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    Norn Iron elections 2017

    Looks like a strong showing for SF. Will they be the largest party?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-no...eland-39075542
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    #2
    Needless eleclion.lots of posturing and point scoring prior to elecliona and now both dup and Sf will have to sit down again and try to form government. Neither party has fully grasped the concept of power sharing , Foster is topping the poll so as Sf say " hasn't gone away you know " .
    Depressing really for people living up there the majority of who just want to get on with their lives .

    Comment


      #3
      What could happen if SF+/- SDLP get the majority? Can they rule together? Would this have any incidence concerning Brexit? I know the scottish parliament will propose a new referendum for or against Scotxit from Brexit, can this happen in Northern Ireland too?
      At the moment, from 37 sits, SF have 16 sits, SDLP 3, as DUP have 10 and UUP 3. Is this a real and heavy tendency or wil it change?
      Last edited by JN.Allezdax.com; 3rd-March-2017, 18:48.
      "To be energetic and self-sufficing is to be happy; but while one desire remains in the heart happiness may not come there. For to desire is to be incomplete: it is the badge of dependence, the signal of unhappiness, and to be freed from that is to be freed from every fetter that can possibly be forged." (James Stephens, Deirdre)

      Comment


        #4
        The Government is decided on the deHondt (sp?) system. The biggest party nominates the First Minister, the second biggest nominates the Deputy First Minister. The rest of the Ministries are divided out accprding to parties' numbet of MLAs.

        The last time, the SDLP and the UUP declined to be involved in Government and went into opposition.

        All parties can identify themselves as Nationalist or Unionist or neither and as I understand it all legislation must get a majority of each "side" to be passed.
        Last edited by Piquet; 4th-March-2017, 14:05. Reason: See Away from home below

        Comment


          #5
          Final results are that the DUP have comparatively speaking taken a bit of a kicking with 10 fewer seats than before (there were always going to be losses for someone, as the no. of seats available has been reduced from 108 to 90). They still have (just) the bigger amount of seats at 28, one ahead of SF on 27. SDLP on 12, UUP 10, Alliance 8, Greens 2, PBP 1, TUV 1, Independent 1. SF and Alliance have done well. SDLP have lost West Belfast completely and also lost ground in Foyle, but transfers in East Derry saw John Dallat win out over Cathal Ó hOisin by just over a thousand votes - that was the result that meant SF and the DUP didn't finish with equal seats.

          It's interesting in one way, as for the first time there is no overall majority of unionists. More importantly, they no longer have the number of seats required to use the petition of concern to quash a bill. So if (and it's by no means guaranteed) the Stormont Assembly does get back up & running, they shouldn't be able to block marriage equality, Irish Language Act, abortion ...

          Some early comments have suggested that Arlene Foster may be under pressure because of the reduced number of DUP seats and how Mike Nesbitt announced his resignation of the UUP leadership so quickly, but I wouldn't be so sure. There are three weeks in which to form a government - if they can't agree on one, the options are a return to Westminster rule or another election ...
          Last edited by mr chips; 4th-March-2017, 11:39.
          Tis but a scratch.

          Comment


            #6
            Parties can nominate themselves as unaligned, as Alliance, PBP and the Green's do. Declaring nationalist or unionist is not a requirement.

            However there is a requirement for a majority of support for certain things by both nationalist and unionist. That is part of how the assembly fell as there was no nationalist candidate for the post of DFM after the alleged former IRA chief of staff resigned.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mr chips View Post
              Final results are that the DUP have comparatively speaking taken a bit of a kicking with 10 fewer seats than before (no. of seats has been reduced to 90). They still have (just) the bigger amount of seats at 28, one ahead of SF on 27. SDLP on 12, UUP 10, Alliance 8, Greens 2, PBP 1, TUV 1, Independent 1.

