Sinn Fein have seemingly sided with the Opposition parties in walking out on First Minister ,Arlene Foster of the DUP as she launched out on a personal speech , hoping to exonorate herself before she got down to the business of getting that Christmas bird into the oven. She obviously wanted to offload all that angst about the Cash For Ash scandal , before the thought of it over the holiday season stuck in her throat like a wishbone and ruined the season of joy and goodwill.


She very obviously didn’t want all this gubbins  to fester like gone- off cranberries until January or later and cause a whole lot of festive indigestion.
In the event she got the DUP Speaker of the Assembly to steam -roll her invocation onto the agenda even though it was possibly not the legal thing to do.As First Minister she is part of a political double-act even though she arrogantly pretends to herself that she is the only one in charge.She’s beginning to sound as downright megalomaniacal as Maggie Thatcher once was ; screaming and squealing at her schoolboy ministers before they gathered like piranhas to shred her political career.


Laurel cannot work without Hardy though. Only Martin McGuinness , her Deputy First Minister in her stead , had to sign -off on anything she wants to do and he didn’t do so in this case because it was thought not the best thing to do for the Executive. He thought that keeping the problem as an in-house DUP -led affair would only damage the institutions and many other had similar thoughts.
The Speaker had invited the Ministers without Sinn Fein’s imprimatur on the document , so it was , in reality ,invalid. This resulted in the other parties non-acceptance of the Speaker’s remit and he had no valid answers for them He seemed to lose the run of himself ..Seemingly flustered ,he allowed Arlene Foster to go ahead and speak without the joint -stamp of authority ,needed , so everyone except the DUP were forced to leave the room rather than listen.
Out trooped Alliance, TUV, Sinn Fein, and the UUP.What else could they do ? Without authority , it left Arlene Foster portentiously talking away to the fluff in her own belly-button and the assorted DUP underlings  who hung on to her  interminable utterances for the best part of an hour ,live on radio while her pointless words were largely unheard and ignored and drifted into flurries of useless combinations of blether and abstractions to the outside listening or non-listening public.Most have lost heart in ever getting a bit of sense anyway.for them , it’s one DUP scandal too many

What or where it leaves Arlene Foster or the Speaker is not clear. It has almost made them both totally irrelevant . That might actually be progress in Norneverland.


  1. billy December 19, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

    grave consequences now sounds like graduated response.nothing

    • jessica December 19, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

      Out of curiosity, what would you like to have seen happen billy, I mean in realistic terms?

      • billy December 19, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

        well it ended up a whole rigmarole about nothing,(but)with the coverage it got a lot of people will be reluctant to vote now,so some good might come out of it.not to mention what overseas investors must be thinking,unless a barbwire company is looking on and thinking i could sell them all the wire they need and they could surround the place with it,then they could have their own wee open air asylum.

        • ceannaire December 19, 2016 at 11:53 pm #

          But that’s not an answer to the question you were asked, Billy. So tell us, say 55% of the electorate don’t vote – what next? What is it gonna do?

          Let’s hear your positivity for a change.

        • jessica December 20, 2016 at 6:14 am #

          The whole world knows and understands that Ireland is going through a change management process billy.
          Pressure will continue to mount to unify this island and that is difficult thing for many people all over this island.

          The south don’t want conflict and turmoil brought to their doorstep.
          Unionists need reassurance that they will be treated as equals and even given special dispensation to acknowledge their british identity.
          Nationalists need know discrimination and neglect in republican areas will end, especially over policing and security abuses, denying money for projects west of the bann will stop and that our Irish identity will be given equality with that of the rest of the island and that we will not be seen as non irish or second rate irish which is how it feels currently.

          Then the people all over this island will need to know that billions of our money will not be wasted either through incompetence, unethical practices, criminal negligence or downright corruption and fraud. That they can have an administration that will put their needs first and not favour select businesses for whatever reason, whether they be pellet companies in Fermanagh of multi nationals in California.

          That there are not unsavoury and undesirable connections with media groups who appear to have a hold over government. Stronger legislation may be needed to prevent biased media control, all over both islands as Foxx may have outright ownership of Sky and already own two main broadsheets in the UK. We can see how such control was abused in Ireland through Denis O’Brien

          unfortunately it is going to have to get worse before it gets better billy, but how else can it happen?

          It is not until we reach rock bottom that we can finally admit we need help.

  2. paddykool December 19, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    I think we’re in for a long game now, billy.Arlene talking to her own reflection will go nowhere with the public .

