DUP and the cross border bodies…

With a meeting taking place today of the North South Ministerial council there is increasing contempt for these meetings in DUP circles. Sources close to the DUP ministerial team ‘snigger’ at the cross-border bodies. They view them as an unnecessary expense which is not giving money for value. No one has said that the existence of these cross-border bodies served by a dedicated secretariat in Armagh will become another precondition for the transfer of policing and justice powers.

The sense one gets however in talking to some ministers and DUP staffers is that they want these bodies ‘hollowed out.’ Micheal Martin is leading the Irish government’s delegation in the talks at Stormont Castle.

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  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Unfortunately for the DUP a certain Mr Allister will be keeping a running tab on all that the DUP demand and will be cross referencing that with what unfolds. So far Robbo, has to his credit, squeezed extra money out of an almost bankrupt El Gordo.

    Perhaps the muddle and climbdown within hours over the police resereve will inject an element of caution into the DUP approach and although it may be unfortunate timing for the DUP that an Irish government minister arrives on the scence as they are tyring very hard to look in control of events and as the pressure on them mounts, it is a welcome and timely reminder to the DUP of the political realities, post GFA, if they decide to scamper back into the anti-agreement wilderness from whence they came.

  • Panic, These Ones Likes It Up Them.

    Do these DUP ministers and staffers realise it 2009 and not 1961.

    Just because you dream that you can do “The Time Warp” does not actually mean you can do the “Time Warp”

    Bless em.

  • Dundela Troll

    Well if the DUP are doing something then they must be right

  • Nobody is in any doubt that both the DP and he TUV would like the cross-border mplementaion bodies to be ‘hollowed out’ or even abolished.

    Their problem, though, is that these bodies are clearly included in the GFA, which itself forms part of an international agreement lodged at the UN, and to which both parties (the UK and Ireland) are quite attached. So for the DUP to get their way, the whole GFA would have to be overturned – and that, I suspect, is a bridge too far for the DUP.

  • Indeed Horseman, the DUP are by far the most pro-agreement party at stormont.

  • fair_deal

    So this is today’s addition to DUP ‘sins’ as the precursor to SF’s huff/walkout no.2 is it?

    To be fair to Trimble the North-South stuff was his one success in the Belfast Agreement and it only needed some St Andrews braces added to the Belfast Agreement belt.

    Perhaps you missed Sammy Wilson’s positive comments anout the North South structures in a recent column?

    http://www.sammywilson.org/2009/10/05/sammys-weekly-column-5th-oct/

    Why go with the public record when ‘sources’ can be ‘cited’ instead.

  • Eamonn, it would appear that officials in both Belfast and Dublin have not monitored the activities of these bodies sufficiently closely or given sufficient protection to this whistle-blower.

    During 2004, DCAL and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in the Republic, conducted a limited investigation into some of Mr McTeggart’s disclosure.

    Allegations of mismanagement were not investigated, and similar complaints by 22 other staff were not referred to the investigators.

    The investigation upheld Mr McTeggart’s core allegations relating to the senior appointments and bullying.

    In particular, it concluded that the Chief Executive had failed in his duty of absolute propriety and complete transparency in the appointment of the Director of Marketing and the Head of Marketing, and that Mr McTeggart had been bullied by the Chief Executive. It also expressed concerns about the management approach in Waterways Ireland, in particular ‘macho traits’ running through the organisation and a ‘command style’ management approach. .. Fermanagh Herald Fri, Sep 28, 2007

    Perhaps our investigative journalists might get a few good stories – if the FOI writ runs in this little part of the political bungle/jungle

  • Panic, These Ones Likes It Up Them.

    Following on from post (2)

    Time Warp lyrics for DUP ministers and staffers

    http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/therockyhorrorpictureshow/thetimewarp.htm

    And some video

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6827163268088648679#

    Is that Iris and Peter

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    fair_deal,

    most things politicans say are for strategic or tactical reasons – it is not sensible for the DUP to admit (publically) they dont like something if they have bugger all chance of getting rid of it – unless that is they wish to bring about an impasse.

    We will all have to wait until the DUP meet Gerry Kelly’s sensible request to tell everybody what it is they want rather than them making funny anti-agreement and contradictory noises on and off the record until we see what they are up to.

