What’s a month between friends?

Noel McAdam, Belfast Telegraph, 17th November:

DUP ministers in a future Executive would be unable to prevent Sinn Fein attending north-south meetings, it emerged today.

The St Andrews Agreement, 13th October:

Attendance at NSMC and BIC. Amendments to the 1998 Act would provide for a minister with lead departmental interest in an issue under consideration at an NSMC/BIC meeting to be entitled to attend (with a power for a minister so entitled, by consent, to arrange for another minister attending to discharge his/her responsibilities), and a power for the FM/DFM to adjudicate where a Minister’s lead departmental interest was disputed.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Maybe you could remind us how Trimble got on preventing Ministers from attending….. he claimed he could stop them and then the Courts found otherwise.

    It really doesnt matter if Ministers have to attend meetings so long as their actions when they are there are fully accountable.

    Nice try – good to see the UUP keeping up those ham-fisted attacks, despite the fact that the Party supports the St Andrews Agreement and actually wants into Government now.

  • Michael Shilliday

    What point do you think I’m trying to make? Read what I’ve written, not what you’d like to see.

  • Smithsonian

    Carson’s Cat
    What a pathetic response. Even if the UUP did make mistakes, at least thay had the excuse of it being first time round. The DUP, with the benefit of hindsight, had the chance to correct everything. We were promised a new deal, a fair deal, where is it?

    The DUP have ditched their principles in order to gain power.

  • exuup

    hardly new, given that the actions of trimble was illegal this is just making sure everyone stays within the law

  • slug

    I have posted this on another thread but am posting it here in the hope someone knows the answer; apologies in advance for posting it twice.

    I was wondering if any of the knowledgeable people, such as Pete Baker, know what the rules will be on the referral of a Ministerial Decision to the Execitive. Will a cross community consensus on the Executive be needed for the Minister’s decision to go ahead, or will a cross-community consensus be needed to stop the Minister’s decision? This is probably a known matter, but the legislation does not make it clear.

  • Tiny

    Carsons Cat,the St Andrews Agreement is worse than Good Friday, but better than the alternative, can you not understand that!

  • Truth and Justice

    You are forgetting the real point and its simply that any North South Bodies are accountable to the Assembly and for the first time Unionism has a veto over everything, its great!

  • wee ulsterman

    TJ – go back and do some reading son.

  • Carson’s Cat

    I’m not exactly sure what the point you are trying to make actually is!

    All the Belfast Telegraph story does is repeat what is in the St Andrews Agreement, namely that the FM & DFM will be required to nominate Ministers to N-S meetings. That story did not emerge “today” in the Belfast Telegraph, but on the day St Andrews was published… that would be if you had read something first.

    I assume (probably rightly so) that you were attempting to make the same pathetic comments that Reg & co were peddling that somehow this was some dramatic failure of DUP negoitations whereby nationalists would have to attend these meetings – completely ignoring the fact that the UUP lost a court action which rubbished Trimble’s claim that he could block attendees (supposedly one of the ‘accountability’ mechanisms he had built into the N-S structures).

    The situation as it stands now may be that Ministers are required to attend but at least all Papers for the meetings have to be tabled at the Executive first and all Ministers will have to be bound by the Executive view when they go to those meetings, obviously subject to a unionist veto.

    As for Tiny and wee Ulsterman…
    What exactly are your points also? Or is stringing together a coherent sentence beyond your abilities?

  • Michael Shilliday

    You’re seeing what you want to see. Look at the title of the thread, look at what words I’ve bolded.

  • Carson’s Cat

    To be entitled to attend”

    This seems to be somehow a big deal for you…. You’re attempting to make points where none exist – and just because it took a month for Noel McAdam to see it doesnt mean there is some issue there.

    The ‘to be entitled’ stuff does mean that Ministers cant be vetoed from attending but it still means they are accountable when they do go there.

    So, if I look at the title “what’s a month between friends” you seem to be indicating that some change has taken place within that month – none has. If that is not what you are indiacting then please spell it out …. maybe I’ve missed it and you’re trying to make some deeper point (but i doubt it).

