The resignation that never was…

I had suggested, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that the numerous reports of Gerry Adams’ “formal” resignation as the MP for west Belfast meant that he had applied to become a paid officer of the Crown.

That was because an MP cannot simply resign.   A parliamentary seat is deemed to be a position of trust which can only be vacated by death, expulsion, or disqualification.

But Sinn Féin sources evidently told Mark Devenport otherwise…   Although it’s worth noting that becoming a TD is not grounds for disqualification.

Over at the BBC Newsnight blog, Michael Crick suggested that this must have meant that Adams had made British Parliamentary history.  Or that the Speaker had set a most unusual, and significant, precedent by accepting his resignation.

And Michael Crick has now added an update to his post

I’ve just asked a senior Parliamentary official whether Gerry Adams is still an MP.

“At the last count, yes he is,” he told me.

It’s all governed by the Parliamentary bible Erskine May, it seems, and the following section:

“It is a settled principle of parliamentary law that a Member, after he is duly chosen, cannot relinquish his seat; and, in order to evade this restriction, a Member who wishes to retire accepts office under the Crown, which legally vacates his seat and obliges the House to order a new writ.”

So in British law, Gerry Adams is still an MP [the MP for west Belfast], whether he wants to be or not.

Adds  So the self-declared “opera-buff subversive” does have a “parachute” after all…

A full-time MP in Belfast West is, [Adams] says, essential. “The six most deprived wards in this part of the island are in this constituency, so you need to be pushing and pressing on equality and social issues.” He got more than 70% of the vote here at last year’s election, and is confident Sinn Finn can retain it at a byelection. He is less certain of winning Louth, but didn’t want to retain Belfast West as a fallback. “It isn’t a comfortable thing to leave arguably the safest seat in the galaxy, but I wanted to do that as an earnest of my intention to the people in the constituency of Louth and East Meath. I wanted to say to them, ‘I’m here and I have no parachute.'”

Further Update From Michael Crick’s blog

Update at 1915:

The Speaker’s office have been in touch: Gerry Adams remains a Member of Parliament unless or until he applies to the Chancellor for an office of profit under the Crown.

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  • JH

    Withdraw that, Madam.

  • pippakin

    Does anyone actually apply for the position. I always assumed that when an MP resigned or was pushed the speaker had a quick flick through his card index and filed him/her under the Chiltern Hundreds.

  • Pete Baker

    Pippakin

    Possibly. But it seems that Gerry, or Sinn Féin, may have informed the Speaker that no such office would be accepted.

    And, according to the relevant legislation, an MP cannot be compelled to disqualify himself by accepting such an office.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Its the way things are done, he can apply for the position and resign in protest within a nano-second if he really wants, if he want to keep his fingers crossed during that period so be it!
    So far as I know only a seat in the lords automatically dis-barrs you from Westminster but his problem could be if the resignation process is not gone through the Dial might not let him take his seat, standing up for a principle over a technicality might play to some, but I think the Louth voters are in more serious mood these days and not in the mood for playing games.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Does anyone actually apply for the position

    Yes, by writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    I always assumed that when an MP resigned or was pushed the speaker had a quick flick through his card index and filed him/her under the Chiltern Hundreds.

    It’s not the Speaker doing it, although no doubt the Speaker closely co-ordinates with the Treasury.

    David Boothroyd pointed out on one of the comments that Gerry Adams could easily get himself disqualified by turning up to speak in the Commons without taking the oath. This would be a nice way of avoiding breaching any SF traditions, although it would involve Gerry entering the Commons and being recorded in Hansard, which would make history as the first ever SF MP to do so.

  • Comrade Stalin

    So far as I know only a seat in the lords automatically dis-barrs you from Westminster

    Lord Adams of Turf Lodge ? I like it.

  • Is there a problem?

    Gerry was never in the IRA.

    Gerry was never in the House of Commons.

    Gerry was never in the Louth constituency for voter registration.

    As the man himself frequently says “my position is consistent…”

  • “somewhat tongue-in-cheek”

    Is this a first for your blogs on SF, Pete 😉

  • George

    Does it actually matter? Adams can still become a TD so it is irrelevant what happens to his Westminster seat.

    It’s hardly going to affect SF’s chance of retaining West Belfast whenever the election is held if it did come to pass that he remained the MP there until the next election.

