Big problems – small politics

With parading the new manufactured crisis on the hill you could be forgiven for believing the big two parties have the big issues of the day in hand.

It doesn’t seem to be the size of the public finance deficit or the crisis in education but the smallness of partisan bickering which is dominating our regional government.

Partisanship is the order of the day as narrow sectional interest is always put ahead of the shared regional one. Whilst The DUP obsesses about issues which most people don’t get, Sinn Fein’s President Gerry Adams is telling reporters “we’re not interested in managing the economy”.

Meantime over on O’Conall Street I argue that its squeeze, squeeze, squeeze for the local economy.

  • Paul Simon

    Conall, I see you only quote Eamonn Mallie these days when it suits your narrow political career ambitions (as Margaret’s deputy…. but not, of course, if McDonnell finishes her and Carmel off in the next few months).

    Anyway, maybe you missed Mallie’s latest on Slugger:

    “In Northern Ireland we have a diarchy heading up the administration in the Executive. That means the First and deputy First Minister are co-responsible and co-equal in every sense. They are paid the same salary mindful of one’s elected status in two parliaments.

    Does the Catholic community in Northern Ireland sense that it has an Executive fronted up by a diarchy? The answer is no.

    In a recent Belfast Telegraph interview Peter Robinson spoke of his remit being to promote the interests of Unionism informed by his party’s manifesto. Peter Robinson is First Minister for all the people in accordance with the job definition of his ‘office.’

    Mr Robinson appears to have set aside the co-equal nature of his office and the obligation resting on his shoulders as First minister to you, to me and to everyone else. Essentially he appears to share his brain with his community…….

    “Unionist politicians argue the answer to finding a pathway into grammar schools for poor Protestant children is pumping more money into primary school education. That will not necessarily resolve the problem. There is a world of difference socially between the make-up of the community in the Lower Shankill and that of South Belfast’s Malone Road. The only solution may well be an open door policy to well resourced schools for post 11 or 14 year olds. It is hoped in those schools that the children will find their own level……..

    “It is no secret that some members of the DUP loathe what Michael McGimpsey says and does as Health minister. Does this mean his proposals or the proposals of the sometimes wonderfully eccentric Sammy Wilson shouldn’t be discussed at Executive level? How absurd would that be!!!!

    Therefore it is not acceptable for DUP ministers to block Caitriona Ruane’s plans for education coming before the Executive, even if they abhor that for which she stands intellectually…..

    “Similarly the ‘office’ of First and deputy First minister should not be corroded in any way by either minister. People need hope in this era of economic gloom. This demands leadership in the interest of all the community and not just in the interest of one’s own constituency.” (The whole post can be read elsewhere on Slugger.)

    The point is this Conall – take a leaf out of Mallie’s book and at least analyse the problems and issues objectively and honestly, rather than endlessly reverting to your self-serving BBC Radio Bluster/Stephen Nolan-type claim to ‘impartially’ balance ‘each as bad as the other’.

    It would be a shame if the opportunity for sensible debate was continually dominated by your under-graduate political communications handbook. Or worse still, by your own record as SpAd while in the Executive last time around.

    Now – how’s your own deputy leadership campaign going???

  • Paul

    I agree with Maillie. It’s the smalleness of our politics which is the issue.

    I dont belive in playing the man so will leave your personal remarks at the door.

    Conall

  • Jack Hynes

    Jees. The comments are harsh today – and it’s a Friday!

  • Mick Fealty

    Er, that was me, not Eamonn. I repeat (in my own name):

    S/he does not have any politics Conall. This site is big enough to take strong combative debate: but trolls are not welcome.

  • Jack Hynes

    Did we run out of steam on this one already?