Martin McGuinness applies to become paid officer of the Crown…

Or as the BBC faithfully report

Martin McGuinness has confirmed that he has formally resigned as the MP for Mid-Ulster.

“I have served formal notice of my resignation from the position of MP for Mid-Ulster with immediate effect. This is in line with my party’s commitment to end double jobbing,” he said.

[Just in time, eh? – Ed]  Sadly, he’ll have to wait until he’s actually disqualified from holding his seat.  Just like his party leader was…

And as we discovered then

A Treasury spokesman said on Wednesday: “Gerry Adams has said publicly that he is resigning from Parliament.

Consistent with long-standing precedent, the Chancellor has taken this as a request to be appointed the Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead and granted the office.”  [added emphasis]

To quote the Speaker of the House of Commons at the time

…whether an application for the Chiltern Hundreds has been made—is, I am afraid, not a matter for me. The matter has been addressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the execution of his responsibilities, and this is one of those occasions on which it is right for me to communicate the facts of the situation, but not to wallow in the realms of metaphysical abstraction, if I can put it that way.

After all, whether you or I like it or not…

Constitutionally an MP has no power of voluntary resignation. Death, elevation to the peerage, dissolution or expulsion are the only causes (apart from legal disqualification) by which an MP’s seat can be vacated. Therefore an MP wishing to resign must disqualify him or herself. One cause for disqualification is holding a paid office of the Crown. There are two that the MPs use. The first office is the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds (Stoke, Desborough and Burnham) and the second office is the Manor of Northstead. An MP wishing to retire applies to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for one of the Offices that he or she retains. [added emphasis]

As it happens, the next available paid office of the Crown is the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead [pdf file].

Which Martin McGuinness will be appointed to in due course.

Following in the footsteps of his party leader…

Sir George Young said the office had been granted by the chancellor in line with “long-standing precedent”.

So Mr Speaker, we have delivered Mr Adams to the required destination, though we may have chosen a vehicle and a route that was not one of his choosing,” he added. [added emphasis]

[Arise, Baron Northstead! – Ed]  Indeed.

Update  BBC NI’s follow-up report is worth noting for its evident absence of understanding of the issue at hand.

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness has been given an English aristocratic title following his formal resignation as member of the UK parliament.

He has been appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead by the chancellor, George Osborne.

The appointment is one of two titles traditionally conferred on resigning MPs, as under the constitution, an MP has no power of voluntary resignation.

*shakes head*

The appointment to a nominal office of the Crown is made to disqualify those concerned from holding their seats in Parliament as, constitutionally, there is no power of voluntary resignation.

It’s not conferred after they’ve ‘resigned’ – “formally” or otherwise.

And no MP can be forced to disqualify themselves.  So, despite the bluster, there was/will be no challenge from Sinn Féin to the appointment of their two senior members as officers of the British Crown.

Otherwise, no disqualification, and no by-election.

Adds  And the official HM Treasury announcement

Manor of Northstead

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has this day appointed James Martin Pacelli McGuinness to be Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead.

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  • Jimmy Sands

    A little more bait on that hook perhaps…?

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Very,very poor rerun attempt at the Adams resignation baiting.
    Any chance of a post examining the political implications of this?
    The likely runners and riders in Mid Ulster?
    The wider double jobbing issue?
    The SF reshuffling?

  • Pete Baker

    To quote the Speaker of the House of Commons at the time

    …whether an application for the Chiltern Hundreds has been made—is, I am afraid, not a matter for me. The matter has been addressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the execution of his responsibilities, and this is one of those occasions on which it is right for me to communicate the facts of the situation, but not to wallow in the realms of metaphysical abstraction, if I can put it that way.

  • Sp12

    “A little more bait on that hook perhaps…?”

    Leave off, it’s early days, he’s probably got another few hundred of these posts in the pipeline.
    Plus ca change…

  • keano10

    Oh Jesus not all this again. Flogged to death for months last year. Its like watching the same episode of Countryfile over and over again….

  • Alias

    I doubt Her Majesty’s Deputy First Minister was unaware that he could not resign as an MP and therefore, if he chose to disqualify himself as the Honourable Member for Mid-Ulster, he would end up with another title.

    [text removed – play the ball!!! -mods]

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Hmmm, Strange that,
    Alias has received a yellow card and had a comment removed.
    He was straying off topic admittedly but a comment removed and a yellow card????

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Goodnight all,
    I’m away to the twilight zone

  • Jack2

    Hypocrisy is in abundance in Stormont.
    Marty accepting the British shilling.
    Iris accepting the schoolboys love.

    It happens.

  • Alias

    “Alias has received a yellow card and had a comment removed.”

