The Executive.. and civil society..

At the weekend the Alliance Party’s David Ford criticised the Executive’s Draft Programme as ‘meaningless’ and today a collection of north Belfast Protestant clergy penned a critical article in the News Letter

“Yet in pursuing this highly desirable goal [economic success], the Executive seems to have been afflicted with collective amnesia. There is much emphasis on building a peaceful, fair and prosperous society, yet a flagship policy of recent years – A Shared Future – has disappeared without comment or explanation. Instead we are asked many times to march under another banner of ‘Equality’. This too is highly desirable, but framed as it is primarily by law rather than by relationships, on its own it could well turn out to be a cold house for us all to inhabit. Equal in so many ways, yet still living in separate parallel universes.”

Indeed. One of those clergymen, the Rev Norman Hamilton, tackled the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson on Stormont Live today. Donaldson’s response could be characterised mostly as the top-down approach.. but, in the final minutes of the discussion he produced this gem [Did he forget which party he’s in now? – Ed].

“With all due respect, some clergy should concentrate on getting more people into their church on a Sunday and let us get on with the job of creating peace in Northern Ireland.”

If only, Jeffrey, if only.. The first 9 minutes of the discussion can be viewed here

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  • another mick

    It’s surprising to hear the minister talk of another two peace walls going up in north Belfast. I thought they were coming down? Fitzpatrick is right in the linked video, the chuckle brothers are chuckling and giv ing a false impression while Stormont is definitely not aware of what is going on in the ground. Jeffrey would hardly allow the minister to speak!

    So much for the shared future.

  • DC

    On the full clip link, Norman, in response to Jeffrey’s view that politicians don’t build peace walls, retorted that he found ‘that rant amazing’. Great stuff.

    Looks as though Jeffrey has gone back to Happy Jeffrey of the peace loving UUP.

    Just of note, while there is no mention of a shared future aka good relations in the programme for Government does that mean therefore the money in support of the triennal action plans have stopped altogether and the policy is *really* cut and shelved?

    Are all monies in support of that policy cut end of.

    From the SFuture website for example it says:

    “The First Triennial Action Plan 2006 – 2009 was launched by the Rt Hon Lord Rooker MP on Thursday 27 April 2006.”

  • “With all due respect, some clergy should concentrate on getting more people into their church on a Sunday and let us get on with the job of creating peace in Northern Ireland.”

    Sorry, but I’m just in the process of cleaning up the Pot Noodle I’ve just splattered all over my computer screen.

    Is that Jeffrey is going to say to Willie McCrea in their group meeting tomorrow? Or to the Christian Institute the next time the ask for sex to be criminalised unless it’s between a married, opposite-sex couple, under the blankets, after Songs of Praise, with the lights off, with the socks on. And the woman doesn’t enjoy it.

    It’s surprising to hear the minister talk of another two peace walls going up in north Belfast. I thought they were coming down?

    No peace walls have come down or look remotely like coming down anywhere in Northern Ireland (except for around Torrens where there aren’t any Prods any more) and you could make a case, if you were so minded, for another couple in North Belfast.

    Are all monies in support of that policy cut end of.

    Good question. We don’t know until we see detailed spending plans from OFMDFM. But signs aren’t optimistic.

  • William Drennan

    It’s not just the peace walls havent come down, dont you know about the new one at Whitewell right through the playground of Hazelwood Integrated School. Donaldson is absolutely wrong and the Protestant Ministers are absolutely right about what is happening in north Belfast. Does nobody in the Executive care?

  • red branch

    what a patronising git – peoples lives have been saved! jeffrey’s history in the UUP would suggest that at a time when lives were really under threat he didn’t actually care. In the post 1998 phase he was more concerned with his own profile and ego. clearly the things he then claimed to be principle have dissapeared with power. Now the man who wears the fish would wish to see the christians butt our of his domain – what a hypocrite

  • maggie

    This debate about the alleged disappearance of “a shared future” is totally unfounded.

    The alliance party is rapidly looking like a one trick pony banging on about a “shared future” from their leafy middle class homes while sipping their sherry. Naomi Long sits on the OFMDFM committee and is well aware that there are firm proposals for a dramatic increase in spending on this agenda from OFMDFM. FM and DFM have publicly stated on a number of occasions their committment to this agenda and to producing detailed proposals on how this is to be achieved. The proof of the pudding is yet to be seen (or tasted!) but this ill-informed alliance nonsence really is a pile of balls.

    Has the Alliance party actually had a single sound policy yet (at least one they have not stolen from direct rule!). Where is all this amibition and originality that they are so fond of talking about????

  • pith

    “…dont you know about the new one at Whitewell right through the playground of Hazelwood Integrated School.”

    That’s not really in the spirit of the integrated school movement. Someone should have a word with the head teacher.

  • maggie

    Peace walls are only put up when there is no possibility of resolving violence in that area at that time and there continues to be a high risk of harm to people and/or property.

    Would you rather let the little kiddies get killed or hurt when out playing in their school yard?

    It is the equivalent to saying that the rule of law is a flawed concept because crime continues to exist.

  • DC

    Funny that Maggie, I don’t see any peace walls anywhere else in place in Britain and Ireland and there’s plenty of crime in both countries.