“there is nothing like an election to purge the system”

Stephen King, writing in the Irish Examiner, argues that “an election to purge the system” “cannot come soon enough”

If policing has become too big a deal, perhaps a measure of confidence can be restored by making progress on other fronts. Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin, in a comprehensive statement to the Seanad earlier this month, listed a whole array of outstanding issues on which the DUP and Sinn Féin need to move forward, from a policy to promote reconciliation, to dealing with the past, to human rights, to parades, to the Irish language.

What the minister didn’t dare say was that we are witnessing the outworkings of the failed policy pursued so eagerly for years of relying on the extremes to deliver a stable peace. A coalition of opposites, the DUP and Sinn Féin, was supposed to be invulnerable to attack from the Orange ‘right’ and Green ‘left’ respectively. That has proved to be a false hope. Instead, Stormont teeters on the brink. Decision-making is paralysed. Why? Because power rests with two parties incapable of making reasonable compromises for the common good.

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  • joeCanuck

    Why? Because power rests with two parties incapable of making reasonable compromises for the common good.

    And that’s it in a nutshell.
    Nothing further to see here folks; now move along.

  • Panic, These Ones Likes It Up Em.

    In NI it is better to hear from the people than from the politicians.

    Elections serve to remind the politicians who is paying their wages.

    I certainly have more faith in the NI electorate than I have in the politicians.

    It would be better for the next 4/5 years if the parties have their mandate in Westminister and Stormont decided by the electorate.

    Sinn Féin should be pushing for stormomt elections to be held at the same time as the Westminister elections.

    Where is the downside of this strategy for Sinn Féin

  • Mr Brightside

    Why have any more faith in the electorate? We vote for these jokers after all.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    There was certainly nothing like an election to purge the system when King was helping clag it up. Actually, now that I think on it, when the bould Stephen was a DAG, er, I mean SPAD, it took quite a few elections for him and his master to realise that the voters wanted them purged good and hard. Still, even limpets fall away in the end: though perhaps with marginally smaller public sector pension entitlements . . .

    As far as his absurd point goes – the system that’s c*cking up so royally is of course the system that the Turtle denounced the rest of us for saying, ‘it’ll never work: it’s a recipe for entrenched sectarianism and misgovernment. The only reason you’re for it yourself is because you’ll get to squat in a great big ginger huff in the PM’s old office at Stormont, shouting at hapless civil servants and childishly refusing to speak to your political colleagues. Oh, and employ nonce after nonce at vast public expense’.

    There are heaps of Unionists, and even a few Stoops who can say that they were always against this wretched set-up, for either pragmatic or dogmatic reasons, but King and Trimble ain’t them. Still, it’s interesting to see that it’s not only till receipts they make up in Clutha House.

  • Peter

    It’s time to move to plan B by the two governments.
    Joint authority until there is a nationalist majority in 15 to 20 years time. The two governments work very closely together and get things done as compared to the constant bickering and inertia of local politicians.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Yeah, let’s move to Paln B, aka the Plan one government doesn’t have and the other can’t do, wouldn’t do, and bricks itself at the very prospect of anything like it ever hoving into view. Please oh God, just for the laughs we could all have at the expense of the southern political class undergoing a collective political break-down, please, somehow, make the threat of joint authority a real one. Indeed, if You did, it might even bring the mythical nationalist majority into being as so many Unionist would die laughing just watching Dublin’s efforts to squawk, ‘fanks, but, er, no fanks’.

  • andrew white

    Why? Because power rests with two parties incapable of making reasonable compromises for the common good……………

    ah yes, it reminds me of the good old days when trimble and mallon ruled things.. how many times did stormont collapse and didnt mallon resign (or did he?)…

  • Pirate

    Is the (Tory) really necessary? Is there any other kind of Unionist?

  • Peter

    Its a common sense solution to the intractable NI politics. Guess we’ll have to wait for the next Tory government to implement it. Remember 1985, it was Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government who first gave Dublin a consultative role in NI since partition.
    Has Dublin been a malign influence for the past 25 years? Hardly.
    Joint rule will get things done rather than constant deadlock of DUP/SF misgovernment.

  • Rory Carr

    In my local library only yesterday I spotted a book titled Nightmares and Dreamscapes by one Stephen King. It contained a collection of short stories in the horror vein.

    After reading the above I can only think, “Must be the same fellow surely?”.

  • fair_deal

    “What the minister didn’t dare say was that we are witnessing the outworkings of the failed policy pursued so eagerly for years of relying on the extremes to deliver a stable peace.”

    Errr there is three huge holes in this analysis.
    1) the governments took account of the changing voting patterns of the public. Where they just supposed to ignore that?
    2) the other option is the one they pursued for years, a coalition of the centre, It failed miserably to deliver a stable peace.
    3) on a number of the policies listed above the UUP’s policy is comparable to the DUP so there would be as little common ground. (assuming the UUP wouldn’t roll over which can’t be taken for granted)

    The failed policies are twofold.
    1) Mandatory coalition because it has been tried with all four of the main NI parties and hasn’t worked.
    2) The use of instrumental deals instead of comprehensive. Instrumental deals always push difficult issues a few years down the line with the expectation that improved relationships make them easier to resolve – it has never worked in NI. The outstanding issues have pretty much always came to a head/crisis.

