“Would the [deputy] First Minister explain the difference..”

With MLAs questions to Northern Ireland Executive Ministers having to be submitted in advance, when it’s time to appear in the NI Assembly they always have the option of deploying the dead-bat approach of reading the answer provided to them. It’s the supplementary questions that can cause problems for any minister with a less than comprehensive grasp of their brief. Here’s UUP MLA Ken Robinson in today’s session lobbing a perfectly aimed supplementary at the NI deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA. Watch for the moment SF MLA Barry McElduff is despatched from the backbenches to retrieve, from someone off-camera, a vital piece of paper.. with the an answer written on it.

And here’s the lead up to that supplementary from the relevant submitted question. [I’ll add a link to Hansard when available]

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  • courageunderfire

    Yes Minister?

  • Comrade Stalin

    My God, that’s awful.

  • Pigeon Toes

    You would never guess that left hand right hand does not know what the other is doing. well okay we all do


    Nice of Sinn Fein to bring the workers plight to our attention, despite having given a fairly sensitive contract to the same small time in Northern Ireland (insert as you will)

    I understand that his latest bright idea has resulted in wildcat strikes, unlawful operation of public transport and near riots…

  • Pete Baker


    That’s the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister you’re talking about..

  • redhugh78

    Pete, Joint first minister really.

  • blinding

    In fairness the backroom staff were pretty on the ball to have information so readily available.

  • Reader

    redhugh78: Pete, Joint first minister really.
    Then what does OFMDFM stand for?