  • Maybe Mr Adams could persuade the house to disqualify him on the grounds that he was abstentialist and never took his seat. That would work, wouldn’t it?

    (and set a precident to also disqualify all other SF MPs)

  • Comrade Stalin

    Does it actually matter? Adams can still become a TD so it is irrelevant what happens to his Westminster seat.

    Wrong. He can’t become a TD while an MP. Oireachtas rules.

    Stephen:

    Maybe Mr Adams could persuade the house to disqualify him on the grounds that he was abstentialist and never took his seat. That would work, wouldn’t it?

    That would require legislation. Not impossible. I’d certainly pay to see an “Act for the expulsion of Gerry Adams” reach Royal Assent.

  • George

    Comrade,
    which rule would that be then?

  • Sorry to come late to what looks like a fine party.

    Am I alone in recalling that, back in 1982, Seamus Mallon went to the European Court of Human Rights and lost his appeal against disqualification from the NI Assembly, because he was also a member of the Seanad?

    I think the 1998 Northern Ireland Act disqualifies a member of Dáil Éireann from sitting in the Assembly. However, I believe the [UK] 2000 Disqualifications Act amended the previous legislation to allow common membership of the Dáil and the Commons. The problem until then was (the Republic of) Ireland left the Commonwealth in 1949. This created a no-man’s-land where an Irish citizen was/was not an “alien”: members of Commonwealth legislatures are OK in Westminster, “aliens” are not.

    I bet Adams has taken some very detailed (and very expensive) advice from constitutional lawyers.

  • Drumlins Rock

    If I was a Louth voter reading all this the phrase “fiddling while Rome burns” springs to mind, he will probably still get elected ok but will look a right prat if he cant take his seat or even as the time draws close it appears he will be unable to take his seat, its stupid trivia but the media loves it because of that, and it will make SF look like amateurs once again, not what they want.
    Remember as I said before he can resign the Northstead Manorship the very second he receives it, so what some die hards will be disgusted but he should live in the real world, the rules may be silly (although with a good principle at its root) but they have worked for nearly 400yrs and are hardly likely to be changed for a man who is connected with those who murdered an MP in the precincts and blew up the ruling party’s conference hotel.

  • I guess that means if the good people of Louth oblige, Adams can take his pick. If they do the proper thing, he keeps his Westminster non-job.

  • Pete Baker

    Adds So the self-declared “opera-buff subversive” does have a “parachute” after all…

    A full-time MP in Belfast West is, [Adams] says, essential. “The six most deprived wards in this part of the island are in this constituency, so you need to be pushing and pressing on equality and social issues.” He got more than 70% of the vote here at last year’s election, and is confident Sinn Finn can retain it at a byelection. He is less certain of winning Louth, but didn’t want to retain Belfast West as a fallback. “It isn’t a comfortable thing to leave arguably the safest seat in the galaxy, but I wanted to do that as an earnest of my intention to the people in the constituency of Louth and East Meath. I wanted to say to them, ‘I’m here and I have no parachute.'”

  • George

    Comrade,
    I ask because to the best of my knowledge the Constitution is clear on this:

    “Every citizen without distinction of sex who has reached the age of twenty-one years, and who is not placed under disability or incapacity by this Constitution or by law, shall be eligible for membership of Dáil Éireann.”

    The only constitutional bars are citizenship, age, incapacity or disability. The statutory ones are if:

    – You are a member of a local authority
    – You are a member of the European Commission or are a judge, advocate general or registrar of the European Court of Justice
    – You are a member of the Court of Auditors of the European Community
    – You are a member of the Garda Siochana
    – You are a full-time member of the Defence Forces
    – You are a civil servant and it does not specifically state in your contract of employment that you may be a member of the Dáil
    – You are presently in prison serving a term greater than 6 months
    – You are an undischarged bankrupt
    – You are the President, a member of the Seanad, the Comptroller and Auditor General or a Judge.

    None of these apply to Adams but if you know of another rule that does let me know.

    Ironically, he would also have to take an oath that he will take his seat in Dáil Éireann as otherwise you are not even allowed stand. That’s been in place for over 80 years.

  • Nailed it!

