Motions tabled.. despite IMC recommendations

The Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, has put forward two motions for debate in the Commons on 8th February, the first is to reinstate Sinn Féin MP’s parliamentary allowances, the second is to grant the party access to “financial assistance for the party’s representative business”, as availed by other parties, both to be backdated to 1 November 2005 – the text of the motions should be available soon – and UTV has a report of the reaction in the Commons. Worth noting that, despite the reference in the statement’s ‘Note to Editors’ of the 7th IMC report, that particular IMC report recommended that no such moves should take place.Here’s the quote from Peter Hain’s statement –

Secretary of State Peter Hain said: “The Government is of the view that the major advances by the IRA since its statement of 28 July 2005, including decommissioning, and Sinn Fein’s commitment to the political process mean that the time is right to reinstate the allowances to encourage further political engagement at Westminster.”

Hmmm.. no mention of the assessment of PIRA involvement in organised crime..

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  • seabhac siulach

    All of this gives the very strong impression that the politicos (Hain, Ahern, etc.) are locked in a battle with the securocrats (MI5, PSNI special branch) in a fight to
    normalise or not the situation in the 6 counties, re Sinn Fein.
    Whether that is just the impression they want to give or not, I don’t know, but it sure looks that way…what with Orde and others spinning against the IMC report before it is published and Ahern and Hain trying to do the opposite, e.g., this movement today on allowances.
    Very strange days.

  • Pete Baker

    Marvellous, seabhac, absolutely marvellous.

    Of course, when it comes to ignoring IMC reports and their recommendations [or, if you prefer, spinning against them]… Hain is the one with form.

  • PaddyCanuck

    The IMC issues “recommendations” nothing more.

    Whats your point Pete? That goverments should be bound by non statutory bodies, and that they should follow the letter of their recommendations.

    Would you like to see the notion of the “Supemacy of the IMC” introduced into British Constitutional politics.

    The role of the two governments is to govern, not to be hamtrung by non elected advisory bodies.

  • martin ingram

    Quote”Marvellous, seabhac, absolutely marvellous.

    Of course, when it comes to ignoring IMC reports and their recommendations [or, if you prefer, spinning against them]… Hain is the one with form.” Uquote

    Pete,

    I may have misread you, if so sorry. Hain is desperate to pull this rabbit out of the Hat, I doubt very much that Dr Paisley will be losing much sleep over this. He remains up beat and confident in contrast you have mixed signals eminating from Sinn Fein.That is because Policing is the Rubicon. No policing no Deal.

    What we really need is a SOS who is truthful and who will not over play the spin , otherwise there are going to be a lot of dissapointed shinners very soon.

    Martin

  • Pete Baker

    No PC.. otherwise I wouldn’t be referring to recommendations. I was merely placing seabhac’s Grand Conspiracy Theory in the context of some reality.

  • PaddyCanuck

    What we need is a british secretary of state with balls, who delivers on the good friday agreement in full, who delivers on policing, and who can stand up to rejectionists in his own security forces.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Which reality is that Pete?

    The one in which Hugh Orde and is non aligned, unprejudiced officers are the keepers of the truth, where every word they utter is gospel.

  • Pete Baker

    Martin

    Not sure if you’ve mis-read me or not.. you haven’t said what you think I meant.. in short.. I agree with your comment “Hain is desperate to pull this rabbit out of the Hat.” – it’s what Tony Blair wants – and “What we really need is a SOS who is truthful and who will not over play the spin”

    Unfortunately Hain is not that kind of Secretary of State – as I’ve noted on Slugger several times over the past year.. with regard to both the Provisionals and Loyalists.. and what the IMC has had to say about both.

  • Pete Baker

    Martin

    If the ‘spinning against’ threw you, which it may have, it was there as a contrast to the previously suggested GCT.

