“DUP-Sinn Fein partnership operating from an axis of denial”

The BBC report a new policy paper from the UUP [and Conservatives? – Ed]“Putting Things Right” [MS Word doc]. The focus of the paper is primarily on balancing the “glaring holes in the budget” against promises of a feast of jam, an issue that’s caused problems before for the dysfunctional Executive, but the BBC picks up on what the party proposes on policing and justice powers and, in particular, the funding issue. From the UUP statement

Given past performance, there must also be serious questions over the ability of DUP-Sinn Fein to negotiate a proper financial package to support the devolution of policing and justice. Any financial package for the transfer of policing and justice powers needs to be rigorously tested for its financial sustainability, risk management and contingency planning against potential shortfalls and it should be rolled out over a five year period initially being funded entirely by Westminster. Only then, on the basis of the outcomes of this five year period, should it be fully transferred. Clear, robust guarantees must be given that Westminster will not allow the Northern Ireland budget to suffer in the event of additional demands on policing, such as those created by civil disorder. Only on this basis can we responsibly consider the devolution of policing and justice.

Well, Peter Robinson did say that “certain accounting and other powers may have to be left with the treasury..” Adds The Belfast Telegraph notes some of the other proposals.

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  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    As suspected, Wee Reggie breaks his cover and tries to dash from his pro-agreement position to an anti-agreement one across the wide open political terrain of Norn Iron with only the straw man of finance for cover.

    We now have a potential scenario where the Ulster Unionists and the TUV will say ‘NO’ to the transfer of Police and Justice and will be supported by the incoming Tory government.

    The Secretary of State’s suggestion that delaying the transfer will be a boost to dissidents may need to be scaled up several fold with the historical resonance of a Tory government supporting a Unionist veto.

    It seems unlikely that Wee Reggie has timed his anti-agreement dash without agreement from PoshBoyDC who must therefore have decided that a rupture in relations with the ROI, a collapsed Stormo and another insurgency to go along with the one in Afghanistan are just what his new government needs to get off to a flyer.

    Do the right wing feckers who now seem to control the Tory party not have any access to history books?

  • fair_deal

    Someone better explain to the UUP bloggers who have been attacking the DUP for being irresponsible and Ulster nationalists for seeking special financial packages in the present bleak public finance climate that the UUP is now complaining that the other parties can’t be relied upon to be demanding enough.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    SammySlabber asks, “Do the right wing feckers who now seem to control the Tory party not have any access to history books?” Wellll, they’ve got slightly more access to them than you appear to have as regards your previous BS-posts here on Slugger. You know, all those droning monoposts, for example, where you jibber-jabbered to us that P&J would be transferred by last year, otherwise Sinn Five would flounce out of the executive and ‘pull the institutions down’. So once again Slabbery me ould mucker, either, tell better lies, or tell new ones. As it’s painfully clear you couldn’t tell the truth if it were tattooed on your tongue.

  • alan56

    LTU
    Ah you’re very hard on Sammy Mac. Don’t you realise there is a certain comfort in delusional thinking!
    Wonder if devolution of P&J is something that DUP would really want this side of a general election?

  • Driftwood

    A fair and responsible statement from David McNarry. It will make not the slightest difference to the life of anyone in NI whether P+J powers are devolved or not. Another minister, another department and more bureaucracy is sheer lunacy at the best of times. Maybe Robinson and McGuinness can pay for it themselves from the not inconsiderate amount of money they have trousered from the mainland taxpayer over the past few years.

  • frustrated democrat

    The paper seems very reasonable in that it suggests the right direction to go in and points out accurately the problems faced in NI. This is a good piece of work that should be studied closely by all the parties in the Executive

    As usual the BBC headline is entirely wrong re P&J, David McNarry is commenting on the financing of the transfer of peacing and justice not the actual transfer itself.

    What he seems to say is P&J can be transferred as long as it is indepently financed outside any current funding and that it would be funded on the basis of need without any corresponding reduction in the current payment. I think that is an excellent idea and one SF/DUP would do well to follow in their negotiaions.

    Fair Deal

    There is a difference the paper does not seek more money only to continue with the financing as it is currently funded for a period of time. That is not a begging bowl like the standard DUP trait which sees success being measured in how much money is spent according to the theory of Sammyomics Wilson.

  • Sammy – there’s a substantial difference between opposing the devolution of policing and justice in principle and advocating that the funding of devolved policing and justice be rolled out over five years.

    FD – there’s a lot in there about accepting efficiencies as a reality. By becoming part of the Conservative party at Westminster the UUP has committed itself to looking at UK finances in the round, which is what I’ve criticised the DUP for.

