DUP respond to Welfare Reform deadlock by restating proposals to change Stormont (that would also result in deadlock)

2006 Belfast Telegraph masthead saying Today's News TodayFirst Minister Peter Robinson has told the Belfast Telegraph that the systems up on the hill are “are no longer fit for purpose”.

The structures required cross-community agreement for every significant issue – a process that would have tested and defeated less divergent coalitions.

The failure for the DUP and Sinn Fein to build consensus or find a compromise over Welfare Reform has broken the Executive in the DUP leader’s opinion.

“It is transparently untenable for the Assembly and Executive to be sustainable while carrying the cost burden flowing from a failure to follow the national government’s welfare reform changes,” he wrote, warning of thousands of jobs losses in the public sector.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph to discuss the article, he added: “We have now come against an issue that doesn’t allow us to hang on with the present process at Stormont. The present process cannot survive the welfare reform issue.

“We have to deal with this. It is not the case that we can scrub along for another period of time.”

Peter Robinson has suggested that all-party talks (including those not on the Executive) and involvement of the British government would be required.[No mention of the DUP leader wanting Irish government involvement in “St Andrews II” discussions.)

Mr Robinson is now calling for “a streamlined Assembly, a reduction in the number of government departments and further normalising our arrangements with a recognised opposition”. He writes “our most recent problems also inescapably point to the absolute need for reform of Stormont’s decision-making arrangements”.

He reassured nationalists that he was not proposing a return to unionist majority rule. “Our divided society will still require arrangements that have regard for the need of widespread support across the community,” he said. Things have come to a head because of the failure of the Executive to resolve the welfare reform issue.

Some politicians have oft reminded us over the years, there are provisions for the Assembly to examine itself and propose reforms. The NIO formally consulted on a small range of issues back in 2012. Asked about Opposition, the DUP responded to the consultation saying:

The DUP’s long standing policy has been for the creation of a voluntary coalition at Stormont involving both a Government and an Opposition. We have no doubt that this would provide for a more effective form of Government.

We have proposed steps that could be taken in the Assembly to address this matter in the short term, such as new speaking arrangements in the Assembly and greater financial resources for parties of a certain size that would wish to form an opposition. We will continue to press for changes in the Assembly which would facilitate this though clearly widespread support will be required.

In order to create a more normalised system of government in Northern Ireland, amendments to the primary Westminster legislation are required. As it has previously indicated a desire to see a more normal form of Government at Stormont and as only the Westminster Parliament presently has the power to bring this about, we would urge the government to legislate on such a basis.

However, recognising that the Government has indicated that it is only likely to legislate with cross-community support in Northern Ireland, and accepting that it is unlikely that such support will be demonstrated in the short term, we would urge the Government to legislate at Westminster to allow, in due course, the Northern Ireland Assembly to legislate for changes to the devolved institutions, albeit with the consent of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Realistically, Sinn Féin will hold out on Welfare Reform for a very long time … I’d assume they would be content to threaten the stability of the current Executive and Assembly, trigger an election (in which they’d point to the ‘terrible’ London government policies and boost their support) and even hold out on the current set of reforms right up to and including the re-imposition of direct rule.

The DUP continue to voice the need for Stormont reform. However, they have made few significant efforts to make structural changes, and have enjoyed the use of the blunt Petitions of Concern instrument to quash impertinent votes in the Assembly. Changing the working of the Executive or the Assembly independent of large contemporary issues like Welfare Reform and Haass is clearly impossible.

If the deadlock wasn’t over Welfare Reform, it could be over a Racial Equality Strategy, education, health, Irish Language Act, flags, parading or dealing with the past.

Today’s intervention restates a DUP policy that has been brought out before, waved around and then set back on the shelf. Why is this time any different?

