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