The DUP, elected in a landslide win, refuse to cooperate with Sinn Fein/IRA in Northern Ireland's local government; they do not want to share government with a still armed and active terrorist organisation, whose spying activities led to the end of the last government we had. Rather than praise them and put pressure on Sinn Fein/IRA to really disarm and disband, Tony Blair thinks it's a better idea to threaten the DUP.
In a work plan statement viewed as chiefly directed at the DUP, Mr Blair and Mr Ahern warned that if the parties failed to agree a devolution deal by November, Assembly salaries would cease and the new arrangements would be introduced.
The reference to "partnership arrangements" was generally interpreted as the British and Irish governments working more closely together to strengthen the North-South element of the Belfast Agreement.
So, here's Blair's tough on terrorism stance; submit to the threat of a return to a bombing and murder campaign in order to make it seem as if he's actually accomplished anything here. Other than appeasement, that is. And to top it all off, he ignores the sovereignty of Northern Ireland in favour of permitting the Republic of Ireland (a completely different country with its own political system) to have a greater say in what we do. Here it is in plain language; the unelected (by the citizens of N. Ireland) leaders of a foreign nation will have a say in how we conduct our business. I guess you could say it's like Mexico being given a say in how California is run.
And all of it against the wishes of the vast majority of the people of my country. I'll let DUP leader Ian Paisley have the last word-
"The situation remains that IRA/Sinn Féin are a terrorist organisation. They have not conformed to the principles of democracy."