On that business of policing and justice…

Given this is a game largely played by two players neither of whom are particularly interested in sharing their inner most thoughts with the outside world, guessing when Policing and Justice is going to be devolved is a bit of a pointless game… Robinson appeared to indicate a stepchange in negotations back in July. The fairly positive voices emerging from Alliance indicate they are on board too. Last week the BBC appeared to indicate a breakthrough on the community confidence issue, but as Jim Dee picked it in his report for the Belfast Telegraph, that issue hasn’t gone away you know:

Mr Robinson said that “a handful of issues” remain to be resolved, and that the financial underpinning of the package will be crucial.He said that once that is achieved “the imperative will be to build public confidence. And I have already said that I do not intend to be neutral in doing that.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty