Allister squeezes another precondition out of the DUP on P&J…

Another score on the board for Jim Allister. In an on air debate on the Nolan Show the TUV leader challenged the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson to say there will be no devolution of policing and justice powers unless Chief Constable Matt Baggott rescinds his decision on full time police reserves. Jeffrey went for Jim’s bait and set another precondition in stone or so it appears.

Firstly Peter Robinson made the death of the Parades Commission a precondition. Now Jeffrey has taken on the Chief Constable who told the policing board two weeks ago the full time reservists would not survive in line with the Patten recommendations. Chris Patten did a complete review of the future of policing in Northern Ireland.

Will cross-border bodies be the next precondition? The TUV leader is clearly loving what he is witnessing.


  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Now it looks like a case of the Unionist tail being bigger than the actual dog.

    Will Wee Reggie have the balls to step into the pro-agreement space left by the DUP as they try to scamper back, alongside Jimbo, into the anti-agreement undergrowth. This could be the opportunity the wee-fellah has been looking for.

    Go Reggie go.

  • Sean

    The DUP appear to have lost the run of themselves

    I hope they live in a round house as they keep trying to paint themselves into a corner

  • I don’t know why they don’t just go for the whole thing – the complete DUP wishlist – as their pre-condition.

    Voluntary coalition, no ‘north-southery’, no PC, the lot.

    Are they just testing the water, to see how high a price they can get, or are they genuinely trying to stop the transfer of P+J. If its the first, then we’ll see who blinks first. If its the later, then go for the wish-list, Peter.

  • igor

    Its all politics. Jeffrey talked about ‘at least 4 deal breakers’

  • Another excellent result by Jim. Poor wee Jeffrey, hoist by his bloated egotistical petard. (Did you know he fought in the trenches to protect us all?)
    How long before Robbo has to clarify what Jeffrey pledged?

  • slug

    For unionists North-South bodies aren’t bad in itself, if its based on good reasons.

    For example I would like to see more cooperation on the cultural side, allowing for example a joint Opera Company based in both Belfast and Dublin, and more cooperation in exhibiting of Fine Art in our Galleries.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    I have to say I was very sceptical of the value of the UCUNF but this might the opportunity PoshBoyDC needs to display some non-tribal behaviour he has been telling us all so much about by nudging Wee Reggie into the open ground of pro-agreement Unionist politics as the the nay-sayers of Unionism try to turn back the clock, lift their political skirts and scamper back to the wilderness.

    Assuming Stormo crashes, as the DUP seem to be intent on, then SF should explore the possibilties of voluntary coalition with the UUP (if they have the balls and the votes) the Alliance and the SDLP in a pro-agreement coalition – after perhaps extracting a suitable price and safeguards for themselves and for Nationalism as a whoe for such a move.

  • North-South bodies, an extravagant waste, must go.

  • fin

    Jeff seems fairly adament about it

    But still a massive step down from never,never, never

    However the tally still stands at £2000 per head for ex-Trevors, so regardless of how the wishlist grows there’s still not many ticks alongside the demands

  • fin

    North-South bodies, an extravagant waste, must go.

    David, the North-South bodies prevent duplicating essentials such as managing waterways, tourism, etc in the North and the South, to do away with them would result in the North having to establish their own departments to do the same roles.


  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    re “North-South bodies, an extravagant waste, must go”

    ..and remember dont forget to address your list correctly when sending it off to the North Pole.

  • borderline

    Well, why not go the hole hog and pre-condition that Gerry Adams must become a fully-paid-up-and- smiling member of the Ligoniel Stout Defenders flute band?

    I say NO to P&J shitehawking and NO to propping up partition.

    The Shinners must now put Country before Party and walk the walk.

  • Frustrated Democrat


    VOLUNTARY coalition – what brought that attack on!

    Seems that is what everyone has been on about for months as we want a funded opposition!

  • Intelligence Insider

    I’d not be surprised to hear in the next few weeks or so that existing full-time reserves will be given the opportunity to transfer directly into regular service within the PSNI at the conclusion of their current 3 year contracts. This successfully deals with the situation, no more FTR, current members retire or become regular constables.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Frustrated Democrat,

    re. “Voluntary Coalition” everything is possible if the price is right.

    Has Wee Reggie got the political balls to move into the vacated space if the DUP take to the nay-saying-wilderness?

  • joeCanuck

    What a joke the DUP are becoming. They would not submit to blackmail last week but this week they have become the blackmailers. BBC report that Robinson has backed up Donaldson. Do they ( DUP) make this up as they go along or is it just that the TUV have totally rattled them?

