Robinson to shuffle MPs out of the Executive and annouces the end of Double Jobbing..

The striking thing about Peter Robinson’s welcome of the ‘putative’ PM (Gordon is gone now, in every sense that matters), was the statesman-like tone. (Bridges must be built! – ed). There has also been the promise of an end to the double jobbing betweem MLAs and MP jobs. Last summer, given the instability caused by Sinn Fein’s 154 lost days, he was reluctant to consider pushing it on his party colleagues. But the last 14 days have changed everything. Party sources say the change has been under consideration for months, but tonight in Bangor Robinson has announced a reshuffle of his Executive members so that the only MP left (presumably), will be the First Minister himself:

The practice of MPs also being Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive was never intended to be a long term arrangement but a necessary step to allow the institutions to bed down securely and to allow the next cadre of leadership to develop. I indicated, last June, when I appointed Ministers who were MPs that I would carry out a reshuffle in early autumn.

I believe that solid foundations have been laid and we have reached the period when the baton can pass to the next cohort.

Therefore tonight I want to announce that having taken the views of my Parliamentary colleagues it is my intention to announce changes to our Executive and Assembly team before the summer recess so that no more than one of my seven parliamentary colleagues who presently hold either a Ministerial position or Committee Chairmanship will continue to do so. This move is being done with their full agreement. The new team of Ministers and Committee Chairs will be briefed over the summer and be in place before the beginning of the Autumn term.

This is a necessary prelude to the ending of double jobbing. Several months ago I indicated that we would be phasing out dual mandates – I reinforced that message two weeks ago to a group of reporters and journalists. Tonight, I want to say more.

I have absolutely no doubt that at a time when the future of the Assembly was uncertain and when experienced leadership was required, it made sense for some of the representatives from the main parties to be both MPs and MLAs. It was essential to ensure the Assembly was established in the first place and it has allowed the Assembly to settle in. Just as important it has allowed other Assembly Members to develop. But again that was a short term expedient not a long term measure.

It is simply not possible to sustain and fully perform multiple roles whether they involve other elected positions or indeed interests outside Parliament. While at least for a time serving in more than one elected body could be justified on the basis of political stability, no such justification exists for those who seek to pursue interests outside of the House of Commons which are unrelated to the work of an elected representative. It would clearly be the height of hypocrisy to have one rule for one and not the other. The workload is too great and there are not enough hours in the day to do multiple jobs without health and other consequences.

It is not for me to decide whether colleagues choose Westminster or the Assembly. We will each announce our own decisions in the coming months after we consult with our constituency associations.

I am making these announcements tonight so that we are clear about the importance and priority I place on ensuring the success of the political process and delivering for the people of Northern Ireland. I expect other parties will want to set out their intentions to move in a similar direction.

  • alan56

    Shrewd move by Robbo. Speculation will be fever pitched abou who the new ministerial faces will be. Simon Hamilton’s time may have come?

  • alan56

    Life might get easier for McGimpsey as Iris will no longer be chair of health committee

  • New Blue

    Dear Mr. Cameron

    Please can we be your friends now, we promise we’ll not say any more bad things about you.

    Love and Kisses

    Peter R.

    p.s. any chance I can keep my lunch vouchers?

    But seriously….

    About time our first minister started showing some leadership, even if it is in response to a direct warning from DC

  • Michael Shilliday

    The DUP forced into a hasty and major reshuffle by the UUP. Fancy that!

  • ??

    so michael if Jim Nic gets £1000 for each trip to brussels how much did his last 10 trips cost?

  • alan56

    Michael,
    Don’t get too excited.

    Looks a bit like how Cameron trumped Brown by looking decisive during the recent allowances debate. Here it seems to me that Robbo has stolen a march on Empey. After the UU/Tory project is in trouble in North Down and Sir Reg looks anything but decisive.

  • Sam Flanagan

    Does he really think this is going to save him? It will not be long before “Paddy Power” is offering odds on who the new leader of the DUP is going to be.

  • Mark McGregor

    Robinson and Dodds retain the dual roles.

    Campbell, Wilson and Iris dropped. I assume Donaldson too.

    Is that right?

  • alan56

    This gives Robbo an opportunity to actually strengthen his base. Elevation of some lesser known DUP MLAs will give them an even stronger profile and will go down well with local party associations. Good move

  • Michael Shilliday

    Did Jeffrey Donaldson sign up for backbench obscurity?

  • observing one

    ??

    Do you receive a wage from the DUP?

