New NI executive - a lurch to the centre?

hollandia

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So, the new executive has been unveiled to muted fanfare.

Stormont: First meeting of new NI power-sharing executive due to take place later - BBC News

What strikes me about this is the lack of "form", for want of a better word, of the new ministers. The new ministers are relatively young, there are no former prisoners, and all have been noted on the past as being on the more progressive wings of their respective parties.

So, are we heading into a more cuddly, fluffy assembly,as the dup and SF try to steal the remaining clothes of the UUP and sdlp, or will it quickly degenerate into business as usual?
 


Glaucon

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The DUP team is far more experienced than that of SF. SF has left aside skilled, experienced operators like Gildernew and instead opted for 20 somethings just out of university with no experience to speak of.

Along with the dip in the SF vote, this means that the DUP is operating from a position of strength in government. Perhaps this was inevitable given SF's concentration on the South, but SF will need immediate victories in government if they are not to continue to lose the confidence of the Nationalist people.
 

Novos

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Justice Minister. "No Nationalist need apply"
Irish Language. DUP Minister in charge.
Irish Schools. DUP Minister in charge.
Implementing austerity cuts. SF in charge.

What is going on?
 

Glaucon

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Justice Minister. "No Nationalist need apply"
I don't think that's quite right. If the SDLP had not gone into opposition, I don't believe that the DUP would have opposed someone from that party filling the role.
 

CastleRay

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SF is a party that doesn't make decisions at the Executive table. It is well recognised that decisions come from an inner group of senior Shinners outside the Executive and this is then transmitted back to the Executive for implementation coupled with benign and evasive press coverage on the matter by media trained MLAs. Essenitally the SF Executive members are puppets. We saw this over the U-turn on welfare reform which came out of nowhere and it was left for SF ministers / MLAs to justify their u-turn with evasive and media savvy fudge.

The one I'm most interested to observe is O'Muilleoir. I'd have preferred him to be the Economy minister with Hamilton at DfP but I still think he'll bring a level of decisiveness, insight, and experience that is otherwise lacking.

Agree with Glaucon btw that Gildernew would have had a lot more experience to bring to the table, particularly instead of Fearon. I'm surprised also that Murphy wasn't considered too instead of Hazzard. It's ok bringing youth through and giving experience but there is better ways to do that than giving them all the top jobs and leaving your best team on the bench.
 

CastleRay

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Justice Minister. "No Nationalist need apply"
Irish Language. DUP Minister in charge.
Irish Schools. DUP Minister in charge.
Implementing austerity cuts. SF in charge.

What is going on?
Democracy using GFA, SAA and FSA followed by running D'Hondt. SF in equal office as FM at Stormont, SF holding the purse strings, SF in charge of infrastructure, SF in charge of over half the NI budget, SF veto on government. Nobody wins everything.
 

Novos

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Democracy using GFA, SAA and FSA followed by running D'Hondt. SF in equal office as FM at Stormont, SF holding the purse strings, SF in charge of infrastructure, SF in charge of over half the NI budget, SF veto on government. Nobody wins everything.
The consensus up here is the DUP won. Academic selection will be reinstated and Grammar Schools protected. Irish Language and Schools have been handed over to the DUP and SF will be in charge of implementing austerity cuts.
 

CastleRay

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The consensus up here is the DUP won. Academic selection will be reinstated and Grammar Schools protected. Irish Language and Schools have been handed over to the DUP and SF will be in charge of implementing austerity cuts.
Can academic selection be reinstated? I think that needs Executive and Assembly approval. What can be done is to facilitate the selection that is being done currently but it'll be unregulated and outside state control. Irish Language hasn't been handed over to anyone. If people are looking for an Irish Language Act then that has been handed over to the Assembly and without DUP support that won't progress regardless of who the relevant minister is.

What austerity cuts are you talking about that SF will have to implement?
 

Irish-Rationalist

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It's ironic that the two parties who are the extremes of unionism and nationalism have held it together for so long and are now mainstream and centre ground, and the two moderate unionist and nationalist parties have gone into opposition.

The media and political nerds who thrive upon analysing the infinitesimal detail and rights and wrongs of political appointments have a lot of fat to chew on with this re-shuffle, and it would seem that the Shinners are attempting to outdo the SDLP by putting their youth forward.

However, having inexperienced SF MLAs who are not former PIRA activists, whilst considered risky, is no doubt a progressive step for SF, and unequivocally conducive to building a closer working relationship with the DUP.

Watching Ó Muilleoir and Hamiltion enagage in mutual maturbation last night when being interviewed by UTV provided an impression of concerted unity of purpose. They might as well have been members of the same political party.

Let's see how long this little love-in lasts ...
 

Marcella

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Justice Minister. "No Nationalist need apply"
Irish Language. DUP Minister in charge.
Irish Schools. DUP Minister in charge.
Implementing austerity cuts. SF in charge.

What is going on?
SF will have a very rough 5 years a head of them. Their vote will fall again in my view. Anecdotally I know of many republicans that are not dissidents by any stretch but wouldn't cross the road for SF given their lack of delivery.

SF as a left wing party have signed up to cut business tax at the cost of public spending. Spending that the more socially deprived Catholic areas rely on.

All in addition to implementing austerity. SF need a good kicking in 5 years and I think they'll get just that.
 

