“So we have deadlock over resolving deadlocks.”

On his blog Mark Devenport notes the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister’s rapid response to the NI First Minister’s suggested reforms.

[Martin McGuinness] goes on to make clear that Sinn Fein will veto the DUP’s suggestion for a system which might end the vetoes. So we have deadlock over resolving deadlocks. It’s also understood that the speech the First Minister delivered at the Ulster Hall differed from the one cleared by the Deputy First Minister’s office last week.

Perhaps he was wearing a different hat? Adds Apparently, he was – “Instead of the three-page speech which underscored the achievements of devolution, Mr Robinson gave an address as DUP leader.” More below the fold.From the BBC report

“Mr Robinson told delegates that the abolition of community designation – the system by which assembly members are categorised as unionist, nationalist or other – was at the heart of proposals which his party will publish in greater detail later this month.

“As a consequence of this, new voting arrangements for the Assembly and the Executive will be required,” he said.

“As a moral and practical matter, community designation is fundamentally flawed.

“It is deeply undemocratic, it entrenches community division and hinders the development of normal politics in Northern Ireland and in practice means that the votes of all Assembly members are not equal.”

That would be part of the “ugly scaffolding”.

And, as Eamonn McCann pointed out in the case of Mark Durkan’s speech.

Some, obviously, think this “nonsense,” and that anyone daring to envision a political system no longer structured in accordance with sectarian designation must have some petty, ignoble reason for so doing. That tells us rather more about them than about Durkan.

The same is true now.

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