  • alan56

    Michael,

    Jeffrey might well end his Westminister job if a position like Finance Minister came up for grabs.
    Calculatiion might be that Poots could beat McCrea in Lagan Valley.?

  • alan56

    Dodds, leader in Commons?

  • slug

    Since UCUNF Westminster candidates would enter a London government while DUP ones wouldn’t, wouldn’t this separation be good for the UCUNF?

    If Basil McCrea became MP for Lagan Valley he could work in a Tory government, while Jeffrey Donaldson would bave to be a backbencher.

  • alan56

    Very unlikely that McCrea can become MP for Lagan Valley. Has stiil to prove himself there and I think with Jeffreys support Poots could win

  • Conquistador

    “#

    so michael if Jim Nic gets £1000 for each trip to brussels how much did his last 10 trips cost?
    Posted by ?? on May 21, 2009 @ 08:34 PM

    ?? has been rattling on about this all fucking day.

    How much did Paisley’s trips to Brussels cost in expenses.

    And if the vitrious Diane gets in (on her own merits of course), how much will it cost to send her over?

  • alan56

    This could signal that a deal in Fermanagh ST and South Belfast is off the cards. Arlene has been a succeful minister and a deal might result in her being MP for FST.

  • Seymour Major

    There are those who will wish to emphasise that Mr. Robinson is taking the lead and others who will emphasise that he is following it.

    Whichever way you cut it, this is one small step on the road towards normal politics in Northern Ireland. It is a victory for democracy.

    Double jobbing may be on the way out, at least on the Unionist side. Pressure will now be on the SDLP and to a lesser extent, Sinn Fein to change their practices.

    Sinn Fein’s excuse not to attend at Parliament is that they will not take the Oath.

    I hasten to say that I do not regard myself as disloyal to the Queen. However, I would like to see the Oath changed removing the name of the Queen from it. Representing your constituency is what is important. I believe a new oath should include a promise to represent the constituency inside and outside Parliament and uphold the rules of Parliament.

    I am not saying this purely to get the Shinners on Board but a nice by-product of that would be that they would be put under a lot of pressure if they did not take up the oath after such a reform.

  • ?????

    sideline Dodds before Diane slips up and reduce the profile of his other leadership contenders

    a case of Peter jumping before he was pushed

  • ?????

    “While at least for a time serving in more than one elected body could be justified on the basis of political stability, no such justification exists for those who seek to pursue interests outside of the House of Commons which are unrelated to the work of an elected representative”

    So no more second hand car dealerships then

  • New Blue

    Alan

    Cameron made it clear today that we we would stand a candidate in every constituancy.

    No deals available.

    And no deal should be done because democracy is not about ‘stop themmuns’ it’s about ‘vote for the best candidate’.

  • ?????

    “Robinson to shuffle MPs out of the Executive and annouces the end of Double Jobbing..”

    Actually Mick David Cameron announced the end of double jobbing and Peter said yes sir.

  • ?????

    “Robinson to shuffle MPs out of the Executive and annouces the end of Double Jobbing..”

    Actually Mick David Cameron announced the end of double jobbing and Peter said yes sir.

  • SM

    Seymour

    You’d need to check SF’s exact reason for not sitting – as far as I understand it there is more to it than the Oath. Sitting in the Westminster is seen as an acknowledgement of the legitimacy of British rule in NI. Now while many will argue that sitting in Stormont is no different as it is a British devolved assembly, and the ministers there are ministers of the crown, it suits SF to make a distinction between Stormont and Westminster.

    Any SF types here who can give a correct and authoritative comment on this rather than my hazy understandings?

  • alan56

    Yes that was the implication. But the lack of decision making re North Down by UUP muddies the water

  • Seymour Major

    Alan56

    No it could not. We’ve been over this before.

  • New Blue

    Alan

    There is no possible mis-interpretation, Cameron has said that there will be a CU candidate standing for EVERY seat.

    Who will stand as a CU candidate has yet to be announced.

  • Meymour Major

    SM,

    I believe you are right and I would love to see that flushed out.

  • Expenses111

    What odds Jim Wells is the Environment Minister and Silly Simon is Finance Minister? oh and a return for Arlene Foster??

  • Expenses111

    I mean a return to the limelight for Arlene. Finance and possibly put Silly Simon as a Junior Minister.

    What about Paisley Jr?

  • ?????

    I’m sure Seymour would like to see jr get DOE

  • Disinterested observer

    Apparently the press had no notice of a major speech by Robinson until the Belfast Telegraph published Cameron’s commitment to legislate.
    Robbo jumps when Cameron speaks

  • ??