    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snpc-03221.pdf

    Until the Disqualifications Act 2000, only members of other Commonwealth legislatures were qualified to sit in the House of Commons. The Republic of Ireland left the Commonwealth in 1949, and although there have been press reports that it is considering rejoining no initiative in this direction is expected in the near future. The Disqualification Act amended section 1 of the 1975 Act so that members of the legislature in Ireland are also eligible to sit in the Commons. In practice members of legislatures outside the Commonwealth would also certainly be aliens, and therefore not eligible for membership of the Commons anyway. The Republic of Ireland is in an anomalous position in that its citizens are not ‘aliens’ for electoral purposes, and yet it is not a member of the Commonwealth. Irish citizens may stand for and vote in all types of UK elections as long as they fulfil the relevant residence requirements. British citizens may vote in Irish elections, if resident there.
    The Northern Ireland Act 1998 also disqualified members of the Dail (the Irish lower house) from sitting in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Under s36(5) Members of the Seanad (upper house) were however made eligible. In 1982 Seamus Mallon had lost a case in the ECHR against his disqualification as member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, due to his membership of the Seanad. The Disqualifications Act repealed s36(5) as unnecessary following amendment to the 1975 Act and thus allows both members of the Dail and Seanad to be members of the Commons.Phew! Wonderful engine, Google.

  • JimRoche

    All the members of the First Dail were elected abstentionist MPs. There is no issue.

    MPs are not excluded from taking Dail seats. If there is an issue on the British side it is for them to sort out.

  • And the [blockquote] function beat me there, despite showing up in the preview.

  • Pete Baker

    Malcolm

    The amended UK Disqualification Act is linked in the original post.

  • Frame

    Why did the future Lord Divis not provide for Arthur Morgan TD to succeed him in West Belfast thus creating the seamless cross-border arrangements he is trying to illustrate?

  • Drumlins Rock

    George, read the constitution, you seem to be right!
    so how did the story that he would not be allowed to take a dual seat come about?

    (btw it dosn’t let him fully of the hook as he said he would resign and he hasn’t)

  • Just a quick scan of the Internet reveals

    The British House of Commons (Disqualification) Act 1975 disqualifies a large number of public office holders. The Disqualification Act 2000 amended section 1 of the 1975 Act so that members of the legislature in Ireland are also eligible to sit in the Commons.

    Put this together with Jim Roche’s comment and it covers all angles.

    Me I would have preferred Gerry to be in limbo or worse.

  • George

    Drumlins Rock,
    maybe people just assumed that MPs couldn’t sit in the Dáil because of the blocks on members of the Dáil sitting in the Assembly?

    I’ve never heard of any such bars so was surprised to see it raised on this thread.

    The statutory bars to Dáil membership are covered by the Electoral Act, 1992.

    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1992/en/act/pub/0023/sec0041.html#sec41

  • Comrade Stalin

    George,

    Ooops. I’m guilty as charged of mindlessly repeating what others have been saying. It looks like you are right.

  • David Boothroyd

    Certainly, if Gerry Adams is appointed to any of the offices listed in Schedule 1 of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975, that would vacate his seat – but surely the same objection would apply as apparently prevent him becoming Steward of the Manor of Northstead? They are all British government posts.

    JimRoche: As all Irish MPs were invited to the First Dáil, it also included the many Unionists from Ulster and two from Trinity College. They all got their invitations, elegantly set out in Irish. Carson reportedly had his framed. Arguably the Unionists became abstentionist members of Dáil Eireann.

  • Munsterview

    George : “Ironically, he would also have to take an oath that he will take his seat in Dáil Éireann as otherwise you are not even allowed stand. That’s been in place for over 80 years…….”

    Cite constitutional please as you seem to have the rest.

  • There will be a story in the Tele about how Adams is getting around this in the morning. I wouldn’t want to spoil it, but it looks like someone is helping him out with the formalities.

  • Belfast Gonzo @ 2:09 am:

    Ah, yes! It looks as if Speaker Bercow has been advised to accept a letter of resignation and get everybody off the hook.

    An interesting development: one aspect of Commons procedure has been allowed to enter the mid-19th century. Next time, by e-mail? Sometime in the next century, by tweet?

    If I failed to note a previous hot-link and regurgitate old tat, apologies. The brain doesn’t work so fast these days (and it had been a liquid lunch at the King and Tinker, then a nice bottle at dinner).

