Sinn Fein possess the resources to sidestep any negative employment effect of #SpadBill…

So, just a quick tidy up on the outstanding issues around the SpAdBill, namely employment rights. Daithi McKay, who has played point on this issue over the last year or two has suggested that:

“Members of staff could potentially lose their jobs, and that is not what we should be legislating for in the chamber, in the Assembly. We should be legislating for jobs, not taking away jobs.”

As it happens, the narrow terms of the bill will only have a direct effect on one person holding down a job as a Special Advisor in Stormont. Paul Kavanagh, understandably, was not happy:

“I can’t speak for all victims, I don’t understand all victims, but I can speak (for) my own family because we had a brother who was killed, so I understand that feeling of loss.

“But to say you are taking your lead from Anne Travers or any of the other victims, well, I don’t understand how now passing bad legislation will help victims,” he said.

“We ended up in this state because of discrimination and excluding people, and this just appears to me to be more of the same.”

Lost Lives is rather coy in directly associating his name to his IRA volunteer brother’s death ‘in disputed circumstances’ by the RUC. But it is clear that Mr Kavanagh and his wider family have had their own experience of grief.

Ann Traver’s responded directly though to Mr Kavanagh’s plea to decouple the cause of victims from his own employment rights in her interview with David McCann and Kerri Dunn (6 mins in):

There is a Sinn Fein special advisor who could lose his job. My reply to that would be that Paul Kavanagh can use the same appeals process that anybody can if he helps the police.

You know victims didn’t get an appeals process. Paul Kavanagh’s three victims who were blown up, a father of two small children, an 18 year old boy, and a middle lady, did not get any appeals process. My sister did get an appeals process. Thousands of victims didn’t get it.

One minute they were alive, the next minute they were dead.

It’s not a popular opinion in the mainstream media, some of whom take the approximate view that any changes ought to be done by maximal agreement up to and including, what Micheal Martin likes to call the establishment parties.

Given that only one political party is likely to affected by this legislation and that Sinn Fein already neatly sidesteps any negative effects by taking the bulk of the £90k salary attached for general party purposes. The worst that can happen is that Mr Kavanagh won’t be going on the next NI only trade mission to China or Brazil.

So the law is more of an assurance to victims than a punitive measure against one particular party interest. Although as Jim Allister himself put it, whilst the effects may be particular to SF, the application is universal:

“This legislation applies to all serious criminals, be they rapists, be they fraudsters or be they terrorists, but of course, Sinn Fein are interested only in protecting the interests of their own. They have turned it into something you would think only applies to them.”

, ,

  • News_Meister

    There are not nor likely be any former Loyalist prisoners seeking a SPAD role so this Bill must be viewed in this context. I contend that any Court properly directing itself must conclude, there is and was intended to be an ‘indirect discriminatory effect’ on former Nationalist prisoners.

    Unlike many other victims, Ms Travers had her day in Court. That being the case, we as a society are permitting Ms Travers to use this SPAD Bill to exact vengeance against the one political party who employ former prisoner SPAD’s and indeed employ them from the very organisation who shot her Father and Sister; revenge is revenge is revenge!!!

    The TUV and SDLP know perfectly well what they’re doing…

  • Granni Trixie

    I do not classify this as an act of revenge so much as the undoing of the unnatural ordering of things. Also, it is not just the Travers family but many ordinary people who saw it as absurd that a person would be handed a job with the potential salary of 90k.

    I would feel the same if one of the Shankill Butchers or say one of those who blew up Frizzels fish shop were in this position.

    But lest I am misunderstood, let me say also that I would like to see all ex prisoners of every hue find a job ….just not one like this as its dispoportionate and offensive.

  • Ciarán

    Having listened to this, I can’t help but feel this is even more absurd than I originally thought and I can only conclude that Ann Travers is blinded by revenge.

    In that interview she says that criminals have a duty of care towards their victims she gives the example of a mugger who should then avoid her old lady victim as part of that duty of care. Well if we follow that through how is a SPAD, a job that I think we can all agree is behind the scenes and is making a positive contribution to society – how does a person taking that role get in her way or upset Ann unless she is specifically going out of her way to be upset?

    And where does this end? What if Mary McArdle took a job in a cafe, will we all be supportive if Ann turns up and claims she’s upset that about the provider of her cappuccino? I’m being flippant yes but it’s useful to draw things to an extreme sometimes because it illustrates the real motive here – revenge. Ann Travers doesn’t think that Mary McArdle should be able to move on with her life unless Ann herself is happy with the level of contrition shown, that’s a dangerous game we’re about to start, that’s putting victims in charge of punishment. I think it’s massively disappointing that so many people who should know better will allow themselves to be part of this mess.

  • Granni Trixie

    Ms Travers comes across to me as not blinded by revenge but filled with a sense of injustice at A 90k job being given to someonenfound guilty of murder, and rightly so.

    I trust and pray that Mary McArdle will move on with her life including finding gainful employment. I also hope that she and SF learn something from this episode – they have been judged in the wrong by the court of public opinion as much as anything.

  • Ciarán

    oh I understand so Mary McArdle can move on so long as she doesn’t try to get a good job like a SPAD. (which of course she only ever got because she was a SF insider and probably wasn’t very good at it and was just there to milk the public purse for up to 90k)

  • Mick Fealty

    Ciaran,

    What good job? Mary still works for the party, as will Paul. She gets the same wage as everyone else, including the Party president.

    Careerists get short shrift. 90k equates to three jobs under SF aegis, not one. No one in SF loses out, so what is the problem?

  • megatron

    I think Ciaran nails this one.

    Victims cant be incharge of punishment – why cant a former prisoner (of any hue) be a SPAD?

    How is a SPAD job not earned in the same way as any other? Is there a salary cap for former prisoners?

    Also its pretty clear that this bill is intented to target SF advisors.

  • megatron

    Mick – surely its the principle no? This sets a very dangerous precedent

  • Mick Fealty

    I don’t see this as the victim being in charge.

    One, this change (if it yet happens) has been worked, quite properly, through the legislative assembly, rather than at the whim of one individual.

    Two, the law proposed has to prove a utility beyond that of pure revenge or vindictiveness. For example, the Minister of Culture, rightly and correctly referred her quashing of PRONI’s refusal to release certain records to relatives in their quest to trigger an inquest through the AG.

    This did not happen on a whim or upon a notion of minister’s. It happened because the case made got no credible answer from the PSNI (who kept schum) or the HET…

  • Granni Trixie

    Ofcourse the elephant in the room is that the whole SPAD system is wrong in that such a high powered job can be given to anyone on a whim. It is also a wrong system of appointment in that it ignores vaue for money. Should one not expect for instance that an “advisor” has to bring something extra to the table ? And should there not be criteria of essential requirements and public advertisements for such posts?

    But then it suits all the parties to ignore this and the public largely in ignorance of the system lived with it until the anonomly of Mary McArdle screamed out that SF in their nsensitivity had gone too far. And listening to Pail Kavanagh gurning this week it is clear tat e and SF have
    learnt nothing from the episode.

  • I can understand why these types of position aren’t subject to “normal” employment rules. A PM or President doesn’t have to advertise for a Chief of Staff, for example.
    The “problem” here was SF’s total lack of sensitivity. An unusual case for SF of blind stupidity and sense of entitlement. They are normally much more devious.

  • Mick Fealty

    There is NOTHING wrong with the system Granni. Political parties have huge inertia to overcome within the system. And Ministers need help. I’d argue that for *an office with no executive responsibilities*, OFMdFM is a tad over resourced with three spads on either side, but the principle is good.

  • “Sinn Fein are interested only in protecting the interests of their own” .. Jim Allister

    First of all, the House should note that the issue of Mary Travers’s murder was raised a few months prior to Mary McArdle’s appointment in a radio interview between Martin McGuinness and RTÉ presenter Joe Duffy. At that time, Mr McGuinness was standing for election to the office of president of Ireland. Ann Travers phoned in to challenge Martin McGuinness for not condemning — indeed, supporting — the attack on her father in 1984. Sinn Féin was, therefore, warned in advance about the delicate and sensitive issue of Mary Travers’s murder. Despite that, it insisted on appointing Mary McArdle. I suspect that it did so out of political arrogance and sheer indifference to the plight of a suffering victim’s family. Effectively, it said, “We have the right to appoint and we will, therefore, exercise that right” despite the sensitivities surrounding the death of Mary Travers.Alban Maginness

    Looking at Alban’s words, it seems to me that SF was not just indulging in cronyism, it was also sending out a very arrogant and cruel message to Ann Travers for putting her head above the parapet during the Presidential campaign.

