“It would be somewhat hypocritical to turn round and support strike action…”

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On Talkback today, Will Crawley played this recording of Sinn Fein Education Minister John O’Dowd to remind Declan Kearney of his party’s disapproving stance of the strikes today, just last week:

But this [strike] is part of an opposition to the Stormont House Agreement, and I think that’s a mistake. There is a fundamental mistake in the strategy of the unions that are being opposed to the Stormont House Agreement. I supported the Stormont House Agreement, so it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to turn round and support strike action against the Stormont House Agreement.

And of course today, that’s exactly what his party colleagues did… Declan Kearney then sort of doesn’t go on to explain why the reversal of strategy, tactics, erm, thingie… [Reverse Ferret? – Ed]

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  • Concubhar O Liathain

    Surely the support of politicians for a strike against themselves is part of the Red Nose Day effort on the BBC?

  • No doubt we will soon hear “but this won’t affect our vote share, so we don’t care”.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Declan Kearney’s political analysis lacks the old back up threat of sending boyos round to tell you to keep your opinions to yourself.

    [Text removed – this is not an invitation to a witch hunt – Mods]

  • chrisjones2

    Yesterday in NI there wasn’t a single public bus running. What about the staff who didn’t want to strike., What was done to support them? To get what buses could be run our to serve the public? Nothing that I can see

    I had cause to call a Government Department. Even the senior civil servants weren’t there – they had all taken the day off. only the switchboard staff were there directing calls to phones on empty desks.

    Who allowed this? Has the Head of the Civil Service been called in to account for what was done to MAINTAIN services and facilitate those who wanted to work? How many buses or trains ran? Are there figures of how many came to work?

    Thi is very different to the rest of UK and smells of an implicit commonality of purpose or shared view. The entire culture of the civil service seems to be wedded to the ever flowing tap. That is natural as its how the make their money by growing the pyramid and pushing up salaries. This is why all the current attempts at reform wont work. Unless the top is reformed they will fudge it all.

    Unless the politicians take a stand to support their own policies there is no pressure to do anything

  • chrisjones2

    I keep hearing of the boul Declan Kearney. Who is he? Who pays his salary? Where did he come from? What clan in the party is he a member of? To what does he owe his meteroic rise? It all seems strangely opaque

  • Zig70

    Well, that’s exactly it. No unionist is going to vote for anyone other than their right wing cut supporting parties and no devout nationalist will change to voting SDLP just because they got a consistent argument for once.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The SDLP don’t have a consistent argument.

    In 2007 they supported parity and welfare reform. In 2014/15 they’re opposing it.

  • Dan

    The country most certainly didn’t grind to a halt either.
    The strike failed miserably…..only some were inconvenienced, and the union leaders demonstrated (as the water service strikers in winter did) that their play was to make life as miserable as possible for the vulnerable, to the point where they would have been quite happy to see stroke victims left without ambulance cover, but they did accomplish sick children in A&E being sent home without scans and patients in wards left without food.
    Callous bastards.

  • chrisjones2

    I just saw the Bel Tel report that in NIPSA the strike vote was less than 10%

    Perhaps the Assembly could occupy itself mandating a minimum % vote for strike action in key public services like water and the Ambulance Service rather than making it legal 6 to discriminate against Gays

    Which is the greater public good? Would SF dare throw in yet another petition of concern?

  • chrisjones2

    “No unionist is going to vote for anyone other than their right wing cut supporting parties”

    Forgive me but thats just a sectarian rant. Have you seen the DUP? Its like the Communist Party with religion

  • chrisjones2

    Perhaps some of them don’t yet realise that they are in power

  • barnshee

    “there wasn’t a single public bus running”

    saw quite a few “private” bus cos on the road might be a lesson there for th unions

  • Jag

    Is Mick getting paid for trying to promote “reverse ferret” as a substitute for U-turn?

  • chrisjones2

    …and isnt there a conflict of interest in that the Department that profits from public buses regulates private ones and road traffic..hence all those bus lanes that have destroyed car access to Belfast City Centre at peak times

  • chrisjones2

    Just saw the Derry Journal. SF out on the picket lines with Unison protesting against the budget they agreed in the Assembly. But it was ok!!! They blamed the Brits

  • Jag

    SF u-turn on supporting the strike is no less unedifying than DUP claiming they knew all along that the maths in the SHA never added up in the way SF was explaining them in the aftermath of the agreement. All the main parties look like clowns in the past week, SF’s inconsistency (perhaps hypocrisy) with supporting the unions is pretty much in keeping with the standard plumbed by all the main parties last week.

  • chrisjones2

    …and very usefully the Ministerial cars kept running so Marty and Peter could get off to the States for St Patricks Day

  • Glenn Clare

    He is a shinner/provo in a long line of shinner/provos who waxes lyrical on a myriad of topics but without really saying anything with sincerity or particularly meaningful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4WhPbx7Rdc

  • chrisjones2

    but how come he is now emerging blinking into the daylight?

  • Dan

    He likely thinks he delivers top notch media performances, whereas all he does is talk and talk, saying bugger all of note, or worth

  • notimetoshine

    I think its fair to say that the NI water staff didn’t strike. In fact they fulfilled their obligations and job descriptions to a tee.

  • notimetoshine

    Oh and one other thing. The strikes amongst ambulance workers were as much about the continued shredding of ambulance cover. Seems fair to say that stroke victims may be left without cover either way.

    And as someone who has had to leave and return to a hospital several times because of problems in radiology I would say that conditions the strike caused are no more than normal for many people.

    I am personally dubious as to how much strikes achieve but I am worried about front line services. My ultimate nightmare is SF forcing more money to be removed from services to pay for welfare.

  • Dan

    …of course you are right there. They worked to rule. My mistake.

  • Donal Cunningham

    The 2007 Welfare Reform was introduced by a LABOUR government and dealt with the payment of Housing Benefit to tenants and the introduction of the Employment and Support Allowance.

  • hugh mccloy

    what about a minimum % turnout for public elections ? new councils are majority of the minority

  • Croiteir

    Sinnfein are used to flip flop politics on the issue of strikes – supporting the centenary of the Dublin lock outs and being on the side of the workers comrade yet Sinn Fein was against them at the time with Griffith urging the police to batter the strikers of the streets.