Double standard of the week…

YESTERDAY, former Assembly Public Accounts Committee chairman Billy Bell complained strongly about the “callous penny pinching and indifference shown towards the elderly” by the Government. Bell is furious that it refuses to pay the full economic cost of caring for the elderly – fair enough. But one wonders why Bell voted AGAINST free personal care for older people when he was a member of the devolved government at Stormont in June 2002. Alliance’s Kieran McCarthy takes Bell to task for the hypocrisy.

  • aquifer

    Voting records of members are priceless for accountability. Are they posted somewhere for the assembly?

    I could not find them for westminster

  • peteb


    I don’t think there’s an assembly equivalent.. yet.. but for MPs –

    They Work For You

  • Traditional Unionist

    I much prefer the altered headline for this thread. The first one was very ill advised.

  • brendan, belfast

    Each of the ‘main parties’ have examples of votes in the Assembly where they set aside their long held ‘principles’ due to a sudden dose of political reality.

    Kieran McCarthy and his – what, 4? – colleagues could afford to vote to give everything to everyone for free because they were never near the Executive table. same goes for the despicable record of the Women’s Coalition.

    Still, Bell should learn. slipping back into populist opposition came all to easy for all of them. Anti water charges? they were all prepared to sign off on them prior to suspension in October 2002.

  • Gonzo


    You have a point, but in any normal political situation, this would have been seen as a major u-turn on party policy by a fairly senior party member.

    It’s called ‘When reality strikes’.

  • Gonzo

    …the Assembly vote, that is, just in case it’s not clear. If it was so vital for the UUP, they would have voted differently at the time.

    It was one of the times in the Assembly where there was some nice political manoeuvering on a bread-and-butter issue by Alliance.

    …but then no-one pays attention to real politics here.

  • Alan

    If anyone is interested in providing a similar service to *They Work for You* for the Assembly you can access equivalent (Open) source code at .

    You can also import their raw Westminster data onto spreadsheets etc if you so wish. I set out on that course a while ago, but didn’t have the time to put into the project

    I think we could all do with a piece of software that can monitor index pages for changes, access the changes, store the accessed page, and run previously entered search criteria against the data. It would certainly make my life easier.