“Why devolve justice in this context?”

Now that we are a long way past May [2008], Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey can call for “the setting of the date for transfer” of policing and justice powers. His party has its reasons.. And the British Government know that.. [Or else what? – Ed] Below the fold the UUP’s Michael McGimpsey points out that “if things fall you get an election”, not that he foresees any collapse, and he confirms that the UUP will oppose devolving those powers “right now” and will “vote against it when given the opportunity”. It may have something to do with the question Jim Fitzpatrick asked Mark Devenport on Stormont Live today – “Why devolve justice in this context?” The context being an ill-tempered deadlock.
The UUP’s Michael McGimpsey on Stormont Live.

And if, like Kensei, you’re confused about the issue of funding..

Start with the video here.

And follow the links.

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  • andrew white

    i thought the UUP were in favour of devolution of p+j , just not the finance, have they changed their tune again?

  • John O’Connell

    It may have something to do with the question Jim Fitzpatrick asked Mark Devenport on Stormont Live today – “Why devolve justice in this context?” The context being an ill-tempered deadlock.

    ill-tempered deadlock combined with the SDLP assertion that devolution is not working – was the basis of Jim’s question according to the interview.

  • Archie P

    For John O’Connell’s sake, I trust the cost of P & J doesn’t end in 666 !!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    “My party will oppose that.”

    Well there we have it – the Tory party are now aligned with an anti-agreement party to the right of the DUP – ‘New Force’ it is, a new anti-agreement force. If Owen Paterson does not distance himself from this madness he may as well don his sash and march around the City Hall. The 2 main beneficaries will be the TUV and the Republican dissers – the latter being able to justifiably claim that a Unionist veto has again thwarted democracy and is backed up by an incoming mad-dog right-wing Tory government.

    Those on Slugger who championed the UUP and told us (New Blue only today) that the UUP were not against the transfer must be feeling a little confused and extremely silly.

    From the Unionist party that courageously delievered the agreement a concerted effort to destroy it.

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mac

    Try to pay attention to the detail.

    Rather than invent positions for others.

    Just because Sinn Féin want what they promised their activists, by May 2008, doesn’t mean that everybody else has to row in behind them even though the current polit-bureau is in ill-tempered deadlock.

    The British Government may want everybody to do that. But that’s another story.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Pete,

    re. “Try to pay attention to the detail”

    The UU are now AGAINST the implementation of the STA – that IS the detail – the self serving obfuscation by the UU, or by you, does not obscure that FACT.

    The two governments, the SDLP, the DUP, SF, the Alliance Party and the PSNI have been working towards agreement and we now have a wrecking ball thrown in by the bitter-unloved-now-anti-agreement-UUP possibly with the backing of the Right-wing-mad-dog-Telegraph-Tories.

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mac

    Still not paying attention.

    “The UU are now AGAINST the implementation of the STA”

    Confidence in the community is the telling requirement of the STA.

    And the UU are judging that on the basis of the ill-tempered deadlock.

    Your animus towards them, and the Conservatives, means nothing in that consideration.

    And we’re a long way past May 2008.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy,

    You need to be careful here. An early assembly election is just what Jim Allister needs to pick up the momentum to get a Westminster seat.

    SF and the DUP are being called for a meeting in Downing St at some point during the next couple of weeks. The smart money says that Gordon Brown will offer a funding package and a fait accompli; the choice will be between that, or whatever the Tories offer.

    FWIW, Alliance has recently requested meetings with all of the parties, including SF, about how to advance the P+J matter. Not one of them responded. Make of that what you will.

    I don’t think people appreciate how close to the edge the assembly, and powersharing, is. There is one way to save it, and that is for SF to voluntarily go into opposition. Yes, I know, pie in the sky stuff, never going to happen, etc. But the reality is this : there is a real danger that one way or another, SF are not going to be in devolved government for much longer, unless a miracle happens.

  • BonarLaw

    Let me see if I understand what is shaping up. The DUP will factor in the views of the UUP in determining unionist community confidence for the devolution of P&J, the UUP are now agin it, the community confidence test is not met so no devolution of P&J.

    I wonder if Gimp fully understands the consequences of what he has said.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    BonarLaw,

    you cannot be seriously suggesting that the opportunitic rump that constitutes the UUP had not realised this was was an opportunity to outflank the DUP on their right?

    Pete,

    trying paying attention to the politics of what is actually happening around you.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    CS,

    This may well be good news electroally for the Alliance party as any decent, secular ‘Prods’ will hopefully abandon the UUP, especially any who were lured to them in the belief that a link with the Tories might mean them moving out of their sectarian trench.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bonar, Sammy, the UUP (rudderless, directionless and aimless due to the a leader who has the spine of an octopus) have been playing this game for a while. To be honest, I don’t blame them as much as I blame Robinson in this case. He is trying to avoid the “blame” for the devolution going ahead by trying to share it with the UUP, rather than taking leadership himself. That’s a bit like asking a killer shark to provide swimming lessons for toddlers.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy, if you think about it in that way, the DUP and Alliance have the same objective. However, Robinson is shit scared of the TUV.

