O’Neill “We will not be re-nominating a Deputy First Minister before the election”

A very declarative response to Arlene Foster has been issued by the Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill tonight;

This is an act of desperation by the DUP.

“If the DUP were serious about addressing the political crisis then Arlene Foster would have stepped aside a month ago as Martin McGuinness suggested privately to her. They refused to do so and arrogantly attempted to brazen out the public anger.

Arlene Foster did not remove herself from office, Martin McGuinness removed her to allow the people to have their say.

“There is widespread acceptance that the crisis of confidence in the institutions has gone way beyond the RHI scandal.

“We need good governance, transparency and accountability. We need political institutions, which deliver for all our people on the basis of equality and respect and we need the implementation of the Good Friday and other agreements.

Martin McGuinness made it clear that the status quo is not an option.

“We will not be re-nominating a Deputy First Minister before the election.”

, ,

  • Oriel27

    Ha, the DUP are panicking !!!, hell rub it up them.

    The DUP need to learn what equality means, and above all, they need to start having a bit of manners and respect to others. NI no longer belongs to unionists (of the DUP brand) . Unionist dominance (of the DUP brand) is now over. Its not 50 years ago.
    The naked sectarianism of the DUP has had its day, I hope their vote disintegrates and moderate unionists take their place.

  • Obelisk

    While I sympathise with the opinion, I find the idea that this election will crack the DUP very far fetched. I think everyone is going to be in for some damage and the DUP could, very easily, come out on top again.

  • Jag

    Shame on Michelle for not once mentioning the £400m+ loss to our society when Arlene was at the tiller. And for not mentioning empty barns being heated with the doors open.

    And there’s that “respect” again, who do SF think they are, a criminal mob, “are you disrespecting me”. There will NEVER be unqualified respect between political rival parties and SF are now beginning to sound like a hackneyed Godfather.

  • Dan

    Sinn fein have been indulged and tolerated, and given a chance to move from terrorism, but they’ll never be respected

  • Dan

    Moderate unionists were in their place at one time. Nationalists chose to stick together at that stage, and pulled the rug from under them.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I dont believe SF will benifit much electorally, at best they might ‘hold their own’
    But I am hoping Unionists will opt in greater numbers for the UUP or possibly even the PUP which at the very least might disarm the DUP of their power regarding POCs.
    We need a bigger turnout and if those extra voters cannot Stomach voting for SF I pray they take a punt on the centre ground parties such as Alliance, PBP and The Greens.
    Even if the DUP come out on top, if they take a hit regardless it will send a message to Arlene that she is not untouchable.

  • hotdogx

    Maybe this is why the DUP are panicking:

    http://endgameinulster.blogspot.fr/

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Hlaf a million Irish voters disagree with you.

  • ted hagan

    Any chance of dumping the speaker now, are has the opportunity gone?

  • ted hagan

    Difficult one to call. Things can change dramatically in the course of an election campaign. Perhaps some of the many abstainers will get off their backsides for a change.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Holy Phuck !! really? Are you sure those figures are correct? Thats some leap since the last one a couple of months ago and suggests our nonalligned population have had enough of Unionist upstartery. Horseman was correct it seems.

  • Redstar

    If they want to win back the substantial non voting block in Nat communities-and many of us are ex SF voters- they need to spell out exactly what they will or won’t put up with as regards equality being present and seen to be present in any future administration

  • Redstar

    Lol

    Polls, Soooooo accurate!!!

  • Skibo

    Indulged? Tolerated? If that was indulging and tolerating, I would hate to see what non-cooperation would be like!
    SF went in wilfully into sharing power. The DUP went in with gritted teeth and did their best to antagonise their partner.
    What went for as coalition was far from it from the DUP side.

  • Skibo

    Dan could you point out when Nationalism walked away previous to this?

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Lucid Talk ahve a well earned reputation of getting their poll results bang on in the North.

  • Skibo

    As long as the DUP do not cross the 30 level, their control on the process can be held to account. If they achieve the 30, there will be little sense of going back in to be forced to the back of the bus again.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Well I think thats pretty clear in the context of agreements already made in the GFA and St Andrews, however they have at least six weeks norw to make it clearer.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    The electorate might do that job

  • Anthony O’Shea

    There certainly is a lot going on

  • Skibo

    Makes very interesting reading and Brexit has not even had a proper effect yet.

  • hotdogx

    Yeah, Antony before you get all excited this is only a poll, at least not a unionist leaning one! Polls as we saw with Brexit are just indicators and not to be taken as a definite reality.