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  • CackleDaily

    I think before any such negotiations took place, a guarantee should be required of the
    DUP not to flounce out if things don’t go their way.
    The recent tantrums and negotiations by press release have not done anything for their credibility and Peter’s statement seems more of a reflection of his own anxiety about his party rather than anything larger. His offer to include non-executive Parties raises the dizzying prospect of Jim Allister making a thoughtful and measured contribution to the debate….at the very least, I suppose it will save Willie Frazer the petrol…
    On a final note, I am going to take his reassurance about ‘not returning to unionist majority rule’ with a considerable pinch of salt. If the DUP don’t voluntarily share power
    at a council level, why would they bother on the hill?

  • Neil

    Says Stormont is dysfunctional, deploys PoC to prevent a vote on his minister. Safe in the knowledge that the vote itself means nothing, and the debate will happen anyway. Playing a blinder Pete.

  • mickfealty

    It’s as well to have something to talk about in any upcoming election.

  • Morpheus

    An SoS announcement confirming the same “Plan B” told to Ian Paisley, coupled with a cessation of salaries and expenses, will focus minds no doubt.

  • Reader

    Who shares actual power at council level?

  • chrisjones2

    Jez no ….not the expenses!!!!!

  • Morpheus
  • chrisjones2

    Agreed. Is there anything on the Hill worth saving?

    More and more I simply dont see it

    As a basic unionist my increasing feeling is better joint rule and a cull of the political leeches than this mess. Its like living under the Government of a banana republic where MLAs have stolen the bananas and left the empty skins

  • Mister_Joe

    There should be no change that doesn’t include reducing the number of MLAs to a maximum of 72.

  • Morpheus
  • Mister_Joe

    Here in Ontario we work quite well with 107 MLAs for a population of close to 13 million.

  • Mister_Joe

    Totally disgusting. 40% of our MLAs employ family members who are also on the public payroll through “office expenses”. Rotten to the core.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Surely reducing the number of elected representatives reduces the value of each vote? Reducing the number of MLAs therefore makes each voter less powerful.

  • thegreenfinger

    no it would not, as the “value” of an individual’s vote is not related in any way to your flawed concept of representation. In an equal logical society the quantity of our representatives would be calculated based on population spread over a geographical area.

  • Mister_Joe

    Well, perhaps then according to your logic, we should increase the number of MLAs to around 1,800,000.

  • carl marks

    I think peter has a point the system isn’t working and it was only ever meant to be a temporary setup anyway, the nearest thing we have to a opposition is wee Jim and he is only concerned with scoring sectarian points.
    as mister Joe has pointed out we are wildly over represented in Stormount and it just to cosy for them.
    what we have on the hill is a gravy boat (like a gravy train but bigger and slower) but the questions are, are we grown up enough for grown up politics, would either side trust the other in power with their own side in opposition.
    personally i wouldn’t trust either of the two larger parties (and very few of the smaller ones) to run the place as a single party government.
    so to sum up; we would have a choice of two set of incompetents running the show as a partnership or one set of incompetents running it as a majority government.
    Hobsons choice eh!

  • Biftergreenthumb

    The more people that an elected representative represents the less important each vote becomes.

    Imagine a constituency of a 100 people. Two people want to represent that constituency. Each one therefore needs 51 people to vote for them to win an election (assuming 100% voter turnout). Each vote counts for 1/51 of a win. But if the country reduces the number of representatives so that each constituency has 200 people in it then each candidate needs 101 people to vote for them. Each vote only counts for 1/101 of a win. So each vote counts for (approx) half as much in this second scenario.

    As well as this after the election in the first scenario the representative represents the interests of 100 people. In the second he represents the interests of 200 people. Surely it’s easier to stand up for the diverse interests of 100 people than it is 200. Less representatives means the interests and point of view of each constituent counts for less.

    The reduction of the number of representatives is a dilution of individual voter/constituent power.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    I haven’t argued for an increase in representation and I’m certainly not saying we should have one representative per voter. That would obviously be impractical. I just don’t understand why everyone thinks reducing our representation is a good thing.

  • Jag

    Crikey, the 300-page report by the standards committee on Iris/Kirk/Peter-gate must contain some pretty explosive stuff!

