Never v Very Emphatic No

David Ford has said Alliance have not ruled out taking the Policing and Justice ministry. He argues:

“No politician of any wit ever says never,”

Last month his position was:

“…a very definite and a very emphatic no”

  • Rory

    “No politician of any wit ever says never,”

    I seem to remember at least one politican making a successful career out of doing just that. He even wound up as the first First Minister if memory serves.

  • Carson’s Cat

    “No politician of any wit ever says never,”

    As usual – complete rubbish. It all depends on what you’re saying ‘never’ to doesn’t it?

    Mind you, I think we all knew that Alliance would come round eventually. The fact that they’ve had to look stupid in the process is an unfortunate side-show.

  • Jumpers

    David Ford a) isn’t a politician in the strictest sense. b) Certainly isn’t a politician of wit.

    I suppose he’s just pointing out

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    [edited by moderator – play the ball] and I’m speaking from (one, admittedly small) experience. And if anyone else wrote this post I’d be tempted to respond: “Politician In Opportunism Shocka”. So there.

  • Half Pint

    I heard the interview this morning. It seemed pretty clear to me that Ford is preparing to join the government – leaving how many politicians out of 108 outside the government?

    They are all rotten.

  • slug

    Rory – snap.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Some politicians are opportunist cretins, believe me.

  • Cry of the owl: tu-whit tu-whoo

  • DC

    The owl of Minerva flies at midnight.

  • Never in the field of human conflict bla bla bla………

  • DC

    A ‘search for the hero’ moment somewhat ironic that David Ford may have to do what Big Ian did…

  • Rory

    “Some politicians are opportunist cretins, believe me.”

    Surely not, Billie-Joe ? Such cynicism in one so young.

    With his latest remark, Ford provides the opportunity to render his 4 August interview in the form of a Bird and Fortune sketch:

    Interviewer: In terms of the Minister for Justice, are you ruling out the Alliance Party, are you saying that the party will not take that post?

    David Ford:….Yes. It’s a very emphatic and definite no.

    Interviewer: So that’ll be a “Yes” then.

  • Continental Drifter

    The Alliance Party really has no idea how to negotiate.

    Frankly, nobody’s bloody talking about the Justice Ministry except the Alliance Party and the SDLP – makes it a bit obvious!

    So they were right the first time, for reference.

  • observer

    The Alliance Party has always tried to come across as all milk and honey and lily white. Gender balanced, embracing all creeds, races and sexual orientation. The totally PC Party. Scratch the surface and you find a party that is just as keen to maximise the availablity to their representatives of the Queen’s pound note and a party that would sell its soul just like all the others to grab any opportunity for more wages and more power. Mr Ford must feel sick when he looks at a recording of his never never interview. No use playing the tough guy if its only for the camera!! Why don’t they just admit that they are no different from the rest of the leeches.

  • …and some of the same people slagging off the Alliance for saying yes (which they didn’t, listen to the interview) were the same people slagging them off for saying no in August. (Hi there, Billie Joe.)

    Which just goes to show that for some people, the high point of a Slugger thread is the bit where they git to slag off the Alliance Party.

  • qubol

    Sammy: “and some of the same people slagging off the Alliance for saying yes”

    uhmm Sammy, I believe they are getting slagged for the spectacular U-Turn Ford is currently in the middle of doing. That would presumably be why Billie-Joe called them ‘opportunistic’. Alliance are fair-game in this instance.

  • Well he clarified the earlier no as meaning no if it meant Alliance would not get a full seat on the Executive.

  • Rory

    “Which just goes to show that for some people, the high point of a Slugger thread is the bit where they git to slag off the Alliance Party.”

    What’s the problem, Sammy? Surely the whole point of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, like the LibDems over here, is to provide a source of ribald amusement for observers of the political scene. What would you have us do – take them seriously? …No, stop, that’s not even funny.

  • IJP

    FutureTaoiseach

    That’s correct.

    However, there is a little more to it than this.

    The problem is not that the Alliance Party doesn’t want to take responsibility for ministerial office. The problem is that the Alliance Party cannot stand over the current Programme for Government – which either ignores or even blocks the route to Alliance’s political goals.