    It disappeared – just like the police investigation into the prime suspect. Oddly enough, the Police Ombudsman’s investigation promised to the victim’s family also disappeared. Someone keeps getting lucky…

    But as it was off-topic here, fair enough. ;)

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Alias,
    I’ll take that one up again with you! I was defending you btw even though we disagree.
    Me and Mr B have a bit of history on this kinda thing.
    Back on topic, I thought the post was petulant and tabloid press like and demonstrated an attempt to deflect from the actual politics of the situation. The fact that Slugger ran 2 headlines with very similar headlines will not have been lost on most readers. I actually think it damages Slugger as it feeds the perception that there is an editorial agenda . I await my card with resignation ;-)

  • Lionel Hutz

    Bangordub,

    I’m no fan of Sinn Fein but I agree its a bit tiresome. I thought there was a novelty to this type of headline when Gerry Adams was resigning. It was a bit of fun but labouring it only served to show how peculiar the British Political system really is. Can you imagine if an MP in the position of say Gabrielle Giffords couldn’t resign. Seems a bit silly.

    There is an interesting political story in mid ulster. Martin McGuinness has a massive appeal. I think the selection of Francie Molloy demonstrated a certain unease in Sinn Fein that a candidate with a lower profile couldn’t get it done.

    The bigger story though is what will happen within Unionism. If it is a single candidate, then I’d say the UUP will be dead within the decade.

    These wee jokes seem to detract from that.

  • Eire32

    I’d like to think that I’m not completely stupid, but what does this rubbish even mean?:)

    Tradition from hundreds of years ago I guess, the British need to cop on with this sort of strange jiggery pokery, it’s embarrassing stuff.

    SF are putting an end to Double jobbing and making an important strategic decision, and all we get from Slugger is this craic!?! :P

    “The first office is the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds (Stoke, Desborough and Burnham) and the second office is the Manor of Northstead.”

    Come again?

  • babyface finlayson

    Good to see Pete Baker doing a bit of recycling.
    Now if everyone just re-posts their comments from the
    ‘Baron Gerry’ thread much time and effort will be saved.

  • Mick Fealty

    It is just a formality. And it’s good to see the party use a dead time of the year to kill this story rather than trying (rather aggressively by the account of one very senior BBC journo) to put same kind of far fetched spin that somehow Gerry was different from every other MP that ever tried to ‘eirigh as a phost’.

    This is what gave the Baron Adams story legs. So long as they let fair comment be, the story will wither on the vine.

    As for double robbing Dub, what actual job do Conor, Michelle, Paul and Pat actually do? There is nothing visible to the naked eye, and their Hoon money goes straight to party coffers.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick Fealty

    “what actual job do Conor, Michelle, Paul and Pat actually do? ”

    The job that they said they would do.

  • Valenciano

    Do we really need two threads on this? Mick, much as I agree with you on the issue of abstentionist MPs, the fact is that they stood and were elected on that basis and therefore have a mandate to do a bit less than the others. People get what they vote for.

    As for talk elsewhere of a single unionist candidate, it’s hard to see the point, Sinn Fein had 52% last time with the combined Unionist score on 32.7%. Even if the SF vote collapsed on an unprecedented scale, the Unionist vote is now below the level required to take advantage of a near even split in the Nationalist vote as happened in West Tyrone in 1997. Molloy will win and with over 50% in an unremarkable by-election.

  • http://www.liampennington.blogspot.com doktorb

    All of this could be made a lot easier had someone – not necessarily Martin himself – had read the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975

    He could be appointed to a disqualifying role such as “Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland” or “President of appeal tribunals appointed under Article 6 of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998″ or just “Member of the staff of the Northern Ireland Audit Office”

    The process by which he and Gerry Adams has resigned is a very complex – deliberately so? – way of getting out of the Commons and could have been avoided

  • Mick Fealty

    Val,

    We have to have two, but we do have two. Do you suggest I pull one?

  • http://nwhyte.livejournal.com Nicholas Whyte

    Valenciano,

    I agree with you about the probable winner. But it will be interesting to see the other rankings. Every Assembly or Westminster election of the last ten years has had the DUP second, the SDLP third and the UUP fourth. By-elections (or indeed bye-elections) have not traditionally been vehicles for protest votes in Northern Ireland, where no election is a second-order election; but maybe this one will be different.

    Of course, the most interesting question is if there will be a unionist unity candidate despite the poor chances of success. Nesbit is in a bind here and it is not surprising that he resorts to invented words like “embracive” to try and explain his strategy. None of the options looks good for the UUP.

    Mick – up to you, but the other thread has developed in a different (if less interesting) direction. Perhaps a gentle directive to contributors to try and avoid duplication is in order.

  • Mick Fealty

    Meant to say we don’t have to have two… both have different sets of detail, so Im happy they weren’t strictly speaking duplicates.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    By no means could I be called a shinner cheerleader, but this is a non story, now that the shinners are part of the establishment.

    What may be of interest to some is that even at this time, at the season of good will to all men. Her Majesties deputy first minister in the British administration in Northern Ireland, Martin Mcguinness was bang on form on Christmas eve at a memorial for IRA member Phil O’Donnell in the deputy first ministers home City of Londonderry.

    O’Donnell set up and ran terror death training camps in the republic of Ireland.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Martin McGuinness applies to become paid officer of the Crown…”

    No; he tendered his resignation. The rest ranges from Westminster tradition to silliness, depending on your perspective.

