AS The Clash so memorably sang in their cover of the Sonny Curtis song, ‘I needed money ‘cause I has none; I fought the law, and the law won’; so our political classes have been struggling with the concept of devolving policing and justice when Treasury purse strings are tied tighter than ever.
But wait…there is a bank of Yanks waiting to plough their investment into our ‘wee country’ as soon as these powers are devolved to Northern Ireland.
According to the logic of Shaun Woodward, if policing and justice is devolved, hordes of US investors will come storming across the Atlantic, wallets stuffed with cash ready to set up shop in every hole in the hedge. As soon as PSNI officers can gaze affectionately upon their new masters in Parliament Buildings the world will be set to rights.
Our ever beneficent Secretary of State is so confident that he told the Labour conference that US Secretary of State Hilary ‘I’m not just Bill’s wife’ Clinton will be gracing us with her presence.
So, let’s get this straight. This week the Conservatives are holding their party conference in Manchester. It just so happens that Gordon Brown is be coming across to Northern Ireland this same week to ‘bash some heads together’ and get devolution of policing and justice well and truly sorted. Of course, that won’t steal any headlines from the Tories…
And, should Hilary rock up with investment in hand a week or so later, who’s going to be grabbing headlines again.
Stage management? Chance would be a fine thing.