Is Stormont’s committee system delivering sufficient punch?

All and any organizations will in the end be run by those who stay awake in committee. – Worstall’s Law You don’t often hear people accusing elected officials of working ‘too hard’. Normally, the opposite is alleged, that they are lazy jobsworths that only show up when compelled by whips or to vote on their own pay. The image of an empty chamber on the living wage vote at Westminster, compared with a packed chamber on MP’s pay (since shown to … Read more

SDLP try an ‘insider trading card’ to connect with Sinn Fein’s base?

So the Commissioner for Public Appointments says that OFMdFM were bang out of order in their appointments to the board of the new Maze facility… Why?  Because much of the political activity of the new appointees was not declared according to the rules of the CPA. [Where have we heard that one before? – Ed] Ironically, by the strict rules of the CPA, the chair – you know, the one Sinn Fein officials initially made a great fuss over, does … Read more

“The link between taxing and spending is basic to democracy…”

Newton Emerson hitting several nails on the head and perhaps begins to explain why all our parties have turned (by default) in “tight little Tories”… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Where are our MLAs?

On a sunny Saturday over 70 young people from across the country came together to discuss transport. Many of these young people had travelled long distances to get there because they felt passionately about this issue in their area. A look at the #transportNI timeline will show the strength of feeling over the issue of Translink and access to transport The event was run by the NI Youth Forum and the British Youth Council. All 108 MLAs were invited along … Read more

16 Nationalist MLAs in the top 20 of free ink claimants…

Interesting front page story in the Irish News today… They’ve been digging on the use of free toner to political parties and it breaks down to this: Sinn Fein £93,550 SDLP £58,693 DUP £52,770 UUP £25,515 Pat Doherty in West Tyrone claimed about £16,300, although the party say that Doherty shared an office with the former MLA Clare McGill… Sinn Fein MLAs made up nine of the top twenty spots followed by the SDLP (seven), the DUP (three), and the … Read more

Why distinctions between public and private don’t really exist in new media…

Hat tip to Davy Sims on Facebook (who really knows his new media onions)… This clip is from Monday’s Stormont Today, and needs no more introduction from me… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Department of Employment and Learning goes, but Alliance keep Justice?

Stephen Farry, by all accounts one of the more competent ministers in the Executive, is likely to step down when legislation comes through the Assembly to axe his department. Ken Reid reports the deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein (they have all the power says Ken) will confirm Farry’s party leader David Ford in his current role as justice minister outside the d’Hondt mechanism. Interestingly, the axing of this department will necessitate a re-run of d’Hondt (which, outside Big … Read more