Tag Archives | NI Executive

Boring to say so perhaps, but a stable DUP- Sinn Fein partnership matters more than hopes for the opposition or changes in voter behaviour

While we wait on developments, our thoughts might profitably turn to a  the immediate future in which the key signifier is nearly 50:50 but the electorate is becoming somewhat more diverse than that and looking for “delivery.” What sort of cross community politics may be emerging? Which will be the more important: a better DUP/SF more…

Alliance grip tightens? Or hold hands with Sugden?

Waiting for the FA Cup Final the Newsletter has made a simple inquiry to the renamed OFMDFM. Presumably they passed the information onto the office holders who will respond accordingly. My job share suggestion won’t fly apparently. Brendan Heading is not the only one interested…But how about SF  and DUP one after the other, like Israel’s more…

The failure of the DUP and Sinn Fein to agree on the big issues is giving Alliance more leverage than they could have ever dreamt of .

Listening to Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics, little Alliance seems to have the joint leaders on a hook. It appears that the main sticking point for David Ford was Foster and McGuinness’s refusal to accept reform of the blocking mechanism of the petition of concern. Ford has been campaigning for reform for a long time, most more…

Assembly brinkmanship must end soon

In the last mandate David Ford liked to boast that the Alliance party was unique because they had been finally chosen to occupy the Justice department by the whole Assembly rather than selected by the mechanism of D’Hondt.  Because of their status they are more essential to the formation of the Executive than the SDLP more…

Nesbitt’s gamble: at last the Ulster Unionists (and the SDLP) will have to decide what they stand for or face oblivion in the next Assembly

Since the election and even before it, commentators have been  casting around  desperately for anything that suggests that the old muscle- bound duopoly is starting to crumble.  Even the DUP  “victory”  is being  hyped as a harbinger of change alongside the Sinn Fein “ defeat”.  Something, anything that  might mean fresh movement or greater stability. more…

Martin McGuinness: “We now wait to see if SDLP will stand by the principles of the Good Friday Agreement or follow the UUP into opposition…”

The response of Sinn Féin’s new MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness, to being upstaged – at the moment of his re-appointment as Northern Ireland deputy First Minister – by the UUP leader Mike Nesbitt’s announcement that his party had unanimously agreed to go into official opposition in the NI Assembly, betrayed a confused, or forgetful, party more…

To oppose or not oppose? Good government is the real priority

I hope wrangling over whether there should be an opposition or not doesn’t overshadow the important business of agreeing an outline programme for government.  Now is exactly the right time for all parties to pitch in on more or less equal terms with their ideas free of immediate electoral constraints. The election is over, Mike more…

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…