    And when is that report being published? In fact, has it already been published but we were so in awe of Peter’s “platform” in NI’s No 2 daily newspaper, that we completely overlooked it?

  • Mister_Joe

    Well, let me ask you this: How effective each of the current 108 MLAs are in moving N.I. away from the horrors of the past and towards an inclusive future within the UK? Can you even name the 6 in your constituency and point to how effective each one has been?

  • chrisjones2

    It actually increases At the moment you can get to be an MLA with a core vote of under 3000 or 10 lodges and their families

  • chrisjones2

    The old Stormont had 40 odd but nowadays that’s not enough pork to go around and they might end up having to work for a living

  • chrisjones2

    …because it makes the buggers work for the whole community not the narrow sectarian tribe who vote for them now.

    If they need to get say 30000 votes they have to appeal more widely – that’s one of the fundamental failings at Stormont

    Best thing we could do is abolish all the constituencies, have 30 MLAs put them all in one big pond Then go for a quota of say 25000 to be elected. The good ones would float. The dross would disappear. Once elected they would have to cooperate to survive

  • chrisjones2

    Amen

  • chrisjones2

    Wasnt it Texas where the State Assembly only met for 10 weeks a year? What a great idea

  • chrisjones2

    They show all the insularity, skills and behaviours of county Councillors

  • gunterprien

    …..”and towards an inclusive future within the UK?”

    Ah yes..Let’s give Nationalists the short end of the stick.
    It’s worked so well.

    I ‘m Irish..I won’t play nice with Irish quislings.
    Anybody who wishes the Country they live in to be ruled by a foreign power is a quisling.
    The Norweigns weren’t asked to put up with their quislings.
    Why should the Irish?
    We supposed to bend over for them?
    Not me for one.

  • IrelandForAll

    Let’s just have Direct Rule Now! I would rather have London and Dublin jointly administering us, while we prepare for a referendum on reuniting Ireland.

  • Thomas Girvan

    If you believe Ian Paisley, you are in a minority of two.
    The other one’s name is Eileen.

  • Mister_Joe

    That’s what everyone signed up for in the GFA, for now.

  • Morpheus

    And your reason for thinking that the Reverend is a liar is..

    Since both GB and RoI are guarantors of the GFA is what he says totally outside the realms of possibility?

  • Garrison

    Wales has 60 AM’s representing twice as many people.

  • Tacapall

    Why should Sinn Fein and the SDLP agree to new negotiations to weaken the arrangement they already have by bringing back the very arrangements that caused the conflict in the first place – Majority Rule. As in any negotiations, the only ground you hold is the ground you held the night before and Nationalism surely can only better what they already hold, they cannot loss what they already hold, so whats in this idea for unionism is whats puzzling most. This seems more of a diversionary and stalling tactic something to fool the masses like a dog with no teeth barking, it looks scary but in reality it has no bite.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Mr Joe, I’m not trying to defend the current system or even the current number of MLAs. I completely agree with you that the current set up is dysfunctional and needs reform. I was literally just wondering what the arguments are for less MLAs. Chris Jones argument above seems to be that less MLAs means that they have to appeal to a broader support base and not simply rely on a core sectarian vote. This argument makes sense to me. I suppose, from my point of view, these sorts of considerations then need to be balanced against my argument that less MLAs means less voice for each voter. How do we reach to perfect balance is beyond me!

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “Anybody who wishes the Country they live in to be ruled by a foreign power is a quisling.”
    Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment i suppose a unionist would say Northern Ireland is part of the UK which means england, scotland and wales arent foreign countries. We’re all part of the same state or union. From a unionist perspective Northern Ireland isn’t a country ruled by a foreign power it is in a voluntary political union with 3 other nations. A voter from NI has the same representation in the British parliament as a voter from England, Scotland or Wales. So we’re not ruled by a foreign power. We participate democratically within the UK and contribute democratically to how political power is wielded. Like Scotland we can leave the Union anytime a majority of people here want to.

