“It adds that they hope to agree on a potential minister before Christmas.”

At best the news that the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers have written to MLAs, inviting them to nominate candidates for the post of Justice Minister by next week, might represent the hint of blue sky that a cooling down period would allow in. They then propose “to meet the other party leaders to consider which candidates are likely to get cross-community support.” [Is that the end of the manufactured “crisis” – Ed]. Well, it’s worth noting that the Department of Justice Bill places no time restrictions on nominations before the Legislative Assembly decides, by cross-community vote, who is to be Justice Minister. [Adds – Neither does the Bill specify the involvement of OFMDFM]. And we’ve known the identity of an agreed potential Attorney General since November 2008…

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  • Panic, These ones like it up em.

    Hopefully those in favour of devolution in general are beginning to exert the influence that is needed to move the process along.

    It really is the only way forward and thats pretty obvious to every one except those trapped in fantasy Ivory towers.

  • DR

    things are moving, and we know from past experience that when the logs start moving the whole thing soon slips into place.

  • Observer

    What a joke! In what other democracy would a Minister be appointed in a way that makes a mockery of the democratic will of the electorate. If the Alliance Party commanded popular ballot box support they would already be represented on the Executive. Talk about a back door way onboard!! Lets hear no more about unrepresentative Quangos. The Executive is heading in that direction.

  • Mr J.

    Surely the appointment of an Alliance P&J Minister is much the same as the first Speaker being appointed from the Alliance party, as a measure to ensure impartiality in a post that could be percieved as easily susceptible to bias?

  • joeCanuck

    Does anyone know if Westminster can prorogue the Assembly for a few months or whether a new law would be required?

  • Who’s this Ed that keeps appearing in Pete’s posts? A sock-puppet affectation perhaps?

  • DR

    Observer, it is democratic, the majority and weighted majorities required have decided on this system, the people elected them, if they dont like the way they have handled it then they can elect someone else in 2011, they could choose donald duck if they want. (he would have to co-oped onto the assembly first though).
    Yes unfortunately this give Alliance a chance to hit well above their weight, but its a poison chalice too.

  • BonarLaw


    Westminster can do whatever it likes- parliamentary soverignty and all that.

    To suspend devolution new legislation would be required but it could be done in a day.

  • Mr J.


    The pertinent question then is whether Donald Duck is Unionist, Nationalist, or Other.

  • ‘Greenflag

    ‘but it could be done in a day.’

    No point for it would only be resurrected again in another few years .

    Best to abolish it completely and go back to 1922. Start again from scratch and opt for a proper and fair repartition of Northern Ireland by a neutral international organisation . That way both Unionist/Loyalists and Nationalist /Republicans can say a permanent goodbye to each other’s fantasies !!

    Northern Ireland as it’s presently constituted can never be a proper democracy . The sooner all hands realise that the better and the less time and money will be wasted in pursuit of the ímpossible !

  • DR

    Think he prob is a prod, it sounds like a lowland scots name, although Scrooge McDuck hints at a highland origin, probably you should read this article on wikipedia

  • Mr J.


    He also wears a quasi-military outfit like the Ulster Vanguard, and is often seen without trousers on, a la Sammy Wilson,so Unionist for sure.

    A very enjoyable link too.

  • Panic, These ones like it up em.

    Probably a Prod alright but he is great quack 🙂

  • danielmoran

    ‘we’ve known the identity of an sgreed attorney general since…..’

    i believe ian paisley offered some veiled threats about whether larkin would actually get the job after ian og’s nose was put out of joint a while back. is anything he says now dismissed automatically?

  • danielmoran

    greenflag…. msg 10. good point. they have been applying sticking plasters to this unstable and gaping wound since sunningdale in 1973/74. there’s no democratic foundation, so nothing to build lasting structures on.

  • Yokel


    I’ve some sympathy with a repartition as there are some fairly clear and substantial zones like Newry, West bank of Foyle, Strabane, South Armagh etc that are easy enough to move on with no natural unionist populous that can be seen in those areas. These are pretty contigious zones that would make a relative (in NI terms) uncontroversial series of moves.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m waiting on someone to blog the story about a TUV member apparently still being allowed to remain in the party despite campaigning for the release of a convicted terrorist and murderer who has just been jailed for assault.

    This is relevant, because a significant proportion of the problem here is to do with the TUV appealing to unionists to keep those linked with terrorism out of office. I’m also very curious to hear what Turgon thinks about sharing membership of the same party as someone who thinks that a convicted murderer should be let off.

  • Turgon

    Simple comrade, I condemn Knight unreservedly. I knew a very good Christian man who went and argued with Knight years ago about the wickedness of his actions and his personal need to repent. Initially many thought and I suppose hoped Knight was beginning to see what he had done wrong. I think that seems to have turned to ashes many years ago.

    I have friends who knew Knight 30 years ago and he was by all accounts a frightening child though none at the time knew what a murderous monster he was to become.

    I still hope Knight will turn form his sin and crime but very clearly he now belongs in gaol for a prolonged period.

    As to Trevor Collins, I do not know him personally; though being from that part of the world originally I would probably know him to see. I condemn his decision to be involved in the petition and think whatever his motives it was wrong to do this. As to his membership, that is not in my gift.

    However, I will not be leaving the party simply because one individual does something of which I strongly disapprove and condemn.

  • joeCanuck

    Turgon will resign . But I’m not betting on it.

  • Turgon

    No I will not resign over this one episode. I am pretty unimpressed but I think overall the TUV are still the party which best articulates my opinions. In addition if one runs away every time something one disapproves of happens then one is left with nothing. I will stay and fight my corner on issues including criminals.

    If I do leave I will no doubt tell you all. Who knows I might even reveal my identity though it is now a fairly ill disguised secret.

  • KieranJ

    I applaud Greenflag.

    Post of the year.

  • Celtic Mist

    Greenflag has it all wrong. The tragedy of partition was those left behind. Never again.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks for your response and your earlier comment.
    You are obviously a decent person from your posts on SOT, but I still think you can find a better party. You cannot ignore the democratic decision of the majority of Catholics/Nationalists/Republicans (for want of a better description), however unpalatable that is to you, personally. We have to move forward although that appears less and less likely given the lack of trust between the 2 largest parties. Maybe that will change eventually although I’m not betting on that either.

  • paddy

    what is the big deal about trevor knight.he was as gerry calls it in a bar room brawl. check the criminal records of some of the scroats in stormont who want their bloody fingers on control of pj.people in glass houses n all that

  • Turgon i think what you mean to say is:

    The TUV is the ‘person’ you think best articulates your opinions.

  • Greenflag

    celtic mist ,

    ‘The tragedy of partition was those left behind.’

    That’s right -There were too many left behind approx 35% of the NI State’s population at the time or 500,000 people . A fair repartition by a neutral international organisation should minimise the number left behind to approx 100,000. A similar number of ‘unionists ‘ would be left behind on the wrong side of a new border . The smaller NI predominantly (85% unionist state would have a better chance of developing into a normal democracy-imo . As things stand they have virtually no chance of moving beyond sectarian politics despite all the ‘new found ‘ hype being spun out by the UCUNFERS and their Tory mentors.

    ‘ Never again.’

    I’d never say never 😉 History has a habit of repeating itself or seems to, even if time and circumstances differ. There are only a certain numbers of throws possible when dealing at any point in time with a failed political entity . But at some point in time the game is seen as being ‘up’ and that can happen faster than people may assume .

  • Comrade Stalin


    It would have been a very simple matter for Jim Allister to expel this person from the party. That would have sent out a clear message that such attitudes are not tolerated and, as such, it wouldn’t be possible to raise questions about hypocrisy.

    The question is – why did Allister not take this simple step which would have immediately eliminated any ambiguity about his stance ? The answer, to me, is that he is afraid that too many of his supporters think that people with serious convictions should be released from jail. What other possible explanation could there be ? And that’s when you get down to the question of whether or not you are in the right party.

    This is not a dispute over a minor detail. The TUV policy is that “nothing which is morally wrong can be politically right”. So here’s the chance to put that into action.