“the dissidents themselves are actually attacking the direct local accountability institutions”

BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport has been properly sceptical before of the suggestion that “having a local Justice Minister might dampen down any dissident violence”. And, following the weekend car bomb attack on the Policing Board headquarters, on today’s Stormont Live he put one of his “stupid” questions to Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly.

“Would it really make that much of a difference? Because the dissidents have now directly targeted the Policing Board – which is a symbol of local politicians keeping the police accountable. And, really, if we were to have, say, an Alliance Justice Minister that would just be more of the same. So the dissidents themselves are actually attacking the direct local accountability institutions we already have.”