Which way was his wind blowing today?

As a small aside to today’s vote, Radio Ulster indicated current Independent MLA but Fianna Fail member Gerry McHugh, formerly of SF, voted to endorse the devolution of policing and justice.

Which yet again seems to run contrary to his declared reasons for leaving SF:

“I feel the direction Sinn Féin is taking is more about appeasement of the British government and administrating British rule in Ireland rather than working towards the end of British occupation. Assembly structures support this – at both committee and plenary level unionists have majority control.

Mr McHugh said Sinn Féin’s decision to endorse policing in the north was a “factor” in his decision.

“I have no difficulties with the idea of civil policing but I have a difficulty with the excessive amounts of MI5 and military spooks operating in the six counties,” he said.

……

“The fact that the PSNI is being used by MI5 for political policing here should be a major concern for everybody here,” he said.

  • Mr E Mann

    >Assembly structures support this – at
    >both committee and plenary level unionists
    >have majority control.

    why does McHugh undermine his perfectly reasonable comments about political policing with this crazy hooey? Unionists have majority control because *most voters in NI vote for them.* Both SF and FF signed up for that, so I can’t see why joining FF makes any difference. If McHugh can’t condone a unionist majority in govt and doesn’t want to start a war, his best choice is to try to convince some Prods to vote for nationalist parties.

  • PaddyReilly

    I feel the direction Sinn Féin is taking is more about appeasement of the British government and administrating British rule in Ireland rather than working towards the end of British occupation. Assembly structures support this – at both committee and plenary level unionists have majority control.

    This is an inevitable result of the last election, in which 50% of the seats went to Unionists plus an extra one to a Loyalist.

    However, it only takes the (aggregate) loss of two Unionist seats for this situation to be reversed.

    However this would then leave Nationalists at the mercy of the Alliance minority, whose megalomania in situations of power has yet to be tested.

  • Comrade Stalin

    However this would then leave Nationalists at the mercy of the Alliance minority, whose megalomania in situations of power has yet to be tested.

    Check out Belfast City Council where Alliance has the balance of power, for an example.

  • PaddyReilly

    Check out Belfast City Council

    When I used the word megalomania, I had specifically you in mind. As far as I know, Belfast City Council is a model of equitable government: I have never heard anything to the contrary.

    Unionists have majority control because *most voters in NI vote for them.*

    Actually this is not the case. Only a large minority of voters gave their 1st preference votes to Unionist parties in the last Assembly election. But because the area is divided into 18 constituencies and Centrist Parties do not stand a chance of winning a seat in half of them, the Unionist Block ended up with 50% + 1 one of the seats in the Assembly, and kept the Unionist veto going for (at least) one term longer than it should have done.

    Still, perhaps we should not complain, as at some future time this voting distortion might favour the Nationalist side.