  • gunterprien

    I am sorry..I fell on the floor laughing about 17% ireland and democracy in the same sentence . It’s a Gerrymandered entity..Just like the Russians are having a go in East Ukraine. If it’s wrong there..It’s wrong in Ireland. No democracy to see there. It was forced into existance at the barrel of UVF(terrorist) guns. And at 1922 treaty . If Collins didn’t sign he was promised a 250,000 British Army. Nice??? Democracy. I don’t think so.
    So yes. The only quislings are Unionist quislings.
    Do the deed wear the title.

  • Thomas Girvan

    I would never, never, never, never, call him a liar!

  • Biftergreenthumb

    To play devil’s advocate again – the historical contingencies that lead to partition a century ago are irrelevant to the fact that a majority of the current population of Northern Ireland are either content with the constitutional status quo or actively support it. You can’t just put forward a historical narrative about the evil of how a state was formed just so you can ignore the democratic wish of an actually existing political entity.

    Northern Ireland (no matter how dysfunctional) exists. The majority of its people want, or are content, to be part of the UK. What is undemocratic about that?
    The vast majority of people in ROI and a good majority of people in NI voted for the GFA in which the principle of consent in enshrined. Once again, what is undemocratic about that?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’d heard that the final and long awaited publication of the standards report was simply delayed until the new sitting of Stormont.

    Let us all hope that the report will clear Peter’s name entirely and the terrible daily stress on Peter of an unprecedented four years delay in the completion of the enquiry is finally lifted so that this period of “lame duck” leadership while these career threatening uncertainties have hung over his leadership finally concludes with the publication.

    It cannot have been easy for Peter to have attempted to seriously fill the role on the international stage as First Minister of such an important country, bolstered only by a statement from the OFMdFM’s own legal department that there was “no case to answer.”

  • gunterprien

    “Northern Ireland (no matter how dysfunctional) exists. The majority of its people want, or are content, to be part of the UK. What is undemocratic about that? ”
    ===========================
    We got where we are from the Act of Union in 1801
    This was passed by the parliament in Dublin thru Bribery.
    Therefore everything happened after was based on this act of Bribery.
    I invoke the “fruit of the poisoned tree” a feature of common law.
    This basically means that if you do one wrong turn.everything that accrues to you from this wrong turn is illegitimate.
    So I am happy to label Unionists as quislings.
    It’s a point of common law.
    This explains every treaty and every deal that has occured.
    So your point about majorities is null and void.
    Your point about been in the Uk is Null and void.
    I shall make you a T shirt stating you are a quisling.
    Wear it with pride.

  • Morpheus

    To be fair, he has done nothing wrong – this was done behind his back. Iris did wrong, she knows she did wrong, she is no longer in the public eye or benefits from the public purse – that should be the end of it, no need to turn the screw.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    I think this kind of historical thinking is the main problem with nationalistic ideologies. Instead of looking at the current conditions, identifying problems and proposing solutions you look to the past, construct a story and then propose a course of action which concludes that story.

    I’m sure a satisfying conclusion to your historical narrative is “The Brits were booted out of Ireland and the Irish lived happily ever after.” While this has a nice sense of closure I don’t think this kind of thinking has any kind of moral claim to overrule the democratic will of the people. No matter what nasty, illegal, immoral things people (who are now dead) did in the past this doesn’t mean that you can simply ignore the wishes of people actually alive today.
    I shall have a t shirt printed for you saying “Nationalist Against Democracy”
    Wear it with pride.