              It's interesting in one way, as for the first time there is no majority of unionists. More importantly, they no longer have the number of seats required to use the petition of concern to quash a bill. So if (and it's by no means guaranteed) the Stormont Assembly does get back up & running, they shouldn't be able to block marriage equality, Irish Language Act, abortion ...

              Some early comments have suggested that Arlene Foster may be under pressure because of the reduced number of DUP seats and how Mike Nesbitt announced his resignation of the UUP leadership so quickly, but I wouldn't be so sure. There are three weeks in which to form an executive - if they can't agree on one, the options are a return to Westminster rule or another election ...
              It seems odd that the petition of concern number remains at 30 while the size of the full assembly was reduced by 1/6.

              I guess with TUV and one UUP hardliner they will still be able to muster 30 votes on things like marriage equality, abortion and the Irish language.

              Comment


                #8
                Same old, same old, meanwhile the rest of the UK doesn't give a flying ****
                Nulla semper amicus, servivit mihi, in iniuriam mihi neminem quem non persolvi

                Comment


                  #9
                  https://twitter.com/EdSimpsonNI/stat...40650762985474
                  Tis but a scratch.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thought it better to continue discussions regarding NI here rather than in the Brexit thread. It's probably worth giving a recap of the main headlines, as it were, because we've had no assembly here for nearly a year, as a result of two main issues.

                    One is the refusal of the DUP to agree to an Irish Language Act here - something which exists in every other one of the "home nations", so to speak, and the introduction of which had been agreed as part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and also as part of the 2006 St. Andrew's Agreement, and which has been supported by nearly all other parties in the assembly, i.e. Alliance, Green, Sinn Féin, SDLP and even the Ulster Unionists, with Jim Allister of the TUV (who believes the DUP are too soft) the only other hold-out.

                    The other is the RHI scandal, in which the subsidies for a renewable heating initiative were set at a level higher than the actual cost of the fuel - meaning that the more you burned, the more you earned. This of course encouraged unscrupulous users, such as factories, intensive poultry producers etc to run their wood pellet boilers 24/7/365 - even in big empty sheds in the middle of summer with the doors wide open. One example of the differences between the scheme as it was run here and the equivalent scheme in England was that over a 20 year period, an English business would benefit to the tune of £192000, while an NI business of the same size & scale would bring in £860000.

                    Crucially, and incredibly, no upper limit was put on the amount of subsidy to be paid. The scheme continued to operate like this for nearly five years, despite multiple contacts from at least a couple of concerned individuals pointing out the flaws, until a "whistleblower" contacted the office of the first & deputy first minister about it. Interestingly, there was a huge spike in the number of applications to the scheme in the two or three months before it was closed down, with several hundred being approved in that period. The finance minister in charge of the scheme at the time it was established was ... Arlene Foster, now the DUP leader, who had become first minister by the time the problems with the scheme "came to light". She refused to step down/aside, even temporarily while the enquiry into the scheme took place, which is what prompted Martin McGuinness to resign as deputy first minister, effectively taking down the assembly and prompting an election. The estimated cost of the scheme to the budget here is £700 million over 20 years.

                    Following the Westminster elections earlier this year in which the Tories lost their overall majority, the DUP are propping up the government with a "confidence and supply" agreement which buys their votes with a billion and a half of a bung* to the NI economy. In completely unrelated news, the Northern Ireland secretary, James Brokenshire, has refused to backdate legislation forcing political parties here to reveal the sources of any donations to them above a threshold of £7500, meaning the DUP can keep shtum about where they got the money to contribute to the Brexit campaign by paying for advertising that only appeared in England, despite being a party which only organises in NI.

                    Finally, while the assembly is suspended, all the MLAs continue to draw their full salaries.

                    * ... which it seems will be difficult to spend while we don't have an assembly

                    With me so far? Good. I'd posted the following in the Brexit thread a week or so back -

                    Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                    Meanwhile in Northern Ireland ... just a couple of instances to give people an idea of how f*cked things are for ordinary people while Arlene, Nigel et al are enjoying their moment in the sun.

                    First - yesterday my wife, a primary school principal, lifted a pack of loo roll from our bathroom and said she would have to bring it in to school today. How come? Turns out that the supplier has refused to honour any more orders due to non-payment of invoices stretching back months, to the last school year in fact. Nothing to do with her individual school, you understand, as all this stuff - loo roll, paper, pencils, cleaning materials etc - is paid for centrally by the education board. Or at least, it's supposed to be. In the meantime, we're supplying the school with essentials out of our own pocket.

                    Second - I was referred for an ophthalmology consultation at the beginning of July, after something was spotted at my regular eye test which could, untreated, result in me suddenly losing the sight in either or both eyes. I was told the appointment should ideally take place within two weeks of the issue being identified. I was subsequently told that the waiting list isn't too bad, and they should be able to see me by the end of February. Grand - I hope when that rolls round, I'll still be able to see them ...
                    Jackie Brown had also posted the following:
                    Originally posted by Jackie Brown View Post
                    I'm a secondary school teacher and I have to pay for my resources out of my own pocket half the time. Being a T&D teacher that's not cheap. Had to buy a new BOC regulator for the MIG this week out of my own pocket as we don't have the money to replace it and I need it for GCSE projects.

                    Meanwhile ****wits like the DUP and SF get paid their salary to not even talk to each other.
                    So here's another little update on the theme of "how f*cked things are in NI" (I might even start a new thread with that as the title ...)

                    One of today's headlines is that almost 400 schools will be in budget deficit by the end of this year. This is 27% more than the 314 schools that were in deficit last year. Projections are that there will be a £350 million deficit in the education budget here by the 2019-20 academic year.

                    As mentioned, my other half is a primary school principal and while she's not one of those expecting to be in deficit, it's because she's been unusually proactive over the years about that side of things. However last week, just a couple of days after having to bring loo roll into the school, she received a final demand from the electricity supplier (NIE) and guess what, same again - she'd submitted the bills to the board weeks and even months ago, but they still hadn't been paid. She has been on the phone with both NIE and the education authority a couple of times since, but there was only so much she could do - schools here are not allowed to pay these bills themselves, they can only submit them to the education authority who are then supposed to forward prompt payment. She has explained, repeatedly, to NIE that she has no power to force the payment through and can only harass the EA, and the people she has spoken to have understood this each time. However, today she received an "imminent disconnection" notice, meaning if the money wasn't forthcoming - from a state body, remember - then the school would have no power from tomorrow. So dealing with that, to the point of staying on the phone with NIE until being told "yes, I can see the money has transferred now", was how she spent her morning.

                    It's worth repeating what Jackie said - meanwhile, ****wits like the DUP and SF get paid their salary to not even talk to each other.

                    As Jim Jeffries might say, whoop-de-fackin-doo.
                    Tis but a scratch.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks for posting Mr Chips. That is horrendous and would love to see some investigative journalism team do full expose of all those issues and bring to the mass public arena. Unfortunately many tune out at the very mention of Northern Ireland and allow neanderthals and gurriers get away with maintaining the status quo.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                        Thought it better to continue discussions regarding NI here rather than in the Brexit thread. It's probably worth giving a recap of the main headlines, as it were, because we've had no assembly here for nearly a year, as a result of two main issues.

                        One is the refusal of the DUP to agree to an Irish Language Act here - something which exists in every other one of the "home nations", so to speak, and the introduction of which had been agreed as part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and also as part of the 2006 St. Andrew's Agreement, and which has been supported by nearly all other parties in the assembly, i.e. Alliance, Green, Sinn Féin, SDLP and even the Ulster Unionists, with Jim Allister of the TUV (who believes the DUP are too soft) the only other hold-out.

                        The other is the RHI scandal, in which the subsidies for a renewable heating initiative were set at a level higher than the actual cost of the fuel - meaning that the more you burned, the more you earned. This of course encouraged unscrupulous users, such as factories, intensive poultry producers etc to run their wood pellet boilers 24/7/365 - even in big empty sheds in the middle of summer with the doors wide open. One example of the differences between the scheme as it was run here and the equivalent scheme in England was that over a 20 year period, an English business would benefit to the tune of £192000, while an NI business of the same size & scale would bring in £860000.

                        Crucially, and incredibly, no upper limit was put on the amount of subsidy to be paid. The scheme continued to operate like this for nearly five years, despite multiple contacts from at least a couple of concerned individuals pointing out the flaws, until a "whistleblower" contacted the office of the first & deputy first minister about it. Interestingly, there was a huge spike in the number of applications to the scheme in the two or three months before it was closed down, with several hundred being approved in that period. The finance minister in charge of the scheme at the time it was established was ... Arlene Foster, now the DUP leader, who had become first minister by the time the problems with the scheme "came to light". She refused to step down/aside, even temporarily while the enquiry into the scheme took place, which is what prompted Martin McGuinness to resign as deputy first minister, effectively taking down the assembly and prompting an election. The estimated cost of the scheme to the budget here is £700 million over 20 years.

                        Following the Westminster elections earlier this year in which the Tories lost their overall majority, the DUP are propping up the government with a "confidence and supply" agreement which buys their votes with a billion and a half of a bung* to the NI economy. In completely unrelated news, the Northern Ireland secretary, James Brokenshire, has refused to backdate legislation forcing political parties here to reveal the sources of any donations to them above a threshold of £7500, meaning the DUP can keep shtum about where they got the money to contribute to the Brexit campaign by paying for advertising that only appeared in England, despite being a party which only organises in NI.

                        Finally, while the assembly is suspended, all the MLAs continue to draw their full salaries.

                        * ... which it seems will be difficult to spend while we don't have an assembly

                        With me so far? Good. I'd posted the following in the Brexit thread a week or so back -



                        Jackie Brown had also posted the following:


                        So here's another little update on the theme of "how f*cked things are in NI" (I might even start a new thread with that as the title ...)

                        One of today's headlines is that almost 400 schools will be in budget deficit by the end of this year. This is 27% more than the 314 schools that were in deficit last year. Projections are that there will be a £350 million deficit in the education budget here by the 2019-20 academic year.

                        As mentioned, my other half is a primary school principal and while she's not one of those expecting to be in deficit, it's because she's been unusually proactive over the years about that side of things. However last week, just a couple of days after having to bring loo roll into the school, she received a final demand from the electricity supplier (NIE) and guess what, same again - she'd submitted the bills to the board weeks and even months ago, but they still hadn't been paid. She has been on the phone with both NIE and the education authority a couple of times since, but there was only so much she could do - schools here are not allowed to pay these bills themselves, they can only submit them to the education authority who are then supposed to forward prompt payment. She has explained, repeatedly, to NIE that she has no power to force the payment through and can only harass the EA, and the people she has spoken to have understood this each time. However, today she received an "imminent disconnection" notice, meaning if the money wasn't forthcoming - from a state body, remember - then the school would have no power from tomorrow. So dealing with that, to the point of staying on the phone with NIE until being told "yes, I can see the money has transferred now", was how she spent her morning.

                        It's worth repeating what Jackie said - meanwhile, ****wits like the DUP and SF get paid their salary to not even talk to each other.

                        As Jim Jeffries might say, whoop-de-fackin-doo.
                        I hear a lot of people saying SF and the DUP should be government - but not a lot of people explaining how that be done - perhaps you might like to suggest a way round the Irish Language Act issue that keeps them out of government - without using the phrase "I wouldnt start from here"?
                        ​​​​​​#GiveLeinsterTheHCupNow

                        Originally Posted by mr chips
                        AG gets the responses he does because he is a journalist..

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Great post Chippy. It's an incredible situation.
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