Woodward returns to Blair’s ‘process is the policy” line…

Just heard Shawn Woodward on the Today programme this morning returning to tough talk on the peace process. As a Minister, Slugger understands he is already treating his Tory opposite number, Owen Paterson, as his inevitable successor… For all the tough talk (unless you’re planning to cross back over Shawn ;-)), it won’t be his call as to what happens. Despite the destructive dynamic at the heart of the P&J debacle we have learned one thing: there is nothing HMG nor the Republic governments can do to put a deal back together if the local parties don’t want it. The near fatal attack on a GAA Catholic policemen with a Republican background was clearly a message being sent directly to Stormont. But is the answer evenmore top down pressure when there is little evidence that the bottom up dynamic is working? Whatever happens “process as the policy” is as dead as Tony Blair’s administration. And the ‘poisoned Belgium’ model of the GFA has visibly failed…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty