SDLP leader Mark Durkan argues that Sinn Fein should not be distracted by DUP claims that policing may not be devolved for a lifetime. The issue is more pressing than that for Nationalist communities:
The truth is that achieving the devolution of justice is important so that we can pass our own criminal laws. But delays in achieving it certainly aren’t a reason to stay off policing. Sinn Fein should get on board for policing because nationalist communities are crying out for better policing and protection against crime, and it’s only with everybody working together in partnership that we can fight crime best. It’s as simple as that.
However, it seems that that crucial special Ard Fheis to ratify Sinn Fein’s support for the police is not likely to happen this year, never mind before the 24th November: your friendly, flexible deadline strikes again.
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