Glaucon

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However, having inexperienced SF MLAs who are not former PIRA activists, whilst considered risky, is no doubt a progressive step for SF, and unequivocally conducive to building a closer working relationship with the DUP.
The "experienced stars" are being left on the bench, perhaps as a means to ensure that the existing leadership is not ruffled. They are being replaced with college graduates. Perhaps there will be an Alexander the Great among these new entrants, but it's not likely.

Once again this comes down to SF's internal functioning (the Army Council) and the maximizing of control by the powers that be.
 

Strawberry

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The "experienced stars" are being left on the bench, perhaps as a means to ensure that the existing leadership is not ruffled. They are being replaced with college graduates. Perhaps there will be an Alexander the Great among these new entrants, but it's not likely.

Once again this comes down to SF's internal functioning (the Army Council) and the maximizing of control by the powers that be.
I wish it were that Machiavellian, but I think SF are just incompetent. This is the latest in a series of unforced errors from them - running a third candidate in Donegal and moving Martin McGuinness to Foyle are two others that spring to mind. Like Marcella, I think they will fail to deliver in the North and get hammered in five years time. Their support in the Republic will probably hold up though.
 

between the bridges

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SF will have a very rough 5 years a head of them. Their vote will fall again in my view. Anecdotally I know of many republicans that are not dissidents by any stretch but wouldn't cross the road for SF given their lack of delivery.

SF as a left wing party have signed up to cut business tax at the cost of public spending. Spending that the more socially deprived Catholic areas rely on.

All in addition to implementing austerity. SF need a good kicking in 5 years and I think they'll get just that.
Well at least UI is safe...
 

President Bartlet

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Justice Minister. "No Nationalist need apply"
Irish Language. DUP Minister in charge.
Irish Schools. DUP Minister in charge.
Implementing austerity cuts. SF in charge.

What is going on?
SF now have to make real decisions and impose Tory austerity & cuts - the very thing they are against in the South!
DUP taking Education no surprise after mess SF made of it - there is not a teacher sorry to see the back of SF in that dept expect maybe for the Irish Lang schools
 
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Round tower

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Justice Minister. "No Nationalist need apply"
Irish Language. DUP Minister in charge.
Irish Schools. DUP Minister in charge.
Implementing austerity cuts. SF in charge.

What is going on?
They were talking on the Nolan show last night about the executive, they also mentioned that SF was looking for Same Sex marriage in NI, who is in charge of it now, the DUP with that and the DUP minister in charge of the Irish language, SF will find it very hard to get any of their social policies implemented.
 

CastleRay

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They were talking on the Nolan show last night about the executive, they also mentioned that SF was looking for Same Sex marriage in NI, who is in charge of it now, the DUP with that and the DUP minister in charge of the Irish language, SF will find it very hard to get any of their social policies implemented.
Whilst the Petition of Concern is in its current form, there won't be any legislation that crosses a "red line" for either the DUP or SF. The DUP have confirmed that they will petition any legislation on gay marriage and have received a mandate to do that. To present such legislation whilst the Petition of Concern is unreformed is therefore futile. Of course there'll be stunts by other parties to present such legislation, as was the case in the last mandate, but it is a pointless exercise. I imagine that reform to the PoC would also be petitioned too. The only way that any legislation on social issues or otherwise will happen will be between agreement between SF and DUP.
 

McSlaggart

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Well at least UI is safe...
"
He said the relationship between Britain and Ireland was now better than ever and the relationship between the communities on the island of Ireland had changed fundamentally since the peace agreement of 1998.
“This is as evident here as anywhere. The border is of the merest consequence. And Co Donegal, Co Derry or Londonderry and Co Tyrone operate as a single economic entity to the great benefit of their inhabitants.

“So I can only applaud the people of all three counties for proving that it is possible for communities that have been divided for so long to overcome their differences and create a peaceful and prosperous life together."

Prince Charles

Poor old Fermanagh .................
 

hollandia

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SF now have to make real decisions and impose Tory austerity & cuts - the very thing they are against in the South!
DUP taking Education no surprise after mess SF made of it - there is not a teacher sorry to see the back of SF in that dept expect maybe for the Irish Lang schools
Isn't this what you and others have been saying they've been doing all along? FFS. you're so transparent it gives glass a bad name.

Ray has been spot on so far, and hasn't stooped to this level of BS. And he would if he thought it was helpful.
 

between the bridges

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Non shinner beatch fight, lovely...
 

hollandia

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The "experienced stars" are being left on the bench, perhaps as a means to ensure that the existing leadership is not ruffled. They are being replaced with college graduates. Perhaps there will be an Alexander the Great among these new entrants, but it's not likely.

Once again this comes down to SF's internal functioning (the Army Council) and the maximizing of control by the powers that be.
I don't see it that way. O'Muilleor has proven business acumen, and I've been impressed with Megan Fearon whenever I've heard her speak. Michelle O'Neill of course already has Ministerial experience.

On the DUP side, I've also been fairly impressed with Simon Hamilton and Michelle McIlveen for the most part. Peter Weir, IIRC was one of the defectors from the UUP alongside Arlene and Jeffrey, so perhaps he's being rewarded.

I would suggest that this is an attempt from both parties to gain further territory in the centres of their respective constituencies. I'm pretty sure, that the moving away from the limelight of more contentious persons is a conscious decision on both parts.
 


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