Doesn’t anybody care about jobbery in Northern Ireland?

Isn’t it strange that so few Northern Ireland voices have been raised loudly in the perfect storm over the expenses scandal? Maybe people have reached a level of maturity and balance that has been previously lacking in our politics, or else they feel “they all in it together”. Or again, they’re prepared to give the Assembly more time to bed down before politicians have to chose which House to sit in. Cutting through all this more keenly than most, Liam Clarke in the Sunday Times stretches to the full extent the case for a backlash against the DUP ( but not only the DUP) over jobbery that puts my cautious bit of leader writing in the shade.
I said for instance

“(Peter Robinson) must have expected that eventually, opponents would be able seriously to exploit public unease over double jobbing, although there are no serious signs of that yet. Jim Allister jibes by themselves should hardly have been be enough to unsettle him. More plausibly, it was the threat of David Cameron to legislate to end double jobbing that led him to advance the inevitable, in the febrile atmosphere of the expenses crisis.”

Clarke agrees but amplifies:

” It is not panic yet but there is growing concern in the DUP camp about a backlash by voters against double-jobbing by MPs..DUP voters, on the other hand, are inclined to be outraged at any perceived waste of taxpayers’ money. “

Liam does his best but even he admits that “panic” has not yet arrived. It’s not clear where the concern is most felt but it’s amazing that other parties except Jim Allister aren’t stirring it up.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Obviously not..

  • Seymour Major

    Brian,

    I beg to disagree with you about other parties not stirring. There are plenty of posts about Robinson’s announcement on the UUP website. I may have been one of the first bloggers to use the “p” word.

    http://torystoryni.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/peter-robinson-u-turn-as-he-ends-the-dups-double-jobbing-in-a-panic/

    Clarke’s article reads poorly for the DUP on the face of it but he actually defends the Robinsons as far as he can

    On expenses, he says
    “The Robinsons, it must be said, have done nothing wrong…”

    Not all journalists would agree with him (e.g. see what the telegraph said.)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5324580/Peter-and-Iris-Robinson-married-DUP-MPs-tried-to-claim-twice-for-same-bill-MPs-expenses.html

    The report quote’s Robinson’s defence to the allegations. It says

    “Mr Robinson, responding on behalf of himself and his wife, said the double claim for the £1,223 bill was “an innocent mistake”. He said: “The two claim forms were prepared for the signature of my wife and myself by the same person. They are signed separately and then sent together in the one envelope.”

    That sort of leaves me wondering why that “same person” did not say anything to Mr. & Mrs. Robinson.

    David Cameron certainly hit the target with his announcement on the end of double jobbing but I would suggest that it is Allister who is really benefitting from the DUP’s difficulties.

    Clarke’s analysis of Allister’s position is absolutely correct. If Allister gets about 50,000 or more votes, the damage to the DUP could become permanent and the TUV will be set to become a force at Stormont in 2011.

  • ??

    David Cameron certainly hit the target with his announcement on the end of double jobbing ……..

    its just a matter of time before the Tories with their multiple jobs outside parliament come to the fore.

  • blinding

    The Robinsons seem to be doing very well out of their “public sevice” jobs

    The Dodds and the Paisleys are getting by alright in tough economic times.

  • The reason that the political troughers get away with it in Northern Ireland is partly explained by so many of the punditry here are also troughing. The lack of interest in exposing how the political class rip us all off is a telling indictment of how anaethetised political commetary is in this peace process land. It’s interesting that such dereliction of forensically exploring the public interest could be spoken of as “a new level of maturity” – the problem lies quite close to home.

  • loki

    just a small thing but ?? keeps whining on about Conservatives having outside interests without ever mentioning DUP outside interests.
    For example- Ian Og works as his Dad’s prliamentary researcher- paid position outside Assembly.
    Also, Rev Willie McCrea- Free P minister and Gospel singer with recording career (sort of)- paid postion outside Assembly.
    Trevor Clarke- car sales business- outside Assembly, but for all I know , he’s flogging cars to his colleagues in Stormmont.
    Also worth mentioning a number of farmers and Robin Newton- own business outside Assembly, same for David Simpson. The list goes on and on.
    BTW 2 DUP members also double job in the House of Lords, shouldn’t we, the paying public, be querying this as well?
    Also as an aside, I’ve been hearing rumours of more DUPes jumping to TUV in the North Antrim area. Anyone know anything?

