Getting beyond “No Surrender”!

Anyone who thinks direct rule is a good deal should watch this morning’s NI question time (so long as the link is live). All NI business over in a flash, with barely time for NI MPs to nod assent/dissent. Still, as the Times points out this morning in its top leading article, all of the increases in Northern Ireland’s quality of life have continued in spite of the political deadlock. Time for our political classes to make some fundamental decisions about what they exist (and take public money) to achieve?

All this will continue if the St Andrews negotiations are deadlocked and if the November 24 date for a deal proves no more of a barrier than many other “lines in the sand” have been. Northern Ireland does not need devolved institutions in order to evolve. Direct rule is, nevertheless, plainly an anachronism and even those who exercise it concede its legitimacy is threadbare. It would be better if Ulster’s leaders assumed control of the economic infrastructure, social services and cultural development of their community. The opportunity to end the impasse now exists. The political class has to move beyond the rhetoric of “No surrender” and catch up with an ever-increasing number of its voters.

  • Pete Baker

    Hmmm.. except, if the November deadline passes there’s already a commitment by the British government to change the way direct rule operates [the anachronism the Times mentions], and I don’t mean the North/South aspect, I’m referring to the Orders in Council and the way legislation is handled.

  • iluvni

    Was it on BBC1…and at the end of NI Question Time did coverage switch back to Conor Bradford and a pointless hack sitting in the studio repeating everything that had just been said, whilst we missed the first 5 minutes of the much more interesting PMQs?

    why, BBC NI, why?

  • Ulick

    You might be interested in PMQs, but the rest of us couldn’t give a stuff about what goes on over there.

  • páid

    Brace yourself Ulick…..

  • iluvni

    Well, if he just removes his head from his arse, he wont be far off the brace position already!

  • jone

    Why not just flick over to BBC Parliament if you want PMQs?

  • Greenflag

    So the Englishman pays 1,300 a year in rates , the Scotsman 1,200 and in Northern Ireland it’s 600 and the NI shower are complaining ? Not content with 6 billion a year to keep the no show on the road they want even more special allowances , delays for consultation balh blah blah . Jayziz wept . Listening to the assembled NI shower of whiners and beggars each playing to the public sector gallery is almost vomit inducing . And these are the people who are supposed to make ‘devolution’ work so that they will be ‘accountable ‘

    What a joke 🙁

  • mnob

    Greenflag – however little you pay for something its *always* a shock when you are asked to pay significantly more regardless of fairness. Morality and fairness doesnt come into it.

    As far as the original point is concerned – UK government passes 10,000 pages of law every year. How much scruitiny does 100 pages a working day get do you think ? The issue is not unique to Northern Ireland. Also the NI business is usually to adopt policies from England and Wales with ‘England and Wales’ tippexed out and Northern Ireland substituted. Therefore all that needs discussed are any differences (as it has been discussed before).

    A further point is that UK government repeals only 5000 pages of law every year therefore there is a net increase in law of 5000 pages a year. How sustainable is *that* ?

  • wes

    The vast majority are not being asked to pay more for their rates and many have seen a decrease in their annual rates bill

  • Greenflag

    ‘How much scrutiny does 100 pages a working day get do you think ‘

    How much does it need ? Probably the vast bulk of legislation passes with little or no opposition at Westminster.

    Northern Ireland has had 40 years of ‘navel gazing and self scrutinisation’ . And now that the Ayatollah Paisley is on the verge of saying ‘maybe’ nearly the entire media are wetting themselves on the prospect of a ‘solution’.

    Sorry I choose not to . At least half of Paisley’s party are religious fundamentalists of an almost Talibanesque faith . They will not share power with SF . Under any circumstances.