  • Dec

    By becoming part of the Conservative party at Westminster, the UUP…

    Don’t you need MPs to do that (or at least non-Labour supporting MPs)?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD, Chekov,

    So interesting that no correction to the BBC line below.

    “The Ulster Unionist Party is calling for a five-year financial testing period before policing and justice powers are devolved to Stormont.”

    If that is a misinterpetation, it is easy to see why given that the last sentence in the statement (copied below) seems to back up the BBCs view – pretty poor wording.

    “Any financial package for the transfer of policing and justice powers needs to be rigorously tested for its financial sustainability, risk management and contingency planning against potential shortfalls and it should be rolled out over a five year period initially being funded entirely by Westminster. Only then, on the basis of the outcomes of this five year period, should it be fully transferred”

  • fair_deal

    Frustrated

    “That is not a begging bowl”

    Chekov
    “the UUP has committed itself to looking at UK finances in the round”

    Read what it says
    “it should be rolled out over a five year period initially being funded entirely by Westminster.”
    “Clear, robust guarantees must be given that Westminster will not allow the Northern Ireland budget to suffer in the event of additional demands on policing, such as those created by civil disorder.”

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Meanwhile, Slabbery, as far as your monoposting has been concerned, “if that is a misinterpetation, it is easy to see why given that the monosentence in the monostatement”. I shan’t call that guff from you, “pretty poor wording”, but I will call it absolutely consistent lying.

    Sammy – if you want to keep on slabbering, go right ahead, but you’re going to get called on all those lies. So once more: tell new lies, or tell better lies. These same old fibs are very boring. You can stay as much as a spacer as ever, you can ignore, bend or deny reality as your heart desires, but for pity’s sake, in the dog days of summer, give us some entertainment! So off you go and don’t come back until you’re lying smarter or lying harder. This dire, familiar stuff you keep doling out is very tame indeed.

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    Loose wording maybe, but if you read it carefully the meaning is clear it only refers to financing and is in a financing document. The BBC got it wrong as usual or just wanted a headline.

    Fair Deal

    Yes, no begging bowl.

    If it is not devolved the cost will be X over 5 years to Westminster, all this says it should remain at X no more or no less. No money should be taken from the existing budget or whatever reduced amount of money is available when we start to repay Brown’s legacy.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,

    So are you suggesting that the UUP/Tory Crpyto party are in fact in favour of the expeditious transfer of police and justice after all?

    If so, good news and appears to run contrary to their previous offering on the subject – e.g. you cant run education and therefore you shouldnt run justice.

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    What is the UUP/Tory Crpyto party? No party such as this exists as far as I know.

    I think the view still exists that we need to start running the Assembly in a business like way and not in the cack handed fashion we have seen to date.

    Personally I have no reservation about devolving P&J as soon as we have a competent administration that can handle it and where it is part of the normal d’Hondt process. But pouring petrol on a bonfire is never a good idea and having Alliance as a contrived fire wall between the DUP amd SF is nonsensical.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    If something “appears to run contrary to their previous offering on the subject”, there’s no better slabber than yourself to jibber-jabber forth Samso! Seriously old son, even by your standards that was risible. New lies, better lies, just not these drear staples. Raise your game.

  • fair_deal

    Frustrated

    “Yes, no begging bowl.

    If it is not devolved the cost will be X over 5 years to Westminster, all this says it should remain at X no more or no less.”

    LOL. It says that westminster must fully bear costs including unpredicted ones (a begging bowl if a DUP member had argued for it) and argues a DUP SF negotiated package probably won’t be generous enough (A demand for a bigger begging bowl). All of this over a five year period were the Conservatives (and others) paint a dire picture for national public finances.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,

    Interesting though your views are – I was wondering, based on their latest statement and the confusion surrounding it, what the UUP policy actually was – if it is the same as yours on Police and Justice then they would be anti-agreement or anti-agreement implementation if you prefer in that they would in favour of scuppering the deal that has been painstakingly put together by the DUP/SF/Alliance.

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    I only can give you my views, all I know is there is NO relucatance for P&J to be devolved as long as all can be sure it will be professionally managed and funded.

    Fair Deal

    A begging bowl involves looking for more money, all this suggests is that the staus quo be maintained for calculation of future costs. It could be MORE OR LESS than the current cost but if it is funded centrally then it will be exactly the same cost to the exchequer as it would be if not devolved.

    I would accept that the current financing is likley to be reduced overall and the Assembley will have to decide where it is spent on all the devolved issues. This will be a big enough problem without having the potential for cuts to fund additional unknown P&J costs

    Is that so hard to understand?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,

    fair enough – perhaps when they correct the BBC story, if it is wrong, they might let us know what their current thinking is.

