Woodward plans to hand parading disputes to local councils…

Has Peter Robinson ambushed Sinn Fein on parading? Shaun Woodward sent two confidential letters to the Executive review committee on policing and justice more or less telling them the government is planning to buy into Paddy Ashdown’s plans to stand down the Parades’ Commission. This critical matter may now end up in the hands of local councils which, we are told, will facilitate dialogue with the Orders and local people.

In the event of failure it is proposed the First and deputy first ministers will appoint a panel. Where is all this leading ? More chaos? What about the role of the police ? Is that service now expected to be pushed back into the firing line? Next question? Is Mr. Robinson and his colleagues gearing up to ‘gut’ or ‘hollow out’ the cross border bodies which are looking increasingly limp and meaningless?