“I gave a robust response and I stand absolutely by it”

The transcript of the meeting of the Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement should be available at some point but, for now, we have the Irish Times report [subs req] on what out-going Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said about devolution of policing and justice powers

Prime minister Gordon Brown and I have both made clear that we consider that the time is right to proceed with this step,” he said. Urging the DUP to accept the devolution deadline, the Taoiseach said: “Waiting in the lane drags things out. All that ever does is pull back from the graciousness of doing something. If you are going to do something, then do it,” he told the committee.

Of course, as we already know, it was only ever a target date.. and, “At this time, Sinn Fein is particularly focused on ensuring that the British government honours the public commitment to transfer powers on policing and justice..” Speaking of SF and policing, today saw the well-advertised meeting between a party delegation and Chief Constable Hugh Orde take place. Before the meeting SF leader Gerry Adams took the opportunity to describe his previous remarks on policing as expressing his concerns “in a constructive and positive way”. It’s not in the online report but he also talked about the police over-reacting to the criticism in a knee-jerk manner. That “knee-jerk” reaction taking place on the 3rd April, some time after the initial comments by Adams on 22nd March – although the party line was repeated elsewhere. The BBC video report is online here and has the “over-reaction” and “knee-jerk” comments, and Adams refers to making his earlier remarks “after being briefed about how the PSNI had handled the direct aftermath of the murder of Bap McGreevy”. This is Hugh Orde’s response in the BBC report. The quotes are also here

However, speaking before Friday’s meeting, Sir Hugh said: “I gave a robust response and I stand absolutely by it – if you want to have a discussion about policing, we do it sensibly, we do it rationally, we do it in a mature way. “That’s how you protect people – you do not protect people by shouting at the cops.”

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  • Better things to do

    Dear God man, can you not just tell us what you are trying to say instead of linking to countless other threads?

  • IRIA

    My head is spinning….

  • Gum

    How patronising is Orde? Every single time. Its hard to shout at his cops up our way – there are never any around.

  • Dewi

    Peter – I think everyone has got your point by now. But what do you want?

  • Pete Baker


    “I think everyone has got your point by now.”

    Well, I have been saying it for some time.

    And yet some people still don’t seem to have got it..

    Btw, that’s meant “in a constructive and positive way”.

  • percy

    “And yet some people still don’t seem to have got it.”
    So you’re doing some sort of public service is it?

  • Tom

    Of all the various players in the SAA negotiations, it certainly seems that Whitehall has been the most deliberately ambiguous as to how it favours dealing with this deadline/target date stalemate.

    One somewhat unusual possibility that I haven’t heard suggested — (perhaps because it’s just not remotely realistic?) — but is there any way that Brown might just say to hell with this, devolve P+J unilaterally, and basically dare the DUP to throw their toys out of the pram? (So as to forestall SF gloating, I imagine some sort of parallel slap on the republican side could be arranged.)

    Now, there’s no denying that this would be raising the stakes more than perhaps this little kerfuffle deserves, but it would put the DUP in one hell of a bind. They, the defenders of law and order, can’t very well refuse to help run policing if it’s been dumped in their lap. I think most commenters here would agree that this isn’t a real red line issue for the majority of the unionist electorate, so it would be madness for the DUP to think they might actually find support for collapsing Stormont over this, though the rhetoric would of course indicate otherwise.

  • ulsterfan

    DUP will not collapse the Executive for P&J;or for any other reason.
    They will simply take their time and agree to its devolution which might take a few more years. think how long it took SF/IRA to get rid of their arms.
    P&J;seems to work alright at present and there is little to be gained by rushing things .
    DUP can sit back and enjoy SF squirm and feel the heat from their own supporters and at the same time become a weaker party which by definition secures the union all the more.

  • joeCanuck


    Do you really think Brown gives a shit about what happens from now on over here? It’s done business as far as he’s concerned – Tony’s legacy.

  • Steve

    Pete we “get” your point we just don’t accept its veracity

    Ulsterfan are you seriously sugesting that P&J;is working well in nIreland?

    Joe its not whether he gives a fuck its whether he chooses to rid himself of the distraction

  • Rory

    I have never actually seen anyone “stand absolutely”. How is this achieved I wonder? Is it necessary to roll up one’s left trouser leg before attempting the pose?

  • [aside]Young farmers guilty of horseplay. Who’d have believed it?

  • Rory

    Probably some hallowed ritual commemoration of Uncle Tom Cobley (and all), Nevin.