  • jone

    Yes frusdem, with a headline like:

    “UUP call for policing test period”

    it must be that the click-hungry BBC “just wanted a headline.” That will certainly have people navigating away from stories about jewel robberies.

    and the summary stating:

    “The Ulster Unionist Party calls for a five-year financial testing period before policing and justice powers are devolved.”

    That’s wrong how exactly?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,

    BelTel got it wrong as well?

    “But as the parties edged towards a final resolution of the long-running dispute that once threatened to derail the fledgling government, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) today said the transfer of powers should be delayed for five years. “

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Chekov, FD,

    Not only have the BBC got it ‘wrong’ but is seems according to the BelTel that the Alliance Party and the SDLP and SF have it wrong too.

    My post 1. above based on what appears to be the consensus (BBC, Alliance, SDLP and SF) on the UUP position therfore holds.

    Is the ridiculous claim that a (Unionist) Tory party would contribute to an ending of tribal politics in Norn Iorn just moved from being a joke to something more more serious?

  • Sammy, fortunately Pete has kindly provided a link to the original paper, rather than reports based on its supposed contents. Therefore we can assess its meaning by actually reading it, rather than aggregating what everyone else says about it.

    It’s actually quite unambiguous and it is explicitly concerned with the funding of policing and justice. It argues that, should policing and justice be devolved, it should initially be funded from Westminster. That’s the meaning of the words the Ulster Unionists use when they are so ordered.

    We realise that when many nationalists read their subconscious seems to attach all manner of appendices in addition to the words which are actually used. Part of the reason we know this is the number of things which are apparently guaranteed by the Good Friday Agreement, but don’t appear in the text.

    Still, this is a straightforward exercise in reading the original and it is perfectly understandable. If the UUP objects to the principles of devolved policing and justice, its objections are not detailed in this document. Even if the UUP objects to an early devolution of policing and justice, it has nothing new to say on the issue in this document.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Pete,

    care to offer your opinion on what the UU may have meant as you are being quoted to suggest the main political parties have got it wrong.

    Chekov,

    “We realise that when many nationalists read their subconscious seems to attach all manner of appendices in addition to the words which are actually used.”

    So that explains the statement below?

    “This paper shows up the lack of leadership on the part of the UUP. Rather than a ‘can do’ party, the UUP are now intent on becoming the ‘can’t do’ party,” said the Alliance party’s Stephen Farry.

    “Northern Ireland is now ready for the devolution of policing and justice. Rather than bringing more instability to the institutions, devolution itself will bring responsibility.”

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    You can read read the document yourself and not quote others, as Checkov said the comments from everyone are obviously based on a either reading what the BBC or someone else said not on the actual document.

    Anyone who looks in detail at what it actually says will be very clear that it refers ONLY to financing not the actual transfer of P&J. It could have been better written as I said before but it is still easily deciferable.

    But who wants to read what is really there when they can make up something more favourable to their cause.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,

    I read it as the BBC reads it – what the feck do you think the sentence “Only then, on the basis of the outcomes of this five year period, should it be fully transferred” means?

    Pete,

    anything to add here?

  • frustrated democrat

    ‘Only then, on the outcomes of this five year period, should it be fully transferred.’

    outcomes = financial costs
    it = financial responsibility

    remember this is a document completely about finance.

    You can’t partly transfer P&J, it either has to be run from London or Belfast it can’t be both at the same time. Who pays the bills is however optional.

  • fair_deal

    Frustrated

    “A begging bowl involves looking for more money”

    What part of ” proper financial package to support the devolution of policing and justice” and “needs to be rigorously tested for its financial sustainability, risk management and contingency planning against potential shortfalls” do you not understand?

    The UUP is asking for more money from Westminster deal with it.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,

    are you suggesting that the Ministry might decide something but would then have to go to the treasury for funding and potentially be turned down e.g. Minister wants an enquiry but London say ‘NO’ as it suits them politically to say it is too dear?

    and are you suggesting that these proposals have no implications for the agreements already reached by SF and the DUP?

    This has straw man stuff written all over it, dressed up in mumbo jumbo Tory speak about financial responsibility – it is more than likely political opportunism – to allow them to say NO to the agreement reached by SF and DUP.

    They presumably are worried as their funny alliance with the Tories which appears to have already cost them their only seat – and no sign of dead-cat-bounce in the Euros with their percentage vote stabilised.

    Looks like poor, tribal politiking.

  • boss hogg

    The UUP are a joke did they not agree to P&J during the time of Trimble without any veto’s and this included the possibility of a Sinn Fein Minister now they say they are worried about the finances which they never had a concern with in 1998.

  • boss hogg

    As for that joker in the TUV he created the DUPs current position on P&J and now claims to be against it.

