Policing and Justice: Is there an absence of political will on BOTH sides to make it happen?

Hillary’s speech yesterday was a nice reminder to our politicians as to what was in this deal for them and the people they seek to represent… The democratic deal, as the dFM said in his remarks outside Stormont Castle yesterday depends on delivery, delivery, delivery… The FM, was clear that this is a process, kickstarted at the conclusion of the Executive lost 154 dayswith an end, but no date agreed… But the underlying question of the legitimacy of the current process is the absence of sufficient political will (on BOTH sides) to make it actually happen… Move over at Comment is Free

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  • Dewi

    Your quote from a DUP source:
    “they [Sinn Féin] want us to share policing and justice with them, at a time when they are telling their people that they cannot share a road with us”. This is a reference to the signal lack of any solution to the long-term stand-off over Orange marching routes across Northern Ireland.”
    Anything else the DUP want to link devolution of P&J with while thay are at it?
    I think “the absence of sufficient political will (on BOTH sides)” is a bit OTT. Every time a barrier is overcome the DUP seem to think of something else…

  • Mick Fealty

    Try the back links Dewi. There were two issues raised by the DUP when the 154 days came to an end: finance and confidence. Everyone is behaving as though the first having reached a successful conclusion in the billaterals with Brown that the second can be breached by attrition.

    They may be right. After all it did work on the IRA, eventually. These two are locked in conflict at the junction point of the whole (St Andrews) Agreement. So long as they continue to fight this trench warfare, then so long will we have to wait for substantive improvements in the performance of the Assembly.

    Instead we have the dFM calling for result before Christmas, tempting the FM to say long after Christmas… It’s exactly of the same material we’ve seen played out since the signing of the original Agreement in 1998…

    As I argued on Saturday, in the short term the DUP has the whip hand… but in the longer term both may be vulnerable to the long slow ebb in public confidence…

  • percy

    David Cameron has said if he becomes prime minister it would be his inclination
    to support whatever budget is agreed for devolving policing:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8289631.stm

    last hurdle, or the one before the last?

    This is Liebnitz vs Newton re: Calculus.

    Robinson is following the sequential arithmetic progression model vs the McGuiness model:
    we know the rate of change of momentum at any given point on the curve.

    Hope that’s not too tangental an analysis.

  • Dewi

    “Try the back links Dewi.”

    I read them the first time. And the second time. And then I stopped looking. Forgive me if I’m wrong but the specific reference to
    “long-term stand-off over Orange marching routes” is new to me however.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    re. “They may be right. After all it did work on the IRA, eventually. These two are locked in conflict at the junction point of the whole (St Andrews) Agreement. So long as they continue to fight this trench warfare, then so long will we have to wait for substantive improvements in the performance of the Assembly.”

    Fairly soon those for and against the transfer will be visible for all to see -it will then be impossible for the DUP and others to continue to characterise this impasse as one between SF and the DUP but rather as one between the 3 governments, the Allaince Party, the Police, the SDLP, SF etc and the DUP/TUV and possibly the UUP.

    The idea that the DUP have the whip hand is not sustainable when their alternatives are considered – being beaten into second place by SF in Stormo and also being blamed for holding up progress at the same time.

    The nonsense that Unionists dont give into pressure – even though the leaders of the DUP have openly admitted it – can be seen clearly from the way that such pressure resulted in the tearing apart of the Ulster Unionist party trying to accomodate a British government whose strategic interest was ensruing the deal with Nationalism stuck.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    USA,

    That was exactly what I thought when I saw it as well.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The nonsense that Unionists dont give into pressure – even though the leaders of the DUP have openly admitted it – can be seen clearly from the way that such pressure resulted in the tearing apart of the Ulster Unionist party trying to accomodate a British government whose strategic interest was ensruing the deal with Nationalism stuck.

    You are referring here to the executive which lasted what, oh, about 18 months ?

  • danielmoran

    percy….msg 3
    i suspect that brown has given so much time because he can see that it’s not purely financial with robinsonm and is calling robbo’s bluff here. i suspect robbo put this roadblock up in the belief that brown wouldn’t deliver. he knows surely now that this offer will not be indefinite and unconditional. i can see that this issue will have to come to a head well before westminster elections, exactly what robbo doesn’t want.

  • dub

    Mick, I genuinely cannot understand a word that you write any more. There was a deal done at St Andrews in relation to devolution of p and j and many other things. SF have delivered and arguably delivered more than required on their side of the policing deal. The British govt has not delivered on their guarantee in the St A deal in relation to the Irish Language Act and the DUP are stonewalling on devolution of P and J. These are just facts plain and simple. How you think that that mean the DUP have the whip hand or that SF are equally to blame for this stonewalling is so hard to understand that the only reasonable explanation I can up with is that you are from another planetary system.

    One question: did you cheerlead the Provos when they stonewalled decommissioning? I have asked Pete Baker this a few times but he never answered. Maybe you could answer. Or is it just Unionist stonewalling you admire?

  • “The promise of the Good Friday agreement and the St Andrews agreement is not yet fully realised.” .. HRC

    Promise? The stand-off IMO is a natural consequence of the constitutional ‘settlement’ of the Agreement. The DUP and SF may be marching to history’s tune but they’re marching in opposite directions. Attritions, high and low, are a by-product.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    dub,

    permit me to interject.

    Mick may suprise me with his answer but my guess is that it will run boil down to the following. The DUP didnt commit to any timeframe in the STA and therefore there is no requirement for them to move on this issue – which can of course can be argued as Pete loves to – some like myself would suggest misses the main political realities of the situation.

    What that simple view of the world fails to take into account is that the DUP are under severe politcal pressure from the 3 governments and also from most political parties, police etc.

    By denying that pressure or simply not discussing it or pretending ‘Unionists dont bend to pressure’ Pete and Mick can continue with the “its not in the agreement malarkey” adinfenitum.

    If the DUP do actually move – the line will be -well they only did it when it suited them not becasue of any supposed pressure.

    Go on Mick (Pete) prove me wrong.

  • “a British government whose strategic interest was ensruing the deal with Nationalism stuck”

    I have a slightly different perspective, Sammy. London and Dublin wish to contain the nastiness to here so they will do any deal with the ‘chosen’ paramilitary godfathers that will facilitate it; the views of the UUP-SDLP spectrum or the Plain People are of little or no consequence. I should imagine there are back channels to all sorts of nasty elements as part of the ‘strategic interest’.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Nevin,

    I mainly agree – the main component of the “Nationalism ” of which I was referring to was in fact violent Republicanism – I didnt say that as it often saprks off others (e.g. Comrade Stalin) arguing that the GFA was not something for which the IRA should be given the ‘credit’ for.

    Thanks by the way for putting up that link to the Hilary speeches – still no word from Pete on his confusion (added to admittedly by the RTE) about her ‘Belfast’ speech.

  • “its not in the agreement malarkey”

    So, Sammy, SF hangs itself on a hook and you’re expecting the DUP to lift it off? Is that not expecting too much?

  • Sammy, I prefer primary sources to opinion of opinion so that was why I went in search of Hillary’s speeches.

    Can I suggest you stick with your intended labels as these provide greater clarity – and forget about the background noise 😉

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Nevin,

    re. on a hook.

    The problem for the DUP is that are inceasingly isolated on this issue and now publically helping SF “off this hook” (as you like to call it) now looks like the best of their bad options.

  • danielmoran

    sammymcnally…. it’s the old story with unionists since they sabotaged sunningdale back in 1974. every time they reject a deal, the next time they return to the table, there’s less on it for them. learning doesn’t seem to be their strong point.
    this is yet another example. as far as the govts and indeed the world is concerned, the dup effectively signed up, to the govts agenda STA by going into stormont with shinners. if they can’t see that, they’re fooling nobody but themselves.

  • Sammy, why did SF put itself on the hook? It’s exposed itself to derision from the dissidents in the militant Republican ‘family’; it’s caught between a rock and a hard place. This more generally is personified by the dilemma facing Daithi McKay in Rasharkin.

    I can see why London and Dublin would come to the aid of SF much as they once came to the aid of the SDLP and the Trimble-Mallon OFMDFM. Perhaps Hillary was riding to the rescue in her brief stop-over?

    The DUP is also caught by the constitutional paradox but IMO the risks for SF are higher.

  • “effectively signed up, to the govts agenda STA”

    Daniel, do you view the DUP and SF as poodles of London and Dublin (and Washington)? Are they limited to lifting their legs to pee on the nearest political lamp-post?

  • danielmoran

    nevin. the agenda of the govts coincides with sinnfein’s in this case. it’s the dup who are in default, and caught in the headlights of tuv and uup for westminster. how they hope to string this out till after may next, is hard to see. all ther parties can see what they’re at.

