Tory calls for government action on policing and justice

At NI questions the devolution of criminal justice and policing was raised and former Shadow NI Spokesperson and now a Senior adviser to David Cameron, Andrew MacKay, has called on the Goverment to:

“…ensure that alternative action is taken so that minds are concentrated?”

  • autocue

    Wonder what Reg thinks about this nonsense?

  • If Labour’s desire is to devolve policing and justice, if the review committee fails, what alternative provisions are being examined to keep the matter on track, as the government would like it. Not an illegitimate question. It’s simply probing the efficacy of government policy.

  • autocue

    Cue Chekov to make excuses for the Tories! What a shock!

  • bob Wilson

    Fair Deal making DUP mischief what a shock!

    The two questions Owen Paterson (the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland) asked were:

    Mr. Paterson: The priorities for people outside the political bubble are the matters that affect them every day, rather than the timing of devolution of policing and justice. As the impasse is not on the principle, but on the timetable of devolution, has the right hon. Gentleman made it crystal clear that blocking the Executive is wholly unacceptable as recession looms?

    Mr. Paterson: The right hon. Gentleman mentioned St. Andrews, where the British and Irish Governments agreed that devolution should go ahead only when cross-community confidence was sufficient. As all parties in Northern Ireland bought into the current settlement, will he give the House a clear assurance that the matter should be decided locally and that, if there is still no agreement from the Executive on timing in current months, he will not introduce legislation to impose it on one section of the community?

    The fact that he did not get any satisfactory reply from Woodward may be concerning but for Sammy Wilson and Fair Deal try to pretend there is some difference between Tory view and UUP view is laughable.

    DUP of course have no differences with anyone because they are in the political wilderness

  • Tory

    Indeed. This looks like another DUP non-story / scrape the barrel effort.

  • Blue Rinse Brigade

    So, Owen Paterson is the Tory spokesperson on NI and the DUP choose not to use the official Tory line on the issue? Oh yes, that makes complete sense.

    I would ‘copy and paste’ the section from Hansard but, for such idiots who believe anything the DUP say, its a waste of the effort required for my fingers.

  • Sink Sink

    Cue autocue to slabber the UUP

  • Mack

    This is further evidence that the UUP / Tory links are wrong. The DUP are the only Unionist party in Northern Ireland to take a stand on all issues and in Nogel Dodds questioning proved that the DUP will not allow the devolution of P&J;until the time is right.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Tory,

    do the tories think that the DUP should agree a date for the transfer of police?

  • Tory

    Sammy,

    There is a general acceptance that these powers will be transferred eventually, but we have always said that the time is not yet right and the devolved institutions should be proving themselves on the competencies they already have before getting any more:

    http://conservativesni.net/2008/08/05/stormont-not-ready-for-policing-and-justice/

    If P&J;was devolved, it would just be subject to the same inertia which now characterises the presently devolved matters. So what would be the point of doing that?

    Mack & the other DUPers here are obviously mis-representing our position, which is clear for all in the above article.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Tory,

    It is dsiappointing to see the Tories aligning themselves with the Unionist veto. There was/is an opportunity for the Tories/UU to provide a sensible alternative to the DUP – but as ever in Norn Iron – I suppose old tribal loyalties will out.

    “it would just be subject to the same inertia ”

    This is a very silly and self serving arguement – Police and Justice is clearly holding up the workings of the assembly – there is little doubt that education, the Bobby Bowl etc would be agreed by if there was movement on Police and Justice.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    So when would the time be right? I have heard this phrase but I am uncertain what it means. So the time is right for Stormont to be responsible for the education of our children but not the Police? Why? What is the rationale for this distinction?

  • bob Wilson

    The Executive hasnt met for months. There is a long list of things it needs to sort.
    Adding P & J now will simply solidify the current impasse

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Bob Wilson

    I love this logic – Police and Justice has led to the impasse – so we wont implement it because it will add to the impasse. Priceless

  • Tory

    Unfortunately, the confidence is not there in the unionist community for this to happen yet.

    Where the UUP / Conservatives & Unionists to push for this now, it would be Trimble-going-into-government-with-SF revisited, with the analogous lack of SF reciprocation.

    Yes, we do want to move away from the tribal sectarianism, but we are also going to provide strong leadership for the Union – the DUP’s monopoly on that quality will be broken. That means opposing this move for now.

  • George

    Tory,
    Unfortunately, the confidence is not there in the unionist community for this to happen yet.

    But the British and Irish governments believe the confidence should be there long ago so either they are totally out of touch or unionists are being irrational or stonewalling.

    Taking that the British government believe they know best, why should even more irrationality and feet-dragging be tolerated 10 years into the GFA?

    It’s perfectly clear that if the confidence isn’t there by now it won’t be for the foreseeable future so better to shut up shop, save hundreds and hundreds of millions, and return to the problem in maybe 10 or 20 years. No point flogging a dead horse.

    Duncan Shipley Dalton,
    agree totally, how can a devolved administration have the confidence to run finance, health and education but not policing and justice?

    Invest in Northern Ireland, we can’t trust ourselves to run a police force but we assure you that it’s a stable environment for your money.

    Hilarious.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Tory,

    “That means opposing this move for now”

    If this is the Tory postion I find it deeply depressing – it is a propaganda gift to whatever shape militant/disident repulicanism morphs into. We would potentially have a Unionist veto backed up by a Tory governement. Anyone with even a modest grasp of Irish history will know this is a recipe for disaster. It will of course be welcomed by the madmen on both sides of the politcal didvide. I find it difficult to believe that Posh Boy David Cameron (PBDC) understands this at the moment but surely there are some sensible people in his party who will start ringing alarm bells soon.

  • fair_deal

    “But the British and Irish governments believe the confidence should be there long ago”

    Good for them but their opinion isn’t the only one that counts.

    “so either they are totally out of touch or unionists are being irrational or stonewalling.”

    Governments out of touch? No such a think couldn’t possibly occur.

    There is the third option that they have plenty of other bigger problems and just want this one to go away.

    As for stonewalling the implied deal was there in St Andrew’s, the IRA going completely creates the space for powers but Martin McGuinness has said twice he doesn’t want to talk about that.

    The government hasn’t delivered on the Intelligence and Security Committee stuff either.

  • fair_deal

    Bob

    “Fair Deal try to pretend there is some difference between Tory view and UUP view is laughable.”

    Where did I mention the UUP (or Sammy Wilson for that matter)? The difference it appears is between Paterson and Mackay.

  • George

    Fair_Deal,
    Good for them but their opinion isn’t the only one that counts.

    The are many opinions but the British government’s one is more important to the future direction of Northern Ireland than the opinion of unionism.
    They are the paymasters and the ones propping up the place. He who pays the piper and all that.

    There is the third option that they have plenty of other bigger problems and just want this one to go away.

    And if it doesn’t go away and the Executive collapses?

    What if British government still has the same opinion as it appears to now, namely that policing should be devolved. Then we have the DUP refusing to implement “the spirit and the letter” of the STA.

    The British can pull the plug on the devolved administration, implement swingeing cuts and save hundreds of millions, if not billions, over the next decade. It’s a tempting carrot.

    Do you think they will lose a single vote in Great Britain because of it?

    As for stonewalling the implied deal was there in St Andrew’s, the IRA going completely creates the space for powers but Martin McGuinness has said twice he doesn’t want to talk about that.

    But three other parties at St Andrews (British and Irish governments and SF) seem to think that the space already exists and the conditions for the implied deal have been met. The DUP is the only one that thinks the space isn’t there.

    (By the way, what constitutes IRA going completely away and who decides this? This smells awfully like a unionist veto without parameters.)

    What have nationalists to gain from bowing to a unionist veto? It’s hardly as if the DUP has shown itself to be on top of things and ready to govern with an impartial hand in Northern Ireland.

    They have shown their colours by their behaviour towards the inconsequential ILA and Maze issues. If they didn’t know beforehand, nationalists now know they won’t get fair governance so better to let it fall and return to NIO rule.