  • fin

    rearguard action by the UUP, the DUP outflanked them by saying they’d consult the other unionist parties about P&J, the UUP initially said it disagreed now its probing to see if the DUP would dilute it with this little ploy. Meanwhile the clock ticks down to a Stormont election which could see SF in the driving seat, that will be the big moment for unionism, what to do if there is a SF 1st Minister, or indeed a SF Justice Minister.

    If unionism collapses Stormont because it can’t handle the introduction of democracy to NI than people might view NI’s history a little differently.

  • Not too clear on what democracy entails fin?

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    The paper did envisage that the tranfer of full financial resonpsibility would be gradual.

    There is no detail on exactly how it would work but I would assume that it would be on the basis of an agreed budget with a list of possible overuns e.g. a new terrorist campaign or prolonged disorder like Drumcree. Enquiries outside the Ombudsman/Policing Board could for example be for the local administration to decide and pay for from their normal funds, the local people could then decide if they want to pay for them.

    I don’t see a problem with the priciple it does however need to have more flesh to become a policy.

    I think you are trying to avoid the point that it does not in any way suggest that P&J cannot be devolved for 5 years, it is in fact coming up with a method of actually devolving it without facing a possible financial Armageddon.

    Fair Deal

    We all know the DUP will roll over AGAIN on financial matters don’t try to apologise in advance, it won’t work.

  • fair_deal

    Frustrated

    “We all know the DUP will roll over AGAIN on financial matters don’t try to apologise in advance, it won’t work.”

    Can you at least try and maintain some consistency on the same thread at least. So DUP terrible if they ask for money unlike the UUP who is taking account of the bigger UK picture (only they aren’t and are demanding extra money and complaining the DUP won’t get enough extra money) but never mind that DUP also terrible if they don’t get the extra money they shouldn’t be asking for. ROFLMAO

    What a sad little attempt to shift the focus. This thread is about a UUP paper. A UUP paper that is asking for extra cash from Westminster and complaining that the DUP won’t get enough extra cash from Westminster. The ‘fiscal responsibility’ moral high ground some in the UUP had tried to develop has been washed away and it was a UUP paper that did it not the DUP.

    BTW I’m in the school of thought that the devolution of P&J isn’t a bright idea regardless of the financial package so I won’t be having to make any apologies for anyone.

  • fin

    Chekov

    “Democracy is a political philosophy which holds that every person is inherently equal in rights and dignity to every other, and that the role of government is to protect the individual from those who threaten those rights”

    The introduction of demcracy into NI is a hell of a difficult job,the bullying of unionist politicans by the British government into powersharing was a big step forward, however, the failure of unionist politicans to grasp democracy and to support its implementation is the biggest issue.

    To keep it simple, prior to the current arrangements, how many Catholics held a position of authority in NI, as a government minister, chief constable or similar

  • frustrated democrat

    Fair Deal

    It would hepl if you would read what is written not what you wuld like it to be.

    The DUP will accept a package that takes no account of anything it could be greater or lesser than the current package but it will not have any allowance for unknown factors.

    What I said was we should be able to ring fence the same amount of money as Wesminister would spend in the next 5 years knowing it could be less or it could be more, that removes all risk. It is not asking for more money, just an insurance policy that if more is required it will be vailable or if it is less that it is lost.

    Maybe if you dealt in the financial markets you woudl understand the concept, you remove risk by accepting that the future could be better or worse but taking the present as guaranteed.

  • danielmoran

    L T U MSG 4 shouldn’t that be DELUSION of P&j in this context. the manner in which the police dealt with loyalists in larne, shows, as someone one suggested, policing by cowardice. Perhaps PSNI actually stands for Pathetic Spineless Non-Interventionists.[in selected cases of course]

  • fair_deal

    Frustrated

    “It would hepl if you would read what is written not what you wuld like it to be.”

    I have read your comments. The problem is the UUP paper is not saying what you’d like it to say and are in denial about it and also that in your desire to try and change the topic and have a bit of DUP bashing you undermined your own argument.

    You said “the paper does not seek more money” and “A begging bowl involves looking for more money,” When the paper calls for a “proper financial package” is looking for more money. You say yourself the issue is “Who pays the bills is however optional.” The UUP paper is clear on who it wants to pay the P&J bills Westminster (both predicted and unpredicted). It was you who said “We all know the DUP will roll over AGAIN on financial matters”.

  • factfinder

    To keep it simple, prior to the current arrangements, how many Catholics held a position of authority in NI, as a government minister, chief constable or similar ….

