Happy New Year and Hurry Up

Here is the text of Ian Paisley’s New Year address.

Ever the optimist, I think I found the positive nuggets in the speech:

This year can be a year of delivery. Quality support for the police, the courts and the rule of law would do much to change the mistrust and suspicion held by the unionist electorate, and the sooner we have delivery, the better for us all. For the first time in our history, republicans are contemplating support for the police and the courts in Northern Ireland. Let no words discourage them. Unionists must be sure and certain that any advances by republicans are free from conditions, and that they have not been secured by reckless government actions detrimental to the interests of the law-abiding citizens of Northern Ireland.

  • Ian

    The following is POTENTIALLY the most positive nugget of Paisley’s speech, as it offers a key to unlock the chicken-and-egg argument over the timing of devolution of policing and justice powers:

    “As a consequence of our proposals for policing and justice we have changed the context of the debate on when policing and justice powers are devolved by proposing that the minister be appointed by a cross-community vote rather than by the d’Hondt system. This would ensure that only someone who has widespread support and enjoys community confidence could hold the post. Consequently, only someone whom we support can be chosen for the post.

    The DUP proposal, while acknowledging that the Assembly needs some time to bed-in, put no restrictions on when the powers could be devolved. This is achievable with delivery [by SF].”

    I say only POTENTIALLY the most positive nugget, as he failed to explicitly outline that the DUP would support an SDLP Justice Minister, something that I believe Peter Robinson is on record as saying [although I can’t find the quote – can anyone help?], but it would have been nice to have heard it from the Big Man himself.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Quality support for the police, the courts and the rule of law would do much to change the mistrust and suspicion held by the unionist electorate, and the sooner we have delivery, the better for us all.

    When are we going to get quality support for the police from the DUP ? The identities of the UDA and UVF members are well known to unionist politicians. Why don’t they name them to the police and testify against them in court ?