Tag Archives | NI Executive

Paramilitary violence and intimidation greater than admitted – The Detail. How will the parties deal with it?

The Detail investigative website continues to create impact by laying it out facts you might suspect the main parties have an interest in playing down with an election in prospect. Paradoxically that comparative reticence may be a form of implied cohesion between the DUP and Sinn Fein.  But is it good enough? How should they more…

Is Education the Number One Priority for Unionism this Election?

Education, Education, Education. There have been 3 Assembly Executives elected since 1998. At each juncture, a unionist First Minister was elected and subsequently under d’Hondt a unionist was given first choice of available ministries. Each time control of the Education ministry fell to a Sinn Fein MLA – whether they were the 4th, or the more…

Will SDLP support for integrated education create a new consensus?

David McCann has already given his overview of the SDLP manifesto. On delivery, as is usual with these documents, the manifesto strains at being comprehensive without giving away too many hostages to fortune or burdening the reader with costings. And like all parties particularly the smaller ones, the SDLP can indulge in aspirations it knows more…

The DUP manifesto: a fair start but big issues are left out

In the DUP manifesto,, buzz phrases like better service delivery and the modernisation of government  are invoked in  support of the business- like appeal of Arlene Foster  the party is relying on at the outset of their campaign. There is a marked lack of “shared future”  and united  community rhetoric. At the same time unionist/loyalist more…

What can the next NI Assembly do for people living with cancer?

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Michael Moore is Policy Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support In a matter of weeks, the Assembly election outcome will be known and elected MLAs will be contemplating their priorities for the next five years. The numbers, needs and experiences of people affected by cancer in Northern Ireland make a powerful case for cancer care remaining more…

“We say it’s highly improper and unorthodox, effectively OFMDFM are seeking to resist the grant of leave against the Department of Justice.”

A Belfast High Court judge has adjourned the application for a judicial review of the controversial new law criminalising the paying for sex following a last minute intervention by the Northern Ireland Attorney General on behalf of the Office of the NI First and Deputy First Ministers (OFMDFM). Interestingly, as the BBC report notes A barrister representing the more…

NI Assembly Commission misleads the Assembly, and the public

When the BBC reported the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission’s written answers to some ‘stupid’ questions from TUV leader Jim Allister on Friday they used the headline “Sinn Féin MLAs who claimed almost £700,000 in expenses ‘did nothing wrong‘”.  There was also a report broadcast, “Sinn Féin cleared in expenses investigation“. The NI Assembly Commission is more…

8 times Stormont failed to deliver

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In three months, the Assembly elections will give voters the chance to have their say on who will sit in Stormont for the next five years. At this point, it’s worth reflecting on what has (and hasn’t) been achieved by the current Executive. Use the comments to have your say and add anything (good or more…

The Executive needs to get its priorities straight

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Craig Harrison writes for us about Executive and its priorities… With the dust settled around Parliament buildings after the Assembly voted to pass the Executive Budget 2016/17, now is a good time to reflect on the financial deal Northern Ireland is committed to for the next year. While there is much to be commended in more…

“Sinn Féin achieved a welfare system better than the one in Britain, by an average of £94m per year…” – Redux

Back in February 2015, this was Sinn Féin’s original line on the welfare cuts mitigation schemes agreed at the first Stormont Castle Agreement. …Sinn Féin from 2011 onwards opposed the proposed welfare cuts and insisted welfare protection was absolutely fundamental for all citizens. “That is why Sinn Féin politically campaigned against welfare cuts alongside trade more…

Martin McGuinness: “if the governments move as speedily as we have done, all of this could move very quickly”

After 9 weeks of behind-closed-doors talks, including an exclusive, super-sekrit, meeting in Downing Street with David Cameron, and a less sekrit meeting with Enda Kenny, the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers emerged blinking into the light today to inform the waiting press that… “The core of that agreement, the substance, has already been more…

“The first and deputy first ministers held a private meeting with the prime minister in London..”

Back to political reality, because some recent posts have been less than relevant.  No names, no pack drill.  ANYhoo… As the BBC reports, following the Northern Ireland Secretary of State’s declaration that, “I think it is possible that we could have a deal next week“, the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers, the DUP’s more…

Martin McGuinness: “…it is not conducive to getting a good outcome.”

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness doesn’t appear to have had much to say today about the behind-closed-doors talks at Stormont – apart from telling the BBC’s Chris Page The timeframe for a deal in Stormont’s inter-party talks is “days, not weeks”, the deputy first minister has said. Martin McGuinness said he believed a deal was “achievable” more…

NI Commissioner for Public Appointments: “We just do not have diverse representation on our public boards.”

The new Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland, Judena Leslie, made her first media appearance on BBC NI’s The View last week.  And she began where her predecessor left off, criticising the lack of diversity in those public appointments.  From the BBC report Northern Ireland has about 1,400 public appointments, ranging from unpaid boards more…

Stormont deal now looking likely

Very gradually, the language surrounding the political talks is changing from negative to cautiously constructive, as Noel McAdam’s report shows .. In the strongest indication the party could return to the Executive, Mrs Foster has said the DUP will respond “positively” to positive developments during the inter-party talks on IRA activity and welfare reform. There more…

Well Eamonn, those are your doubts about the latest legacy proposals, but what would you do differently?

In the Irish Times Eamonn McCann is sceptical about the proposed Stormont House Agreement Bill’s ability to deal with the past. At Westminster on October 12th, Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers will introduce legislation on dealing with the past. But the chances of it working are very small. Even handedly, he shares fears that both the more…

For the AssembIy solution, it’s the Stormont House agenda, stupid!

Amid all the sterile political sparring, the most significant development in the Assembly stand- off  has been the one that has been almost totally ignored – the UK governments’ publication of a summary of measures which would form the basis of a Northern Ireland  (Stormont House Agreement ) Bill  to be included in the Queens more…