Tag Archives | NI Executive

The glimmer of light seen in Martin McGuinness’s departure can become a beacon of hope

So the  political establishment and the media are in rare unison praising Martin McGuinness. Illness and the shadow of death – ordinary decent, natural sickness and intimations of mortality  –   bring out the sentimentalist in all types of the Irish people. Let’s not be too starry eyed.  In a longish apologia for the different phases more…

UK Government: “Clearly, any form of joint authority would be incompatible with the consent principle [of the Belfast Agreement].”

A short BBC report points to an interesting exchange today in the House of Lords where the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office and Scotland Office, Lord Dunlop, poured a bucket of cold water on the suggestion that “joint authority” could be an option if the relevant parties fail to form an Executive following more…

Solutions are negotiable, if there’s the political will

There’s something stereotypically Irish about a battle between two parties who are not competing for the same votes, were in one sense on the same side  – i.e. the same government – and will end up more or less where we are after the Assembly election. Incisive though it is, Mick’s analysis defers the subject more…

“a strategy which now views the very presence of devolved government in Northern Ireland as a bargaining chip with the Government and with the DUP.”

In the News Letter, Sam McBride provides an astute assessment of the “profound consequences” of Sinn Féin’s decision to resign Martin McGuinness from the Northern Ireland Executive Office.  From the News Letter article   Mr Adams now appears to envisage yet another round of ‘crisis talks’ in Belfast in attempt to extract further concessions from more…

“The whole issue has, unfortunately, become party political…”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Conservative MP, Laurence Robertson, who chairs the House of Commons Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs, asks some pertinent questions about the ‘crisis’ over the RHI scheme. What would [Arlene Foster’s] resignation achieve? Who would take over? Would this stabilise the workings of the Assembly and the Executive, or throw it more…

An election would be an abuse of democracy. Knuckle down after the holiday and learn how to do modern politics.

Even with a fairer wind than we experienced since 1998 , it was always going to be difficult to reconcile  natural contention in politics with good cross community government. If all-party government worked well, the Assembly would have very little to do. If government failed, it would only amplify the differences. The select committees were more…

The Arlene factor: her abrasive personality is part of a tradition that has had its day

Anger is a factor often overlooked in politics.   Les Enragés were the militants who spoke up vituperatively  for the poor in the French Revolution. Jihad is the product of demented rage.  Dispossession  or the threat of it is often the  justification for anger.  Fear and insecurity are  close relatives.  Arrogance thinly concealing both is its more…

Cheer up for Christmas! Yesterday’s drama showed power sharing is working and is becoming more accountable.

Yesterday, the Assembly system did not make a bad situation worse.  Many will disagree but  I believe all emerged from it quite creditably.  While no doubt nervous of being outflanked on the nationalist side by the opposition SDLP,    Sinn Fein finally opted for Executive survival  despite the  trivial charge of kowtowing to the DUP. more…

Arlene Foster triumphant thanks to Sinn Fein. Imagine that!

Arlene won hands down, thanks to Sinn Fein with a little help from the Speaker. True she was always going to win the day as Sinn Fein declined to wield the knife by withdrawing from the Executive on foot of her refusal to step aside, but it was nice for her to be seen to more…

NI Executive’s £80m Social Investment Fund projected to cost extra £13.1m

Another day, another leaked Northern Ireland Executive memo…  That’s quite a budget over-run, btw.  And the Fund is to run for 4/5 years longer than anticipated.  The leak was to BBC NI Spotlight.  As the BBC report notes The Stormont executive’s controversial Social Investment Fund (SIF) requires an extra £13m of taxpayer money, according to a leaked document. more…

Brexit requires a special deal for Ireland say the Lords, and the Executive cannot stay aloof. That means you, Arlene

In the first of six reports on Brexit the House of Lords committee on the EU recommend  that the British and Irish governments should negotiate a new bilateral agreement to minimise the impact of Brexit on British-Irish and North-South relations. This will be welcomed as the  first serious attempt  by British legislators  to cut through the thicket more…

“It is not just Stormont that has a Social Investment Fund.”

Newton Emerson in yesterday’s Irish News with some details on the other, less talked about, ‘social investment’ funds out there.  From the Irish News IT is not just Stormont that has a Social Investment Fund. Belfast City Council runs the Belfast Investment Fund and associated Local Investment Fund, with a combined pot of £31 million over three years more…