“the party isn’t putting anyone in front of cameras or microphones at the moment”

BBC NI’s Politics Show had intended to introduce the three latest recruits to the NI Assembly, one Ulster Unionist, one Sinn Féin and one SDLP – each selected by their parties rather than elected by the public. But only two turned up. Regarding the absence of the [next] Sinn Féin MLA, Jim Fitzpatrick explained – “the party isn’t putting anyone in front of cameras or microphones at the moment”. Not for a live discussion anyway. Sinn Féin similarly failed to put anyone forward to discuss the devolution of policing and justice powers on Stormont Live this week – not even their favourite fire-fighter John O’Dowd. But what is the party frightened of? Clarity on the latest “crisis”? Clarity within their constituency? Or some “stupid” questions from a “skitter” revealing that they’ve been “talking themselves into a corner” while making no progress on the issue itself?

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  • Glen Taisie

    Stalinism rules ok

  • Panic, These ones like it up em.

    Sometimes it is better to listen

    Even for politicians 🙂

  • Sean

    Pete and his manufactured Sinn Fein crisis

    This could be seen as SF not wanting members making promises their party can not keep like the dupers seem to do of late

    Or they have had their say and now its time to put on their poker faces and give the dupers enough room to light there petard

    And then there is always the arguement they talked dupers into a corner instead of the way you wish it was

    I am sure the dupers are way ahead of this!lmao

  • LabourNIman

    Like I said, SF dictate to their electorate, not discuss with them. This shouldn’t be seen as anything major.

  • interested

    Its always foolish to back your party into a corner you cant get out?

  • What was the purpose of the short piece on community policing that preceded the chat?

  • Marty McG

    Maybe the terrorists are on an audio ‘sabbatical’, just like their terror sabbatical, that allows them to blame their old friends, they now call a ‘micro group’.

  • Quagmire

    Like I said, SF dictate to their electorate, not discuss with them. This shouldn’t be seen as anything major.
    Posted by LabourNIman on Dec 13, 2009 @ 05:23 PM

    What are you trying to suggest with this comment? That the people who vote for SF are stupid, and can’t make an informed choice at election time? That they need to be told how it is as opposed to making up their own minds? How arrogant! You’re talking about more than 25% of the north’s electorate. SF make decisions on behalf and in the intersts of their electorate, not inspite of them.If people disagreed with their anaylisis then they wouldn’t vote for them, yet they do in growing numbers year on year. As a nationalist voter, I believe that SF have given the assembly more than a fair wind. If SF walk away and stormont falls (for the last time) no nationalist will shed any tears and unionist intransigence will once more be to blame.

  • qubol

    Pete while you’re raising the bar on your (micro? Ed) coverage of Sinn Fein why not use the use the opportunity to call Gerry, Specky Four Eyes? I mean, we’ve got Scardy Cat above and last week you called them a bunch of Huffers.

    You’re insight and ability to see through the spin is wasted here, you should get on TV.

  • picador

    Meanwhile the DUP haven’t nominated a csndidate for the forthcoming Lurgan by-election (an election the party helped to trigger by failing to second David Calvert for co-option). It seems the DUP is running scared of the TUV. H/T Horseman at Ulster’s Doomed.

  • Guest

    what makes you think they are frightened?

    “That this Ard Fheis endorses the Ard Chomhairle motion. That the Ard Chomhairle is mandated to implement this motion only when the power-sharing institutions are established and when the Ard Chomhairle is satisfied that the policing and justice powers will be transferred. Or if this does not happen within the St Andrews timeframe, only when acceptable new partnership arrangements to implement the Good Friday Agreement are in place. “”

    Now link to where the Ard Chomhairle mandated the motion and to why they cannot recross the said “rubicon”

  • aquifer

    Yep. It will be best to stop Peter Robinson doing his unconstitutional solo spokesman act before the Brits catch on and have him interned for sedition. Like Paisley before him, a great recruiting sergeant for the ‘RA.

  • anonymous

    LabourNIman what do you know about SF voters?

    Are there any Labour voters in NI anyway?

  • LabourNIman

    Quagmire – I’ve never said SF does anything inspite of their voters. All I’m saying is that a lot of their voters trust them and frankly SF take it for granted. Have you heard SF call any public forums in your area lately?

    Arrogant is one thing I’m not. arrogant is when you get elected to a seat like west belfast and do nothing at a assembly or west minster level to help the people of the shankill who live in some of the worst conditions in europe.

    SF claim to be a party for the ‘people of ireland’ so what the hell are they doing to help residents of the shankill? Nowt.

    ‘SF make decisions on behalf and in the intersts of their electorate’ – thats a great way of saying they don’t ask your opinion.

    anonymous – we haven’t contested an election in NI yet, however when we do we will represent everyone in the constituencies regardless if they agree on the constitutional issue or not. Can you say that about your party?

  • Guest

    “we haven’t contested an election in NI yet, however when we do we will represent everyone in the constituencies regardless if they agree on the constitutional issue or not.”

    That is the reason you have not contested elections.

    “Can you say that about your party? ”

    No;and thank god.
    The constitutional issue is the only issue,the rest is unionism in disguise.

  • anonymous

    LabourNIman why do you assume I support SF?

    The old NI Labour party was partitionist as far as I remember. Wouldn’t the NI Labour party be Unionist? Or are you saying they wouldn’t be?

    Guest: totally agree with you.

    “That is the reason you have not contested elections.

    “Can you say that about your party? “

    No;and thank god.
    The constitutional issue is the only issue,the rest is unionism in disguise.” Well said.

  • anonymous

    We know NI Labour would be just another Unionist party. You told us so:

    “Nationalists fear NI becoming a serious entity in UK politics. Whether they like it or not we deserve to have a say in the national agenda. It’s our boys dying in IRAQ and our companies going bust.”

    LabourNIman

    Get real.

  • Quagmire

    “Arrogant is one thing I’m not. arrogant is when you get elected to a seat like west belfast and do nothing at a assembly or west minster level to help the people of the shankill who live in some of the worst conditions in europe.”
    Posted by LabourNIman on Dec 13, 2009 @ 10:57 PM

    What has Unionism ever done for the people of the Shankill???????? You tell me. This didn’t happen overnight. The people of this area, more than any other benefited from the old unionist regime and jobs for the boys at the shipyards, Mackies etc. No education was required and no taigs need apply. The problem is the world has moved on and I find it ironic that the people of this area, despite their impoverished disposition, continue to vote for Unionist Parties who back academic selection despite the fact that virtually no children from this area benefit from it. They also continue to back loyalist groups i.e. uvf/uda, who are feeding the youth of the area with drugs. By attempting to eradicate academic selection and introduce a more equitable system, SF is doing more for the people of this area than any unionist politican has done since the foundation of the state, yet the people of the Shankill continue to vote for the flat earthers in the DUP.

    “I’ve never said SF does anything inspite of their voters. All I’m saying is that a lot of their voters trust them and frankly SF take it for granted. Have you heard SF call any public forums in your area lately?”
    Posted by LabourNIman on Dec 13, 2009 @ 10:57 PM

    Out of all the parties at Stormont, I would suggest that SF have the best record in terms of consulting their electorate via public forum. For example the policng consultation that took place in Clonard Monastery and right across the Island of Ireland. When was the last time the British Labour Party held a forum in the north? They don’t even have any candidates or stand for election here so I’ll take no lectures from you.You say that SF are abstentionist in relation to Westminister, I say that the British Labour Party are abstentionist in relation to the north.

  • anonymous

    Quagmire take no notice. The Labour Party had over a decade of legal action before it agreed to let people in the north join.

    It only takes a bit of Googling to reveal the membership is overwhelmingly Unionist. Perhaps they think the Shankill would be a good place to start looking for votes?

  • Pete Baker

    And back to the topic..

    Guest

    You seem somewhat confused.

    Either the motion was implemented, or it wasn’t and there is no re-crossing of the rubicon required.

    Perhaps if you quoted the actions the motion mandated the Ard Chomhairle to take, rather than the conditions under which the Ard Fheis consented to those actions being taken.

    We know that meeting those conditions was… fudged?

  • Peter

    Blah blah blah……

    Pete – here’s the thing – what you think was/wasn’t agreed in St Andrews is of little relevance. (You actually sound like a charicature of an old school republican – obsessed with legalism) The guarantees that are needed are in place: no partnership, no equality = no assembly. SF pull it down and trigger an election in which unionism is the big loser – split three ways with noone offering a way forward. SF’s electorate will support them on that – not because they are dictated to, not because they are deluded but because they are not ever going to go back to the past when unionism dictated the terms.

    Whatever the future of the assembly some mechanism for greater democratic accountability will have to be put in place – if, as is entirely possible, that happens in the context of Sinn Fein being the largest party they will do all the better for it. In that circumstance, while nobody gains from the collapse of the political institutions, I suspect that the solution imposed on the issue of policing and justice might have more of a green tinge than it would in the context of mutual veto that a functioning executive – rightly in my opinion – demands.

  • Dave

    “You actually sound like a charicature of an old school republican – obsessed with legalism.”

    You fit that bill more than Pete in that “old school republican” had no grasp of “legalism” and therefore was easily led by others to sign away his national rights on the basis that it was just a meaningless bit of paper he was signing that could be tore up and replaced with something more to his liking if his wee fickle self decreed.

    As Pete has pointed out, that lack of attention to “legalism” is why the Shinners now have to jump up and down in their pram, crying for Papa Gordon and Mama Biffo to come sort it all out for them (again).

    As what is your alternative to “legalism”? Nothing other than some strange fantasy that disregarding the detail will lead to some glorious green-tinged dove will come flying overhead and guide you to the promised land.

    Good luck with that…

  • Panic, These ones like it up em.

    Reply to USA

    Peter Baker is in love with or falling in love with Sinn Féin.

    Its the only explanation that makes sense.

    I wonder do Sinn Féin consider this a success.

  • Trev

    More pointless baa baaing from the shinner sheep.

    I particularly like the line about “some mechanism for greater democratic accoutability will need to be put in place”. Sinn Fein speak for ‘you don’t agree with us so you’re anti-democratic, bigoted, baa, baa….’

    And if the shinners really believe that unionism will loss if Stormont falls and a greener future will come why don’t they call a Hard Fish and agree to pack up and go?

    I’d make a point of being at the gate to wave them on their way. Afterall the only place their going is home.

  • LabourNIman

    so much to address and so little time! Lets go..

    ‘The constitutional issue is the only issue,the rest is unionism in disguise.’ Wow… just as well there are parties that want your community to have jobs, health care etc. But thanks for proving what SF are really about.

    ‘The old NI Labour party was partitionist as far as I remember. Wouldn’t the NI Labour party be Unionist? Or are you saying they wouldn’t be?’ – I’m a member not a spokesperson, however i would hope that as the Labour party is a non-secertain, left of centre party it would class itself as ‘other’ in this stone age and insulting ritual of the assembly.

    ‘We know NI Labour would be just another Unionist party. You told us so’ – now, this is going to be hard for you to read, but please bare with me…

    The Labour Party’s constitution states that it supports NI being party of the UK as long as a majority of residents support it (which is the same as the GFA). Take a deep breath.

    The aim of the Labour party in NI is to better the lives of the people in NI (not it’s voters, like SF) through the chambers it is elected to. SF do not do this.

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure NI lads fought in IRAQ.. but I guess as you like to forget that.

    ‘Get real.’ – Thanks for the advice, but you are the person that can’t see past their own jaded views.

    ‘They don’t even have any candidates or stand for election here so I’ll take no lectures from you.’ – who is lecturing? I thought we were having a debate? But anyway, yes we haven’t contested an election yet, that is due to us dedicating time to building our presence, other parties like the TUV etc just stick a badge on someone asap. Plus if memory serves it took SF a very long time to agree to contest elections in NI.

    ‘You say that SF are abstentionist in relation to Westminister, I say that the British Labour Party are abstentionist in relation to the north.’ – Not quite, I think you’ll find the Labour government have been the main driving force behind the assembly, devolution etc while the locals have had their tiffs, and invested a lot of money into Northern Ireland.

    ‘It only takes a bit of Googling to reveal the membership is overwhelmingly Unionist.’ – thats plain rubbish and would love to see the evidence.

    ‘By attempting to eradicate academic selection and introduce a more equitable system, SF is doing more for the people of this area than any unionist politican has done since the foundation of the state’ – Quite a claim, but I did have a laugh at the ‘equitable system’ isn’t the problem that SF hasn’t been able to bring in an alternative?!

  • anonymous

    LabourNIman seriously get real! If, and it’s a big if, you ever stand for election here, how long do you think it will be before Nationalists point out you are the British Labour Party in Northern Ireland? Thus they will not vote for you in any great numbers. Same as the Alliance Party; Nationalist people are not that easily fooled. They know Alliance is basically unionist with a small u, they will definitely see through your nonsense about being neutral on the Union when they read the small print and see you are the British LP in NI. Your current motto is “Join the fight for Britain’s future!”

    If you want to be a political representative in this wee Province you have to articulate the views of most people; and most people have a view on the Union. Correct? That’s not sectarian that’s life. So what’s your view on the Union? Saying democracy will win the day is’t good enough. The UUP signed the GFA but they want to stay in the UK. So what’s NILP’s preferred option? Union or Unity?

  • LabourNIman

    ‘LabourNIman seriously get real!’ – thats me put in my place…

    ‘If, and it’s a big if, you ever stand for election here’ – we are aiming for the 2011 council elections, get used to it.

    ‘how long do you think it will be before Nationalists point out you are the British Labour Party in Northern Ireland?’ – the same nationalists that have no problem with the SDLP sitting on our benches in west minster? Ah, you must just mean shinner supporters.

    I’ve no doubt that we will have a fight on our hands, but a large number of people in NI want a serious party that doesn’t care what side of the wall your from, what colour your skin is or what sex you are and want to make NI work. We will put our case forward and if people like what we say they will votes. Not everyone is politically jaded by the constitutional issue.

    The irish labour party did some work a couple years back when they considered standing in NI. Take a look at their findings

    http://www.labour.ie/northernireland/

    I’m especially interested in the ‘Analysis of political identity and support in Northern Ireland 1998 – 2006’ The fact that support for tribal parties didn’t go above 69% speaks volumes. There are a lot of voters out there for us to talk to.

    ‘They know Alliance is basically unionist with a small u’ – I’m no fan of the alliance party but they have done more for the minority communities that SF ever have. They have the only asian MLA (and candidate in the last assembly election). Alliance have always failed at being efficient communicators.

    ‘Your current motto is “Join the fight for Britain’s future!’ – while the language may not be suited to some of NI’s residents, our goal is simple – make NI better for it’s residents – that means more funding, better standards of living etc. Would you prefare NI was at a stand still until there is a UI?

    ‘If you want to be a political representative in this wee Province’ – I don’t. But please go on…

    ‘and most people have a view on the Union. Correct? ‘ – Yes, the majority of NI voted for the GFA, and it states (like the labour party consitution) that NI will remain a party of the UK while a majority wishes so. It’s not rocket science, the constitutional question is invalid until a referendum. People want to live their lives to the best possible standards. Tribal politics is not delivering this.

    ‘So what’s your view on the Union? Saying democracy will win the day is’t good enough.’ – don’t know what part of the world you live in but yes it is. Answer me this, SF have signed up to the government of NI, signed up to the GFA. If democracy doesn’t suit them they should make it clear to the world. I trust a press release will be issued in the morning? Thanks.

    ‘The UUP signed the GFA but they want to stay in the UK.’ – so did Alliance, womens coalition etc and they have the same view as us. Your point is invalid.

    ‘So what’s NILP’s preferred option?’ – take you to ask them, I’m not a member of that party.

  • anonymous

    You’re not a LP member?

    I don’t want to waste any more time replying to you. You’re deluded.

    Let’s just wait and see if the LP in GB lets you people stand here. Then let’s watch you get hammered. Just like you did when you tried standing under Labour tickets before with the same message. In 1998 didn’t one guy in South Belfast get about 200 votes? Pathetic!

  • LabourNIman

    ‘You’re not a LP member?’ – yes, but you said NILP, thats a totally different and defunct party. Our Branch is called the Labour Party in Northern Ireland.

    ‘I don’t want to waste any more time replying to you. You’re deluded.’ Seriously? Your sectarian slant (or is it just shinner rhetoric?) has shawn the last few days. I think you’ve been hit with some hard facts and ran away. After all, no one is held to account on the internet. Especially when they use the name ‘anonymous’.

    ‘Let’s just wait and see if the LP in GB lets you people stand here.’ – Cant stop us. Besides why would they? The Tories are here, BNP, UKIP etc. Also, the LP in GB and the LP in NI are the same party, stop acting as if it isn’t.

    ‘Then let’s watch you get hammered.’ We will fight the good fight. What happens, happens. Fortunately we have more faith in the people of NI than you do.

    ‘Just like you did when you tried standing under Labour tickets before with the same message. In 1998 didn’t one guy in South Belfast get about 200 votes? Pathetic!’ – wasn’t us… and besides putting Labour besides your name is as easy as putting republican or unionist.

    Cheerio!

  • anonymous

    Join Alliance.

    They won’t stand here. You’re deluded.

  • LabourNIman

    ‘Join Alliance.’ – no thanks

    ‘You’re deluded’ – just keep dodging the questions.