Ah… there’s a strategy.. apparently

If you don’t recognise the pattern, then you haven’t been paying attention, when Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, announced the stop-gap funding yesterday for voluntary and community groups working with children, he flagged up today’s announcement of another 2-year funding package, this time a £61million Children and Young People’s Fund [who hasn’t got a Fund yet? – Ed]. Tucked into a separate BBC report, no official press release for this one, Peter Hain attempted to portray tomorrow’s meeting in Downing Street as something more than a stock-taking exercise, and revealed the ongoing strategy of dealing with loyalismAsked about recent loyalist violence, he said the gangsterism must end but that it was important loyalist leaders who wanted to move forward were supported.I’ll just note the quotes from the NIO statement by Peter Hain regarding that Fund –

The Secretary of State said one of the major benefits of the fund would be the repositioning of schools as social hubs in communities across Northern Ireland.

He said, “Schools shouldn’t just be for pupils. With facilities such as computer rooms and sports fields they offer the prospect of so much more for their neighbourhoods.

“We need to extend their opening hours. I want to see schools offering themselves as the venue for an integrated package of education, health and care.”

And on the other strategy, from the BBC report

The British and Irish PMs will finalise a strategy for restoring the NI institutions when they meet in London later this week.
NI secretary Peter Hain said they would not be pushed aside by anything which would get in the way of that process.

He was speaking after the disclosure that talks planned for Stormont on Wednesday had been postponed.

However, Mr Hain said Political Development Minister David Hanson would soon be briefing the parties.

He will speak to them on the paper for the preparations for the restoration of the institutions, said Mr Hain.

and, as I mentioned before.. deadlines are deadlines..

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