  • Daniel, I agree with your coincide and your headlamps but the default doesn’t follow from that. The DUP might or might not be ‘generous’ and lift SF from the hook. I wonder what the bookies’ odds might be.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Nevin,

    “19.Sammy, why did SF put itself on the hook? It’s exposed itself to derision from the dissidents in the militant Republican ‘family’”

    In my opinion, as I argued at the time to much shouts of ‘futuring’ by Mick and Pete they were not actually putting themselves on a hook but really backing the DUP into a corner – which I ‘futured’ to many denials from Pete Baker and Comrade Stalin would lead to severe pressure on them from the 3 governments. I have little doubt SF ran with this because they had British assurance that they would supply the necessary money and encouragement to the DUP to help them over the finishing line. That dreadful ‘futuring’ appears to be borne out be recent events. What I didnt forsee was the rapid growth in the TUV which has actually made the DUP position worse (as mentione last week by Paul Bew on R4) by cutting of their retreat to go for an election.

    re. the Dissers- any SF loss there is more than offset by the much bigger losses by the DUP – their main competitor.

  • danielmoran

    ‘the rapid growth of the TUV which has actually made the DUP position worse…..by cutting off their retreat to go for an election’

    msg 23 sammymcnally. that seems to be the way things are headed. after all the sneering at trimble’s party, the duppers now find themselves with the boot on the other foot, namely the voters deserting them in both directions.
    i predict that of the nine seats held by DUP at westminstere, at least five will go back to the left [UUP], two will go right, to TUV, and the devil rub it into robbo and co. they will have rich deserved it.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    danielmoran,

    you may be right – but perhaps its the idea that we would then have to listen to Wee Reggie getting off on the fact that he and his party were back in the frame leads me to believe that they will only lose a couple to the TUV – although it is certianly argueable that they deserve to suffer the same fate they visited on others having repeated the ‘crime’ of cutting a deal.

    Surely at some point Unionism will admit that the state to which they show such embarassing loyalty just keeps fecking them over time after time rather than spending their time kicking umpteen shades of red-white-and-blue out of each other.

  • danielmoran

    i think you meant to say ‘they’ll only lose a couple to the UUP’.

    moderate unionist voters are in a conflict of interest with their political parties, in that, as long as union is safe, they won’t bother votingunionist

  • danielmoran

    i think you meant to say ‘they’ll only lose a couple to the UUP’.

    moderate unionist voters are in a conflict of interest with their political parties, in that, as long as union is safe, they won’t bother votingunionist

  • danielmoran

    there’s a good reason why robbo won’t outline whaere the finer details he wants clarified. it’s so he can shift from one item to the other and waste everybody’s time. but time is running out. jim allister must be splitting his sides watching this merry dance of the brain dead.

  • Notta DUP

    danielmoran

    I’m no fan of the DUP, who may be in a bit of a mess, but you are way off beam suggesting that level of losses.

    TUV can only run Allister in one place and anyone who thinks the kind of candidate they will run generally can attract the same level of vote as an outgoing MEP – a QC no less – is ‘living on another planet’. UCUNF shows no sign of growth. Nicholson’s vote was effectively the same in 2009 as in 2004, their worst ever. (It looks like the Tories who voted Gilliland in 04 and Nicholson in 09 added 0.5% for him.)

    See what odds you can get from any bookie that TUV and UCUNF each win precisely zero seats next year.

  • danielmoran

    notta DUP. if you’re right, notta, and you may be, it underlines the point i made in the earlier short post. that unionist voters are becoming more disillusioned with their political leaders and less inclined to votefor just any old slogan. either way, i think robinson is seriously running out of ideas and crediblity, and the sharks in the party scent blood. [mind you most of the dirty dozen are unelectable].

  • But, Sammy, there is no finishing line; the DUP and SF are facing in opposite directions.

    What practical value are assurances from the three governments when what was needed was a deal between SF and DUP? Why attempt to back your ‘partner in crime’ into a corner when progress requires you both to ‘sing from the same hymn-sheet’? Isn’t that just another expression of the constitutional paradox I referred to earlier?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Nevin,

    No – this is a deal between SF and the Enlezes as we agreed earlier ie the GFA(STA). Fairly soon there is going to be a big metaphorical table with a load of people sitting on one side – including the 3 governments and sundry anti-agreemnet Unionists sitting isolated on the other side – the flawed analyis that this is the DUP v SF will then not be sustainable.

  • Sammy, SF is just one of the players and it’s put itself out on a limb; it’s caught between the dissidents and those who won’t or can’t deliver the DUP on a plate.

    As for the ‘Enlezes’ they don’t even have an assembly let alone a Parliament …

  • percy

    Publish NI police deal – Robinson

    Sinn Fein have accepted the deal and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said any points in the budget that “need clarifying are purely technical”.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8307949.stm

  • Percy, Mark Devenport said ‘there seems to be an increasing sense on all sides that it would be a good idea to publish the terms’.

