First DUP/SF back-room ‘deal’ of new Assembly?

After the public posturing by Sinn Féin earlier in the week, the DUP’s William Hay has been returned as Speaker in the new Northern Ireland Assembly.  The BBC report notes

BBC NI’s political editor Mark Devenport said a deal had been struck between the DUP and Sinn Fein over the speaker’s job.

“The job is going to go to William Hay, but it looks like he won’t actually be performing that role for the entire period of this assembly,” he said.

Instead maybe three years down the track, he is likely to step aside and there’s likely to be a rotation, so that Sinn Fein, probably Francie Molloy, can come in and take that job. [added emphasis]

That would be the DUP honouring a past promise from Ian Paisley that they would support a nationalist for this job.”

Unless something happens in the meantime…

Still, setting the tone and all that.  [Is that a ‘good’ tone? – Ed]  It depends…

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  • joeCanuck

    I think it is a good idea to re-elect Willie Hay. He did an excellent impartial job in the last Assembly. I think it is usual for a Speaker to keep doing the job if he or she has done a good job, irrespective of the status of his/her Party.

  • alan56

    So what do SF get in return?

  • alan56 Sinn Fein must have a bigger fish they want more than the speakers job, to fry, or if not, explanations will be required, no doubt.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Interestingly, I’m sitting next to Nuala and Declan O’Loan in the business lounge in Heathrow, and some bloke just came up to him to say comiserations etc. Small world ..

    SF are one vote short of what they need to block legislation using a petition of concern. They may well have calculated that they simply need to lean on one MLA (McClarty ? Agnew ?) to get something stopped, perhaps in exchange for another favour. Being down one man by nominating him to the Speaker position may well be the motivation for keeping it free.

  • iluvni

    Good to see Alister challenging the cosy concensus from day 1. Fair play to him.

  • joeCanuck

    Is that a good tone?

    Well, we all know that major and minor issues will be discussed privately by the DUP and SF and a decision made before they sit down at the Executive table. Which makes it all the more surprising that the UUP and SDLP take part and don’t go into opposition. I’m sure that if all sides agree, HMG will facilitate allowances etc to let it happen.

  • Mr Crumlin

    iluvni – really? I thought he looked foolish. Did you see the press conference when Robinson and the 37 other DUP came along and demonstrated very visually who speaks for unionism. A picture speaks a thousand words.

    As for the speaker role – I think it augurs well for the future – two confident and reinvigorated parties.

  • iluvni

    I thought the antics of Robinson and his nodding dogs barging in reflected very badly upon him and the DUP. No matter what he thought of Allister’s antics, no matter how much the two of them clearly have contempt for each other, the very fact that he as First Minister couldnt contain himself to stand back and wait his turn showed his old distasteful arrogance is back.
    Does that sort of display really sit well with the majority of Unionists … I dont know. I dont think it does.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree with Mr Crumlin. Others have spoken of Jim Allister’s eye for detail and his knack for teasing out and exposing embarassing details. All I saw was a blowhard who almost seemed out of puff. It looked to me more like the old tactics of trying to obstruct proceedings.

    The DUP move in front of the cameras was a bit rude, but on the other hand I can see how they would be angry that this one man band was getting far too much attention in front of the cameras.

  • Blowinginthewind

    As clever as Jim Allister probably is–you don’t get to be a top QC without being clever–the constant carping is going to get old very quickly. And yes, he can make a lot of noise talking to the media but the real decision making power is with the DUP & SF. So as soon as one of their ministers goes to speak to media, they’ll turn from Jim. Illustrated quite nicely today I thought; a lesson in political reality. And Willie Hay will not stand for any nonsense in the Chamber. The novelty may wear off fast as MLAs get down to some real work.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Blowing, agreed. Listening to his speeches he quite clearly likes the sound of his own voice.

  • joeCanuck

    Comrade,
    I think a class in first year law school is devoted to liking the sound of your own voice. It is an advantage should you become a barrister being paid by the hour.

  • aquifer

    Allister is a great reminder of the old DUP. More power to his yellblow.

  • Droagh

    Comrade Stalin – it’s a smaller world than you think.

    Some Bloke

  • HeinzGuderian

    Pretty irrelevant stuff. Willie hay has to go out of his way to come across as non partisan. A shinner speaker would have to do the same.
    What they want is a member of the public,an ordinary Heinz,as it were,to take on the role of speaker !!
    Yes,if approached,I would have considered the job !! ( then resigned,Two minutes later )

    My heart goes out to Primary School Teachers the world over !! 🙁

  • Drumlins Rock

    Why can they not do the “deals” out in the open, hiding it all builds upon the conspiracy mentality. There was rumours of a Premier Deputy Almost the Speaker title for Molloy, think he was miffed he didn’t get to Will’s & Kates bash.

    As for the side show, occasionally Jimbo lands a blow, but most of it is and will remain dancing round the ring, however its Robbo’s reaction that will be more newsworthy over coming years, he will find it difficult not to take the bait, and many still think Mr. Angry is still simmering under the surface, the bully tactics in the great hall confirmed that.

  • Drumlin’s Privately scunnered Jim must be depressed after yesterday’s effort got him not one mla to speak up for him This is a sign of things to come. He might be ready to start as he meabnns to go on, but so are the other 107 in dealing with him. It’s old already.

  • Neil

    Jim’s effect will only be to solidify the relationships at Stormont. All the MLAs will most likely have to deal with him at some point, he’ll be an irritation to everyone which will serve to provide a common enemy for the various parties. Jim’s noisy and weak, ideal really for a common political enemy.

    He may even help community relations, demonstrating how much better things are now than they were back in the days Jim hankers for. Plus he adds a bit of spice to things, which makes for more interesting TV. Everyone wins.

  • streetlegal

    Yes – at least we can rely on Jim Allister – ‘the hammer of the DUP Lundyites’ – to bring some life into an otherwise politically moribund Stormont Assembly.

  • Cynic2

    “First DUP/SF back-room ‘deal’ of new Assembly?”

    That’s truely shocking. They are doing politics

  • Cynic2

    “at least we can rely on Jim Allister”

    …. What for?

  • carl marks

    streetlegal
    Yes – at least we can rely on Jim Allister – ‘the hammer of the DUP Lundyites’ – to bring some life into an otherwise politically moribund Stormont Assembly

    have to agree with you what fun would there be in ni politics without a deskthumper lets hope in the years to come jim gives us hours of harmless entertainment little britain kept us laughing for years with the same old lines repeated perhaps jims could be ” im the only decent man in the village”

  • cynic2 11.38
    You hear politicians saying that such and such an issue should be kept above politics, which begs the question ‘which issues don’t deserve to be kept above the fray?. An odd ordering of priorities to say the least.