  3. Twinbrook Lad December 19, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    What a day to be holed up in bed with my version of man flu. Couldn’t have picked it better as I was able to hear the whole story unfold on radio and twittersphere.
    When are the DUP going to realise that they would be more than welcome and fit in quite nicely in a Dublin parliament. In fact they sound more than qualified given the stench surrounding the party now.

  4. Twinbrook Lad December 19, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    I been thinking about my post above and would like the add the following as I’ve always attempted to place myself in unionist mind when they have to sit with SF accurately summed up by Edwin poots having to hold his nose etc etc. And I get that, I understand it and read it every time the contributions are made by MT, Gio and Joe bloggs.
    Could it be that the price nationalists have to pay is to tolerate the repeated financial scandals surrounding the DUP and just get on with it?

    However, the good people of NI deserve better than just abject acceptance and tolerance.

    • jessica December 19, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

      Absolutely not!!! We should not settle for it one bit TL.

      All of these corrupt parties, Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, DUP all need to go the way of the dodo.
      It may sound far fetched at the moment, but none of these three parties have long term futures in Ireland.

      The surface has only been scratched on the corruption in Irish politics. Todays debacle is only the beginning.

      A prelude for how 2017 will continue to play out.

      International opinion is now looking at us in pity.

      There is plenty of good will towards Ireland in this world, the international community will support us in cleaning up politics here and uniting two corrupt administrations into one worthy of all of our people.

      So long as Sinn Fein don’t screw up, they are becoming the moral authority in the new Ireland of the future.

      Don’t we dare accept second best from anyone though.

  5. Twinbrook Lad December 19, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    I agree Jessica and ended my statement by saying that we deserve better.
    Never mind any long game for change, the time is NOW, North and South

    • paddykool December 19, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

      By sticking to the letter of the Good Friday Agreement and acting in every way possible as part of a leadership team that is for all the people and not just the unionists, Sinn Fein have actually succeeded in allowing the DUP to isolate themeselves from everyon else who matter in politics here. The DUP have done all that isolating all on their own and have no one else to blame but themselves. To hear Arlene and her young buddy Simon blethering on about their great leadership qualities is pure farce , given that it is their attitude and lack of leadership plus a series of almost annual financial scandals emanating from the DUP camp , that has led to this current huge one…A scandal at the toppermost of the poppermost of scandals. …not to mention all the other “cultural” scandals they have invoked too.
      The joke is that they ‘re blaming everyone else and think that all we want is for them to fix it all and everything will be grand until the next scandal pops up. By walking out on Arlene’s dictatorial nonsense today when she had no real authority to do what she did (and didn’t even seem to grasp that very point) what they are all saying is that she’s not worth listening to anymore and I think that everyone, except for the gulls in her party, really knows that at heart now. Even further afield, they are wondering what dimwit could set up an operation that would waste £1.60 of the public’s money for every £!.00 spent .Who could do the like of that if not an incompetant or a crook. …one or the other …no contest. Does she really believe that we’ll just blink when the DUP’s fingerprints are all over this fiasco? They’ve simply proven that they are not fit to be left with an open till.

  6. Colmán December 20, 2016 at 1:34 am #

    Is there any indication that some traditional unionist voters might jump ship as happened when Peter Robinson lost his seat in east Belfast to Naomi Long?

    • jessica December 20, 2016 at 6:25 am #

      That is and should be completely up to them.

      If doing the right thing is purely based on getting orange or green votes then it is no longer doing the right thing but the same thing we have always done.

      I believe Sinn Fein are showing great leadership in breaking the mould on this island and will continue whether then gain no unionist voters confidence and even continue to lose more nationalist voters over unionist intransigence and refusal to reciprocate in return.

      Personally, I can see it being welcomed by the younger generations in particular so I cam confident it will be rewarded electorally in time. I have already sensed a gradual change in RTE and a more respectful attitude in general towards Sinn Fein as the third largest party in the south and the largest on the island overall.

      How long it takes will be down to the people but that is the way it should be.

  7. fiosrach December 20, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    As we stand now, Sinn Féin nua have drawn a line in the sand. A motion will be put forward in Stormont on 16th January 2017 demanding a judicial inquiry into the heating fiasco. If this is not agreed to by the DUP and if Arlene does not step aside while it runs, then SF nua will pull down the blinds and demand an election. Have I got this right because I want to be able to look back on 17 Jan and see what happens?

    • jessica December 20, 2016 at 11:12 am #

      The way I see it fiosrach, Sinn Fein have been respectful to their partners in government, they have not drawn any line in the sand and have simply asked Arlene in a friendly and respectful manner to reflect on her position over the holidays between now and when they return on 16th January.

      Martin has said that in her position, he would step aside while the independent investigation which she has already agreed to runs.

      It was her poor response and bad attitude that has led to Sinn Fein bringing forward a motion asking for her to step aside while an investigation takes place. There is nothing aggressive in it at all but it is pretty much insisting that she does step aside as this appears to be the mood among the public that she does.

      So the ball is now in the DUPs court, they have to decide whether to back Arlene’s stance at refusing to step aside and allow an investigation take place, or go into an election off the back of a snub to the public wishes.

  8. fiosrach December 20, 2016 at 11:25 am #

    And if they don’t ……………? Were you not listening to Conor Murphy this morning?

    • jessica December 20, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

      Sorry, I didn’t but I do like Conor Murphy.

      The DUP are desperate to turn this into another orange and green crisis.
      The last thing we want to do is allow them to make it look as though nationalism is attacking unionism, that is not what this is about.

      I think Sinn Fein are handling this better than any other party and should simply ignore any hype and bluster.

      This is about corruption and potential criminality. It is imperative that the investigation is robust, free of political baggage and that if necessary, a criminal investigation will be pursued where necessary.

      I don’t think anti Sinn Fein political opportunists have very much to offer here and if they allow the DUP to turn this into a sectarian issue then it is they who will have to answer for that.

  9. fiosrach December 20, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

    And if they don’t ……..?

  10. Mark December 20, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    So, now Sinn Féin wish an ‘independent judge led inquiry’ to investigate this, why do I believe Sinn Féin would like to see Baron Widgery as Chairman of such?

  11. paddykool December 20, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    I don’t think anyone really wants to crash this one yet because it will only result in an election…costing even more money to come up with a similar result and to go back into the same old game which has been proven to flawed.

    We need some reform of the situation anyway before we vote again …there is the Petition of Concern and there are the unelected dubious SPADS who are really running the place in the background like “Yes Minister” on huge salaries.. Those two things need reforming or we’ll never have transparency here.They are both open to abuse as we have all seen.I would think twice about voting for this current farcical set-up if changes are not made soon, so that’s what I expect to see happening.

    In the end an election at the moment will only deliver the same old farce and the DUP will vote Arlene in again because that’s all they care about….hero worship and to hell with the money!….. and we’ll have the scandal buried well and good with no heads rolling.How could they pull down Arlene then ,when she gets that kind of support?

    Spitting tacks and railing against her detractors ,like a cornered rat, is seen as “great leadership” when the reality is that any trapped animal will behave….just like that…. as she did yesterday.

    • jessica December 20, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

      There would be the savings from 18 less MLAs after the next election so it wont be exactly the same result

      • paddykool December 20, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

        That’s a start..ha ha!

  12. fiosrach December 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    Harry, you’re right in one way. An election now will produce a similar makeup in Stormont. You’re wrong in another. Things will not change. No matter how much you and Jessica opine that we want this and we need that, there will be no change as long as we allow ourselves to be slowly sucked into this colonial setup. There are several ways to bring about change. Demographic changes in the population (which are currently being undermined by this ‘northern irish’ thingy) and violent revolution which will not be allowed by either Britain or the Free State.

    • jessica December 20, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

      Things are changing fiosrach. They may be changing slowly but they are changing, not only in Ireland but in the UK, the US and in the EU.
      Ireland may soon have no choice but to leave the EU thanks to screw ups from the Fianna Gael coalition.

      In the north, the orange green issues here are falling to the wayside and issues of corruption, anti globalisation etc… are gradually replacing them.

      You talk about being sucked into a colonial setup?

      I dint even think you know what that means other than you don’t like things the way they are.

      I don’t want to be ruled by britain, just as much as I don’t want to be ruled by Fine Gael or Fianna Fail.

      If that is the best we can do then fuck unification.

      I think we can do a much better job ourselves but not with the idiotic, self indulgent and arrogant attitudes that exist in the DUP, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail

      You are in a rush to get there but you don’t even know where you want to go.

      Partition is coming to an end, it is time to slow things down and get the best deal for everyone. It is not all about Dublin and they need to learn this

    • paddykool December 20, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

      So what to do then , fiosrach? Any new ideas are always welcome to me.

  13. fiosrach December 20, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    Each man lives a life of quiet desperation. Don’t worry ,Harry. Ole Jess has it sussed. So young and yet so knowledgeable.