  • “Doesn’t anybody care about jobbery in Northern Ireland?”

    As some of you will know, I and some friends have been lobbying MLAs and their committees in an attempt to get them to hold the Executive to account re. Rathlin ferry contract and operation fiasco. I’m not sure whether they’re too busy multi-tasking or whether they’re not up to the task.

  • ??

    loki, please tell us how many outside jobs the shadow cabinet have? or are there too many to count.

    I’ve been hearing rumours of more DUPes jumping to TUV in the North Antrim area. Anyone know anything? ……….

    shame no one else has… anyway at least this election will see the end of JIm Nic and Reg empey and the finish of the Ucunfs.

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    Funny thing, that rumour is doing the rounds and not only in N. Antrim; seems if the TUV do well there could be more defections elsewhere, Tyrone for example.

    Glass houses come to mind, 830 sq foot bedrooms, seems we have some DUP grandees or least first class examples of the nouveau riche at play. Don’t forget these riches are at the taxpayers expense; that will play well in the estates of Strangford and East Belfast

  • ??

    As for defections any real evidence would be nice, you know like the chairman of North Down association defecting to the DUP.

    well we shall see in a few weeks, shame Jim NIc would be around, and then Reg, wonder if the tank commander will run again or if sylvia will just claim the leadership for herself.

    Nicholson will be lucky to poll 10% and the Ucunfs know it

  • Sky Blue

    Alot of talk about the DUP,their double jobing and employing family members but what about the UUP’s Billy Armstrong. He employs his wife and daughter and until he was caught paid his wife rent for his office set in a farmyard. He never got planning permission but got off on a technicality. Remember he is also a farmer. So when the UUP atack the Dups I always think “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    Is that the best you can do?

    I could give names of elected representatives but I will refrain until they are ready to go public themselves.

    10% for the CU’s? Have you been on the funny backey again?

    How about a 25%+ reduction in the DUP’s EU vote?

  • ??

    10% for the CU’s? Have you been on the funny backey again?

    How about a 25%+ reduction in the DUP’s EU vote?
    Posted by frustrated democrat on May 24, 2009 @ 11:06 PM

    DUP will be the largest Unionist Party, jim nic will squabble with Jim Allister for the remains. Alban will scrape the third seat. Goodbye Jim and Jim, Goodbye Reg and PBDC and Hello Sylvia.

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    You are not a serious blogger, you just make rubbish up as you go along.

    What price JN is the first pro UK candidate elected with 15%+ of the vote? The TUV won’t give the DUP many transfers to make quota will they?

  • ??

    What price JN is the first pro UK candidate elected with 15%+ of the vote?………….. lol thats sooooooooooooo funny, Ucunfs vote is dropping ALL OVER, but lets wait and see . Bye Bye Jim…time for change

  • sc

    Of course MPs should be allowed second jobs/second incomes. It is absurd to make them all professional politicans.

    If outside income was banned they could not write articles or books(like Churchill)and would have to stand down if published.

    Only New Labourites could be so pointlessly levelling, trying to create a featureless if ‘fair’ society, regulated by an army of novi-middle class autocrats.

  • ??

    If outside income was banned they could not write articles or books(like Churchill)and would have to stand down if published.,,,,,,,, Heres a radical thought. do it for free.

    Cameron says being an MP is full time job.. so either it is or it isnt.

  • loki

    ?? You obviously aren’t getting enough sleep are you? Blogging in the wee small hours and getting ever more crabby. A few cracks in the DUP facade are there?
    Other people do full time jobs and add in a second one- ask the public who are working two jobs to pay the bills. Oops, I forgot, the DUP are only interested in the public when they’re looking votes to ensure the 5 Families keep their cushy taxpayer funded lifestyles.
    Still no DUP canvasser been round here btw. Are you possibly short the volunteers, all jumped to TUV have they?

  • Daydreamer

    I think its rich that David Cameron comes over to sort out our double jobbing problem. I definatly want the practise to stop, but David Cameron. Before the expenses row has blown over, we have the second jobbing outrage to come in July. Gordon, Nick and David had a meeting a couple of weeks ago to sort this mess out, not much came out of it, only that members second jobs and intrests should be made public. Gordon and Nick forced this through, David didnt want it one bit.
    I’m not surprised when it has been revealed most of the tories have several other jobs outside Westminster, one has ten other jobs, yes ten.
    So good idea David but sort your own house out as well.