# And I am stuck on you and I am
here still trying to figure it out.
# I can hardly sleep, I am still
trying to figure it out.
# And I am stuck on you and I am
here still trying to figure it out.
Join Mark Carruthers and guests on Thursdays for The View - the week's political news, comments and expert analysis. The View reports events at Stormont and Westminster and how they are affecting issues such as health and the economy. It follows the ups and downs of the political parties and debates the highs and lows of the political week. It also has an alternative view on the week's political headlines.