  • Driftwood

    expense which is not giving money for value. ??
    Never heard that expression before.
    anyway this meeting of the north/south pole association is just tea and buns.

    Same as that junket with the Isle of Man/Channel Islands/Rep of Ireland/ Gibraltar/ council thingy that we in the UK are expected to attend every now and then with our junior partners. Tea and buns.

  • Slugger wouldn’t accept the Fermanagh Herald link so I’ve posted the Waterways Ireland investigation to Scribd.

  • “it only needed some St Andrews braces added to the Belfast Agreement belt.”

    Now if they could only find the Minister for Finance and Personel/Funny Walks a pair of trousers, fair_deal 😉

  • Harry

    I think there needs to be more co-opearion with southern Ireland which affect Ireland on all-Ireland basis, such as transport. The DUP are once again sectarian ways – they want nothing to do with Ireland. If they could, they would make Northern Ireland a separate island from the rest of Ireland!

    Co-operation is needed between the Northern Irish and the Irish on all-Ireland issues, and the DUP need to accept that. I’m a unionist, but I have qualms about all-Ireland co-opearition and cross border bodies. It’s time the DUP accept this!

  • harry

    I meant to say “no qualms”!

  • Hollowing out the cross border bodies is an ongoing process. At present Minister O Cuív in the south is proposing a plan to extend Udarás na Gaeltachta’s remit as an Irish language promotion agency beyond the bounds of the Gaeltacht to cover all of the 26 counties.

    Where does this leave Foras na Gaeilge, the all Ireland body to promote Irish?

    Incidentally Foras na Gaeilge has failed to publish annual reports or accounts for the years 2005-8. Never has this been questioned by a politician in power. I wonder why.

  • Here’s a snippet from our local councils model publication scheme:

    We would expect information in this class to be available at least for the current and previous three years.

    Timetable of council meetings
    Agendas
    , officers’ reports, background papers and minutes of council committee and sub committee meetings

    This will be the information that is required to be publicly available under local authority access to information rules.

    The NSMC website would seem to be deficient with regard to timetable and agenda. Just another crap public body 🙂

  • USA

    Harry,
    Quite right. The DUP just don’t get the realities of Ulster’s political life in the 21st century. Every morning its something else, some new demand.
    They have no chance of pulling all this stuff off.

  • Concubhar, there would appear to be a major overlap of roles as well as possiblities for conflict amongst the usual little empire builders. Mind you it does provide opportunities for the extension of ministerial patronage …

  • Curious

    Con, what do Foras actually do? I see ads in the paper sometimes with their names attached usually for more jobs. I have seen some posters/ stickers etc. which they have produced but I never hear of anything else apart from the sponsorship of some low level activities. To me it seems a pretty useless organisation and i support an ILA! Foras needs to prove its worth or clear the way!

  • Why Curious you should be able to find out what Foras does, and what value for money it gives, by reading its annual reports and accounts…..oops..

    It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma…..

  • Yani

    In reality the DUP need do nothing other than turn up, drink the tea and have a bun.

    If the shinners can get away with making a mockery of representation at Westminster then Peter et al can dance around the NSMC.

  • “Incidentally Foras na Gaeilge has failed to publish annual reports or accounts for the years 2005-8. Never has this been questioned by a politician in power. I wonder why.”

    I may be wrong, but was the problem not with the accounts of the Ulster-Scots Agency rather than with those of Foras na Gaeilge? They can only be published together, since together they make up the single organisation An Foras Teanga. It’s well known that the Agency had a very messy start administratively speaking. I assume that any reluctance to kick up a fuss is attributable to a desire not to rock the communal boat.

  • Actually, I take that back. I see that the years are much more recent. Why those accounts haven’t been published is anyone’s guess.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Yani,

    re. “If the shinners can get away with making a mockery of representation at Westminster then Peter et al can dance around the NSMC.”

    I think Stormo ministers are obligated to turn up as a requirement of office(unlike if you are an elected MP) and if they dont pay attention then the good guys on both sides of the border can decide things Unionists dont like.

  • barnshee

    “I think Stormo ministers are obligated to turn up as a requirement of office(unlike if you are an elected MP) and if they dont pay attention then the good guys on both sides of the border can decide things Unionists dont like. ”

    Yea important things like tax rates and allowances, employment benefit rates levels of health and education spending -types of helth provision yea that sort of decision perhaps not