cynical, dishonest, sectarian and incompetent

From the Belfast Telegraph, Eamonn McCann with a forensic review of the evidence given during the legal challenges to Peter Hain’s appointment process used for the Parades Commission as well as the High Court ruling and, following Peter Hain’s objection, the subsequent Appeal Court ruling.. and gives a scathing assessment of the NIO’s involvement:

The fact that what happened may have been within the law shouldn’t be allowed to obscure the political truth of the matter, that the NIO has polluted a public appointments procedure by engaging in a cynical, dishonest, sectarian and incompetent exercise designed to lure the Loyal Orders into acceptance of the commission.

And he wonders aloud whether there will be any repercussions for the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland:

The commission is now marching along the traditional route of all such NIO concoctions, towards oblivion.

Can Mr Hain be far behind?

Unfortunately that would require a level of accountability that has long been absent…

  • Brenda

    A total mess. £19,000 pa to step out of the room when decisions he has an interest in are talked about? LOL I can see how it does not break the law, but is the commission so desperate to have acceptance from the Orders that they would engage in this stupidity?

    (shakes head in wonder)

    Remarkable, I find the daftness of it amazing.

    Is there somewhere in the guinness book of records where PH could possibly claim a prize?

  • Brenda

    the only prize the current SoS wants is as Gordon Browns’ deputy.

  • heck

    does anyone know anything about the background of the civil servants at the NIO?

    Are the locally recruited or do they come from westminister?

    If they are locally recruited are the subject to some 50/50 hiring policy?

    are they people who have been there a long time?

    If there any oversight of their activities from local politicans?

    Pete has been attacking Hain on this site but I am coming to the conclusion that maybe the problem is with the bureaucracy beneath the pro consul.

  • heres hoping

    Heck the fact that you ask about 50/50 lets me believe you know as well as i and anyone else with a titter of wit who the civil servants at the NIO are. LOL and its not a joke.

  • Pete Baker

    “Pete has been attacking Hain on this site”

    Actually, heck, Pete has been documenting the decisions made by Peter Hain and, where appropriate, how they contrast with his previous statements and decisions.

  • Brenda

    pete has been attacking hain on this site.

    Heck, I doubt pete is attacking Hain, but pointing out the contradictions in his ways of ‘running the shop floor’. Civil service employees are recruited from who ever applies for the positions, I do not believe the NIO have civil servants shipped in. Incompetence and bureaucracy must stop somewhere, and hain did have a big part to play in this since it was Hains objection which led to the court of appeal situation.

    McCann is I think saying that this is to ‘lure the loyal orders into acceptance of the commission’. Thats a telling statement, does Mc Cann think this was a deliberate policy by the NIO and Hain, to try to manipulate the situation on the streets?


    I don’t see a problem with the NIO and Hain trying to manipulate the situation on the streets if it is for benign reasons.

    It’s the hamfisted way they go about things that is the problem here.

  • heck

    heres hoping

    Actually I did not know if they were locally recruited or english civil servants. (shades of the old colonial office-a home for the sons of english lords sent over to administer the natives).

    My point was that if they are locally recruited (I assume from your answer that they are) then perhaps they should be subjected to the 50/50 rule.

    I am getting a view of Hain that looks like an episode of Yes Minister. (Sorry Pete I am not compaining about your comments on our pro consul-just giving my take.)

  • Crataegus


    I am coming to the conclusion that maybe the problem is with the bureaucracy beneath the pro consul.

    They have always been part of the problem but it doesn’t help if the SoS can’t see a turkey when it lands on his table. Hain needs a clear well considered coherent plan and an alternative way forward.

    Rooker wasn’t on top of his brief and one gets the feeling that Hain is in the same position.

  • Nevin

    Would Joe Hendron have to step outside too as the SDLP wasn’t neutral in the parades dispute?

    Third commission member has Orange Order links

    Dublin civil servants are involved in the process alongside the UK ones and, as these exchanges are intergovernmental, they may not be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. What a tangled web …

  • Rapunsel

    I’m hoping that Eamon might apply his forensic skills to manipulation of the allocation of funding such as the peace funding and the new initiative for the protestant community. In terms of the Parades Commission he seems spot on. Notice the way some poor junior civil servant is being made the patsy for this one. Probably someone on the graduate training programme who was only doing what was expected of them. They’ll be looking at a period of long term sick and then a move to another department I expect.

  • Breandán Mac Cionnaith

    While I’ve seen quotes from the Kerr (majority) verdict in the Court of Appeal with regards Peter Hain and the Parades Commission, its very noticable that the dissenting verdict of Nicholson did not receive the same coverage. The minority dissenting judgment can be accessed at

  • martin

    Brendan mo cara ,when you lie down with dogs ,you get up with fleas,as someone who is working to help bolster up this stinking cesspit of a sectarain shithole, you and all the boyos up in stormont should tell the brits to fuck of and take their gombeen men/women with them, the republican people need leadership, not lackeys.