P&J devolution: dates and confidence

The Hillsbourough agreement foresees the cross community vote on the devolution of policing and justice as occurring on the 9th of March with power to be devolved on 12th of April. Clearly this is colossally before Lord Morrow’s timetable of not in the life time of this assembly and indeed just as premature for Gregory Campbell’s six months or six years. Once when the DUP were busy telling everyone that they would not be rushed or bounced into devolving P&J and that the Hillsborough Agreement put them under no obligation, they explained that devolution would only occur when there was sufficient community confidence.

One of the tests of community confidence was to be a resolution of the parading issue. The deadline for the vote on devolution is now less than two weeks away and yet we have seen no sign of the report of the parades working group which apparently reported to McGuinness and Robinson three days ago. The drafting of the bill to implement these agreed outcomes has supposedly already started. The draft bill is to be published in late March / early April. This is clearly after the vote on P&J and possibly even after it has been devolved. Therefore it seems most unlikely that any supposed victory for unionists over parading will be one of the things to ensure adequate community confidence.

In addition although immediately after the Hillsborough Agreement there were some meetings between the DUP and the loyal orders, there has been little evidence of any appetite by the DUP genuinely to assess community confidence. The strategy on tackling sectarianism has not been released either; instead there have been secret meetings, talk of the clever device and silence on the substance of the agreements. All this is somewhat shaky ground on which to build community confidence let alone assess it. Unless of course community confidence does not matter any more or unless the clever device really is that clever.

  • interested

    Once Unionism starts to see the DUP got a good deal Turgon!

    • There will be no sinn fein control of policing and justice.
    • There will be no SF Justice Minister.
    • There will be NO Irish Language Act.
    • There will be NO new North-South Bodies
    • The Parades Commission will not be in place next year.
    • Outstanding Issues such as Education will be addressed and the working of Government will be improved.
    • Additional resources for the Police and the Courts 1.1 Billion
    • 400 million for hearing loss claims
    • Part Time Reserve recognition payment 22 million
    • PPW to be retained for former officers
    • Parades There will be no jumping ahead – parades will be completed in the same way as policing. There is a timetable for parades legislation to be completed.
    • Failure of other parties to keep their commitments will have consequences.

  • Turgon

    interested,
    I remember those sort of explanations of DUP victories before the European election; the electorate then gave their decision regarding their confidence in the DUP.

  • Rory Carr

    It is not, Turgon that “community confidence does not matter any more” since it never mattered in the first place, the very concept of such a precondition being itself the “clever device” by which the DUP hoped to frustrate the agreement to the devolution of policing and justice to which they bound themselves at St Andrews.

    Sinn Féin simply exercised great tolerance and understanding in allowing the DUP time to deal with their backwoodsmen, including the TUV rump until that tolerance was stretched to its limit when they simply called “Foul!” and at Hillsborough the referee, Brown and his assistant referee, Cowan waved the red card and Sinn Féin took the penalty and scored.

    As to any hope of a “victory for unionists over parading” being the measure of that “community confidence”, quite apart from being a total no-go, do you not see how absolutely sectarian such a demand would be and quite how intolerable? It really sounds like some crude demand of the worst aspects of militant loyalism from the 1920’s. There will be no going back to reintroducing the imposition of provocative Orange parades in areas of a manifestly nationalist population. Nor should there be. Nor should any person with the least concern for peace and harmony wish it otherwise.

  • Mark McGregor

    There will be no going back to reintroducing the imposition of provocative Orange parades in areas of a manifestly nationalist population.

    Says Mr Carr the day before an Orange Parade that will encircle the people of Short Strand with associated movement restrictions and massive PSNI presence for much of their Saturday.