    Also, all this still doesn’t answer the question as to how the DUP can allow SF continue to administer other areas such as education when the IRA is still a threat to the administration.

    Surely that is a tad reckless on the part of the DUP?

  • fair_deal

    George

    “The are many opinions but the British government’s one is more important to the future direction of Northern Ireland than the opinion of unionism…He who pays the piper and all that.”

    Unionism’s opinion still counts because under the current legislation the devolution proposal must emanate from OFM/DFM and pass the Assembly.

    “And if it doesn’t go away and the Executive collapses? What if British government still has the same opinion as it appears to now, namely that policing should be devolved.”

    Surely if the Exec is gone it can’t be devolved as there is nothing to devolve it too?

    “Then we have the DUP refusing to implement “the spirit and the letter” of the STA.”

    LOL. It is not in the letter of the StAA. The SoS admitted it wasn’t in the letter of the STA yesterday.

    “By the way, what constitutes IRA going completely away and who decides this?”

    IMO A general army convention is held and the membership votes for dissolution of the entire organisation with verification by the IMC.

    “The British can pull the plug on the devolved administration, implement swingeing cuts and save hundreds of millions, if not billions, over the next decade. It’s a tempting carrot. Do you think they will lose a single vote in Great Britain because of it?”

    Nationalism has been hanging about looking London to act in that such a manner for decades. It also shows the poverty of Irish nationalism that they want London as their proxy to bully Unionism.

    “They have shown their colours by their behaviour towards the inconsequential ILA and Maze issues.”

    Have you read what POBAL wants in an ILA? Inconsequential? Plus official status raises serious issues.

    As someone who shows such an interest in economics and concern for the public purse I’d have thought you’d seen the insensibility of the Maze stadium proposals (now even worse considering the downturn)

    “What have nationalists to gain from bowing to a unionist veto? It’s hardly as if the DUP has shown itself to be on top of things and ready to govern with an impartial hand in Northern Ireland.”

    Spare the emotive nonsense. No bowing is involved. The period of devolution has been reasonable enough, nothing earth shattering.

    The vetoes were agreed too. Mandatory coalition is there to enable parties to work on what they can agree upon and MUTUAL vetoes for protection.

    Also if nationalism wants voluntary coalition behaviour then they should agree to that structure.

    “all this still doesn’t answer the question as to how the DUP can allow SF continue to administer other areas such as education”

    Err because that was the instrumental deal at St Andrews they made and have kept to. The pieces left out of the puzzle were P&J;and IRA structures but SF doesn’t want to talk about that.

  • George

    Fair_Deal,
    LOL. It is not in the letter of the StAA. The SoS admitted it wasn’t in the letter of the STA yesterday.

    I wrote about spirit and letter of the STA. You seem to switch from letter to spirit at will to suit your argument. You yourself said there was an “implied deal” in one of your earlier posts and now you’re back sticking to the letter.

    The IRA decommissioning wasn’t in the letter of the GFA. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t in the spirit.

    Have you read what POBAL wants in an ILA? Inconsequential? Plus official status raises serious issues.

    As someone who shows such an interest in economics and concern for the public purse I’d have thought you’d seen the insensibility of the Maze stadium proposals (now even worse considering the downturn)

    I wrote about the DUP’s behaviour towards the ILA and the Maze, not its opposition to them. I’m talking about the attitudes of the likes of Campbell, Poots etc. They didn’t put forward rational arguments they played to the community gallery.

    IMO A general army convention is held and the membership votes for dissolution of the entire organisation with verification by the IMC.

    And could you point to me where is that is written in the St Andrew’s Agreement or are you back interpreting the spirit of it? I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it in print anywhere.

    Nationalism has been hanging about looking London to act in that such a manner for decades. It also shows the poverty of Irish nationalism that they want London as their proxy to bully Unionism.

    Nationalism has been looking to get beyond the unionist veto for decades and London is the easiest way to do it. It’s a no-brainer.

    In the zero sum game of NI politics, anything that removes direct control from the hands of unionists is a good thing.

