Sinn Fein’s habit of defection in government and the ravelling of uncivic values…

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Most criticism of Sinn Fein in the south is misplaced. Jude Collins has a point when he argues that the ambush of a British army column at Kilmichael in west Cork has an equivalent to the IRA’s actions in the north.

People do die (often needlessly) in war, but once there’s been a discernable commitment to peace, the lines of conflict ought naturally shift to new battlegrounds. Not least, how you’re likely to run the county, the region or the country.

A couple of days ago, Pearse Doherty gave a broad brush outline of how that might happen under Sinn Fein:

Sinn Fein would ensure that all publicly funded appointments are made on the basis of merit, reflect the make-up of our diverse society and that equality is at the core of the public appointments process with opportunities to serve on public bodies promoted to the widest possible field of potential candidates and in a public manner.

Ah, partition is bliss. In actual fact the only Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive found guilty of discrimination on religious grounds was…. Conor Murphy of Sinn Fein.

The tribunal was scathing of Murphy’s partisan and sectarian motives:

In March 2011, Mr Murphy appointed a Catholic as chairman, Sean Hogan, ahead of four others shortlisted after interview, all of them Protestants.

According to the tribunal, Mr Hogan was selected because “he was not from a Protestant background and because he was known to the minister and his (then Sinn Fein) ministerial colleagues”, Michelle Gildernew and Caitriona Ruane, who were consulted about the appointment.

Indeed, in order to fill the black hole he’d created in sacking four non executive members of Northern Ireland Water Murphy had also suspended the oversight powers the Public Appointments Commissioner.

Yep, well that’s what Sinn Fein has done in Northern Ireland. It’s not necessarily an indication of what they might do in the Republic. As Robert Putnam notes in his grand study of regional democracy in Italy, different regions had different outcomes depending on pre-existing conditions.

As we noted in The Long Peace (Pg 22):

Successful regional government has emerged in regions that display the civic values of ‘co-operation, trust, reciprocity, civic engagement and social well-being.’ Regional government has failed where uncivic values predominate: ‘defection, distrust, shirking, exploitation, isolation, disorder, and stagnation.’

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  • Cal Murray

    yeah Mick, but the decision of the tribunal was a joke or as the AG put it

    “In a letter, dated 20 July, Mr Larkin concluded the tribunal’s approach
    to evidence was erroneous, its reasoning was flawed and that the
    decision was “riddled with errors”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19163701

    Did Kennedy ever explain this reason for not appealing?

    I mean a bloke with no relevant experience doesn’t get the job but gets 500,000 in compo instead,

    Also IIRC there were only 3 candidates as two redrew.

    Sectarian, yes, but not Murphy, in a normal society the public would have been outraged at the taxpayers cash been handed over

  • Morpheus

    He has form when it comes to not appealing in the name of expediency

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-22150857

  • AMS2013

    Tune in Next week folks.
    Where Mick here discusses the Unionist attempts to get DuPont NOT to set up a factory in Derry. (Too many of themuns in that city)
    And Mick will also reveal why The Ulster University chose Coleraine for the site of the second University NOT Derry.
    And Why Craigavon was created developed over Derry during this same period.

    Quick question Mick..Do you ever expose the sectarianism inherent in Unionism?
    Can you post a link?

  • mickfealty

    Cal,

    It’s odd that you should bring up the subject of the AG’s private legal advice to the Minister which was ‘leaked’ to the press only after it was shared with the Executive in thread on ‘SF’s habit of defection in government’.

    ‘Exhibit C’, no less. As for the advice, Larkin clearly provided grounds for an appeal. But Kennedy may also have had non political reasons for not going ahead with it. Not least the small (NOT) matter of nearly £8 million in legal fees and compensation paid out of DRD coffers during this period.

    It came on foot of a compendium of mishandlings of other matters that left Kennedy with a very serious mess in Northern Ireland Water to clear, which whilst not initially caused by Conor, were certainly exacerbated by his unwillingness/reluctance to deal with it. Exactly the of sort mess you can expect when populism and opportunism collide.

    Now, to the point of the post… Pearse said this week…

    Sinn Fein would ensure that all publicly funded appointments are made on the basis of merit, reflect the make-up of our diverse society and that equality is at the core of the public appointments process with opportunities to serve on public bodies promoted to the widest possible field of potential candidates and in a public manner.

    Now instead of pointing to trees in another forest (the ‘inherent wrongness of unionism’ for instance) can someone explain how they read this as anything other than an attempt to mislead the public into believing that in government when the chips are down SF will buckle and do anything to save to face rather than “ensure that all publicly funded appointments are made on the basis of merit, reflect a diverse society”, etc, etc… ?

  • Zeno

    Jude comes from a time when Shinner Drones had names instead of the letters and numbers they give them now.

  • Cal Murray

    haha Mick, I’m pointing at trees (or whatever) by pointing out that the only example you can produce in yet another anti-SF post (yawn) was at the time totally discredited by the highest legal authority in NI…….WTF

    The guy who got the job had (IIRC) experience of being a Chair of a public utility, the bloke who got half a million didn’t, surely that chucks your latest tirade in the dustbin.

    Regarding your even weaker arguement that that the assembly had already spent 8 mill on fees and compo, can I also blow that away by saying an appeal would probably have cost less than 100,000, so if money was an issue an appeal was the way forward.

    However I’m sure the usual baying mob suitably armed with pitchforks and burning tourches will be along in a minute to back you up,

    Sinn Fein, Yaboo, Sinn Fein, nasty, etc etc

  • Cal Murray

    “However I’m sure the usual baying mob suitably armed with pitchforks
    and burning tourches will be along in a minute to back you up,

    Sinn Fein, Yaboo, Sinn Fein, nasty, etc etc”

    And here they come……….

  • mickfealty

    Cal,

    To put it simply, if as Conor claimed of the Tribunal (ie, “the outcome of the tribunal had effectively branded him as “sectarian” and “a liar”…”), why did he expect Kennedy to deal with it?

    If the accusation was false, or falsely arrived at, a JR would have sorted it in a trice. And, given the £250k plus the party later spent on libelling Gormley in a related case, Conor himself could have done that on the considerable party resources available to him.

    As it happens, we have Conor’s own description of the Tribunal’s judgement that in all practical senses he himself accepted. If someone accused me of such, I would have to consider taking my own action rather than berating an opponent for not doing so on my behalf.

  • Michael Henry

    Is that before or after the anti Sinn Fein Drones had Irish names like Zeno

  • mickfealty

    Boyz, boyz, please stick to debunking arguments rather than each other. That’s 12 year old behaviour, and we’re supposed to be Sixth Formers here!! :-)

  • Zeno

    Sinn Fein, Yaboo, Sinn Fein, nasty, etc etc”

    Oh I wouldn’t say that. They are just useless, like the rest. No doubt someone will be along with a list of all they have achieved for Nationalists………… oh wait.

