“Sinn Féin will bring this ongoing and totally unacceptable state of affairs to an end.”

This is the latest statement from the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams…

“The DUP leader has thus far refused to stand aside, without prejudice, pending a preliminary report by an independent investigation into the RHI scandal.

“If the first minister does not take the actions that society desires and deserves and which a sustainable process of change requires, then Sinn Féin will bring this ongoing and totally unacceptable state of affairs to an end.”

Newton Emerson also noted this little detail…

Frankly, I don’t get why this is a problem now and it wasn’t when his party launched Fresh Start last year.  Or why the SF leader thinks advertising his party’s inability to forward its agenda in government aids anyone but his opponents.

 

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  • grumpy oul man

    You must be the only Alliance supporter who disagrees with their policy’s and their interpretation of history.
    Every Alliance supporter i have ever met places the start of the troubles at 1966 with the UVF killings.
    Recognizes the effect that unionist discrimination and the unionist violence up to 1969 had on the birth of the IRA,
    Supported the Suningdale agreement and condemns the unionist violence that brought it down plus they also recognize the close contacts that the UUP and DUP had with the loyalist terror groups,
    They supported the AIA unlike you who stood with terrorists to oppose it,
    oh and they want AF to stand down while this whole mess is investigated.
    I’m sorry MU i will have to take that with a giant pinch of salt.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Should Arlene step aside?

  • grumpy oul man

    And you would give MMG the same benefit of the doubt.

  • grumpy oul man

    LH, as you are a lawyer could i ask a question,
    would it be possible for a anonymous blogger on say Slugger sue another anonymous blogger for libel for something posted on slugger.

  • Jollyraj

    I think she should stay right where she is so that, and until, this matter can be properly investigated.

    Should she then step aside? Well, possibly – that will depend on what that investigation turns up. Much preferable to her simply ducking for a while until the smoke clears – I’d much prefer all of this stuff to be brought into the light.

    Answered.

    Now then. What is it Sinn Fein are threatening to do (and which you have supported from the outset)? Or do you still not know, Anthony?

  • Gopher

    The measure of success is what happens next, if Stormont goes to an election and the opposition are all on solo runs that will likely be reflected in their vote not holding up. Success for the opposition is to increase their platform significantly on the back of this. Success for Foster is maintaining 30 seats

    . Presently the pendulum is swinging back to Foster. Its a law of nature, its called “the culmination point” where you run out of steam before you achieve your objective which I assume is the disposition of Arlene. By making it personal instead of about the scheme (what has everyone got to hide?) Arlene has been made to look strong and makes her success of holding 30 seats doable.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    If you think she should stay where she is, why did you call for MoM to step down on a far milder issue?

  • Jollyraj

    Anthony….

    It seems not to matter how many answers I give you, you will always find a new way to try to deflect from the fact that you have apparently no idea what it is that Sinn Fein are threatening to do over this issue with AF – yet you repeatedly insist that you fully support what they’re threatening to do.

    I just answered your last question, and more besides. If you wish to have a dialogue you will have to do better than these shifty evasions.

    What is the SF action plan that you find so attractive?

  • ted hagan

    There’s too many on both sides who enjoy sectarian politics. It will take a new generation, or leaders with reforming zealand vision.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I would love to answer you directly honestly, but you were first asked a question on here some time ago. You refuse to answer yet you expect everybody else to respectfully answer your questions. It doesn’t work like that in the real world.
    So I will try one more time and if you answer my question to my satisfaction then I will gladly answer yours.
    Why is it you called for MoM to step aside in relation to the Jamie Bryson affair yet you support Arlene staying in her position? Talk me through it, give me your answer in full comparative context, explain your rationale etc.

  • North Down

    Only if you were a lebral unionist, your spot on , unfortunately for u most unionists who vote would be evangelical or conservative, a lot of uup supporters went dup because of the gay marage issue, Danny supports gay marriage has no chance to be a unionist leader

  • A hard border and the loss of membership of the EU is nothing dramatic? They seem fairly big changes to me.

  • Jollyraj

    Sure. Again.