  • seabhac siulach

    Pete Baker:

    None of what I said is speculation or fantasy or a GCT, as you so glibly state. In the past few days we have had the Taoiseach and Mr. Orde contradicting each other on what was said about IRA criminality, with one claiming one thing and the other another thing…
    Are we to assume that the Taoiseach is lying or is it Mr. Orde? This is a serious matter.
    We have had ‘leaks’ from a policing board meeting in which Detective Kincaid has revealed that the IRA is still involved in criminality, something again backed up by Orde (that ‘impartial’ policeman), which was then rejected (in some form of words or another) by Woodward and later Hain. (The activities of Orde in this matter were what I referred to as ‘spinning against the IMC report’. What I meant was that he and his officers are obviously deeply engaged in pre-judging its assessment for whatever reason and putting their own preemptive spin on IRA criminality. Where did these ‘leaks’ from the policing board come from? These ‘leaks’ have been very useful to the DUP already, giving them a chance to focus on IRA crime in advance of the IMC report. As such, even a largely positive report that merely hints at IRA indiscretion can be safely rejected by them, now that the groundwork has been done on linking the IRA to ‘crime’…)
    So, are we to believe from all this (and this is all that has been made aware to the public, tip of the iceberg?) that there is no schism at the heart of the British administration in the six counties (or between the PSNI and the Irish govt.), because, to this observer at least, it sure looks that way. This is not a conspiracy theory…merely observation and analysis based on the facts.

  • Pete Baker

    seabhac

    An Taoiseach claimed Hugh Orde had said one thing to him.. Orde corrected the record. Yes it’s a serious issue that An Taoiseach mis-represented what he had, or actually had not, been told. I’ve pointed that out previously.

    Kincaid briefed the Policing Board that all paramilitary groups remain involved in organised crime. As I’ve also pointed out on a previous thread, that briefing would appear to have been part of the normal operation of the Board – they will continue when Sinn Féin join the Board – briefings were also given by other statutory agencies and the NIO Security Minister Woodward. Of all present, the only one who publicly changed his assessment was Woodward.. who no longer rejects that assessment btw.

    These are all serious matters.. however any political party choses to use them.

  • seabhac siulach

    Pete Baker:

    All very well…but why would Woodward first contradict his own police officers and then change his tune at all? Why go public? Also, why would the Taoiseach publicly contradict what Orde had said? This is not the normal sequence of things. The Taoiseach is in possession of all the security documents presented to the IMC, at least, so he should know what he is talking about. Ahern can hardly be accused of being the most loquacious of people and tends only to speak when he is on very firm ground politically. Have you seen his Dail speeches?
    It is highly unusual that two senior politicians should get into a discussion about the veracity or not of police briefings. It is highly unusual that a senior policeman should then question the word of a head of state; unprecedented, in fact.
    Why would this be so? It is obviously not as black and white as you would seek to portray it. There is a serious lack of communication between the different bodies involved if nothing else. One may also ask, why were these disputes allowed to become public?
    You state that Kincaid briefed the board that ‘all paramilitary groups remain involved in organised crime”. Fair enough. However, the spin to the media, the all important ‘leak’, coveniently focussed only on the putative IRA link to criminality. Why? Barely a word was spoken or written about loyalist crime. Why?
    But we are to believe that this is all ‘run of the mill’ stuff, are we?

    As the old line goes, ‘Sure I’m paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?’

  • Pete Baker

    seabhac

    Woodward went public because his previous assessment was already in the public domain.. when he over-spun in December – that’s what caused the problem for him, he was, I’d suggest, attempting to create a narrative.. unfortunately for him, that narrative, the government’s preferred narrative, has not been matched by reality. Going public with his clarification was an attempt to change what he had put on record. Hain hasn’t actually said much that differs from that new clarified version.

    As for the Taoiseach.. you forget, Bertie wasn’t reading a pre-prepared speech.. he was answering a question put to him by a journalist during his trip to India. That the wider media have failed to address the difference between what he claimed and what Orde has since stated is one for the paranoid.

    As to your paranoia, and whether it is sufficiently advanced.. well.. I couldn’t possibly comment..