  • Zeno

    Sorry Mick, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

  • AMS2013

    They don’t want to spend £ 8 Million?
    Gosh that’s camp Twaddle scr*wed then isn’t it?
    We can expect that to come down any day now..There’s £18 million well spent..Right there.
    Unionists Good for a giggle.Tell us more about value for money.
    Was getting the convictions overturned for the Guildford 4, Birmingham 6 Maguire 7 Value for money?
    Awwhhh…It’s TOO expensive..Leave them rot..Eh?

  • mickfealty

    Am,

    You’re not following the detail of this very closely, are you?

  • Cal Murray

    Mick, sorry but you have now lost the run of yourself, I suppose I could reply that Kennedy could have paid the money out of his own pocket.

    Can I point out that it was the department and not Conor that was taken to the tribunal, and WTF are you now trying to compare a tribunal against a government department to a court case against a private organisation. Is it cos both involve SF? bit simplistic!

    You have pretty much derailed your own post now, you gave an example which I pointed out had been debunked by the AG and Law Society,

    You than tried to claim it was to save money, I pointed out appealing was cheaper.

    More importantly I also pointed out that the job had gone to the person who actually had experience of Chairing a public utility and so entirely in keeping with what SF has said.

    I also pointed out that that there were 3 candidates not the 5 that you claimed.

    Also worth pointing out that the ex-copper that was arrested recently for involvment in dodgy contract awards was actually due to take over as Chair of the tourist board, a Copper!!!!! FFS, a normal person would welcome what SF has stated and encourage them to get rid of as many NEDs and Quangos and snouts at the trough as possible not cry wolf every 5 minutes

  • Sergiogiorgio

    I’ll take you Sinn Fein and raise you The DUP.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Mick – this wouldn’t be you trying to the shift the focus away from Nelson “he fell down the stairs your Honour” McCausland onto a 2011 non story?

  • mickfealty

    Cal,

    Following on from Sergio below, there’s nothing in your post to ‘see’ a Judicial Review. Although they are way beyond my pocket, a JR would be relatively cheap for SF at £50k.

    The fact remains that the tribunal’s findings were not substantially challenged by SF. And no amount of placing the proverbial telescope to your blind eye alters that fact.

    At the time, I was lobbied on this very point and asked to write a piece about Danny’s alleged delinquency on the matter. I didn’t because I thought it would obscure the core problem.

    So let’s get this straight. A tribunal is eminently challengeable. It’s on a much lower order than any court. To that extent we can agree.

    But legal advice (even from someone as learned and eminent as the AG), sits on a rung lower than both, especially if it is not acted upon by a plaintiff within the court court system.

    The primary test is not whether the Minister acted, but whether the former minister acted to protect his own reputation. And he did not.

    Whether you like or not, that entitles citizens to call into question Pearse’s promise of what SF would do differently than the current and near past ‘shower’ in the Republic.

    I’m not saying it’s policy to act as Conor did, but the part is still under the same broad management. If it was anyone else we’d all be having a field day.

  • Cal Murray

    “To put it simply, if as Conor claimed of the Tribunal (ie, “the outcome of the tribunal had effectively branded him as “sectarian” and “a liar”…”), why did he expect Kennedy to deal with it?”

    Actually just read this bit (repeated face-palming obviously blocked my vision earlier)

    Well that’s an easy one Mick, the tribunal findings were against Conor as a Minister in the Assembly not as a individual hence it was Kennedy’s job to deal with it, but then again you know that don’t you…..er….don’t you.

    I’m off to facepalm some more

  • Cal Murray

    Naw, Slugger is just hilariously anti-SF (Gerry ate my Hamster style) it has not been taken seriously for years now, a shame, while it was always anti-SF, it once had some very good commenators and a must read during elections, now it’s more of a rubber necking site to pop on from time to time to find out what the latest SF conspiracy story is.

    Sadly Slugger is proud to claim 60,000 readers a month, Politics.ie where most of the commentators worth reading moved to has 600,000 per month

  • Cal Murray

    Mick, the tribunials findings (as I have said) where against the ministerial/departmental office held by Conor not Conor nor SF, therefore only the ministerial/departmental office held by Conor could appeal, That appeal could only happen through Kennedy.

    Conor nor SF could appeal as they where not involved in the tribunal it was the office. OK

    Conor as an individual could not take action as the decision was not appealed and therefore the decision stood as did any implied stain on his character,

    Therefore any action by Conor as an individual or as a member of SF would immediately point to the fact that the decision stood (as it was not appealed) and so did any inferred stain on his character.

    Now, could Conor have gone to court the same way that Hamilton did over the CAP Pillar2, probably, but why?

    SF aren’t playing the DUP ‘A battle a day’ game and it’s costing the DUP votes and that’s why SF are now the biggest party in NI and almost the biggest in Ireland, though you’d never know if you relied on Slugger for political analysis.

    I mean do you not think that a fair few intelligent ‘garden centre prods’ were annoyed at 500,000 of their taxes were paid out, or that all the CAP money is going to farmers and not some going to help the environment, or that Robinson won’t release 80million for deprived areas or that the DUP won’t allow education reform which would benefit unionist kids or that the DUP want to take billions out of the economy through welfare reform, or that the DUP pander to the OO and the UVF.

    Happy days Mick, the proddy unicorn is out there and breeding like mad and starting to think emmmm maybe SF aren’t all that bad, at least they seem to act like they care.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Quick question Mick..Do you ever expose the sectarianism inherent in Unionism?
    Can you post a link?”
    He doesn’t need to, he has people within slugger who are very capable and willing to do so.

  • fordprefect

    Cal, “it has not been taken seriously for years now” (Slugger). If that’s the case, then why do you still post on it? If I’m asked what I am (politically) I always say; Socialist Republican. I’m not anti-SF, but Zeno has a point, SF are every bit as bad as the rest of the Knuckleheads that sit in the “Shithole On The Hill” as I call it. I live in a C/N/R area and I can’t see any of the benefits that SF promised would be heaped upon us. One only has to look at west Belfast to see that nothing has changed there either.

  • Morpheus

    Genuine question FP:

    Is the fact that 16 of the 20 most socially deprived areas in NI are Catholic a greater indictment on the nationalist politicians for not delivering for their constituents or the State for allowing (engineering?) it to happen over the past few decades?

    I have been mulling it over for weeks

  • mickfealty

    It is useful to compare the two stories, although I hope to have more detail on the Nelson story later this morning.

