Foster & McGuinness lash out at the SDLP over opposition

Arlene and Martin getting their shots in first….

press release

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  • Declan Doyle

    Maybe it is time to seriously consider abandoning the forced coalition model and head into voluntary coalition territory.

  • Croiteir

    Nothing is agreed until your signature is placed on the page

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’m happy to admit that it is the 2nd job of government to hold the opposition to account, but in this case the opposition is simply choosing to be an opposition, and a lot of people seem to accept that.

    It’s not as if the DUP and SF were going to offer the SDLP the justice minister role.

    Wonder if Jim Allister is going to be offered it.

  • Msiegnaro

    Jokes aside Allister is the person for the job, however he will never be offered it. I noticed in yesterday’s newsletter Sugden is interested in getting her paws on it, that would be the wrong choice in my opinion as she is completely unqualified.

  • Lee

    The words ‘tough’ come to mind.
    That’s how negotiations work.
    People and parties get strung along, the optics is, unfortunately, an integral part of politics. It’s all part of the manouvering dance.
    And the PfG document was a joke, like something a 13 year might come up with in a school project ‘we want a better quality of life for all’.
    DUP and SF are going to have to get used to being in a very ‘hot’ seat with being able to blame or neutralize the other parties.

  • Lee

    One thing at a time

  • Skibo

    Well it will be voluntary coalition if there are only two left in the bed. It will be interesting to see how they handle Justice if Alliance walk away.
    I would suggest going in as joint partners so 8 ministers, 4 from each party. The Justice department along with one of the others could be dealt with similar to the Speakers’ position, 2.5 years DUP followed by 2.5 years Sinn Fein.

  • Skibo

    Justice is blind and unfortunately Jim only has eyes for Republicans. Hardly an impartial candidate.

  • Skibo

    Bit of a cop out. They could have brought their own PfG to the table. If they go into opposition they will have to produce one anyway or else it was all just smoke and mirrors.

  • Msiegnaro

    He has condemned Loyalists too.

  • robertianwilliams

    How wonderful that Arlene and Martin can issue a joint statement together.

  • chrisjones2

    Dear Arlene and Martin

    We are all sick of this and of the pretence. The two of you should go off and form your own little coalition Government and stop pretending to us that you are fighting with each other to protect your community from themuns.

    You only want the other parties involved to take the bad look off this with your own extremists, As soon as any other parties join with you you will blame them for all the ills, marginalise them and use Petitions Of Concern to prevent them achieving anything positive or progressive.

    You are both part of the same grafting self-serving polity. Put your sordid little deals out in public and just get on with it. We really dont care any more as we know that 70% of what you tell us is simply untrue

  • Croiteir

    They could have done – but there again you can argue they did – at least in outline in their manifesto. I would argue that the big two have the duty to set out wha they offer and then let the horse trading begin.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Shame I was suggesting offering him the job as a joke, just to get him a bit red faced.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It’s only fair he gets the last say after basically everyone else being offered it and he becomes the last one remaining.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Declan I think we agree for once! I can’t see the problem with a voluntary coalition and opposition model either, as long as it has to be cross-community.

  • Gingray

    Unless they happen to be called Torrens Knight …

  • Msiegnaro

    who?

  • Gingray

    Google him. The TUV have always had a more ambivalent attitude towards cooperation with loyalism, nothing wrong with it other than a little good old fashioned local hypocrisy

  • Lionel Hutz

    So the program for government was in essence decided before the election. They decide what we get before we are asked what we want. How’s that for arrogance

  • Skibo

    AS FM/DFM they have to. It happened all through the last two assemblies apart from the times that Peter would head off on holidays to write letters.

  • Skibo

    But sure you can accept that a good Protestant can make a mistake and learn from his actions. Its those pesky Republicans. Can’t teach them anything!

  • Lionel Hutz

    There we are. Sdlp and Uup are in the opposition

  • Skibo

    So show me yours but I’m not showing you mine!
    Look, I vote SF as their vision of the future is closer to mine than anyone else but I don’t owe them anything. I think it is time they and the DUP accept the mandate they have been given by the people and set up an Executive.
    Unfortunately, they cannot bypass the D’hondt system and have to give any party that achieves a mandate for a Ministry their position. SDLP and Alliance have to accept they have a reduced mandate and accept they have to row in behind or walk away. This craic of sitting in and condemning has to stop.
    DUP, for their part, have to accept the mandate SF have been given also. The statement of not trusting SF with Justice is condescending, particularly if you take into account the condemnation MMG did on dissident Republicans.
    Would DUP not be better actually putting SF in the Justice seat, monitor how they perform and take it from there.
    A SF Justice Minister would be akin to Michael Collins turning the British guns on the Republicans in the GPO at the start of the civil war.

  • Skibo

    Just have to see where Alliance head now. I assume they will follow.

  • scepticacademic

    or… or…. or… bit of a ‘toys out of the pram’ tone to that statement isn’t there? It’s almost as if they’re a bit miffed that their cunning little plan to mute or neuter any dissenting voices has been rumbled. DUP-SF won the election. Fair dues. DUP-SF stitched up the PfG and its their programme. Fair enough. Now let them get on with it, with proper democratic scrutiny and accountability via the free media, elected chamber and subsequent elections.

  • Skibo

    Stephen Agnew and Claire Sugden both carry demands too great for the DUP. marriage and abortion!

  • Jollyraj

    True to a point, but since Justice has over the course of the last number of years been blind to Republican misdeeds, perhaps he would at least bring us closer to balance.

  • Croiteir

    The DUP and Sinn Fein are making the offer -so they do have to show the deal

  • Skibo

    Seems this was always Colums’ position. Pity he didn’t make that a bit clearer before the election.
    He has known for a number of months what was in the PfG.

  • Ciaran O’Connor

    Using my crystal ball I am predicting that this is actually a huge mistake by the UUP and SDLP.

    SF and the DUP will now work hand-in-glove. On the positive side you can look forward to probably the most effective period of government since the formation of this diseased state. On the negative side the SDLP and UUP can look forward to being annihilated at the next set of elections.

    Its simple. All the DUP and SF need to do is focus upon the issues they can agree upon and then move that forward over the next five years on that basis. The economic situation is improving and that on its own might be enough to bring them home with bumper figures at the next set of elections. If they can make wins with what they agree upon in their PfG, with a reviving economic situation, then they’ll have a hell of a story to tell the electorate.

    The SDLP, UUP and Alliance are stuffed. Watch this space.

  • Jag

    What if SF went into Opposition? A minority DUP government? Those bloody Petitions of Concern remain a block to proper democracy because DUP, with 38 seats (8 above the 30 threshold needed to raise a POC) can block any initiative even though they have just 35% of all seats.

  • Croiteir

    Really. It seems as if SF didn’t

  • Skibo

    Not sure what you were watching! SF always made it clear that they were going to go into government. SDLP sat on the fence and didn’t commit to in or out.

  • Theelk11

    This could be wonderful.. Get them all on the same benches behind Marlene..
    First time in its history that chamber might see something that resembles a legislator and an accountant.. It’s only taken the guts of 100 years