  • gunterprien

    Your orignal point.
    as devils adovate was to try and prove Irish Nationalists as quislings.
    Apart from them been Native .
    History leads the lie to your point.
    I don’t exist in history..Or at least that far back.
    There are numerous things about the UK which will turn people off it.
    Or they should if people look up from their daily grind.
    And I am looking to the future where a UK Brexit from the EU.
    will lead to Irish Unity.
    Fancy that. Me a NON Tory Irishman wishing for a Tory victory in 2015 and a vote in 2017. and subsequent Brexit.
    It ain’t all history./
    I’m looking to the future too.
    A british Brexit in 2017 for a UI soon thereafter.
    And there’s not a damn thing you 1% of the population can do about it.
    Democracy is a b*t*h

  • streetlegal

    Robinson will ‘exit stage left’ before the end of this year. What he is doing now is trying to find some kind of cover for his legacy of failure and the embarrassment of presiding over an Executive which has been so thoroughly discredited. Meanwhile in the wings, Nigel Dodds and Sammy Wilson are eyeing each other nervously – each hoping that the other will precipitate the campaign for the leadership of the DUP.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “Your orignal point.
    as devils adovate was to try and prove Irish Nationalists as quislings.”
    That was not my original point at all. I havent used the word “quislings” ever in my life (until this post) and certainly wasn’t refering to nationalist as quislings. My original point was that Unionist, as happy citizens of the UK, don’t see other UK citizens as foreigners and dont see the UK government as a foreign power. So to label them as quislings is a bit unfair.
    “And there’s not a damn thing you 1% of the population can do about it.”
    Not sure why you think i make up 1% of the population (bad maths maybe?) but i have no intention of trying to prevent a UI.

  • gunterprien

    Oh dear.. The 1% refers to the Brexit. of the EU.
    Not a UI.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “A british Brexit in 2017 for a UI soon thereafter.
    And there’s not a damn thing you 1% of the population can do about it.”
    Oh dear… still have no idea why you think i want to stop either a brexist or a UI or why you think I’m part of 1% of the population.
    I fear this conversation has spun off into mutual incomprehensiblity. Good day to you, sir!

  • gunterprien

    I don’t care whether you do or not..I am simply saying that the voters of 17% Ireland have got zero influence in the future of their Union. ( based on what happens after Brexit)
    That’s all. And the sooner they realize it the better.
    And my original point in raising that 1% figure is to say I can speak my mind without fear that Unionists or the !% of Uk voters residing in 17% will vote tactically on the Brexit.
    It will happen or not irrespective of how they vote.
    And the UKIPers won’t care about losing 17% Ireland if they achieve their climax of a Brexit either.
    So no fear it’ll influence them either.
    Wunderbar!!!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear, Morpheus, “he has done nothing wrong” has, I feel, not been examined openly yet, and proven beyond reasonable doubt. Peter may certainly be entirely guiltless, but nothing that has been aired so far in public that I have come across conclusively proves this. And, in common with the rest of the general public, I’m not privy to the detailed legal advice Peter may have received privately, that convinced him that he could resume office.

    I was off the impression that the report’s remit was actually to examine the financial activities of both Robinsons. With a proper Standards and Privileges report, I’d hoped that the inherent weakness of a First Minister relying entirely on an OFMdFM lawyer’s advice that “he had no case to answer” might at last be properly clarified for us doubters with long memories, once and for all, for I feel that this important issue of public credibility has not yet been settled satisfactorily, even four years down the line.

  • Morpheus

    I take your point that there is not a lot in the public domain yet but I find it extremely hard to believe that PR had a hand in any of these shady deals between developers and his wife’s bit on the side. Personally, I think if he has no case to answer then that should be the end of it as far as he is concerned. HIs wife can face the consequences when she is fit enough to do so as anyone in the real world does

  • gunterprien

    The hand that wields the knife never gets to wear the crown.

  • Tacapall

    ” I find it extremely hard to believe that PR had a hand in any of these shady deals between developers”

    Look a bit harder then Morph –

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8595547.stm

    Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, and
    his wife Iris, bought a valuable bit of land from a developer for just £5, BBC Newsline has learned.The land deal enabled the Robinsons to sell part of their back garden for nearly £460,000.

  • Morpheus

    You cut off my quote. I said “…I find it extremely hard to believe that PR had a hand in any of these shady deals between developers and his wife’s bit on the side

    The example you gave is not connected to the £50k from developers though it is? He is more than capable, don’t get me wrong, but not on this one.