    Fin, this Roman Catholic was the most important person in power in NI at the height of the hunger strikes…

    http://wapedia.mobi/en/Richard_Lawson_(British_Army_officer)

    http://wapedia.mobi/en/Order_of_St._Sylvester

  • fin

    yes factfinder, an appointment that was totally out of the hands of unionism, you shouldn’t have given up googling so quickly though as I recall a Catholic did serve (briefly) in Stormont. Considering Catholics made up 40-45% of the population, surely some must have achieved a position of status in NI before the British government stepped in?

  • fin
  • Fin – Wikipedia! I’m flattered you went to so much trouble.

    In most parts of the world democracy is understood to involve the electorate being empowered to vote in a government, hold it to account and remove it. Only in the Orwellian world of the Shinner is such a system considered the antithesis of democracy.

  • fin

    your jumping around on me a bit Chekov, a few posts ago you weren’t clear on what democracy was, but, now you seem muddled on the current assembly, the voting system for Stormont today is the fairest its ever been in NI, one man (person) one vote, thats a step towards democracy, you can vote them out at the next election if want to remove them, as for accountability, its not far off whats in existance elsewhere.

    Trouble is Chekov unionists and nationalists approach government in NI today from different angles, for unionists its a loss of sole power, for nationalists its a share of power. Democracy has given to nationalists and its taken away from unionists.

    Hence today unionists hide their anti-democractic feelings behind rubbishing the assembly, whereas nationalists having tasted democracy are happy (to an extent) to live with its imperfections, and work towards ironing them out. Not to different from the opinions on here regarding the PSNI. Unionists lament the passing of ‘their police force’ by complaining how crap it is today, nationalists agree to an extent on its crapiness but want to continue down the road its on ie a policeforce for everyone, like you’d find in any democracy.

    ps

    Wikipedia is my friend, and when you’re busy at a day job it saves time

  • fin

    “Only in the Orwellian world of the Shinner is such a system considered the antithesis of democracy.”

    er no, the old Stormont was the antithesis of democracy and beloved that it was by unionism the world has changed, possibly those who yearn for those days could apply to North Kora for a visa

  • Driftwood

    fin
    So you agree Westminster rule would have been fair and reasonable (and democratic) as opposed to the old Stormont? So why not go for it now?

    A win-win situation for all.

  • The democratic issues Stormont faces are not to do with power sharing per se, they’re to do with accountability. Even the SDLP acknowledge that the present system is not workable in the long-term. P & J at Stormont will not deliver democracy, and nor will delaying its devolution destroy it. There are far more profound problems in that regard.

  • danielmoran

    fin… msg 7…

    absolutely agree with that. if unionists collapse the stormont circus because they can’t handle democracy working in ‘their wee country’ it’ll be history repeating itself as in 1974. who knows, if it hadn’t been for the miner’s strike there wouldn’t have been a uwc strike here, because heath wouldn’t have called the election so early with 18 months still available. no way would unionists have confronted him after he abolished their cosy cabal at stormont two years earlier.

  • Reader

    fin: the voting system for Stormont today is the fairest its ever been in NI, one man (person) one vote, thats a step towards democracy, you can vote them out at the next election if want to remove them, as for accountability, its not far off whats in existance elsewhere.
    One person one vote is pretty much what it always was. What we have *now* is PR (in existence elsewhere) and mandatory coalition (not in existence elsewhere).
    When you have listed the necessary conditions for democracy, we could tick off the countries of the world (‘elsewhere’) and see how they rate. Is PR essential? Is mandatory coalition essential?

  • fin

    sorry driftwood, to late, nationalists have a hand on the levers of power, there’s no going back, if its not Stormont than it will be joint rule, Westminister is not a perfect democracy as the oath to the crown excludes anyone who is a republican be they Irish, Welsh, Scotish or English. The unelected house of lords and the final power been with the crown also erodes its democractic nature.

    Chekov, P&J may not deliver democracy, but as I’ve said before its more democratic than it was and its moving in the right direction, NI is in new territory, it will take time.

    Reader, to be blunt, the system of government at Stormont exists because of past of abuse of power by in government in the old Stormont, NI is almost 100 years old, unionism until recently has refused to share power, if the current model of government is not not perfect its because NI is in transition into a democracy, however it can only move at the pace of the slowest, resistance to change and resistance to accepting nationalists in government are what is hidering progress. If you hunger for proper accountable democractic government than start voting for politicans who do not have an issue with a nationalist topping the poll for Europe, been first minister or been justice minister, and more importantly politicans who will stand up in front of their communities and say a persons religous or political beliefs should not exclude them from any post in NI. Apart from political preferences nationalists can and do live with unionist politicans in commanding posts in government, about time unionists learned to do the same.

  • Driftwood

    fin
    There may be a dysfunctional assembly at Stormont.
    But do not confuse that with power,real power. Be aware of who holds the pursestrings. Or more to the point, who will hold the pursestrings-and REAL power- next Summer.