    Apparently the press had no notice of a major speech by Robinson until the Belfast Telegraph published Cameron’s commitment to legislate.
    ……….

    except cameron hasnt committed to anything:

    “+However, if we cannot persuade other parties to work with us and bring double-jobbing to an end by mutual agreement, a future Conservative Government would consider introducing legislation to prohibit dual mandates. “

  • The Impartial Observer

    Whatever the motivation this is a welcome step. I think it’s clear to a lot of people that new blood and ideas are needed across the board in NI politics. I think Robinson may be in effect trying to create 2 DUP’s, the old guard, Iris, Sammy, Campbell etc will become the Westminster party while the “Young Turks” such as Hamilton will come to the fore at Stormont. It will be interesting to see what way Donaldson goes as clearly Poots will likely take the opposite route. It could also serve to nullify the “Time for Change” argument that UCUNF is putting forward as the DUP would be able to show that it had changed from it’s original form.

  • Disinterested observer

    ?? Yawn Cameron said ‘sort yerself out or I’ll sort you out’ and Robbo scurried and scrabbled a speech together and reversed DUP policy

    Alan
    ‘Yes that was the implication. But the lack of decision making re North Down by UUP muddies the water’
    You think that if Cameron says there will be a Conservative candidate in North Down that UUP indecision muddies the water?

  • insider

    What is this cr*p about Cameron saying no double jobbing and Robinson jumping. Robinson told the press on Monday 11th May that he was phasing out double jobbing. Robbo says jump and Cameron follows. Now let us see Cameron sort out the double jobbing in his own party with all those directors and barristers. What a hypocrite.

  • ??

    Torys arent just double jobbing one of them has 10 jobs! they are in the pocket of big buisness. of course that doesnt worry PBDC.

    Cant wait til Nic polls below Alban…and anyone with private tory polls will tell you thats the way its looking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Driftwood

    The DUP are still promoting Edwin “4000 year old earth” Poots as a possible minister again? Albeit in the toytown assembly.
    The DUP believe the Earth is 4000 years old, I hope this is promoted in the UK wide media so the rest of the UK can see a party that makes the BNP look liberal. Oh and add in the Robinsons view on Homosexuality and Papa Docs view on the popish antichrist for good measure.
    Morons.

  • Bigger Picture

    I have to agree with insider as post 11. Robinson came out and said that there would be an end to dual mandates last week. This isn’t the first time the DUP have announced their intentions on this issue.

    And as well as that, how many jobs does William Hague have again???

  • SM

    Wait a second – the Conservatives have been on about ending multiple mandates for a long time, and certainly many months before 11th May 2009! It is complete twaddle to say that the DUP came up with that one – they saw the weather changing and smartly moved to follow.

    And as for Conservatives MPs have 10 jobs that is also nonsense – being a non-executive director of a company is a very part time commitment (typically a small number of days/year). Now given that parliamentary democracy assumes that an MP has sufficient spare capacity to become a minister, its fair to say that those who are not ministers can reasonably have time to do some small part-time work. That is of course totally different to being an MLA & MP simultaneously, where both jobs are intended to be full-time.

    That the DUP employees on here can’t make that distinction perhaps says more about their experience of business than anything else.

  • Bigger Picture

    SM

    Not all the jobs, are non-exec directorships and you know that.

    I am not saying that the Tories haven’t mentioned this before ever. However, people are on here are saying that Robinsons statement was only in response to Cameron’s earlier, which is also not true as Robinson raised the issue independently last week. I never insinuated that Cameron was following Robinson, merely that given the evidence of last week Robinson is not following Cameron by his statement tonight.

    Regards,

  • Seymour Major

    SM is right. The Conservatives have wanted an end to Double jobbing for a long time. It is actually written into the Memorandum of Understanding with the UUP last November that if an elected representatvie standing for parliament gets elected as an MP, he must resign his previous seat.

    A few weeks ago, DUP members were defending double jobbing saying that it cost the taxpayer less because their salaries were lower for the second office. See for example these comments by Sammy Wilson
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7963640.stm

    I believe the main reason why Robinson felt the pressure to end double jobbing is the concept is too closely linked with MPs expenses in the minds of voters.

  • frustrated democrat

    The DUP know that a combination of the TUV, Robinson’s expenses, a mediocre candidate and voters moving back to the CU’s will shred their EU vote by 25% or more.

    They are in panic mode and their knee jerk reactions are typical of a party that is desperately trying to do anything to preserve their vote. The problem is it won’t work voters aren’t stupid and recognise panic when they see it.