  • Fin

    Co-operation is fine but why should there be all-Ireland bodies in the first place when we are in fact dealing with two sovereign States? The bloated quangos for the boys approach to the All Ireland Bodies is also repulsive. No, they have to go and they will go. They only exist because unionists foolishly went along with them (and then ensured payback for some of their own) but this is against the interests of the taxpayer. Sack them all.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    The DUP are in something of a muddle with this and have apparentrly already backtracked to what is sugested by Intelligence Insider above.

    David Vance,

    the constitution of Norn Iron, as set out in the GFA, gives a role for Irish ministerial input into the affairs of Norn Iron. Unionists had an opportunity to reject this Irish government involement in the GFA referendum but decided to accept it.

  • Agreements exist to be changed. Even the mighty BA. The tide is turning…it always does, Sammy.

  • fionn

    “North-South bodies, an extravagant waste, must go. ”


    Northen Ireland, an extravagant waste, must go.

  • Indulging Republicans, an extravagant waste, must go.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    David Vance,

    it is difficult to see where the political traction for that might come from given all the main British political parties are signed up to the GFA. Any ideas?

    A UKIP/BNP coalition might be the best bet for anti-agreement Unionists as they probably dont like the idea that Britain diluted the constitutilnal position of Norn Iron in the GFA but for the moment at least that looks very unilkely

  • couldn’t comment – shouldn’t

    Well done Jeffrey – not satisfied with saddling your old party with “no guns no government” now with the petulance you are famed for you have saddled the DUPs with this!

    never in the field of human endeavour has one wee lad not learned so much over such a long period of time – remarkable feat, maybe you should stick to watching the lion the witch and the hotel wardrobe!

  • fair_deal

    The TUV angle is being over-egged, the bigger issues is the fact average Unionist hasn’t been too impressed by devolution thus far so has pretty much zero interest in the devolution of P&J. Despite the problems with policing in local communities the promise that devolution will do great things is simply not believed.

    What’s the general lie of the land in nationalist areas?

    If SF really want it to happen quickly then the DUP is telling them how. They mightn’t like the medicine but they have their choice to make, take the medicine or bring it down.

  • joeCanuck

    Sorry; I misread the BBC article. Robinson hasn’t spoken yet as far as I know.

  • Neil

    The Shinners are also being backed into a corner. In short FD I reckon they may feel that they have to walk away. The DUP (IMO) know they have more to fear from Allister than anyone else. In much the same way the SF contingent have to look over their shoulders at the newer hardline Republican groups.

    I would also suggest that this problem is of SF’s own making. The average Republican is more interested in hearing about the strategy for a UI (which Gerry assured everyone he had ‘United Ireland – in our lifetime!’ I believe were the words used), than the administration of P&J within the UK government.

    Had SF not over egged this pudding in the mistaken belief that it could be delivered easily, most Republicans wouldn’t really care, and possibly through their underlining the necessity of P&J (to give the illusion of movement), they have entrenched the DUP against devolution – why hand your enemy the last fig leaf when you can poach a few Allister voters back again.

    If I had to hypothesise I reckon this will be a ‘crisis’ soon enough. Neither party will back down, the DUP won’t as they have no reason to, and the Shinners won’t because they’ve delivered next to fuck all for their voters, and they need to have something which they can drag this one thing out of the bag and say ‘look what we delivered.’

  • fair_deal


    “I reckon they may feel that they have to walk away.”

    Their decision but any deal to put it back up again will most likely involve the very things they are oppposing now.

    The ‘wilderness’ option doesn’t look too fruitful for them either.

    GA did have a blog a while back looking another ‘economic’ package for the West.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    on this speciifc issue the DUP have already ‘backed down’ – they are now not talking about the retention of the Reserve but the members of the reserve who want to stay – about 150.

  • fin

    Neil, I thought the two Govts wrote the StAa including the bit about forseeing the confidence to enable P&J to be transferred last year, the DUP are talking to the Govt about this not SF, SF are on the sideline and I think there is one increasingly p*ssed of PM in Downing St, a not to happy Chief Constable, a wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole Tory leader and a none to happy Irish Govt, American Govt, SDLP, Alliance and SF.

    All that p*issing people of and so far he’s achieved £2000 a head for ex-Trevors, dear oh dear.

  • Reader

    fin: David, the North-South bodies prevent duplicating essentials such as managing waterways, tourism, etc in the North and the South, to do away with them would result in the North having to establish their own departments to do the same roles.
    Then who are these guys?

