Another joint letter..

BBC NI political editor, Mark Devenport, sketches out some of the details of the arrangements connected to Thursday’s suggested Northern Ireland Executive meeting.

Tomorrow Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness are expected to give the Assembly Executive and Review Committee a joint letter, with a fairly hefty annex. The way forward will involve the election of a future justice minister by cross community support. The DUP say they haven’t agreed a definite date for devolving justice. But republicans will point to 6 or 7 action areas for future legislation designed to culminate around April of next year.

Let’s hope they both agree on the meaning of the text this time.. because we’ve heard the elected [at all times? – Ed] by “cross-community support” proposal before. The key question is, does that proposed legislation include a definitive date for an Assembly motion asking the Secretary of State to devolve policing and justice powers “tabled by the First and Deputy First Ministers acting jointly”? – as required by the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 – or does it just define the shape and function of the ministry?Also from Mark Devenport’s post.

Besides justice other elements of the package are thought to include a minority languages protocol ( instead of an Irish Language Act), parking the Maze stadium proposal and finding other ways to fund a Conflict Resolution Centre at the Maze (probably through European money).

Some sources suggest there could be a “review” of the academic selection controversy. Other policies – such as the future regulation of rural planning – stand ready to be approved.

Update From Mark Devenport again

P.S. Another source tells me that the educational element is not a review of the transfer procedure, but rather the unfreezing of legislation on the creation of an Education and Skills Authority. What’s likely to be unveiled tomorrow will deal with the devolution of justice – the other elements may follow as officials are freed up to move them forward.

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Good to see an indication of movement from Robbo -but SF should wait for a definite date before taking the their foot of the DUP’s political throat. Problem for DUP is TUV Jimbo will have field day in the run up to the Euro elections if they drag this out.

    But well Robbo – a good if very belated start.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Is Robbo going to keep Dodsie locked up in a room in Stormo for the next 6 months?

  • josephine

    it was sammy mcnally what done it: sf have their foot on the dup’s throat?? in your dreams maybe! what you been smoking?

  • Dave

    “…but SF should wait for a definite date before taking the their foot of the DUP’s political throat.”

    It’s more a case of SF picking up their rattle and climbing back into the pram.

  • ulsterfan

    Tonight Robinson was grinning like a Cheshire cat in front of a bowl of cream.
    Martin left Stormont without saying anything.
    Guess who won the debate ———That’s right it was the DUP.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Well Josie its like this – the DUP are refusing to implement the STA – and SF have told them they dont get to do any ministerial stuff in Stormo until they do. Robbo has threatened ‘serious consequences’ if they did no allow the DUP to do their ministerial stuff and SF have called their bluff. Now the SOS is accusing the DUP of undermining the peace in Norn Iron (thats also a boot up the DUPs politcal Jacksie) and Robbo really has got to move. It is in that sense that SF have their foot on the DUP’s throat. Hope you are able to follow ok?

    ulsterfan,

    “grinning like a Cheshire cat” ? – just wait till Dodsie get his hands on him.

  • Dewi

    zzzzzz who cares who won – just get on with it.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    “who cares who won” – that’s exactly what I said on Saturday evening.

    Your boyz will are going to take one hell of a kicking.

  • Claudius Pulcher

    The truth will of course be in the detail of this. Will a minority languages protocol be an Irish Language Act by another name? Will it still smell as sweet for republicans? If it’s a republican retreat, then it seems they have swapped the Language Act and the Maze for devolution of policing and justice.
    Given that it’s fair to say the devolution of policing and justice is inevitable at some point, it appears that the DUP have extracted a significant price for something they were going to have to do anyway.
    It’s important to emphasise too that the majority of DUP voters do not have huge difficulties with the devolution of policing and justice in itself. Their issue is with Gerry Kelly becoming the Minister responsible and even that would not be a big problem after a term or two with an interim Alliance minister. One term of Alliance and then a more palatable figure like Daithi McKay, not that implausible in a few years given his participation on the policing board, and the DUP electorate will be quite content.
    Overall then, it looks like there’s little for the DUP to lose from this. There will be some leakage to Allister but nothing for the DUP to worry about nor Sinn Fein to get excite about.

  • Dewi

    Fancy a bet? …..Oh No !!!