  • George

    Munsterview,
    it’s an oath dating back to 1927:

    http://acts2.oireachtas.ie/zza33y1927.2.html

  • Cynic2

    Bit weak on the planning ion this one Gerry. Almost as good as the FF reshuffle

  • Rory Carr

    Malcolm Redfellow @ 25 January 2011 at 5:28 am confirms
    Belfast Gonzo @ 2:09 am:

    Ah, yes! It looks as if Speaker Bercow has been advised to accept a letter of resignation and get everybody off the hook.

    which bears out my (much) earlier assertion of 21 January 2011 at 6:11 pm in reply to Cynic2:

    It’s even more simple than you think, Cynic 2. Adams has already resigned. Job done.

    If some bizarre procedure is required to satisfy Westminster tradition then it will be the Speaker, or Leader of the House, or Sergant-at-Arms, or whatever eminent Westminster box-wallah charged with such frippery, who will have to jump throught the necessary hoops to preserve their sense of how things ought to be.

    What will happen is simply that what is required to be done to effect resignation will simply be deemed to have been done.

    Can I now feel free to bask in that “I told you so” moment ?

  • Cynic2

    If Speaker Bercow does its another nail in his own political coffin. He’s fast burning up what little support he has left

  • Rory Carr

    Now, now, Cynic 2, that’s just sour grapes and most unbecoming of you.

    In any case, on this occasion, the House will have cause to be grateful to the Speaker for “taking one for the team” by getting them all out this mess in which moribund tradition has placed them.

  • 241934 john brennan

    All this dancing on the head of a constitutional pin is a wee bit of an irrelevant distraction. Has no one noticed that Gerry and other election candidates have stopped banging the unity drum – is this not a more serious matter, disqualifying them from Sinn Fein?

  • Rory Carr

    It might seem like an irrelevant distraction, John, but you’ve got to admit that it was great fun watching the “Get-Gerry-at-all-cost” camp squirming around in the graveyard mulch of British tradition and coming up with nothing but muck on their snouts.

  • Drumlins Rock

    ack John, complaining about that amounts to splitting hairs on the head of the dancer on the head of the pin.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Ohh pooooorrr Gerry, Rory get over the persecution complex, its the sort of geeky tittle tattle that the press and bloggers love, dosnt matter if it was Gerry, Ian, Slyvia whoever, btw. are you sure its all been sorted? There could be grounds for a legal challenge here!

  • Pete Baker

    Further Update From Michael Crick’s blog

    Update at 1915:

    The Speaker’s office have been in touch: Gerry Adams remains a Member of Parliament unless or until he applies to the Chancellor for an office of profit under the Crown.

  • Cynic2

    Looks like Bercow may not be as stupid as you suggest Rory. cavorting in muck is dangerous. you get splashed.

    I look forward to Gerry begging Liz for release

  • Rory Carr

    Nice little comment here from one of the correspondents (Stannilic) in reply to Michael Crick’s piece:

    “So Mr. Adams writing a wee letter to Mr.Bercow to end this farce is just being polite.

    The question we should all be asking is how come it is former terrorists who know how to be polite rather than the police who would climb into bed with your wife without so much as a by your leave.”

  • Fionn

    good grief a second makey-uppy blog on the same subject, guess news of whats in Gerry’s sandwiches these days is hard to come by, I’ve been told by his MI5 handler its ham and mustard today.

    Is there a difference in being an MP, Member of Parliment, and being a member of the House of Commons, guessing there is as Gerry is\was an MP, its suggested that to lose his MP’ness he should try to speak in the Commons, which he’s not allowed to, point is what Pete keeps posting is the quaint terms for resigning as a Member of the House of Commons, if he’s a member and therefore needs to resign from the Commons than he would be allowed to speak there, if he’s not a member then he doesn’t need to resign.

    Hopefully these posts are not the standard we can expect once the Stormont electioneering starts and we can instead look forward to more on Adam’s brother etc.

    Incidently Mick I see Private Eye are quoting the PAC in the article on one of the ex-NEDs of NI Water’s new mealticket

  • Perhaps Conor Murphy will ride to Gerry’s rescue by making him a director of NI Water – now that Ó Muilleoir has stepped aside 🙂

    H/T Nigel Fletcher in Opposition

  • The Nigel Fletcher ‘solution’ to this historical dilemma.