    Neither “Opposition” nor “Government” is anything other than a tactic. The issue is how can Alliance influence a breakthrough for parents on education, a breakthrough for residents on rural planning, a breakthrough for commuters on a more adventurous mass transit strategy. And then the issue is how to place integrated education, costs of division and shared housing on the political agenda (when they are currently totally absent from government policy).

    The “emphatic no” was to entering an Executive (in any position) wedded to the current limited (and frankly disastrous) Programme for Government. Should there be some willingness to make the breakthroughs on the deadlock issues and put key Shared Future objectives on the agenda, well, no one with any wit would rule anything out.

    The difficulty is getting these points across in a media environment where there is limited understanding still as to what the Assembly does (and even what, for example, a “Programme for Government” is).

  • Comrade Stalin

    Continental:

    Frankly, nobody’s bloody talking about the Justice Ministry except the Alliance Party and the SDLP – makes it a bit obvious!

    Sinn Fein have talked about nothing other than the justice ministry and have been blocking executive meetings over the failure to agree on it. Gordon Brown came over and delivered a major speech on it telling people to get it sorted out. But yes, you’re right, other than the bit-players, nobody has been talking about it.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Which just goes to show that for some people, the high point of a Slugger thread is the bit where they git to slag off the Alliance Party.

    Which is a heinous crime. Your high point of getting to lay into the UUP for any tenuous reason is an entirely different matter, of course.

  • Carson’s Cat

    IJP
    “The problem is that the Alliance Party cannot stand over the current Programme for Government – which either ignores or even blocks the route to Alliance’s political goals.”

    And no doubt the other parties (who actually do appear to own things like calculators) couldn’t stand over the Alliance Party’s ‘back of a fag packet’ calculations and spending plans which would see the block grant blown in about 6 weeks.

    I’m sure all of the Alliance’s subtle problems will wash with the electorate though. They’ll see that Alliance came to the right position but after a fairly torturous and slightly embarassing journey. Exactly what the ever-so pious Alliance usually chide people like the DUP and SF for.

    Maybe I do believe in karma after all.

  • Your high point of getting to lay into the UUP for any tenuous reason is an entirely different matter, of course.

    No, the UUP always give me plenty of valid reasons for slagging them off.

  • Essentialist

    Perhaps if David Ford was to become Minister for Policing and Justice he could sort out the horrendous “dogging” problem in Tardree near Antrim currently dominating the Stephen Nolan Show. He could also become Chair of Governors at Parkhall College once the theft of the school from the controlled sector has been completed. For goodness sake he could even become an MP being favoured over Willie McCrea and Mitchel McLaughlin. He simply has to start with an emphatic NO

  • Comrade Stalin

    And no doubt the other parties (who actually do appear to own things like calculators) couldn’t stand over the Alliance Party’s ‘back of a fag packet’ calculations and spending plans which would see the block grant blown in about 6 weeks.

    As opposed to the economic policy of the present administration which can’t agree on anything except the need to ask Gordon Brown for more money so that we can continue to avoid the taxes and water bills paid in the rest of the UK ?

    I expect we’ll hear more about Alliance’s plans relating to policing, justice, and whether or not they will be participating in the executive, at the conference this weekend. There are certainly benefits to actually being able to hold a conference without needing to bribe supporters with false promises, and without fear that half of the membership will up sticks and leave.

  • Ulster Tory

    Parsley, as much as I respect your ideals stated in your post, do you honestly believe SF and the DUP would be reckless enough to weaken themselves by giving you a serious position of influence? We all know how much they both crave power, and what they have done to get it. One cannot imagine what they would do to hold onto it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Ulster Tory,

    SF and the DUP would be reckless enough to weaken themselves by giving you a serious position of influence

    Well, it was their idea. And I don’t think either of them believe it would weaken them. In fact, both of them likely see an Alliance justice minister as a way of weakening their opposition.

  • IJP

    One cannot imagine what they would do to hold onto it.

    Indeed – like try to give Alliance the Justice Ministry to avoid having to give it to each other!

    However, the ideals must stand – otherwise Alliance would be just like the very parties it claims to oppose.