    The DUP reached their zenith in the last election and the CU’s reached their nadir. We will see a drift of DUP activists to the CU’s (and TUV) over the next few years in the same way the reverse happened in the last 10 years when the UUP declined.

    I think the 21st May 2009 will come to be recognised as the day politics changed in NI with a combination of Cameron’s visit and Robinson’s genuflexion to his authority.

  • Comrade Stalin

    frustrated, let go of your dick for a second. You still haven’t addressed the issue of the UDA helping out with Nicholson’s campaign, Sylvia’s resignation from the party, and the departure of the chappie from North Down. Doesn’t look like the making of a comeback to me. Do you want to put money on Nicholson’s first preference vote as a proportion of the turnout being higher than 2004 ?

    On the general point, it struck me that eliminating double-jobbing is actually a way for the DUP to maximise their income. Presently, anyone who is an MP as well as an MLA does not collect two full salaries. By separating this out, the cost to the taxpayer will, in fact, increase. The income to the political parties will also increase, since the parties generally have an arrangement whereby each elected rep pays a proportion of their salary into the party.

  • “The striking thing about Peter Robinson’s welcome”

    Mick, I was also struck by by Peter’s reference to his own status:

    “The Tory leader David Cameron is today in Ulster. He is a putative Prime Minister and as Northern Ireland’s First Minister I warmly welcome him to this part of the United Kingdom”

    Some may quibble about his use of Ulster but was he putting down a marker to David that Peter isn’t going to be pushed around in this small corner by a UK PM?

  • Silverline

    Frustrated Democrat

    DUP to loose 25% to CU are you joking I think the CU are in serious trouble

    A) UUP Councillor being expelled
    B) UDA puting up their posters
    C) Hermon in revolt
    D) Time for Change slogan with the same on candidate

    Great vote winner for CU

  • fair_deal

    After events causing some bumps this was a pretty smooth move. There was going to be a ministerial re-shuffle anyway. From what I could see the main political news story online yesterday evening and in the paper’s this morning seems to be Robinson’s announcements rather than the Cameron Direct event. So it’d appear it managed to address an issue the public were concerned about and reduce the coverage (and thus boost) of the Cameron visit.

    As for the CD event basic things mismanaged. Cameron should have been out in the streets glad handing people with Nicholson not visiting a factory. The venue should have had wifi. They should also have held it on a Friday to maximise coverage.

    BP and SM

    Point of information

    Robinson first stated an intention to address double jobbing in September 2008 in an interview with Mick Fealty for total politics magazine.

  • danielmoran

    mick. i could hardly believe what i was seeing on ‘let’s talk’ last night as moderator carruthers gave the dup, in the person of campbell, an easy ride. the producers are clearly spooked by dup threats not to take part in panel shows. they’ve even kept allister off the panel for the euro election debate.
    fortunately, durkan and mcgimpsey were able to expose the double-speak in revealing that robinson vetoed bills to end the double jobbing, campbell, only last week seeking to justify it as cheaper than single mandate. the audience were in open contempt of campbell, which really irked him. the programme was a disgrace.

  • fin

    SM, you’re bang on the money, SF will not take their seats regardless.

    “but a nice by-product of that would be that they would be put under a lot of pressure if they did not take up the oath after such a reform.”

    pressure from who Seymour, their supporters?

  • seceder

    Robbo has looked at the rune’s (his polling) he has worked out Diane is in trouble. The “swish family” has stung and “we gotta beat the Sinn fenians” isn’t cutting it.

    The next prime minister has rolled up and told him and his joint first minister – both your parties are going to be called to heel when I beat Gordon next year, and hard man Robbo has has jumped!

    The only question left is; how high is Robbo prepared to jump? This decision just proves Robbo in no longer in control of the agenda. NI has moved on and he’s playing catch up

  • ??

    DUP to loose 25% to CU are you joking I think the CU are in serious trouble

    A) UUP Councillor being expelled
    B) UDA puting up their posters
    C) Hermon in revolt
    D) Time for Change slogan with the same on candidate

    Id like to add:

    E) North Down Chairman joining the DUP
    F) Jim Nicholson refusing to reveal expenses

  • ??

    both your parties are going to be called to heel when I beat Gordon next year, and hard man Robbo has has jumped!……..

    so cameron is going to treat the NI electorate, and those they have elected, with contempt…good to know

  • ??

    apparently tory private polling have nicholson at 14% – BELOW alban. DUP slighty below SF –

  • seceder

    ?? – so cameron is going to treat the NI electorate, and those they have elected, with contempt…good to know

    The opposite actually, he like the rest of us is sick and tired of the way the DUPs continue to treat the people of NI with contempt, hoarding expenses for family gain, insulting our intelligence with “£73 per week food bill – more like £100 per night food bill – is good value” and reducing the options of candidates at elections.