    BTW Mervyn King probably has more power over anyone in NI than any elected politician anywhere in the British Isles/these Islands.

  • fin

    Driftwood, I don’t disagree at all, however I’m also aware that for the first time since its creation nationalists have some degree of power in NI, as I said before, unionists and nationalists approach the current arrangement from pretty much extreme opposites, unionism had absolute power in NI and nationalists zero, today both communities share what power is available to them to excercise, however for unionism its a loss and for nationalism its a gain.

    BTW, noone has more power in the UK than the crown

  • Reader

    fin: Apart from political preferences nationalists can and do live with unionist politicans in commanding posts in government, about time unionists learned to do the same.
    That would include anyone but the TUV anyway, wouldn’t it? After all – 108 out of 108 elected MLAs took their place in the Assembly under a power sharing executive.
    Of course, there are various people you would want to keep away from various sweetie shops; but that’s true in any country of the world, and it applies as much to, say, Sammy Wilson, Nelson McCausland and Gregory Campbell as it does to the IRA army council and the Ruanator.

  • Driftwood

    fin
    Yes, but it’s stalemate at Stormont. A talking shop.

    Only Westminster can change anything. hopefully Cameron will simply bypass the place and implement what he sees as necessary. If there is unnecessary bureaucracy,(North/South/East/West) George Osborne should refuse to fund it.

    Would you rather money goes to Irish Language/Ulster Scots or Cancer Research?

  • guest

    Driftwood,

    “Yes, but it’s stalemate at Stormont. A talking shop.”
    And is that good enough for unionists?
    Do you not desire the same rights as Scotland in ruling this region of the UK?

  • fin

    no Driftwood, you are in denial, Stormont is a tool to introduce democracy, google the MSM and see how often the Tories let alone Cameron mentions NI, its a non-starter, the UUP are in the same state of denial as you and are not only futuring a Tory government but Cameron as King Billy riding to their recuse, sorry, it ain’t gonna happen

    Reader, the TUV is basically ex-DUP, Jimbo was at St Andrews at the same time as Adams, if he hadn’t thrown his toys from the pram he’d probably be a minister, and anyway nationalists had Jimbo as a MEP for many years. Was Jimbo involved in Ulster Resistance, or the Third Force, did he lead a rabble to burn Catholics out of their homes, is there any clue that he organised arms deals, Jimbo is fairly tame compared to unionist politicans who have held the role of 1st minister of late.

    Do leaders of unionism turn the stomachs of nationalists, hell yes, but the current agreement means no black crosses painted on doors or no red berets, just as it means no black berets for unionists, but because nationalists have gained equality from all this they can swallow hard and live with it, because unionism have lost heavily out of it its just constant whinging and longing for the good old days

  • fin

    “Would you rather money goes to Irish Language/Ulster Scots or Cancer Research?”

    Its unlikely to go to Cancer Research as its a charity, how about management consultants, bloated PFI companies or maybe to clean out an MPs moat.

    er I’ll opt for the languages, oh ok chuck into the 12billion slush fund that is connecting for health

  • Driftwood

    fin
    You have a London Assembly. What good does it do?
    How much power does it have compared to Trumpton? Less than 1 million electorate and 108 MLA’s-!

    I hope Cameron gets rid of all these vicar of Dibley assemblies throughout the UK, especially the NI joke. I accept your point about all the consultancy crap, that has to go as well.
    And all the commissions, really I hope the Torys cut public spending by 40% at least, including NI, let’s see our local gravy train riders start walking the walk.
    Sammy, don’t forget to ringfence health.

  • fin

    Driftwood, this seems to be a blind spot for you and others but as I’ve stated in most of my posts Stormont today is a stepping stone in the introduction of democracy, its unique in the UK, the London, Scottish and Welsh assemblys and the various Mayorships created since Labour came to power was to gove local communities MORE say in how they were governed, Stormont was created as it is to stop one community from abusing power and to give the other community previously deprived of power a voice, hence the term powersharing. There is no point sticking your head in the sand or wishing for Davy to be a 21st Century King Billy its accepted by both governments that nationalists have an equal right to government and sadly that left to their own devices unionists would deprive them of this right.

    Unionists can dress up their desire to exclude nationalists from power anyway they like but the only people they are kidding is themselves. I suppose I should not use the term unionist or unionism as increasing numbers of unionists stay at hope and refuse to support that element of their community who hold these views.