  • “There is NOTHING wrong with the system Granni. Political parties have huge inertia to overcome within the system. And Ministers need help.”

    That’s not been my experience. Ministers, Special Advisers, senior Civil Servants and Independent Board members are or can or should be actors in the very top level of the system. Perhaps it’s time investigative journalists took an in-depth look, department by department, at the mechanics of our governance processes; the Yes Minister caricature might not apply …

  • Raymonds Back

    A few observations. Mary Mc Ardle did NOT actually kill anyone.

    She was convicted for her part in the murder and attempted murder of the Travers family members, but she did not do the shooting. Her role was in trying to get rid of the weapons and other material.

    Secondly, all SPADS should be banned – or paid for from funds of the political parties, not public funds.

    Thirdly, if we are going down the road of ex-activists being debarred from certain posiions, can we also stop the shed loads of community development money poured into UVF/UDA coffers via ‘community’ workers who are current and ex-activists?

  • Mick Fealty

    Nice quote from Hansard Nev…

  • ‘The worst that can happen is that Mr Kavanagh won’t be going on the next NI only trade mission to China or Brazil.’

    Perhaps, or worse still we see the GFA starting to be unpicked.

    ‘So the law is more of an assurance to victims than a punitive measure against one particular party interest.’

    Come on Mick, were you having a little giggle to yourself when you wrote that one?

    ‘Although as Jim Allister himself put it, whilst the effects may be particular to SF, the application is universal’

    Because we have political parties trying to fill these SPAD positions with so many rapists? This legislation is designed to effectively disbar CONVICTS of dangerous crimes from this role. Now, we know why this legislation is pretty poor and not much loved by Nats, because state forces have not and continue not to pursue those who committed crimes against Nats, they have effectively been given carte blanche and let off the hook with their actions. Jim may be technically correct, but he ignores or couldn’t give a monkeys about those killed by or on behalf of the state probably because he sees them as children of lesser God.

  • Granni Trixie

    Surprised you defend a system Mick where we have no way of knowing what additional knowledge or skills a SPAD brings to help overcome the inertia which by your analysis is required, especially when the role is pitched at 90K.
    That said, I agree with others who say that essentially SF display a lack of sensitivity offensive not just to victims but to people across the board.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    All you shinners types need not worry to much the shinners still have their own shinner appointed, former prisoner drivers.

    Who did not have interviews via an open selection process. They are shinner appointees, in the shinners Ireland of equals.

    If Jim Allister wanted to be spiteful he would have drawn them into the Bill. In my view petty he didn’t.

    Get over yourselves.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Here is one of shinner Kavanagh victims speaking.

    “After decades of silence, a victim of Martin McGuinness’s highly-paid special adviser last night denounced him as “a dirty murdering scumbag” and said he should lose his job.

    John Radley, a Catholic Irish Guardsman, was so badly injured by the 1981 Chelsea Barracks bomb that he was initially left for dead”.

    Last night he spoke out to rebut the claims of one of those who planted the bomb, Paul Kavanagh, who was described at the time as one of the most dangerous terrorists in the UK. Now Mr Kavanagh is one of 19 Stormont Spads earning a secret salary which could be as much as £90,000″.

    Here is the rest of his interview.

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/mcguinness-s-special-adviser-branded-dirty-murdering-scumbag-1-5148809

  • Morpheus

    @Nevin

    Does cronyism in politics now? It has been part and parcel of politics and has been going on for years:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15463472

    Do you think these roles were subject to “normal” employment rules?

    SF have lost very little in this whole SPAD affair, even the 1 person who will lose their job should easily find another job at the £22k a year ‘industrial wage’ that SF pays when he has Special Adviser to the OFMD on his CV:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/sinn-fein-are-wealthiest-party-and-biggest-spenders-28777764.html

    Instead they have actually gained a lot of political capital.

