“DUP motion in favour of reducing the number of departments has been tabled..”

It is only their first report and some major issues remain unresolved but, as Mark Devenport tells us, the Assembly and Executive Review Committee’s report on policing and justice powers will be debated in the Assembly on Tuesday next week. He notes

Although the First and Deputy First Ministers say there should be no undue delay in devolving justice we are still none the wiser on when this might happen. One source suggested to me today that November might be a possibility.

And it might.. provided there is agreement between the political parties (as you well know).. There’s another interesting point though

Adding a Justice department will once again open up the whole question of whether, with 14 ministers and 11 departments, we already have too many departments at Stormont. It’s understood the Assembly Executive and Review Committee has agreed to consider this and a DUP motion in favour of reducing the number of departments has been tabled for debate on Monday.

Have the power-grabbing semi-detached polit-bureau agreed that too?
The minutes of the Review Committee’s latest meeting isn’t online yet but the minutes of the previous meeting, on 15th December 2008, shows they are agreeing on some things.. [Like not to ask stupid questons – Ed]

Question put: That this Committee writes to the First Minister and deputy First Minister with the following three questions:

Is the public consultation consistent with section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act, and will it involve the normal 12-week period for consultation?
What actions contained in the process paper are sequential, and which are concurrent?
Is there any process for the identification of a candidate for Minister of Justice, beyond nominations from Members of the Assembly?

The Committee divided, Ayes 3; Noes 7.


Alex Attwood
Carmel Hanna
Alan McFarland


Jimmy Spratt
Raymond McCartney
Simon Hamilton
Nelson McCausland
Alex Maskey
John O’Dowd
Ian Paisley Jnr

The proposal accordingly fell.

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  • Parrot Clocker

    Cant make up my mind if 14 ministries is too many. It would be if the executive was not made up on this power sharing model.

    Compare with the Scots. They have only 6 ministerial departments but they have 10 underministers and 2 law officers. See
    Query, if you did have underministers in NI would they not need to be from the same party?

  • Still with the polit-bureau, I see, Pete Baker. Once was a mistake, twice was forgetfulness, but this is at least your third time this week, so you must be trying to make a point – problem is, it’s too obscure, so either give us a hint, or learn to spell!

    [Hint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politburo%5D

  • ZoonPol

    I do like the tag of the OFMDFM Politburo – it gives the implied fear that we should all have about the direction that SF and the DUP could take us.

  • wild turkey

    Ah c’mon Hman. Cut Baker some slack.

    polit-bureau = politics(partisan) + bureaucracy (including missing, non-existant minutes and notes of meetings, etc. etc.).

    sums things up really and it is far less obscure than STAVKA.

  • Cut Baker some slack.


    He’s a blogger. They’re fair game, otherwise they’d just post a link and back off. By putting their own interpretations or skews they invite feedback. PB is not a newbie, so if he writes ‘polit-bureau‘ then it is valid to question his motives. My real worry is that he has none, but is just too roud to admit he made a mistake. That would be a double disappointment.

  • … just too proud to admit … , of course.

  • Pete Baker


    “Still with the polit-bureau”


    It’s very simple really.

    It’s just a contraction of “Political Bureau” – which is the English translation of the Russian “Politicheskoye Buro”.

    I’ve settled on using it partly because ‘Politburo’ carries with it historical baggage which doesn’t necessarily apply here – see ZoonPol’s comment. And I suspect the dynamic within it is somewhat different here too.

    Now, back to the actual topic.

  • Ah, so my suspicion seems to have been correct; you are “just too proud to admit [you] made a mistake“.

    I can quote from Wikipedia too – the derivation of politburo is well known. But the conventional spelling remains politburo.

    Maybe Ed. could tell you, next time ou speak to him (the man in the mirror) – lol.