  • Dewi

    Seriously we’ve had blogs on Rugby League, Cricket, Gaelic, that daft game you play against Australia but nowt on the Rugby – WHAT’S GOING ON ?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    A bet? Oh Yes – indeedy. £1 per difference in points e.g. Wales lose by 50, as is likely, you owe me (50 – 19) = £31. Money to Slugger – could help pay to restore the sight in Pete Baker’s other eye. Ah Gwan, Gwan, Gwan.

    Will the funny Prince be there again on Saturday? Perhaps the Maoris will drop their shorts in his general direction – fecking land thieves those funny fecking Royals.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    If that funny Fecking Prince turns up on the Lions tour again we should all support South Africa.

  • Dewi

    Just Wales to win….50p? And can someone shoot Prince what’s his name please????

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    OK 50P it is and I’ll give you the draw.

    re. shooting the Prince. Perhaps a bit harsh but a severe booing and a few Maoris arses and he might just feck off.

  • josephine

    to it was sammy mcnally what done it: i repeat my question – what have you been smoking? must be powerful weed to induce such a fantasy. it’s time people like you came clean with yourselves and admitted what the rest of the world can see, which is that it is the provos who need this stormont assembly most – the dup have ten mp’s at westminster, the ira is a busted flush, the principle of consent has been accepted by adams & co, ruc mkII (aka psni) rules the roost and the last thirty years was for nothing! sf’s boot on the dup’s neck? my fanny! p.s. why don’t you let us know where we can all get that stuff you’re smoking. must be real powerful!

  • Dewi

    Sammy – I got a great pal from NZ coming over for the game and I’m taking her to see my Dad in hospital…just cos he actually saw us beat NZ in 1953!!!! When did u beat them last?

  • percy

    peteb
    did you get a chance to see Hard Talk with Hugh Orde last night. It relevant to this debate.
    I recommend everyone watches it.
    Here’s the link.
    New thread peteb if possible or add link.
    Cheers.

    Sir Hugh Orde

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy,

    It’s a bit early to be strutting around with your plumage, we haven’t even seen the text of the deal yet. In fact we don’t even know if there is a deal.

    I cannot imagine Robinson coming out to the steps of Stormont saying “I wanted to hold off but SF were just too strong for me”. That isn’t how it’s going to go. Robinson won’t sign up to anything unless he is seen to be the one “granting” the deal.

    However, I’ll gladly be proven wrong.

  • edward

    the principle of consent has been accepted by adams & co,

    The principle of consent as also been agreed by the protestant supremacists as well, so surely the next time they lose the vote we won’t see the same terrorists with the same threats of violence as was 1922?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Josie & Her Fanny,

    It is indeed rare for a female to emphasise her arguement by making reference to her vagina. It is indeed more common to make reference to her tits – when annoyed by someone a female may remark “You are really getting on my tits”.

    Arseholes are often invoked to indicate that someone is talking nonsense and when you make the statement “which is that it is the provos who need this stormont assembly” you might well be accused of talking through this orifice located next door to your vagina given that some funny looking bearded DUP fellow on Hearts and Minds remarked this week that “Direct Rule is Anglo Irish Rule”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    o-kaaaay … (backs slowly away from the thread)

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    I concede you had a good team in 1953. But it is remarkable to see so-called great All Black teams of the past (50s and 60s) – firstly they were all white and they had the muscle definition in keeping with the amateurs that they were – they would have been destroyed by any rugby league team of the day.

  • Billy

    Josephine

    As someone has already pointed out, Unionists as well as Nationalists accepted the principle of consent. Given the changing demographics in the North and the clear desire of the British to disengage, it will be interesting to see how long Unionists support the principle of consent. In the past, Unionists tend to be all in favour of democracy when they are in the majority but it’s a different story when they’re not.

    The PSNI (RUC MKII) – what a joke! I don’t remember the RUC having a minimum quota on Catholic recruits, an oversight commissioner and policing boards. When I was growing up, the RUC could abuse innocent Catholics at will (and did so). Now they are the most regulated police force in the western world.

    In the past RUC chiefs were well in with Unionists and the Orange Order and had to stay on their right side. Nowadays, the UK govt ensures that someone impartial is appointed who doesn’t give a shit about the Orange Order or Unionists criticisng them.

