regardless of the result..

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?

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  • Wilde Rover

    The damn Congress can vote all it likes.

    President Paisley and Vice-President McGuinness are not for turning.

  • SuperSoupy

    Still no word on that DUP amendment?

    Morrow only said it would have gained universal support but wasn’t accepted.

    So did the business committee deem it inadmissible or was Morrow being economical with the truth on the level of support it would gain?

    I also note Alliance and Deeney supported the motion, Wilson didn’t vote so it was the DUP and UUP alone who rejected the motion while bizarrely claiming to support the concept.

  • Rubicon

    Pete – the motion that was defeated read, “That this Assembly recognises that discrimination operates in many different ways and on many different levels and encourages the Executive to bring forward harmonising legislation, in a Single Equality Bill, for discussion and consultation at the earliest opportunity.”

    McGuinness & Paisley progressing the SEB is not necessarily contrary to the Assembly’s rejection of he above motion. It’s certainly one interpretation, but it’s not the only interpretation.

  • Pete Baker


    In other words.. regardless of the result..

  • Rubicon

    So, “regardless of the result” OFMDFM will progress to placing the Single Equality Bill on the Assembly floor – but perhaps not “at the earliest opportunity”. Perhaps OFMDFM will want to look at the consequences of harmonising the legislation, perhaps they’ll allow the Assembly Committees to have input, perhaps they’ll want to consider the Equality Commission’s CEO’s statement that “equality of outcome” and not opportunity may need considered.

    Hardly the crisis you seem to be proposing Pete – though it is good to see you and SuperSoupey in agreement for a change!