“The growing problem with police resources plays into the big political picture.”

We’re still waiting to see whether the Prime Minister is going to make “an acceptable offer” to OFMDFM the semi-detached polit-bureau to cover the cost of devolved justice powers. Meanwhile, also in the Sunday Times, Liam Clark has a reasonable round-up on the state of policing in Northern Ireland “under the rubric of community policing.” But he ends on an odd note. From the ST article

The growing problem with police resources plays into the big political picture. Sinn Fein is demanding that policing powers are devolved to the assembly but there are fears, particularly from the DUP, that the cost could drain other departments of funds if it is prioritised. Gerry Adams has hinted that Sinn Fein could withdraw from the executive if policing powers are not devolved, and the DUP is making contingency plans for that very possibility.

As the two big parties prepare for a showdown, the one thing they are both agreed on is that the British Treasury should stump up whatever is needed to cover the shortfall.

With everything else going badly, and resignations in his own party to boot, Gordon Brown won’t want a Northern Ireland political and security crisis added to his other problems in the run-up to next year’s Westminster election. That realisation will give Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness some leverage when they meet him.

The existence of any such leverage would be dependent on Gordon Brown believing that Sinn Féin’s threat was something other than posturing for internal party consumption.

And as I previously asked – “Sinn Féin deliberately destabilising the NI Executive for their own party political reasons, again, would send out what message?”

Looking on the, erm, bright side of life.. [*Ahem* – Ed]

It’s progress, of sorts..

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  • “Liam Clark has a reasonable round-up on the state of policing in Northern Ireland”

    Apart from leaving out the 12.5% current short-fall in front line officers, Pete, ie the bobbies who go on the beat. Surely that is a significant figure. Is there a problem with ‘semi-detached’ reportage?

  • vellen

    Perhaps the shinners will just go away from all this (ha ha ha).

    [play the ball – edited moderator]

  • Pancho’s Horse

    The sooner the whole house of cards comes down round their ears , the better. Cut out the middle men and let our British masters rule us directly. After all it’s them that pay the piper. No more pretend ‘government’!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Pete,

    “And as I previously asked – “Sinn Féin deliberately destabilising the NI Executive for their own party political reasons, again, would send out what message?”

    This is a Peace Process issue – fundamental to the peace settlement – failure to implement it will, as pointed out by SOS, play into the hands of the Republican dissers and undoubtedly bolster the TUV who will see it as backtracking by the DUP or the British government.

    Stating that it is a party political issue shows either your failure to grasp the underlying politics or your desire to bolster the naysayers.

    I have confidence the Englezes and the DUP will supply the necessaries otherwise its curtains for Stormo and we will be entering very dangerous times and particulary with a right wing Tory government waiting in the wings.

  • percy

    I was impressed with Davenport on Saturday Radio 4 when one of his guests mentioned how in England Jack Straw was able to increase sentences for knife crime, for example, also trying knife amnesties in big cities and such like.

    There are specific problems relating omly to “norn iron” which a justice ministry can and will be able to tackle:

    vigilante-ism, border-smuggling, specific sectarian hate crimes, punishment beatings.

    SF/DUP and the rest will all have to back the new measures, so its not a case of if but when the powers and the cash is tranferred.

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mac

    You’re ducking the question. Again.

    And, if I may say so, you don’t have much of a track record on this particular issue.

    It’s still up to the DUP and Sinn Féin to agree when it happens. As you well know.

    After their previous false promises – to their own supporters and activists – of a deadline, SF’s threat to take their ball from the pitch again is hardly conducive to building wider confidence that the NI Executive is ready for that additional responsibility.

  • Teechar

    Can’t see a problem here.

    The Republican project is on track. Defeated, in the main, by the RUC first time around they have played at a little political twostep for a few years primarily to destroy police capacity.

    That now nearly done all that is required is some manufactured slight to allow them to reverse out of Stormont, merge with their past and future pals in RIRA/CIRA and have another go at reducing the Protestant demographic by direct action at source.

    Job done.

  • barnshee

    “That now nearly done all that is required is some manufactured slight to allow them to reverse out of Stormont, merge with their past and future pals in RIRA/CIRA and have another go at reducing the Protestant demographic by direct action at source.

    Job done. ”

    Its a great scenario– one flaw. Martin Ger et al are racking up the old index linked british taxpayer funded pensions (very generous they are)

    They have a lot of hangers on similarly fixed. Stormo goes– so do the big salaries and pensions –bear in mind thse are not professionals with a career to go back to, No Surrender I hear the cry keep us in the state (NI) we are used to.

  • Neil

    http://www.irishnews.com/articles/540/606/2009/9/10/627150_393317121501Nowherene.html

    Another cracker from Newton. Just on the topic of ‘police resources’.