  • Harry J

    yet we have seen no sign of the report of the parades working group which apparently reported to McGuinness and Robinson three days ago…

    wow a whole 3 days…
    ———————-

    I remember those sort of explanations of DUP victories before the European election; the electorate then gave their decision regarding their confidence in the DUP.
    Posted by Turgon on Feb 26, 2010 @ 08:33 PM

    wasnt that the election the one where Jim Allister became the only sitting ulster MEP ever to lose their seat? and that was before the TUV started petitions to release loyalist killers or believed the PSNI to be the Gestapo

  • Harry J

    there will be orange feet on both the garvaghy and ormeau road, the bigots who come out to be offended will not be allowed to force protestants off theroads

  • interested

    Turgon

    Have you ever got anything good to say about any other Unionist, you slag your own community more than the real enemy Sinn Fein! You forgot to mention your party leader helped to draw up the DUPs current position on P&J and voted for it when in the DUP so you must support it?

  • Harry J

    Turgons just upset because the TUV havent been able to secure the release of any loyalist killers yet.

  • West Sider

    Interested

    be good because Santa is always watching!

    Turgon

    the sectarian Orange Order need to have manners put on them, continually. In our society we have to be alert to sources of bigotry if we are to make our political institutions work and for civic society to prevail over a divided one, and the OO are a virus in that system.

    They need to be rebuked, disparaged and ridiculed. Anyone who is a member and by extension accepts their archaic and anachronistic and vile divisive rules need to see a mental health professional rather than whatever replaces the parades commission.

    The Orange Order may contain the odd decent braindead person who are content to march through areas wherein they’re welcome (sooo sad) – but they are a shower of shite in human form as far as I’m concerned when they want to march through areas where they’re regarded as a notch below paedophiles.

    Why do they do it? Normal, rational, mentally healthy people don’t impose themselves in situations where they are despised and loathed for their outdated and toxic beliefs.

    The OO need to understand that. When they’re ironing their shirts and polishing their shoes and brushing fluff from their sashes they need to know this: they are as welcome in nationalist areas as the leisure-wear lumpenproletariat grease-bag, blue-bag spides who gather at street corners.

    That’s their level and that’s how we regard them – only it’s even more revolting as they carry the bible and tell us they are men and women of the cloth.

    I have a message for them from the Catholic and – given Jackie McDonald and Dawn Purvis’s recent views – Protestant secualr people: fuck off you bible thumping, draft dodging, yellow-bellied wankers.

  • Turgon,

    To be fair to the DUP if the Iris issue had not kicked in when it did the STA confidence trick might have had more chance of success in frustrating SF requirement for the transfer of Police.

    In the Hillsborough negotiations SF seemed happy to allow the DUP to talk up the replacement of the parades commission as a victory for Unionism until such time as the DUP had signed on the dotted line and then suddenly SF gave their version of events – namely that any new parading arrangments would actually rule out contentious parades.

    The STA confidence trick clause allowed the DUP to define when the threshold for that Unionist confidence has been met and with the limited room for manouvere they now have they will surely claim that the pending replacement of the Parades commission will do just that.

    But this was not how it was supposed to be.

  • RepublicanStones

    Harr J which is more important to the OO…

    Marching where they have marched for the past 20 or 30 years

    or

    Marching in an area which is populated by its own supporters and members

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “Says Mr Carr the day before an Orange Parade that will encircle the people of Short Strand with associated movement restrictions and massive PSNI presence for much of their Saturday.”

    Posted by Mark McGregor on Feb 26, 2010 @ 08:53 PM

    But you see Mark, most people in Short Strand are smart enough not to raise tensions in the area (well, since the IRA finally gave up on trying to force the protestant pensioners from Cluan Place to claim more houses for Nationalists).

    They happily walk out onto Unionist dominated Ravenhill, Woodstock, Castlereagh, Albertbridge and Newtownards Roads to do their shopping, go to the doctor, walk the dog and don’t hear a single voice against it (as it should be). Opposing Orange marches down Newtownards Road (where not a single Short Strand house can even see the road) would only ensure Loyalists start opposing Nationalists walking on ‘their’ roads. Two wrongs don’t make a right but that is exactly what would happen.

