In Scotland and in Wales the people are to be asked directly before any more power is gifted to local politicians. Here, the two main parties in the mandatory four party coalition go into a huddle behind closed doors and produce a less than transparent “agreement”. Then those same two parties engage in a campaign against anyone expressing doubts based on the actual performance of the dysfunctional Northern Ireland Executive to date. Then there’s the reported interest of unnamed US congressmen [Adds now named as
the usual suspects congressmen Peter King, Richard Neal, Joseph Crowley and Tim Murphy]. Not that the other parties in the NI Executive can actually vote down any proposal supported by those two parties – and in a cross community vote the Alliance Party’s votes still don’t count. And, after thanking the US Secretary of State for her kind phone call, the UUP leader Reg Empey issued a statement. As reported here
Empey said he appreciated the call from Mrs Clinton, but stressed that his party still intended to vote no on the proposal to transfer law and order responsibilities from London to Belfast in April. “She (Mrs Clinton) has always taken a very keen interest in Northern Ireland and I thanked her for the call,” he said. “Shes obviously very anxious to see a successful resolution but I explained the situation we faced. She was very pleasant and helpful and I think she understands our view that we should have been more involved (in the Hillsborough talks).” Empey said “nothing substantive” had developed over the weekend to address any of his partys concerns over the wide-ranging agreement on justice devolution and parades that was hammered out after 10 days of round-the-clock talks between Sinn Féin and the DUP at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down last month.