  • LabourNIman

    Am I the only person that is baffled that a party with about 2 councillors seems to get so much air time?

    And please, yes I know he (funny how I didn’t say they..)got over 60000 votes in the euro election but just makes them a poor mans UKIP (and not even they get as much time as TUV and they have about a dozen MEP’s)

  • McGrath

    Posted by fair_deal on Nov 09, 2009 @ 03:59 PM

    I honestly think average Nationalists dont give a crap about P&J itself. I’m sure many Nationalists, just like many Unionists are asking what does it achieve at this point in time except allowing various politicians to save / lose some face?

    Yes, sorting out the reasons for the objections to P&J seems to make more sense that actual P&J itself, but didn’t the unionist community agree to the terms of P&J in the GFA? Now they want to renege? The DUP say they wont be blackmailed, but their ever evolving – multi source – laundry list is exactly that. This doesnt instill any confidence that if even a GFA V2.0 agreement where reached that it too wouldn’t stick. For that reason alone P&J should be implemented, for even if actual P&J doesnt change anything on the ground, it would give the large majority of all communities in Northern Ireland some confidence that we can all live together.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Depends how far the Shinners want to be pushed. If they decide not to back down to the DUP on this one, then the negotiated package including the £20m golden handshake will be lost, and the FTR will be disbanded anyway by the Chief Constable who is answering to a direct rule minister.

    If the full time reserve are retained, even temporarily, then what happens to the £20m allocated for them ?

    In this case, I think SF are right to say that this is unwarranted interference in an operational decision by the Chief Constable. Especially if it is planned to recruit from the FTR into the regular, full time force.

    And it sounds to me like the DUP are running the risk of making FTR officers worse off. Rather than receiving a payoff and the opportunity to be immediately recruited into the regular force, they’re instead being kept on until their existing short term contracts expire. Doesn’t seem like a good deal for those officers …

  • Reader


    Hilarious to read outraged republicans drone on about “unwarranted interference” when their heroes carried out three decades of it – in the form of murder, mayhem, blitzkrieg.

  • “Chief Constable Matt Baggott rescinds his decision on full time police reserves.”

    Perhaps the decision was merely announced by Matt Baggott; it wouldn’t be the first time that a Chief Constable acted as a message boy for London and Dublin. The two governments are just as likely to be providing a crutch for SF as a stick to beat the DUP.

    I see Eamonn Mallie is still ignoring the current significant deficit of constables as well as the inclusion of students in the total of full time officers.

  • McGrath

    Posted by David Vance on Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:15 PM


  • Master McGrath

    Woof! Usual high standard of engagement I see. Well done.

  • BonarLaw


    the £20 million was for the Part Time Reserve, keep up


    “the constitution of Norn Iron, as set out in the GFA, gives a role for Irish ministerial input into the affairs of Norn Iron”

    Firstly, the constitution of Northern Ireland is a mixture of statute law and convention and not the Belfast Agreement.

    Secondly, there is as much NI input into the affairs of the Republic as vice versa through the North South bodies. That is why the Irish are happy to keep them as almost useless third wheels. Some have no impact in NI, some no impact in the Republic, some have no impact anywhere and some are time bound.

  • BonarLaw, you seem to be ignoring the role of the BIIC Joint Secretariat.

  • BonarLaw



    BIIC is a pale shadow of the post 1985 IGC but if it helps nationalists sleep at night…

  • John East Belfast

    Value of North South Bodies ?

    Not much in my opinion when the ROI Finance Minister is chastising his citisens for shopping in NI and when the ROI Food bodies wants them to buy only 26 county agricultural produce.

    Even joint tourism is a bit of a myth – ok we might have a joint effort to get tourists onto the island but once we do that it is NITB’s job to make damn sure they spend more money in NI than anywhere else.

    Anything else regarding joined up infrastructure and power generation for instance is something that can be done between respective Ministers and their civil servants in a Win Win scenario.

  • BonarLaw, can I draw your attention to the, er, JS? 😉

  • BonarLaw

    The JS? Holy shit there goes the Union.

    Catch a grip. Not even the SDLP believe that this nonsense will deliver.

  • fin

    Reader/Vance T
    ourism Ireland was established under the framework of the Belfast Agreement of Good Friday 1998. We are jointly funded by the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on a two to one ratio, and operate under the auspices of the North South Ministerial Council through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism in the South.

    We employ 160 people in key source markets, such as Great Britain, USA and Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Australia. We also have offices on the island of Ireland, in Coleraine and Dublin – and have now extended our reach to include emerging tourist markets, such as Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, China, India, Poland, Israel, Asia and the Middle East.

