Tag Archives | assembly

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Lessons from the Brexit debacle for our Executive debacle

On 10th April next year, familiar political figures and dignitaries (some with slightly less unscathed reputations than others) will gather in Belfast to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement. Northern Ireland is already in the middle of a veritable feast of commemorations, all of which illustrate the entanglement of its history more…

And so the focus shifts…

And we’re back in Belfast with the main parties and their negotiations. The final deadline is Thursday, but substantial agreement is expected today. The DUP have obtained a deal that is extremely good for infrastructure, bringing things into the possible that were recently all but pipe dreams, although you may excuse my cynicism that the money more…

MLAs – they work for you

I’m not sure where to start. I remember an election in May 2016, which allowed hope to flourish. There was an attempt at grown up politics with an opposition and everything. And then it all imploded. RHI scandal, the Irish Language act….I don’t know what the final trigger was. Perhaps it was just the general more…

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No reason why the Assembly cannot hire in talent if the parties cannot form a workable Executive

As Soapbox recently suggested (20 January), “There is no reason for the Assembly to not be operational, just because the Executive cannot function.” Soapbox was suggesting that “direct rule ministers should be held accountable by a working Assembly.” However, there is another option, which is for the Assembly to appoint non-parliamentary ministers. There is no more…

Soapbox: Arlene Foster Was Never a Suitable First Minister

The exclusion motion on Arlene Foster focussed on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal.  I would argue, however, that Mrs Foster has a track record beyond RHI that shows she was never suitable to be our First Minister. The potential £250m clean-up costs highlighted in 2013 by the Mills Report into illegal waste dumping in more…

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Opposition to focus on Agriculture, Rural Schools and Poverty

Tomorrow is an Opposition Day at Stormont with the UUP/SDLP parties deciding to focus on EU funding for the Agricultural Sector, Rural Schools and Poverty. Here are the motions they are set to debate; Motion: EU Funding for the Agricultural Sector That this Assembly notes with concern the risks to multiple streams of funding posed more…

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Arlene tells the BBC she will have final say over where parties sit…

Update on the idea of changing the seating arrangements to accommodate the Opposition, Arlene Foster has just said in an interview on Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra that she won the election and no one is moving their spot in the chamber. Though I think the last word on the actual positioning of Opposition and government will come down more…

Ballot Box

Our View: You Have A Voice, Make Sure It’s Heard Tomorrow

DECISION TIME: It’s not often on this site that we feel the need to put up an editorial view. Generally because the editorial team on this site have diverse political views and even if we tried it would be difficult for any consensus to last longer than five minutes, today is an exception however.

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One fifth of all (1/3 of SF) MLAs sitting right now are unelected…

CUSHY NUMBERS: In the Assembly you can resign with no subsequent test before the electorate. No tug of war in the courts (as in the Donegal SW by election of 2010) which at least holds the possibility of massive electoral change. Is it going to change any time soon? Do Turkey’s vote for Christmas?

A question of chairmanship

A wee Sunday thought. Under d’Hondt, and specifically section 18 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the DUP is due to be asked to nominate the new minister for Regional Development when the Assembly reconvenes after the summer break. The current chairperson of the Committee for Regional Development is Trevor Clarke, in succession to Jimmy more…

Abortion pressure continues slowly, slowly

Two interesting blasts from non-natives in the abortion debate have appeared in – can you guess?  Yes! –  in the Guardian and the Independent. In the Indy, London-based Siobhan Fenton has been combing the statistics just out, to find that  that 828 women who had abortions in England and Wales  last year gave Northern Ireland more…

John McCallister

A re-energised John McCallister on expenses, his Assembly and Executive Reform Bill, and the role of independents

John McCallister may be ex-UUP and ex-NI21, but he’s not planning to be ex-politics. I spoke to the South Down independent unionist late last week. He’s rebuilding his profile and perhaps also his reputation after been seen as the person who pulled the plug on NI21 a day or two before the May 2014 elections. more…

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McBride: “our clarion call is lucid and compelling: ‘Make It Work’!”

With the threat of Stormont collapsing gaining more headlines in our papers, a group called Make it Work has emerged to pressure civil society into engaging positively with the political process. Writing for Slugger, Peter McBride, Chair of ‘Make It Work’ argues for a positive approach towards our devolved administration. Why would we have to more…

…this long rumoured Assembly collapse…

Over in New York, Gerry Adams has just issued a statement on the current impasse over welfare cuts in the Assembly (as reported by Liam Clarke). According to the report, Sinn Féin will let the Assembly fall and trigger an election rather than implement the cuts and Gerry Adams said: “It isn’t that we want more…

Sectarian wrangling over sharing and integration can only be averted by raising sights towards higher standards

A debate on the future of education has begun in confusion but at least it’s underway. Since Obama’s speech which was accorded more significance than it deserved, the debate on sharing or integration in education got into a terrible muddle straight away. Is sharing a big step towards integration or the very opposite?  Since promoting more…