    East Belfast Unionists don’t seek to demand who has or has not got the right to walk on ‘their’ roads – unlike some communities in Northern Ireland.

    While I’m on the subject – compare the treatment of the residents of an enclave where the residents need to go outside their area for amenities and services (Short Strand/East Belfast) to another enclave where the residents need to go outside their area for amenities and services (Glenbryn/Ardoyne shops). It’s amazing how Nationalists can behave when the shoe is on the other foot and they are in the majority.

  • jfcb

    So you would have no proplem with a republican band & its supporters marching up the Albertbridge rd

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Well that’s the exact same question I put to every Unionist I meet who believes the Loyal Orders have a right to march on any road in NI. If you want to have a march on Garvaghy Road would you accept a Hibernian march on YOUR street? Normally makes them think for a few seconds.

    In what circumstances does the Republican band you mention march up the Albertbridge Road?

    Are they walking to a church service?
    Are they commemorating soldiers who have died in a war? (And I mean a real war, not blowing up pensioners and shooting kids)
    Is the band glorifying IRA terrorists?
    Will they be playing pro-IRA songs praising murder and sectarian violence?
    Is the Albertbridge Road a route they have been walking annually for over 200 years?
    Is it the quickest and most direct route to where they are going?

    There’s a difference between a long established annual church service led by a band playing hymns and one of those embarrassing Republican bands who look like they learnt to march in the dark.

  • Harry J

    I have a message for them from the Catholic and – given Jackie McDonald and Dawn Purvis’s recent views ..,,,

    ah the views of terriorts and their supporters

  • Harry J

    #

    Harr J which is more important to the OO…

    Marching where they have marched for the past 20 or 30 years

    or

    Marching in an area which is populated by its own supporters and members
    Posted by RepublicanStones on Feb 27, 2010 @ 12:03 AM

    both are equally important, we need to face down the bigots who live on garvaghy and ormeau roads

  • Harry J

    In the Hillsborough negotiations SF seemed happy to allow the DUP to talk up the replacement of the parades commission as a victory for Unionism until such time as the DUP had signed on the dotted line and then suddenly SF gave their version of events -..

    sinn fein will do as required, if parades are not acceptable then no P+J

  • Harry J

    If you want to have a march on Garvaghy Road would you accept a Hibernian march on YOUR street?

    Go for it, ill just ignore them

  • Harry J,

    Police and Justice will already be devolved before anyone can judge whether the new parading arrangements will suit either the paraders or those trying to stop them.

    The DUP will then have to collpase the Assembly and face an election in which the will probably do badly – meaning that they have now got nothing to threaten SF with apart from their own demise.

  • jfcb

    “In what circumstances does the Republican band you mention march up the Albertbridge rd”
    can you honestly see any circumstance a republican band could march up the Albertbridge rd – even if it was singing hymns or going to church.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Well I know that the east Belfast Unionists who live on three sides of the Short Strand have no problem with it’s residents working, shopping and passing through ‘their’ areas on a daily basis. Compare that to the treatment Glenbryn residents receive whilst trying to shop or use amenities at the Ardoyne shops or the small isolated Unionist community in Suffolk receives in west Belfast.

    Based on that comparison it would not seem too outlandish for a peaceful, religious, catholic march to take place in east Belfast if it had been an annual event for hundreds of years. After all, weddings, funerals and other religious gatherings are conducted on a weekly basis at the catholic church on Woodstock Road without an eyelid batted.

    And yes, that would be the catholic chapel on loyalist Woodstock Road which survived The Troubles without a mark. Pity the same can’t be said for Orange Halls in Whitewell, Ballycastle, Rasharkin, Keady, Dunloy, etc, etc, etc which are still being attacked and vandalised on a weekly basis.