    Today nationalists are empowered and so is a sizable percentage of unionism they want nothing to do with these believes nationalists no longer see themselves or believe themselves to be inferior and a growing percentage of unionist feel the same way, they are not frightened of Catholics nor the South. The backwoodsmen of unionism are on a slippery slope more and of their own community don’t want to hear the message anymore, but fear and ignorance prevent unionist politicans from changing their tune fron 1920. Where do you go from here Driftwood, how do you get the modern unionist out to vote for 17th century ideals, how do you keep young unionists in fear of their nationalist neighbour and nationalist politicans. See how quickly they forgot a Shinner topped the poll for Europe and the sky didn’t fall in, what happens if there is a SF 1st minister next time and the world doesn’t end, what happens when a nationalist is minister for justice and nothing happens. How will the UUP and DUP herd their community then.

  • Driftwood

    fin
    Sectarianism can be eroded by electing a Conservative and Unionist administration to run the UK from Westminster. A secular government whch will run NI on a non-sectarian basis. This is the real future for everyone here.
    Parochial bunfights can be consigned to history for good.

  • Neil

    Sectarianism can be eroded by electing a Conservative and Unionist administration to run the UK from Westminster.

    Hmm. Ok, the Conservatives are very, very likely to win the next election. But the Ulster Unionists? If we take a look at their election results we can see that they got 17.7% of the vote in ’05 dropping to 14.9 in ’07. In the Euro elections this year they got 17% exactly, now Euro elections are not good for analysis cause it’s a different beast, but even at that the support of the Tories didn’t reallly do much good for you. There are still over 4 from 5 people in NI that the UU NF alliance don’t represent.

    So to boil my point down, again, what makes you feel that the UUs who represent less than 20% of people here should basically be given power to the expense of the greater than 80% of people who in this democracy don’t support your party?

    Why is democracy in your world equate to 20% of the people deciding what to do with the remaining 80% of voters against their will? I say it again your arrogance astounds.

    Here’s how I see things. The UUs will continue to be on the fringe, effectively a pointless unsupported opposition along with the SDLP (who incidentally have come within 2% of the UU dead horse in the last three elections), the rest of Northern Ireland will vote as they have done for the DUP and SF, and those people (for I am not one myself) will rightly decide the direction of the country.

    Here’s how I reckon you see things. David wins in England, and decides (because Reg is his pal) to shut down Stormont against the wishes of 80% of the voters in Northern Ireland, and basically forget about having elections, and wee Reg (and his sectarian cronies in the UUs) can just tell him what to do with NI, while the remaining 80% + voters who think the UUNF is a joke and not worth voting for just roll over and think ‘hum ho, we’re now being ruled by one of the smallest mainstream parties in NI in a totally undemocratic way, aw well not to worry’.

    One more time for you Driftwood. We the electorate will decide what happens. Until the UUs start winning elections (lol don’t hold your breath; going on the results of the elections a winding down of the UUs is more likely) you will remain on the fringes, and DC will not be shutting Stormont against the wishes of four fifths of the people here, just cause it suits certain Unionists, because like it or not democracy does not mean being mates with the PM. Democracy means the majority get to choose the direction.

  • Driftwood

    Neil
    It’s a UK General election, not a NI one. NI is no different to Yorkshire. The Tories are unlikely to win many seats in Yorkshire but will still run the UK. We are just another region of the UK. If 80% of people in NI do not vote for the Conservatives and Unionists, tough. Tough on NE England as well.
    No need to shut down Stormont as nothing of any consequence happens there anyway, It’s just window dressing so some parties here can play at politics in their wee pretendy assembly.

  • Neil

    NI is no different to Yorkshire

    Yes it is. In Yorkshire you can choose to vote for the Tory Party if you are so inclined. In Northern Ireland you can choose to vote for the UU NF if you wish (though the vast majority don’t). The difference, just to underline it for you, is being able to vote for your government as opposed to, you know, not. Hardly rocket science to be honest.

    What it sounds like you keep pushing is the absolutely daft idea that through their alliance with the Tories the UUs are going to be running the show from Westminster. It grates so much because it sounds very much like the old style Unionism: we represent 20% of the people but because we rub shoulders with the person in power we get to run the country. Kind of like in the good old days when NI was gerrymandered to give Unionists near total control – you seem like just another Unionist yearning for powers unrepresentative of your numbers. Things is a) you’re a stuck record. It’s your single transferrable post and b) you don’t seem stupid, yet you persist with the notion that DC is going to sideline the actual assembly actually voted for by the people here and listen instead to one of the parties that people don’t vote for in droves.

