Ignoring the political reality – redux

One point of interest to emerge from yet another set piece between Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd and the DUP’s Mervyn Storey on Hearts and Minds last night was John O’Dowd’s declaration that – “Politicians are elected to make decisions”. He was supporting Mervyn Storey’s assertion that politicians must make the final decision regardless of the intervention by the churches. Except that, in the absence of political agreement in the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly, the NI Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, seems determined to bypass those political institutions and take the battle over the unregulated post-primary transfer system to the schools themselves. But without that political agreement the Minister doesn’t have the mandate to enforce the decision she has unilaterally taken. Of course, as becomes evident at the end of this video clip, what John O’Dowd really meant was “Sinn Féin has taken that decision, it is now over and done with.” Mandate or not. [Trade Union manifestos? When did they stand for public office? – Ed ] Indeed.