Campaign for what exactly?

I’ve just heard the audio of First and deputy First Minister launching their “campaign” in support of the Hillsborough Agreement. British broadcasters are banned by law from carrying it as an advert, so coverage will be limited to news programmes – perfunctorily, I’d say. If the intention is to mobilise public opinion in favour of making the Assembly work better, I applaud it . I take it this is part of the public consultation Peter Robinson referred to in the to-ing and fro-ing before Hillsborough. But it’s a curious effort, hardly a multimedia splash. The dreadful dead Executive website simply carries the bald statements without any development. What are people to make of the working parties and deadlines on a range of topics that make up the actual Agreement? How are they supposed to respond? The campaign in favour of the Agreement can only get better as it goes along – assuming there is an actual agreement.

  • iluvni

    More money down the drain.

  • Pete Baker

    “British broadcasters are banned by law from carrying it as an advert…”

    They could just call it a DUP/SF Party Election Broadcast…

  • David Crookes

    ‘Launching THEIR campaign…..’

    We’ve come a long way in NI politics when we can qualify a singular noun with a plural form of the possessive adjective.

    ‘If the intention is to mobilise public opinion in favour of making the Assembly work better, I applaud it.’

    Amen. And maybe a mezzopiano fanfare is wise in the present circumstances.

  • alan56

    This strategy could backfire. Wait till TUV,SDLP,UUP and Alliance get stuck in to this. This is like publicly paid for election advertising. Wonder if it is strictly legal, and who in the civil service advised that this was legitimate expenditure?

  • Driftwood

    Christ, not a rerun of ‘Days like this’ and ‘Happygar’ etc.

    ‘A finger of fudge’ might be better.

  • This sounds like a healthy indication that the working group on parades is going to produce something which is purely anodyne with both sides claiming that it is more/less likely that there will be contentious marches, otherwise as the UUP are suggesting it is pointless trying to sell something as a ‘deal’ when it’s just about to unravel.

  • J Kelly

    Its incredible to read Mark Durkan complaining about people being encouraged to read this agreement. I am sure he was as incensed in 1998 when Bono held Trimble and Hume’s arms aloft.

    This statement mustn’t have went through Declan oLoans begrudging test.

  • “The advertising campaign aims to ensure that people read the Agreement and forward any views they may have on it to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.”

    Why is there no deadline for the submission of views? If the deal is done what is the point of making a submission?

  • “If the intention is to mobilise public opinion…” Don’t think that is the intention at all. Public opinion already wants a working Assembly, but institutionally that is an impossibility.

  • I have no problem endorsing an agreement which I’ve read. The problem with this agreement is that there’s so much written in invisible ink, that it’s very difficult to endorse. It needs a bit of heat to make the written word visible to you and me.
    Last Sunday, 7 February, I posted a question on Gerry Adam’s website in which I questioned ‘This Blog’ about what had befallen the Irish language in the Agreement at Hillsborough, given the unrelenting hype prior to the Agreement. On Valentine’s Day he responded – to me? – with his statement containing his revelations regarding the Irish language etcetera.
    When are we going to be told, for instance, what has been agreed wrt the PMS? Or a host of other issues?

  • joeCanuck

    When are we going to be told?, Concubhar,

    3 simple words, Never, Never, Never.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Sinn Fein and DUP elected officials get paid. At what point in time are they going to do their jobs and stop asking everyone to do it for them. They will do just about anything:…more meetings…complain about the other parties… beg people and politicians in the US for money…go on world wide junketts exposing the greatness of them and their peace policy…how about they work everyday for the people who elected them and read the agreement themselves and work together to have northern ireland better for ALL concerned.

  • Kathy C, even if we had more capable public representatives there’s still a problem with a Civil Service which appears to have been left largely to its own devices for the past forty or so years.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Hi Nevin, I agree with you but I also think sinn fein and the dup should stop all their whinning and putting the blame on everyone else…and start working for the people. Who’s fault is it that the civil servants are own their own…it’s the elected officials who haven’t taken them on.

  • ardmaj55

    The dissenter [9] What’s the betting they’ll be back in round the clock talks in the week leading up to the date in March when P&J is due to be passed at stormont. If that does happen, i think the PMs will give it a very wide berth and announce the permanent closure of Stormont, since this lot are a joke.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I doubt if even the most committed political anorak will read it.
    Straight to the blue wheely bin Im afraid. I wouldnt insult the green wheely bin by wanting that nonsense re-cycled.

  • [quote][i]Why is there no deadline for the submission of views? If the deal is done what is the point of making a submission?[/i] …
    Posted by Nevin on Feb 16, 2010 @ 12:32 PM[/quote]

    the deal is done to call for public submission of Programs and Projects ……. and in these Days of Fabulous Communications, they are AIMissions ………. Colossal Magical Mystery Turing Trips courtesy of Global Communications HQ, Cyber Security Field Operations.

    Which is a Real Virtual Proposal to Stormont Exective Head Office from NIRobotIQs with NeuKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT. …. aka CyberIntelAIgent dDutch Drive ….. with Tricky Sweet Sticky Delivery …… Right Royal Chicanery and Celtic Shenanigans for Orange and Green Together to Show the Way of Peace and How to Sow Seeds that Spring to Life with New Ideas ….for the Present to Build with the Future.

    Welcome to the Cinderella Rockerfeller Program …. Browser GUI Beta Ready Version … RUXSSXXXXPerienced Model.

