Jim Allister has made a speech tonight at a meeting in Portrush. He is claiming that part of the deal between the DUP and SF over the 11 councils will include a DHondt style mandatory coalition in the councils. This is odd considering that the DUP claim to be aiming to end the mandatory coalition at Stormont. If so surely this will weaken their negotiating position on such matters or maybe agreeing to DHondt was part of the price along with the 11 councils they had to pay to get next years elections suspended. Jim Allister also raises the question of what sanctions might be taken against anyone refusing to work the mandatory coalition arrangements. I will put the statement below the fold:Though the ballot is today achieving more for them than the bullet, it is not their only weapon the murder of Paul Quinn is striking enough evidence of that, but in addition they are waging a cultural war, motivated by the same obsession of eradicating every last vestige of Britishness from Ulster. Hence the concerted campaign in local councils, from Banbridge to Limavady. Now, to be followed by the same insatiable republican agenda in Stormont. At the same time they republicanise our public roads and spaces with odious monuments to butchering terrorists. And all this from those some foolishly acclaim as having bought into the British state. Knaves and fools are always a dangerous combination. But when they are joined in government it brings the sort of spectacle weve had for the past year.
Now, I fear, we are poised to see the same visited on local government. The DUP promised 15 councils, but, post Dromore, in order to avoid elections in 2009, they hurriedly struck a deal with IRA/Sinn Fein for 11, but the full price extracted by the Shinners has not yet been revealed. It is concealed by the wrapping that is called equality measures. You will note Minister Foster has been deliberately vague on what conceding this Sinn Fein demand entails. I call on her to be upfront and clear on exactly what has been agreed. My suspicion is that we are going to see the institutionalising of mandatory coalition under de Hondt throughout local government, so that republicans are guaranteed places of importance in every council, even the most unionist. At the same time I suspect punitive measures will be put in place to deal with unionists who reject such rigged arrangements, all in the name of Sinn Fein inspired equality measures.
If mandatory coalition is indeed institutionalised in local government it gives the lie to the pretence that in time it will be phased out at Stormont. How could the DUP hope to deliver voluntary coalition at Stormont if DUP Minister Foster imposes mandatory coalition in local government? Such a diet of false promise is for the fairies.