Finance Minister Nigel Dodds, in his usual eloquent manner on the television news recently, made significant statements regarding both the Northern Ireland economy and the devolution of political responsibility for policing powers.
Starting with the latter, he suggested that there was still insufficient trust for ‘policing’ to be devolved.
He then went on to emphasise that he would be giving priority to sustaining, as best he could, the economy of Northern Ireland.
It sounded as though in his mind the economy at this time was of prime importance.
Hence, if he feels that he will make a success of that, then why can he not anticipate support for the devolution of political power for policing as that, he seemed to be suggesting, would be a less onerous task than the one which he faces with the economy?
In another interview, the Chief Constable was right to indicate that sound policing requires the back-up of a sound representative political body in Parliament to give leadership and criticism — preferably constructive criticism — to the responsibilities of on-going policing.
Both Sinn Fein and the DUP would then be in a position to demonstrate whether they can be trusted with the support for this proposal which, most certainly, must be one of the most important conditions on which the Alliance agreement could be given.
The PSNI needs all the support going if it is to make a success of the challenges which confront it
New Ireland Group