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Sunday, April 02, 2006


It's the constitution, stupid!!!

Politics in Northern Ireland is presently based on a stand off between two diametrically opposing views - those who accept the integrity of the United Kingdom and want to maintain our position within it versus those who see Northern Ireland as a failed political entity and wish speedily to remove it from the UK (and indeed the map) by facilitating absorbtion into the Irish Republic. Unsurprisingly, such fundamental divisions permeate through into unionist and nationalist world views.

Take this for example. The Northern Ireland Assembly is just one of a number of devolved assembly so beloved of NuLabour. Its' design was outlined in the Good Friday Agreement (aka the Belfast Agreement) but it only came into being when legislated for by parliament at Westminster. That parliament is sovereign over all things in the United Kingdom and has powers to alter or dispense with legislation at will. The fact that the 1998 Act reflects the Good Friday Agreement makes it no more immune from amendment (or eventually repeal) than, say, The Dangerous Dogs Act.

Perhaps once Mark Durkin and his party study the constitution of the state they wish to leave they will better understand that in order to provide Northern Ireland with workable devolution changes to the Assembly will be legislated for - regardless of what happened in a different political era.

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