    As for the words in bold. “to be entitled to attend”. There seems to be no real point you are making there…. Is the point you are making simply that there is no way to prevent a Minister from attending? Because if that is it then you’re on a fairly weak one.

    Again though – if I’ve missed it all, just humour me, spell it out in plain English becuase I singularly fail to see whatever point you’re attempting to make……

  • Michael Shilliday

    I’m not going to continue to argue with an idiot.

    McAdam has claimed that something emerged on Friday when it actually emerged over a month ago. Is that so hard to understand? That’s the point. It begs the question did Noel McAdam actually read the St Andrews agreement? If he did he clearly read it in the Newsletter, who ommitted to print the Annexes to the Agreement, which include the nasty bits for unionism, including this gem.

  • Carson’s Cat

    “I’m not going to continue to argue with an idiot.”

    I’m sure there’s plenty who can say that…..

    However, your inital post wasnt clear (at least to me). If you’re saying that McAdam missed something – then I agree, but I didnt get that you were hitting at him in your post (perhaps you want to be a little clearer in future).

    “which include the nasty bits for unionism, including this gem.”

    Ahhh… now we get to the substance – which is where I thought you were heading, but you failed to actually tell us why you think this is such a nasty little ‘gem’. Perhaps you’d like to expand a little.

    What exactly is the problem with accountable Ministers attending meetings. The papers will have been tabled previously at an Executive and unionism can have exercised its veto at that stage over what they do at the meeting. You of course believed Trimble when he told you all he could stop Ministers from attending in the past – so you hark back to the days when no-one could prevent unaccountable Ministers from attending these meetings and doing what they like.

    If you’re going to claim defeats for unionism then
    1) Explain them in a little detail – not just vague nonsense. Please expand on where you see these problems so we can actually see if you have a thought process on the issue.

    2) Explain why the UUP still support the SAA with these things included. Perhaps you can tell us exactly what Sylvia Hermon’s view of the UUP insert in the Newsletter the other week actually was! I assume the UUP gave their support for the “intention to proceed” on 10th November – why did they do that if the SAA contains these “little gems”?

  • Michael Shilliday

    I’m not saying that this is a bad thing for Unionism – McAdam appears to be by the way he has worded the story, yet he didn’t appear to spot it in the agreement a month ago.

  • Carson’s Cat

    I wouldnt put too much stock in everything McAdam says.

    However, I do have a little trouble squaring your two statements:

    @ 4.59pm
    “If he did he clearly read it in the Newsletter, who ommitted to print the Annexes to the Agreement, which include the nasty bits for unionism, including this gem.”

    “I’m not saying that this is a bad thing for Unionism”

    Either this is one of the so-called ‘nasty bits’ for unionism or it isn’t. If it isn’t then fair enough but you’ve clearly said that the SAA supposedly does have these ‘nasty bits’ – therefore what are they (either including the bit McAdam talks about or otherwise).

    When you’ve outlined these bits then please inform us why the UUP still support the SAA yet criticise it.

  • Michael Shilliday


    That’s why.

    I didn’t say that this is a bad thing for Unionism. My comments about it being a “gem” may have implied that, but that’s not what i ment. Which was an error on my part.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Surely even you must have known what you meant when you wrote

    “the Annexes to the Agreement, which include the nasty bits for unionism”

    I simply asked you to list the ‘nasty bits’ whether they are gems or not. Also, if it is “a worse deal than the Belfast Agreement.” as it states very clearly on your YU site then how exactly can your Party colleagues describe it as ‘the Belfast Agreement for slow learners’?

    It must be either one thing or the other – its either the ‘fairly similar deal’ or its a terrible deal – it definately cannot be both.

    If its ‘the BA for slow learners’ then why are you criticising it?

    If its ‘worse than the Belfast Agreement’ then why are you supporting it?

    Make up your mind and at least take a single view. Its hard to keep up with whether you support it or reject it – you did manage to do both in the Newsletter leaflet…..

  • Michael Shilliday

    I explained all of your questions in the thread on the YU site.