    But sure ?? your your leader welcome cameron here – you cant have it both ways

  • progressive unionist

    DUP to loose 25% to CU are you joking I think the CU are in serious trouble

    A) UUP Councillor being expelled
    B) UDA puting up their posters
    C) Hermon in revolt
    D) Time for Change slogan with the same on candidate

    Id like to add:

    E) North Down Chairman joining the DUP
    F) Jim Nicholson refusing to reveal expensesDUP to loose 25% to CU are you joking I think the CU are in serious trouble

    A) UUP Councillor being expelled
    B) UDA puting up their posters
    C) Hermon in revolt
    D) Time for Change slogan with the same on candidate

    Id like to add:

    E) North Down Chairman joining the DUP
    F) Jim Nicholson refusing to reveal expenses

    Lets not forget

    G) Backwoods MLA Coulter attacks BBC for choosing minority candidate as head of religious programming.

    Coulter’s intervention sure to really shore up UCUNFs support among wavering possible Alliance/Green voters… not!

  • loki

    And just how exactly would ?? know what private Tory polling says? Is he not just shitstirring?- atypical DUP tactic

  • One simple question.

    If the DUP are so keen on ending all this double jobbing why did they and SF vote down a UUP motion and SDLP amendment on the issue in the Assembly six weeks ago?

  • danielmoran

    conall mcdevitt msg 7. my point exactly, if durkan and mcgimpsey had not pointed up cambell’s blatant hypocrisy, you’d wait a long time for carruthers to do it. he really is scared the duppers will refuse to take part in euro debate, hence sunny jim’s exclusion from it.

  • Elvis Parker

    Connall and Daniel hit the nail on the head – Cameron’s article appeared in the Bel Tel and Robinson hurriedly did a sppech

    As for the other points
    a.UUP Councillor being expelled – all parties have lousy cllrs from time to time non story

    B) UDA puting up their posters
    This story is not true and it is sad that Alban has stooped so low as to circulate rubbish that not even the DUP have touched

    C) Hermon in revolt
    As Cameron says if she wants to walk away let her the Conservatives and Unionists will still have over 350 MPs after the next election. Local jornos navel gazing over one extremely unimportant individual

    D) Time for Change slogan with the same on candidate
    Experienced candidate standing on a agenda for change – changing politics in NI, getting Gordon out and refroming Europe.

    DUP hate change love sectarian stagnation, double jobbing and maximsiing their expenses

  • Neil

    I predict a very poor showing from the UCUNF. The list mentioned above is to me symptomatic of a party falling apart at the seams, wee Reg is asleep at the wheel. Between people jumping ship, or the most significant member of your party refusing to stand under the Tory banner, this shit would be bad in a normal month, the fact that it’s happening before an election is amusing.

    Standing a candidate in every seat will cost Unionism, people understand that, and I think they won’t appreciate it. Finally, as I had previously mentioned some Republican voters in the past would have handed their transfers onto the UUs in an attempt to help them over the DUP. Those days are gone now, the Tory party will ensure that no-one from my side of the fence goes along with your new force of the same old men, the new politics of defending sectarianism.

    I would imagine though that once it becomes apparant that wee Reg has finally driven the UUs six feet into the ground the Tories will drop you like a hot potato. And the idea that the Tories in power or otherwise will ride roughshod over the desires of the electorate here (by trying to force SF to take their seats which they are impressively mandated not to do), just to keep your minnow of a party on side is so fucking laughable it’s totally ridiculous.

    The UCUNF what they’ve told us – we’re new, we’re non sectarian, we’re powerful

    The truth – they’re sectarian in nature, that much is obvious, there’s fuck all new about them, same old men, same old faces – the same old party in fact that used to do well round here, til they fucked the thing up so bad they now have to pretend they’ve changed – in the words of Sir Alan it takes more than saying you’ve changed to prove that you’ve chaged, they’re just words spewed forth with no meaning – and finally they’re powerful, well the Tories are and will be, but they’ll be embarrassed by their coalition with the UUs in no time, and wee Reg will be crying (in the words of another poster last week) over his soup stained tie into his tea, when he realises he’s disposed of anyone with any potential whatsoever and Cameron’s stopped taking his phone calls.

  • iluvni

    Apart from the sensible decision of scrapping the Maze farce, when the current double-jobbers return to their full-time Westminster jobs, what can they look back on and cite as achievements in their roles in the Executive?

  • Neil

    what can they look back on and cite as achievements in their roles in the Executive?

    1,000 less dead people, and the ability to sit in the same room.

  • Blinder by Peter Robinson..

    The voter loves to be listened to and the DUP have proven yet again that they can listen to the voters and get their finger on the pulse..

    This will bode well on the doors… for sure..

    Time for Change…. formulated and controlled by loboratoir Peteier Belfast.

  • Elvis Parker

    a wile melee – dont you mean the DUP were getting hammered on the doors for their double jobbing and expenses greed.
    Cameron acted and they just had to rush out a statement about their Autumn reshuffle
    DUP in disarray

  • “a wile melee – dont you mean the DUP were getting hammered on the doors for their double jobbing and expenses greed.
    Cameron acted and they just had to rush out a statement about their Autumn reshuffle
    DUP in disarray”

    Cameron acted.

    Couldn’t have put it better… that’s the problem the UNCUNF are full of actors.

    Its clear in the news today that the DUP listen and rather than just put on an act they ‘act’ually set the agenda.

    a huh huh

  • Zoon Politikon

    De Brun releases expenses details

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/northern_ireland_politics/8062704.stm

    I respect the principle.

  • Neil

    DUP in disarray

    Shit you’re right, what with the defection, the sole MP refusing to toe the party line, many former supporters now completelyt confused and sickened by the link up with the Tories, not to mention the previously morally superior attitude regarding Loyalist paramilitaries now in tatters, and the issue of sectarian behaviour towards a bunch of kids in GAA tops. Oh wait, that’s the UCUNF shower. Soz!

  • Snaz

    I had heard about the amount of time that DUP staff spend on these things but seriously you need to be careful that someone does not investigate the cost of your time spent on slugger when you are being paid by the British tax payer via your MLAS/MPS/MINISTERS OCAs.

    FACT 1.
    The UUP put down a motion in the Assembly way way way way way way back in March (oh sorry thats a whole 2 months ago!!) requesting that the Assembly mandates the UK Parliament to legislate against double jobbing.

    During that debate DUP/SF argued strongly against it and voted accordingly.

    Fast forward to May and following the various expenses declarationS and public hysteria on the Triple mandates issue the DUP then decide to do a “Brown Gurka” U turn and follow the very strong advice that had been accepted and past by the UUP Executive in November LAST YEAR that dual mandates actually down grade the importance that those of us who value our Britishness have for our National parliament and in conjunction with the future Prime Minister of our great UK told both the DUP and Shinners that it must come to and end.

    I welcome this particular DUP U turn but since we are at it I will mention a few others that voters have been mentioning.

    1. Any one talking to Sinn Fein will be expelled.

    2. No one allowed in the same studio as Sinn Fein.

    3. No mandatory coalition.

    4. Smash Sinn Fein and the Belfast agreement.

    5. Policing and Justice will not be devolved in a political lifetime.

    So two years on what do we have.

    We have a DUP/SF led executive in a mandatory coalition under similar terms and structures to the Belfast Agreement that have already agreed the terms of the transfer of P and J to a local Assembly which has not dealt with Academic Selection, Water Rates, National Stadium, the Economy and agreed to the SF demand for 11 Councils when the DUP, UUP, Alliance and SDLP all wanted 15.

    And for a blogger here to suggest that there are 1,000 more people alive because of the DUP means he/she is either 10 or a fantatist.

    THE DUP RAN AWAY FROM THE TALKS IN 1996/7 WHEN THE UUP WERE SECURING THE UNION AND SECURING THE PEACE AND PLACING SINN FEIN IN A PARTIONIST SETTLEMENT.

    In terms of this election I will make one pediction that I am very confident of.

    The DUP will lose more votes and more percentage share of the vote than any of the other main parties.

    Any way nice reminding you of the political realities of the last 24 Hours.

    Perhaps with the unbelievable change you have witnessed during this campaign already you can work out why people are being asked to Vote For Change.

    Sinn Fein/DUP have a mutual veto which has prevented any form of legislative cohesion for the benefit of Ulsters people.

    In a matter of weeks we have shown the people of NI were real power and influence is.

    The DUP U Turns and accepts the C and U analasis that you cannot serve two or three political forums in a meaningful fashion. That U turn is to be welcomed.

    When we win the next Election and Sinn Fein exclude themselves from Parliament they will have all their expenses removed.

