“The minister should have shown transparency from the start.”

This year’s 11-plus results may be arriving in the post today.. but the row about ‘What’s happening in the Education system?’ rumbles on. Following that Education Committee meeting on Thursday, when the Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, finally handed over answers to the Committee’s questions, the minister complained that – “To date, the education committee have failed to give me any written information on my proposals”. The Committee meanwhile have written to the Assembly Speaker, the DUP’s Willie Hay, complaining about the minister’s behaviour – both Sinn Féin members of the Committee recorded their opposition to the complaint.. natch.. But, with the Alliance Party’s Trevor Lunn, MLA, suggesting “It would’ve been better to have [that meeting] in private”, I’m in agreement with Committee Chair Sammy Wilson – “Let’s not hide the minister from this. The minister should have shown transparency from the start.” And let’s not hide the Committee either.. On the answers the minister handed to the Committee ahead of Thursday’s meeting, there’s a telling piece of information from the UUP’s Basil McCrea in the report

And during yesterday’s meeting, the UUP’s Basil McCrea questioned the minister’s conduct in relation to the body. “This committee is adjunct. There is no point in us meeting, almost,” he said. Referring to the document that members received minutes before the meeting – but which had been given to the media 24 hours earlier – he said: “If you’re given it five minutes in advance it does show a lot of attitude.”

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  • joeCanuck

    So where do we go now?
    Will it be like asking for directions in Ireland and being told “You can’t get there from here”?

  • IJP

    Pete

    Good blog.

    However, I think the point is that the fact Unionists have been out to get Ruane from the beginning is already clearly established in Assembly plenaries. We didn’t really need a recital again in public.

    A private meeting would have established, in my view, that the issue is not that Unionists are out to get Ruane, but that Ruane is fundamentally incapable of doing her job.

    Certainly we in the Alliance Party have taken great care to treat her civilly and courteously, and indeed stated we may be prepared to support her reforms if she would ever detail them, but we still haven’t got even a hint of a decision that route either. That is a noteworthy point too.

    By the way, let us be clear that the Minister is entitled to use Irish – but waffle is waffle in any language.

  • willis

    What is the Irish for waffle?

  • wild turkey

    willis

    according to my seven year old son, in this instance

    waffle = cac na tarbh

    he claims to have sussed this during a recent ministerial visit to his school

  • willis

    Therein hangs a tale. Ta

  • Smithsonian

    IJP
    What basis are you using for your support? Do you have sufficient information on the proposals to make a decision?

    How do the Alliance party think we should handled the transfer from primary to post-primary education and do you object to all and every form of academic selection on principle?

    Are you saying that only the Alliance party behaved in a civilised way towards the minister?

    Surely there somebody else must have been a bit reasonable?

  • willis

    Smithsonian

    I realise that museums are repositories of sometimes arcane knowledge, but is it necessary to queue up quite so many questions without some analysis?

    Regards

    etc

  • Smithsonian

    willis
    My point was in response to IJP
    “Certainly we in the Alliance Party have taken great care to treat her civilly and courteously, and indeed stated we may be prepared to support her reforms if she would ever detail them, but we still haven’t got even a hint of a decision that route either”

    Dog bites man