Monday, 24 August 2009

Sir Reg shoulder charges McNarry, but he still thinks the Lady's for turning.

Eternally well-informed blogger, staff at bobballs’, assessment of the ‘Putting Things Right’ document was that it represented a mazy slaloming solo dribble by its author, David McNarry (the ‘a’ in that sentence is important). Certainly the Strangford MLA seemed either reluctant, or unable, to clarify a widely misinterpreted section, which pondered possible funding arrangements for devolved policing and justice. His party leader, Sir Reg Empey, has now returned from holiday and explained the disputed text’s significance in terms which this blog had insisted were perfectly obvious to anyone who cared to read the original. Less a brutal sliding tackle, propelling McNarry into the stand, than a subtle nudge of the shoulder, easing him off the ball. The Irish News reports,

“Sir Reg made it clear that the UUP was not putting off the devolution of policing and justice and that their position had been misinterpreted.

Instead the UUP has raised the possibility of London continuing for a period to handle the financial side of policing and justice even if the actual powers were devolved to the north.

“If we had a trial period of five years – then the Stormont budget would not be at risk,” he said.”

The rest of the paper’s discussion with Sir Reg contains good news, tempered by more disappointing detail. Conservatives and Unionists aspire to selecting a more representative stable of candidates, including more Catholics and women – good news. The scope for achieving this aim might be limited in the upcoming general election – bad news. Lady Hermon will not stand as an Ulster Unionist in the next election, unless she accepts the Conservative pact – good news. The party leadership is still holding out some faint hope that she will stand under that banner – bad news! Exercise some discipline Sir Reg. Mitigate the damage!


Anonymous said...

Why did Reg endorse the document immediately after its release only to back-track now?

Chekov said...

He's not actually backtracking on anything that was actually contained in the document. And can you point me in the direction of his endorsement?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Reg has back tracked, he has made it clear what the document says badly i.e it only refers to finance.

He did say it had some interesting comment and ideas, I seem to remember from somewhere.

Anonymous said...

BBC Website.

Also on the UUP Webpage we have statement defending the documents integrety from McNarry himself, Basil McCrea, Danny Kennedy and John McCallister. What does that say about their professionalism?