Groundhog Day 2: Policing & Justice in NI

You may or may not realise it but Tuesday, 2nd February 2010 is in fact Groundhog Day.

At least according to the ever accurate and academically sound Wikipedia.

We are in the last run of the talks at Hillsborough which is supposed to give us the finalisation of Devolution to Northern Ireland.  Gregory Campbell (DUP MLA and MP) is suggesting the possibility of a referendum to quantify public confidence in the process.  Gerry Adams thought the idea was 'cool' as it would involve the likes of the Garvaghy Road residents telling the DUP that they can go ahead and devolve P&J. Ooooh, saucer of milk?

I think the real issue underlying Groundhog Day at Hillsborough is electoral cover for DUP & Sinn Fein.  They can not be seen to be giving in to each other too soon.  Though i think the hardest discussions have already happened before Christmas.  A referendum would give them all the cover they need to progress.  However, one thing to keep in mind is the number of people who voted for the Agreement in the referendum in 1998 and slipped back to mow their gardens like horticultural ninjas when it came to actually voting for the parties.

We await with a bit more baited breath to see what happens on Groundhog Day.  

Though it would have been more poignant for the deal to have been 'done' on Holocaust Day, as a significant move for continued peace, than Groundhog Day, which sums up our politics here quite well.



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