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Stormont reaches new low – Allister calls on UUP & SDLP to step out in Opposition

20 September 2011

“An important debate on the absence of a Programme for Government took place. Yet, Molloy called only speakers from parties within the executive, shutting out any voice of opposition. This was despite the fact that Standing Order 17(5) says speakers should be called ‘having due regard to the balance of opinion on the matter’.

“The failure to produce a Programme for Government symbolises both the dysfunctional farce which passes for government and the Executive’s contempt for the Assembly and people. Even in the House that contempt was obvious with only junior minister Anderson present, but no First Minister or deputy First Minister.

“Governments in London, Dublin and Edinburgh produced their programme within days, but, here almost 5 months have passed and still no PFG, with the result that since Stormont came back there hasn’t been a single item of Executive business, nor is there any government legislation in sight.

“UUP and SDLP MLAs made valid criticisms of this breakdown in government, but the real challenge to them is why they continue to prop up an Executive in which they have no influence but are treated with arrogant contempt by the Sinn Fein/DUP cabal. They need to face up to their situation and make a stride towards better government by forming a challenging opposition. Some say one man in opposition can have an effect, what a difference an Opposition of almost a third of all MLAs could make. Their valid criticisms lose their effect so long as they stay part of the failure that is the present Executive. It’s time the UUP and SDLP started to face these realities.”

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NI politics