  • Morpheus

    Sorry, that should read “Does cronyism in politics shock now?”

  • Mick Fealty

    FC,

    Which part of the GFA?

  • Mick Fealty

    In a complex governmental system, Ministers  do need friends. And in politics those friends necessarily need to be political.

    But let’s not get confused here, the appointment of a spad is a reserved political act, and is recognised in all UK and Irish jurisdictions.

    Call it political patronage. Cronyism maybe if you have grounds to suspect the spad has no particular expertise in what he’s supposed to be doing, but that is a separate matter to the post itself.

    Morph,

    I’m not sure they’ve done much other than limit political damage. Without the SDLP’s fumbling of the ball the damage could have been much greater. Pretty much every one of SF’s objections have proven hollow or a straw man.

    They’ve lost an important point of principle here, and they are now vulnerable to a similar bout of activism in the Dail. They have also reminded some of those non SF Catholic voters why they never made the jump.

    Playing corporate victim to one of their own genuine victims of the past was not a great way to play it. Then again, with a leadership intent on ‘reconciling’ the world to the legitimacy of the provisional IRA’s 25 year campaign, and the significant role played by ex prisoners inside the party structure (paid for out of various party surpluses) it is hard to see how they were ever going to soft peddle this one, and just accept the vetting procedure as a normal demand.

    I also think in terms of wider society, this was an unequal fight. According to Cain (http://goo.gl/Uwk8m) in terms of victims of the proportions:

    Civilians are the largest category killed, and account for 53 percent of the total killed, with the British Army accounting for almost 15 pre cent. Republican paramilitaries account for almost 13 percent, the RUC account for 8 percent of those killed and the other groups each account for less than 6 per cent.

    And, in terms of perpetrators:

    Republican paramilitaries account for almost 59 per cent of all deaths, Loyalist paramilitaries for almost 28 per cent, the British Army for 9 per cent, the RUC for almost 2 per cent and other groups each for less than 1 per cent. Republican paramilitaries have killed 74 per cent of all Protestants killed, over 25 per cent of all Catholics, and almost 96 per cent of those who were classified as “Non Northern Ireland.” Loyalist paramilitaries killed 19 per cent of all Protestants killed, almost 50 per cent of all Catholics and just 2 per cent of the “Non Northern Ireland ” category.

    A canny politician (ie, one looking for the maximum hit of political capital) like Tony Blair would have looked at these numbers first and decided accordingly. He might have spoken gently, but these figures are the big stick no one needs to talk about to understand where the wider public sympathy is going to lie.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Mick,

    It will only be a matter if time before one of the many nationalist fantasists comes along to rubbish your figures.

    They’ll argue that it was in fact “state actors” who were the main aggressors. They’ll point out that state agents killed not only when in uniform but as embedded players within all terrorist organisations.

    It’s a nice get out for any of those embarrassing incidents of the past. You know the drill: ‘although you said it was us back then, and we said it was us back then, it was really the Brits wot done it’.

  • “Instead they have actually gained a lot of political capital.”

    This is wishful thinking, Morpheus; a comfort blanket for the supporters club.

  • “these figures are the big stick no one needs to talk about to understand where the wider public sympathy is going to lie”

    Mick, the election results tell a very different story and those are the ones that matter. The wider public is fairly evenly divided on the constitutional question and, with the change made to the selection of First Minister, media interest in the stories of victims will rapidly wane when the next election appears on the horizon.

  • Morpheus

    SF can go to the hardliners and say “Look, we tried, we voted against this discriminatory bill” and they can go to the moderates and point out that the SDLP allowed a piece of legislation to progress that they believed to be flawed and took the easy way out by abstaining. If the SDLP take that message home, especially in Derry, they could get an extra MLA and take them to the magic 30 number.

    (For the record I am, never have been or plan to be a SF voter)

  • Mick,

    I’d go with the following:

    ‘The participants believe that it is essential to acknowledge and address the suffering of the victims of violence as a necessary element of reconciliation’

    The new spad bill deals with 2 of the 3 sides alone, how does this decision help with reconciliation I’ve no idea

  • Reader

    footballcliches: The new spad bill deals with 2 of the 3 sides alone, how does this decision help with reconciliation I’ve no idea
    Then SF should be delighted. This bill helps with reconciliation between nationalists and unionists while keeping alive any grudges against the Brits. Meanwhile SF can keep their troops on board by objecting to the bill.
    Of course, that does depend on the populace seeing things in the same way you do. SDLP are betting against that.
    In any case, can you suggest any alternative legislation that is within the competence of the Assembly and covers the other 10% of victims?

  • Morpheus

    “If the SDLP take that message home, especially in Derry, they could get an extra MLA and take them to the magic 30 number.”

    That should read

    “If SF take that message home, especially in Derry, they could get an extra MLA and take them to the magic 30 number.”

  • Mick Fealty

    Morph,

    I’m interested in that. What do you think the critical story might be? Does any of our Derry wans agree/disagree?

  • I do enjoy reading your posts Reader, you always bring a cynical perspective to matters without giving too much away.

    ‘Then SF should be delighted. This bill helps with reconciliation between nationalists and unionists while keeping alive any grudges against the Brits. Meanwhile SF can keep their troops on board by objecting to the bill.’

    How does this help with reconciliation between unionists and nats tho? You left that one dangling a bit in the wind. From where I’m sitting 2 sides of the combatants (loyalist paramilitaries and state forces) were nominally on the same side, sure the former was in essence directed by the latter, what was that figure De Silva quoted, 85% of intelligence from the State? What about all of those guns from South Africa too. Yikes…

    ‘Of course, that does depend on the populace seeing things in the same way you do. SDLP are betting against that.’

    You all of a sudden have an insight into the SDLP now, anything else you would like to share with us? Is this a power of yours gained over night? Of course, I noted that the populace see things like I do precisely where in my posts? Whether you like it or not, a lot of Nats will see it the same way as I do and that’s where the SDLP get the vast majority of their votes from.

    ‘In any case, can you suggest any alternative legislation that is within the competence of the Assembly and covers the other 10% of victims?’

    10%? 2% for the RUC, 28% for loyalist paramilitaries with 8% from the British Armed forces = ? Also, I do like the limit to your thinking. Of course, if we were to agree that legislation to cover ALL victims should be brought on to the books, even if this was something that could only be dealt with at Westminster it would stand a far better chance of passing.

    In this instance, going for the highest percentage of victims isn’t good enough, but then, what’s your opinion on this bill not dealing with the victims of state violence? Do you think that is equitable? Have you any suggestions yourself to try and deal with this matter? Come on Reader, let’s hear what your opinion is on the matter.

  • Morpheus

    Coincidentally enough Mick this very subject was mentioned in today’s Sunday Politics show when they said that SDLP MLAs in Foyle are already under pressure. That’s Colum Eastwood and Mark H Durkan.

    If I were the SF Spin Doctor (who it seems has reached legendary status with his/her ability to manipulate the world’s media to ‘rewrite’ history) my critical story would be to divorce the emotion from the legislation and go after the SDLP being willing to allow a ‘flawed’ piece of legislation to pass and their lack of leadership.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ill double back and pick that up… But what’s the “story”?

  • Morpheus

    I don’t understand what you mean by ‘the story.’ Do you think this needs sensationalizing in some way?

    When you double back can you see the final quote from the lady from the Victim’s Commission? I could be wrong but I think even she called this a bad law.

  • Mick Fealty

    No, I meant what is it about the story that will shift votes, in your opinion?

  • tacapall

    Is anyone going to answer the question, why can the only three security force members convicted for murder technically be chosen as SpADs by any politically party but Mary Mc Ardle and Paul Kavanagh cant, is it because they are Irish ?

  • Granni Trixie

    For those trying to downplay Mary mcArdles guilt:
    1.in itself it is Illegal not to tell the police if you know a crime is to be committed or is committed
    2. She was in the vicinity when the shots were fired, must have heard. The noise and then at least understood that shots were fired from the two guns she hid up her leg. Before that she must have prepared how she was going to do so,so she knew guns were involved.

    But at least the Mary McArdle case has bought home to the public the immorality in Paul Kavanagh also being in such a post. I think when the victims he made speak out about how their lives have been wreaked ( BBC tomorrow,
    Monday, I believe ) you will know what I mean.

    Also, yes Many are unhappy at this piece of legislation, it is a crude instrument for putting something right which at a stroke without legislation SF could have dealt with if they had had the gumption.

  • Mick Fealty

    Tac,

    I give up. Why? How?

  • cynic2

    “is it because they are Irish”

    no its because they were terrorists and criminals. Simples

  • cynic2

    “The new spad bill deals with 2 of the 3 sides alone, how does this decision help with reconciliation I’ve no idea”

    Appointing murderers and would be murderers to the jobs deals with one. That decision just provoked anger and mistrust and damaged reconcilliation

  • Morpheus

    “No, I meant what is it about the story that will shift votes, in your opinion?”

    I have thought about your question this afternoon Mick and I have come to the conclusion that the elections are too far away for this to cause anyone to change their vote now and stay that way until 2016. A week is a long time in politics, never mind 3 years. I doubt this Spad spat be remembered in a week or two, never mind the next elections in 2016. The media will find something else and the forums will be flooded with that.

    But if the Shinners need an extra MLA to get to 30 then Foyle is the place to do it. The SDLP have dropped from 40% to 35% in just 5 years while the Shinners have remained consist with 34% in the last assembly elections. The odd swipe at the SDLP between now and 2016 won’t do any harm.

  • Ciarán

    three years is a long time but murphy’s law says this little clusterfuck will come back on appeal right on cue for the next elections.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Sinn Fein also possess the ability to challenge the bill on behalf of Paul Kavanagh. I cannot see how he would not have a legitimate expectation that he was eligible. The man would only have had the job for another three years. I cannot understand why they just didn’t make it apply to anyone in post with a previous convcition. Doesn’t make sense to fire this one person, when he would lose his job in three years anyone.

    Politically though, would it be better for Sinn Fein to let the man take the hit so they can plead some sort of victimhood

  • Comrade Stalin

    Appointing murderers and would be murderers to the jobs deals with one. That decision just provoked anger and mistrust and damaged reconcilliation

    Are we going to talk about all the things that provoke anger and mistrust and damage reconciliation ? Or just the ones that suit unionists ?

    BTW under this proposed legislation it would be legal for SF to appoint Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness or Joe frickin’ Cahill (if he were alive) as a SpAD. It doesn’t even start to address the hurt/victim side of things at all. It is political.

    Morpheus,

    Just to add, once SF reach 30 MLAs (as seems likely) they will still not be able to abolish this legislation as a Petition of Concern would be deployed by the unionists to stop it. Once it passes into law it will stay there for a long time.

  • Mick Fealty

    CS,

    Political parties acting politically? Whatever next? [rolls eyes]

    Big Al talking earlier today…

  • Cynic,

    ‘Appointing murderers and would be murderers to the jobs deals with one. That decision just provoked anger and mistrust and damaged reconciliation’

    One? Sorry, you’ve lost me, which ‘one’? Further,do you think we can expect legislation to be supported by unionism dealing with state violence and trying to find a mechanism to bring to justice murderers whom the state employed and then sheltered?

    There was a general point I made that none of our PUL friends seem to want to touch with a barge pole so I’ll post again, maybe they didn’t see it:

    ‘In this instance, going for the highest percentage of victims isn’t good enough, but then, what’s your opinion on this bill not dealing with the victims of state violence? Do you think that is equitable? Have you any suggestions yourself to try and deal with this matter? ‘

  • Lionel Hutz

    Saw that interview. Does anyone else sense a bit a schadenfreude when the media and the luvvies dig into the SDLP? In contrast, when the UUP are slammed, it seems more of a lament

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Tacapall

    “Is anyone going to answer the question, why can the only three security force members convicted for murder technically be chosen as SpADs by any politically party but Mary Mc Ardle and Paul Kavanagh cant, is it because they are Irish ?”

    Really? You’re going to bring this to the level of an Ali G sketch?

    Very well:

    Could it be (like many people convicted of murder in the Troubles) they didn’t serve a full sentence (rightly or wrongly) and as such they’re under the 5 year clause?

