McConnell speaks to Assembly

As expected, Ian Paisley rejected Sinn Fein’s kind offer of support to become First Minister. So the Assembly heard instead from Scotland’s ‘veteran’ First Minister Jack McConnell on the “benefits of devolution”.

  • Pete Baker

    Hmm.. I think, Mick, they heard from Jack McConnell first.. and then didn’t elect an executive.. as expected.

  • Depressing indeed!

    This from T.S.Eliot sums it up, if I may:

    “O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
    The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
    The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
    The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
    Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
    Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark,
    And dark the Sun and Moon, and the Almanach de Gotha
    And the Stock Exchange Gazette, the Directory of Directors,

    And cold the sense and lost the motive of action.
    And we all go with them, into the silent funeral,
    Nobody’s funeral, for there is no one to bury.

  • DaithiO

    Once again the piss is well and truly extracted from the vast majority of people in the north who voted overwhelmingly for the agreement and, in doing so, for delvolution.

    The DUP, despite being the minority in this, still maintain a veto on progress.

    What has Sinn Féin to show for their huge and historical compromises ? What do they have to show their grassroots supporters who’ve soul searched before endorsing the political way ?

    If the “never, never” camp prevails then who’ll be surprised if republicans decide that peace has no dividend ?

    This is a sensitive time as the deaths of 10 Hunger Strikers are being commemorated. I’m starting to wonder how we can allow this situation to insult their sacrifice !

    And I consider myself to be a moderate!

  • fortunecookie

    What a depressing day, the DUP resembled a rabble of school children in the chamber, giggling and making snide remarks while the rest sat and looked glum. Anyone else just feel incredibly depressed by it all?

  • Carson’s Cat

    DaithiO
    “who voted overwhelmingly for the agreement and, in doing so, for delvolution.”

    The structures of the Belfast Agreement of course state that it requires the support of the majority of unionist and a majority of nationalists to work.

    So, in a sense they’re getting what they voted for.

    “If the “never, never” camp prevails then who’ll be surprised if republicans decide that peace has no dividend ?”

    And what would they then do? Surely there is no other ‘option’ than democracy or could they possibly go back “to what they do best”?

  • DaithiÓ

    Carson’s Cat (sic)

    You consider that to be “what they do best” !

    Until they are allowed to do otherwise (in the north) I guess we’ll never know !

  • stephen

    No I am not depressed, in fact, the sooner they close it up the better.
    A complete waste of money and time.

    I thought adams speaking his bastardised gaelic was funny, if not a bit puerile.

    I mean really, it is just to piss the Unionists off, and doesnt achieve anything other than make himself look really petty. ( just made sure I spelt that right, petty)

    The comments of many who object to the DUP having a veto are laughable.

    Bear in mind they are the largest party in NI, and also that we can not have majority rule here, ie democracy in any other jurisdiction, because the republicans will blow the shit out of london or whatever. And you lot think Unionists are wreckers?!! lol.

    Daithi, they are pretty good at moping, whingeing, and threatening violence when they dont get their way.

  • Hope McConnell took time out to commiserate with the Turtle: one First Minister on his way out and one that has already been turfed out.

  • tiny

    Watchman, while this farce was going on the SEELB were discussing cuts to the Special Needs budget, puts it in context

  • kensei

    “Bear in mind they are the largest party in NI, and also that we can not have majority rule here, ie democracy in any other jurisdiction, because the republicans will blow the shit out of london or whatever. And you lot think Unionists are wreckers?!! lol.”

    Actually, you a little confused there. the reason why we can’t havce democracy is because Unionism has a track record of horribly abusing it. lol!!! rofl!!! mwahaahaha!!!

    :rolleyes:

  • beezer

    An interesting analysis in the Economist of the “benefits” of devolution to Scotland…

    http://www.economist.com/world/displaystory.cfm?story_id=6941798

  • páid

    Stephen,

    If I may take you up on the point of ‘bastardized gaelic’.

    Gaelic, or Irish, is not about ‘pissing off Unionists’. I speak it and I am not a Sinn Féiner or even a republican.

    Surnames such as Mackie and placenames such as Belfast would have a better claim to be regarded as ‘bastardized gaelic’.

    Unionism is a bona fide political creed and, IMHO, is enough trouble without making an enemy of a non-political entity i.e. a language.

    Are Welsh or Scottish preferable because they are spoken mostly by Protestants?

    Or does British really mean English only?

  • Rubicon

    pid – I suspect Stephen is beyond logic and reason. I think he could be a closet republican posting on Slugger to give unionists a bad name.

    Waste of time really – judging by recent events they don’t need any help!

  • pid

    the Irish language is a non-political entity?

    LOL

    ‘Every word of Irish spoken is like another bullet being fired in the struggle for Irish freedom.’