    I suggested MoM step down after it had become clear that some very shady stuff had gone on – and it seemed that the buck should stop with him. As it was, SF seem instead to have sacrificed one of their dimmer lights (DM) to save him. That’s water under the bridge, I suppose, though the feeling remains that McKay was used as a patsy to protect others.

    I’ve said that we need to see an investigation into this latest fiasco, and that AF should stay in place so we can see exactly what happened and see who was responsible. As to the outfall of that enquiry – sure, if incompetence, or worse, is shown let’s see the relevant parties get the boot.

    Now then. You seem to have limitless time for these tedious exchanges. I do not.

    However, you’ve had your answer. No more evasions please.

    How about the answer to the question you’ve been asked?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    You’ve managed to get almost everything wrong in that post. Perhaps you need to meet more Alliance supporters. And perhaps you need to read what I write rather than scanning the first line then replacing the rest of it with the words of some unionist bogeyman you have in your head.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    on something like that, yes

  • Anthony O’Shea

    So to be clear, you called for MoM to step down because you believed some very shady stuff had gone on, yet you believe Arlene should stay because you believe no shady stuff has gone on?

  • You are basically assuming 100% of Catholics will vote for a UI, there just doesn’t seem to be that level of support based on polls. NI is a banana state but it’s far from clear that there is enough support in NI to vote for a UI.

    I think SF are making a huge mistake with their current stance. Westminster could be their friend. They just need a big red bus with “Let’s give the NHS the £200 million Northern Ireland takes every week” written on the side of it and build a campaign on that. Worked for Brexit 🙂

  • MainlandUlsterman

    What I said was “not that much dramatic will probably change in terms of people’s everyday lives”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Remainer and I think this is the worst thing to happen to the UK in several decades. And politically the changes are dramatic. I’m just looking at it from the perspective of people who aren’t that interested in politics and only sit up and take notice when things come crashing into their everyday lives. It’s quite possible business will go on more or less as usual for them. How much of their lives will change? 5 per cent, 10 per cent? I come from one of the generations that carried on with life during the Troubles, you adjust and it seems normal. It isn’t what you wanted, but you get on with things.

    Who knows what arrangements we’ll end up with around the border, but I doubt it will be “hard”; there will probably be a few extra hassles a few people crossing the border a lot will have to deal with, but most in NI won’t notice a huge lot of difference.

    People were in the UK before, they’ll still be in the UK; if you’re a nationalist you’ll probably have an Irish passport and citizenship, and you’ll still have that. You’ll still find your home is in one country but wish it was part of another. Not that much will change really. It’s all a bit disappointing, but then what’s new. It certainly doubt it will feel very different.

  • Jollyraj

    “to be clear, you called for MoM to step down because you believed some very shady stuff had gone on”

    Anthony….. yes, clearly some untoward things had happened. That’s why McKay was thrown to the wolves.

    “yet you believe Arlene should stay because you believe no shady stuff has gone on?”

    No, Anthony. If you read my comment you’ll see I said she should stay so that and until we can have an enquiry and proper clarity. Then deal with the responsible parties.

    That is crystal clear.

    Now. The answer to my question, please.

  • Westminster is committed to supporting the choice of the NI people, it’s not committed to keep supplying them with bags of money for all time, nor to not use a significant reduction in those bags of money when it sees an opportunity to do so.

    For example why should Westminster fund large infrastructure projects in a state where there is 20-30% chance that it may no longer be part of the UK in 10 years time? I’m sure projects will still go ahead but they aren’t fools and I’m sure these calculations will increasingly start to be made in future.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    it does seem set fair for some sustained peace though, touch wood. I’m away from things now but looking in from afar, I see no appetite for violence and quite the opposite, quite an attachment to the idea that the GFA arrangements keep some kind of rough balance, to which there is no alternative.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    We won’t know for a few decades at least I guess, if ever. Right now it looks nothing like NI is leaving the UK in the next 10 years; and the Exchequer has been funding investment here to a reasonable degree. I’m not sure why you think NI is on the way out? There is no polling evidence for that.

    I also think some in NI – and I remember this too from when I lived there – get a bit hung up on the old “Westminster wants rid of us because XYZ” arguments (currently dominated by NI being a financial drain). Some there may do. But what it misses is that, to the extent some in government and/or parliament take that view (which is by no means a universal one), there are other factors which render that thought rather meaningless politically.