  • Tacapall

    What was that £50k spent on Morph ?

  • Morpheus

    So her bit on the side could start a business. You think PR hand a hand in that? Hardly.

    Now that’s the last I will post on this, I find the topic distasteful

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The report, I hear, is finally today under discussion “behind closed doors”:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-29133275

    and “It is understood standards commissioner Douglas Bain has concluded that Peter Robinson did not breach the assembly code of conduct.”

    But four years where he has carried on with only a judgement from an internal OFMdFM lawyer is an insult to the people he is representing.

  • Tacapall

    Its what kind of business he started with that £50k thats important Morph, were is that young buck McCambley these days anyway and I doubt Peter Robinson’s as daft as your trying to make him out.

  • Morpheus

    A cafe – whoop-de-fecking-doo. FFS, would you set up your wife’s lover up in business by getting him £50k? I am no fan of PR, far from it, but c’mon, get real

    I’m out

  • Tacapall

    Are you sure thats all he spent that £50k on Morph –

    http://stakeknife.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/kirk-mccambleys-drug-shame-story-in.html

  • babyface finlayson

    Well it wouldn’t sit right would it 🙂

  • Tacapall

    “I don’t think this kind of thinking has any kind of moral claim to overrule the democratic will of the people. No matter what nasty, illegal, immoral things people (who are now dead) did in the past this doesn’t mean that you can simply ignore the wishes of people actually alive today.”

    Funny enough thats what nationalists point out to the Orange Order but they and unionist community keep harping on about something they imagined their forefathers done around 300 years ago.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sinn Fein and the SDLP agree to new negotiations to weaken the arrangement they already have

    Because it causes ineffective government and is generally crap ? Maybe ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t have a problem with the Irish government in principle but why would they want to get involved in administering us ? And why would you automatically assume that their interests would benefit nationalists ?

    Imagine an international investor wants to build a factory in the border area. Do you really believe the Irish government are going to support the case to build it in Newry (where they have no electorate) instead of Dundalk (where they do) ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, and
    his wife Iris, bought a valuable bit of land from a developer for just £5, BBC Newsline has learned.The land deal enabled the Robinsons to sell part of their back garden for nearly £460,000.

    I hate to defend the DUP but …

    This was all covered in detail at the time. In his bad-tempered interview with Seamus McKee, beneath the ranting he actually refuted all of the accusations put to him. He said that the piece of land in question was not valuable and that £5 was simply a nominal amount for the transfer. He also said that the piece of ground did not come with any access rights, and did not influence the value of the other piece of ground he already held. He accused the BBC of giving their valuer incorrect information.

    The BBC had also accused him of failing to make declarations to Castlereagh Borough Council and in Westminster in respect of this, but again he refuted this pointing out that the value of the land was below the threshold required for declaration; and that he followed the correct procedures relating to the issue on the council.

    When you look past the bad tempered and quite nasty way in which Robinson defended itself, and look at the defence he set out, it was actually quite convincing. Like everyone else the man is entitled to the benefit of the doubt, and if he followed the rules and did nothing illegal – as I think is probably the case – there is nothing further to be said.

    I am sure that his wife’s dealings with the cash towards McCambley were almost certainly against the rules and were probably illegal in several respects (not least from the taxman’s point of view) but she’s already resigned all of her political roles so there is not much more to be done there.

    Now there are wider questions about the nature of Robinson’s relationships with property developers and other business interests, and the habits of the Robinsons when it came to claiming expenses etc. Those are all up for debate, but they are not necessarily things which are illegal.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t see what tabloid exposées on Kirk McCambley have to do with anything.

    I don’t think Peter Robinson is an idiot; far from it. He understands the law and the parliamentary rules very well and I suspect he scrupulously follows them. He must have bricked it when he found out – belatedly – about his wife’s financial dealings – IIRC he told her to return the money immediately.

  • Thomas Girvan

    I think you will find that the strip of land did have the sole access to the property.

  • Mister_Joe

    C’mon folks. He paid 5 pounds for a bit of access which was subsequently valued at 75,000 pounds and then sold it for 5 pounds when its value had by then been assessed to be worth over 200,000 pounds. Doesn’t pass the smell test in my opinion.

  • Mister_Joe

    Surely a psychiatrist reputed to be able to “cure” gay people and is a best friend of the woman should be able to “cure” her to the extent that she could sit down with the Authorities to explain some or all of her behaviour which is suspected to be on the wrong side of the Law. There couldn’t be any special treatment being granted to her that other suspected lawbreakers are not given, could there?. Could a suspected serious scofflaw get a “Doctor” to say that he is too ashamed to be interviewed and the police would say “ok, that’s all right then. We’ll interview you when you are ready.”

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Yes. I agree. The OO and tribal unionist ideology are essentially nationalistic. Instead of looking at current conditions, identifying problems and proposing solutions they tend to think in terms of historical narratives in which they identify us’uns with a group of people in the past and them’uns with an rival group of people in the past and make decisions based on the greivences of dead men. They are essentially backward looking rather than forward looking. This kind of historic/nationalistic thinking pervades all of the politics here and is the essentail problem with NI.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Robinson categorically denied this. Is there some sort of evidence ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Joe,

    Before we start here is the relevant Robinson interview :

    link

    He paid 5 pounds for a bit of access which was subsequently valued at 75,000 pounds

    Robinson claims that the land had no value and that the BBC’s valuation of £75,000-£100,000 was based on the assumption that it was required for access to another piece of land, and denies that this was the case.

    and then sold it for 5 pounds when its value had by then been assessed to be worth over 200,000 pounds

    This part is new to me. I never heard anything about Robinson selling any land for £5 ?

    The smell test is another thing and people are of course free to make up their own minds about business dealings between politicians and property developers/businessmen, but on paper nothing illegal took place here.

  • Thomas Girvan

    The evidence is the house itself.
    Has anyone bothered to look at it?

  • Mister_Joe

    Comrade, I did not mean to imply that there was anything necessarily illegal. Indeed, the smell test referred to the patently close links between certain politicians and developers. Maybe you may have heard of one. We suffer from these close links too in certain parts of Canada.

  • Comrade Stalin

    What house ?

  • barnshee

    It seems to have escaped your notice that N Ireland is part of the UK

    If the UK leaves Europe N Ireland ill be part of that withdrawal and I suspect the ROI will not be far behind – either that or its imposition of a border between the two parts of Ireland

  • gunterprien

    Ok.

    I see you dream of a day when Ireland so called rejoins the so called UK and lives happily ever after.
    Few problems with that.
    Apart from the obvious historical ones.
    And those are..You have no worthwhile plan for life post Berxit.
    You going to become the new China or New South Korea?

    The only way of achieving that is to give either one (or two) fingers NOT only to the EU.
    But also the IMF. The World bank. and the G7 Or G8 (whatever they’re calling themselves this week.)

    And why do you need to do this.?

    Well study South Korea and you shall know.

    It involves tariffs on trade. creating a strong domestic demand for consumer products which are then exported. and Kerching!!!!! Profit!!! Soft loans to business so they become giants and export loads.

    Neither of which the Uk has the guts for.

    ‘Fraid not.

    Next problem. Ireland uses the Euro..It ain’t attached to the UK any longer.
    only 23(ish) % of exports go to UK.
    over 50% to other Eurozone Countries.

    Computer says NO.

    I am very touched that somebody from our former puppet Master colonial overseer wants Ireland “back” in the Union..If you count the Bribery of 1801 as actionable under “law”..I don’t.

    I ignore it.
    Ireland was stolen property under the law. You never did “own” it and you never will.

    In short leave the EU..I am very much hoping and praying so called UK does.
    I’m on my knees here.
    If you think Ireland will follow.
    As Aerosmith sing it Dream on.

  • Thomas Girvan

    The little house on the prairie.