What is new on the Hill? Press photo opportunities are back for the members of the Northern Ireland Executive, MLAs return to full pay, and things go back to normal on the Hill; whatever normal is?.
The document released to the media preceding statements by the five largest Parties that they were all intending to nominate someone for the Executive ‘team’ was greeted mostly with, “about time’.
That document, however, seemed to fade into the background as the whole process of setting up the Executive and MLAs getting allocated roles became the focus of attention. Partly this may have been due to significantly different interpretations of the words within the document – wording that was constructed to the very best of NIO ambiguity. Everyone can’t be right in what they think they’re reading, and in due course Stormont will again be in crisis, because the stability that many had hoped would be embedded into any new process simply isn’t there. Nor, it would seem, is the money.
The lack of certainty on future funding of an expansive wish list that might accompany a restored Executive is astonishing. The podcast below references this recent article from Sam McBride on that point which is a good summary of how the start to this new Executive seems unsteady. Hard choices are on the way? Probably not a great worry of the DUP that it will be a Sinn Fein Minister of Finance who will be expected to present balanced books to the Executive.
Chatting with @3000Versts below on all of this and more. Have a listen.
Enough of Brexit. Avoid thinking about the UK participating in European Elections towards the end of May – might or might not happen.
What do we know with certainty? Only thing we know for certain in UK politics at this moment is that there will be Local Elections, to be held on 2 May, for 270 local councils and six directly elected Mayors in England, and the 11 local councils in Northern Ireland.
It is highly likely national politics will dominate commentary on the local elections in England, particularly on the results and what they will be believed to mean (in the Brexit context, no doubt). Read more… »
There’s been a Brexit post planned for ages, but things seem to change and each piece in time seems no longer relevant. So . . . time for a recap and quick look at where we are, which might seem not that much further on . . .
There are a sequence of events that create a mystery in the whole Brexit process to date, and is important to solve going forward. In January 2017 the Lancaster House speech set out what sort of trade and wider relationships the UK might have with the EU and the world.
Read more… »
The outcry over the attendance of Jamie Bryson at the House of Commons Northern Ireland Select Committee (NIAC) misses the point. This is a hearing as part of the Committee’s look at “Devolution and democracy in Northern Ireland – dealing with the deficit.” in Northern Ireland.
The NIAC look at “dealing with the deficit” in Northern Ireland has most probably been considered timely given the seemingly on-going impasse in discussions through 2017 (and into 2018) towards restoring devolution: or not, as at present. Presumptive or with great foresight, the Review now seems of greater interest in looking forward – notwithstanding the attendance of Mr Bryson and the subsequent Alliance Party hissy fit in that regard.
Read more… »
What’s the alternative? What’s the choice?
There have been a number of social media spaces that have been playing with numbers each Party might lose/gain in the upcoming elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly. Plenty of predictions elsewhere.
Read more… »
Nothing much changes in Northern Ireland politics, on the surface.
So when three of eighteen Westminster seats have new Members of Parliament does that represent significant change, or just a wee bit of a shuffle? What do the percentages and numbers mean for the Assembly elections in 2016? Read more… »