“Continual inability to agree on a range of issues drains credibility…”

The Assembly’s survival is in doubt if agreement can’t be found on key issues. This is the opinion of First Minister Peter Robinson. Speaking to party members Mr Robinson said: “The continual inability to agree on a range of issues drains credibility from the operation of devolution and if it continues over a long period of time will undoubtedly threaten its long term survival.” The First Minister added: “I do not believe that is in anyone’s best interests. Above all else what the public are interested in is delivery from the Executive.”
Peter Robinson further argued: “Our present system encourages stalemate and party political point scoring over good government.” And he added:

“I believe that it is time to set party politics to the side and to concentrate on what is the best mechanism to take decisions which are in the best interest of the people of Northern Ireland. It is time to remove the obstacles to the Executive’s effective performance.”

Mr Robinson recommends that the Assembly’s Executive Review Committee should look at this issue:

“Our proposals include the abolition of community designation and its replacement by a sixty five per cent weighted majority voting. This would ensure but would not allow any single party to have a veto on progress. It would encourage co-operation and compromise and end the potential of blackmail by stalemate.

“Any decision would require the support of either the DUP and Sinn Fein or any three of the parties in the Executive for any matters to pass.” concluded Mr Robinson.

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  • I live in Slugger

    What’s the odds that Slabbery McNally will be one of the first three people to comment?

  • Quagmire

    Majority rule has gone forever, and won’t be coming back Robbo. You have 2 choices, namely power sharing or Joint Authority. If Stormont falls, it will be for the last time and nationalists will shed no tears.

  • J Kelly

    The difficulty for the DUP is that they see agreement on any issue as a defeat. The collapse may happen but the day after the thousands and thousands of republicans who vote for and support Sinn Fein will still be here. So Peter grow a pair of ****s and stand up to Gregory, Nigel and the rest of the Taliban and lead.

  • DC

    Isn’t it extraordinary that the DUP, of all parties, want us all to accept 65% weighted majority whenever back in 1998 they couldn’t and wouldn’t accept 72% as the majority.


    Had it been Alliance it would have been fine but this lot.

    Let’s face it neither McGuinness nor Robinson are in personal control of central government – regional style – and it’s down to personal styles and they just can’t get on.

    It needs a shift in direction and more positivity, not to be mistaken for cheap optimism, but something even close to working together might be useful. Even explaining in a debating manner why some parts of the programme of government or wish-lists if you like just can’t be done. I’m thinkg that of education change re SF and DUP and of course that in relation to devolving policing.

    Small town boys with regional responsibility, but the thing that irks me the most is slow progress on very high ministerial salaries. Which is why sometimes my views cross over with those of Jim Allister’s except mine are for very different reasons, see those above.

    I couldn’t get on with Robinson, who here else could really? And McGuinness is only slightly better but probably a bit more pliable.

    So this time (now with the peace process pretty much processed) it’s all about style for once, which is causing problems and restricting debates on policy substance.

    Get rid of them. Centre-right politicians are usually argumentative, suspicious-minded, presumptuous w@nkers.

  • After September and October in Lower Ravenhill, in Bangor and Ballinahinch, then this week in Cumbria, Galway, Cork … the issue of drains is the one that truly marks credibility.

  • CRC

    Wee Pete chatting bollocks again. Unionism still hasn’t got it. The old Protestant Junta for a Protestant People will never be allowed. Unionism’s land grab in the 20’s created the current situation. If Pete want’s to rule the roost the border should be redrawn and 2/3rds of the land mass of NI should be ceeded to the Republic

  • joeCanuck

    That’s funny, Malcolm.

    On topic, it also takes 2 to not tango, by the looks of it.

  • NCM

    Sinn Fein has just started selling a “Tiocfaidh ar la” teddy bear, which I’d take to be *the* definitive proof that their days of resistance are over.

    That said, I’ll take teddy bears any day of the week over political violence, and if all the various factions that still haven’t renounced armed conflict and/or that are stalling implementation of a political solution just issued their own teddy bears, I’m pretty sure that would go a long way toward a better future.

  • slug

    With 65% voluntary coalition parties would have to (eek!) actually negotiate their way into government. Its not clear that’s going to be good for traditional unionism or traditional nationalism. But that doetn’t bother me.

    Funny how Alliance pushed this for years (as did I) but when DUP come out for it they go all shy.

  • Only Asking

    AFter the in fighting there is still the issue of how do they get things done. There is obviously a problem with mandatory coalition, something has to give. We can’t go back to majority rule, but stalemate is no soloution either.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Some people on this thread seem to have confused majority rule with a weighted majority.

    Very different things.

  • pasty407

    I seen this story last night and thought that it sounds like Peter Robinson is longing for the days of partnership with the SDLP.

    Peter 65% is clearly looking at the SDLP support if the idea of must have a Nationalist party has to in the equation, but by and far his preferred option would clearly be the “any three parties in the executive” rule, which clearly means all three Unionist parties DUP, UUP and the small “u” of the Alliance as they are to get the Policing & Justice portfolio.

    Either of the above two options is Peter’s and the DUP’s way of trying to marginalise Sinn Fein and remove them from the equation – and in doing so also remove the threat from Jim Allister.

    By bringing back the SDLP they involve Nationalists, not what they want but would stomach on a small scale, and get rid of Sinn Fein.

    Peter’s (and the DUP’s) hope and strategy learly being that if the SDLP are included and Sinn Fein sidelined then future Nationalists will cast their votes for the party in power delivering and then turn away from Sinn Fein.

    Will the smell of power see the SDLP agree to the DUP request, is there a likelyhood that a Conservative British Government will do a deal with the SDLP on such a move and go against the wishes of the majority of Nationalist voters how are likely to return Sinn Fein as the biggest Nationalist party in the North?

    If only the DUP and UUP would work as hard at running the place for ALL the people as they do at trying to remove the Democratically elected voice of Nationalism in the North then things could actually get better.

  • i wonder

    Peter’s (and the DUP’s) hope and strategy learly being that if the SDLP are included and Sinn Fein sidelined then future Nationalists will cast their votes for the party in power delivering and then turn away from Sinn Fein.

    I have only ever voted once in my life and that was for the good friday agreement Ihave never been able to bring myself to vote for any of the wasters.But if this were to happen (Peter’s (and the DUP’s) hope and strategy learly being that if the SDLP are included and Sinn Fein sidelined then future Nationalists will cast their votes for the party in power delivering and then turn away from Sinn Fein.) and I despise the bastards
    I would go out and vote Sinn Fein.The party in power delivering, delivering what? the skunts couldnt deliver the fekin telly for fek sake up the Roma up Brussels bring on Turkeys membership.

  • mathematician


    65% of 108 is 71. That is achievable by DUP+SF+(either UUP or SDLP). It is not achievable by DUP+UUP+SDLP, though it would be by those three plus Alliance. It is also possible by DUP+SF+All.

    I cannot see any circumstances where (for the foreseeable future) SDLP would enter government without SF, so 65% would guarantee significant cross-community support for a voluntary coalition Executive. It would provide flexibility in the building of a coalition and an incentive to cooperate. This might not be a bad idea considering the statesmanlike behaviour of both the Education Minister over transfer arrangements and the past Environment Minister over climate change.