Has anyone actually read this monstrosity? Below are some annotated highlights. (Also worth noting is Conall’s noting of it. I didn’t notice until I opened the URL for linking that the comments are fairly amusing) Personally, I’d say that in the parallel universe this was passed, Royal Assent would be given at least a second thought.
What is clear, is that this was not drafted by professional legislative draftsmen at the Assembly, but by SDLP backwoodsmen who haven’t even properly proof read it (for example section 20 referring to section 39 above). And what will it achieve? Letting Unionists see what Nationalists think is down the road is hardly likely to soften attitudes now is it? But maybe this is a case of who speaks for the SDLP.
3. To the extent that any provision in any other Act of Parliament or any other Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly, or any other form of legal regulation, is inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, the provisions of this Act shall take precedence.
I’d be pretty sure Parliament would have something to say about this, being sovereign and all. Maybe we were looking in the wrong place for the Ulster Nationalists.
5. The Northern Ireland Executive Committee shall provide adequate funding to ensure the effective implementation of this Act.
Note no suggestions for which hospitals should close to fund this.
38. There shall be an Official Languages Commissioner for Northern Ireland, who shall be appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Only someone who is fluent
in the Irish language may be appointed to the office.
Another unelected Commissioner to poke a nose in anywhere they please, only this time the Commissioner must speak Irish fluently. No definition of fluency is offered.
These are just some glancing highlights. Feel free to add your own.
I used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t.
Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday