OFMdFM close to a deal on financing policing and justice…

Years ago, long before Slugger, I remember getting to certain points in the political cycle where there seemed no point in following a given story for a few months until something concrete emerged. Long time lapses are a regular feature of Peace Processing™. So I thought I’d been in hibernation too long on Politicking Policing and Justice issue this morning when I heard on the early segment of the BBC’s Today Programme that a breakthrough when they reported talks were on the cusp of a breakthrough on P&J… In fact Martin McGuinness’ words were much more circumscribed… They are, in fact, ‘”on the cusp of agreement” over the financial package’. That’s good news for whoever takes on Polcing and Justice (and Sammy Wilson, who despite the jokes at his expense, has been making some progress in filling in that £600 mill hole), and perhaps it will now focus all parties on the outstanding issue (and highly moveable feast) of community confidence… But contrary to the BBC’s messaging, this thing could run and run… Or rather walk and walk…

, , ,

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Not in a political lifetime or not until after Christmas? We will see fairly soon – but Robbo needs to be careful not to drag this out too long if he intends to do a deal – which seems like his only sensible choice.

    We will now presumably enter an exciting period as Robbo teases the public with maybe-I-will and then maybe-I-wont as the DUP policy moves from Smashing SF to Annoying SF – but surely Robbo needs to be careful that he does not run this issue to close to the Westminsters, as probably the best way to slow down the rate that the Unionist electorate throw their lot in with a somewhat bouyant TUV is to show that Stormo actually works.

    Gwan Robbo – you know you want to.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Out of idle interest, Slabbery, do you feel any shame at having spouted such monumentally silly cr*p for the last few years here? Seriously, one minute it’s ‘da Brits *can’t do dis’, the next, it’s, they can, but shouldn’t, then it’s P&J being transferred the better part of 2 years ago, otherwise Sinn Five would walk out of the executive and ‘pull the institutions down’, then it’s a tame echo of McMurderous with your jibber-jabber that a Unionist veto on a Payroll republican holding the P&J post would never be granted let alone exercised, and on and on and on it goes. Slabbery, you’ve given us vast laughs these last few years, but me ould mucker, you really do need some new material. This guff is very old.

    Meanwhile, for the reality-based community, now that the Punt has: rolled over Sinn Five, sucked in the yella fellas, and, has edged some long way to getting Westminster to plug the black hole in the budget, where next to stick it to SF? Obviously the grammars have not merely been saved, but via the all new private transfer test, are in fact further from Ruane’s orbit than ever, so I have to admit, I myself don’t know where the next sharp blow could best be landed. But there’s the thing: with the Punt, it’s a serene expectation that the punch will be thrown, with the Turtle it was always, peeking through your hands in front of your face waiting to see quite how he would contrive to land one on himself.

  • Greenflag


    The cusp of an agreement sounds very much like just over the horizon . And as we all know the closer one comes to the horizon the further it goes away .

    It’s past time for SF to walk away from this waste of English taxpayers money called an Assembly.

    As for the TUV mopping up the DUP vote -fine . Unionism has a long tradition of moving further and further to the right until the next forced ‘agreement ‘ which makes the unionist position even more precarious .

    The timing of the next collapse of Stormont is critical . Not too close to the election but not too far from it either .Early in the new year by which time the Tories will have opened up their long awaited can of worms for ‘curing ‘ the British economy and polity of it’s malaise .

    The power sharing of powerlessness was always going to buy short term political peace at the cost of driving one or other or both of the power sharers to distraction .

    Once the Assembly collapses serious thought needs to be given by both northern republicans and nationalists to a political settlement based on a fair ‘repartition ‘ of Northern Ireland drawn up by a neutral international organisation.

    Another 10 years of mandatory power sharing as it’s presently set up will see most if not all the elected politicians in NI in padded cells which might be no bad thing 😉

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Partition was a disaster re-partiton will be worse.

    Robbo will supply the necessaries – he’s marched them up the hill (and lost a quarter of his vote in the process to the TUV) and he’s going to look very silly indeeed marching them down now.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Sillier than you? How? Does he endlessly make stuff up, then run away from that slabber? No? Gosh. Has he at every stage in this provess dictated both the pace and direction? Yes. As Churchill almost put it, some silly billy.

  • ulsterfan

    over the past two years you have failed to understand the unionists position on P&J despite well meaning bloggers spelling it out.
    Let me explain once again.
    One day we welcome devolution, the next day we don’t really care and for most of the time we are overwhelmed with Apathy.
    We know it will happen sometime in the future but don’t Know when.
    Whenever it does happen it will be at a time of our choosing and in circumstances acceptable to us.
    If in the process it annoys the Shinners and shows their past promises to be worthless so be it.
    Like all politically motivated people we can celebrate the hardship suffered by our opponents.
    In this regard there is still a long way to go and around the next corner there will be a few twists and turns even you could not have imagined!!!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    The British have up until this point, ‘delivered’ Unionism (both UUP and DUP) in terms of their acceptance of both the GFA and STA.

    In the case of the UUP it lost about 3 quarters of its vote and in the case of the DUP it has lost a quarter of its votes when it suprised many of its more ardent supporters and decided to share power with its sworn enemy who then decided to jump ship to HMS Jimbo. We can reasonably conclude that many within the party saw the warning signs as they no doubt share many of the reservations that the evacuees hold and it is therfore a reasonable conlcusion that the DUP were to put it politely, pushed, into signing on the dotted line.

    And of course we have confirmation of this from Robbo and Deputy Dodsy who keep telling us that there is no alternative otherwise the state to which they show a somewhat overbearing loyalty to would betray them even further by doing business with the state that they have something of a phobia about.

    These are the facts – and if well meaning but ill informed people come to a diferent conclusion then we can put that down to good old fasioned party loyalty – and thats touching to see in these increasingly cynical times.

  • ulsterfan

    The British have not lead the DUP or UUP by the nose anywhere.
    Each party has made is own decisions for various reasons.
    Why are you concerned about lost votes—- we are not.
    The votes are only misplaced or go astray but they can easily be recaptured when politicians start listening to the Electorate. That’s their job and from time to time they need a good kick up the backside.
    That’s the beauty of politics.
    Don’t be so gloomy everything will be alright.
    And one other thing. It is in Britain’s best interests to deal with NI in a proper manner and with respect to both traditions here

  • Mick Fealty

    ulsterfan, exceptionally good spake.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    “The British have not lead the DUP or UUP by the nose anywhere”

    So we have to discard the contention of Robbo and Deputy Dodsy that they were faced with the dreadful threat of interference form the papal south?

    “Why are you concerned about lost votes——we are not”

    Who pary tell are the ‘We’ – do you think that any Unionist leader does not suffer from fear of the Lundy nightmare as per ONeill, Faulkener and Trimble.

    re. Britain’s best interests: They are set out clealry in the GFA and as long as Unionism continues down the designated path then who mentioned anything about gloom? we are heading for the required settlement.

  • igor

    Its like a bad episode of deal or no deal. Will the Banker persuade Marty and Robbo to deal or will they open the box and find 2p?

    I cant wait!!

  • Thereyouarenow

    In Northern Irelands case I do not know if this is good or bad but If you have enough money all the politicians can be bought. (probably the same as every where)

    You just have to hope those that are doing the buying have good intensions.