  • ding dong

    There is something weird that the NI Exec want to publish what can only be described as the crappiest political essay ever produced.

    Take awat Gordon’s financial letter and the timetable for parades you have a document of about 2000 words – something a half pissed student could dream up at 3 in the morning after a night on the lash.

    Of course none of these 2000 odd words actually mean anything as the majority of this waffle is about promises to do better blah blah blah.

    The real agreement is not big shown the sweetners – £20 million for the irish lnaguage, Westminster’s committment to produce an Irish Language act, etc etc.

    Most people will be sickened if this pile of crap lands through every door and so they should be

    Robbo and Marty should either go with it or through it out the rest of us don’t care – we’ll tell you how we really think at the polls

  • FitzjamesHorse

    “Selling it” is a strange idea.
    If it actually cost 5p down at your local newsagent would anyone buy it?
    Incidently DingDong you have a very high opinion of politics students……I blame the lecturers especially Dr……..oops Ive said too much.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Well, I just read the entire thing. One aspect is glaring–and it starts at the begining:

    “1. This text is an affirmation of our shared belief in the importance of working together in the spirit of partnership to deliver success for the entire commnity.”

    There are no signitures to this document so I question who is ‘our shared belief’. Is it the belief of the first and deputy minister Robinson and Mcguiness? Is it the belief of the two parties sinn fein and dup? Is it the belief of the 2 governments? Is it legally binding to the first and deputy minister? What happens if one or both robinson and mcguiness no longer are in the roles of first and deputy minister? Will it be a legally binding document for other first and deputy ministers or just robinson and mcguiness? What happens if either the first or deputy ninister or both violate terms of this document. Is it the intent of robinson and mcguiness to have the greater northern ireland community debate their affirmation of shared beliefs?

    All in all ….it is a very childish document without thought to legality and enforcement.

  • (15) ardmaj55: possibly. Equally a race to an election on the same day as Westminster which would suit both DUP/SF. Mrs Doyle not bedded into place as leader of SDLP – doubt about her impact but let’s not take risks. UUP still not clear on direction and TUV risk diminished in a double poll: DUP to be largest party (last week’s poll only within margin of error to be possible) and also retain most Westminster seats. Also leaves Assembly in place for another 4 years or not at which point SF will have to accommodate TUV in new round of negotiations under a Conservative Govt linked to UUP. Risks all round, but x2 election has been on cards since Christmas.

  • [quote][i]posted by Kathleen Collins

    Well, I just read the entire thing. One aspect is glaring—and it starts at the begining:

    “1. This text is an affirmation of our shared belief in the importance of working together in the spirit of partnership to deliver success for the entire commnity.”[/i] ….`Posted by Kathy C on Feb 16, 2010 @ 04:48 PM[/quote]

    The Hillsborough Agreement is asking Y’all, is it your shared belief in the importance of working together in the spirit of partnership to deliver success for the entire community.

    For then will there be Singularity of Great Good Purpose and a Virtual Guarantee of Certain Roaring Success with Decommissioned ParaMilitarised Civil AIgents. ….. Community Leaders ……. Virtual Shepherds.

  • ardmaj55

    21 the dissenter. I’ll take it as read you’re a DUP voter then. Very few others would predict such a favourable scenario for the DUP. The poll showing they are slightly above the UUP, [and that’s Reg empty’s career brought to a crashing halt] shows they haven’t suffered as much over Iris’s antics as many commentators thought, so who knows. SF will not be greatly worried about the SDLP revival, as that party hasn’t changed all that much in the decade since Hume left.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    the only way the hillsborough agreement would ask everyone if it is their shared belief in importance of working together in spirit of partnership would be to have the people vote on the agreement. Even if everyone voted 100% that they wanted to work together for the success of entire community..the result would be null regarding this agreemenet because the document states the ‘text’ is an affirmation of shared beliefs and I ask…an affirmation of whom?

  • ardmaj55 – You may presume nothing, though you seem to be agreeing. 3% is the margin of error on 1000 questioned, so on that poll a little from the TUV and UUP and the DUP would be back on top (the difference between the DUP and SF was only around 3%: marginal, but there – it is the largest party in the Assembly that matters to the DUP/First Minister). Perhaps not. It is only one possible scenario. Of course they could be second to SF and then the whole thing collapses if the DUP are not willing to enter d’Hondt. Would that be so different a scenario one year later at the Assembly elections, with perhaps a poor Westminster showing when the DUP will lose seats and therefore momentum.

  • ardmaj55

    Dissenter 25. I suspect the DUP would not be in favour of both elections on the same day, and would sooner want to know how they fared in Westminster poll in order to make plans for recovery in time for assembly election. Trouble is, if they did badly in westminster election, their former voters would know how each other voted and be able to capitalise and really rub it in. Funny old game, this democracy.[wonder if Jimmy Greaves ever philosophised on politics as he was wont to in football].

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    QUESTION: If someone supports this agreement does it mean the person also supports what PM Brown states in the agreement,

    “I believe that this is a very strong seettlemenet which will insure that all the people of Northern Ireland continue to have high qualitiy policing and justice service”

    What if you don’t believe northern Ireland has had high quality policing and high quality justice? Does Martin Mcguiness want the republican community to endorse this agrement thus giving a seal of approval to the past performances of the police and justice system?