Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Executive Est De Retour. Hopefully.

After 152 days of deadlock, it appears that the Executive will finally meet. The news comes as the DUP and Sinn Féin announce that they've come to an arrangement over the devolution of policing and justice.

The Executive will now meet this Thursday and will continue to do so on a weekly basis until the mammoth backlog of work that has built up since the Ministers last sat down together is cleared.

Meanwhile, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have said that they may invite John Larkin QC to become the new Attorney General for Northern Ireland.

So what took so long? When jobs are being haemorrhaged left, right and centre and people are facing into a winter of fuel poverty with the high retail price of oil and gas, I can't see how it would really have been that difficult for the key players to have sat down over tea and scones a few months ago (or even at St Andrews long before that) to sort this out. Ultimately all the grandstanding has come to nothing- they've reached a compromise, which was always the only possible outcome short of collapsing the devolved institutions. Gone are the days when the Prime Minister and Taoiseach would jet-in to bang heads together, throw a few million quid at the north and dander off into the sunset with everything sorted. Now local politicians are having to sort out problems for themselves.

Business in Northern Ireland is crying out for the devolved administration to come up with tailored plans to deal with the local effects of the financial crisis. Workers are looking to Stormont to stimulate growth and protect jobs at a time when there is very little good news on the employment front. International leaders have been meeting continually to find ways of softening the blow of the impending global recession. Yet it is only now that the Executive in Northern Ireland has cleared issues that have a medium-term deadline so they can get around to focussing on problems that face people right now.

I don't think people are too worried if there's a battle a day, just so long as the politicians produce the goods in time. With the hissy-fit over, for now, that's what the public will be expecting and demanding.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The chuckling has stopped fairly quickly to be replaced by a battle a day at the cost to the hard pressed worker!