    After all, Unionist leaders and the Orange Order hate Hugh Orde and have been calling for his head for years. Still after 6 years, he’s still there and fully backed by the UK govt. Unionists and the Orange Order can whinge all they like – the days of them influencing political and/or policing appintments are long gone and won’t ever be coming back.

    The RUC WAS DISBANDED AS WERE THE B SPECIALS, UDR + RIR Home Batallions because they were unacceptable to Nationalists. The PSNI will only function if it continues to be acceptable (and accountable) to Nationalists – if people like you don’t like it – tough!

    I’m not surprised that Robinson is happy if a compromise has been reached. It was clear to anyone with any sense that the DUP were under pressure from the 3 govts and that Unionists had much more to lose than Nationalists from a return to Direct (i.e Anglo-Irish) rule.

    Personally, I don’t give a toss about the Maze or the Irish Language act. However, the DUP were adamant that, under the St Andrews agreement, they were under no obligation to do anything about P&J;and were sticking to that.

    Whatever the details are, SF clearly have not agreed to this without extracting concessions on P&J;therefore it is a climbdown by the DUP over this while SF may well have made concessions in other areas.

    The only way that the “Union” will survive (let’s face it – the vast majority of UK folk con’t give a shit about the North) is if Unionists can start treating Catholics as equals and make them feel that the “Union” is worthwhile.

    The days of Unionist domination that you seem to yearn for are long gone. If Unionists want a local assembly, they will only have it if they negotiate with and compromise with Nationalists.

    If they try and dominate – Nationalists will simply bring it down and return to Direct (Anglo Irish) rule by a UK parliament where there is very little time for NI Unionists.

    I don’t see this as a “victory” for Nastionalists but nor is it a “victory” for Unionists – if anything it’s a victory for common sense.

    Perhaps Unionists have fnally realised that, like it or not, they have to indulge in “normal” pragmatic politics of compromise and negotiation with Catholics. The days of Unionist gerrymandering, discrimination and domination are gone forever.

  • Dewi

    No – we only played them every twenty years. We beat them away in 1971 with two Ulster Prods on our team……Gibson a fabulous centre and Mcbride in the pack….apart from that it whas Wales………Sammy – God help us next Saturday !

  • percy

    Sammy
    you’re bang out of order for that post to josephine

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    oh oh, sammy and his sporting bets again… I thought tou would have learned by now… Next you’ll be betting on ireland beating the pumas…
    Not sure why your slegging the welsh – what have ireland won in the last 10 years? Yes, the welsh are unpredictable, but once every 5 years they bring out the champagne rugby and have a history far superior to our own.
    Wales: NZ is a mouth watering prospect – perhaps wales may even run with ball in hand (take note Kidney…).
    If wales can get off to a good start they may be in with a chance. I saw nothing sepctecular about this all black pack. Which is no surprise as they are a squad in transition. No way will it be 50 points anyways. I’d go 28-19 to NZ.

    I think it’s far too early to be claiming victory with regards to the latest negotiations. However, I would agree completely with what claud said above:

    The truth will of course be in the detail of this. Will a minority languages protocol be an Irish Language Act by another name? Will it still smell as sweet for republicans? If it’s a republican retreat, then it seems they have swapped the Language Act and the Maze for devolution of policing and justice.
    Given that it’s fair to say the devolution of policing and justice is inevitable at some point, it appears that the DUP have extracted a significant price for something they were going to have to do anyway.
    It’s important to emphasise too that the majority of DUP voters do not have huge difficulties with the devolution of policing and justice in itself. Their issue is with Gerry Kelly becoming the Minister responsible and even that would not be a big problem after a term or two with an interim Alliance minister. One term of Alliance and then a more palatable figure like Daithi McKay, not that implausible in a few years given his participation on the policing board, and the DUP electorate will be quite content.
    Overall then, it looks like there’s little for the DUP to lose from this. There will be some leakage to Allister but nothing for the DUP to worry about nor Sinn Fein to get excite about.

    Posted by Claudius Pulcher on Nov 17, 2008 @ 09:12 PM

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    re. slegging(slagging) the Welsh – for an insight into the ways of these strange people see http://www.llapgoch.org.uk/