Here’s an interesting line from Gerry Kelly, as official party spokesman on the Irish Times Breaking News service. According to the report he is “awaiting with interest the Prime Minister’s statement which he hoped would undo the proposals in the St Andrews Agreement“. Ahem… when is an agreement, not an agreement…? Answer: when it covers a potent battleground with your closest political rival, perhaps:
“The proposals which the SDLP claimed to have negotiated at St. Andrews were completely unacceptable,” the North Belfast Assembly member said. “They would have embedded MI5 within the PSNI. This would have generated the potential to create once again a force within a force. There can be no integration of MI5 and the PSNI. All PSNI members must be fully answerable to the Patten accountability mechanisms, hard won in negotiations.”
Expect fireworks from SDLP over who (if anyone), in local terms, holds a rapidly expanded MI5 accountable, if Blair goes the way Sinn Fein wants tomorrow!
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