Sunday, 7 September 2008
Following hot on the heels of his leader, Nigel Dodds has issued a press release denouncing any possibility whatsoever of devolving policing and justice to a Sinn Féin Minister. At one level this is marvelous spin. The DUP’s core support hear what they want to hear – a hard-line statement ruling out devolution of policing and justice. Many will fail to notice the caveat – to a Sinn Féin Minister. Given that the DUP and Sinn Féin have already agreed that the position should not initially be held be either of their parties this is an unnecessary caveat to insert – unless one also wanted to leave open the possibility of devolving policing and justice. Hence the press release also acts as a message to SF that the DUP are open to the idea and most importantly leaves no hostages to fortune for Jim Allister, the former DUP MEP to exploit.