“failure to deliver will seriously damage their credibility..”

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, may or may not actually believe that the NI Executive has become “one of the most successful governments anywhere”.. ANYhoo.. It’s part of the mood music for the 10th anniversary of the 1998 Agreement and, whilst Bill Clinton will be elsewhere, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has decided to hold a gala dinner for former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at Dublin Castle. Maurice Hayes is less impressed with the “rush to memorialise” – “it is still a work in progress” – and he recalls a Brendan Behan tale about Corporation workers “celebrating the seventh birthday of the hole”. He also identifies why the Sinn Féin leadership continue to mis-represent the May ‘target date’ as an enforceable ‘deadline’ when talking up the devolution of policing and justice powers – despite it being clear for some time. From the article

Sinn Fein needs these powers to be devolved, not only because they represent the last piece of the Patten jigsaw, but because it was a main element in the bill of sale on which they persuaded republicans to buy into support for policing.

For Patten, it was a defining function of government, and a manifest of the commitment of parties to defend the institutions and the common good, that they should exercise these powers. For Sinn Fein and republicans, it is symbolically important that these powers should be exercised by local politicians responsible to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Without that, the Sinn Fein leadership would not have got agreement, and failure to deliver will seriously damage their credibility.

Which may be the reason for those predicted “major problems ahead..” Adds A further thought. With conditions on the ground being so important to building confidence ahead of devolving those powers.. does this help or hinder?

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  • joeCanuck

    Roll up, roll up, get your dulse and yellowman here.

    Extra special treat – SF homemade fudge. Coming soon to a location near you.

  • DC

    Ah come on Joe, don’t ya know that SF have calculated that they want to change the order of things…

    But back to the point of devolving P&J;, just do it. Sit back and watch the DUP blow itself assunder because it hasn’t created the space or manoeuvrability within its own party political ideology to figure out how best deal with this one. So just blame no confidence even though SF are co-governing Northern Ireland.

    Next the DUP will be telling us the Belfast Agreement doesn’t exist anymore and in fact they have conjured up voluntary coalition!

    Patently obvious what is expected of the DUP to deliver on but once again despite all the bravado the DUP collapse in the face of heavy lifting.

    Proof of the pud is in the eating and with Reg Empey and McGimpsey executing over 51% of the budget it’s clear to see who’s running scared from its electorate that is fit to bursting as it was fed up full on horse shit pie.

    And here’s a clue, it’s not the UUP.

  • Steve

    It will damage the credibility of the DUP something awful all for the benefit of SF

    They tried to make me devolve P&J;But I said no, no, no
    They tried to make me devolve P&J;I said I won’t go, go, go

  • DC

    Awww poor DUP having to lead on difficult issues as part of governing Northern Ireland. Uck diddums.

    Big wardrobe Punt can’t do it because his party is still steeped in protest-politics. Cowering under no confidence. Pull the other one. It’s more to do with splitting the electorate because a rather large part of it has been filled full of scheisse over the last 30 years.

  • Dewi

    Do the DUP think develving P&J;is a good idea or not? If so get on with – if not resist. The dickering about is the strange bit.

  • Dewi

    Do the DUP think devolving P&J;is a good idea or not? If so get on with – if not resist. The dickering about is the strange bit.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The dickering about is the strange bit.’

    Nothing strange about NI politicians dickering about . They’ve been at it for the past 40 years and some would say even longer .

    Dickering politicians in NI is just the natural fallout from the uneasy mix of SDS (Subvention Dependency Syndrome) and ECDD (Eternal Constitutional Divide Syndrome) . Not strange at all . Par for the NI course .

  • NIO making limited progress on accreditation [pdf file]

    What will happen to schemes that continue to operate without accreditation?

  • Pete Baker

    Dewi et al

    The key point to note is that while Sinn Féin have been talking up May as a ‘deadline’, it was only ever a ‘target date’ – as stated in the detail of the St Andrews Agreement and further clarified by later statements from various interested parties.

    Rather than work towards that target, SF chose to continue to mis-present May as a ‘deadline’ – because, it would appear, that they had already sold it to their own supporters as such.

    Paying attention to that detail might help turn this into a worthwhile conversation.

