In praise of devolution….

The Newsletter editorialising on the potentially valuable job that can be done by MLAs. And hints at way out of the impasse.It firstly attacks the British government’s position as being way too close to Sinn Fein’s:

The credibility problem for Mr Hain and his Government is that they have paid far too much heed to the narrow political demands of Sinn Fein-IRA and ignored the measured analysis and the desire of constitutional unionist and nationalist parties to form an administration which unequivocally spurns violence and the threat of violence, from all quarters.

It believes that much public discourse undervalues the potential for local democracy:

Random public perceptions of our 108 Assembly members very often ignore the valuable amount of constituency work which the majority of politicians do on a daily basis, assidiously looking after the interests of voters at a local level. This work would come to an abrupt halt if MLAs were laid off and there was no proper mechanism to replace it with. Certainly, none of 18 Westminster MPs could cope with the extra workload which would come their way in the event of this happening and neither do the 550-plus district councillors across the Province have the necessary resources to assume this mantle.

It reckons Hain’s tough talking is misplaced:

Setting absolute deadlines for political progress comes somewhat belated from a Government which dithered for eight years while the Provisional IRA refused to dismantle its illegal armoury even though a raft of political concessions were made to the terrorists’ political allies. A year is a long time in politics and Mr Hain must first test out the various parties to see if devolution is a realistic prospect.

But suggests a way out of long term stalemate:

The Independent Monitoring Commission must also verify the IRA’s declared commitment to put all of its weapons beyond use, not just in a month, but over a more sustainable period. Of course, the scene would change completely if the IRA decided to disband its entire organisation.

  • Markkus

    The News Letter votes for the status quo, blames the impasse on the IRA and manages to sneak in a reference to “Sinn Fein-IRA” just to maintain its Unionist credibility. I think Mitchell McLoughlin called it “perjorative rhetoric”.

  • oceallaigh

    What a joke the Newsletter editorial is .I am sure they would love to see Sinn Fein voters being decommissioned too .They need to accept the present day political reality of N.Ire and stop trying to substitute it with their own ,the “good old days” of unionist dictating the agenda aren`t coming back so face up to it and get over it .

  • Crataegus

    We voted for 108 Assembly Members to run a devolved government. They are not doing it. With regards constituency work MPs in England seem to manage without local assembly members.

    Because we dithered for 8 years does not mean we should continue to dither. We cannot afford these delays, and funding something that plainly does not work is insanity.

    I don’t think Hain’s approach is correct, you can be resolute and progress swiftly without undue alienation.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    The Newsletter is talking out of it’s arse. In common with it’s overmanned public sector, NI must have more political reps than any other place in Europe and they’ve all been mollycoddled for too long. Start cutting numbers and salaries and see if there’s movement. If not, move to plan B.