“Since I’ve been Secretary of State, just look at what’s happened…”

Some eyebrow raising quotes from the Secretary of State for Wales etc, Peter Hain, in an interview for “Mirror readers” [as opposed to Daily Mail readers – Ed]. Ostensibly to emphasise that absolute deadline of 26th March – although there is the slight matter of a closer, potentially more fudgeable, deadline first – he finds time to highlight the ongoing campaign, “I love this job but it would be, I think, a bonus for Northern Ireland if I were elected deputy leader..” of course it would, Peter, of course it would..He also holds out the promise of a devolved administration being able to put a case for lowering corporation tax, while claiming such an argument would be impossible for a Secretary of State to advocate..

“It’s impossible for a member of the UK Cabinet like me to advocate a different rate of corporation tax for one part of the UK and the European Commission has ruled it is unlawful to do so – within a member state you’ve got to have a common rate.

“But I think an incoming Executive could make a case because it’s a very special situation of an island of Ireland – one bit different from the other in terms of its tax systems.”

But my favourite quote from the interview, apart from the “I love this job but it would be, I think, a bonus for Northern Ireland if I were elected deputy leader..” which is priceless –

“Since I’ve been Secretary of State, just look at what’s happened.”

[Would that be the ongoing political circus he’s complaining about? Or the “arrogance and contempt for the law” – Ed]

Living History 1968-74

A unique, once-in-a-lifetime 10-week course at Stranmillis University College Belfast featuring live, in-depth interviews with leading figures from this tumultuous era in Northern Ireland’s cultural and political history.

Live interviews with: Bernadette McAliskey, Austin Currie, Brid Rogers, Baroness Blood, Dennis Bradley, Baroness Paisley, Lord Kilclooney, Tim McGarry, Danny Morrison, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and others…

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