DUP playing generational games?

This year’s fly in the ointment could be Nigel Dodds’ comment that devolution of policing and justice would not happen for a lifetime. According to the Irish Times, it seems the Secretary of State begs to differ (subs needed):

Northern Secretary Peter Hain has insisted that devolving policing and justice powers to a restored Northern Executive is a key element of the St Andrews Agreement. This is despite remarks by the DUP’s Nigel Dodds that it would not happen for a “political lifetime”.

This recent comment by the North Belfast MP, with his added assertion that Sinn Féin would just “have to lump it” on the issue, caused anger among republicans.

Some said that by word and tone Mr Dodds’s remarks were similar to Dr Paisley’s “sackcloth and ashes” demands of Sinn Féin two years ago – comments that were seen as partly responsible for destroying the chance of a deal between the two parties in December 2004.

  • Pete Baker

    “The Secretary of State begs to differ”

    Well, he doesn’t differ too much, Mick.

    The St Andrews Agreement sets a target, as opposed to a categorical date, of May 2008 for transferring these powers to the Northern Executive. Mr Hain in an interview with The Irish Times yesterday expressed his firm wish to see this date met.

    “I want to see a commitment to devolution of policing and justice powers. It was an important part of the St Andrews Agreement, it contained a clear commitment and target for devolution of these powers. It is important that we aim steadfastly for that target,” he said.

    He can aim, and want to meet, any target he cares to name but unless the current legislation detailing the mechanism for devolving those powers is radically altered – and it’s only just been enacted – then both holders of the offices of the First and Deputy First Minister will have a veto on the transfer.

    But then, as Hain says,

    “I am not too fussed about this issue; I think it can be resolved,” he added.

  • lib2016

    “…I think it can be resolved,”

    The difference between the DUP and the UUP is that the DUP are honest politicans. They’ve been bought and they’ll stay bought. 😉

  • Rampage

    Honest? Are you kidding?

    The deal was done before they even went over

    They said they have ended 50:50 selection conveniently when it was due to end anyway

    They promised to get a better deal for the RIR when they have a much worse deal than the RUC

    They said they would never speak to Sinn Fein

    They said St A was a better agreement for unionists than the Good Friday Agreement

  • lib2016

    Paisley and his followers believe that the British are leaving and that they have no choice but to make a deal now while they are relatively strong.

    The DUP’s current moves towards post-unionism are as important for their electorate as Sinn Fein’s move towards an inclusive Peace Policy were for nationalist voters a decade ago.

    Of course DUPES will deny this just as the Shinners told us ‘not a bullet, not an ounce’. Does anyone really think that public statements should be taken at face value?

  • T.Ruth

    Instead of setting target dates we should ask the question=”When would it be appropriate to devolve the Administration of Policing and Justice?” Remember it was the removal of this responsibility that caused Brian Faulkner to abdicate.

    DPJAdministration should take place when the IRA and its command and control structure has been disbanded completely=when Republicans can pledge support to the PSNI=when Republicans can show positive proactive support for the work of the PSNI and the Police Authority and commit to total support for Law and Order.

    There is no place in an Executive for a party which is not prepared to accept the present legitimacy of the state in which it seeks a degree of responsibility in government.
    Remember the preferred Unionist position is to have voluntary coalition and Mr.Durkan and SDLP/UUP/AllIance all have a responsibility to support such a development if SF cannot step up to the mark on Law and Order.The DUP will not, like the UUP depend on SF ‘s vague promises but will judge everything by delivery=”no delivery ,no mandatory power sharing devolution.”

    It would be totally dishonest of PHain in such circumstances to punish,bully and threaten democratic parties because SF cannot deliver the goods on Law,Order and Justice. In that eventuality he should move to develop a power sharing Executive which excludes SF while permitting them to remain in the Assembly in respect to their mandate.

    There should be an acceptance that only democratic parties have a right to Executive power. We are talking here about SF-a party which seems unable even now to understand democracy and to understand that the DUP is prepared to share power when the conditions are right.

    It is hard to imagine when public confidence will be at a sufficient level to support devolution of Policing and Justice to a Minister with past or present IRA connections. That level of confidence will depend entirely on SF’s ability to convince the Unionist community that “The war is over”and we are all committed to building a great future for all our people in a Northern Ireland at peace with itself.

    I sense that there is a great willingness in many parts of the Loyalist commumnity to move away from violence and to support democratic power sharing arrangements.

    It really is time to make big steps and get down to the business of improving the life chances,conditions,education,of the people on both sides who want a better future now without being held back by those in the Republican movement who want to waste years in political bickering or revert to destroying businesses and jobs to create their Ireland of equals.

    .Unionist regard Sinn Fein as the party barring our way to that better future..

  • Billy


    “I sense that there is a great willingness in many parts of the Loyalist commumnity to move away from violence and to support democratic power sharing arrangements”.

    Good, I hope you’re right. However, I’m afraid the the “loyalist” terrorists are way behind the IRA on decommissioning, disbanding, criminal activity etc.

    If you want to exclude Sinn Fein from an Executive, why don’t you exclude the UUP for their links with the UVF (who are much more active than the IRA)?

    I am not a Sinn Fein supporter or voter. However, your contention that all progress is being held up by the Republican movement is pathetic and transparent.

    I believe Sinn Fein should sign up to policing subject to all the Patten reforms being fully implemeted.

    However, there are many in the DUP and the Orange Order who just don’t want to share power with Catholics. This is as much of an obstacle to progress as Sinn Fein’s stance on policing.

  • TRuth

    Time will tell in relation to my assessment of Loyalist intention. There is only a tenuous connection between UUP and David Irvine-a fairly typical Empey inspired UUP bloomer.I am no supporter of Loyalist violence or criminality. I am a democrat.Can you say you have always opposed Republican violence and republican criminality?
    In any event the Loyalists are not seeking a place in the Executive as of right-they have little political support within the Unionist community.
    What gives Sinn Fein the right to demand a presence as of right in the Executive? That equates to giving more recognition to the value of a Sinn Fein vote than to others. Only the cowardice of successive British governments,the success of the John Hume/Gerry Adams agenda and SDLP insecurity has elevated SF to such a position.Otherwise we could have a voluntary power sharing government at Stormont.Unionists have the courage to depend on their mandate and political arguments-Sinn Fein are still afraid to let go of the IRA’s bully bhoy support.How can you defend a party that wants to be in power at Executive level and yet does not accept the legitimacy of the PSNI and wishes to use support for Law and Order as a bargaining tool in negotiation.The terrorists have lost the War. Lets hope the democrats will win the Peace.