  • Framer

    I though he had resigned months ago and at least we were being spared having to pay expenses for a good period of time to an abstentionist MP.
    Now I gather he has only just become a Crown Steward while still being a Minister of the Crown.
    The election should be postponed for as long as possible to meet its cost through non-payment of expenses.
    As to the UUP, there will undoubtedly be a candidate for if there was a unity nominee, one of the nationalist parties would probably withdraw, as in South Belfast in 2010, to ensure a nationalist win (non-sectarian).

  • SK

    I understand that Pete Baker’s contributions have a tendency to drop off the “active discussions” sidebar fairly quickly, but has it really come to this?

  • Henry94

    “Consistent with long-standing precedent, the Chancellor has taken this as a request.

    The Chancellor can take it any which way he likes but it’s a bit like me telling my teenage son that he can’t go out without my permission and then deeming his departure from the house as a formal request for that permission.

    If the person to whom a procedure is supposed to apply can ignore it with impunity then you don’t have a procedure at all. You have a fig-leaf at best.

  • sonofstrongbow

    This “non-story” is made a story by the Shinners gurning about Westminster’s protocols. It’s the weird thing the Shinners do; pretending not to have bought into the British system (and indeed the Irish ‘partitionist’ systems on both sides of the border).

    Meanwhile as ArdoyneUnionist points out McGuinness lauds a past “traitor” to Ireland. The current crop responds by showing the old skills are still out there as they try to murder a police officer, his partner and children. That’s the real story.

  • galloglaigh

    sos

    In fairness SF aren’t gurning, in fact I’d say you and Pete are the only two I’ve heard gurning.

    I would say MMG would be privately sniggering at the thought of this getting up the backs of people like you. Some stupid archaic title, while important to some, doesn’t put bread on the table. But it’s bringing a smile to my face.

  • tacapall

    “Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead and granted the office.”

    An irrelevant pomposity from Victorian times when bloodlines were more important than honour and integrity, the art of kowtowing got unsavoury politicians of those times titles like the above. But thankfully we are in the 21st century, a lot more educated and wise enough to know we need to get rid of the cavemen that still believe in all that mumbo jumbo Such offices were obsolescent, involved negligible duties and scant profit, but were in the King’s gift nonetheless.

    A gift from an unelected hereditary parasite to lord it over the masses. Im sure McGuinness is thrilled to receive such grand titles

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Galloglaigh, It is only a non story because as a self confessed IRA terror godfather, and as with his actions on Christmas eve, McGuinness says and does whatever he likes without a flicker of emotion or compassion, which I’m sure you will agree with me he must have got at one on those IRA training camps in the republic of Ireland.

    As for putting bread on the table, how many loves did 40 odd years of Irish republican terror put on the table. In fact isint it

  • Dewi

    “and their Hoon money goes straight to party coffers.”

    Not heared the term “Hoon money” before, Is it what I’d call “Short Money”? If so Sinn Fein get none.

  • tacapall

    “It is only a non story because as a self confessed IRA terror godfather, and as with his actions on Christmas eve, McGuinness says and does whatever he likes without a flicker of emotion or compassion, which I’m sure you will agree with me he must have got at one on those IRA training camps in the republic of Ireland.”

    Funny you should say that AU here’s an interesting article about Jim Kilfedder

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/headlines/mp-had-discreet-terror-links-1-4630094

    A BRIEFING note for about the maverick north Down unionist MP Jim Kilfedder informed the Secretary of State that he had “discreet links” with paramilitaries

    A background note about Mr Kilfedder prepared for the Secretary of State described him as a “highly individualistic politician [who] though steeped in unionism … is a maverick in the unionist ranks”.

    The note described him as a “remarkable vote-getter in north Down”, and said that he “maintains discreet links with Protestant paramilitaries”.

  • Desmond Trellace

    Is it not high time for the London parliamentary system to grow up and dispense with all this 18th century nonsense and act like a mature parliament of a modern 21st century republic as you would find in Washington D.C., Berlin or Dublin?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    tacapall in case the post is passing you by, we are talking about self confessed IRA godfather Martin McGuinness, not Jim Kilfedder.

    Anyhow the link you put up are only briefing notes not evidence???

    As you say at allegations about your dear leader the blessed pious Gerry Adams show us the evidence??? Or are we now being told by republicans that allegations and briefing notes are evidence that we can use in posts????? A bit of flip flopping again from our republican posters here on slugger.

    Tacapall I’m sure you would not want to be guilty of trying to take the post off its tread???

  • Greenflag

    Is it not daft in the 21st century that an MP cannot resign his/her seat without having to go through the ‘farce ‘ of the Chiltern hundreds ?

    While there is a place for ‘tradition’ surely this is one tradition which is long past it’s sell by date ?

    Did Louise Mensch’s recent resignation from the Tories prompt an application to the Chilterns and if not why not ? I guess running away from her electorate to enjoy marital bliss with a rock star hubbie is ok and disqualifies one from becoming a Crown Stewardess and Bailiff to the Manor of Northstead ? Or are these ‘offices ‘ only available to male MP’s only ?