    Do you suppose that will happen soon?

  • USA

    Some folks on here keep referring to SF being “on the hook” regarding the P+J issue. Maybe i’m missing something but that is not at all the way it looks from the US.
    Our interpretation is that the DUP must accept the devolution of P+J as part of the StAA / GFA. Once this is done then SF and the DUP will be freed up to co-operate. If they don’t then it is up to the voters to elect new representatives / leaders in the assembly.
    Personally I would suspect that if Robinson recently tried to “link” progress to any other issues then SF brought out the Irish Language Act. I just don’t think Robinson is in a strong position at all. From here it is Robinson who MUST move and the TUV will ensure that he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
    We are not subject to the British influence on the MSM as you are over there, which I feel consistantly takes an unreasonably dim view of the SF position. I feel SF have grown used to this critical press coverage and have developed a capacity to ignore the “noise” and remain focused on their strategic goals.
    Some posters on here seem more influenced by the “noise” than political reality.
    Where is this hook, how are SF hanging from it? What are we missing over here? How did SF get themselves up there?
    Your answere better be good as I remain to be convinced.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    USA,

    permit me to explain – as I have argued against its importance many times….

    the hook-thingey is deemed to be the signing up by SF in advance to the accepance of the PSNI on the basis that the policing powers would be transferred and doing this with the less than watertight STA commitment from the DUP who can now leave them dangling there looking pretty stupid.

    The point has limited merit but has been talked up many times by Pete Baker and occasionally by Mick witout them giving due weight to the political realities of Norn Iron politics – and in particulalry that the 3 governments want the GFA fully implemented and will pressurise the DUP to bring that about – this is what is playing out before us now with the added problem for the DUP that because they has delayed so long they now also has the TUV to contend with as you rightly pointed out and which effectively prevents them going for Stormo elections.

    It is now seems much more relevant to speak of a corner which the DUP have backed themselves into rather than a hook.

  • USA and Sammy, as I understand it SF announced to their own followers that a date had been agreed for the devolution of P&J and then found themselves on a hook when their bluff was called.

  • danielmoran

    nevin….. if it’s true that shinners told their own supporters [and i’m not querying your claim] they had secured a date, they have no one but themselves to blame. how did they think this bluff wouldn’t be called? they must be in out of their depth. best to close down the whole circus, before they embarass us even more.

  • Daniel, there are problems within the Civil Service as well as within the Executive. It’s a bigger circus than many people think 🙂

    Perhaps Peter Hain created something of an illusion when he referred to a target date [May 2008?] but the inclusion of a mutual veto was likely to stymie potential progress.

  • USA

    Nevin and danielmoran again repeated terms like “bluff” and “hook” but offered nothing concrete to back it up. This would seem a to me as a position to be adopted by SDLP supporters (nothing against the SDLP), in that it is convenient because it serves their political goals.

    However I think Sammy is much closer to an accurate reading of events. When SF accepted policing it was rather like Trimble and his “we have jumped” claim. SF were aware of the positions of the governments and played the game by the rules. Basically they were on the same page as Dublin, London and to a lesser extent Washington. And remember SF wanted the US involved as an “honest broker”. So on policing SF were told that they must move on accepting the new PSNI in order to keep the process moving forward. SF, at some risk to their own credibility with traditional republicans, moved on the issue. All the players know that Robinson cannot stall this part of the deal, P+J must be devolved, it was part of the “deal”.
    The DUP were pissing outside the tent for so long that I think they began to believe their own propaganda in that they could teach SF a lesson. Robinson and the DUP are on thin ice regarding devolution of P+J because it is not solely a SF position, it is the agreed position of 3 governments and most political parties on the island.
    This is the game the DUP entered via StAA / GFA. In fact the whole StAA diversion was just a device to get the DUP off the hook and on the train.
    Yes the DUP got on the train, and now it time to pay the conductor.

    The US are Britains’ best strategic partner, but that’s the view from across the pond.

  • danielmoran

    of the few words in the dictionary that begin with DUP, i suppose it’s apt that one of them is ‘duplicity’.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    USA,

    Spot on.

    re. “because it is not solely a SF position, it is the agreed position of 3 governments and most political parties on the island”

    – and this will become increasingly apparent and eventually the media will get passed their tired and lazy analyis that it is a dispute between SF and the DUP.

    p.s. This debate rages on simultaneously on other threads.