Victims Commissioner bill postponed (again)…

That could be up to another two weeks. Apparently Sinn Fein are unhappy at how their Executive deal with the DUP was undermined by a vote in the Assembly which found the DUP backing an Alliance party amendment that one of the Commissioners adopt the role of ‘primus inter pares’. It’s one of the rare cases of the Assembly beating back an (albeit) weak agreement within the Executive. A successful outcome of the talks between Sinn Fein and the DUP is expected take at least a week. No one in Stormont is holding their breath!

, ,

  • PeaceandJustice

    The DUP have let down real victims by putting terrorists at the same level as their victims. Victims are right to say that the new panel is unacceptable due to the presence of Republican Patricia McBride, sister of a Sinn Fein PIRA terrorist.

  • PeaceandJustice,

    Welcome to the real world. The one in which victims of state and loyalist violence are also victims.

    You neglected to mention that Patricia McBride’s father was a victim of loyalist terrorists.

    Also the DUP are not entirely to blame. They are not in control of everything, despite rumours to the contrary! They too must compromise and occasionally lose an argument.

  • Stormont Spy

    Quite correct the DUP are not [i]entirely[/i] to blame. The blame lies mostly at the feet of Sinn Fein/IRA who threw the head up in a temper tantrum because their allies in DUP/UDA where going against them for a change in something that really mattered.

  • joeCanuck

    I said it before but I’ll suggest it again. Wouldn’t a 6 or 12 month rotating “chief” Commissioner resolve this silly spat?

  • rubyshoes

    It is not unusual for a government to take and make amendments to their own bill during its legislative process. I thought the point of having a democratic chamber and stages in legislation was to listen to the arguments and proposals from the floor and incorporate if appropriate.

    The dup and sf agreement was based on the bones of a commission – it is only right that the details should be discussed and decided in the assembly.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Due to the actions of the DUP, those Sinn Fein PIRA terrorists who carried out crimes and those affected by those crimes are both classified as victims. If the DUP were standing up for real victims, they would not have accepted someone linked to Sinn Fein PIRA as a commissioner. Would Pan-Nationalists accept someone linked to the UDA/UVF/LVF in that role?

  • Hogan

    In order to give the impression that they could each ‘deliver’ for their own community the DUP/SF axis went for ‘spectacular’ cases, i.e. someone who had directly lost a loved one at the hands of ‘the other’ tribe.

    This ruled out any compromise candidates, i would suggest if the confidential papers ever came to light surrounding this fudge, that the Nesbitt and McAllisters names only found themselves into the mix at a late stage when the FM & DFM realised they required a big hot steaming pot of fudge to get themselves off a sticky wicket.

    But of course we’ll never know!

    The rest of this is just the outplaying-machinations of a process that was started by two politicians that pay-lip service to genuine partnership and compromise. Pity its the most vulnerable people who got caught up in it. But then again neither of these parties ever did have any shame?

  • PeaceandJustice,

    … Would Pan-Nationalists accept someone linked to the UDA/UVF/LVF in that role?

    I don’t know who speaks on behalf of ‘pan-nationalism’ – probably just that voice inside your head, P&J;!

    Many people, though, found it hard to accept someone connected to the RUC, and you know well why.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Horseman – “Many people, though, found it hard to accept someone connected to the RUC”.

    Decent Roman Catholics like Peter Sheridan who have had long careers in the RUC and PSNI have talked about their time in the RUC in positive terms. In contrast, you seem to hold Sinn Fein PIRA murderers in high esteem.

  • PeaceandJustice,

    By “Decent Roman Catholics” you mean, of course, ones who share your views. Quite a lot of decent Catholics also hold opposing views. And many ‘decent’ people of all religions and none are extremely uncomfortable about the role the RUC played in many incidents. The trickle of stories that demonstrate the level of collusion between members of the RUC and various paramilitaries must be embarrassing even for you.

    We all think people who agree with us are ‘decent’, or at least, if they are bastards, at least they’re ‘our’ bastards.

    Your last sentence puzzles me? Are you assuming that everyone who expresses disapproval of the actions of some members of the RUC is automatically an IRA supporter? If so, it makes debate with you difficult.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Joe,

    Mike Nesbitt announced that, in internal and obviously non-binding discussions, that’s what the Commissioners designate had agreed upon. I think what is really at stake is that tactically, it would make no sense for the DUP to attempt to block a certain Commissioner from being in charge, but then agree to it on a temporary basis.

    I think that at heart, the message from the DUP is that a distinction between victims, even if only symbolic, needs to be institutionalised; this is something SF obviously can’t/won’t agree to.

    The issue is a little difficult because clearly the British and Irish were willing to allow gestures like early release, which the DUP were unlikely to have brought to the table themselves, and so presumably would have no issues with a rotation system for example. I imagine they were confident the little that was left to argue over wouldn’t collapse the Assembly.

    What ought not to be lost sight of is the erosion of the statutory bases upon which investigations into the past are carried out. The more Sinn Fein and the DUP argue, the more appears to be at stake, yet the Commission’s powers will be dwarfed by the challenges they face.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks for the info, Damian.

  • Cynic

    “Sinn Fein are unhappy at how their Executive deal with the DUP was undermined by a vote in the Assembly”

    I am not surprised. That constitutional politics thing ….isnt it disgusting ….to think that an agreement between cabals and behind closed doors can be defeated by a democratic vote (sort of). Who do these people think they are.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Horseman – it would help if you answered the questions i.e. Would Nationalists/Republicans accept someone linked to the UDA/UVF/LVF as a commissioner? What are your views on the murders and bombings carried out by Sinn Fein PIRA?

  • no one really

    PeaceandJustice. Decent Roman Catholics like Peter Sheridan. Do you
    know this individual personally or is it just something you have read about this individual and liked so you choose to accept it.

  • NP

    JOE

    “I said it before but I’ll suggest it again. Wouldn’t a 6 or 12 month rotating “chief” Commissioner resolve this silly spat?”

    abit anarchic for the stormount control freaks.

  • Steve

    p&j;I dont think Sinn Fein sees any difference between the uda and the ruc except maybe the colour of the uniforms

  • Stormont Spy

    [i]To Horseman – it would help if you answered the questions i.e. Would Nationalists/Republicans accept someone linked to the UDA/UVF/LVF as a commissioner? What are your views on the murders and bombings carried out by Sinn Fein PIRA?

    Posted by PeaceandJustice on Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:59 PM[/i]

    As I recall correctly the shinners held a lot of respect for the late David Ervine and would have liked to see him rise higher in polics as they atleast had some common ground. The DUP and UUP where happier to let others do the dirty work for them. Though it should be noted that Sinn Fein will soon be working closer with Robinson, a man who’s less than squeaky clean.

  • rj

    “Sinn Fein are unhappy at how their Executive deal with the DUP was undermined by a vote in the Assembly”
    Or even “Sinn Fein are scared witless because the opposition dared to put down amendments to a Bill of their making and they suddenly realised that sometimes legislatures don’t just rubber stamp the Executive’s policies.”
    There hasn’t actually been a vote yet: SF have blocked it twice.

  • Steve

    Youre right rj its not the SF thats gagging for a victims commisioner is it

  • Stormont Spy

    The what the shinners want is a veto via MacBride to block anything they don’t like. The idea of a 2/3’s majority is their main objection, obviously they have no faith in our other Commissioners designate. I’m still disturbed that the Shinners claiming that an agreement was officially made in December, IIRC thats the claim the Shinners made first time they nipped the bill in the bud. Geek that I am I’ve scanned through every Hansard of December and I can find no mention of such an agreement.