I have not met Jonathon Bell. But I never really liked him.
I have not met Arlene Foster. But I have never really liked her.
I have never met Stephen Nolan. But I never really liked him.
So by any standards, I am a fair-minded person. Who do I believe? To be frank, nobody really convinced me. In fact Bell praying before the interview…evoking Rev Ian Paisley three times….and getting all teary about the children in hospitals. I am not sure what it reminded me of….maybe it was that Vice-President Richard Nixon speech (the one with the dog..Checkers???). Or maybe it was the scene in “Father Ted” where a priest asks “is there anything to be said for a Mass?”
Was he bullied by aggressive Arlene Foster?
Arlene did not do any praying but was she bullied by Jonathan Bell? It is curious that she professed to know about his record of aggression and yet never dismissed him from Office.
SDLP….for once…is playing well. A vote of Confidence is the logical step and they have 29 of the 30 signatures in the bag and as I write there are no Sinn Féin signatories. SF are spineless. Accusing SDLP of playing politics and reserving judgement cant cover the fact that they are nothing more than a DUP poodle. In office…but not in power.
And Claire Sugden…our Minister for Justice? What is she going to do? Hide behind Collective Responsibility?
Let us not get carried away with a Vote of Confidence. When a Government anywhere is caught out, the Opposition goes for a Confidence motion and Governments always win but lose the high moral ground as their back-benchers are shamed, defending the indefensible.
This is the position that DUP MLAs now find themselves. Some will be highly animated on Monday. How dare the Opposition suggest foul play? There is a script for this kinda thing. But while DUP loudmouths are always entertaining, its the serious DUP MLAs who will be more interesting….as they shuffle their papers and try to look sincere when they endorse the Party Leader.
This could be a very important day.
In an effort to be more credible, I have decided to say a wee prayer before I post anything on my Blog.
To be fair I think SF are playing it well too.
No….they are all over the place.
I think that Eastwood & the SDLP deserve an immense amount of credit for placing the motion of No Confidence well in advance of the revelations from Jonathan Bell. The squandering of £400 million of public money requires a monumental level of incompetence, at best. This administration can have no credibility or moral authority when it comes to establishing departmental budgets for crucial areas such as Health & Education.
Not sure the SDLP did anything deserving credit but I think SF deserve credit for their approach – – Gerry Adams today making a clear call for the truth to be told now by the DUP in respect of all of this.
I think most reasonable people would say that SDLP led on this from the start.
SInn Féin was quick to call it playing with politics until they realised that SDLP had captured the public mood.
SF ….O’Muileoir, McGuinness, Maskey were confused and without focus.
Their resident clown, McElduff was tweeting like an eejit.
I am of course partisan. I support SDLP in a critical way. I have been honest when they get things wrong…too often in my view.
But even Chris Donnelly another so-called commentator who leans to Sinn Féin is saying SDLP called this one right.
And Adams…well his calls for honesty are a bit counter-productive. Truth is not defined by what SF says it is…..Brian Stack, Jean McConville, Steaknife and the rest.
Idont know how the politics will play out over the next few days or months.
But last week was a very bad one for the One Party State of DUP and Sinn Féin.
First I don’t think your comments on Barry McElduff are fair. He is not a clown. He is very well regarded in Tyrone among the GAA community there.
Second I think that to bring Jean McConville into this is wrong. Gerry Adam has been very consistent that he would do all in his power to help victims such as the McConville family.
Third I think you have to recognize that Sinn Féin has taken a balanced view. While the SDLP can engage in protest politics and stunts Sinn Féin is in government and cannot behave in the same way as an opposition party. Does the SDLP have credibility? The electorate think not I would say and until they do have that credibility nobody really listens to them, to be honest about it.
Barry McElduff seems more than content to play the clown. So I can see how posturing in a Tyrone shirt increases his popularity but it does little for his political credibility.
Of course Sinn Féin and their supporters dont like references to Jean McConville, Brian Stack and Steaknife. It is perfectly reasonable to reference them and others in the context of SInn Féin and Truth.
Drawing a line under them and moving on is simply not in the gift of Sinn Féin.
There are five years of archive here which prove this Blog has never been afraid to call out lack of SDLP credibility on a range of issues.
To be clear….in the context of RHI and Foster, SDLP took the lead and others followed.
Sinn Féins prime interest is ensuring the continuation of this very bad government. I am on record as saying SDLP should have pulled out of Government in 2011.
Christopher Stalford MLA says “Sinn Féin is the junior partner in a centre-right coalition”.
Is that really the extent of SF ambition?
The goings on in this place would now shame a banana Republic. In what sort of democracy would a Prime/First Minister lose a Confidence motion (even though her coalition partners only deigned to abstain) and no consequences result? And in what sort of assembly/parliament can a Speaker demonstrate such partisan incompetence and remain in place?
I was actually listening to it on the radio.
The Speaker in any parliament always seems to bend over backwards to demonstrate neutrality. Indeed Speakers (John Bercow in Britain for example) often anger their former colleagues more than they irritate their former enemies.
Newton was relying on “advice”. But if the Assembly was recalled for a statement from the First Minister….and SF had nothing to do with it….how could it proceed?
Sinn Féin is a VERY junior partner in all this.
Without wishing to criticise the DFM personally since there are clearly health issues under investigation, one has to say that the conduct of SF in this matter has been feeble, slow & entirely inadequate.
Yes clearly health issues.
But with Adams a liability, McGuinness always scored well as affable and effective.
A certain amount of jockeying for position….O’Muilleoir, Michelle O’Neill? Conor Murphy, O’Dowd, Gerry Kelly…Caral Ni Chuilin????