  • Needing a soporific in the fastnesses of last night, I reached (as one naturally does) for James Aronson’s analysis of the late and unlamented Senator Joe McCarthy (in The Press and the Cold War).

    He found, courtesy of Douglass Cater, the veteran Washington correspondent, the key to:

    the McCarthy method. He would call a press conference in the morning to announce s sensational afternoon press conference. That was enough for the big headline in the afternoon newspapers. In the afternoon the press conference might or might not be held. If it was held, it might produce new charges contained in documents waved by McCarthy before the newspapermen but never turned over to them. If it was not held, the reason would be an eleventh-hour hunt for a “mystery witness” whose information was so vital to the national security that he had already possibly fallen victim to the “international Communist conspiracy”

    Hardly relevant here, perhaps. I offer it merely:
    [a] in the interests of disseminating knowledge;
    [b] as an aid to the sleep habits of others; and
    [c] to wonder about the briefer and the briefing, the “who?” and the “how?” behind this serial confusion and obscurantism.

  • Fionn

    Nevin, concerned over the first sentence in that link,

    “There have been a spate of resignations at Westminster this week – Alan Johnson, Andy Coulson, Brian Cowen… and Gerry Adams.”

    er….Brian Cowen, one hopes Mick is all over that story

    Regarding a directorship of NI Water, unlikely while that organisation is in the sights of a certain ‘Stickie’ MLA

  • Fionn, it seems there is no end to the Cowengate affair, a story without frontiers. I’ve left a stickie on Nigel’s blog.

  • Mick Fealty

    Fionn,

    Mick has busy moving house for the last week. Now, is Gerry or is Gerry not an MP? Answer: Yes. Check the parliamentary website (where Gerry virtue presence was missing in action for a few days there), if you think still think it is ‘makey uppy’?

    There’s nothing, as George points out, that will stop him from running for TD, but I think the parachute is stuck and the people of West Belfast aren’t going to get the service Gerry believes they should (though, let’s be frank, the party will continue the way it does on the ground regardless of whether it has an MP or not).

  • pippakin

    Its a storm in a tea cup. The Brits will find a way around it, offer to pack his bags, pay for the nice black cab etc. Tony Bliar would almost certainly have waved a fond farewell from the door of number ten. A pity its Cameron and the door is slammed shut. The scene would have brought tears to the eyes.

  • Cynic2

    He can open his parachute easily. All he has to do is apply to take the Queen’s shilling. After all, he’s being doing it at Stormont for years and just pretending that he hasn’t.

    Cant you imagine that the phone lines to Dublin London and Washington must be buzzing.

    Bearded One “Brian, they wont let me resign Brian so i can stand in Louth. Can you help me out Brian”

    Cowan “Would you **** off”

    Bearded One “Dave…Dave ….its Gerry…….” [Sound of receiver being replaced] …..>Dave? Dave? Can you hear me Dave? ……….”

    Bearded One “Hilary, Hilary the Brits wont let me resign so i can stand in Louth. Can yiou help me out”

    Clinton “Gerry who? Louth? Who put this guy through?”

  • Rory Carr

    There is no doubt but that Adams’s resignation has put the House of Commoms in a quandary but it is a problem of their own making and one to which they must find a solution. I have every confidence that they will but that it will not involve Adams applying for an office of profit under the crown.

    No doubt this will disappoint, indeed even seriously perplex, many here but the mood in England is rather different where hearts are gladdened by Adams’ stance in highlighting the redundancy of all this nonsense. A browse through the comments section of Michael Crick’s blog on the issue should give an indication of what I mean.

  • Pete Baker

    Another question is will the still-MP for west Belfast continue to claim his parliamentary allowances?

  • 241934 john brennan

    This constitution rigmarole has a simple solution – SF revert to its once consistent policy of boycotting all 3 parliaments – instead of only attending 2 – and claiming expenses for not attending the other.

    SF could then variously claim its leader is either or both an absentee, or non member of all 3 parliaments -The Dail, Stormont and Westminster.

