“While officials refuse to be drawn on the issue..”

In the Irish Times, Frank Millar notes what various sources are saying about the timing of the devolution of policing and justice powers as the most recent bill is rushed through the UK Parliament.

While officials refuse to be drawn on the issue – and stress the timing is a matter for the Assembly – the indications are that Whitehall now expects the transfer of powers to take place some time after this year’s European elections in June and before the British general election, which need not be called until May next year.

Some DUP sources, on the other hand, have indicated a likely timetable of “a year to 18 months” before the new arrangements “go live” at Stormont – exciting some speculation that they might seek to have the new ministry established initially in “shadow” form.

That would require the agreement of those concerned.. As you well know..

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    What I think we can safely say so far about the progress of this controversial issue is that the DUP and SF have reached agreement about the content of the bill as indicated by SOS yesterday and that there is also broad agreement about its timescales for its implementation.

    It must be acknowledged that the DUP have had success in slowing down the transfer but also must be acknowledged that they have had to move more quickly than they would have liked after pressure from the British government who Deputy Dodsy admits threatened them with greater Dublin rule and from SF who threatened to pull the plug on Stormo.

    This issue is a fundamental one for SF (Irish control over law and order) and for the two governments in finalising the peace and political settlement.

    For the DUP it presents both an opportunity and a difficulty. By slowing the transfer down they can claim that they are controlling the pace of ‘concessions’ to Republicans unlike the dreadful Lundies of the UU that preceded them but by agreeing to the transfer with SF ( and with the passage of the legislation) they allow those on their own (Unionist) right to claim a continuation of Unionist concessions and the attempted Lundifcation of their own leaders Robbo and Deputy Dodsy.

    What seems a touch unfortunate for them, is that the DUP have managed to dovetail this issue into the run up to the Euro elections and present TUV Jimbo with the opportunity to ridicule their ‘not in a political lifetime’ which, irrespective of the spin, many will not agree that is was exactly what it said on the DUP tin. If , as some (Patrick Power esquire) predict SF top the Euro poll as a result of reasonable showing for the TUV then their handling of this issue may come to be seen by many within Unionism as indeed unfortunate.

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy

    For nearly a year you have kept us in suspense as to when devolution will take place
    Go on give us a date.
    Jan 2008 GA was telling us it would be May of that year
    What on earth has gone wrong.
    Put us out of our misery and tell us when it will happen.
    Does your date coincide with Robinson’s date Re Unionist confidence.
    I think the truth lies there and this may be a hint for you.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    ulsterfan

    As I have pointed out to you before this is between Robbo and his new bestest friend Marty.

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy

    I am very glad that Marty has agreed to support what Robinson has decided to do.
    As long as we all know our place everything will be well, but in the meantime there is no reason why Marty can not tell us, or perhaps Robinson has told him to keep quiet.
    You see I am still confused but have confidence in Robbo.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    ulsterfan

    “You see I am still confused but have confidence in Robbo”

    Surely you didnt really mean to say that?

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy

    The confusion is caused by the Shinners saying one thing when they know it to be wrong.
    Simply to placate their supporters they feed information which is not accurate.
    I am not confused by Robinson and am confident he will deliver when the time and conditions are right.
    We are looking forward to devolution and have nothing to fear!!!!

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy

    Have you seen tonight’s Hearts and Minds?
    Maskey has let the cat out of the bag.
    There is no date or understanding.
    He pleaded with Attwood to let him know how SdLP could get Devolution.
    The fact he asks the question confirms SF have not got agreement.
    A very pessimistic interview with a suggestion that last years boycott might be repeated.
    If it failed last year why should it succeed now?
    Working relationships between DUP and SF seem to be worse than ever.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    ulsterfan

    If you are telling me that the DUP are not going to honour their commitments to SF then obviously SF will pull the plug. Not sure why the DUP would want that as according to Deputy Dodsy direct rule is Dublin rule – perhaps they are nervous and under pressure from TUV?

    My point all along has been that the DUP have nowhere to go with this except agree to the transfer – they can delay like Trimble before them but with the 2 governments and Nationalsit Ireland on the other side of the fence they will have to comply. If they want to spin it as “we really, really want it ourselves ” – then we can all go along with that line for the sake of progress.