    Now, to satisfy your indignation, perhaps it should be lowered to include these ex-cons, if that brings some sort of ease to other victims then so much the better.

    Sinn Fein probably wouldn’t do well out of such a compromise but, the greater good and all that.

    Happy?

  • @tacapal,

    If any party decides to appoint one of those three people as a SpAd (SPADs were French biplane fighter planes in WWI), I’m sure that Sinn Fein will have no problem raising the 30 necessary votes so support a bill to change the rule to address that situation.

  • tacapall

    Am Ghobsmach who cares what Sinn Fein think they dont speak for me, but I can see what side of the fence you bat from –

    “Now, to satisfy your indignation, perhaps it should be lowered to include these ex-cons if that brings some sort of ease to other victims then so much the better”

    Should that not be “lowered to include these murderers too” and yes, it would bring some comfort to Jean McBride to know someone actually give a flying fk about her grief or how badly she was treated, how insulting was it for her to learn that the murderers of her son were compensated financially for the little time they spent in prison.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Tacapall

    “Should that not be “lowered to include these murderers too” ”

    Well, personally I prefer it when murderers were cons, even if it was only for a while, rather than just being murderers.

    Anyway,

    in that case, spiffing. I’d be up for lowering the 5 year provision too then.

    Now, lets see if we can get SF to agree…

  • tacapall

    Spiffing !

    How arrogantly British of you.

    Have you nothing to say about murderers being paid their state salaries while in prison, have you nothing to say about how little time they spent in prison after being convicted of murder, have you nothing to say about these murderers being handed back the tools they used to murder someone.

    Is Jean Mc Bride a lesser victim than Ann Travers.

  • Barnshee

    “Sinn Fein possess the resources to sidestep any negative employment effect of #SpadBill…”

    Up to point —SF needs the SPAD positions “salary” for party funds If the current SPAD is to be replaced but also “kept right” by a “party funded” position– an additional post is needed and needs to be funded. (the McCardle fiasco has already created this situation)

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Spiffing !

    How arrogantly British of you.”

    Well, every morning before I adorn my top hat and monocle and inspect my vast estate on horse back I do like to say things like ‘spiffing’, ‘chocks away’ and sometimes ‘tally ho’. Maybe other things too if I’ve been reading Wodehouse.

    With regards to “have you nothing to say about how little time they spent in prison after being convicted of murder, have you nothing to say about these murderers being handed back the tools they used to murder someone.”

    What can I say that you haven’t?

    Hmmm?

    Do I have to agree with every little thing explicitly and in triplicate before you acknowledge that maybe in actual fact my cold blue blood might actually have some compassion for them?

    Did I not state that it would be perhaps be an idea to reduce the 5 year limit so that these murderers in particular could be included?

    Kindly highlight which of my statements implied that “Jean McBride a lesser victim than Ann Travers”.

    Perhaps you could be a bit more rational in your approach?

    This is not a one size fits all bill. Sorry.
    I offered you an amendment that would be a bit more inclusive and you went sour.

    I have highlighted this ‘idea’ to you TWICE specifically with them in mind yet still your squawk of a response is “what about them?”

    So for the third time, taking into account SPECIFICALLY the victims and murderers that you have mentioned, would you agree to an amendment that would lower this 5 year figure to a lower one that one make sure that those whom you have referenced would also be excluded from potential SpAd roles?

  • Dixie Elliott

    There isn’t a hope in hell of Paul Kavanagh becoming unemployed. The worst thing that could happen is that someone else in the party would get shafted to make way for him.

    However it’s only a matter of moving someone with no convictions (Although I’d say most have no convictions if the word were to be used in its other sense) into the position and drawing in the wage. Paul Kavanagh could continue to advise Marty from behind the scenes and the new acceptable to all special adviser could continue to do whatever SF community workers do.

  • Dixie Elliott

    As for the comment that SF could take advantage of this to gain another MLA in Derry.

    Somehow I doubt it as there is very little being said about the whole thing in the city. In fact I’d say most are thinking they are getting what they’ve done on others in the past including Irish language groups, taxi firms etc. and that is either take them over or make sure they can’t operate.

    A certain case recently which caused anger was the SF blocking of council funding to the Bogside Artists.