    The reality is, Westminster both recognises it has a duty to respect the wishes of the people of NI that the region stay in the UK and is formally committed to that, most recently through the GFA, but to be fair through many statements and legislative acts over the century or so since N Ireland came into being. Westminster, if we can so call it, wobbled in the early 70s, sure – or rather some people within the Establishment did – but that wobble was well and truly of its time. By the late 70s, the idea that NI could be just given away was no longer even alive in any serious terms. And the GFA process transformed the terms on which NI exists, reinforcing its status in multi-lateral agreements across the political spectrum and with international approval. Northern Ireland is a different and more secure place now – an agreed place. We never had that before.

    Now, parliament can do what it wants, but overriding Stormont and/or the NI people to eject NI from the Union would be a truly extraordinary act. The odds against that happening must be thousands to one.

    If in future, the GFA wanes in its cultural influence and atavistic forces take hold again, who knows what might happen, and I dread to think. But until then and with due respect to the Exchequer, NI will continue to receive a decent share of the national pie and investment will continue.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    But Johnny Bell has also been trown to the wolves pretty much. So then at the time why shouldn’t MoM stay in place until we had an ‘inquiry and proper clarity’?

  • The difference with the Troubles is that you can vote Brexit away by voting for a UI and that the pain will be caused by this weird attachment to the UK. I’d be surprised if that really didn’t cause any change in sentiment towards a UI.

  • Jollyraj

    “So I will try one more time and if you answer my question to my satisfaction then I will gladly answer yours.”

    I’ve answered your question, Anthony.

    I’m now waiting for you to prove you aren’t really just a Republican troll and answer mine.

    You see, I’m pretty certain at this point that you can’t answer it. Because you don’t know the answer. Now, I might be wrong. But you’ll have to prove it.

    Ready when you are.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Its been fun playing with you

  • Madra Uisce
  • Jollyraj

    Yes. Pretty much par for the course for your average Shinner.

    Big on slogans, makes a fair bit of noise, but when you get right down to it really has nothing to say.

    Thank you, Anthony.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    have you seen the polls on it so far?

    Most people don’t find being in the UK “weird”. No one has any memory of not being in the UK.

  • North Down

    For a lot of people what you say is true, but little ni is full off people with an archaic view, the dup carry a moral compass for tens of thousands of people, even the priests r starting too call for people to vote for them because of there moral views, that’s the only reason I vote dup, a lot of people don’t seem to understand, there is a large evangelical body out there who is voting dup, that’s including catholics, the heating scandal means nothing, as long as they stand up for r moral principles, I know from your point of view that is sad but it’s true

  • Anthony O’Shea

    You’re welcome buddy.

  • I was thinking of in 3 years time once the hard Brexit that May is aiming for is achieved and the cost start to be felt in Ireland (both sides of the border). I’d be amazed if there wasn’t the slightest increase in support for a UI, enough to make the mandarins start wondering.

    The shortfalls will have to be made up somewhere, NI looks like an easy target for some cost cuts. As I said I just don’t see the value of NI to England, all I see are costs and hassles. “If people are so loyal they can be loyal while costing us a lot less”, seems a reasonable thought to have.

  • eireanne3

    are the moral principles of the DUP supporters only sex-related -like no abortion, no gay marriage?
    What about theft from the public purse, as in the RHI set-up?
    Is “Thou shalt not steal” not a moral principle for DUP supporters?

  • grumpy oul man

    sorry mate but this Catholics voting for the DUP, its simply not true.
    I have never heard a priest call for anybody to vote DUP and the morality of Dup supporters seem only to do with the sexual hangups of the DUP and nothing to do with christian values like Love thy neighbor or do unto others.
    These tens of thousands of people number a lot less than the hundreds of thousands who don’t attend church chapel or meeting hall and have no issues with gay marriage they are just a lot more vocal.

  • fordprefect

    Took them long enough Anthony.

  • Annie Breensson

    Moral principles are flexible. There’s always the Colin Howell justification.