    The Mother of Parliaments or the Mother of Buffoonery ?

    In this case the latter most certainly.

  • Mick Fealty

    Jesus wept! Red and yellow cards waiting in my pocket for the next piece of flaming whataboutery!!

  • tacapall

    Yeah AU I read the whole of Pete’s post and maybe what I see on my monitor is different than yours but the post says nothing about the IRA or the word godfather – Does Pete’s post appear on your monitor differently or did you just insert the words yourself, ya know Marian Price and Martin Corey are being imprisoned using “Briefing Notes” so why are they not good enough for Jim Kilfedder.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Now that we now have an open book for allegations maybe Tacapall the shinners can start with these.

    CONSIDER this.

    A party which preaches transparency and accountability in public life now faces a claim that one of its TDs is linked to 50 – yes, 50 – murders in British state papers.

    The same party which angrily demands answers from Cabinet ministers and other politicians.

    And the response of the TD when asked to comment on his name being linked to a bloody past?

    “No, I won’t be saying anything. I don’t want to comment on anything said by the Brits. I wouldn’t be bothered.”

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/fiach-kelly-preaching-transparency-for-all-but-themselves-3337706.html

  • Gopher

    To move away from the irrevelant for a minute and hopefully some constructive discussion. I fully understand why McG was elected and I can follow why the electorate stuck with him but personally speaking if they don’t give SF a wake up call about who serves who at this election they are sheep. Could not see the same thing being allowed to happen in say North Down. No party would dare take that electorate for granted.

    Second point if I’m allowed, what is the difference between SF and the SDLP in this election bar sitting at Westminster?I have asked before but no one seems bothered to explain.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Will Marty the self confessed IRA member get a parliamentary/state pension???

  • tacapall

    AU. Former IRA man Freddie Scappaticci, is rumoured by the same people who write those briefing notes to have murdered up to 60 people and we haven’t heard any demands from the likes of yourself for an inquiry, is that because he was a British agent working for HMG.

  • magherafelt red

    The election will probably take place early March and will result in SF retaining the seat. The interest will centre around the turnout. I believe that McGlone will run for the SDLP and given his work rate and the number of advice centres he runs will poll well.McCrea will run for the DUP and given his support for the flag protests will be interesting to see how he polls. Overend will run for the UUP but with only one office in the constituency will do well to get her voters out. Willie Frazier will run and probably pick up a few hundred votes. So my forecast will be Molloy, McCrea, McGlone, Overend and Frazier in that order,

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Who mentioned inquiries Tacapall.

  • David Crookes

    Trivial point of fact: according to lexicographers the word EMBRACIVE goes back to 1855.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The usual comments about abstention are worth talking about again.

    I agree with Valenciano and McSlaggart – SF stand on an abstentionist ticket so they get an abstentionist mandate. This does create the problem where the non-SF voters in the constituency are disenfranchised. In my view that is not a problem with SF, it is a problem with the FPTP electoral system which ensures that disenfranchisement is an automatic outcome for everyone who did not vote for the winning candidate – often the majority of voters in the constituency. The solution to that problem is to introduce STV. The unionists all oppose that and support FPTP, so here we are.

    For example right now in East Antrim I’m represented by a blatantly homophobic climate change denier whose reaction to a firebomb attack on an office within his constituency was “what exactly did they expect?”. Sadly the rules of the game are that I have to put up with it.

    I would also point out that historically, unionists have been little better than abstentionist MPs. This has improved recently with the uptick in DUP MPs and Nigel Dodds seems to make a point of trying to keep the profile of the DUP Commons grouping as high as possible. But back in the day UUP MPs barely ever bothered to show up.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Louise Mensch has been name checked here. She was appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead to allow here resignation as an MP. Btw her “hubbie” is not a “rock star”.

    I always thought that Westminster’s project to put manners on Sinn Fein was doomed from the start, you can’t polish a turd as someone once eloquently remarked, but simply following the rules of the House seems beyond them too.

    As always the system will allow for the Shinners’ pettiness and things will roll on with the strong-stomached folks of Mid-Ulster electing another Connolly House Clone.

  • Valenciano

    Comrade Stalin, I’d agree with you on introducing STV but sadly that looks far away now given how poorly organised the yes side was on the AV referendum.

    The only way around the problem of poor/zero attendance would be to introduce some form of attendance allowance for MPs. The more they attend, the more cash they get, something along those lines. It might be a bit harsh on abstentionist MPs but I really don’t see why people like Galloway should get the same as people like Dennis Skinner who is always there.

    @Nicholas Whyte, it’s hard to see where a protest vote would come from. Anti-peace process republicans have crashed and burned at election time, Willie Frazer always gets a derisory vote and the flag issue will have died down by late March and is more likely to resonate in the Greater Belfast area anyway. There doesn’t seem to be any major local issue (hospital closures etc) which an independent candidate could galvanise support behind. I’d expect to see the Nationalist parties hold their ground, the SDLP vote has been squeezed to near core levels and McGlone at least has some local profile. I’d be shocked if the DUP didn’t come second and the only interest besides that will be the turnout and how badly both the UUP and TUV poll.

  • Kevsterino

    It is confusing to me that when a Sinn Fein politician plays by the rules, signing on as a “Sheriff” or whatever so he can resign his seat in the UK Parliament, the Unionist contingent gets so petty about it. I mean, really, isn’t this guy doing what they wanted in two respects? They never wanted him as an MP in the first place and he quits using this archaic (but the only available) method.

    Silliness?

  • Framer

    Marty is in line for a chunky Westminster pension, immediately, as he is over 60.
    On top of that will come, in the fullness of time, a healthy Assembly pension and a ministerial one.
    All gold-plated, inflation-proofed, based on final salary and worth an extra 30% on his pay.
    Such pensions are of a level private sector workers can only dream of – and must work harder to pay for.
    Thank you English proletariat.
    And British imperialism, for such unequalled oppression.

  • http://www.liampennington.blogspot.com doktorb

    Frazier has already announced his intention to stand.

  • Alias

    “I’ll take that one up again with you! I was defending you btw even though we disagree. Me and Mr B have a bit of history on this kinda thing.”

    Thanks, but no defence is offered. It was off-topic and potentially libellous, so deleting the comment was the right call. Also, I suspect the ‘culprit’ is Mr F, and not Mr B. ;)

    I also disagree that this story is a non-story since the reaction to it (and the Shinners anticipation of that reaction by their attempt to bury it by timing) show that there is a story here after all.

    We all know that the Shinners will be required to complete other stages of the normalisation agenda in due course, so if it is Mr Molloy who gets to swear the oath and take his seat in the ‘mother’ parliament or his successor, it’s all about timing for the Shinners.

  • tacapall

    http://www.iaindale.com/posts/2012/12/31/mcguinness-to-trouser-20k-severance-payout

    “So Martin McGuinness has announced he is resigning as an MP, causing a by-election in the seat of Mid Ulster. It would be hard for him to be sorely missed seeing as he has never actually taken up his seat. He refuses to swear the oath, yet has claimed millions of pounds in expenses. And here’s something that will stick in our collective throats. Even though he hasn’t taken his seat, he will still be eligible for a severance payment of around £20,0001. Them’s the rules.

    What a ridiculous system. We allow a man to take huge amounts of money from a parliament he claims to despise and several of whose members he has played a part in trying to maim and kill. We must be stark raving mad.

    The Mirror’s James Lyons points out that the sum is actually £50k. It’s called a “Winding Up allowance”. How very appropriate. I am very wound up.”

    Stark raving mad eh, well hopefully its a tactic every Sinn Fein MP does is it right you can do the above and still run for parliament again.

  • tacapall

    Totally agree with you Alias the deckchairs are being re-arranged for others to shoulder the ultimate humiliation of taking their Westminster seats. Although the oath subject I suspect would be up for negotiation, nevertheless with one eye closed and four fingers crossed with a belief in “by any means necessary” im sure whoever it will be can no doubt dismiss the pledge of allegiance as just another hurdle in the political battle for Ireland.

  • galloglaigh

    With English politics in disarray, now would be the time to use the Westminster parliament as a tool to further Irish independence. It worked for Parnell and Redmond, why not Marty and Gerry? I’d even go far as to say the SF Westminster mandate would increase. Wouldn’t it be funny if Molly stood up in parliament and named the MI5 and Special Branch terrorists who ordered the murder of Pat Finucane?

  • Mc Slaggart

    tacapall (profile) 31 December 2012 at 6:38 pm

    “So Martin McGuinness has announced he is resigning as an MP, causing a by-election in the seat of Mid Ulster. It would be hard for him to be sorely missed seeing as he has never actually taken up his seat. He refuses to swear the oath, yet has claimed millions of pounds in expenses. And here’s something that will stick in our collective throats”

    As he has been returned in that seat your “collective” does not include the people who vote for him.

  • iluvni

    “For example right now in East Antrim I’m represented by a blatantly homophobic climate change denier whose reaction to a firebomb attack on an office within his constituency was “what exactly did they expect?”

    Far be it for me to stand up for a DUP politician, but compared to the dunderheads representing Alliance in the constituency, he’s a colossus.

  • gendjinn

    Surely the story is that the British Crown has ennobled a convicted IRA terrorist and instead of unionism raging in the streets as if a flag had been taken down, they think it’s amusing.

  • tacapall

    Mc Slaggart – “collective” what collective ? I was quoting Iain Dale.
    You really have lost me.

  • Mc Slaggart

    tacapall

    As you did not make a comment I assumed you agreed with the words?

  • tacapall

    “What a ridiculous system. We allow a man to take huge amounts of money from a parliament he claims to despise and several of whose members he has played a part in trying to maim and kill. We must be stark raving mad.

