#onthehill End of term report: how do MLAs assess the Assembly’s performance? (Can you name the 16 voices?)

Loitering around the Great Hall on Tuesday, I asked 16 MLAs to give a score out of ten and supply the headmaster’s comment for the Assembly’s end of term report card.

Here’s what they said:

End of term report: how do MLAs assess @niassembly performance? (mp3)

But can you name all sixteen? No prize, other than the satisfaction of being correct and first!

Given the sample size, any statistical inference is very unscientific. However, it’s still interesting to note that DUP and Sinn Fein representatives classified performance as 4-7, whilst other parties used the range 3-6.

One other MLA criticised the lack of legislation before suggesting “it’s better than people being killed on the streets.”

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  • Mick Fealty

    Some realism there from Michelle Gildernew, which was good to hear. But the underlying truth is that the barriers to legislative process lie at Executive and OFMDFM level.

  • quality

    A 6 or 7 is VERY generous. Michelle Gildernew, as Mick points out, is the most realistic of all MLAs – they shoe-horned in a lot of legislation towards the last mandate, using accelerated passage, circumventing proper scrutiny and ultimately democracy.

    I have absolutely no idea what they’re waiting for, and the continued FM and DFM backslapping is incredibly tedious. Fair play to Edwin Poots, who seems to be willing to take bold action rather than the populism that characterises the rest thinking of the rest of his Executive colleagues.

    Danny Kinahan also makes a good point – until the legislation comes through, what can the Assembly do? Debate weeds apparently.

  • Mary Anna

    We have to be honest with ourselves, the clowns up in Stormont are not real politicians- kinder garden kids. What do they now about anything, apart from the troubles. I would shut dysfunctional Stormont down -it would be cheaper to go back to direct rule for the sake of our health service jobs and education. The clowns up in the house on the hill are a balls up -Dup Psin/f.How long are they up in toxic Stormont?t dup -don’t upset the provos and the sinners psin/f they have only got around to share expenses! Bless them you have to laugh at them in Armani suits – better than the ditches boys- the tax payer keeping ye all of the streets at least ! The only reason why your there is that you only have to wave a flag in this country and your voted in. That says it everything.

  • No takers to name all the MLAs?

  • FuturePhysicist

    might have a go in time Alan, obviously Gildernew’s been named as one already.

  • Pelican22

    Ok, going to have a go:
    john mcallister, chris lyttle, michelle gildernew, stewart dickson, mark h durkan, edwin poots, danny kinahan, alex maskey, stephen agnew, mervyn storey.

    How did I do?

  • No mistakes … just six missing!!

  • Comrade Stalin

    But the underlying truth is that the barriers to legislative process lie at Executive and OFMDFM level.


    What barriers are you talking about ? Surely you are aware that any Member can submit a bill for consideration by the Assembly. OFMDFM cannot prevent this.

    Don’t let MLAs make excuses to you about their failure to make legislation. They’ve done it before and nothing new has changed to stop them doing it now.


    The assembly do a lot worse than debate weeds. They spend much of their time, week in and week out, debating and passing motions that do nothing other than express an opinion on a matter, often either to a minister or to the government in Westminster. The weed debate itself was one of several examples where the same could have been accomplished by the member having a ten minute chat with the minister. It’s all chest pounding and hot air.

  • quality

    Comrade Stalin

    Agreed, especially given most motions are something that is fundamentally impossible to disagree with – (ie. ‘This Assembly supports the full provision of early years provision to children’). Or something equally as tedious.

  • FuturePhysicist

    I didn’t here the full list but Patsy McGlone would be one of them.

  • Comrade Stalin

    quality – exactly. It’s like “This assembly believes that chocolate is good”. I mean, who is going to vote no ? There is no point in having the debate. It’s almost worse when they’re debating “this assembly agrees that we need to spend more on X” which, as always, never comes with an accompanying “we should spend less on Y”.

    This is all time wasted which could be spent in researching and bringing forward legislation – and most of the MLAs claim their research staff expenses in full.

    Jim Allister’s motion is an example of a private member’s bill that might actually make it into law, since the only people likely to vote against it will be SF and AFAIK they don’t have the numbers to stop it by raising a petition of consent.

    There is something deeply ironic that the one MLA who is elected essentially to bring down the institutions is the one who is making visible efforts to carry forward legislation, agenda-laden as it is.

  • I would award at most 3 out of 10.(BelatedPfG)
    It would appear that the only decision the Assembly has made is to proceed with the 11 council RPA model despite the evidence that this does not make economic sense. There is no indication where the £150m up front costs will be obtained .The Minister suggests the councils (Councils will not agree to pay and the Dept. has no resources)
    It is clear that the Executive have totally ignored the findings of the PWC report and the decision to proceed is a classic case of ignoring the financial facts and pressing forward with a reform which has been totally undermined by the evidence rather than loose face by admitting the 10years spent on the reform of local government has been a total waste of time.
    The failure to introduce legislation is disgraceful particularly I compare it my final year on the Environment committee in last mandate when we passed 4 bills often meeting 2 or 3 times a week to ensure they were passed before dissolution.
    This included the Planning Bill which was the largest bill ever to come before the Assembly(252 clauses). I argued that this was rushed through with totally inadequate consideration being given to issues such as how councils would actually deal with planning applications, safeguards to prevent the abuse of planning systems how the culture of local councillors would be changed from one of supporting the constituent regardless of the merit of the case.
    Regarding the MLA’s my guess is McAllister, Lyttle, Gildernew, Wells McGlone, Dickson, Durkan Brady, Poots, Kinahan (Maskey) McNarry, Agnew, Storey

  • Barnshee

    “It would appear that the only decision the Assembly has made is to proceed with the 11 council RPA model despite the evidence that this does not make economic sense”

    The simple truth is that the public sector in general larger than we can afford, is out of proportion with its population base and also with modern working practices and societal tolerances.
    There is a clear perception that public sector is bureaucratic and top heavy must be addressed. The years of unholy conspiracy of empire building by staff and self agrandissment by elected representatives are over. The payment of salaries far in excess of those available within private sector are over.
    Why for example, should local authorities build palaces while workers in the Local Unemployment or Tax offices occupy much more modest accommodation .?

    It undermines the confidence of the public and media, and has a detrimental impact on the delivery of frontline outputs.

    Had the poltroons at Stormont begun an appropriate exit strategy for the 27 Councils at the start of the process of rationalisation natural wastage/retirement would have mitigated if not avoided much of the “up front costs”

  • Brian – assuming we add Jim Allister on the end, then there’s just one female voice missing from your list.