“a deliberate attempt to hide any disagreement”?

The former First and deputy First Ministers might not need to try the [new] Reynolds defence after all. In one of the challenges to the appointment of FOUR Victims Commissioners, Mr Justice Gillen has decided not to subpoena Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness in an attempt to force them to reveal details of the discussions they had ahead of those appointments – discussions of which no record was apparently kept despite being both official business and being between two high public office holders. The ruling is subject to appeal. Also from the BBC report

Delivering judgement in the subpoena application, Mr Justice Gillen said that if Mrs Williamson’s allegations were substantiated during the full judicial review hearing next month the court could “draw inferences”.

“The sanction against inadequate disclosure may well be an adverse finding against the respondents at the full hearing and a granting of the remedy sought by the applicant,” he said. However, the judge also stressed: “It is my view that this court cannot go outside the remedy sought by the applicant set out in the originating motion.”

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  • The Raven

    “discussions of which no record was apparently kept despite being both official business and being between two high public office holders.”

    Handy that.

    Also, while I fully respect the mandate of those elected to office and chosen by their peers to lead, I for one, am getting pretty sick of these wee deals being done to the political advantage of players, as opposed to what is best/most cost effective/will get the job done most efficiently etc etc etc.

    If we wanted wee clandestine deals being done, we’d have stuck with direct rule.

    There. That’s my whinge over. Must go take my medicine.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s becoming more and more clear that the DUP and Sinn Fein are running the Executive like something out of a banana republic.

  • percy

    in its first year comrade what else do you expect?

  • The Raven

    I dunno, Percy.

    Better, perhaps?

  • Comrade Stalin


    I expect it to be at least as good as the SDLP/UUP’s first year. So far, it hasn’t been. Incidentally we’re now into year 2.

  • Driftwood

    we’d have stuck with direct rule.

    That is essentially what we have. If it aint broke….

    Dissolve the assembly now and put the money in to health care.
    The MLA’s will be cast adrift, but since they are unemployable, I’m sure changing from MLA to DLA will bring in less money, but F*** all of them.

  • observer


    It’s becoming more and more clear that the DUP and Sinn Fein are running the Executive like something out of a banana republic.
    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Aug 07, 2008 @ 10:39 PM


    You might as well complain that Labour dont take the Tories into consideration when making policy, this is normal politics

  • joeCanuck

    There is no basis for Government if discussions between Ministers can be subject to being exposed in Court. The 30 year rule should apply, and yes, I understand that in this case there is nothing in writing. Doesn’t mean that the discussions shouldn’t be private. The ultimate decision is always subject to the Electorate in a few years.
    That’s besides the merit of the case.

  • Comrade Stalin

    You might as well complain that Labour dont take the Tories into consideration when making policy, this is normal politics

    You must think normal politics is where they’re potentially breaking the law, attempting to cover it up, and not consulting fully with the executive. I don’t agree.

  • noelwhelan

    Pete, the Reynolds ‘defence’ comment is tasteless in the medical circumstances.

  • Bemused

    I agree Pete – the man’s in dire health straits by all accounts.

  • BonarLaw

    the good old days of Trimble/ Mallon? Don’t make me laugh- the resignation that wasn’t, Alliance redesignation, post dated letters to the speaker and suspension? FFS.

    BTW Gillen J for next LCJ?

  • can’t someone start an interesting thread….

  • percy

    raven, comrade stalin
    my blinding insight is the bleeding obvious
    we’re in the era of post-paisley politics.
    The whole shebang was controlled by one man’s ego.

    Now that’s gone we’re
    “in the uncertain hour before the morning, near the end of interminable night, at the recurrent end of the unending”
    — T.S. Eliot

  • Rooster Cogburn

    “A wile melee” – I admire your commitment to performance art. Many another spoofer would have grown weary of putting on that 8 year’s old voice and whining, ‘I’m soooooo bored’, and then *keeping*, thread after tedious thread, telling us just that. God knows, many a lesser Slugger poster would have either a.) not wasted his time reading said threads, or even b.) not gone to the Olympic-standard level of dreary, repetitive posting entailed in posting time-after-time how so very, ‘bored mam, I’m wild bored maaaammmm, so I am’.