    I should say first though that I don’t blog stories that I don’t think are important. That applies to the Nelson story as much as to the one on Pearse.

    Increasingly in Northern Ireland, where the PR industry seems to have a greater say than journalists, we have a problem of scarcity that P.ie doesn’t. The 60k sign is coming down btw, not least becauseI don’t fancy having to change it if it dips below that figure in future. I think the story figures are useful enough in themselves.

    Anyhoo, what’s the difference between the two stories? Simple. One had a discernible effect, and the other day. I prefer to speak to the Nelson issue on that thread, but on the NI Water issue we have effects in rather large abundance. In marked contrast with the Nelson/Red Sky/Turkingtons, with two honourable exceptions, the press didn’t touch any of it with a barge pole.

    Now I am not going to speculate why that might have been. Apart from anything else it is now largely and historical matter. Connor was shuffled out not only of the executive, but also as member of the Legislative Assembly. Whether that was punishment or a matter of party strategy, I couldn’t say. Sinn Fein may act decisively, but they rarely provide cogent reasons for those actions.

    Since then no SF minister, that I can think of (perhaps you see it differently), has done anything other than follow the orders of their senior civil servants.

    There is considerable value in going back to a period when the party was forced by circumstances to assume executive responsibility for its ministerial brief. The effects were colossal (throw in having his own Perm Sec removed from post for only the second time in British history), and it ended in a complete mess.

    It is important to test Pearse Doherty’s claims as to Sinn Fein’s future intentions against what it actually does when it acquires senior executive power. If the NI Water debacle is anything to go, then by they will discriminate, lie and spend a fortune in court in order to run their critics into the ground.

    And that’s only if you take the sceptical rather than the cynical approach to these matters.

    BTW, a Judicial Review is not an appeal.

  • mickfealty

    And that’s another word destined for the Blacklist…

  • Jag

    Yaaay! First time I have been able to access Slugger this week (Slugger’s fault, not mine)

    Shure, isn’t Pearse a gas man. He wants 15% reductions in property tax in the Republic to help “hard-pressed families” whilst families, presumably living on the hog’s back, in SF-controlled Strabane will be paying 3% more in 2014.

    And don’t mention rates in the North to the Shinners and contrast their support for rates in NI with their opposition to the property tax in the Republic. It’s not comparing apples with apples, they’ll correctly say; but, on the other hand, it’s not comparing apples with a Vauxhall Astra either. A single person in a GBP 200,000 (€250,000) apartment in Dublin will pay GBP 330 per annum. In Derry, they’ll pay GBP 1,558. Sure, in Dublin, they’ll pay GBP 200 for refuse, and if they go to their doctor, it will cost GBP 40 per visit. But, for that example, where you are comparing apples with apples, Northern Ireland taxes are stupidly high.

    The main tax raising scheme proposed by Pearse is raising income tax/PRSI/levy to 60% for those earning over GBP 78,000 (€100,000). Now, how would a 60% rate go down in NI? What, the Shinners haven’t been lobbying Westminster for a derogation on that tax?! Quelle fecking surprise!

    The next scheme would be to reduce the maximum salary in the public sector to GBP 78,000 (€100,000). Now, how would George Hamilton react to a 60% pay cut? He could probably earn GBP 25,000 as a security guard, would the extra GBP 53,000 tempt him to keep the PSNI CC job?

    And more generally, it’s SF policy in Dublin to lean on that (Garth Brooks hating sonafabitch) planning officer to reverse his planning decisions. Whilst in NI, the decision of the “unelected unaccountable” (as the Dublin city manager was dubbed by the SFers recently) Parades Commission is sacrosanct.Sure, FF were gombeens with their opportunistic Bill presented to the Dail a fortnight ago to usurp the power of the planning officer. But the SFers are just an illiterate class of gombeen – as Mary Lou said in her press release “The city would receive a substantial economic boot from the concerts going ahead. “http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/30990

    Mind you in the South, the SF position is that we DIDN’T ALL party in the boom, that the Magdalene/Church scandals were not the fault of EVERYBODY. Contrast that with “we ALL contributed to the Civil War” approach in NI.

    If Joanna was code for apartheid, maybe Janice might be code for Sinn Fein in Ireland, because they appear so two-faced and inconsistent in their approach on both sides of the Border.

  • mickfealty

    On the purely technical front, what happened Jag?

  • Jag

    Keep getting a cloud message which shows three icons and it says the link to the last icon (which is the Slugger site) is not available. That has happened on a range of devices with at least three ISP providers in Republic and Northern Ireland in past seven days.I use Opera v 21.0.1432.67 (which I think is the latest version)

  • mickfealty

    Thanks. I’ll ask Brian to look at it. You won’t be the only one I’m sure…

  • PeterBrown

    As a matter of interest Cal when did the Law Society debunk this?

  • AMS2013

    Au contaire I follow quite well.
    If you are concerned with the public purse.Then camp Twaddle is a waste of money. Is it not?
    And My other point is about other miscarraiges of justice. The point being no amount is too much to overturn a miscarraige of justice.
    The State spares no expense when IT wants to target you or anybody else it doesn’t like.
    Ergo they can suck it up when it’s their turn.

  • AMS2013

    If he wants to be treated serious then he does.
    Other people have already demolished this story.And proved how thin it is.

  • PeterBrown

    And while you are thinking about that one as someone who has read the judgment from start to finish maybe you could reference each of the claims you have made about your problems with the decision as some are at best inaccurate and at worst deliberately misleading and were all dealt with by me and others on a thread at that time – you can;t just make bald assertions about these suppsoed inaccuracies without backing them up.

  • fordprefect

    What word?

  • fordprefect

    Morph, I would blame both. I’m not from west Belfast (I’m from another part of a C/N/R area of Belfast), but Gerry Adams was MP for west Belfast from 1983 (apart from a hiatus in 1992) and up until quite recently, and it made not one iota of difference to the people who lived there (by that I mean economically etc.). Was that all Adams’s fault? Read the editorial in the A/Town News a few years back and that’ll give you your answer (they of course retracted it the next week). As for the State, loads of people in west Belfast and beyond benefitted from grant money by becoming “community workers” with healthy salaries (as long as they were aligned with SF) and your ordinary Joe and Josephine Bloggs could sod off and carry on in poverty as usual.

  • fordprefect

    Mick, are you talking about my use of the word “Knuckleheads”? If that’s the case, then could you give me a list of synonyms that I could use on this blog to describe people who couldn’t agree on whether it was a fly or a bluebottle climbing up a pane of glass? I mean, I couldn’t call them genius’s now, could I.