  • FOI’s already sent to the House of Commons – rumours he’s still getting paid

  • SF must be a trifle disappointed that Slugger isn’t covering the BIG Stoop story: “SDLP disarray over southern election”.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Rory: There is no doubt but that Adams’s resignation has put the House of Commoms in a quandary but it is a problem of their own making and one to which they must find a solution.

    It seems they do have a solution they’re happy with, which is that Adams is and will continue to be an MP.

  • Rory Carr

    Another question is will the still-MP for west Belfast continue to claim his parliamentary allowances?” – Pete Baker

    I am sure that he will claim any allowances that are properly due. It would be remiss of him otherwise. Are you suggesting that he should not or that he may intend to claim other than that which is properly due?

  • Cynic2

    Keep trying Rory. Either Gerry plays by the rules or he cannot resign.

  • Rory Carr

    “Adams is and will continue to be an MP.” Scáth Shéamais

    Only in the sense that Harold Wilson is and will continue to Prime Minister.

    I repeat – the problem is one for the House of Commons. They made the silly rules, Adams’s resignation exposes them for the nonsense that they are. They must find their own solution to their own problem.

  • 241934 john brennan

    Gerry says he has resigned. The Speaker says he has just gone A.W.O.L.

    This means SF can still claim expenses/allowance for the West Belfast MP’s constituency office. However, Gerry can hardly sign the claims himself – while continuing to claim he has in fact resigned?

    For the sake of hair splitting – is the West Belfast MP’s constituency office “an office of profit under the crown”, or just an office that continues to be paid for by the crown?
    For ‘crown’ read ‘plebes who pay taxes’

  • Despite the hullabaloo, it’s worth remembering that Gerry isn’t under House arrest. A form of words will follow in due course from the House when Big Brother has figured out what to say. Unfortunately for Big Brother we’re too far away from a recess to put the news out quietly.

  • pippakin

    Rory Carr

    No it is not Westminster’s problem, no more than it has been since he became an MP. He goes or stays its hardly likely to bother them.

    f anything I think they are having a laugh at his expense and will find a way around it when the laughter fades. Who says politicians have no sense of humour.

  • Drumlins Rock

    think pip is right there,
    btw “office under the crown” is just a fancy way of saying civil servant, judical figure, military officer, etc. going by the reading of this anyone of those would do the trick, as would various Quangos, as has been mentioned, it probably will be possible to get some sort of role for him on some of these that will do the trick just the same, or even pick some obscure position that people had forgot about and has not real reason to still be there but just got neglected, for example Steward of Northstead….
    You see how silly the fuss is? accepting the stewartship is no different from serving on the board of NIW or the parades commission, or the victims commission etc. just it means you arent disrupting these various organisations for no real reason. Why does Gerry have to be so pig headly stupid?

  • Rory Carr

    John Brennan’s otherwise silly query as to whether ‘ the West Belfast MP’s constituency office [is] “an office of profit under the crown” ‘ actually highlights just how archaic all this nonsense really is for at the time this silly rule was instituted Members of Parliament did not receive any payment (that had to wait until 1911, although a Chartist demand since the 1840’s) and so the role of MP was not regarded as an office of profit while today it clearly is and so, in effect, anyone elected to parliament should automatically be disqualified for holding such office. And that goes in spades for those holding minsterial office which might lead one to think that they are all barking mad – not the first time such a thought may have crossed our minds I dare say.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Rory, get with the real world, in virtually every country of the world Civil Servants and the like cant stand for election, obviously it creates a conflict of interest, common sense, and although politicians and their staff are paid from the public purse they are NOT civil servants, this is the case in virtually every country too.
    “An office of Profit under the Crown” is a catch all phrase for Civil servants and the like, but obviously does not inculde politicians or their staff, you with me so far? The option of resigning as an MP was not allowed 400 yr ago, we can debate the reasons for this, but there is no real point as a perfectly simple method of resigning evolved, the MP became a civil servant, thats it , thats all there is to it, its a funny title but means abolutely nothing, and is not in anyway a betrayal of “republican principles” than to become a accountant in the pensions office is.

  • Fionn

    “Mick has busy moving house for the last week. Now, is Gerry or is Gerry not an MP? Answer: Yes. Check the parliamentary website (where Gerry virtue presence was missing in action for a few days there), if you think still think it is ‘makey uppy’?”

