3/06/2008

Paisley-Policing and Justice

I was interested to see an Taoiseach Bertie Ahern draw a link between the possible visit of Elizabeth Windsor, Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed forces, and the devolution of Policing and Justice Powers.



Now let's leave the possible visit of Windsor aside because for me that is a separate issue. What is interesting is the dynamics now in play on the issue of Policing in the North.

The Irish government is obviously trying to use every influence, however pathetic, in order to get the DUP to play ball.

When I first heard that Paisley had been pushed by the DUP I began to think of the row over policing and justice powers.

Would Robinson prefer if they came in under the leadership of Ian Paisley? I believe that he would.

It would be easier for him to wipe his hands of the whole affair because at the end of the day they will have to be devolved. It's going to be a poison chalice for what ever Unionist leader finally agrees to them.

At the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis last week the delegates overwhelmingly supported my own Cumann's motion on the issue.

May is going to be a very interesting month for all concerned, Republicans are growing impatient with Unionist opposition to previously agreed positions, be that Policing and Justice or the Irish Language Act.

I expect considerable pressure to be placed upon the DUP by the Irish and British governments on this issue. The other player in all of this could be America. We have an investment conference here in May.

I have no doubt that investment from the USA will be dependent upon the DUP agreeing to Policing and Justice.

I wonder will old Paisley have the last laugh and leave this time bomb with Robinson or will a sacrifice on his part be linked to a possible rehabilitation of his son?

Unionist's should be prepared to open wide; there is a large dose of bitter medicine coming their way.

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