Interesting line from Ian Paisley (at the rather jolly launch of his party’s manifesto), who was clearly nodding to some of his critics arguments on the dysfunctionalism of an inclusive Executive. Noel McAdam reports:
“I am not in favour of power-sharing” he dsaid. As the party launched its election manifesto yesterday, the DUP leader said he hoped a promised review would bring Stormont back “to a proper democracy”. Mr Paisley said the problem was that the Government was insisting the current system at Stormont must remain. Any review will come after a power- sharing Executive, which includes Sinn Fein, is formed.
Interestingly, it also, kind of shifts the focus of the blame onto London. Something that was anticipated by David Trimble in the Lords (last paragraph of his contribution) the other night (after he name checked Slugger):
There is a strand of thinking among those in the DUP that they would be happy to operate something if it was imposed upon them rather than having to vote for it. I remember DUP members who said of the Belfast agreement that we should never have agreed to it. It would have been all right if it had been imposed on us, then we could have worked it, but somehow it was wrong for us to agree to it. I suspect that the same thing is happening again and what we are seeing is the beginning of a little ritual dance that will result in that.
But I fear that the people of Northern Ireland will not be content with it. In fact, I have grave reservations about whether the people of Northern Ireland are ready for the devolution of policing and justice powers. Certainly their temper in recent times would indicate that they are not. I doubt very much whether things will change so dramatically in just over a year, but that is a matter we can pursue later.
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