OFMdFM panic move was “like a funding application where the Secretary of State had cracked the whip”

Well, here’s a bit of a YouTube Smorgasbord of comment on OFMdFM’s Towards a United Community… It’s telling that the joint tactics of the representatives of the OFMdFM parties used a lot of shouting, jeering and intervention to smother what was in aggregate a decent three pointed challenge from Alliance, the UUP and the SDLP…

First word to the two boys, starting with the history of this document going right back to Des Brown’s launch of the Shared Future consultation back in 2005:

Here’s what it sounds like with most of the shouting removed (including John O’Dowd’s ‘so what’ retort to complaints from Danny Kennedy that no other Executive colleagues were informed before publication:

Interesting to note that although David Ford’s own Department of
Justice had already advised OFMdFM that some of its proposals were inadvisable, his department was slated in for some of the projects without him (of the International Fund for Ireland) having been consulted.

Four days later on Stormont Today, John O’Dowd finally gave a revealing interview in which he seemed to utterly contradict his own position on pre consulting before presentation:

It certainly doesn’t matter if you haven’t consulted the Minister for Education and Learning about his considerable input into your plan if that plan (as Conall McDevitt notes, in the second clip above) is merely an artefact intended to dupe the wider public into thinking that something is actually being done at the top table…

Finally, it’s well worth watching the First Minister with a needlessly aggressive performance at the Ministerial pulpit (because of his job share with the dFM, he only has to do this once a month):

In particular (in case you missed it) look out for ‘nose tells’ of the type Pete identified from Mr Adams a few years ago in interview with Noel Thompson. They start remarkably quickly after he begins speaking, with the first grand claim for what remains an uncosted and unconsulted upon [after seven years? – Ed]

And finally, and tellingly, Sam McBride reveals why the haste on the part of OFMdFM… It was all very last minute he says, like “like a funding application where the Secretary of State had cracked the whip and said you need to do something on a shared future if you are unlock this money”.

And here’s the kicker, why convene an all party working group as McBride points out, we already have an all party working group called the Executive, “on some days the Executive does not have enough business to have a full meeting. It’s odd that you would push that away from the Executive to all party working group”.

Unless of course you were just playing the optics and trying to spread the blame around when, as Conall McDevitt puts it, the whole thing falls flat on its face again.. by, as Pete notes here, retaining the capacity to kibosh any thing useful that might come out of it by loading the bases with junior ministers

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  • GavBelfast

    A Statesman”.

    I think not.

    Just imagine, for one moment, how much more awful it would be if he was an actual Prime Minister, rather than a merely one-half of an office ‘leading’ a do-nothing bucket-shop for a political slum.

  • GavBelfast Sam McBride has a nice dig at Marty/Peter in the last paragraph , ‘if you weren’t doing it just for the optics’
    It’s iric that all of them up there are just going through the motions as they know well they have been sent to maintain the ground they mutually have to protect without botheringh about competent administration which they’re useless at anyway.Most aren’t fit to run a parish council.

  • Mick Fealty

    That was me Dan, surely… Sam last line is the clincher… “if these two parties cannot agree in private how can they agree with all the other parties round the table…”

  • GavBelfast

    I’m not at home at the moment and the situation seems even more pathetic, and most of the whole damn lot of them seem even more like a bunch of amateurish, and often unpleasant incompetents, when close to it all.

    Not so much a dearth of talent, as a death.

  • iluvni

    Removing comment, Mick?

  • Mick Fealty

    Lucky not to get a yellow… Plenty of substance to go on…

  • iluvni

    A yellow!….Personally I was surprised that no-one else picked up on it, or maybe its just another example of how the NI media clique have been cowered.

  • Corrected, Mick. McBride isn’t one for pulling punches. He summed them up well. His paper though has front page comfort blanket from the census to reassure themselves that they’ve nothing to worry about from catholics catching up, but they and the Tele are missing the point on purpose, in that the reassurance about catholic voting in a border poll is little comfort to the DUP and the others that their electrate is ageing and they won’t inherit any of those catholic votes when needed.

  • Mick Fealty

    Dan, I thought it was a very mature no nonsense summing up, worthy of the maestro Mr Feeney.

  • MF[3.33] Talking about Brian, around the time I first came upon slugger and started posting in early ’09,Feeney suggested that in an agreed all ireland, Dublin would carve up Ulster to give unionists back their majority by creating two ulsters, over nationalists heads and I don’t think it’s too far fetched as there’s less sympathy down their with nationalists than unionists.