Cartoon – “The unelected and unelectable…”

Emma Pengelly and Peter Robinson cartoon

The soundbite of the week past probably came from Westminster and from David Cameron at PMQs. Probed repeatedly by the leader of the Opposition on the cost of cuts to tax credits to the ordinary family, the Prime Minister simply said the reform was blocked by an alliance of “the unelected and the unelectable.”

Stormont had an eventful week itself, and I suppose you could argue those adjectives apply to the First Minister and new Junior Minister.

Brian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger.

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  • “I suppose you could argue those adjectives apply to the First Minister and new Junior Minister.”

    Go on then, Brian. Argue it. Because that’s not an argument. As for how it applies to the First Minister…

    This nonsense about co-option not being a legitimate route for an MLA is rubbish.

    Let’s hear that argument every time Conor Murphy appears.

    Once someone has become an MLA they are eligible for every post any other MLA is eligible for.

    There is no invisible line to be crossed.

  • Jack Stone

    I am confused. I thought Conor Murphy was elected the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland for Newry and Armagh in 1998 and was a duly elected MLA for 14 years? Wasn’t Conor also the first republican to be elected as MP for Newry and Armagh? How does the adjective unelected fit for Conor Murphy? … Do I have the wrong Conor Murphy?

    Did I miss the place where Emma Pengelly won an election for anything ever? Because it seems that the adjective unelected fits her quite nicely. Am I missing something? Am I getting the reference wrong?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Pete, just how can co-option be a legitimate route through which someone can become an MLA? Are our representatives not supposed to be mandated by the majority of their constituency, and is this not the entire point of why we go to the trouble of holding elections in the first place? I seem to remember that other polities elsewhere hold by-elections in such cases…….

    While I have in the past suggested on Slugger that we would save a lot of time and money (and some genuine suffering for those the voters reject) and perhaps find we would have a higher standard of political debate if politics graduates from UU and QUB were simply made MLAs directly and the entire fiasco of election abolished, I’d never thought to find a serious commentator (and moderator) on Slugger such as yourself backing my own modest proposal so wholeheartedly.

  • chrisjones2

    We could just ask the Department of Agriculture to provide a list of sheep tag numbers then do a random draw among them to pick the next batch of MLAs

    1 it would be cheaper
    2 we could dye the fleeces to save the cost of flags to wrap them in

  • kalista63

    And another point is that Emma has never been elected to anything. Bringing in a councilor has a little value as they’ve got a mandate. Emma was co-opted from a civil service post that isn’t even offered to the general public FFS