Mark Devenport reported on Monday’s TalkBack programme that a round of special advisor posts (reportedly worth £40,000 each) would now be made available to each of the parties, with three for each of the two major parties, and one to the UUP and SDLP. An NIO spokesperson has confirmed to Chambré Public Affairs yesterday that: “Funding for additional special advisers has been offered to those parties who are members of the Programme for Government Committee and its sub-groups, to help ensure that they have the resources they need to take forward the Committee’s wide-ranging agenda in preparing for a restored Executive.”All offered without the double nominations that were to trigger further developments. According to Sinn Fein, they divvied up and made the nomination of Martin McGuinness, even if they did not back the police nor show any signs of being ready to in the near future. The DUP did not. So will they take the jobs being offered at £40,000 a throw to prepare for a government that might never happen? There are three slated for them, three for Sinn Fein and one each for the smaller parties.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty