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]