  • Pete Baker

    Nevin

    That question would probably be more relevant in the conversation relating to the previous post

  • Pete, I presumed from your Adds that you were collating delivery failures in policing and justice.

  • Pete Baker

    Nevin

    I appreciate that was what you thought. But your specific question is still more appropriate to the conversation at the earlier post.

  • joeCanuck

    Here’s a weird thing; when most of us type P&J; it prints with a semi-colon when posted.
    Why?

  • Dewi

    Enough mun Pete – not having a go at you at all. (You are not paranoid – they are all out to get you!)

  • Pete Baker

    “not having a go at you at all.”

    And the same to you, Dewi.

    It was a pointer to the actual detail of the situation, and the benefits of examining that detail rather than repeating assumed generalities and/or party political lines.

  • I’ve put my query on the other board – as suggested.

    “does this help or hinder”

    It hinders. It demonstrates the PRM’s reluctance to part with its ‘civic policing and justice volunteers’; its unwillingness to embrace democracy.

  • DC

    Okay Pete very good. So are you saying: ‘here’s a post about a deadline that is in fact only a target date so saunter on the rest of you who happen to think public opinion isn’t persuasive enough to be factored in to meeting that target date.’

    Perhaps you are keen to while away the years but both democracy and devolution are now running down the track together; whereas before such excuses could be invoked, now when in power it only resounds due to the hollowness coming from the no confidence claim. And this in an environment when already DUP-SF co-govern. Or at least seem to be wanting to be seen to be trying to.

    What is your point? Apart from that it’s okay to saunter on past that target date and the rest can saunter off who happen to think otherwise.

  • Pete Baker

    DC

    I’m not sure how much more explicit I can be than my previous comment

    “Rather than work towards that target, SF chose to continue to mis-present May as a ‘deadline’ – because, it would appear, that they had already sold it to their own supporters as such.”

    That, in most polities, would be reason enough to delay acheiving that ‘target date’.

    Pointing elsewhere is merely a distraction.

    Any supporters of SF pointing elsewhere, or otherwise, should be the ones asking the most questions.

  • “For Patten”

    This reminds me of one of Bertie Ahern’s St Patrick jaunts to the USA. In a speech to students he sauntered on about the season of daffodils – and about the work of the Patten Permission 🙂

  • Comrade Stalin

    Joe, looks like the commenting software is trying to find HTML within people’s postings and is getting confused. It’s a bug.

  • DC

    I’m not a SF supporter and I think May 08 is a reasonable enough target date nay deadline.

    Reg Empey says quite arguably that it shouldn’t happen because the MLAs should be focusing on other economic matters. That’s a good argument if you’re not an MLA.

    What I mean is that they are getting paid circa £40-50k to govern a devolved assembly. So if he’s really saying that the MLAs cant do their jobs because it is more than what is capably possible then I am concerned that our MLAs don’t want to do the work. Or are instead actually incapable of doing it. That is something that will certainly strike me due to the conditions now in place. And it’s up to the DUP to lead. Trimble lead and bled for it but he still led. It’s like the DUP haven’t got it in them to suffer unpleasantness from having to take tough decisions proving the fait accompli.

    And that is what it looks like. But why should that be so Pete? I mean, it’s not like they haven’t had almost 6yrs to catch up on learning the role of devolutionary governance, for some, like Reg, it will be more than that because he harks back to the original birth of the new Stormont.

  • Pete Baker

    Missing the point, again, DC.

    May 08 might have been a “reasonable enough target date” at St Andrews.

    But that ignores what’s happened since then.

    Again, it’s the detail rather than the party political disagreements that I’m more interested in.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks, Comrade.

  • DC

    Well cue the next winning headline from Sinn Fein then:

    SF wants to help build a new police force around the local community but the DUP wont let them.

    And to be fair, it will ring home true given the rough and tumble cum murderous behaviour we have had here recently. [edited moderator] SF may want to examine pulling together tigher the multiple agencies around enforcement but the DUP wont let them because they have no confidence!

    It’s a bad move that’s all I’m saying particularly when considering just what is being withheld.

  • cynic

    “failure to deliver will seriously damage their (ie SF’s)credibility”

    …so why will the DUPs ever agree to devolution on the May timetable?

