And how does that compare with your previous polls?

Interestingly the NIO have released another of their famed surveys. This time the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, is focusing on the over-all figure – “(58%) support the devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont within the next 12 months.” He does also provides this handy graph indicating the levels of support across the various parties’ supporters. Actually, according to the NIO’s latest poll, support for considering a 12month time-frame for devolving policing and justice powers is above 50% among supporters of all parties.. just – 52% for UUP and 51% for DUP. The comparable figures from the previous NIO polls? It’s not clear, because they’ve chosen to change either the questions asked, or the way they’ve presented the data, or both. Adds BBC NI political editor, Mark Devenport blogs

“Strangely they didn’t (so far as I know) ask anyone where the transfer of powers sat on their list of priorities alongside, say, lower gas and electricity bills.”

Previously the percentages on whether those powers should be devolved at all were reported as

Compare the percentages above – who previously said policing and justice powers should never be devolved – with the ones presented in today’s poll who apparently said that those powers should not be devolved at all.

Total – 12%

SF – 2%

SDLP – 3%

Alliance – 9%

UUP – 14%

DUP – 23%

I’m particularly taken with the UUP drop from 36% in January 2008 to 14% now. Statistics, eh?

And the heading on today’s graph probably gives an indication of the question asked

“Timescale that should be considered for devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster to local politicians.”

As before, this time there’s no actual figures given for how the sample breaks down by party supporters, not even a percentage. No methodology. And definitely no non-party-aligned respondents.

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  • percy

    well they could ear-mark next May as a target-date,
    with the caveat of 10 or less posts on Sluggers.

    What’s a year between friends SF/DUP?

  • Carson’s Cat

    Oh what a surprise – Government inspired poll published the night before the PM visits. Do they think we’ll never learn?

    Perhaps they might have liked to ask a few additional questions:

    1)Which do you think is more important, fuel poverty or policing & justice?

    2)Do you think it is a)Petty, b)Childish, c)Stupid or d)All of the above for a Party to threaten to tear down your devolved Government if they don’t get their own way on the devolution of P&J;?

    “No methodology. And definitely no non-party-aligned respondents.”

    Why do we even get surprised by that these days? Its a poll designed to put forward a particular

  • Carson’s Cat

    Oops should have finished my last sentence.

    Its a poll designed to put forward a particular view – they weren’t going to let simple matters like proper methodology, or the public actually holding those views to get in the way….

  • frank the tank

    so now unionists like carsons cat think that poverty is a more important issue than law and order.will wonders never cease!!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    “Interestingly the NIO have released another of their famed surveys”


    “Predicatbly the NIO have released another of their famed surveys”

    El Gordo has played Norn Iron very well but with no interest in the issue on the mainland – due to absence of violence – he doesn’t even get any recogintion for that. He is one unlucky fat fecker.

  • Dewi

    Strange that TUV supporters views not shown.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Graphs aren’t their thing Dewi.

  • ulsterfan

    Who is really interested in the debate.
    Lets park it for a year and start where we left off and spend the next year discussing important matters such as the National stadium which will not be built.

  • slug

    Do people care about the devolution of policing and justice?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    obviously IRA/Sinn fein do, as they see it progressing towards an all-Island police force administering all-Ireland law, yet they’re strangely slilent on British intelligence.

  • Don Quixote

    I’ve not posted on Slugger for quite some time but – perhaps just for mischief – or perhaps because there’s a lot flying over the sectarian radars of most commentators here – I’m just going to raise one question:

    How is the devolution of P&J;not attached to the Executive’s capacity to deal with poverty?

    The answer is by way of sectarian politics alone. Each side is spending a massive amount of money on inquiries aimed at giving their own account of history – all self serving where justice is a conveniant friend.

    Count up what was spent on NI inquries last year. It is hundreds of millions – the last time I looked at it I calculated the Wright inquiry cost 6 ambulances. This seemed apt – but it’s one of the cheapest inquiries so far.

    Transfer this money to our ministers and lets see whether they care more for the dead than they do the living.

    I think some parties may protest too much!

  • Dewi

    …Saville Inquiry DQ?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Don Quixote, if money is your thing, why not get the executive up and running with the parties who want to participate?

  • Concerned Unionist

    Surely we all know the British Governments antics by now it is no coincidence this poll was published the day before Brown arrives. The NIO’s latest poll is just spin, spin and more spin to suit their own agenda and to bolster Sinn Fein.

    In answer to concerns regarding the economic situation about gas and electric and oil hikes, if P & J was transferred tomorrow or next year we in Northern Ireland will be much more the poorer as according to the Chief Constable he is short 100’s of million pounds in his budget for proper policing. Why do you think UK government wants to offload this burden on the people of Northern Ireland? – Sorry folks I have enough to contend with paying my bills now without any further erosion in my standard of living – I am more concerned about the bread and butter issues that effect me and everyone else just let Westminster take care of P & J.

    Ask the question you want answered to suit your poll and yes you may get the percentage you want.

    I for one am not included in this 58% and I am sure I am not alone leave P & J were it is.

  • Don Quixote

    Sure Dewi – current expenditure on inquiries is not a new thing. What I’m suggesting is that with P&J;devolution some of the cost of competing histories will be levied locally and be subject to decisions of our local devolved Executive.