  • fair_deal

    correction

    1st line
    There are

  • kilter

    It’s time to move to plan B by the two governments.
    Joint authority until there is a nationalist majority in 15 to 20 years time.

    Yeah I think joint authority over Ireland is a good idea in 15 to 20 years the “SRR” should be operating north and south.

    Watch them English as Craig said to Collins.

  • frustrated democrat

    FDeal

    What planet are you on?

    The Goverments caused the shift by hanging Trimble out to dry with their concessions to SF.

    The DUP then capitalised on the concessions by piling lie on lie after lie – were did never, never, never go? No wonder the TUV are piling up the votes.

    So far from following public opinion the Government created it. Just as the DUP created the TUV.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    That would be the government of which *every* source, those that were contemporary and public, or, those private ones published since which all say exactly the same thing? Be it Blair, Powell, Campbell, Stothard, or whoever you care to name, they all the say the same thing: they were trying, beyond the call of what was constitutionally agreeable, to maintain one political faction in place. That factionw as the Turtle, and wnhy his supporters then and since want to lie about that is beyond me. You were Labour’s pet, and a mangy cur you were too. Thank God for the lethal injection the electorate finally gave you.

  • Eris

    Is the (Tory) really necessary? Is there any other kind of Unionist?

    The pirate may benefit from reading a bit about the leader of the Progressive Unionist Party leader, Dawn Purvis.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Which aspect of Purvis’s party’s [sic] criminal past should he read up on first? And in case the Pirate is new to the wuuunderful world of Norn Iron politics, Purvis, and her scummy crew are no more Unionists than they are Tories.

  • eric

    “Sinn Féin should be pushing for stormomt elections to be held at the same time as the Westminister elections.”

    The one advantage of a Stormont poll and a Westminster poll on the one day is that rather than have permanent crisis until the Westminister election in summer 2010 and then permanent crisis until the assembly election in 2011, just get the whole bloody lot out of the way on the one day and then settle down to some proper governemnt.

    If there’s one thing Norn Iron is not short of it is elections….

  • Rory Carr

    Time perhaps to face up to the truth: Northern Ireland (like many of its citizens and not a few of its politicians) simply doesn’t work. Never has and never will.

    Things remain as they always have since its inception and (a belief long held by all parties at Westminster) that, in the long run, it is simply a matter of “selling the proddies down the river with the minimum of fuss”.

  • fair_deal

    FruDem

    I’m on this place called earth, in a country called the United Kingdom,in a region called Northern Ireland in particualr the city of Belfast.

    This enables me not to try to blame everyone else for Trimble’s failure to get key issues tied down in the agreement, have no real post-agreement ‘strategy’ (who sat their and took time after time as concessions were given err Trimble) plus the inability to develop a relationship with the SDLP.

    Blame London and Dublin till the cows come how Trimble was a flawed leader and his flaws are there for all to see if they open their eyes.

  • i wonder

    I think I have it sussed Turgon when he is sober
    Laughing very very nasty Laughing (Tory) Unionist
    when the devils vomit is at work.Sort of jekyll and hyde thing.

  • “Time perhaps to face up to the truth: Northern Ireland (like many of its citizens and not a few of its politicians) simply doesn’t work. Never has and never will.”

    Remind me again – which failed state is technically bankrupt, has 12% unemployment, hundreds of thousands of apparently unwanted immigrants and an exchange rate tied to the German economy, causing its citizens to flood across the border for reasonably priced goods?

    Is it the state that was controlled for years by a brotherhood of paedophiles masquerading as a church?

  • The dude

    It’s not true to say “Northern Ireland does not work or that it has never worked”. We have a product second to none in this country. A product so well refined that we are the envy of most western style democracies and even some not so western styled democracies. From Iraq to the Philipines they come to seek the “holy grail” of politics from those with the ability to manafacture a product that can numb even the most astute minds. A product that can make Alice in wonderland read like a horror novel, a product that can turn even the most ardent optimist into a quivering wreck. That product my friends is Apathy, churned out on a daily basis at the apathy factory at Stormont where no financal cost is too great for the ant workers (MLA’s) in all the Parties who come together in a spirit of pure unity to harvest a crop that even they know will sound their death knell. Nervana does not even begin to describe how it must feel when one can participate in writing the destiny of a country.

  • Andrew

    Hawk, speaking of the German economy.. as a British person who has lived in both parts of your country, I can tell you that if it wasn’t for the £7+ billion pounds the British taxpayer pays annually to prop up Northern Ireland, it will go the way of the GDR (East Germany).
    At least ROI has a proper economy and not a propped up economy dependent on public expenditure by the BRITISH TAXPAYER!! The sooner we pull out of your country the better.
    At the very least, its high time for joint authority with the ROI paying it’s fair share to keep your economy afloat!

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Well done ‘Andrew’, you’ve officially won Slugger’s ‘least convincing “Englishman” telling it like it is’ award for 2010, and it’s not even December yet.