It has already been suggested that what we have been left with is a ‘top-down’ political deal.. and it would appear that the ‘top’ is a very shallow pool indeed. Despite the actual motion being defeated in the Assembly chamber by 45 votes to 42, the Irish Times reports [subs req] that the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers is going ahead with the single equality legislation anyway
Mr McGuinness, responding on behalf of himself and First Minister Ian Paisley, read a carefully-worded script that did not apportion specific blame to any group or party in relation to discrimination. “We intend that any possible equality legislation will provide an effective framework for everyone in our increasingly diverse and multi-cultural society,” he said.
Also from the Irish Times report
“I don’t think this [result] has any implication for that work,” [Martin McGuinness] said.
He said introducing legislation to the Northern Executive was a “top priority” for Dr Paisley and himself and regardless of the result they would press ahead with “expediting” the legislation.
He said that he and the First Minister recently hosted a successful function for ethnic minorities at Stormont “in which Ian Paisley and myself both made it clear we are dedicated to ensuring that we end inequality and discrimination”.
A senior DUP source said that despite the DUP’s role in the defeat of the motion, the office of Dr Paisley and Mr McGuinness still intended to bring comprehensive equality legislation before the Executive.
Remind me.. why do we have 108 MLAs?