    Both “sides” demanded inquiries that have spent massive amounts of money paid by the English. On these terms NI will continue its policy og begging bowl justice – it comes at no cost. With P&J;devolved the Executive will need explain why it spends £’oo’s millions enriching the legal profession while leaving those in need without help. It’s easy when “the Brits” pay the bill – it won’t be when these decisions are devolved.

    “Ulsters my homeland” – what party or parties don’t want to participate? I do recall a party routinely refusing to participate during the Assembly’s first mandate but perhaps our local politicians are learning what power without responsibility delivers?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “we in Northern Ireland will be much more the poorer as according to the Chief Constable he is short 100’s of million pounds in his budget for proper policing. Why do you think UK government wants to offload this burden on the people of Northern Ireland?”

    Granted that N.Ireland policing will be underfunded, but it’s political now.

  • Don Quixote

    Concerned Unionist – you are part of the problem that describes a unionist viewpoint that has yet to rise above the bar described by Harold Wilson. Being the Irish part of the Union does not as of right describe a right to sponge on the rest of your compatriots.

    As things are NI pays much less in local tax than GB. Even with water charges we’ll be paying less – though earnings here are lower, NI has the largest idle population (the proportion of people of working age that don’t work) and you want to keep things this way. Fair enough – you’re view fits with Harold Wilson’s description.

    Why not be accountable for the money you want spent? Tell the people of NI that finding out why some murdering bastard was shot (choose whoever) or why some innocent deserves more than the courts provide. When you make decisions you might earn respect. Your avoidance of both just invites derision.

  • Concerned Unionist

    Ulster my homeland

    Granted it has been made political and surprisingly by the same people who would a short time ago not even have recognised the courts, and murdered the very people they want now to control never mind anything else.

    Policing should be a civil matter and not for Politicians, if what you say is correct then does that mean that we all can be held to ransom by a motley crew of ex ???????????????? surely we should have some say. I hope that all the Unionists, SDLP and the Alliance show that they are made of sterner stuff and stand up to the bullies in Sinn Fein and govern us properly and for the benefit of all not just republicans

  • Don Quixote

    CL – does having a Minister for the Home Office mean that crime and justice are “civil matters” and not for “politicians”? Can you name a country that puts the tools of criminal justice above political accountability? I could name a few – but none that are democratic.

    How about a compromise? How about a locally elected Englishman, Welshman, Scotsman or Irishman? Isn’t it only those denying any identity that want treated like colonials?

  • Concerned Unionist


    Perhaps, unlike you I am not one of Harold Wilson spongers, I have never lived or claimed from the state worked and paid my taxes all my life until retirement and am still paying my taxes. I resent your remarks you know nothing about my circumstances so I would be obliged if you would stick to the facts instead of your idle presumptions. And for your information I live in the United Kingdom of which I am glad to say Northern Ireland is still very much a part even though the likes of you would like it to be otherwise.

    Perhaps reading instead of writing to the blog may even enlighten you

  • Don Quixote

    CL – I made no comment about your personal circumstances. You expressed a political view that I disagree with and think diminishing since it relies on others to pay for. If you can identify a good reason others should pay for your politics I’d be very interested to hear it.

  • Don Quixote

    CL – I’ve just returned to this thread that I’d responded to having just glanced at your response. I’ve no retraction to make but you seem to have learned little about political discourse in what I have to assume is a long working life – you say you’re retired.

    It might help if you stay relevant and don’t make unfounded accusations about those who disagree with you. You’re old enough to know the kind of thing – vilifying others with associations that inspire hatred. Come to think of it – something loyalism and the BNP have been quite good at.

    For the record – you make a number of assertions:

    1. You assert I’m on benefit. There’s nothing wrong with being on benefit but – if being in need is a black mark to you – it isn’t to me. Even if I was unemployed I’d not qualify for benefits. I quess I’m lucky but I do resent paying tax (a lot of tax) to those who can’t afford the view they protest. It is your politics that makes you a sponger. Even with the border politically secure you reckon you’re more worthy of HM’s money than the English who are paying. Why are you more deserving? Why can’t the NI electorate see if their politicians care more for the dead than the living?
    2. “you would like it to be otherwise” – re the UK. Where did I say that? Isn’t it the bum at the party that unites people who don’t know one another? Alienate your compatriots and you might find yourself nearer the truth – neither the south nor GB wants a drain on their taxes – whatever their other dreams might be. As regards your assertion of a wish I don’t have and have not expressed – I’ll allow readers reach their own conclusions.

    With engagement like yours – are you sure you chose the right nome d’plume? Wouldn’t you be better described as “concerned sponger”? I accept you’re not putting this point forward in your own self interest.

  • Polls always have a margin of error. So, not really a fan of it. But you presented a nice analysis of the NIO polls.

  • barnshee

    “NI has the largest idle population (the proportion of people of working age that don’t work”

    Hint– try a freedom of information request for details of the “idle population”by post code. (BT1 BT15 etc)

    Then try for freedom of information request for the number of television licences by postcode.

    You will be denied the information. guess why? simple it shows who the “spongers” are. Cat`t have that.