  • Comrade Stalin

    And don’t mention rates in the North to the Shinners and contrast their support for rates in NI with their opposition to the property tax in the Republic

    Loathe as I am to defend Sinn Féin I don’t think it’s accurate to say they “support” rates. If anything they’re simply unimaginative about how to raise funds to pay for public spending, and in any case they have few powers over the other major forms of tax that people in NI pay.

    But, for that example, where you are comparing apples with apples, Northern Ireland taxes are stupidly high.

    We went through this a while back. For some people on lower incomes direct taxes are lower, but once you go over about €40,000 a year you’re paying more. That is before taking into account the effect of higher VAT, and the fact that on top of this you need to pay for medical bills, health insurance, bin collection charges and so on. Annual motor tax can be anywhere between double to five or six times the rate in the UK, and there are no untaxed bands for very small cars.

    The main tax raising scheme proposed by Pearse is raising income tax/PRSI/levy to 60% for those earning over GBP 78,000 (€100,000). Now, how would a 60% rate go down in NI? What, the Shinners haven’t been lobbying Westminster for a derogation on that tax?! Quelle fecking surprise!

    I suspect the main reason SF haven’t been lobbying for tax powers is because they know it’s a complete waste of time at the moment (although we’ll see what life looks like after the Scottish independence referendum). Either way, I doubt that many of the people earning >£78,000 – surely a fraction of 1% of earners resident in NI – are SF voters in the first place, and if they are, they’re unlikely to be people fazed by SF’s pseudo-marxism.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t think economic deprivation is not so much a matter of Adams being a bad MP as much as a matter of his contemporaries blowing the bejaysus out of the place for 30 years. Who’d invest anywhere with people racketeering and robbing all over the place ? That’s the point that Squinter and the ATN missed.

  • AMS2013

    “as a matter of his contemporaries blowing the bejaysus out of the place for 30 years. Who’d invest anywhere with people racketeering and robbing all over the place ? That’s the point that Squinter and the ATN missed.”

    Quick question..Can you explain the economic demise of Wales and the North East of England?
    Was there an IRA blowing the beejesus out of them?
    As I said before Unionists are a laugh a minute.
    Also you’ve had 20 years of peace..Why no economic dividend?
    I’m afraid that excuse you gave is just that.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I am not a unionist but I welcome occasionally being described as one to balance out the frequent accusations that I’m a republican.

    The discussion, which you apparently have not followed, was about what an individual MP can do to improve the economic lot of his constituents. I pointed out that the IRA, to whom the former MP for Belfast West is rather closely connected, actively attempted to destroy the economy of this country and accordingly did rather more to destroy jobs than they could to create them.

  • AMS2013

    And I’m saying it’s bogus.
    Case study number #1 Wales Basket case economy
    The Union did this to Wales NOT the IRA.
    And case study #2 North of England.
    Again Westminster or the “unionists” did this bit of economic warfare on Wales and North East of England.
    And you think without the IRA..things would be different for you?
    In fact I would counter argue that H&W was the last Shipyard to be sold off and received MASSIVE UK Govt help coz of the troubles. At the EXPENSE of English Shipyards.
    The 6 County economy had a massive security “industry” also.( many many jobs)
    And there was a Sports Car factory in Dunmurray.
    In short the Economy was propped up by the UK BECAUSE of the violence.
    Without that Violence you would be a peaceful ( and Empty) as a former Welsh coal mining village.
    So maybe you can go to Tyneside and the Clyde and tell them how you suffered in not having “your” shipyard closed down in the 1980’s like most of theirs were.
    What I’m really telling you is What excuse do you offer for the De industrialization of the rest of the so-called UK.
    Did the IRA Make them do it?
    pfft.
    None so blind as those who refuse to see.

  • Comrade Stalin

    None so blind as those who try to steer the topic of conversation away with a load of irrelevant bollocks, more like.

  • AMS2013

    Have it your way chum.
    BTW the whole Unionist tag..Which you seem to object to.
    Wasn’t in reference to the post I replied to .
    But to a seperate post you made which was something like you would vote against a UI.
    Ergo Unionist.
    Would you like to backpeddle from this?
    Or do I have to dig up the relevant post?
    As for been Off Topic.
    I think you’ll find it’s very difficult to refer to the De industralization of the so called UK without referring to other parts of that so called UK.
    Or in other words .What makes you think 17% Ireland would have been spared this?
    Wake up and open your eyes FFS.

  • Comrade Stalin

    No need to dig it up, I am sure I probably did say those words. I stand by everything I write here.

    I’m not a unionist because I’m not ideologically committed to the union. I’m also not a unionist because I can’t tell you for certain, right now, what way I’d vote if there was a border referendum. I might vote for the union, I might not.

    And actually I didn’t talk about the deindustrialization of the UK. You did. It’s irrelevant to my point. It’s relevant to whatever your point is, I’m sure. But I’m not really interested in that.

  • AMS2013

    Oh dear.
    You mentioned about the IRA destrying jobs.
    I mentioned the Westminster Govt..Doesn’t need the IRA for that.
    They are prefectly capable themselves.
    Also, I mentioned specific examples where the IRA was indirectly responsible for maintaining/ creating jobs
    ( all aginst their best efforts)
    So, in short if you ain’t interested then don’t make the argument in the first place.
    Anything I got wrong?
    refer to my other post.
    And Yes You are a Unionist because you fail to recognize the Incompetence of Westminster Governments.
    You don’t want to hear it.
    Ergo you ARE Unionist.
    You mustn’t upset your little masters. Should I?
    Awwwhhhh.
    Like I said..None so blind.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I understood your argument. It’s bollocks.

    The conclusion of what you are saying is that the IRA campaign had no net economic effect. Aside from the ridiculousness of the notion that blowing up businesses and racketeering their employees has no economic effect, it’s a conclusion that contradicts the IRA’s own explanation of their strategy which was to destroy the economy and make it so expensive for the British to keep the place going that they would pull out. The IRA still credit their own campaign of violence with bringing the current “solution” about.

  • AMS2013

    You really don’t know about Wales Do you?
    I never said the IRA had no economic effect.
    OFC the bombs would have prevented most FDI Or multinationals.
    But You thesis is bollix that the IRA are to blame for economic collapse.
    The 6 County economy collapsed after the wall street Crash of 1929.
    Between 1935/6 until the end of WW2
    It enjoyed a boom for obvious reasons.
    In the 1950’s it enjoyed some success attracting FDI.
    But Sean LeMass lifting of restrictions on the 26 County economy AND the FREE State Free Secondary school education of the 1960’s meant TOO much competition for you lot.
    After LeMass It was more attractive to invest in the 26 Counties.
    So Whinge..whinge ..whinge and blame the IRA ALL you like.
    But the facts don’t support it.
    J’accuse you of Mopery.
    So over to you Sherlock…Explain how the 6 Counties would have avoided the fate of Wales and North of England WITHOUT the IRA haven existed?
    This should be good.
    Let’s play what IF. Shall We.In reference to your answer. Ify you could write about the IDA success..The 26 County Tax regime..The education system (see above) and How you would deal with it.

