Monday, November 8, 2010

N.Ireland needs an opposition... yes, and?

Tom Elliott:
"It is a long standing position of the Ulster Unionist Party that Northern Ireland needs a more normalised form of Government with a voluntary 'cross-community' coalition and an official opposition that is better able to hold the Executive to account.

"As we head towards the Assembly election, with issues surrounding the selection of First Minister and the danger of a tribal campaign, the Ulster Unionist Party is determined about the need for such reform."
If the UUP were to withdraw from the Executive, wouldn't it push that question of "reform" a bit further up the "things to do" list? As it stands, Elliott is complaining about a system in which is party are playing a real part helping to sustain- an illogical and hypocritical stance.
"It is clear from the workings of the current Executive that it is no functioning like a proper democratic government. With five different parties, who have different agendas and policies, this type of government is not productive for the long term future of Northern Ireland."
Again, the logical and principled step to take then surely would be for the UUP (which is, by Elliott's admission here contributing to the Executives dysfunctionality) to withdraw.
"In the long run change by legislation is what is needed, in the short-term the principled following of democratic parliamentary principles by political parties may be what is required to improve governance in Northern Ireland."
I'm almost tearing my hair by this stage... if you don't agree with the present carve-up, then get the hell out!
What exactly have you got to lose apart from a couple of ministerial salaries?

6 comments:

Seymour Major said...

The UUP are a party full of procrastinators. That was a hard lesson learned last year

DR said...

"what you got to lose.."
how about handing the health service over Catrina or Edwin? It's not the salary and you know that, so stop being petty there, but may be that old fashioned reason, the chance to make a difference and improve life for the people of NI.
The price of being a small part of government will have to be faced up to before the election, but withdrawing the minister 6 months before an election would just look like a stunt.

O'Neill said...

DR

“w about handing the health service over Catrina or Edwin?”

Well, that’s the danger of a proper operating democratic system of governance which Elliott appears to be arguing for here- you can’t guarantee the good or even the competent guys win. But that will be exactly the same situation if and when ever the UUP take the plunge.

“It's not the salary and you know that, so stop being petty there, but may be that old fashioned reason, the chance to make a difference and improve life for the people of NI.”

Elliott’s arguing that this is a dysfunctional administration and I’d agree; attempting to bring forward a standard parliamentary system by withdrawing and forming a principled opposition to the tribal parties would, in the long term, immeasurably improve the lot of the people here, much more than anything that can be achieved in 6 months by holding onto a couple of ministeries.

”The price of being a small part of government will have to be faced up to before the election, but withdrawing the minister 6 months before an election would just look like a stunt.”

And complaining about a system of governance when your very presence in the adminstration strengthens it? “Incoherent” is the kindest word to describe that strategy

thedissenter said...

On past precedent, the UUP could keep Ministers and be in opposition and the DUP could say what?

There is a chance to become an opposition at the point in a week or two when no budget is set, heading for the January breakpoint. SF will want to milk the resistance to show the SDLP as the 'weaker' of the two, so it will be to the January deadline, or perhaps a pre-election collapse, negotiation and then revival in time for May? SF would then look like the real tough guys against those Tory cutters and those weak enough to agree to such attacks on the public sector. Course SF wouldn't want to do that...

ianjamesparsley said...

Your last sentence says it all.

ianjamesparsley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.