    The Ulster Unionists and Conservatives have delivered more substance in a few weeks than the entire DUP/SF cabal has managed in 2 years.

    Some work done and a lot more to do.

    Anyway back to work.

  • fin

    “in conjunction with the future Prime Minister of our great UK told both the DUP and Shinners that it must come to and end”

    Snaz, this was around the time that Owen Patterson said the Tories would also deny SF MPs any expenses if they did not take their seat. Am I right in saying that under a future Tory government a SF MP elected on a Mandate not to take their seats will not receive a penny from public funds in either expenses or salary.

    That is purely an attempt to smother a political opinion expressed by voters merely because its the wrong political opinion.

    Is it not up to the individual parties to nominate their candidates and for voters to decide who to vote for and not Dave

  • New Blue

    Fin

    Let’s change your analagy a bit

    I make the final of ‘X-Factor’ and announce that if the public vote for me I will not record anything (good idea). The public vote me in as winner, should Mr. Cowan give me the money anyway?

    Yes the mandate is there, but an abstentionist mandate should require none of the trappings of the position you are abstaining from.

  • nemo

    anyone hear the crazed allister on nolan this morning. good grief he was bad.

  • northern whig

    Clever stunt Robinson. Driven not by any aversion to double jobbing but by the impending reduction in the number of MLA’s. 72 MLA’s + 18 MP’s means the real reduction in NI politicians is from 110 (the MLA’s + the two MP’s who aren’t also MLA’s) to 90 and not the headlined 36 that a fall from 108 to 72 implies. What are the chances that we’ll soon see full time mayors to give the rest of the boys a job?

    Password “believe”. Subliminal brainwashing by Slugger.

  • fin

    New Blue, if you disliked x-factor and would much prefer to be in Pop Idol as would the polling public, but were forced to take part in x-factor than yes you should have the cash same as any other contestant would. That was a rotten example you gave : )

    The thing is New Blue, you are a representative with a mandate or you’re not. Its bad for a ‘democracy’ to start deciding if a mandate deserves equality or not.

    Its not the fact that Sinn Fein MPs don’t attend Westminister that annoys others, its the fact thats its done publically and supported by the voters. Blair hardly ever attended the commons, Robbo’s recent record is 37%, MPs don’t even get to decide on much these days. Was there one MP recently who claimed rent for his denists surgery and worked 3-4 days a week in it?

  • robert

    Id imagine people like Poots, Ian Junior Weir and maybe even Mervyn Storey could be promoted to Executive with young guns such as Hamilton, McIlveen and Ross getting promotions as committee chairs?

  • Arlene to Finance?
    Simon to Trade?
    Nelson to Culture?
    Mervyn to Environment?

    And… Ian Jnr rehabilitated as junior minister in OFMDFM?

  • apparently tory private polling have nicholson at 14% – BELOW alban. DUP slighty below SF

    Sounds like the usual bullshit rumours about private polling before elections, but there’s no doubt that if the election were today Nicholson would poll less than 14%. Possibly quite a bit less than 14%.

  • The DUP know that a combination of the TUV, Robinson’s expenses, a mediocre candidate and voters moving back to the CU’s will shred their EU vote by 25% or more.

    The DUP’s share of the vote may possibly be down by 25% (and numerical vote more likely), but it will still be around twice UCUNF’s.

    The whole UCUNF project was a textbook exercise in groupthink. As the project is about to hit the ground at 250 mph, time for a rethink, I think. Or don’t, just go into oblivion.

  • SM

    Or don’t, just go into oblivion.

    With your lot then Gerry? 😉

  • iluvni

    Snaz,
    Do you honestly think the electorate are going to be enticed by the same old UUP faces they’ve rejected previously, simply because you’ve repackaged them as C and U.
    Looking at your area, Roy beggs Jnr as the potential MP. Come off it!
    In your own area there, where’s the new blood and dynamism required to succeed?

  • Snaz,

    In terms of this election I will make one pediction that I am very confident of.

    The DUP will lose more votes and more percentage share of the vote than any of the other main parties.

    If that’s your only confident prediction, it means you know UCUNF is going to lose votes.

  • SM,

    go and knock some doors instead of spouting off on Slugger. Nicholson is heading for meltdown in a fortnight and you know it.

    PS – everybody knows who I am so don’t think your being clever using my real name. You’re just being a tit.

