So what’s the deal with the party then Peter?

The trouble with these deals that we have not yet seen, nor has the likely putative Justice Minister is that we don’t know what they contain. But as raised here a few weeks ago, we still don’t know what might remotely trigger Robinson’s resignation. Lord Ken Magennis in last night’s Tele:

Reports have suggested that the price extracted for their support for Hillsborough is a post-dated letter of resignation from the First Minister, to be cashed-in if the DUP decides at a later date that Sinn Fein has reneged on whatever has been arranged. If we are being asked to back the DUP-Sinn Fein deal, we are surely entitled to know in what circumstances that resignation letter would be put into effect. We also need to know who would make that decision.

Again, according to reports, the decision would be taken by the DUP executive, which would mean that the First Minister could be dumped even if the DUP Assembly party wanted him to remain in office for the sake of their jobs. In any walk of life prudent people like to know who they are doing business with and it is a legitimate point of public and cross-party interest to ask where the power of decision now lies in the DUP.

In clarifying this, the DUP can also end the confusion about what they think happens, or what they intend should happen, after the devolution vote next month.

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  • joeCanuck

    We have a severe democratic deficit in N.I. Pete often refers to the semi-detached politboro and, unfortunately, it’s an apt description. Even the so called partners in the Executive, the SDLP and the UUP are kept in the dark; I can’t understand why they don’t go into opposition.
    In addition, in many countries the Press acts as a brake on arbitrary government by digging and exposing “misdeeds”. What on earth is going on with them in N.I.? Are David Gordon and Suzanne Breen the only two investigative reporters? There must be a wealth on stuff to uncover.

  • Harry J

    Is Magennis the guy who saved the RUC?

  • interested

    UUP need to back the deal ot good bye to NI Assembly.

  • iluvni

    Has Robinson confirmed that he’ll be standing for Westminster again?

  • ardmaj55

    Mick Fealty. That’s the crucial point, isn’t it. Robinson appears to be going against his own interests, [as opposed to the general DUP interest]and in the process proving the wisdom of his predecessor. Robinson seems to, through his own ill-advised contortions, be allowing the ‘dirty dozen’ tail to wag the DUP dog.
    At what point does he catch on that his tactics are leading to a spiral of events which will be music to the ears of the TUV. I hope I’ve summarised that cogently. I know what I think Robbo is heading towards. For his sake, he’d beter hope I’m wrong.

  • Munsterview

    “….. Reports have suggested that the price extracted for their support for Hillsborough is a post-dated letter of resignation from the First Minister, to be cashed-in if the DUP decides at a later date that Sinn Fein has reneged on whatever has been arranged…..”

    It is my understanding that once a party candidate is elected MP for the House Of Commons, that person not only represents their constituency supporters but also all the valid electorate and all additional persons of that constituency, young and old alike.

    Indeed this bond between elected MP and their constituency is considered so sacrosanct by Parliament that only Parliament it self can forcefully remove an MP from office and only then for the gravest of reasons,once that member has formally taken their seat.

    This too to the best of my beliefs apply to the Scottish Assembly, The Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly, only these bodies of themselves may forcefully remove a member, once that member has formally taken their seat.

    If this is the constitutional position then some interesting questions arise regarding this letter, if it exists..

    1) Can Peter Robinson lawfully give a party external to the Assembly the power to terminate the term of any assembly member, himself included, to exercise at their discretion?

    2) Given the provisions for the office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister did an impediment to Peter Robinson taking up the office of First Minister exist by virtue of the fact that he was not a free agent having first ceded authority to and empowered a non Assembly group to remove him from power for reasons they deemed sufficient and at a time of their choosing ?.

    3) If Martin McGuiness establishes the veracity of this letter, can he continue in office and maintain the integrity of the office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister knowing that power to terminate memberships of those offices have granted to a group external to The Assembly by the First Minister?

    It would seem that there are pertinent legal and constitutional issues here to be resolved. Horror of horrors could we be in Albert Reynolds territory of ‘the little things that trip you up’?

  • bohereen

    Interested,

    Does anyone care if it’s good bye to the Assembly, apart from the MLAs, their famillies and hangers-on?

  • ardmaj55

    bohereen. Someone poisted earlier questioning whether the Hillsborough agreement was really as historic as claimed. I would say it’s likely to be history, if P&J doesn’t pass on March 9th. That will be historic in that it will end up in the guinness book of records as having the shortest lifespan of any agreement signed here
    Here’s hoping with fingers crossed it will be.