  • Jag

    @Comrade, I think you’re “loath” not “loathe” :-)

    It;’s like nailing jelly to the floor when you try to understand SF’s economics. They may not actively support rates in NI, but that hasn’t stopped them raising rates for the poor sods in Strabane. It’s to cover better services and the like, the usual stuff wheeled out by politicians to justify increases. I was contrasting their stated position on reducing the property tax in the Republic whilst at the same time, increasing rates in NI.

    You refer to the SF stance as pseudo-marxism – not sure what that means, do you? – but the only way I can think of them delivering their health promise – free healthcare for all at point of delivery – is if they transform Ireland into Cuba. With 4.6m population, and an average cost of €10k per person per year for healthcare (that’s my estimate, SF don;t have costings), that’s €46bn of costs that have to be covered each year, compared with the existing health budget of €10bn. A wealth tax would raise €800m perhaps, raising top rate taxes would raise <€500m. The only way they could generate an extra €36bn to cover their healthcare commitments, is ditch capitalism altogether and adopt Cuba-style communism.

  • fordprefect

    Comrade, I typed in an answer earlier and said that AMS has a point and that your analysis was way off (it was longer, far longer, but Disqus had a hissy fit so I’m not going to re

  • fordprefect

    peat what I wrote.

  • PeterBrown

    Cal It seems to have been very quiet for a very long time – are you still looking for the link to the Law Society’s debunking of this decision?

  • Comrade Stalin

    You really don’t know about Wales Do you?

    I’m bored now. Not repeating my argument a third time.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m not against, in principle, the idea of increasing rates in order to pay for better services provided that these services are delivered. It is of course for the electorate of the council to decide whether they support this or not.

    By pseudo-marxism I mean that SF use a lot of left wing rhetoric (“tax the bankers” “screw the rich” etc) but are short on ideas on how to deliver things like jobs, public services and economic recovery etc.

    On the question of healthcare .. well, your maths is a bit off as you are estimating that Ireland will need to spend 28% of GDP to deliver what costs 8.6% of GDP in Cuba and 9.4% of GDP in the UK (as well as outstripping the world’s most expensive healthcare, the USA, which is just under 18% of GDP). Ireland currently spends 8.1% of GDP on health and a modest increase in spending, towards average European levels, would probably deliver significant improvements in healthcare outcomes.

    My guess is that if SF do end up in a coalition government in the RoI they’ll find themselves having to compromise on a lot of things. Starting with this daft plan of theirs to expel the Israeli ambassador.

  • AMS2013

    Keep on your whingefest , then.
    I am just waiting on an e mail from Rover Cars.
    Because quite clearly the industrial policies of Westminster have been so successful that in your parallel universe these are vying with VW group as the World’s largest car builder.
    A purveyor of fine automobiles Loved all over the uk, the commonwealth of the British Empire. Loved so much.
    Can’t think whats the delay is getting my hands on a brochure..There simply MUST be a waiting list.
    Pfffttt.
    Do you have a globe at home that is One Third pink also?

  • Jag

    Spot on Comrade, they couldn’t spend 28% of GDP on health, but to provide universal health care – and SF hasn’t objected to a single medication or treatment regardless of how much it costs, it even welcomed the CF drug being provided free to sufferers at a cost of around €250,000 per person per year – to all, salaries of doctors will need drop to €50,000 a year in my view. And at that, doctors will all leave to work in the UK or elsewhere; that’s why SF will need create a Cuba which stops free movement and allows them to control all costs in the health system.

    I’m increasingly coming to conclusion that SF won’t make it into government in South anytime soon. That;s the way-out-front Paddy Power belief as well, with FG/FF the runaway favorite for next government. Can SF develop more mature economic poilicies which can be delivered and develop a viable left-wing alternative? Of course, but increasingly looks to me like they’re a decade away from that.

  • Cal Murray

    whoops should have said Bar Library not Law Society (don’t think they give opinions),

    Noelle McGrenera QC and Martin Wolfe, points to “arguable errors of law”.unfortunately I’m not a mind reader so you’ll have to tell me what you disagree with before I can reply. If it’s the number of candidates, than I really doubt if you read much of anything, however repost the links and I’ll point it out to you

    As for my absense, FFS it’s been the best weeks weather in a long time, some of us have lives!

    @Jag
    Strabane’s rates rose by an average of 18 quid, thats 6 pints or 2 packs of fags a year,

  • PeterBrown

    The Bar Library doesn’t give opinions either individual barristers do (including apparently the one who lost the initial case who might not be the most objective about the prospects of an appeal as he presumably gave an opinion about the prospects of the initial case and we all now how that one finishes). It was also an opinion not shared by the Equality Commission which supported the applicant not the respondent. All cases are arguable its just a matter of how long and how successfully you can argue for – apparently this was argued for some time before one of the most experienced OITFET panels and there summation can be found here https://employmenttribunalsni.co.uk/OITFET_IWS/(hwvfaiviqq2iif55qgwsw255)/DecisionSearch.aspx I would deal with the one that came home to roost rather than the bigger fish which got away if I was you….

  • Cal Murray

    mmmh Peter, we seem to be getting very off track here, my point was that I rejected Mick’s example as the AG had advised (in strong terms) that the decision should have been appealed and wasn’t. Everything else is waffle IMO.

    IIRC correctly Kennedy refused to make public what (if any) legal advice he used in making his decision not to appeal.

    Unless you or Mick can trump the AG’s legal advice than I refuse to accept the findings. Can you?

    Also, my apols, I note that Lennon was awarded substantially less than I claimed and indeed substanially less than he had wanted.

  • PeterBrown

    You say the AG trumps the decision – I have pointed out that he is a minority of one (alongside the losing legal team), I think that makes it clear who is waffling. Was the A-G’s full letter published(sic I mean leaked) or just selected (favourable) quotes?

  • Cal Murray

    Gosh, we seem to be heading off track again Peter, but just to point out that there is only one AG and he was doing what he was paid for, so back on track, can you trump the AG’s advice, can you explain why it wasn’t taken, can you detail what advice Kennedy based his decision on, if not can you explain why we should accept the decision.

  • PeterBrown

    Erm no we are not staying on the much too narrow track you would like us to stay on and you are getting annoyed that we are not following your script (nor did you answer my question about the full A-G advice). Your point unless I am mistaken is that the advice of the A-G means that the decision is discredited, my point is that those who believe that the decision and therefore Mick’s example is discredited are in a minority not a majority and therefore the example remains valid. Why does the opinion of the initial Tribunal, the Equality Commission and the DSO who presumably advised Minister Kennedy all get trumped by the A-G’s so far selective quotes, surely not because it is the only advice that suits your interpretation?

  • Cal Murray

    Nope Peter, it’s not because it’s the advice that suits me, it’s because it’s the advice that is paid for, as I pointed out it’s the AG’s job, it’s what he is paid to do, that’s why I (and many others expect his advice to be taken,

    Your arguement on a majority decision is bizarre, the AG is the person appointed to, and the person qualified to offer advice.

    Your arguement on how much of the advice is in the public domain is equally bizarre as ALL of the advice was given to those involved ie Kennedy. How much is made public is just more sidetracking, especially as none of the advice that Kennedy (if there was any) acted on is in the public domain.

    So, although you may think the track is a bit narrow, it is none the less the only show in town, ie AG is appointed to give legal advice, the AG said appeal, Kennedy didn’t appeal, unless you can trump the AG’s advice the decision is worthless as it was not challanged,

    There we are once more back on track

  • PeterBrown

    Really and what are the Equality Commission and the Tribunal members paid to do Cal? Make it up as they go along or give advice and make decisions, and while you are on the topic perhaps you could point me to the A-Gs vast employment law experience – and you are implicitly accepting that what we have is selected (edited?) quotes from the A-G’s advice so please do tell why that might be…I don’t mind staying on topic because at least I know what I am talking about!

  • Cal Murray

    Peter, here we go again, the AG did his job, he was ignored, the EC and Tribunal did there job, they were not ignored, neither are they (or the AG) absolute in their power and therefore there is a right to question their decisions.

    Whatever is in the public domain about the AG’s advice is neither here nor there, the AG advised that Kennedy should appeal. Kennedy has not (nor you or Mick) given any reason for ignoring that advice.

    Back on track again, any chance of staying there this time and answering the question, which is why considering Kennedy ignored the AG’s advice to appeal the decision as he and others in the legal profession had misgivings over the outcome should I or others put any value on the outcome.

  • PeterBrown

    You say the A-G did his job and was ignored , yet we don’t know what he said in full only what those who wanted the decision appealed leaked in breach of legal confidentiality and that is here or there in fact it is crucial and Kennedy outlined at great length before the DSD committee what he did what he did (interestingly without accepting that he ignored anyone’s advice which might be instructive about the A-G’s comprehensive view).To state he ignored the A-G’s advice assumes that the A-G’s full advice was to appeal which has not been conclusively established and that the A-G was the only advice he took (he was advised by others) and that all the advice was to appeal (he states it was not) – I am trying to deal with the facts here not my particular (ly slanted?) point of view of the advice of one not infallible lawyer – as my wife will tell you (and even some of my clients) even I am not an infallible lawyer because there is no such thing (and from my knowledge and experience of John Larkin he would tell you the same thing too, as would the Cahir of the Tribunal which heard the case)

  • Cal Murray

    You say he outlined in great detail……

    Yet this article on the view http://tinyurl.com/qyy28dn says the opposite,

    “A STORMONT minister is claiming legal privilege prevents him telling a scrutiny committee………”

    “Danny Kennedy, has told The Detail that legal privilege prevents him from clarifying whether or not he chose to ignore legal opinion which had advised him to challenge the validity of the tribunal hearing……”

    “The Detail understands that Mr Kennedy has also refused to provide the Stormont committee…….. with any legal papers relating to the case.”

    EVEN THOUGH

    “A leading legal academic today tells The Detail that there is no legal reason why the DRD minister cannot provide the scrutiny committee with the papers they have requested.”

    WHAT WE KNOW

    “It later emerged that Mr Kennedy…… had received a series of legal opinions which had recommended
    that his DRD department should legally challenge the tribunal ruling.”

    ” less than 24 hours after the tribunal’s ruling, Attorney General John Larkin QC, provided a written legal opinion to the Stormont Executive, describing the tribunal’s approach to evidence as “erroneous” and stated
    that some of its decisions “borders on absurd”.”

    “Two weeks later another legal opinion, sought by Mr Kennedy, advised that DRD should appeal the decision.”

    “To put it in plain terms, the conclusions reached by the tribunal in these key respects are arguably perverse in the sense that no reasonable tribunal properly directing itself could have reached the conclusions that this tribunal reached.”

    THEN THE AG’s 2nd (3rd LEGAL ADVICE IN TOTAL)

    “In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to reflect on the fact finding by the tribunal and am now of the opinion that in this area, too, the tribunal decision is unsatisfactory and ripe for challenge.”

    THEN THE 4th LEGAL ADVICE

    “Mr Kennedy received a further – fourth – legal opinion which stated that the involvement of an ineligible panel member in proceedings meant that the tribunal should be legally reconstituted.”

    In fact Peter, read the article and reply, as it’s obvious you have no intention of engaging on this preferring to throw up waffle instead of answering a straight forward question that I have put to you several times, although I am beginning to think you are actually Kennedy himself as you both seem unable to answer that very question.

    TBH, I’m bored now it’s obvious that you will not nor cannot answer it

  • PeterBrown

    Cal read the primary sources and not the newspaper and you will see what actually happened – there was more than one set of legal advice and the overwhelming opinion was do not appeal and yet for some (unknown?) reason you concentrate on the one that says he should have and ignore your own question “Now, could Conor have gone to court the same way that Hamilton did over the CAP Pillar2, probably, but why?” – the question is why not? The answer is the obvious one…

  • mickfealty

    Yep. And that’s what has Conor banged to rights. No unionist politician would have dared try to do what Conor did in that case. Why? Because they’d get crucified for it.

    I read that piece in the Detail at the time. And it is true what the nameless legal expert says. There’s no bar on the Minister releasing his advice at all. There’s no bar on me telling the world what legal advice I may have had in any cases I might have been involved with, but hey, why would I want to do that?

    The minister’s only ‘mistake’ was sharing the advice with cabinet colleagues who had an axe to grind with him. The same people who were livid at the leak of information to the PAC over the sacking of four NEDs at NIW (some of which led to the suspension of the Minister’s own Perm Sec), leaked the fact of the AG’s advice, whilst carefully withholding the detail itself. You’re fighting a lonely case here on hearsay, not on argument.

    BTW, I’m interested to hear that you hold the AG’s mere opinion so highly. Do you think his opinion on gay marriage should have the same force of law you apparently believe it has over a tribunal?

    Whatever you or I think of the case, its merits and its undoubted demerits it won’t change the case itself.

  • Cal Murray

    ” the overwhelming opinion was do not appeal”

    Where can I find this legal opinion, do you have a link?

    Who gave it?

