Get on and seal the deal…

That is the message to civic and religious leaders from Secretary of State Shaun Woodward. Mr Woodward has been speaking to key decision-makers in the community at a reception in Hillsborough Castle. He wants influential voices in the community to tell politicians devolution must be completed. Mr Woodward reminded the DUP of the dangers of delaying the transfer of policing and justice powers. More to follow.

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  • BonarLaw

    That’s all right then. Let’s devolve P&J tomorrow.

    Who is sounding more desperate these days- the Deputy ot the Secretary of State?

  • It’s not unusual for New Labour politicians to ‘nudge’ civil society and NGOs in the hope that agendas can be moved along, with some additional political cover from the grassroots. It’s a trend you’ll see in relations between Labour and the climate change lobby in the UK, where Ministers who want to go the extra mile can be heard appealing to NGOs for cover. Here in Nor’n Ireland, no doubt, civil society and the commentariat will find 101 reasons to justify business as usual. The fact that Woodward is saying it doesn’t make a thing wrong in itself.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Robbo is now getting a taste of the pressure applied to Trimble as he tried to satisfy the contradictory requirements of the state to which he gave his allegiance and those in Unionism who didnt accept the new political dispensation post GFA. Lundification beckons.

    As Wee Davey quipped this afternoon he has, unlike Trimble to keep looking over both right shoulders at the TUV and the UUP – unless of course the canny Wee Reggie decides to make a strategic dash for the middle ground.

  • Pete Baker

    Where Hain lead, Woodward follows.

    We have seen this before, Sammy Mac. And more recently than you suggest.

    The only difference is Jonathan Powell is no longer writing Gerry’s speeches.

    Labour really are desperate for a ‘good’ news story..

  • Billy


    Do you ever consider the wider picture outside NI Unionism?

    I don’t think that the “good news” of devolution of P&J is going to boost Labour’s general election chances very much.

    The fact is that the DUP and Unionists in general seem to think that they have won the war with their veto over P&J.

    You seem to think that the UK + US govts will continue to pump money into the sponger NI economy while Unionists continue to do what they want when they want.

    The fact is that the DUP can prevent P&J being devolved.

    However, blatent sectarian demands like the Parades Commission or revisions to the Patten recommendations are being seen for what they are.

    As I said before, the vast majority of nationalists that I know would rather P&J wasn’t devolved than succumb to DUP sectarian blackmail.

    Frankly, the UK govt should have the balls to tell the DUP that the current financial offer has a finite time limit – no devolution by then and then it’s all off the table.

    I wonder how the PSNI and reserve staff would feel about that?

    The thing is that this would put the DUP in the same position that you love to crow about SF being in – they could whine all they want but do nothing.

    At then end of the day – the financial power lies with the UK (+ US) govts. If the DUP want to play sectarian wankers – that’s fine. There is no reason at all why the UK + other govts should subside their sponging – and if they choose not to do so – there is f**k all you, the DUP or anyone else can do about it.

    I hope the DUP are enjoying their moment because, given the current UK economic situation, massive cuts will have to be made by the next govt.

    British people won’t give a shit about cuts in the massive NI sponger subsidy. If the DUP + Unionists in general continue to act as they are – the miniscule amount of support that NI Unionism has in GB will decrease even further.

  • Dewi

    It’s getting absurd. Robinson et al are almost in a position where the devolution of P&J in any circumstance becomes a “defeat” for Unionism – which for the life of me I can’t understand.

  • igor

    “Jonathan Powell is no longer writing Gerry’s speeches”

    …. how do we know?

  • igor

    “blatent sectarian demands like the Parades Commission”

    ….you can argue that the establishment of the Commission was a blatant sectarian demand in the first place

  • igor

    “no devolution by then and then it’s all off the table”

    …. there’s just one teensie flaw in your logic. You assume that the DUP want devolution …why would they?

  • Panic, These Ones Likes It Up Them.

    Does it ever occur to Unionists that the British goverment and United Kingdom people may become ever so slightly exhausted with Unionists dragging this situation to failure.

    Its not as if they do not have previous form.

    Was the boy that cried Wolf called Peter Robinson.

  • fair_deal

    ROFLMAO. Playing the civic society card. The NIO are still using their 1998 playbook even though it stopped working years ago.

  • dub


    You and your ilk are making a much bigger mistake in assuming that nationalists could give 2 f’s about devolved p and j.

    GFA etc was an american british and dublin brokered compromise where full blooded consociationalism with equal power for nationalists and unionists with the british as a remote guarantor state was the deal. united ireland old style put to bed but a new ireland with a strong six county admministration dyed a considerable tinge of green. Unionists given principle of consent and no united ireland on the horizon.

    Gerry Adams went so far as to call it “renegotiating the Union”. As usual unionists were not listening.

    The problem with this deal is that it does indeed cement the Union for the forseeable future but it is not the Union that unionists know and love. In fact it is so foreign to them some of their lunatic fringe have even expressed a desire for a UI instead. But the Americans and British and Irish will not countenance back tracking on this deal. The beauty of it for Dublin and London is that it keeps the cesspit of ni politics out of their own national politics. The beauty for northern nationalists is that unionists of all shades cannot take it and they can spend the next 30 years watching the dellicious sight of unionism dying a death by a thousand cuts whilst they, the nationalists, go on to have an electoral majority in the six.

    A lot of southerners like myself will reap great pleasure from the spectacle too.

  • dub

    In 20 years time Turgon, Igor and co will,instead of regretting ,as they do now,the failure of unionism to embrace power sharing with the SDLP in the past, regret instead they did not sign up to a united ireland whilst it was still on offer. As usual this realisation will come very late in the day. It will probably be the last genuine realisation that unionism ever experiences.

  • igor

    Awww Dub, but me and my ilk know all that and more.

    What eventually happens on the Union will be decided in this little cesspit of politics. And those foreigners like yourself often look at this through the green tinted glasses handed out by SF and think that

    catholic = republican = vote for united Ireland

    but that equation doesn’t necessarily hold true. You also quaintly hold to the oursuns can out breed yorusuns thesis. Perhaps that is true but only time will tell.

    In the meantime chill, convince yourself that a UI is coming and start to save very very hard to pay the bills. Beside this one NAMA is a picnic

    Toodle pip old chap

  • igor

    Oh yes…and what have a i written that makes you assume that I am a unionist? Pointing out cant and hypocrisy in republican arguments does not equate with being a unionist