    And the poverty of unionist thinking is that it thinks 30 odd years of direct rule followed by a stunted devolved administration is better than sharing power with the minority population.

    How many boats of opportunity have docked in Northern Ireland and sailed on empty in that period?

  • fair_deal

    George

    “I wrote about spirit and letter of the STA. You seem to switch from letter to spirit at will to suit your argument. You yourself said there was an “implied deal” in one of your earlier posts and now you’re back sticking to the letter.”

    Yes you did write about the spirit and letter, and I solely corrected your claim about ‘letter’ which is false. The DUP has publicly stated it wishes to see the devolution of P&J;. Robinson described it as a “unionist aspiration” recently.

    “The IRA decommissioning wasn’t in the letter of the GFA. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t in the spirit.”

    Yes and look how republicans treated that “target date” and how Unionists were told to suck it up to keep the process going etc on a couple of occasions did and were left out to dry.

    “I wrote about the DUP’s behaviour towards the ILA and the Maze”

    No you wrote about the DUP’s behaviour AND called an ILA and Maze inconsequential.

    BTW Edwin Poots is very pro-Maze development.

    “And could you point to me where is that is written in the St Andrew’s Agreement or are you back interpreting the spirit of it?”

    Can you point to me where I said it is written in the StAA? I called it the “implied” deal. They were two bigs things StAA did not sort out (also why I thought the StAA wasn’t good enough and makes this present hiatus utterly predicatable)

    You asked a question “(By the way, what constitutes IRA going completely away and who decides this?” I gave a personal opinion in reply what’s the problem? Or is the annoyance that a straight answer was offered?

    “Nationalism has been looking to get beyond the unionist veto for decades and London is the easiest way to do it.”

    The veto is an electoral majority in Northern ireland, its a democratic one not a Unionist one. Instead of avoidance and bullying how about persuasuion.

  • George

    Fair_Deal,
    Yes you did write about the spirit and letter, and I solely corrected your claim about ‘letter’ which is false.

    I only spoke of “spirit and letter” as a single entity and put it into inverted commas. What did I claim was in the letter only?

    No you wrote about the DUP’s behaviour AND called an ILA and Maze inconsequential.

    So how do you rate the DUP’s behaviour on these two issues? Closer to playing to the community or arguing rationally?

    The veto is an electoral majority in Northern ireland, its a democratic one not a Unionist one. Instead of avoidance and bullying how about persuasuion.

    You would swear we were dealing with a normal, stable situation here where the flowers of democracy bloom in the hedgerows.

    We had 50 years of unionist “democracy” which yielded not one Catholic government minister in all those decades despite Catholics making up over a third of the population.

    In order for a democracy to function (or even to be called a democracy) it has to be representative of its population.

    Northern Ireland has never been a functioning democracy in its near 90 years of existence.

    That is why everyone is going through this tortuous process. If an electoral majority could be trusted to act impartially we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    And as I asked earlier, given the history and the DUP’s more recent behaviour towards things such as the ILA, what have nationalists to gain from bowing to a unionist veto?

    Where has it got them in the last 90 years?

  • fair_deal

    “I only spoke of “spirit and letter” as a single entity and put it into inverted commas. What did I claim was in the letter only?”

    I never said you only said letter only. it was the letter element I corrected, i did not reject the idea the devolution of P&J;is in the spirit of StAA.

    “So how do you rate the DUP’s behaviour on these two issues? Closer to playing to the community or arguing rationally?”

    They’ve used both but IMO used the community ones too much. Although they are not alone on that look how quikly the shinners went running back to no catholics about the place.

    “You would swear we were dealing with a normal, stable situation here where the flowers of democracy bloom in the hedgerows. etc”

    When your analysis reaches 2008 not 1928, 38, 48,58 or 68 let me know.

    To present NI as an unchanged entity with its politics and structures cystallised as they were in 1921 is a complete and utter fallacy.

    It has obviously escaped your attention that the DFM is a catholic and nationalist as our four other Executive Ministers and a Junior Minister to boot in addition to a range of other legisaltive changes and protections.