“I hope someone remembers to turn the lights out..”

Ahead of Sunday’s Politics Show, Jim Fitzpatrick has some thoughts on the absence of legislation in the legislative assembly.

It’s clear the breakdown in Sinn Fein-DUP relations last year, and subsequent suspension of Executive meetings for five months, had an impact. But insiders say that despite the restoration of Executive business, stalemate remains. One source told me that last week’s Executive had only one serious paper to discuss, so it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be any late surge to get some legislation onto the books.

He continues

Opposites attract. Not in this case because the DUP and Sinn Fein suddenly love each other, but because the invisible magnetic fields that govern this process have thrown them together.

Attacks on the process from without are unlikely to succeed because the governing laws of politics are underpinned by overwhelming support.

So we have a system of government that’s pretty good at the big picture stuff now – as in keeping the peace – but seems to be struggling with the everyday business of governing.

When the current Stormont session ends in the summer, I hope someone remembers to turn the lights out.

Of course, “the everyday business of governing” in the system of administration we have requires the prior approval of that semi-detached polit-bureau..

As you well know..

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  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Any ‘insiders’ who are associated with the UU whose party motto is ‘It will never work’ or the Alliance whose party motto is ‘It will never work – unless we get a Ministry’ must be taken with a pinch of salt.

    If they can agree a repsonse to the recent killings – which they did – then there are resons to be optimistic and hopefully both SF and the DUP will do well enough in the elections to let them get on with, after the elections are out of the way, with what is a very difficult task given their different outlooks.

  • joeCanuck

    Wait a minute! They’re not passing new legislation!
    Is that necessarily a bad thing?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy,

    You think that what we’ve got at the moment counts as “working” ? Your standards must be set pretty low.

    If they can agree a repsonse to the recent killings – which they did – then there are resons to be optimistic

    One swallow does not a summer make. It is encouraging, indeed inspiring, that SF and the DUP can come together in the way that they did after the murders recently, but how on earth does that mean that they can run a good administration ?

  • jj

    why is it that people assume that the more legislation that is passed the better? i would personally like to see less regulation and red tape in society, not more. we should be judging the assembly on if they genuinely make a differemce to our lives and if the legislation they do pass is worthwhile.

  • eranu

    i agree with legislation not being something to judge by. it reminds me of 1970s computer programmers who apparently would be proud of how many pages of code they had written. whereas now days its how much programmers can out of as little amount of code as possible, thus being as efficient as possible.

    i would prefer to see a list of achievements or problems solved, projects completed ahead of schedule or below budget etc. then a list of parties and individuals involved. then we could see who was actually good at governing, and who the dead wood was!
    Im sure there is a way to find out all this info by going through records or something, but whos going to do that? It’s a pity there isn’t an online tool that can convert government records into handy bar charts to be displayed in a web browser 🙂

  • ??

    can anyone tell us what exactly the UUP/SDLP achieved from 1998 – 2007?

    thanks

  • Comrade Stalin

    “??”,

    Quite a lot actually. Compulsory purchase by ground rent tenants; improvements to taxi regulation; funding for infrastructural improvements including railway upgrades on the Belfast-Larne and Belfast-Bangor railway lines together with new trains. And there was of course free transport for the elderly. And at least the executive was cohesive and coherent.

    You, on the other hand, have delivered pretty much bugger all that is visible other than buying people off with rates freezes and suspended water charges. We can also thank you for the mess that is academic selection.

  • eranu

    theres a list from CS. anyone have a list of DUPSF achievements? i think their bar chart would start in the negative, messing up education would take them below the line. so anyone have a positive achievement to take them up to zero??

  • New Blue

    Yes Comrade Stalin ( and happy red day by the way)

    but apart from “Compulsory purchase by ground rent tenants; improvements to taxi regulation; funding for infrastructural improvements including railway upgrades on the Belfast-Larne and Belfast-Bangor railway lines together with new trains. And there was of course free transport for the elderly. And at least the executive was cohesive and coherent”

    What have the UUP /SDLP ever done for us?

  • Comrade Stalin

    About the only thing you can say about the DUPSF executive is that it’s more stable, but that’s only because the bogeymen aren’t at the door anymore, not because the parties like each other better.

    I think the DUP are able and clever politicians, and they deliver a very high standard of constituency representation on local issues, but as a government they have no imagination and no ideas beyond the Castlereagh Borough Council approach of buying off the electorate with cheap deals. Sinn Fein are abysmal and haven’t a clue what to do except pander to whatever the DUP’s whim is and allow themselves to be wagged by the civil service dog. They’ve abandoned their working class roots and committed themselves to the DUP’s quasi-Thatcherite agenda. This is what Sammy etc. and “??” are defending.

    The UUP of course are a total and utter disaster. They can’t get their story straight on anything, even their own policy on local constituency matters, and their spokespersons in the assembly veer between babbling incoherently and petty procedural games and interference (see David McNarry). I won’t shed a tear if they are swallowed whole by the DUP.

  • Neil

    I wonder myself when the time will come for ‘normal politics’ to become important here. We have ‘politicians’ like Sammy Wilson, Catriona Ruane and Ian Paisley Jr. (a man who thinks gay people are an abomination but who sees no sleaze in fleecing the taxpayer to the bone). The sad truth is, due to our unique history, we’ve elected a group of politicians who are staggeringly underqualified.

    For the first time in many years, we now have a situation where bread and butter politics is now paramount. The sectarian bum fight has been put on the back burner (temporarily it seems), but now we have an assembly stocked full of sectarian bum fighters, who sometimes laugh in the face of their brief, and disregard their advisors. Everyone wants to look like the King of the Castle, who does as they see fit.

    This leads to embarrassing issues like Sammy’s personal views on accepted scientific facts being wrong, and his blind obsession leading him to make a fool of himself on the world stage. Congratulations Sammy, most foreign folk could name maybe three politicians from NI – you’re now one of them and their laughing at you/us.

    Moving swiftly on to Catriona, again a touch of the God complex going on there. We had a majority of people here agreeing that the 11+ had to go. Cue Catriona telling us that ‘as of this date no more 11+’, ‘excellent’ we say, ‘what is the replacement? Fuck me, you serious? There isn’t one? Fantastic management girl, time for a meeting with your oversight committee, and hey if they give you hard time, and a Protestant asks you a question, just accuse them of sectarianism and strop on outta there.’

    The truth of the matter is that in our current state that Assembly couldn’t run anything, let alone these six counties. But as long as the money keeps coming in, as long as our representatives are out there, begging bowl in hand trying to generate a few quid to continue plugging the unproductive black hole that is our civil service, and most importantly of all – as long as we are gettig our sectarian representation, the pavlovian response to counter any suggestion from ‘the other side’ regardless of the suggestion’s merits then I suspect we’ll keep rewarding these semi-literate, incompetent eejits with a wage that most of us qualified working arseholes can only dream of plus expenses.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The truth of the matter is that in our current state that Assembly couldn’t run anything, let alone these six counties.

    These feelings are probably quite commonplace, but unfortunately they belie some misunderstandings. It’s not the Assembly as an institution to blame. It’s the people we choose to elect to it who are the problem.

    Somehow, people seem to think that their choice of who runs the country is somehow disconnected from whether it is properly run.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Comrade Stalin
    “the DUP’s quasi-Thatcherite agenda”

    You’re joking, of course.