  • Cal Murray

    Mick, the legal expert was Queen’s University Belfast Head of Law Professor Sally Wheele, she’s named in the article.

    Difference between you and Kennedy is he and the advice is paid for by the public, and concerns the public and you’re a private individual

    “The minister’s only ‘mistake’ was sharing the advice with cabinet colleagues”

    So now both you and Peter claim the actual advice he acted on has been shared

    Any chance one of you will enlighten me?

  • PeterBrown

    Why would the full legal opinion be shared with the public (rather than selectively leaked) in breach of the ministerial code as per Mick below and in breach of lawyer client privilege which the A-G suffered? Why not just judicially review the decision and let all this come out in the wash? What was there to lose there (certainly not more public money)?

  • Cal Murray

    Peter, you claimed the legal advice existed, you said it supported not appealing, so all I want to see is the same source where you drew your conclusions from, don’t see an issue with that, I only want to see what you have seen.

  • PeterBrown

    I have already pointed out that you should simply use the primary sources not anonymous leading academics talking to The Detail – check the evidence to the DSD Committee for a start where the Minister also has lots to say about selectively leaking confidential legal opinions (see Mick below), and the Equality Commission website as well. I presume that the DSD took advice form the DSO who rather than rushing to judgement 24 hours after the event probably took their time and used their more considerable experience of employment law than that of the A-G’s office to have a non knee jerk reaction…

  • Cal Murray

    Peter, my reply to mick……

    “Mick, the legal expert was Queen’s University Belfast Head of Law Professor Sally Wheele, she’s named in the article.”

    Anyhoos, lets get back on track, what I asked for is for either you or Mick to provide a link that provides evidence that……

    “there was more than one set of legal advice and the overwhelming opinion was do not appeal”

  • PeterBrown

    So this is Professor Sally Wheeler the contract and corporate lawyer – a bit like asking a neurologist to examine your corns! The minister had counsel’s opinion which interestingly though shared with Executive colleagues was not selectively leaked in breach of lawyer client confidentiality, but keeping chopping away at that tree and ignore the rest of the forest Cal…feel free to check the Assembly records that I keep referring you too!

  • Cal Murray

    Peter if you can’t provide a link as evidence to back up your claim, than I can only continue with my previous conclusion.

  • PeterBrown

    Cal you have yet to reach any conclusions at all (in the same way that instead of answering questions you simply repeat your own – have you been to SF press training?). I had apparently mistakenly assumed that you were computer literate and could look up the following yourself but apparently not – here is the DSD Committee were reference is made to the Minister’s own Counsel’s opinion which is one a number (the Tribunal, the Equality Commission) which indicate that there was discrimination and that it should not be appealed. Now can you answer all/ some any of the questions put to you in particular why did the previous minister if he was so convinced by his case and the opinion of the A-G not JR this decision as if you fail to do (both Mick and ) I “can only continue with my previous conclusion”?

  • PeterBrown
  • Cal Murray

    Yes Peter I was aware of that meeting where Kennedy refused to answer questions, I thought you knew of a meeting where he DID answer questions.

    Although thanks for reminding us that he also turned Lennon down for a job at the NIW trough.

    It reminds us how dodgy the whole thing was

  • PeterBrown

    Good of you to follow his example of not answering questions – he had the excuse of legal privliege which was breached only by his executive colleagues, you have none, the very definition of a hypocrite?

  • Cal Murray

    So Peter after how many days and posts you finally admit that he refused to answer any questions, you know you could have saved us both a lot of time if you had done that ages ago,

    Alas your latest comment contradicts your previous, but than again your comments where a mixed bag

    but well done for having a Punt Peter ; )

  • PeterBrown

    So having told you where to find this from the outset I have now given it to you on a plate and answered your one and only question (Minsiter Kennedy was as guilty of not answering any questions as the Law Society or even the entire Bar Library was of debunking the decision never mind the leaked selective quotes from the A-G – he specifically refers to his own Counsel’s opinion in an answer to a question! You couldn;t make it up but you just did). Yet you have still not dealt with a single question posed by Mick or myself and we are the ones in the wrong…now that you accept that your question has been answered how about reciprocating or to follow your lead and use another old insult and like Minister Murphy and his reluctance to JR this decision will you be guilty of that old piece of West Belfast grafitti – I Ran Away?

  • Cal Murray

    Well Peter, yourself and Mick certainly handed me the arguement on a plate and no mistake,

    Regarding why Conor did not opt for a JR, happy to answer that (I wouldn’t wish to put anyone through the prevarication I suffered – it was like been forced to watch Lost on a loop)

    A JR is not really concerned with the conclusions of that process and
    whether those were ‘right’, as long as the right procedures have been
    followed.

    Obviously I can understand unionists hoping he would, but why handicap yourself from the start by narrowing down the possibility of a successful outcome.

    The case was against the government and the DRD in particular, not Conor or SF, the responsibility to act was Kennedy’s.

    You see it was the DUP who promised a ‘battle a day’ not SF. and SF’s continuing success across the who country is by getting on with politics and walking away from the promised daily battle.

    It’s working too, more people voted for SF in the North than for any other party in the recent locals and overall their best election since 1918.

    Meanwhile the DUP are struggling in the 3 out of 32 counties they have any real presense in (and don’t even get me started on Belfast)

    Hope the above helps, but guessing your really just fishing for another strawman argument to try and pull a victory

  • PeterBrown

    Absolute rubbish – judicial reviews are designed exactly for this sort of allegation, namely that the decision was unreasonable based on the evidence available (hence all the challenges to to Parades Commission, coroners and PSNI decisions which were about the evidence on which the conclusions were based not the process) and the fact that no-one sought to do so tells even Google lawyers everything they need to know about the merits of the case. No amount of PEB scripting about an imminent united Ireland (you left out welfare reform) can smokescreen that Cal…

  • Cal Murray

    Ah see now Peter I think you have actually described an ‘appeal’ there, as in you appeal against the judical decision and have an independent body/judge review the decision and will correct errors by the orginal tribunal/judge

  • PeterBrown

    Seriously Cal – what about Wednesbury unreasonableness then? That is not an appeal it is judicial review! Stop at best demonstrating your total ignorance of this particular topic and at worst if you are also a lawyer being deliberately misleading or even dishonest…

  • Cal Murray

    Gosh Peter, no I’m no solicitor, but I did take your advice on going to primary sources and took my definations of JR and Appeals from the British Governments ‘Courts and Tribunals Judiciary’ website and cut and pasted

    Judical Review definition is here http://tinyurl.com/pbn4ezb

    Appeal (private and public) definition is here http://tinyurl.com/qb3po98

    As I’ve shared my primary source, would you mind sharing a link to the primary source for your definition

    And could you do it without 50 comments beforehand : )

  • PeterBrown

    This is something the A-G is an expert on and without resorting to dusty legal journals (yes they are dusty even online) one of the grounds for JR is irrationality which has been described ironically as in effect a form of appeal – http://www.publiclawproject.org.uk/data/resources/6/PLP_Short_Guide_3_1305.pdf

  • Cal Murray

    Peter, you said my definition of JR (as lifted directly from ) was wrong and stated

    “Absolute rubbish – judicial reviews are designed exactly for this sort
    of allegation, namely that the decision was unreasonable based on the
    evidence available (hence all the challenges to to Parades Commission,
    coroners and PSNI decisions which were about the evidence on which the
    conclusions were based not the process)

    your primary source……..

