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Transparency and openness - a Stormont sham

24 February 2010

Statement by TUV Leader Jim Allister QC


“New beginnings never last long in the dysfunctional regime at Stormont.


“After Hillsborough a new dawn of transparency and inclusivity was promised. Within days though it all reverted to form with an ‘ourselves alone’ carve up between DUP and Sinn Fein on the parading committee. Now imbued by all the old arrogance and disconnection the ‘product’ of that committee is to be kept secret, being for Marty and Peter’s eyes only.


“If Stormont was a democratic institution with a functioning and Official Opposition their stance would be torn to shreds on the floor of the Assembly. But, of course, it is a poodle club with no Opposition with all parties in, or about to be in, government. The extent of check and balance are public statements of disapproval from the UUP or SDLP, but their own vested interest in propping up the dysfunctional structures means they only ever rock the boat so far.


“Meanwhile, the public are treated with utter contempt, with secret advice, secret committees and condescending babble about ‘secret devices’. Of course, maybe one of the reasons for all the secrecy about the parading group’s findings is that the DUP wants to conceal from its gullible 14 just how much they were conned when promised real product on parades would be produced.


“While things will never be any different in this discredited Assembly, there is a day coming when – after disenfranchised Unionists have used their own ‘secret device’, their vote - there will be a tranche of TUV MLAs, who unfettered by attachment to the Belfast Agreement process, will, at least, deliver real Opposition on the floor of the Assembly.”

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NI politics