  • grumpy oul man

    is John Major without the personality or brainpower really.
    LOL, sir that should go into the great book of insults, i doff my hat to you!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I should really just ignore your nonsense, GOM, but for the record:

    “Do you believe that the troubles started in 1966 with the uvf murders ( in the past you have strongly disagreed with this) …”
    No.

    “… or are you claiming that alliance members dont believe this.”
    I haven’t asked them all but I would guess quite a few Alliance voters would go with the standard August 69 start date for the Troubles. What that matters I know not, but it seems important to you, so there you go.

    “Do you accept that unionist discrimination contributed to the birth of the IRA ( in the past you have denied this)”
    I’m not sure if we’re talking ‘birth of the IRA’ as in when it emerged out of the IRB a century or so ago, or you mean the Provos in 1969. Either way, well, everything that goes before “contributes to” everything after I suppose. We had this conversation I think. I made the point about distinguishing “but for” causation from more proximate causation. Your phrasing here suggests you’re talking in very wide terms about all the factors in the IRA’s emergence, so I can probably live with that statement. I’d agree that it contributed in the sense that Republicans used unionist discrimination as one of their claimed justifications for their campaigns of violence – but they were obviously wrong to do so.

    “Have in previous posts claimed that when challenged abput unionist violence over sunningdale that sunningdale had to go(be aware that these statements are on the profile of anybody who challenged them and your trick of deleting them will not work)”
    If you read, I condemned unionist violence around Sunningdale. If I supported it, please quote where. Sunningdale had to go because it lost public support and that was clear in the results of the February 1974 general election. Thanks for the delightful claim of dishonesty by the way, again thrown so lightly without any sense of it being an awful thing to accuse someone of – and without any apparent grounds either. I go back and tidy up typos in posts and sometimes add to them or delete where I’ve repeated myself, which I have a habit of. That’s because I take clear writing seriously, but have to work at it. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever gone back and retracted a substantive point I was making.

    “Alliance has suffered from the unionists partys links with terrorists and frequently comdemed how can you as a alliance supporter deny these links.”
    It’s unclear what links you are referring to, so I’m not sure what I am supposed to be denying, or where I have denied them. But I’ve been very clear and consistent in condemning any unionist who is an apologist for Loyalist terrorism, so I’m not sure what prompted this particular allegation on your part?

    “Finally the AIA alaince supported this yet you have boasted about being part of the campaign against the AIA which was organised by terror groups and the DUP/UUP”
    I have never “boasted” about being part of a campaign organised by terror groups. Virtually the whole of unionism was against the AIA and we weren’t alone – Mary Robinson resigned over it (and many other should have). Alliance called it wrong and I was for many years quite distant from Alliance as a result. But indeed, the campaign against the AIA is something I take great pride in being part of. It taught me a lot of valuable lessons about the nature of democracy and actually gave me some insight to into how it feels to be disenfranchised and ignored, which strangely enough made it easier to empathise, over time, with nationalist experience of alienation and political exclusion.

    “now enough of this nonsence you are no more a Aliance supporter than i am a olympic athlete.”

    “I have read your post everybody here has read your posts and you belong to the most backward and reactionary part of unionism.”
    That’s your view, but actually you’re talking to someone who leafleted for Remain last year, door-knocked in marginals for Ed Miliband in 2015 and was a Labour Party member until the Corbyn election (and I paid to vote in the Labour election this summer too). My entire voting life I’ve been a Labour / Lib Dem swing voter, before 2010 ended it for me with the Lib Dems, though I’m considering them again now they’ve moved leftwards and are championing closer ties with the EU. I think you have me completely wrong and I can only think it’s because you may see things through an Irish Republican prism. What you may not grasp is that lots of people really, really dislike the Republican Movement for its particularly intense blend of viciousness, brazenness and dishonesty – and lots of people are deeply troubled by its current relative electoral success. You don’t have to be in the DUP, TUV or even UUP to find the organisation’s continuing attitude to its terrorist past reprehensible. The Catholic Church, the Irish government, all the main Irish parties and the SDLP have come to the same conclusion. If you think no one who supports Alliance feels that way about the Provos, you are very much mistaken. I can talk from personal experience. As I say, my parents were Alliance voters and one of our best family friends was a local organiser for Alliance in our area.

    “By the way i dont believe ypur claims to having a cambridge law degree either.”
    Your attention to detail again lets you down. I never claimed to have a Cambridge law degree, I was at Oxford.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Cost cuts are due for sure. But even with that, it will still be heavily subsidised overall.

    I think the mandarins have bigger fish to fry when in comes to Brexit. We’ll make due effort on minimising problems in NI and we’ll work as closely as possible with the Irish Republic on that. But unless it somehow has a seismic effect on the united Ireland question – which I’m sorry but it just won’t – the mandarins won’t be wondering too much. This thing is monumental for the UK as a whole.

  • fordprefect

    “Gloves are off” Hahahahahahaha, aye right! Haven’t had a laugh like that in ages. Maybe the gloves are off so they can use their fingernails to cling on to “power”!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’ll have to see the wording of this Ford speech, sounds interesting …

    On the IRA, you didn’t actually say 1969, or PIRA for that matter.

    I did condemn the violence around the UWC, so you have one shred of a sentence where I said I supported it?

    I mentioned Remain because you accused me of being in “the most backward and reactionary” part of unionism. Weren’t they all Leavers?

    When have I ever excused unionist violence? You repeat this stuff like it’s got some grounding in reality, but really, can you try actually quoting me if you’re so sure? I would be very interested to see what you come up with. You may find it’s that unionist baddy in your head again, because these certainly aren’t anything like my views that your responding to.

    My law degree was 25 years ago and I am not claiming, nor have I claimed since I stopped practising, to know the law in any detail on that or any other subject. That would be quite wrong. I mentioned libel because it obviously – you don’t need to be a lawyer to know – applies to untruths one makes about someone and shares in published form which denigrates their character. Mentioning the law of libel isn’t to shut people up but reminding them Slugger itself takes a hit as well as them, in theory at least, if they resort to just making stuff up about people. More to the point, it is against the rules of posting of Slugger to make ad hominem comments at all, let alone so many patently untrue ones (and note I’m avoiding where possible making any ad hominem comments about you, though God knows I’ve had enough provocation by this stage).

    Really that’s it, it is a waste of time continuing this conversation. It does you no good to be writing such stuff.

  • J D

    I know. What a heretical assumption that Nationalists will continue to vote as Nationalists. Odd how the assumption that Unionists will continue to vote as Unionists is never challenged. But nope, there are only Catholic Unicorns. It’s a myth Unionism must cling to now, or face the harsh reality that Northern Ireland won’t make it to 100 years.

  • AntrimGael

    I don’t know if Jolly is hinting at ‘a return to conflict’ but he/she can soothe him/herself there. There is NO desire or support within the Republican and Nationalist community for ANY violence and that includes what the so called dissidents are up to. Demographics and time are on the side of the Nationalist community and constitutional change is going to come through this. Despite the frustration and anger within Nationalism at Unionist bigotry and intransigence any protests and reactions will be TOTALLY non-violent and through the political process.

  • Jollyraj

    Jolly is certainly not hinting at a return to conflict.

    I’m not hinting at all – I’m suggesting plainly to Anthony that he is a buffoon who has repeatedly and insistently claimed he supports the action Sinn Fein are threatening. Yet he seems to have no clue as to what it is they are threatening to do.

    I fear that for as long as SF can harness the moronic vote, little progress can be made here – though of course the Shinner fatcats will continue on their nice little earner.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    God alone knows what goes on in the minds of others.

  • AntrimGael

    Labeling people as ‘moronic’ and ‘buffoons’ certainly doesn’t move the debate along!

  • Annie Breensson

    I agree with that analysis, Ted. There are more players than themuns/usuns involved, and a display of gravitas vs petti-mindedness does no harm on the larger stage.

  • Jollyraj

    No, indeed.

    But then I would invite you to look through the last several of Anthony’s contributions, in which he shows an extremely mulish stubborness in his determination not to answer the entirely reasonable question (given that he pretends to know, and is fawningly supportive of) as to what exactly Sinn Fein are threatening us all with this time. Then tell me:

    a. If ‘buffoon’ is inappropriate, how would you describe him, and

    b. Perhaps you can help him out with the answer he appears not to know.