    And as it’s been several thread since *I’ve* said this, here goes: the Alliance are self-righteous jerks. But do note Wildy, even I, who has more or less a neurological disorder when it comes to my dislike of Liberal sanctimony, don’t have say so *every* sodding thread. All of which is a heap long way of saying: f*ck off and stop telling us how sodding bored you are. Not one of us cares.

  • I got spoofing down to six words…

  • Rooster Cogburn

    Yeah, the same six words.

  • Not one of us cares.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Two MI5 controlled politicians meeting without any record of their conversation noted? LOL. It’s recorded all right, just not suitable for the public.

  • grrrrrrrrrr.

    That a genuine victim demands the establishment exposes it’s craven ways, to its own detriment, and hits a hurdle is not news. expect the entire judiciary and every instrument of state to, ‘impartially and objectively’, in keeping with the law, act to protect the establishment.

    If any one has the right to have their needs as a victim given paramount respect in an island of equals, (in this instance the modest demand for transparency in public office), it is Michelle.

    Her action has no chance at all. It is interesting to look at the opposition rhetoric of both parties on the subject of establishment injustice compared to their behaviour now when we consider the legitimacy of their past justifications and polemics.

  • Comrade Stalin


    The whole shebang was controlled by one man’s ego.

    You’re labouring under a few misconceptions. The first one being the idea that Paisley was singularly responsible for the problems here and that with his old ideas out of the way, we have crossed a rubicon. I am not convinced that that is true. Paisley was a voice expressing an underlying range of opinion. Paisley might be gone, but Paisleyism will likely outlive the man who gave his name to it.

    The other misconception is this idea that the very act of Sinn Fein and the DUP getting down to business is inherently progress. I don’t mind admitting that it was remarkable, indeed a wonderful event, to see Adams and Paisley doing that first press conference in May a year ago. But once I get past that, I find myself thinking that praising these two for agreeing to go into government is a bit like praising a man who chooses to stop beating his wife. Adams and Paisley decided to become democrats and work together. This is not really a big deal. Many of us have been saying they should do just that for nearly 40 years.

    The trouble I have is that the “this is not a love-in, but a work-in” speech has not been translated into anything tangible. This makes me feel that I’ve been hoodwinked and ripped off, like I’ve been sold a dodgy used car. And I really resent being told by people like you that I should stop whining and continue to put up with my crappy old Morris Minor of a clapped-out executive for the greater good of the peace process. As a taxpayer/ratepayer I think I’m entitled to decent government, and I’m entitled to be damned pissed off when I’m not getting my money’s worth.


    I wouldn’t hold the SDLP/UUP executive up as a model of perfectly working administration. But it got stuff done and had broad popularity across the community. Executive ministers did not brief against, undermine, and attack each other in public. This executive is an incoherent snakepit, in comparison.

    Rooster, yup, self-righteous and proud of it. Seriously, though, it remains the case that Alliance are the only significant political force in Northern Ireland with the ideas to make progress and secure a lasting peace through means more subtle than forcing a particular constitutional position and then telling everyone who doesn’t like it to go fuck themselves. You’re welcome to point out the flaws in my thinking.

  • cynic

    “It’s becoming more and more clear that the DUP and Sinn Fein are running the Executive like something out of a banana republic.”

    Comrade Stalin

    I salute your analysis but am forced to disagree. There’s absolutely no way they could agree on what bananas to use.

    What length? Size? Degree of curvature? Should they curve more to the left or right?

    And then there’s vexed issue of colour. Bananas start off green but then turn yellow. Is there a danger of orangey- yellow? That would be a step too far. But if we have some green bananas, do we not need some orangey ones to provide balance?

    And where will these bananas be grown? In a hated ex-British colony where the plantation might be owned by an oppressor of the indigenous natives? Or in South America which, as everyone knows, is a Catholic area and therefore not a potential source for good Protestant bananas.

    Bananas for Government is therefore a very complex issue that will need extensive consultation and negotiation. Preferably in a nice 5 star hotel complex somewhere (with a decent spa). Well, there won’t be much else going on in September / October so we might as well.

    Until then I am afraid that Government has no bananas, it has no bananas today