    Tourism Ireland works with the two tourist boards on the island, Fáilte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, who are responsible for product and enterprise development and marketing to tourism consumers within the island of Ireland.”

    NITB and Failte Ireland combine as a NORTH/SOUTH body to save money marketing Ireland abroad,

    Of course I fully undersatand that neither of you are in anyway bigoted and you both have a plan how NITB can save money by marketing inself abroad all by itself.

    Because not only does your cunning plan save loads of money but it also excludes themums and they’ve got that leprechaun lingo in their name init.


  • I’m not suggesting it’s the end of the Union, BonorLaw. How many Slugger commenters realise that Dublin officials are involved in policy and day-to-day decisions pertaining to policing and justice here?

  • BonarLaw


    don’t tell the Shinners- they won’t want to devolve it to the Alliance Party after all!

  • John East Belfast


    Considering the strength of the Euro at the minute v Sterling a joint marketing campaign in Euroland is actually not in NI’s interest at present.
    NITB should be running a marketing campaign along the lines of

    “Experience the beauty of Ireland for a fraction of the cost…”

    As I said I have no problem for co-operation in Win Win scenarios but in the end of the day we are fiscal competitors – something not lost on the ROI Finance Minister.

    These Cross Border Bodies are political contortions which on the most part have no commercial purpose and are on the whole a waste of tax payers money when it can be least afforded in either jurisdiction

  • BonarLaw, I think the Sinners would be more interested in reducing London’s role. It’s possible that that the JS role would continue without the Alliance Party even noticing. The latter didn’t kick up a fuss at the existence of Maryfield and Unionists didn’t seem to notice that the office had just been moved to the centre of Belfast.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    The economic arguements are wheeled out by either side to justify their ideology – such arguements simply back up entrenched positions.

    So having nailed my tricolur to the mast…

    it is clear that selling Ulster as Irish is far more benefical from a tourist angle than trying to sell it as British – and I certainly wouldnt advise sticking anything to do with Ulster Culture that concerned sectarian marches on any publicity material – unless it is aimed at the western side of Glasgow.

  • John East Belfast


    I never said anything about not selling Ulster as an Irish tourist destination – I just said that it should be sold as an Irish tourist destination with a Euro currency advantage.

    And I am not justifying ideology with economic arguments – on the contrary I am simply bring commercial reality to practical issues.

    If there is any ideology it is Cross Border which is implementing policy and creating structures with very dubious commercial benefits.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    Apologies, I wasnt really directing my remarks to you but just to the debate in general.

    The cross border elements of the GFA were not put there for economic reasons nor will they disappear because of them – though clearly they should be run as efficiently as possible.

  • mcgrath

    12.Master McGrath

    Woof! Usual high standard of engagement I see. Well done.

    Posted by David Vance on Nov 09, 2009 @ 09:40 PM

    As usual you are pathetically predictable. Let us know when you come up with any new ideas, meanwhile I’m hoping your broken record wears out, soon.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Hes’s Smelly McNasty likes to get his word in but, let’s be honest, he isn’t intellectually capable of having an argument. All he seems capable of doing is attempting to defend people who have already been proven to be, or convicted of being, senior commanding members of a criminal and terrorist organisation. While Adams might not have been convicted of murder I doubt there are too many who really believe his weasel words of denial. I would take his denial of membership with the same pinch of salt in which I treat how he told us that there was no sinn fein involvement in Columbia, that the bomb in Enniskillen was set off by the Army, that they had nothing to do with the robbery and murder in Newry, etc. Proven liar? You bet!

  • Intelligence Insider

    Ps, Smelly, just wondering who your handler is? Most people who put up the same sham fight that you do tend to be on our side. So just wondering who it is you give information about?

  • borderline

    David Vance

    “murder, mayhem, blitzkrieg”

    Blitzkrieg? Why, thank you!

    We’d certainly give Mickey’s Opel Ascona some stick headin’ into ‘Blayney.

  • fair_deal


    “but didn’t the unionist community agree to the terms of P&J in the GFA?”

    Errr no. I had a quick scan and this is what was said on the possible devolution of P&J in the Belfast Agreement:
    “7. The participants also note that the British Government remains ready in principle, with the broad support of the political parties, and after
    consultation, as appropriate, with the Irish Government, in the context of ongoing implementation of the relevant recommendations,to devolve responsibility for policing and justice issues.”

    St Andrews refers to community confidence as a precursor. The requirement to discuss and agree the administrative arrnagements has been done.

    I can’t see any reneging.