    No need to shut down Stormont

    So on one hand there’s no need to shut down Stormont, yet the clear implication of your earlier post is that you hope DC does so and by saying so you infer that you believe that it may be an option for him: I hope Cameron gets rid of all these vicar of Dibley assemblies throughout the UK, especially the NI joke. Again I put it to you that what you want is your 20% to call the shots in Northern Ireland at the expense of 4/5ths of the population’s wishes; old style Unionism, any trick to hold onto the tiller of power and keep everyone else in their box. I would also suggest that this wet dream of yours that you refer to daily on this site is so important to you because deep down you recognise that it’s the only way the UUs are going to run the show, because it certainly won’t happen in a fair and square election any time in the next several political lifetimes as evidenced by their dismal election results prior to and since the UU NF link up.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Just to make sure that everyone has got the message – the Conservatives have stated that they fully support the objectives of the GFA and the Assembly.

    They have also said they would like to see it improved, with the consent of all the parties in the Assembly,to make it more accountable with possibly a funded opposition for example, and NO they would not be attempting to exclude SF from anything.

  • I hope Cameron gets rid of all these vicar of Dibley assemblies throughout the UK, especially the NI joke.

    Back to the 1980s then? The Conservative Party have never had much tolerance for rival centres of power.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Frustrated Democrat,

    “Just to make sure that everyone has got the message – the Conservatives have stated that they fully support the objectives of the GFA and the Assembly”

    Why have they not then corrected the BBC, Belly Telly, The Irish TImes, SDLP and the Alliance Party’s PUBLIC response to the recent UU statement on Police and Justice that they wanted its implementation delayed for 5 years?

    Or Have I missed a new clarification?

    And no, its not good enough for you to simply say everybody except you has misinterpeted the document.

  • Driftwood

    old style Unionism???? Neil,

    http://www.conservatives.com/News/Articles/2008/12/David_Cameron_Time_to_normalise_the_politics_of_Northern_Ireland.aspx

    The developing relationship with the Ulster Unionists has caused something of a stir in certain circles. That is to be expected. We are challenging the received wisdom of some people about what Unionism really stands for. Voters will now be offered a Conservative version of Unionism firmly rooted in a modern, pluralist United Kingdom.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Driftwood,

    Trotting out the party line dreamt up by some funny guys sitting in an office is pretty easy stuff.

    We had a clear indication of how easy it is for the Tories to jibber jabber on their policy e.g. on expenses and then we had their spokesman Alan Duncan reveal his true feeling off the record. See the Daily Torygraph for details.

    It would seem much more difficult for them to stick to your their position i.e. support for the GFA – as is illustrated by the apparent anti-agreement-implementation statement from their quasi sister party the UU.

  • fin

    very slight tangent, a reason for an end to powersharing at Stormont given by unionists is that its just a talking, however, the same is now been said of Westminister, that since the days of Blair the majority of decisions are made at no 10 and the Commons has little today, can anyone remember any big debates at Westminister recently, what was the last big decision made there? have the Tories stated this will change?

    Also its still a concern that the Tories don’t speak about NI in public, every link posted here comes from the party website, no comments in the MSM, does this not concern their supporters in NI, surely Cameron should be happy to talk with the Sun regarding SF allowances, the GFA and Stormont, one reason is possibly the other 60million odd people in the UK aren’t interested, if 99% of the voters aren’t interested why would a political party make any effort on behalf of unionists apart from trying to get their votes, and forgetting about them for 4 years. Really Tory supporter in NI should think this through a bit more, nail Cameron on his policies for NI and make sure they’re documented somewhere other than the party website. Does anyone in the UK outside of NI know who Owen Paterson is, where does he send his Press Releases?

    Some final thoughts, Cameron is a Blair double, if he gets into power he’ll want a legacy, NI is an easy win for politicans from the UK, Ireland and USA, if he struggles to make a name for himself elsewhere how would he approach using NI to go down in history, by reversing whats been achieved? or the easy route and carry on the forward momentum. Tory thinking for Davey might be shutdown Stormont and save cash and go for joint authority to be hailed a peacemaker, steal Blairs honours by finishing the job!

    I think its long spoons all round for anyone supping with the Tories (Tories – imagine nicknaming a political party after an Irish terrorist outfit)

  • Reader

    It was Sammy: It would seem much more difficult for them to stick to your their position i.e. support for the GFA – as is illustrated by the apparent anti-agreement-implementation statement from their quasi sister party the UU.
    It doesn’t matter how much you repeat it. A party can wish to limit or delay the devolution of P&J without being anti-agreement – because the agreement specified conditions for devolution, and it is legitimate to argue that the conditions have not been met.

  • Guest

    Indeed,

    You are correct Reader, concerning the conditions being entirely subjective and that it is legitimate to argue that the conditions have not been met.But the agreement did not specify conditions whereby devolution could be limited from the already agreed.There is certainly room for delay and that is unionist choice.
    Meanwhile,Scotland and Wales forge ahead with ever more devolved powers and the English begin to agitate for a parliament and even the conservative DTF are looking to EvoEM.Interesting times ahead.