“I won’t be bullied by Peter Robinson, or indeed by anyone else..”

The Northern Ireland Education minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, wasn’t in the studio on Stormont Live today, and after Sunday’s Politics Show that was probably a wise move, but she was, via an OB link, understandably keen to talk about the education budget announced today.. but the ongoing discussion on post-primary education hasn’t gone away. Her response to Jim Fitzpatrick’s question on whether there was budgetary provision for any reforms in that sector is notable for its focus on the transfer of pupils.. and the absence of any mention of costs associated with area based planning. Responding to the Finance minister’s comments in the Assembly yesterday, the Education minister, whilst declining to discuss “confidential Executive business”, accuses Peter Robinson of “playing politics with education” and declares that she “will not be bullied by Peter Robinson or any other minister”. Mark Devenport makes some sharp points at the end of the clip on consensus through an Executive sub-Committee.. and notes that, regardless of how the discussions Mick mentioned might develop, any proposals will have to go to the Assembly eventually. [Thanks, as always, to Typhoo]

, , , ,

  • DC

    I just don’t get it? Why cant there be a debate about selection and retention of it for some schools within a wide-ranging review of the current post-primary system.

    Are we all missing something here? Debate first and consensus, if any, afterwards. What do the educationalists think anyway, enough of these politicians!

  • SW

    Q. So, Minister, outline exactly for us how you envisage the transfer procedure operating next year.

    A. Change is coming… change is inevitable… I want our change to be about aspiration…

    Q. Yes, but how exactly, Minister? What are your plans?

    A. Don’t interrupt me with questions… I will not be bullied… I will lead the change in the North, for change is what people want (continues verbatim)

    Perhaps we should rename her the ‘Minister for Abstract Nouns’?

    This is clearly more driven by political ideology, on both sides, than compromise and finding the very best solution for children.

  • As much as I dislike Robinson and agree that he is indeed a vile bully I do find it hard to feel sorry for Ruane. The fact is she is a terrible minister who drips with incompetance. She is way out of her debth and she knows it. Her sole reason for being given the ministry she holds is so she can challenge for a seat in Westminster, this in my mind seems to have back fired as she was better off when people not in SF where asking “Catriona who?”.

    She accuses Robinson of “playing politics with education”. Pot. Kettle. Black. This is the same Minister who stood up and unilaterally declared a massive change to the 11+ without giving any detail on what to replace it with. The same minister who screwed up the classroom assistants situation so badly all in the name of politics.

    Ruane is not bullied, she is deliberately handing the DUP the big stick after big stick to beat her with so she can claim victimhood and gain sympathy from Nationalist voters for her eventual Westminster campaign.

  • Mark Fartlighter

    G’wan ye girl ye. Caitríona is stawnan ‘er groun an’ fair play till ‘er.

    Sammy Wulson’s goin buck mawd, gud. Sh’ must be doon a quare jab says I.

  • willowfield

    … Jim Fitzpatrick’s question on whether there was budgetary provision for any reforms in that sector …

    There are no planned reforms, other than the abolition of the 11+, so there should be a saving in the budget (the cost of administering the exam).