    Yes I do think its the second ‘makey-uppy’ blog, because what Pete keeps writing about is the quaint process for resigning as a member of the House of Commons, what I keep writing is that Adams is resigning as a Member of Parliament NOT a member of the House of Commons, cos like any SFer he never took his seat.

    *Bangs head on desk*

    *Bangs head some more*

    Where ever Adams name is or isn’t its defo not on the Test Roll

  • Drumlins Rock

    Fionn, are telling us Gerry is actually a Lord!!! he kept that quiet, because that is the only way you can be a Member of Parliment and not a member of the Commons, well that and be the monarch…. come to think of it he does have that regal bearing…

  • 241934 john brennan

    Rory
    Yes. It is a silly debate. But not as daft as getting elected to do a job, then not doing it. Then also claiming and getting expenses/allowances for not doing it.

    Even Lewis Carroll on cannabis wouldn’t have dreamt that up.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “The resignation that never was…”

    Depends on who gets to make the call. If one supposed that House of Commons membership acted as a bar to serving in the Irish legislature, then the question wouldn’t be, what do the British believe his status to be, but instead, what do the Irish believe his status to be?

    In the meantime, some others are in the unenviable position of claiming that it’s a good idea to not accept the resignation of someone from a purported position of trust when he well and truly doesn’t want to serve in that position of trust. In contrast, the sane humans have as their law:

    The court may remove any guardian appointed or approved by it who, by any reason of absence, sickness, insanity or other cause, shall become incapable of executing his or her trust, or who shall neglect or refuse to do the duties thereof, or who shall waste the estate of his or her ward, or who shall neglect or refuse to give a bond or sureties on his or her bond when ordered by the court. The court shall accept the resignation of any guardian after he or she has accounted with the court for the estate of his or her ward in his or her hands.

    Lastly, if someone has posted this already, my apology:

    http://watergate.info/nixon/resignation-letter.shtml

    See, it isn’t so hard.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Can someone explain why it is ok to be an accountant in the DFP, but it is “unrepublican” to be The steward of Northstead? both are postitions of profit under the crown.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s been a total yawn, DR. Fun while it lasted.

  • Cynic2

    Or why is it OK to take the shilling as a British Minister in a British Parliament at Stormont?

  • joeCanuck

    A spokesperson for the Irish Government says that there is no legal bar from anyone sitting both at Westminster and the Dail. So that’s that. People in West Belfast can just continue to be non-represented if Adams gets elected in Louth and puts all of his effort there.
    Adams needs a strong back what with all this standing and sitting.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Ahh, but he has said he will stand down, hoisted petard?

    He is a laughing stock atm. not the best way to launch an election campaign, elections have been lost on less, anyone for a walk on Blackpool beach?

  • Munsterview

    This was the perceived wisdom regarding Micheal Martin on this site not too very long ago. I continued predicting that when the smoke cleared Micheal would be in a better place and that meanwhile he was where he wanted to be.

    Likewise with Gerry. There is a long game being played here and the fore-coming elections are but the opening moves of that. Gerry is not where he is because of group leadership calculations rather than reacting to circumstances.

    lets see where he is when the smoke clears on this one also !

  • Munsterview

    Correction : should read ” Gerry is where he is because of group leadership calculations rather than reacting to circumstances”. Blasted tv!

  • Comrade Stalin

    I continued predicting that when the smoke cleared Micheal would be in a better place and that meanwhile he was where he wanted to be.

    Making predictions that everyone already knows is pointless.

    Why don’t you predict something testable ? How about predicting the number of seats likely to be won by SF ?

  • Pete Baker

    To repeat a point I’ve made on another comment zone…

    All Adams has told the Speaker in his letter is that he no longer intends to meet the responsibilities of being an MP.

    That’s entirely up to him. He could have just stopped doing the job and not told anyone. It would have had the same effect.

    He and his party can explain it to the constituents.

    I might have had some sympathy if Gerry was retiring from public life for health reasons, or if he thought he could not do the job of an elected rep for some other reason.

    But his actions are entirely selfish and/or party politically expedient.

    That’s not a good enough reason to rewrite “a settled principle of parliamentary law”.

    And let’s be clear here.

    He’s being treated in exactly the same way that any other person would be in similar circumstances.

    When what he actually wants is special treatment.