Given Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness’s co-opting of the Taoiseach when grandstanding at Tullamore, it’s worth noting this line from the joint statement by Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen yesterday.
The Prime Minister and Taoiseach agreed to work closely together, and with the parties, in the next few weeks to overcome the remaining obstacles to finding an agreed basis on which the devolution of justice and policing powers can take place at an early date. [added emphasis]
The DUP supports devolution without equivocation. The public will not easily forgive those who threaten the existence of the Assembly or whose words and actions display a couldnt care less attitude to whether the Assembly stands or falls. The DUP will play its full part in working the present arrangements but wish, in accordance with the St Andrews Agreement, to see those arrangements improved. The DUP want policing and justice functions devolved just as soon as we can gain the necessary level of community confidence. We have outlined the matters we feel – if resolved – can bring about that necessary level of confidence. Making the decision to devolve policing and justice functions will not be measured in years; it will be solely measured in whether outstanding issues are resolved and this can only be done in a climate free from threat.
Sinn Fein have now told us that the process is in “meltdown”, it is in “free-fall” and now they say unless their demands are met there will be “political consequences”. Sinn Fein is creating the very instability that many people believe is an obstacle to devolving more powers.
There is nothing new under the sun…
Sinn Fein don’t get their way so they whinge to the government; they threaten to bring down the institutions; the government seeks to appease them; Sinn Fein generates a press frenzy; they make inaccurate and provocative attacks on those who resist them; Sinn Fein heightens the crisis they created and demands the government steps in to sort it out in their favour.