  • Harry J

    Harry J,

    Police and Justice will already be devolved before anyone can judge whether the new parading arrangements will suit either the paraders or those trying to stop them.

    the DUP will have the report and see the leglislation before P+J is devolved, if the leglislation is not passed then the assembly falls , simples

  • slug

    Stephen and others

    A visit to the village of Dunloy is indeed instructive. The Presbyerian Church – battered. The Orange Hall – battered. And the protestant community not allowed to have such thing as a parade from one to the other.

  • Harry J,

    “the DUP will have the report and see the leglislation before P+J is devolved, if the leglislation is not passed then the assembly falls , simples ”

    You are, my good man, missing the point I was making, the report and legislation will allow both SF and the DUP to both claim that when implemented there will be OR will not be contentious parades. The DUP will also sell this ‘Unionist gain’ as the necessary ingredient to magic up the Unionist confidence to allow Police and Justice to be devolved.

    The DUP STA confidence clause has morphed from a secret and clever plan that was designed to outfox SF into a clever confidence trick to outfox their own hardliners and supporters to get passed the Westminster election with a minimum of electoral damage.

  • Rory Carr

    My response to your last paragraph above, Moderate Unionist, is, “Quite so!”. It is simply a continuation of British government long-term strategy for the last 40 years and more which is simply, “To sell the Proddies down the river with the minimum of fuss”.

    There have, needless to say, been some hiccups in this strategy along the way but yet it remains in place and on course.

  • jfcb

    These hymn singing Orange marchers with non sectarian loyalist followers on route to church – sounds like a lovely sunday bbc costume drama – but definatly not reality- I live in north Belfast & know what its like in july in the Westland , Shore rd & Tigers bay.
    Get real

  • ardmaj55

    Moderate unionist [10]
    You have assessed that very accurately. The whole ‘community confidence’ device, has been exposed as just that, a confidence trick. The DUP gave themselves the right of ‘judge jury and executioner. They would get to call it when that confidence would be met. Now gregory is going to have to explain what he meant by community’ to DUP voters, and at some length of comic surrealism. The vote on P&J will have taken place and the dirty dozen will be left with nothing to show for months and months of stalling. They must be cursing Iris now, since, as you say, if it hadn’t been for her, the stalling could have worked. The next target for SF is the shrine at the maze, which poots has admitted, is still a listed building and by it’s survival, a shrine to hunger strikers, and no stadium will be built there. the worst of both worlds for DUP bigots.

  • ardmaj55

    Harry J [22,p1]
    You’re either ignoring, or are in denial about, the element at hillsboro which is NOT in the agreement. That is that the DUP will have been told bluntly by Brown and Cowen that if they pull down the agreement over parades [and with the result, as you put it ‘the assembly falls,]
    the upshot of that will be, not elections but direct rule returning, and the fat salaries and double jobbing replaced by ‘no jobbing’ at all for many of them.
    Do you think the greedy as well as dirty dozen will put the Orangemen before themselves. I think not. They’ll explain later to the orangemen the parades issue will dealt with ‘later.

  • ardmaj55

    Moderate unionist [24] thanks for confirming the theory i postede here a couple of weeks ago. i was beginning to think i’d missed something. Of course, this ‘clever trick was switched from SF after Robbo failed to get past the election withoput P&J, he then turned it on his own dirty dozen and after the election was safely out of the way, Robbo would ask them if they really wanted to bring the whole circus down knowing the govt would likely pull the plug completely. TYurkey’s don’t vote for xmas, even to help the oo.

  • ardmaj55

    West sider [9] ‘….need to see a mental health professional…
    Perhaps, West sider, when Iris ‘recovers’, she might be able to help the Orangemen if there’s another ‘lovely psychiatrist’ in her office who could cure them of their vile neurotic obsession with going where there not wanted. Somehow i doubt it, since Iris will remain indisposed until the calls for her to talk about her business dealings subside.

  • bohereen

    Dear God,
    Please deliver us from

    the D of P&J.