August 16, 2013

Liam Clarke - Statesman Wanted

Liam Clarke said in the Belfast Telegraph:
"Leadership is not all down to Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness, those further down the party hierarchy who did grab the microphone could have spoken more helpfully.

Anyone who knows Belfast and knows Belfast politics could see, tragically, this was coming down the line," Christopher Stalford, the DUP deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, said of Friday's rioting. His fatalistic, hopeless words, and his decision to put all the blame on the legally constituted Parades Commission rather than the law breakers, didn't just go out to a UK-wide audience on Radio 4, they were picked up in America and elsewhere.

In the end it fell to Theresa Villiers, the Secretary of State, and Matt Baggott, the Chief Constable, to try and halt the drift.

Both spoke strongly and unequivocally against the violence and warned of consequences for those involved.

They filled a vacuum, but they shouldn't have had to. Neither of them was elected here. The fact that they had to hold the ring will make many question the overall value of the devolved settlement which is now in place." 

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