  • barcas

    “Bear in mind they are the largest party in NI, and also that we can not have majority rule here, ie. democracy in any other jurisdiction……”

    Stephen’s remark at 7 above is highly inaccurate. Majority rule may be superficially democratic but I suspect Stephen is referring to the British style of democracy, ie. first past the post wins all. It has long been argued to be highly undemocratic, I believe it has resulted in minority governments in Britain (UK) since 1945, in almost all general elections. Call that democratic?

  • More people are speaking Polish than gaelic in the Irish republic today. Mabey you could arrange for your papist dominated schools to teach it instead of your republican infulenced curriculum!!

  • Peter

    I don’t think it’s unrealistic for a party to be in government who do not have 100% support for the police. Sinn fein need to remove this, the only valid argument the DUP have for not forming the executive.

  • Peter

    Sorry, that should have stated “I don’t think it’s realistic…”

  • David

    At some point Blair must accept responsibility for this farce. He created the dynamics that led to the exclusion of pro-agreement parties. He encouraged the demonisation of all (some deserved it) loyalists and thus his legacy to N. Ireland……..failure.

  • ncm

    It’s unrealistic for a party who do not support the police to be in Government? Is it not the purpose of Government to make changes to aspects of society that people (voters) disagree with? I understand why SF don’t support the police, primarily because the ordinary working class catholic people I know, also don’t support the police, usually due to brutality and sectarianism recieved from the RUC. After all, is it not SF’s job to reflect the feelings of the people who voted for them?

  • Peter

    So who upholds the rule of law a while SF try to obtain changes to the aspects of society their voters disagree with? Local gangsters? Dinnerladies? Bouncers?

    They need to accept the PSNI as the SDLP and work towards change within goverment.

  • crossgar blogger

    “Sinn fein need to remove this, the only valid argument the DUP have for not forming the executive”

    How many “valid arguments” have been removed up untill now? The unionists really don’t grasp the compromises the republican community has had to perform. Ceasefire, decommissioning, disbandment, recognising a NI Assembly. Do you think it was easy for nationalist people to watch their leader propose Ian Paisely as First Minister for an internal six county government?

    No, all thats just taken for granted, these are the ‘criteria’ if you want to have any say in the affairs of your own country. I agree that violence and weapons had to be removed from the situation, but there needs to be some recognition of these sacrifices on the republican side. The police will receive support when they’re worthy of it and when the clear partisanship of Special Branch etc is gone for good. A government need not support the police on arrival, they do however have a duty to make the police acceptable to their electorate, and that is what I belive Sinn Féin will do if ever given the chance.

  • ncm

    So who upholds the rule of law a while SF try to obtain changes to the aspects of society their voters disagree with? Local gangsters? Dinnerladies? Bouncers?

    Depends whereabouts you live. I know that where I live, near Poleglass, that it certainly isn’t the police. The only contact your likely to get from a peeler up there is a parking ticket, at best. They certainly won’t help when it comes to problems faced by normal people, such as the group of vandals, underage drinkers and general miscreants that hang around the top of the Suffolk Road, who the police sit and WATCH while the law is being broken. Rule of law? No hope.

  • Peter

    ncm or should that be mmmm. So you’d like the police to tackle underage drinkers and vandals in Polegalss yet the political representatives of the area refuse to support their authority or encourage their presence. If SF backed the PSNI and encouraged local representatives to work with them in tackling the local hoods maybe they’d be more likely to step out of their cars.

    It’s easier to piss out the window of a moving train than try to piss in.

  • ncm

    So, the basic point that you’re making is that the police are ENTITLED not to respond to crime, because of the opinions of certain councillors in Belfast/NI, despite the fact that the people who live in these areas are not sinn fein, and many of them are not even sf voters.

    So despite the fact that I pay taxes, and vote in Ballymena, I am not entitled to the same protection from the PSNI as someone who lives in Lisburn. Because of the opinion of SF, which is based around the unfairness of treatment received by catholics in Northern Ireland.

    Kind of a vicious circle, SF don’t support the police because of unfair treatment, which in turn allows the police to treat us unfairly.

  • Peter

    “Kind of a vicious circle, SF don’t support the police because of unfair treatment, which in turn allows the police to treat us unfairly.”

    That pretty much sums it up and the onus is on your elected representatives to break the circle. If they (your politicians) don’t deliver adequate policing vote for someone else. (I understand the policing boards are a good forum for expressing opinions on the service you get from the PSNI.)

    No I’m not saying the police are entitled not to respond to crime but I’m saying that in life the level of service you receive won’t be great if you don’t respect the person delivering the service. If for example you went to a resturant and told the waiter to shove his menu up his hole I’m pretty sure he’d spit in your soup or at the very least the service would be a little bit tardy.