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy

    Devolution will take place.
    Do you remember decommissioning was also to take place and how long that took.
    Sf argued that they alone could not get the IRA to lay down their arms but needed the help of others to show politics could work, the inference being made that if politics failed then the “war” could resume.
    SF used this to bring Trimble down and how they must now regret that tactic because they are now dealing with tougher opponents and it shows on a daily basis.
    Unionists can use devolution to push Sf further into the corner with no where to go and don’t think Dublin or Westminster give a damn about them.
    There are signs of infighting within Republican ranks which can only weaken their position.
    Unionists can look on, and move when it suits them and have no regard for SF.
    This might strengthen SDLP when Republicans realise they have been sold a pup and the leadership have a lot of answers to give.
    I have never been a member of any political party so my understanding of DUP plans is gained from what I read or hear.
    Referring to tonights programme it really is more revealing than I could imagine.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ulsterfan

    spin baby spin

  • Comrade Stalin

    If you are telling me that the DUP are not going to honour their commitments to SF then obviously SF will pull the plug.

    What commitments ? And while you’re at it, make sure you explain what “commitment” is. We were told that May 2008 was a commitment, but now we’re being told that it wasn’t. And the Irish language act, the Maze .. all red lines for SF that have been thrown away. So yes, let’s hear it. What commitments are you going to hold the unionists to ?

    Not sure why the DUP would want that as according to Deputy Dodsy direct rule is Dublin rule

    The DUP aren’t afraid of Direct Rule or joint authority since they know they can just call SF’s bluff again. And then SF will back down. If the threat of joint authority was real, SF would not have to back down. This should be obvious. The only reason why SF have not played that card because they know it isn’t theirs to play.

    – perhaps they are nervous and under pressure from TUV?

    That’s why they have gotten it being postponed to after the EU elections. It’s fortunate that SF supporters are available to explain that decision on their behalf.

    My point all along has been that the DUP have nowhere to go with this except agree to the transfer

    They agreed to the transfer years ago. What they did not agree to was a timetable. That seems to be the part you are having trouble with.

    Incidentally, the DUP do have other places to go. Like Westminster. I’d love to hear why you think that the government in Dublin, presently preoccupied with the apparent near-collapse of the Irish economy, is going to take an active interest in maintaining the affairs of a state which is presently poaching tax revenue and business from it.

    – they can delay like Trimble before them but with the 2 governments and Nationalsit Ireland on the other side of the fence they will have to comply.

    I fail to see how the Trimble example works in your favour. Trimble collapsed the assembly and put the whole thing to a stop. This created the circumstances which required the complete disarmament and near-disbandment of the IRA and the acceptance of the PSNI (without any specific commitments on the devolution of power over it) by Sinn Fein before it could resume. I don’t see how you can describe that as “Nationalist Ireland” forcing the hand of unionism, when it was unionism who essentially demanded – and won – the humiliation and capitulation of the IRA in exchange for what must be, from a nationalist perspective, a handful of beans.

    If they want to spin it as “we really, really want it ourselves “ – then we can all go along with that line for the sake of progress.

    In other words, you’ll continue to back down to the DUP’s demands, even the potentially very serious ones, like the one about no nationalist getting the justice ministry before 2012. I am glad you’re happy. Hey, at least we’re not back in the time of unionist one-party dominance when they called all the shots! Um, no wait ..

  • x

    I was assured by a DUP senior figure at the last Assembly Election count that the DUP would go into government with Sinn fein but not until the autumn or even after Christmas 2007 – so going on that basis if the DUP sources are saying 18 months June – past the Euro election is a dead cert!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Comrade Stalin,

    Jeez not again.

    Lets just deal with a one of your points that you are most in denial over.

    re. “The DUP aren’t afraid of Direct Rule or joint authority since they know they can just call SF’s bluff again.”

    For fecks sake Deputy Dodsy and Robbo has said that about 20 times.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy,

    OK then. Why did SF not pull the plug instead of backing down ? Twice ?

    Your argument is that the DUP need the assembly more than Sinn Fein do. The trouble with that is that it is Sinn Fein who are taking the risks and making the major compromises to keep it going. That is not consistent with the idea that the DUP are afraid of it collapsing.