    This was done in December, imagine what it will be after today and then in a few weeks time when the reality of hard Brexit hits home with Britain crashing out of the EU. Single farm payments, dairy business & all that, wrightbus etc?

    The British won’t decide s**t regarding the border, it will be “the 27” and who is the member of the 27 who has a say & will fight for the rights of everyone on this island?
    THE IRISH GOVERNMENT

    Its out of your hands Arlene!!!
    The unstoppable march to a UI has possibly started and unionism is on the slippery slope to oblivion.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Oh my Lord thats quite a jump in a very short space of time.

  • hotdogx

    Yeah, Antony before you get all excited this is only a poll, at least not a unionist leaning one! Polls as we saw with Brexit are just indicators and not to be taken as a definite reality.

    This was done in December, imagine what it will be after today and then in a few weeks time when the reality of hard Brexit hits home with Britain crashing out of the EU. Single farm payments, dairy business & all that, wrightbus etc?

    The British won’t decide s**t regarding the border, it will be “the 27” and who is the member of the 27 who has a say & will fight for the rights of everyone on this island?
    THE IRISH GOVERNMENT

    Its out of your hands Arlene!!!
    The unstoppable march to a UI has possibly started and unionism is on the slippery slope to oblivion

  • Redstar

    Well no actually. SF stayed for years up there playing second fiddle to the DUP with no adherence whatsoever being paid to even those mild arrangements made in those agreements

    If SF want to be taken seriously in their claim that things are going be very different they have a lot of convincing to do

  • johnny lately

    The door is open for the next six days for those who have the power to avoid any new elections its not too late for Arlene Foster to prove her words “dedicated to representing all the people of Northern Ireland.”

  • hotdogx

    The most interesting bit is the 8% or so who are pro union but would vote for a UI guaranteed in the EU. This is already the case as Enda went to see Merkel a couple of weeks back to ask her for the same automatic EU membership that East Germany got on reunification. All that’s left is an Irish government plan for Unity

  • hotdogx

    I have to say that I agree that SF will rest untouchable for many due to their past.

  • J D

    I see more hubris than panic.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    They are supprisingly advanced on that front in private

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I think recent events have shown that SF are very very serious about what needs to be done going forward. However, they can do nothing if people do not come out and vote for them.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Unionism has always been the master of its own destruction. I think in fairness to Mike Nesbitt he realises this which is why he has repositioned his party and made some tentative steps to reach out to Nationalists vis a vis the Iirsh language for example.

  • hotdogx

    The DUP can try to blame SF all they want to get their voters out but honestly SF have played the game fairly and even if their voters decide to vote for other pro union parties creating an SF first minister things will be changed utterly & a terrible beauty may be born.

  • Redstar

    For many of us they lied the first time and sat in Stormont for years as the DUPs bitch so I think it’s reasonable for us to be sceptical that this time will be different

  • Anthony O’Shea

    And thats a choice the electorate will have to make on polling day

  • Redstar

    Exactly and it’s something SF need to spell out BEFORE polling day if they want to end the plateau in their vote.

    Interesting times

  • Shane Frank

    Do we all remember Gerrys leaked ‘we will break these bastards (pardon lingo) with equality’ speech. Seems Marlene wasn’t listening. The Trojan horse is out of the box….

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I dont think their vote will move up by much if at all. I do believe the percentage take of middle ground parties will increase which in turn will depress the percentage share of both traditional camps, how that shakes down in seat distribution is anyones guess.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Tolerated by whom? Surely their mandate gives them the right to be where they are irrespective of what those doing the ‘tolerating’ tolerate them or not?

  • Croiteir

    Who gives a damn about being respected by unionists, that is simply unionist code for be our bitch, hows this for respect – you do not get a Stormont until we say so – if we say so

  • Obelisk

    As of next week he won’t have an assembly to be speaker of, besides his fate was always political small potatoes to what is unfolding now.

  • Obelisk

    Mike Nesbitt showed his priorities when he did the deal with the DUP during the last general election. He can say sweet words but in the end he played the sectarian card, just like every Unionist party leader ends up doing.

  • Katyusha

    I think SF will need to make a stand here before many people consider voting for them again. To lay out what they want in exchange for going into government, and actually win concessions for doing so. People might sit this election out but if SF play hardball it will play well for them at the next election… if there is a next election.

  • Gopher

    Its a winter campaign and canvassers of both the DUP and SF are going to get it in the neck. They will find it difficult to motivate their electorate and themselves.. As for the opposition they have no messiah and no gospel to motivate the electorate. Without a big personality mounting a big campaign with a big idea I fear for them in a March election.

