I’m sorry, I’ll just say that twice…

This apparently arcane matter is nonetheless worth noting, not least for the way it highlights the low level civil war that’s been going on in the Chamber between the SDLP’s only Minister and the Sinn Fein Assembly party. The matter in question is a parity piece of legislation designed to bring certain matters in line with Westminster, with the Minister using ‘accelerated passage’ (ie avoiding the committee stage) to get it through before recess. She’s clearly expecting an attack beforehand since she restates her reasons for using accelerated passage twice. And it comes.The objection seems to be about the use of accelerated passage, even though they support the bill for the reasons outlined by the Minister. However, later in the session, two Sinn Fein MLAs Mickey Brady and Fra McCann feel compelled to make their point again:

Though, again, it’s no clearer what the party’s original criticism substantively meant. The Minister took the opportunity (again, twice) to suggest Sinn fein would get better value for its constituents (and presumably the Assembly at large) if it were to take its seats in Westminster and play its part in scrutinising the primary legislation at source.

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  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s fairly straightforward, Sinn Fein don’t know have a clue about what they’re doing. Whoever is running their assembly group is making a mess of it. Gerry ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Listen at 3m13s in the second video. The deputy Speaker obviously doesn’t have a clue either, so one of his handy officials tells him what to do. What a professional operation.

  • spiritof07

    totally embarassing for Dallat. He is being guided through each stage of the proceedings. This is our local, accountable, devolved democracy? Sweet Jesus.

  • Sinn Féin on the floor of the house are abysmal. Puppets don’t operate very well when the strings are cut and they have to operate of their own accord.

  • DC

    It was a corker response to Caral Ni Chuilin, if you care so much get real and get scrutinising over at Westminster. Classic. They don’t like it up ’em!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Ni Chuilin mumbled her way badly through her pretend objection; she didn’t even seem like she was convinced of her own argument. Ritchie came across as confident in what she was saying.

  • spiritof07

    “Ritchie came across as confident in what she was saying.”

    But her problem is her inflexibility. SFs nonsense approach called for a quick, incisive deflection. Instead Margaret read out her pre preared wordy response – and then read it out again!

    It was a poor reflection on all involved.

  • interested

    That fuzzy haired one from North Belfast really is poor.

    Must go and read the Hansard to see if it looks as poor in print as it sounds.

  • joeCanuck

    Game set and match to Ms. Ritchie with that last riposte.