On Stormont Live yesterday they had fun with a debate on the future, or otherwise, of a Civic Forum that hasn’t met since 2002.. The Northern Ireland Assembly devoted some time to the debate yesterday too. But as Jim Fitzpatrick points out in the studio discussion with DUP MLA David Simpson and former Forum member Bill Jeffrey, there is an interesting discussion to be had about whether there is a need for a second chamber. If there is a need, and I’m not convinced that there is, it should have a legislative function. And, if legislative, preferably elected. Mind you, they might be better advised to get the existing chamber to function in that way first.. [And what of the polit-bureau? – Ed] What, indeed. Below the fold, for your delectation, are clips from the Assembly debate and the studio discussion I’ve mentioned – Bill Jeffrey’s argument was somewhat undermined by an uncomfortable admission on his part, which Mark Devenport repeats on his blog – “he was in fact the shortest serving member of the forum, having been appointed on the day the body was suspended.” Of course, as is made clear in the intro, the Civic Forum is unlikely to be re-instated anytime soon..
First clip from the Assembly debate. [There’s to be an Assembly Roadshow? – Ed] Apparently so..
The debate continues..
Last clip from that debate.
And, finally, the studio discussion with Bill Jeffrey and the DUP MLA David Simpson.