  • Shane Frank

    This is exactly the line that needs to be taken….

  • Angry Mob

    PBP and The Greens are not centre ground parties.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Well yes I know that PBP is anti partition but they are non sectarian and outside the traditional Green/ Orange tussle.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Yes quite but if you look at it from a different angle it doesn’t look so nasty. They are both right wing conservative parties fighting an election against left of centre progressive parties which in any other polity a deal would not necessarrily be surprising.

  • Granni Trixie

    Relatively Small potatoes yes but prior to his taking on the role of Speaker it seemed to be a point of honour for others who did so to do it independent of party interests. So while we’re having a red out we are going to have to find a way to ensure there are no conflicts of interests and that anyone in the role is truely independent.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    And the only way to achieve that is for the Rep/Nat Electorate to transfer to the non DUP Unionist Candidate ? but the big questions is, will they ?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Just make sure its not Pandora’s Box !

  • Ciaran Caughey

    Ha Ha Back to the caste system.

  • Ciaran Caughey

    He has said he will keep a close eye on any movement by the DUP on the Irish issue. Muppet!

  • Shane Frank

    Indeed though I am not worried. Seems all SF need to do is play with a straight bat and our community will back them. Bottom line is the DUP cannot stomach equality and cannot handle for one second not being dominant over everyone around them. In is ingrained still in their very fibre and Foster is the ultimate lightening rod so it cant be hidden. Remember how Haas viewed the unionists in his review of why those talks failed. Comparisons with the Afrikaans were drawn. This will be an interesting watch. TMay must be pulling her hair out…..

  • Skibo

    TEL can you direct me to where the UUP would be any more sympathetic to the Nationalist electorate. Please remember the worst examples of Unionist sectarian leadership at the moment has her roots deep in the UUP. Do you really believe she only learned her skills in the DUP?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Skibo, I Would not even attempt to defend either Unionism or Nationalism to be any more sympathetic to either electorate as both are diametrically opposed to each other but we are where we are, both political idealogies have equal numbers in NI so it is Power Sharing or Nothing and as we have seen over the last 10 years the DUP & SF just don’t get it ? So until the electorate on both sides learn to vote differently and transfer their vote to the opposite identity whom it believes it can work with then the Sham that has existed to date shall continue. This is the real challenge for both electorates ?

  • Skibo

    TEL I realy think the SF did all they could to make this session of power sharing work. The DUP did not reciprocate.
    Saying that I believe Carol’s cutting of the grants to the bands during her tenure was pedantic and should not have happened.
    I will take on board what you have said and listen very carefully to Mike Nesbitt’s electioneering. If I believe he is making positive noises about parity of esteem and shared space, I will consider offering a preference in their direction.
    Interesting point Nesbitt’s name came up as amiss spelling so I checked the alternatives, guess what came up? Bitterness! These republican spell checks!

  • T.E.Lawrence

    I do not blame SF for the RHI crisis (but am still suspicious they know more than they pretend not to know on the subject) and firmly know which Queen Bee to blame and I also blame the officers of her party for not making her step aside. But as I have said previously SF and SDLP Supporters need to transfer their vote for the Unionist on the other side of the fence whom they believe if their party gets into power who it can work with ?

  • Madra Uisce

    Nesbitt needs to be asked this question directly. Who should UUP first preferences be transferred to? The answer to that question will tell you everything you need to know about where Mike and the UUP really are.

  • Skibo

    Interesting point raised on Radio Ulster, will Mike Nesbitt come out and confirm he will not re-enter sectarian pacts with the DUP? Can Nationalist votes be given to the UUP without this assurance?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    yeah just heard the caller asking Colum the question. Red Herring different elections. A Unionist Pack only works in Westminster Elections !

  • Skibo

    A pact is a pact. It shows that the UUP put the fact that any Unionist is better than any other. I cannot say than a Republican as they used it to prevent Alliance also.
    So if the UUP want preferences, they need to come out now and say the days of pacts are over.

  • Enda

    When was that?

  • Reader

    hotdogx: The British won’t decide s**t regarding the border, it will be “the 27” and who is the member of the 27 who has a say & will fight for the rights of everyone on this island?
    The interests of Northern Ireland, Ireland, and the UK as a whole are almost identical in the forthcoming negotiations. Common Travel Area, Free Trade and soft borders.
    Ireland will be, far and away, the UK’s best ally in the negotiations.
    You will have to look outside Team Archipelago for the political battles.