    ” the judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action, or a failure to act, by a public body exercising a public function. It is only available where there is no other effective means of challenge.Judicial review is concerned with whether the law has been correctly applied, and the right procedures have been followed.”

    “A public body is under a legal duty to act or make adecision in a certain way”

    This actually agrees with my definition and not yours.

    It also goes further and destroys Micks arguement as it states

    ” It is only available where there is no other effective means of challenge”

    So an appeal would have to have been the next step in the process before asking for a JR.

    So thanks for that

  • PeterBrown

    The only response to that reply has to be Doh! – we are discussing Murphy JR the decision of Kennedy not to appeal, not the appeal being by way of JR (although that was a helpful display of you total ignorance about the whole subject, thanks for that Cal)

  • Cal Murray

    once you work out the difference between an appeal and a JR (read both our links they say the same thing), you than need to understand that there was only one tribunal Lennon V DRD/NI Water if DRD decides not to appeal, than DRD can’t ask for a JR instead as by not appealing DRD has accepted the tribunals findings. The DRD than handed over a big bag of cash.

    I think the judges first question to Conor in either scenario would be why are you here? it was DRD who lost the tribunal not Conor. Please tell me you don’t think random people can just pick up the baton so to speak and take over a legal process.

    I mean if someone successfully sued McDonalds over been scalded by a coffee and won, the employee who served the coffee couldn’t just decide to appeal against it, only McDonalds could.

    PS
    you do realise that having been caught out (with your own reluntantly provided link) on the fact that Kennedy went on a solo run regarding decision making, and now on not understanding basic legal principles ie Apeal V JR.

    Feel free to switch of the JCB once that hole you are in is big enough.

    Because to be honest I don’t know which strawman arguement you are running with anymore, but you are doing really badly in all of them

  • PeterBrown

    Cal please do not try to patronisingly lecture me on the difference between an appeal and a judicial review until like me you have represented clients in both courts (and you have actually learned to spell both terms correctly). Only the DRD could appeal the tribunal – no-one has ever claimed anything different here or elsewhere, but anyone with sufficient locus standii (look it up in my link where it is simplified to standing in the section on who can bring a judicial review) could judicially review the decision of the Minister not to appeal and although by no means certain one of those most likely to qualify as having locus standii would be the former minster and person whose evidence was discredited by the decision not being appealed (hence why random residents can challenge Parades Commission / PSNI decisions). You are away out of your depth here – time to call for a lifebelt and start heading back to shore before you go under a third time.By the way this is a convenient distraction from the fact that Kennedy’s run was not solo as the link confirms and that it was not challenged and you have still not set out the issues with the Tribunal decision, anyone would think you were perpetuating these legal technicalities (which you clearly know next to nothing about except what you can Google) simply to draw attention away from the actual merits of the case (or indeed lack of them)….

  • Cal Murray

    So Peter. would you say ‘people skills’ are important in your line of work or can someone get along fine without them

  • PeterBrown

    Arguably yes and no client colleague or opponent (even one’s as badly on the ropes as you) have had cause to complain about them to date – kettle pot black if you don’t mind me saying Cal although if I was going to be as patronising as you I would at least try to know what I was talking about first…now having had enough of this cul de sac any chance of answering any of the questions put to you?

  • Cal Murray

    Peter there is only one ‘i’ in locus standi.

    Before I retire from this ‘debate’ can I point out that neither you Mick or Kennedy have given any satisfactory reason for Kennedy not to appeal the decision, rather you and Mick have focused on alternative routes for Conor to take.

    As I go I’ll leave you with a quote from the Assembly committee minutes

    “We derive our statutory basis from section 44 of the Northern Ireland Act. That gives us High Court powers to get the people and the paperwork to help us execute our duties. I feel that that duty has been undermined by the implication of legal privilege. I will not go into that any further.

    The facts remain, as you just said yourself, that your decision to disregard legal advice from the Attorney General has resulted in £150,000 being given to the person involved in the Fair Employment Tribunal. What I find unusual is that the tribunal found that Mr Lennon
    was discriminated against on the basis of religion for the particular post. Yet, when he applied for a post on the board of Northern Ireland Water, you did not see fit to appoint him. You must have some query around his competence and ability to fulfil a role in Northern Ireland
    Water that would not even be as challenging as the role that he was allegedly not given on a religious basis.”

  • PeterBrown

    Locus standi is at least a typo not a fundamental misunderstanding of the whole law – and I’ll not even comment on your people skills…
    OK here is Lennon v DRD for slow learners all of which has been set out (at length!) at various points above and below.
    1. The Attorney’s General’s advice has to the best of my knowledge never been published in full and we are instead expected to reply upon selective quotes which are the result of a leak in breach of legal privilege probably an offence in and of itself.
    2. The other opinion to appeal was from one of the barristers who lost the original case and offered no guarantee of success only a reasonable prospect
    3. There appears to have been another counsel’s opinion which was against appealing
    4. The Equality Commission backed the claimant
    5. the first instance tribunal found in favour of the claimant
    6. There are areas where the decision of the Tribunal can be queried which the selective quotes from the A-G opinion highlight – there are numerous others which are undeniably and unerringly accurate (see for example the statistics for public appointments by the minister – it makes Dev’s line about Ireland being a catholic state have a 21st century 32 county significance and the dancing on the heads of 2 pins about whether they had met)
    7. If he was so concerned about the decision not to appeal why did Murphy not judicially review it?
    The real problem here is SF were caught doing what the Civil Rights movement which preceded them was all about and in the image of the old FEC TV ads were hammering the square peg into the round hole for which Lennon in the opinion of the Equality Commission and the Tribunal (for at least some of the reasons set out in the decision if not all of them – some of the statements about their relative experience on this thread are as inaccurate as the settlement figure bandied about earlier) was a better fit. As members of a Stormont government they turned into the mirror image of their own bogey figure, the old Stormont government…and in the words of Cpl Jones they do not like it up them or indeed being reminded about it