OFMDFM abandon Draft Public Assemblies Bill?

The BBC report follows the lead given by the Northern Ireland First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, in blaming the Orange Order’s rejection of the proposals for the withdrawal of the draft Bill on Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests.

But abandoning that Bill conveniently avoids the First and deputy First Ministers having to fulfill their commitment to deliver in legislation the agreed outcomes of that working group – and their special advisers…

The legislation they proposed was, after all, “built on ignorance of the law, plain stupidity, arrogance, and worst of all, political expediency.”

And the draft Bill’s many critics have been lining up to point that out.

Abandoning the draft Bill means, of course, that we’ll not get to see those wonderful amendments they promised…

And as NI Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, has said, “It is absolutely not an option to leave a [Parades Commission] hole.”

But where does that leave the Hillsborough Agreement?  After all, that new legislation was “part of the outworking of the Hillsborough Agreement…”

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