    The Mirror’s James Lyons points out that the sum is actually £50k. It’s called a “Winding Up allowance”. How very appropriate. I am very wound up.”

    Stark raving mad eh, well hopefully its a tactic every Sinn Fein MP does. Is it right you can do the above and still run for parliament again.

    Is that a bit clearer McSlaggart

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    When McGuinness takes his 50K “winding up money” it will fall in with the shinner socialist principals.

    At a time when many of his constituents (I wont put those he represents as obviously he doesn’t represent them by not taking his seat), are finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet and many others are out of work.

    The shinner socialist principals will be at work here, take as much out of the system and stop the real needy getting it.

  • michael-mcivor

    Magherafelt red-

    ” so my forecast will be Molloy,McCrea,McGlone,Overend
    and Frazier ”

    You could be spot on but if the TUV also run then the four
    unionist candidate’s could push the SDLP into second place this time-

    At the last westminister elections in 2010 Alliance got 397
    votes but with their better profile now a days i expect their vote to go up-should be a interesting by-election-

  • http://savethemid.weebly.com/blog.html hfmccloy

    Will the TUV field if Frazier is there? cant see it, Sandra has just dipped her feet into Stormont I would not be surprised if a better known Cookstown Councillor gets put up if there is no unionist unity.

    I read somewhere that Marian Price is considering standing

    By the sounds of this the by election is turning into a sectarian clown fest, on the ground issues affecting the normal man and woman will not matter.

    Mid Ulster is facing the biggest loss in the Compton Report with the hospital finally being nailed shut DUP and one of the Biggest shake ups in education SF with the Rainey & St Marys, two fo the top schools in the UK facing a fair bit of change.

    Only investment is a police training school, local businesses are laying off workers weekly and 4 businesses I know went bust before christmas with another 2 i know just about 2.

    A legacy of no representation at Westminister & Stormont is finally showing in this area

  • tacapall

    http://www.tyronetimes.co.uk/news/local/unionists-need-single-anti-sinn-fein-candidate-allister-1-4632777

    “TUV leader Jim Allister says the unionist people of Mid-Ulster need a single “anti-Sinn Fein” candidate to run for the constituency’s Westminster seat.

    In a swipe at the province’s mainstream parties, Mr Allister said the only way the unionist people of the area could be represented was through a unity candidate not aligned to the Republican party.

    The recent assault on our Britishness, epitomised by the tearing down of the Union flag from Belfast City Hall, touched a raw but unifying nerve within Unionism,”

    Another Snakeoil salesman promising the cure to all Unionist and Loyalist ill’s, do a lot of preaching, add in a bit of scaremongering, engage in a bit of filibustering and finally announce to all and sundry why everyone is so stupid. Only a Paisley apprentice could pull it off.

  • Barry the Blender

    I am looking forward to the DUP’s campaign in this election:

    We love Sinn Fein 364 days a year chuckling in Stormont getting all the monies, but today we don’t like sinn fein so vote for us cuz of like flags

  • BarneyT

    Let’s look at any parliamentary candidate running on a Republican ticket, representing South Yorkshire for example. They have to enter the existing system and entirely compromise their republican principles in order to take up their seat, represent their electorate and participate fully at Westminster.

    Is it right that they have to start their parliamentary career with a lie? Is it ok for them to take the oath whilst performing a “barsey” behind their back?

    What provision does Westminster make for republican would-be members of parliament? I would argue “none” however others might take the catch-22 line and suggest that it should not accommodate republicanism due to his inherent makeup.

    To secure a voice at Westminster, a republican would have no option but to sell out and render themselves vulnerable to derision and ridicule at every turn, serving up a neat distraction and opt out to their opponents (a bit like Gerry in the Dail)…. or abstain.

  • galloglaigh

    Barney

    The Dail can’t be part of your argument, as the Republic is a republic.

  • BarneyT

    The parallel I was drawing was that Gerry (with his past being up for debate) provides Enda with an opportunity to attack and avoid valid issues that Gerry may raise.

    Equally, any republican entering Westminster would be undermined as a consequence of their enforced acceptance of the entry requirements i.e. demonstrate allegiance to the crown.

    If a republican complied with the rules, he\she would be forever ridiculed and would serve others with a bolt hole if the said republican raised an uncomfortable matter.

    Example:

    MP Republican: Prime Minster, what are you going to do about the nursing shortage in Sheffield and the ever increasing waiting lists in our hospitals?

    Prime Minister: I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to stick to our manifesto and principles on this matter and address it accordingly…unlike the honourable member from the Republic of Compromise.

  • galloglaigh

    I think it says more about Enda than it does Gerry. One of the first leaders of Enda’s party was Michael Collins.

  • Pete Baker

    Update BBC NI’s follow-up report is worth noting for it’s evident absence of understanding of the issue at hand.

    Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness has been given an English aristocratic title following his formal resignation as member of the UK parliament.

    He has been appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead by the chancellor, George Osborne.

    The appointment is one of two titles traditionally conferred on resigning MPs, as under the constitution, an MP has no power of voluntary resignation.