    Instead, act tough, secure their own right wing and simultaneously stiff Gerry….now let’s see Peter, what should we do on this one???????

    Only thing that might induce them to move is the Government sweetie jar ….big dollop of ££££ for pet projects …… etc etc etc but I think not …they are a party of principle!

  • Pete Baker

    As I said,

    May 08 might have been a “reasonable enough target date” at St Andrews.

    But that ignores what’s happened since then.

    Again, it’s the detail rather than the party political disagreements that I’m more interested in.

    Additionally,

    Pointing elsewhere is merely a distraction.

    Any supporters of SF pointing elsewhere, or otherwise, should be the ones asking the most questions.

  • Steve

    Spin it anyway you want pete this a bag of burning poop and its not on SF’s stoop its sitting squarely in front of DUP headquarters and when they eventualy try to stomp it out its robinsons gucci’s that are going to end up smelling shitty

    this is a gift to SF and Gerry should send the DUP a thank you card

  • DC

    That’s fine Pete stand there like a proud peacock strutting over your ‘detail’ but you may as well join in with the grandstanding politicians.

    There is work to be done in this particular field. As far as I can recall, and I’ll have to allege this, but as I cant come across any noted sentencing after such charges I think those two other Vallidays got off after intimidating the witnesses.

    No confidence. Indeed.

  • DC

    Oh and here’s another Valliday:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4467618.stm

    It’s time to stop putting heads in sand to save seats do something while in power even it is at a cost of voter strength.

  • Gregory

    THe Brits will never allow SOCA & ye olde UKIS funtions to be subject to devolved plitical actions here, unless they know that immigration stuff can stay secret.

    That’s the basic deal with the present PSNI.

    I can’t see the DUP go on TV to reveal that half the local firms in Ballymoney were in breach of their agreements with the Home Office re: migrant workers.

    On the other hand, it is not as if SF have a track record of actually caring. They’re a money-grabbing act as well. We could have more of that Blairite spoof-talking.

    So long as SF don’t do Daily Mail front-pages, it might be OK. And it is beginning to look as if SF is that kind of party. At the end of the day it amounts to a form of colonialism.

  • A Certain Season

    What happens when SF, Adams, McGuinness, Pat Doc, Spike and co are all forced by the DUP to deliver Orange marches along the Ormeau and Garvaghy Roads in return for for P&J;, and the people living in those areas say “take a hike”?

    There may be trouble ahead?

  • agh

    I think the DUP will hold out for something – not sure about orange marches. I’d imagine the dissolution of the army council would be enough and a fair enough compromise.

  • Perhaps you should lighten up, DC. Are the Vallidays any worse than a prospective minister of policing and justice, Gerry Kelly? Sure it’s all been a great bit of crack.

  • George

    “failure to deliver will seriously damage their credibility..”

    I don’t see how. SF are on the exact same hymn sheet as the Irish government so are positioned within “mainstream nationalist Ireland” on this one.

    As for the obsession with whether this is a deadline or a target, this is exactly the round and round in circles conversation that happened with decomissioning.

    It doesn’t matter if SF think there is an enforceable deadline or the DUP think that there is no deadline to devolve P&J;because, just like the non-existant deadline for decomissioning, it will have to happen if the “process” is to continue.

    The alternative is the Assembly eventually grinding to a halt. If the Assembly collapses because of this, who benefits – the DUP or SF?

    Or put more crudely, unionism or nationalism?

  • Steve

    Now SF can point at the DUP and say we played their game and they still wont treat us as equals so maybe the armed struggle was necesary and maybe we will have to return to it at some point? They regain their soft support and financing from outside Ireland cause they can claim to be trying politics but the establishment wont let them in.

    The whole anti-establishment thing will play particularily well in america where they mistakenly view themselves as modern day rebels

    When Storomont collapses it will be put at the feet of unionist obstanance and SF will be lauded for trying to work with in the system. It may play well with unionist hardliners until such time as the next iteration of direct rule, if there is signifigant imput from the republic and a “greening” of nIreland then I dare say the last laugh will be had by Sinn Fein

  • DC

    I didn’t know the Vallidays had the opportunity to be pj minister.

    The point being made is that politicians should try and put people first not themselves. Of course SF is guilty of it too with Mairead Farrell but there comes a time when you have to sit down and weigh things up.

