Democracy is over-rated

Not having to worry about silly things like the Executive’s collective responsibility.. or indeed, public consultation.. or even unofficial opposition.. just as long as Gordon’s happy [*ahem* – Ed] The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, has confirmed the policing and justice budget here to 2011 – it still being a reserved matter. Notable that the Secretary of State’s official statement claims a “2.4 per cent uplift”, although the total figures involved are – 2007/8, £1,245m – 2008/9, £1,315m – 2009/10, £1,291m – 2010/11, £1,289m. Not that any of that has stopped the Police Federation for Northern Ireland supporting the call for a right to strike as part of the police officers’ industrial dispute with the UK government.. over a pay award announced on 7th December. And they’ve called for the resignation of the UK Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith.. and the resignation of Shaun Woodward. Interestingly, no-one’s called on Peter Hain to resign from his other job as Secretary of State for Wales.. and in Scotland, where the Scottish administration has decided to implement the independently recommended award, Scottish officers back their colleagues’ demands.