    *shakes head*

    The appointment to a nominal office of the Crown is made to disqualify those concerned from holding their seats in Parliament as, constitutionally, there is no power of voluntary resignation.

    It’s not conferred after they’ve ‘resigned’ – “formally” or otherwise.

    And no MP can be forced to disqualify themselves. So, despite the bluster, there was/will be no challenge from Sinn Féin to the appointment of their two senior members as officers of the British Crown.

    Otherwise, no disqualification, and no by-election.

  • Alias

    It’s an interesting qualification that the ‘resigning’ MP doesn’t have to agree to accept the title – interesting because, theoretically, the Chancellor could disqualify elected members of parliament without their consent or the consent of those who elected them.

  • Pete Baker

    Alias

    That’s the point.

    The Chancellor can’t.

    An appointee can, however, challenge that appointment…

  • Pete Baker

    Adds And the official HM Treasury annoucement

    Manor of Northstead

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer has this day appointed James Martin Pacelli McGuinness to be Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead.

  • galloglaigh

    It’s not a big deal Pete. You’re trying to make a mole-hill out of an ant-hill. MMG hasn’t been appointed any title, as he has not accepted said title.

    Either way the stroy’s an ant-hill.

  • michael-mcivor

    In Martin McGuiness resignation letter to the brit chancillor George osborne Martin says that he does not accept any office or profit under the crown-

    Says it all-

  • Pete Baker

    galloglaigh

    “It’s not a big deal Pete. You’re trying to make a mole-hill out of an ant-hill.”

    Of course. That’s why I’ve criticised the BBC NI report about McGuinness being given an “English aristocratic title”.

    And why you’re here commenting on it…

    ANYhoo… back to the actual topic.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, Michael,

    If Martin doesn’t want to be appointed to an office of the British Crown, he would certainly have grounds to challenge that appointment in the courts.

    Not that Sinn Féin have a good track record in the courts in recent times…

    But, as I said, no appointment to an office of the British Crown, no disqualification from holding the parliamentary seat. And no by-election.

  • michael-mcivor

    Pete Baker-

    Martin does not have to follow what the brits say or what their out-dated laws means-he has a mind of his own-

    At the end of the day the people will vote for Sinn Fein in the by-election whilst unionists give their voters a choice of four candidates if they are lucky-And the media say Republicans are split-what a laugh-

  • Alias

    Pete, I wondered if the MP who wants to resign had to indicate that intention before he could be appointed to a paid office of the Crown or whether the device could be used to expel Members of Parliament, duly elected, without their consent.

    It is the case, however, that the Member must apply in writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to be appointed to a paid office of the Crown, thereby indicating his willingness to hold a title from the Crown, and that the Chancellor must then sign a warrant of appointment in the presence of a witness.

    The idea is that, literally, the Member must accept the Queen’s shilling. The idea is that a Member accepting a salary from the Crown could not be expected to scrutinise the actions of the Crown or the Crown’s government. A resolution of 30 December 1680 was worded as follows:

    Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That no Member of this House shall accept of any Office, or Place of Profit, from the Crown, without the Leave of this House, or any Promise of any such Office, or Place of Profit, during such time as he shall continue a Member of this House.

    Resolved, That all Offenders herein shall be expelled this House.

    So there you have it: the Shinners accept the Crown’s titles and the Crown’s shilling.

    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-information-office/p11.pdf

  • michael-mcivor

    Alias-

    But never the crown oath-Sinn Fein spit on the stupid brits who want to be subjects-

  • Alias

    The oath is a misnomer: in swearing allegiance to the Crown they are swearing allegiance to the British constitution as embodied by the Crown. They’ve already signed up to the legitimacy of that with the GFA – and, indeed, are now paid ministers of the Crown.

    At any rate, the Shinners should continue to focus on the oath as the reason why they don’t take their seats in the ‘mother’ parliament to which the local parliament is subservient. That way, the British government can amend the wording of the oath (as they said they are willing to do) and the Shinners can present their inevitable reversal of abnormalisation as another great victory for the tribe. It’s not a case of if they take their seats but when…

    I don’t care that Marty formally applied for a paid position of the Crown. I suspect that matters to only to those who mistakenly believed that were opposed to “that sort of thing.”

    The conflict of interest angle doesn’t work anyway given that the Crown is the State, and they’re all loyal to, and paid by, that entity.

  • michael-mcivor

    Alias-

    ” The british govermant can amend the wording of the oath [ as they said they are willing to do ] ”

    Nothing willing about it-the brits signed up to equality under the GFA- hope that the law breaking flag waving idiots can stay of our roads when it happens-

  • BarneyT

    I’m sure Martin simply resigned as MP and the Crown made all other assumptions.

    The system in place simply kicked in, so its cheap to infer that Martin explicitly submitted his CV for the Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead role.

  • BarneyT

    Whilst I accept that it is valid for republicans to abstain from Parliament for the reasons they cite, I can’t help feeling that SF could have furthered their cause by become active at Westminster. I will have to check the timings but how would the broadcasting ban have been applied to a member of parliament?