  • Bigger Picture

    “I make the final of ‘X-Factor’ and announce that if the public vote for me I will not record anything (good idea). The public vote me in as winner, should Mr. Cowan give me the money anyway?”

    best analogy i have heard on the sf issue

  • Archie Purple

    So Peter Punt announces an end of double jobbing, twelve hours after David Cameron announced that he was going to end it by law !!!! I wonder why, when the DUPes claim to have been discussing this double-jobbing for months, they voted against it in Parliament recently.

    Greedy Gregory Campbell was supporting the concept of multi-jobs just over a month ago, telling us ‘that double-jobbing MPs’ worked harder and actually ‘cost the Exchequer less’, not he’s on Radio Ulster telling us how the DUP are going to decide which Parliament they wish to sit in.

    However, are MPs and MLAs still going to be Councillors? In Derry City Council during the past financial year, Greedy Gregory attend 12 out of 100 meetings, whilst Willie Hay and Pat Ramsey of the Stoopes could only manage 3 attendances out of 100, all of them claiming over 10 grand each.

    Obviously Dave Cameron put the wind up Peter Punt and forced his hand. Well done Dave !!!!

  • Archie Purple

    Which Ulster Unionist Councillor has been expelled from the Party?????

  • Driftwood

    Dave: ‘Jump!’

    Robbo: ‘How high Sir!’

    Gregory needn’t worry about missing Westminster, doesn’t he watch it on BBC Parliament on his new plasma TV (that we paid for)in London.

    If Robbo steps down from Westminster is he going to pay back the interest we paid on his luxury pad in London?
    And how on earth will he survive without his 30 grand food allowance?

  • BonarLaw

    Driftwood

    why would you want the interest back? Would you want the cost of hotels back if he had lived out of a suitcase?

    Who got a £30k food allowance? As I understand that figure refers to two MPs over four years.

    Have a pop by all means but there’s been no flipping, no payments for non-existant mortgages and no moats.

  • Driftwood

    Fair point BonarLaw
    However, Is this bloody moat ever going to go away?
    It seems to be the focus of anti-Tory sentiment in the left wing press. Cameron has told Hogg – and Viggers, Steen and co- not to bother reapplying for selection. And I hope Andrew McKay and Julia Kirkbride follow suit.

    However, locally, the Robinsons expenses could be perceived to have been extravagant? That said i’ve tried to find out about my own MP’s (Eddie McGrady)expenses, and cannot find anything. More curious than anything else, because apart from Sellafield x years ago I’d like to know what he’s been doing at Westminster. Colleagues tell me he’s good at constituency matters, but I’ve heard that about every MP.

  • AdamsandLoughgall

    Robbo said he ‘might’ give up his Westminster seat. That translates as only if he has to. There’s an election on!!!

    Clever though to refocus attention on his new ministerial line-up and away from his greed

    But he has a mansion in the Castlereagh hills to build – and mansions don’t come cheap. So he won’t be relinquishing any of his little earners until he is politically forced to. (Iincidentally Peter’s Palace is only half-a-mile up the Gransha road from his current pad. Have a look next time you are passing – its quite a site!)

  • iluvni

    I got a chance to ask a DUP rep at my door tonight the following…

    Q)What has the DUP achieved in the last two years at Stormont under the watch of Robinson?..

    A) The abolition of the 11+ has been ended, the Irish language act is stopped…

    Thats questionable, but anything else?
    Silence….

    When I mentioned the Robinson’s gorging on £400 a month each food at their taxpayer funded pad, the response was to bang on about the £1200 for flights to Brussells which the MEPs get..would Mrs Dodds take that amount too?…I suppose she would.

    Dreadful stuff.

  • ??

    A) The abolition of the 11+ has been ended, the Irish language act is stopped……

    how is it quentionable its fact.

    rates freeze, water charges deferred

  • Driftwood

    The Paisley/Robinson/Dodds family dynasties stand to gain big time. But there’s a voter born every minute. At least Sicily has better weather.

  • loki

    Glad someone’s actually seen and spoken to a DUP canvasser- they’re likke hen’s teeth round here.
    As for water charges and rates freeze- they’ll have to come in sometime, we can’t afford not to update the water and sewarage system and because the DUP in their wisdom(?) have not introduced them, the costs are going to be much more painful as much needed remedial work hasn’t been done yet. It’s as if I leave a small leak in the boiler unfixed cos I’m saving money. Some months down the line the whole boiler gives up and instead of having to have forked out £100 I have to pay £1500 for a whole new boiler. It’s poor economics but the DUP don’t care. They expect the taxpayer to fund their lavish lifestyles and they’ll probably put the water charges on expenses.
    BTW, word is “hotel”