“This is not worth the paper it’s written on..”

The BBC’s Mark Devenport had suggested the IMC could play a part of the “serious consequences” predicted by Northern Ireland First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, if the Executive continued to fail to meet. Whether today’s reported meeting between the DUP and the IMC is more than a sounding of next week’s IMC report isn’t yet clear. But it comes at a time when the NI First Minster has accused the Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, of breaching the ministerial code. Adds Mark Devenport has some more details

“I don’t think it’s involves any deep-seated policy differences,” said BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport. “I’m told, of around 150 changes, many involve references to Northern Ireland being changed to the north.”

Mark Devenport said Peter Robinson’s perspective is “basically once a document is passed by the executive then that’s it, it should be put out in that form. “Ultimately, it could go to the courts, but I think it’s more a case of symbolising the bad relations there are at the moment.”

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  • PeaceandJustice

    So Sinn Fein PIRA minister Murphy has so much time on his hands he goes through documents changing Northern Ireland to ‘the north’ – while sitting in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

    And then Sinn Féin PIRA MLA John O’Dowd tells the First Minister to stop “engaging in petty politics and get down to the business of sorting out real issues”!

    Sinn Fein PIRA are making themselves look more and more ludicrous by the day.

  • doctor

    “So Sinn Fein PIRA minister Murphy has so much time on his hands he goes through documents changing Northern Ireland to ‘the north’ – while sitting in the Northern Ireland Assembly.”

    Whether it is silly or not, (and I agree there is certainly an element of it here), just as silly and childish is Robbo and company turning this mole-hill into a Mount Everest.

  • PeaceandJustice

    The issue is that once a document is passed by the Executive, no further changes should be made without approval. That would apply in many different circumstances and not just in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

  • doctor

    The issue is both sides trying to one-up each other in playing to their own galleries. I’m sorry, but to increase the already serious crisis that exists over substantial issues with this sort of nonsense is beyond bizarre. If Murphy had gone back and rewrote it so that town A received funds rather than town B as agreed, then that’s serious. Not the modification of a few adjectives and the like. I only hope he didn’t take the liberty of adding a comma or two, or God forbid change the font size.

  • x

    Come on Robbo, take comrade Conor to court and see how pathetic the St Andrews safeguards are.

    Any court will laugh you right out the door.What is the punishment going to be – unless you call Northern Ireland – Norn Irelan/Ulstair you can’t be a minister?

    This is total nonsense and now that Robbo has raised it, he better follow through or it will be another unfulfilled promise.

    In the midst of flooding roads,hospital acquired infections, chaos in schools the DUP waste time and our money on what Northern Ireland is called –

    Robbo it bollocks complete bollocks

  • Brian Walker

    Pete, I thought it right to make a true confession for being taken in by the first version of the story and to berate P Robinson on the way. I’m amazed he or his normally astute press people hyped the Murphy document up so much to the Tele. A bad misjudgment on his part which only adds to the prevailing cynicism over the whole affair. Not the effect he wanted to create I think. But one of these days, it might get serious. The blogger is at the mercy of others’ reporting pitch and I acted as if I was my own reporter. My mistake this time.

  • Reader

    doctor: If Murphy had gone back and rewrote it so that town A received funds rather than town B as agreed, then that’s serious.
    What do you mean “If” – either he did or he didn’t. Is it Mark Davenport’s job to tell us what the changes are? your job? Once a document has been passed by the executive it should be left alone. So the Lord High First Minister is correct (New title confirmed in a document approximately passed by the executive…)

  • Pete Baker

    No problem, Brian.

    I’m not so sure that it’s quite the non-story though.

    Volumes of pettiness on view by both sides. But, in a story about symbols, Robinson’s making a symbolic point about collective responsibility.

    Think about the sequence of events in the Regional Development Minister’s mind.

  • ggn

    A quick point for Conor…

    http://www.ceithearnacoille.com/files/dcf6c5af7270c632a68714d7e1b9cfa5-16.html

    Have you changed your mind?

  • ggn

    O and the petition is still on the go.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/aga1/petition.html

  • doctor

    “What do you mean “If” – either he did or he didn’t. Is it Mark Davenport’s job to tell us what the changes are? your job? Once a document has been passed by the executive it should be left alone.”

    Reader, there is no indication that the hypothethical situation I outlined (Murphy making actual policy changes after the fact rather changing some of the cosmetics) is the reason for the controversy. And yes, I do think there is a world of difference between the two in terms of how seriously it should be treated.

    Since it is a news story, it sort of is within Davenport’s brief. Unless it is your job after all to make those distinctions..

  • Pete Baker

    Brian

    Just a thought but..

    “I’m amazed he or his normally astute press people hyped the Murphy document up so much to the Tele.”

    Are you sure that’s the case?

    Robinson has subsequently referred to his private letter to Murphy and the Telegraph article only quotes from that letter, in terms of the DUP, but directly from Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd.

    Or is that a problem with the reporting?