Jim Allister`s recent press release on the devolution of policing and justice is so full of holes I hardly know where to start.
1. `by surrendering to Sinn Fein’s key “Brits Out” demand over policing and justice.` – is Jim Allister saying Northern Irish people are not British? Was the previous Stormont Assembly with devolved policing less British than now when a local Northern Irish person was in charge of policing, as opposed to a Westminster viceroy like Secretary of State? I think not!
2.’Our strategy is for a new all-Ireland policing and justice system. That cannot be achieved without the transfer of policing and justice powers away from London’ – Quite true, but that is rather like saying that because we have devolution and a Northern Ireland Assembly as opposed to London direct rule we are closer to being governed by Dublin. The logic doesn`t stack up. Moving power to Belfast instead of London is not a Republican goal. It is rather like saying because someone lived in Birmingham and has moved to Belfast that it will lead to them living in Edinburgh….illogical.
3. `No Unionist should be delivering the Sinn Fein agenda. Period!` – Jim Allister seems to take the view that if Sinn Fein supports it then he is against it. Period! Myself, I prefer to analyse things and come to my own, hopefully, informed decision. As far as I can see the DUP as a devolutionist party has supported the devolution of policing in it`s manifesto`s, so long as the conditions are right and the manner is correct! I presume TUV as a devolutionist party support devolution of policing in a voluntary coalition Northern Ireland Assembly? The same voluntary coalition NI Assembly that Peter Robinson has publicly stated is the DUP`s final destination?
4. `control of policing and justice – by gifting it to an Executive, through which every key justice issue will have to pass, on which IRA/Sinn Fein will hold a power of absolute veto.` – Is this not a misrepresentation? Can Jim Allister point to one single piece of `Republican legislation` that has passed through the NI Assembly since devolution? I don`t think so. Why? Because of the veto. That means devolved policing will remain exactly as it is now until and unless a majority of Unionists (and a majority of Nationalists) vote for a change.
I came across tis recently: “a fanatic is one who cannot change his mind, and refuses to change the subject” – Winston Churchill