    I’m not so sure about the garden centre prods either. What you say might have been right if the executive had some sort of a decent record at getting things done. Instead, it is most famous either for not getting things done, or for badly screwing them up. Education is a mess, and the only reason why it is a mess is because of SF’s egotism. People are asking the question, why the hell should we trust them with justice powers if they can’t get all the other stuff sorted, and that is an entirely fair question to ask. That is also a question being asked loudly by the Tories.

    And I speak as someone who thinks there is a dire need to devolve these powers as soon as it is practicible.

    I don’t think a dead assembly/executive and a Tory government are going to work out well for nationalists at all.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    CS,

    yes, he has been dancing in and out of the STA/GFA agreement for some time – their previous statement caused much confusion as it appeared to rule out the transfer for 5 years. They were condemned by the DUP and SF and the Alliance for that.

    Maybe this could be a moment for El Gordo(the Prime Minister)to launch an attack on Cameron, as this may PosbBoyDC’s first really bad mistake, if as seems likely this mad statement was cleared by the Tories.

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mac

    “trying [sic] paying attention to the politics of what is actually happening around you.”

    And you should try focusing on the actual topic. Rather than the party political battles that you prefer to take sides on.

  • Pete Baker

    Comrade

    “What you say might have been right if the executive had some sort of a decent record at getting things done. Instead, it is most famous either for not getting things done, or for badly screwing them up.”

    Indeed.

    That’s what needs to change before more powers are devolved.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    CS,

    RE “I don’t think a dead assembly/executive and a Tory government are going to work out well for nationalists at all. ”

    It may benefit SF in the long run as they tend to benefit from intransigent Unionism and if you include Republican dissers as Nationalists then they will be the main beneficaries as pointed out by the SOS.

    On the Unionist side the TUV will be the big winner(if you want anti-agreement then you might as well get the professionals) and the UUP may get someone (a non elected someone) in the Tory cabinet.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Pete,

    re. “party political battles”

    what you need fail to realise is this is NOT a party issue – it is a peace process issue. This has been signalled by both governments – it is no suprise that Unionists are loathe to admit this, after all the DUP are only playing ball with SF for fear of Dublin involvment.

    If the incoming right wing British government decide to ignore this little reality then like the SOS suggests, Afghanistan will not be the only place requiring troops.

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mac

    “what you need fail [sic] to realise is this is NOT a party issue – it is a peace process issue.”

    All hail the Process!

    Catch yourself on.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Pete,

    re. the Peace Process which you seemingly have some difficulty with.

    There has been a prolonged period of political violence in Norn Iron and we are slowly and painstakingly moving away from that – that is what the Peace Process is – for many, including the 2 governments and the police service itself, the transfer of Police is a vital part of that Process.

    Your failure to either understand or admit that is in direct contradiction of the views of these main players who dictate the political framework of Norn Iron about which you devote so much of your energies.

  • Jesus Christ

    I have had to take the decision to inform you all through this message as it was possible not everyone would read or understand it otherwise.

    The number of the beast when translated gives the name John O’Connell. He is the anti-Christ that will seek to pass false messages and will try to identify himself as the Son of God. This message was given to me by God so it can only be the truth. God told me that John O’Connell would try to hide behind the seven hills mentioned in Revelations ( He moved to a place beyond the Mourne Mountains to the country of the Devil) He would come out crying for money (as he does when seeking to sell his books) like the Whore of all churches. Beware of him, he is the devil incarnate!

  • percy

    The Brits will decide which way it goes, and if I’ve got a clue about their thinking, it will be before Xmas;
    much as you like to pretend its up to the parties in Stormont Pete, you’re forgetting one thing and that is: who the masters of this game are:
    redux- or bakergate 😉

  • percy

    what that means is:
    pete, you’re reading the lines, but not
    reading between the lines
    I beg to suggest!

  • igor

    “a Unionist veto has again thwarted democracy and is backed up by an incoming mad-dog right-wing Tory government”

    you really do need to get out more

  • igor

    “good news electroally for the Alliance party as any decent, secular ‘Prods’ will hopefully abandon the UUP”

    ah the decent prods appear again

    but we wont vote Alliance – a non party with non policies and a charisma bypass

  • fin

    unionist politicans could have done business with the old Nationalist Party, could have done business with the SDLP, could do business with SF, the longer unionism leaves it to sharepower the palatable their nationalist politicical partners are.
    Nationalists can hold their noses when working with the UUP or DUP because they have more to gain from the relationship. But it gets harder for the unionist politicans to sell it to their own people.

    Is it to weird to expect that in 10 years the TUV will be sharing power with Eirigi or the 32CSC, with an armed IRA still in existance, with rickety old duffers from the shells of the DUP and UUP whining that at least the IRA weren’t killing people when they shared power with nationalists.

    God forbid that the ‘thinking’ of unionism changes from the Pete Bakers and Turgons of this world to people more pragmatic because then unionism might actually achieve something for itself, as it is it’s arrogance is just continuing on a suicide run in full view of everyone.

  • snaz

    Rarely have I read such a load of trumped up piffle.

    The UUP want P and J devolved when two very specific criteria are
    Met.

    1. Proper financial arrangements guaranteeing all retrospective
    Claims / enquiries etc. With the very real fiscal pressures
    On the police it would be madness not to build in such
    A contigency plan.

    Why would you replace the most replicate law making institution in
    The work with what we have on stormont?

    You wouldn’t would you.

    2. Competence (not confidence). All of you calling the UUP
    Secterian simply because it knows from very close experience
    That there has been no evidence whatever that it would be the
    Right thing to do to thrust this vital department into the
    Unworkable DUP/SF mutual veto.

    From some of the other posts it appears that some people
    Are still promoting the view that the UUP are still some outdated
    Organisation with no cohesion trying to outflank the DUP
    To the right.

    The UUP are the party of the centre drawing our membership
    From right accros the the secterian, socia economic and cultural
    Divide.

    Bring on the Elections!

  • Comrade Stalin

    snaz:

    Right thing to do to thrust this vital department into the
    Unworkable DUP/SF mutual veto.

    So in other words, you don’t think that political power should be allowed here until the people vote for the right politicians ? Take a second to think about the implications of that.

    I’m not arguing the point that the current administration sucks. But if people want government that does not suck, the responsibility is on them to elect politicians that do not suck.

    Imagine if the Queen said, right, I’m suspending Westminster because the expenses scandal clearly shows that you guys are not fit to govern ?

    The principle of devolution of policing and justice powers stands on its own. It is our job as voters to elect the government we want to administer it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    snaz:

    From some of the other posts it appears that some people
    Are still promoting the view that the UUP are still some outdated
    Organisation with no cohesion trying to outflank the DUP
    To the right.

    Yes. Most of them are UUP party members and elected representatives.

    The UUP are the party of the centre drawing our membership
    From right accros the the secterian, socia economic and cultural
    Divide.

    So is it a good thing to have GAA matches on the BBC then ?

    If an SDLP politician had the justice ministry, you’d have no problem with that ?

    How about electing a Catholic (but not nationalist) Mayor on Newtownabbey Borough Council , instead of blocking it ?

  • snaz

    Comrade Stalin.

    Dealing with your first post I understand the point your are making but fundamentally disagree with it.

    Water Rates, Post Primary Education, RPA, Proper Sporting Stadia, Social Housing Needs, an ever decreasing budget and an Executive which does not operate on any corporate norms (Note Mr Durkan backing up my own two colleagues about the way it does its business) are just some of the challenges facing the Executive currently.

    With the Executive seemingly unable to reach a consensus on anything contentious why would you want to put the PSNI and the judiciary into the middle of this?

    Until we have an Executive, regardless of who is in it, dealing with the portfolios we currently have properly, reaching consensus on difficult issues on a cross community basis, then it is the wrong thing to do.

    You do not reward corporate failure with added responsibility and devolving P and J now would be tantamount to that.

    On your second post, I can say without any difficulties.

    1. I enjoy watching GAA on TV and recognise the huge support it enjoys within the broad Nationalist community. (I watched and supported my own county of Antrim in their fantastic journey this year.There is a huge challenge for the GAA in taking the politics out of it (naming grounds after terrorists). I also happen to think that hurling is one of the most skillful field sports in the world (gasp, gasp)

    If P and J was going to be devolved and I have already stated that it is not the right time I would have no issues what ever in the SDLP supplying the minister (in fact as per DHont that is what should have happened before even more gerrymandering of the system).

    Cant comment on the Mayoral situation in Newtownabbey except to say that the party in question had no problem doing a deal with the DUP to the exclusion of others at the start of this term which is totally dis proportionate to their mandate. No one heard them moaning then.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    snaz,

    “then it is the wrong thing to do”

    I take it you accept that the UUP are out of step with the Alliance Party, the SDLP, the PSNI, the 2 governments, SF and the DUP on the issue of the transfer of Police.

    Given that scenario, suggestions that the UUP are trying to outflank the DUP on the right are fairly reasonable.

    Also I take it that you accept that if Stormont collapses(which is a very real possibility if the Police transfer is further stalled) it will we an extremely dangerous time for Northern Ireland and be especially good news for the TUV and Republican dissidents?

    It will be interesting to see if the UUP is honest enough to take responsiblity for its actions, and more interesting to see how comfortable the Tories still feel snuggling up to them.

  • Driftwood

    Much ado about nothing. While I intensely dislike the justice minister Jack Straw as a pompous imbecile, he is shortly to be replaced by the excellent Dominic Grieve.
    So what is the issue here? The problem will be solved next May.