Friday, 9 January 2009

Delaying the devolving

With the row over devolution of policing and justice parked for a while, the Assembly and Executive Review Committee is considering reports on the matter.

Member Jimmy Spratt said the committee’s work was ongoing with a report being considered and a second phase underway.

Alex Attwood, also a member, claimed that Sinn Féin and the DUP were stalling, and devolution of these powers could wait no longer.

Whether this means that at some future stage the issue will once again rear its head to cause an Executive stumble is unknown by all, but the longer the Committee deliberates the longer the DUP and Sinn Féin have to come up with an acceptable compromise for their constituencies.

And this doesn’t just mean nominating an Alliance Party member as justice minister – more the message that is palatable to party activists.

What’s the betting that the timing of this one is held until just after the European election; preserving the DUP’s line from Traditional Unionist Voice allegations of sell-out and keeping the Sinn Féin core support bought in?

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