On Jim Wells and against serving Minister’s running for election…

Between all the spin and counterspin on Jim Wells’s resignation, this from Tom Kelly makes an important point:

…what constitutes good governance during an election? No serving Minister should be allowed to continue in office whilst contesting an election not associated with the Assembly and even then purdah should be strictly enforced.

It is ridiculous that special advisors working in elections or contesting them have to stand aside from their posts for the duration of an election but a Minister does not.

Neither Mr Wells nor indeed his party colleague, Mr Bell should have remained in ministerial office whilst they pursue election to another forum. This is something that the Assembly Standards and Privileges Committee, its Commissioner and the Electoral Commission should rectify.

As a mere candidate on the far right of a right wing party the comments of Mr Wells are of little significance but as a serving Health Minister, they are hugely significant. [Emphasis added]

  • Joe_Hoggs

    One could also argue that MP’s should take their seats.

  • Zig70

    Even when those that elected them don’t think so? Surely politicians should stand by their principles at the very least. Whether you agree with them is a different matter.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    So those vulnerable minorities who need representation can go to heck then due to Republican majorities in areas dictating the pace of play? Being from FST our neck of the woods is in dire need of proper representation for jobs, investment and infrastructure, however all we have is an absentee MP who offered the people here nothing except IRA parades and declarations that the seat belongs to her and Bobby Sands.

  • Mister_Joe

    Democracy’s a bitch, ain’t it.

  • …what constitutes good governance during an election?

    Well, arguably we don’t have good governance outside of an election.
    So why should it be any different during one?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    It should be about representing all the people and not just those who voted for you.

  • Zig70

    In Northern Ireland? The unionists or nationalist politicians who take their seats represent all the people? You’re having a laugh, I’m laughing with you. Though this is all a distraction from having ministers who represent a minority of right wing fundamentalist Christians and spent the time electioneering when we are paying them a small fortune to oversee a crisis hit NHS.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    I’m a Unionist and I and others were very vocal in our opposition to what Jim Wells said, he is a MLA and Minister and needs to be inclusive of all the people.

  • Zig70

    Well he wasn’t inclusive and he’s lost his ministerial role though the point of the article is that he was spending his time electioneering when he is paid to run the place. As is Mr Bell.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    This is an inherent problem of our “double/treble jobbing” political culture. But expecting our local boys to vote for dedicated representation brings up the image of a long line of Turkeys threading their way to a ballot box in the snows of December.

  • Mirrorballman

    “Being from FST our neck of the woods is in dire need of proper representation for jobs, investment and infrastructure”

    Maybe you should take that up with the Enterprise Minister who I believe comes from that very constituency Joe an not blame everything on your MP?

  • puffen

    Wot done for Jim, was that he was allowed out without his Civil service minder, while canvassing, but it does at least shows who pulls the strings in the NHS, he was a puppet, and I have to say a good thing too.

  • Granni Trixie

    Can We conclude that the DUP recognise that they are short of capable people else why chose a Minister to stand for Westminster? Certainly they are short of capable women given all their candidates are men. Or maybe in their own bubble it didn’t occur to them it’s an own goal to do so?