Ford: insider dealing cause of ‘no deal’

David Ford objects to Peter Hain’s assertions (to made on Inside Politics later today) that MLAs are refusing to do the job they are being paid for. Rather, he argues, it is the government insider deals with the DUP and Sinn Fein that has frozen other parties out of the political picture that has led to this pass.From David Ford

David Ford said: “Mr Hain is quite correct to highlight that the Assembly cannot continue indefinitely without meeting and carrying out its functions. This obviously means that MLAs cannot be paid even the reduced salary unless they have real work to do.

“However, for the Secretary of State to talk about MLAs ‘refusing’ to do the job for which they were elected is blatantly untrue.

“Alliance MLAs work to represent their constituents. We have attended every meeting to which Ministers have invited us – and many more have been requested. We have put forward constructive and positive suggestions for getting the Assembly up and running. We have published detailed documents on the way ahead.

“It was the job of Government to run the Review of the Agreement in 2004. This they patently failed to do in any inclusive way. Instead, they engaged in side deals with the DUP and Sinn Fein.

“Since Mr Hain took over at the Northern Ireland Office seven months ago, there has been no serious engagement with the political parties, merely a series of proclamations on issues like water taxes and rates increases.

“It sounds as if this interview is another cheap shot at local representatives. If Mr Hain is serious, he will immediately start talking to parties like Alliance about the way forward.

“If he is really serious, he might even start listening and acting on our advice.”

  • lurker

    Ford is right again.
    In thirty years the Provos could not persuade me that there was a real problem of British imperialism; Peter Hain has done it in six months.

  • Crataegus

    Ford is in the unenviable position of being out of a job through no fault of his own, but this happens to many people who are employed, business fails redundancy looms. It doesn’t matter who is to blame when the business fails.

    You can blame the British Government and sure they have lots to answer for, not least of which is Stormontgate, but also their handling of the whole process has been lamentable.

    With only 6 MLAs, Ford must realise that Alliance are on the periphery, but the government could think of more inclusive ways of proceeding or at least just try to give the appearance of inclusivity. When they continually go to the DUP and SF they send a message to the electorate that the Alliance, SDLP, UUP and others don’t matter.

    Yes people voted for this agreement, but it is obvious that it doesn’t work because there is not the political will or trust necessary to make it work so time to reconsider, but again the question has to be who should be involved in the process, the political parties who clearly can not look beyond self interest or a wider pool?

  • Ex-Alliance Green

    Actually, I was going to give off about David Ford’s reaction to Viceroy Hain’s warning on the stopping of MLA’s salaries and expenses. Not about the money (Jeez, don’t get me started!!) but about the Alliance’s extremely elevated view of themselves in the overall picture of NI politics. I mean, where *ARE* they in the present situation? We already have a Unionist party ‘lite’ in the form of the UUP. So, who needs the Alliance Party now? Or should I say the Denial Party – ‘We’re not Unionists!’ Confucius say, ‘If it walks like a duck…..’

    But Craetagus’s measured tones stayed my bile.

    Perhaps, with luck, they (AP) might end up steeped in gore as those nice, respectable knifemen in their sister (sinister??) party – the lovely ‘Liberal’ (Heh!) Dems. Who needs terrorism when we can eviscerate party leaders in public? Think big, David, go for the jugular! Wusses rule, not OK!

  • Crataegus
  • Comrade Stalin

    Ex-Alliance Green (can I call you Pete ?), I’m sure the Alliance Party love being called irrelevant by the Green Party.

    The UUP aren’t the unionist party “lite”. They are busy trying to outdo Paisley. Did you see the way Empey behaved when loyalist thugs shut down our country last September ?

  • weary

    Alliance party peripheral; Green Party aspirational?