    And West Belfast is in a mess, all this has repercussions, into South Belfast etc, North, furthermore out into Northern Ireland. Perhaps you may be the next victim of the Vallidays Nevin?

    The point I’m making is really why mess around by stalling with something so vital whenever clearly changes are needed as soon as possible. Time to put baggage to the side and move forward subtly towards working things out together. It’s a fait accompli.

    Government isn’t easy but rather leave something positive from a term than have one with little or nothing achieved just to try and save both face and seats. I get the impression this is what is happening and it is time to point the finger at both Adams and Punt’s DUP as means to encourage them just to get on with what is largely expected of them.

  • Well, DC, Valliday’s bad, Kelly’s heroes worse. Just imagine you put in a call for police assistance. Would you get the PSNI or Kelly’s heroes?

  • DC

    Hopefully Kelly’s Heroes with Maskey as Telly Savalas.

    🙂

  • With a little licence, DC

    DC: Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    Nevin: Crap!

  • Gregory

    Kelly’s Heroes is the ultimate gasoline leakage movie. We also had a paramilitary bank robbery of significant scale, no peace process as such, I mean they’re Germans, when they’re on the back-foot, they just get worse. Of course the thing to steal in the latter days of WWII, was cigarettes, alcohol, (oddly enough) gasoline and food. So not so completely different and a little safer compared to West Belfast.

  • Gregory

    “When Storomont collapses it will be put at the feet of unionist obstanance and SF will be lauded for trying to work with in the system.”

    It won’t collapse, SF have had their glory days in the sun, they’re policy light, competence poor, and to be blunt not so well educated,

    some of their candidates, are not fit for govt. They were single issue lobbyists with a private army who added a few PC items to the menu.

    They are not so smart, some of them were defending FARC who are a shower of drug trafficking rapists.

    That latter aspect doesn’t get a 1 out of 10 for reading Spanish language newspapers. Out of the entire party, how many speak Spanish, about twelve? That’s not so good.

    Also name me one gay IRA person!

    I didn’t see too many pink boilersuits in the last thirty years. Even the Sopranos had one, a fat one who looked silly in a leather cap, but still a gay person.

    I do know of one IRA man who went on a job with sequined gloves though.

  • Gregory

    “What happens when SF, Adams, McGuinness, Pat Doc, Spike and co are all forced by the DUP to deliver Orange marches along the Ormeau and Garvaghy Roads in return for for P&J;, and the people living in those areas say “take a hike”? ”

    What has SF done for Garvaghy, Holy Cross or the Lower Ormeau? They took advantage of those people.

    I don’t think parades are much of an issue. Nobody is going back in a bunker for that.

    The Ormeau march is a main thoroughfare, that’s that, there is no argument against it,

  • Steve

    It won’t collapse, SF have had their glory days in the sun, they’re policy light, competence poor, and to be blunt not so well educated,

    some of their candidates, are not fit for govt. They were single issue lobbyists with a private army who added a few PC items to the menu

    Gregory explain to me how this is different then any other political party? Thats why they have back benches to hide the scuds that can get elected but are useless for anything else

    As for the gay thing I don’t remember the IRA and especially Sinn Fein having an anti-gay agenda but prove me wrong and put up some examples

    the anti-gay thing is a society norm in the western world and has only become mildly acceptablt in the last decade. Unless of course you’re a free P in chich case prepare for the red hot pokers and burnt at the stake

  • BonarLaw

    Gregory

    exactly. They were fine at running a squalid little war but are piss poor at running a government. Even Jonathan Powell realised this as the process ground to conclusion.

  • Bob Wilson

    Those who urge the rapid devolution of P & J seem to basing some of their argument on the need to ‘deal with’ criminality i.e.
    “why mess around by stalling with something so vital whenever clearly changes are needed as soon as possible”
    One could equally argue that given the nature of our politics and the lack of agreement about the very legitimacy of NI one should NOT devolve these areas for the foreseeable future.
    The argument that a local Assembly – subject to the twin pressures of unionist/nationalist bickering and an inevitable call for ever more draconian measure – is ‘vital’ to make ‘changes’ that are needed as ‘asap’ is complete hogwash.