Childish behaviour?

Whether it’s a reaction to the UUP’s weekend conference – and the appearance there of the NI Minister for Social Development [RealPlayer file] – or whether it’s a reaction to previous events within the Assembly and the Executive [or even somewhere else? – Ed], the statements from Sinn Féin and the DUP criticising their smaller partners in the Executive, the UUP and the SDLP, should make interesting reading for anyone contemplating the role of the opposition in this “indigenous” deal. Firstly from SF’s John O’Dowd

“This is politics being made to work. People would prefer the SDLP and UUP to swallow their pride and get on with the job of playing a constructive role in the delivering for our communities through the Executive rather than behaving like small children in a huff.”

And from the DUP’s Michelle McIlveen, in a statement titled “Yes – Stranglehold on Executive exactly what DUP want.”

It may not suit the SDLP but we established Government in Northern Ireland to see the province succeed and strengthen the Union. That’s why we were determined to introduce accountability to the institutions and bring an end to the ability of freelance Ministers to act in defiance of Executive colleagues or the Assembly.

[That makes some recent Assembly decisions even more watchable – Ed]