  • hotdogx

    I disagree, our interests are similar but different, that’s what the last 100y have been about. Britain hasn’t a clue what they are doing! The did their Brexit without even considering the damage to Ireland. We need to stay clear of Brexit Britain

  • eamoncorbett

    PBP couldn’t be regarded as centrist Anthony, their policies would be to the left of SF . They are pretty radical in their beliefs on water charges and all anti working class legislation . I believe that SF need a break with Article 50 coming up there will be no cohesive strategy from Stormont on Brexit so no blame there and with Martins political career coming to an end they will have time to re group . In other words new faces are needed to fight old battles.

  • eamoncorbett

    That’s a good point , but under Mike and Kinahan ,Kennedy and a few others there’s less likelihood of the sectarian card being played to a great extent, but Ido know there still exists an older Orange section within the party and I still remember Nesbitt on UTV asking Garvaghy Rd residents chairman to “call off the dogs ” .

  • Reader

    hotdogx: I disagree, our interests are similar but different…
    Given that Brexit is happening: can you indicate a single issue in the forthcoming negotiations between the UK and the EU where there will be conflicting interests between UK and Ireland?

  • AntrimGael

    Michelle O’Neill REALLY needs to slow down when she’s talking. She is starting to sound like that wee man from Strabane in the famous black and white footage. Can’t understand a word she says half the time.

  • hotdogx

    Well here’s a few:
    12% corporate tax rate.
    Fishing
    Passport & entry rules
    Language
    Neutrality
    Human rights
    Border controls, at Irish Sea or land border?
    The north possible solutions
    Election systems FPTP etc
    The euro
    Education
    Even the metric system
    And on and on and on

    The only solution I see as viable if the DUP is returned as the largest party is joint authority after that it’s a border poll when the critcal mass for a UI is present, only a few more years to go in any event.
    Horseman was right! God rest him!

  • lizmcneill

    Does the current government of the UK agree with your summary of the UK’s interests, though?

  • Reader

    lizmcneil: Does the current government of the UK agree with your summary of the UK’s interests, though?
    yes, explicitly.

  • Reader

    corporate tax – nothing to do with the negotiations.
    fishing – that will be a matter between yourselves and the Spanish. The Brits will have plenty of fish.
    Passports etc. – Common Travel Area.
    Language – nothing to do with the negotiations
    Neutrality – nothing to do with the negotiations
    Human rights – nothing to do with the negotiations
    Border controls – at external border of the CTA – ask Enda.
    the North – nothing to do with the negotiations
    Election systems – nothing to do with the negotiations
    the Euro – nothing to do with the UK
    Education – nothing to do with the negotiations
    I’m surprised at the list of things you think Tusk and Juncker and Merkel will be interested in talking about. We’re leaving, not joining.

  • Roger

    Conflicting issue: Ireland staying in; British Kingdom leaving. Divorce.

    British Kingdom isn’t and isn’t going to be the most popular school boy in the playground. Ireland will have an interest in keeping some distance. Not sure if you’ve read Phil Hogan, Agriculture Commissioner, piece the other day on that theme.

  • lizmcneill

    When? Last I heard, May was either dropping dark hints about foregoing free trade for the sake of hard borders, or refusing to commit to anything.

  • hotdogx

    The point I’m making with some of these points is that Britain is leaving and all of the points i have mentioned below will be effected by Britain leaving and dragging the north out with her against its will. We are trying to negotiate a special position for the north in Europe. The dogs on the street know that the border will close and the CTA will disappear.

    What will Britain do about the border, nothing it’s out of their hands now!

    Fishing rules will change for us once Britain exit, that idiot viceroy brokenshire reopened the stupid Foyle sea border debate, for example, more interference from old blighty.

    We accept free movement of people Britain doesn’t

    Northerners will hold both passports and live outside eu

    The border should be at the Irish Sea, will Britain help us here? No

    Britain will not accept humain rights as per the rest of Europe, all this needs agreeing if we get joint authority.

    Guaranteed position in the Eu for NI in the event of a UI

    How we deal with the peace process, the north etc Britain can’t negotiate here either

    They are crashing out of Europe our interests at this time could not be made more different, raising these points will help us negotiate in our best interests.

    We will be on opposite sides of the table talking about these things, we will be 27 against Britain, if anything we will be defending the British position to protect our trade. I suggest you come over and join us on our side reader. We have Irelands and therefore your best interests at heart.

    Common areas of discussion will be reduced security travel area across the Irish Sea for ex. Possible trade deals etc. That’s it