  • J D

    But isn’t she? I keep expecting Edwina Curry to show up – ta-bump-dump!

  • J D

    That and Robinson established the precedent. Makes me wonder what Foster may have accomplished while standing in for Robinson that makes her wary of giving anyone else the same opportunity?

  • North Down

    Before the elections the head priests or bishops, had a meeting with the dup, all over the news ,radio. when asked who should your church goers vote for, that reply was a party who has the same view as wee do on marage, we know they were talking about the dup, these tens of thousands of people will keep the dup on top,

  • North Down

    We all know that they didn’t steal, now the welfare scandal now that’s stealing we know wich party gives good advice on screwing the system

  • Karl

    I think thats exactly what they intend to do. It will be English nationalism that precipitates the breakup of the union and its is their sense of injustice against the ‘ungrateful scots’ that will initiate it. It helps oil prices are due to remain low long term and that 80% of that asset has been used.
    Without the subvention, unionists will have to do something more than circle the wagons and insult their political opponents. Who knows what that will be. I predict denial (current phase), anger (more flag protests and ‘community worker’ involvement, bargaining, but not in any meaningful way, depression and acceptance.
    I dont know if the newer generation of unionists have the same outlook as their parents and are jut quieter or if they dont hold them but are happy not to be politically active. Time will tell.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    “DUP v SF” agree both are playing a blinder to the electoral audiance. An election now could finish the so called “pan-opposition” once and for all ! They have turned the RHI Mess now into an Orange v Green Election !

  • john millar

    “If and when an independent inquiry delivers its verdict, then is the time to make judgements on the conduct of Foster, and anyone else in the DUP or civil service involved in the RHI sceme.”

    Yep– let her sit there during the inquiry and if/when found guilty have her impeached /banished permanently from office

  • john millar

    “For the opposition, how is it bad? What possible detriment do they suffer?”

    Every dispute gets turned into orange V green The fringe parties get squeezed and and the two major opposites return glowering at each other

  • john millar

    “Theresa May is nowhere near as bright as you, has nowhere near the level of political insight as you and in fact is John Major without the personality or brainpower really.”

    Hmmm

    Theresa May

    Geography at St Hugh’s College, Oxford University.

    John Major

    Did not attend university after leaving school at 16.

    She is that dim.?

  • john millar

    ” if there is an election,they wont, they only care about themmuns and the DUP know this which is why they are unafraid of an election”

    Sad but true —they are salvalating at another opportunity to dredge up the past

  • john millar

    ” As I said I just don’t see the value of NI to England, all I see are costs and hassles. “If people are so loyal they can be loyal while costing us a lot less”, seems a reasonable thought to have.”

    The sooner NI subsists on its own tax base the better It will focus the natives minds no end

  • Karl

    In other democracies, senior governement minister stand aside while an investigation into their actions is underway. Who’d have thunk it? Without pay too. Is Arlene being asked to give up the spons?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/travel-expenses-row-forces-australian-health-minister-to-step-aside-35351884.html

  • J D

    Not as dim as that attempt at logic. JHC that’s pathetic.

  • john millar

    I see –in your world academic achievement gives no hint of intellectual ability ? Interesting

  • J D

    Goodness. You really should stop digging.
    No. A degree proves nothing but the ability to earn a degree. It says absolutely nothing about anyone’s intellectual ability. And certainly not in Geography. Might as well have studied Botany!

  • JOHN TURLEY

    Very true, who would want such a shameful experience as Labour and F.G. suffered last year..
    Sinn Fein have made a very wise decision today.

  • JOHN TURLEY

    Very strange that Mr Emerson does not know that both parties are of equal
    standing and results are by agreement not by one party spiiting on the other.The damage to the Shinners will be because Martin waited too long.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Full agreement, I’ve usually found Danny’s basic decency has the respect of every shade of political opinion on the sane side of the perenial barricades.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    North Down, the general public will probably never be offered the transparency of published lists of financial beneficaries from the RHI debacle, or the donor lists to political parties with which the more cynical of us might wish to compare them. Almost certainly the public would never be offered lists of the extended family members of politicians for similar comparison, and as long as such things are clothed in obscurity none of us may properly assess whether or not any actual benefit has accrued to the personal networks or support networks of any politician from the public purse in this matter. But equally, without such information, we do not have the clear and unquestioned proof of the innocense. Without such firm proofs we simply do not know if what occured was carelesness or mendacity, but we clearly do know it must have been one of these things.

    You claim “We all know that they didn’t steal” but that can only be a matter of your uninformed personal opinion
    unless you have access to infotrmation kept from the rest of us. Perhaps you can let me know what grounds you hold for your certainty in this matter?

  • North Down

    Yes mate, I think someone said to me though shall not steal, I went of in one about the welfare system, everyone around me gets handouts while me and the wife struggle with money, on the rhi debacle OK my opinion, I don’t think Mrs foster stole she is a evangelical Christian, I know that could mean nothing, I think the main problem is with the spads and civil servants, for me civil servants run the country, I work in a hospital and civil servants are the ones in charge, I think the dup know this , and when they put a policy on the table they will be watching the servants closely, you don’t hear the media talk about this because they are left wing, on the radio yesterday a civil servant came on the radio backing the dup he was cut of in 30 seconds

  • SeaanUiNeill

    North Down, while I have many friends who are evangelical Christians and people of strong conscience and moral probity, the term “Evangelical” a pretty broad “church” and, just one example, I know of at least one “Evangelical” of my acquaintance who is in public life a respected lay preacher and in his private life seems perfectly happy to lie for personal gain and actively cheat his fellows on an industrial scale! But I suppose his espousal of the Gospel of Prosperity gives him an “out” on such things. As his perception of God seemingly wishes to reward him with wealth, the routes to this wealth are there for him to use against the “ungodly” or anyone else for that matter. My own Anglicanism has unreservedly demanded that I examine conscience on all matters and cut myself no slack whatsoever. I’m inclined to apply this standard to anyone else who makes any claims to living a moral life. So I do not judge on what I’m told a person is, but how they actually act and live. And from a lifetime of detect contact with politicians over the water and here, my ability to trust in their universal honesty has long ago been entirely eroded by what I’ve seen.

    I agree that Civil Servants exert power, certainly, but if you examine who the system works there is no room for any minister to pass the buck as Arlene is doing. If they have not worked to make themselves fully aware of what is going on under their tenure they are not fulfilling their public responsibilities properly. As the person who is acting in our name, it is their responsibility to understand fully what is going on, or to make way for someone else who has the necessary commitment.

    And, as someone like yourself who is very far from well of, I cannot see public money simply wasted without demanding that full account is made by those who are truly responsible.

  • North Down

    Evangelical is a broad church, now my opinion evangelical is somone who follows the Lord jesus and have asked him to come into there lives, I am a deep thinker and people take what I say wrong, you know who am talking about very smart in his own head but can be very slow in understanding simple posts, thanks for sticking up for me , I see he had to go to your level, and yes Arlene should have checked over what the people below her were doing , the good thing from now on the civil servants will be watched very closely, nice talking to you

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Slugger needs some more committed Unionists who think outside the box, North Down, and I’d been taken by your comment on our recent dFM. I’ve often said that we need more people who genuinely care about the Union itself, more than they feel they need to defend political Unionism to the last ditch with all its baggage. JR has written some good posts himself at times, but I thought he was simply wrong in attacking you in those terms. If I disagree with someone I will argue my points with them, but I’d hope that it can remain respectful. If only this could be so in our public sphere also.

  • North Down

    People find it hard to understand if u think outside the box, you do need more unionists on hear , saying that jr will scare them of, do you not think that we are so far away from the two sides coming 2gether, are that type of ulster your looking far, if wee got rid of political unionism, the idea of a united Ireland will be so far away, unionsts don’t know they have won, so they should try to make the catholics feel that they belong hear, saying that I fall into the trap of political unionism, especially on hear , I still can’t understand how they say Ian paisley and Ira are the same, are yes ira murdered thousands but the army were bad to , justifying way they support SF, am thinking about lurneing ultser Scots, go back to my roots, are sphere is fine, nice talking to you.