Assembly slumber

Published Wednesday, 18 April 2012
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The MLAs were back at their Stormont desks on Monday morning, bright and breezy. A two week break and surely a heavy work-load on the floor of the Assembly. Not a bit of it.

Monday's plenary session started at noon and finished at 4.02 pm and that included half hour question sessions to Ministers.

The only topics discussed otherwise being the Titanic and the Disappeared.

Tuesday was only marginally better and the business was finished well before tea-time.

The main matter of interest was the Speaker's ruling on Edwin Poots calling Kieran McCarthy a ''village idiot'' during a pre-recess assembly debate on patient care.

The Speaker said the Minister was wrong but the Alliance MLA had failed to turn up in his office for a face to face apology from the Health Minister.

The Alliance party said the apology should have been made in the Assembly chamber.

The Speaker said it was the end of the matter.

At least it was mildly interesting.

The Executive handlers argue a full legislative programme is being put into place now the Programme for Government has been agreed.

Time will tell.

There is also the matter of when DEL will be abolished. This seems to be slipping back until the Autumn.

With at least three Bank holidays before the summer recess, there really isn't that much time for business before the summer holidays.

The Assembly plenary sessions are the showpiece of our institutions.

Surely it is time to get a move-on.

After all, an MLA pay rise is in the offing.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Billy Bolan in Ballynahinch wrote (943 days ago):
For goodness sake Ken, these clowns wouldn't know a days work if it hit them up the face.
Money for Old Dopes in Co Down wrote (992 days ago):
Ken Reid hits the nail on the head with this clear picture of the sleeping inertia which pervades our MLA's at the Assembly. You would find more activity and workload in a parish council.Our dozy MLA's think that a 3 hour day talking shop with time off for good behaviour and a long lunch is all we can expect of them. It's long past the time to give these muppets their P45s....roll on election time.
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Ken Reid
Ken Reid

Ken Reid is Political Editor at UTV. His career as a journalist began at The News Letter in 1977, where he remained for seven years. This was followed by stints as the sports editor, and later editor, of the Sunday News, and reporting for the Cork Examiner.

Ken joined UTV in 1994. He says one of his most memorable moments was breaking the Ian Paisley retirement story in 2008.

He's a big fan of rugby (Ballymena to be precise), cricket and football (Everton FC) and loves music, especially blues.

His favourite motto is Everton FC's: "Nil satis nisi optimum"... Only the best is good enough.

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