  • Alias

    Iluvni, McGuinness is writing to the Chancellor for the express purpose of having the Chancellor appoint him to a paid office of the Crown. That is the protocol he is following.

    For McGuinness to add into his letter to the Chancellor seeking an appointment to a paid office of the Crown that he isn’t seeking appointment to a paid office of the Crown is purely fodder for the Shinner sheep.

    That is, presumably, why McGuinness had his letter photograghed and released on the Internet.

    It wouldn’t be an issue, of course, if the Shinners didn’t make an issue of such appointments.

  • Alias

    Sorry, about the post above – posted on the wrong thread.

    “The system in place simply kicked in, so its cheap to infer that Martin explicitly submitted ..” BarneyT

    It isn’t an inference: it’s a protocol, and McGuiness followed it.

    In following it, he knew its outcome would his appointment to a paid office of the Crown.

    Still, it’s worth it for 50k…

    There has to be safeguards built-in to avoid abuse of the disqualification process, e.g. to avoid a situation where a government can appoint the opposition to paid offices of the crown. One of them is that the member must follow the protocol.

  • galloglaigh

    Professor Alais

    McGuinness is writing to the Chancellor for the express purpose of having the Chancellor appoint him to a paid office of the Crown. That is the protocol he is following

    Another of your lies!

  • Alias

    Gall, that is a good impersonation of a sheep. Oddly enough, I’d already covered that in the ‘wrong thread’ post above:

    “Iluvni, McGuinness is writing to the Chancellor for the express purpose of having the Chancellor appoint him to a paid office of the Crown. That is the protocol he is following.

    For McGuinness to add into his letter to the Chancellor seeking an appointment to a paid office of the Crown that he isn’t seeking appointment to a paid office of the Crown is purely fodder for the Shinner sheep.

    That is, presumably, why McGuinness had his letter photograghed and released on the Internet.”

    Of course, if the sheep is led to think that Mr McGuinness was simply writing to the Chancellor to say “Cya, George” and not to claim his 50K appointment to a paid office of the Crown via that protocol then that is what the sheep will duly think.

    As McGuinness is well aware, unless hw writes to the Chancellor to appoint him to a paid office of the Crown then the Chancellor will not appoint him to a paid office of the Crown and Mr Guinness won’t get his 50k ‘entitlement’ from the Crown and nor will other Shinners get to stick their snouts in the Crown’s trough via a by-election.

  • Alias

    The actual legal basis is an Act of Parliament from 1707:

    “If any person being chosen a Member of the House of Commons, shall accept of any Office of Profit from the Crown, during such Time as he shall continue a Member, his Election shall be, and is hereby declared to be void, and a new Writ shall issue for a new Election, as if such Person so accepting was naturally dead.”

    Now while a sheep might not understand that to “accept” a position means that the position is not imposed against a person’s will, most other folks will grasp it.

    That is why the protocol is that the Member wishing to resign must write to the Chancellor. In doing so, he is asking the Chancellor to appoint him to a paid office of the Crown. The act of writing to the Chancellor is the act of accepting the position. There is no other means by which Mr Guinness can ‘resign’ other than by accepting a paid office of the Crown.

    He could, of course, not write to the Chancellor but, as I said, he wouldn’t get his 50k ‘entitlement’ if he chose not to accept a paid position of the Crown and nor would other Shinners get to stick their snouts in the Crown’s trough until the next general election.

  • galloglaigh

    Yep, you’re right as usual: I’m a sheep and you’re the Professor. And why not take £50k? I’m sure you’d take it?

  • galloglaigh

    Let’s not forget, that 1 in 4 of the IRA’s leadership was in the pay of the Crown throughout the troubles (according to your sources). So what’s another £50k?

    Your argument makes no sense…

  • Alias

    The only MPs who have a problem with accepting a paid office of the Crown are those MPs who created the problem for themselves by claiming that they wouldn’t accept a paid office of the Crown on principle. When they accept a paid office of the Crown they, rather obviously, leave themselves open to the accusation that they, for whatever purpose, made a fraudulent claim.

    Given that Mr McGuinness already holds a paid office of the Crown as Her Majesty’s Deputy First Minister, the fraud was already exposed. Why then is McGuinness taking such trouble to pretend that he hasn’t accepted a paid office of the Crown by writing to the Chancellor to appoint him to another paid office of the Crown?

    I think it has something to do with the ongoing need to pretend to the sheep that they’re hardcore principled republicans insofar as the sheep (who wouldn’t, for the most part, have a clue what republicanism actually means) feel that they need to be led by such ilk.

    It could also have something to do with not wanting to make utter fools out of the sheep. They know that the sheep will defend them for accepting a paid office of the Crown because they have taken decades to train the sheep to behave accordingly in such situations, but they still need to spare the sheeps’ blushes as there is a limit, I guess, to how stupid the sheep are willing to look in defence of them.

    Even the lil’ wooly critters have a modicum of self-respect, I guess…