DUP wants policing powers subject to process

Brian Walker’s had a lot to think about last week whilst waiting for something, anything to happen outside No 10. In the event, nothing did. But it gave him time to consider some of those issues which may not be tied under any restart proposals:”A big issue greatly frustrating Sinn Fein is the DUP’s refusal to agree to the transfer of policing and justice to the Assembly by 2006″.

“…for the DUP, the date isn’t the point. They insist the timing for achieving this major extension of devolution depends on “confidence in the way the powers would be exercised.” Plainly that confidence just doesn’t yet exist and how much time it will take to establish it, isn’t agreed.

“Furthermore, it’s all too easy to conjure up DUP fears of Sinn Fein challenging the PSNI’s efforts to impose law and order in say, West Belfast; or going hell-bent for the north-south body to dwarf all others, an all-Ireland common law enforcement area throughout Ireland. Imagine too, republican fears that the DUP would try to pin the blame for every lorry heist on the IRA “old boys’ association” to try to discredit Sinn Fein”.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty