Stormont 'undemocratic' - Allister

Published Saturday, 17 November 2012
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Government without opposition is absurd and undemocratic, TUV leader Jim Allister told party members at its annual conference on Saturday.

Stormont 'undemocratic' - Allister
Jim Allister, delivering his speech in Cookstown on Saturday. (© UTV)

The North Antrim MLA slammed what he described as the dismal failure of the disconnected power-sharing Stormont Executive.

"By demonstrating the effect even a one-man opposition can have, we have pushed this issue of democratic deficit up the agenda, with others now increasingly conceding that the case for a democratic opposition is unanswerable," he said.

Mr Allister vowed that his party would continue to be a thorn in the side of the DUP/Sinn Féin coalition.

He accused the smaller parties - including the Ulster Unionists and SDLP - of allowing themselves to be walked over.

He said: "The sooner the SDLP and UUP recognise they are doormats in government, rediscover their dignity and independence and step out to distinguish themselves in opposition, the sooner will this fundamental of democracy return to Stormont."

During his speech at a hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, Mr Allister was scornful of the work done in the Assembly over the past year and said the Government was in need of drastic reform.

"Bloated with 108 MLAs when half would be enough," he said.

"Twelve departments when six would do, waste beyond belief on 161 spin doctors, £5m on hospitality, £400,000 on photographers, an undisclosed sum on foreign travel and still £100m to squander on useless north-south bodies and £20m on a shrine at the Maze.

"Meanwhile, unemployment spirals upwards and all the DETI Minister (Arlene Foster) can assure us is that we're not as bad as Dublin."

Earlier in his speech, Mr Allister claimed that Sinn Féin could do more to tackle the threat posed by dissident republicans who killed prison officer David Black.

The 52-year-old father of two was gunned down on the M1 as he drove to work at Maghaberry prison earlier this month.

A new grouping calling itself the IRA has admitted responsibility for the shooting.

Mr Allister told delegates: "This IRA murder was just as odious, just as hate-filled and just as deviant as those of their Provo blood brothers, for whom the reward was terrorists in government.

"Sinn Féin condemnations are meaningless so long as they fail to give up their IRA trained who still practice their trade of murder - because the killers of David Black were no novices."

The TUV leader also praised the Black family for their request that Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness should not attend the prison officer's funeral.

Mr Allister said: "I salute the Black family for having the strength and courage to cut through the hypocrisy and pretence by telling McGuinness and Sinn Féin to stay away from the funeral.

"There is a message there for those who day and daily clutch Sinn Féin to their bosom in government in Stormont.

"Tough words don't cut it when contradicted by actions that live by the mantra 'what Sinn Féin wants, Sinn Féin gets' in Stormont."

© UTV News
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24 Comments
tom in ni wrote (616 days ago):
When the political wing of an illegal terrorist group holds decent soceity to ransom then you have undemocratic rule.If people in northern ireland who class themselves as law abiding and decent can stomach ex bombers,directors of terrorism and people who have been involved in murder ,to rule over them ,then they need to take a long hard look at themselves.So called unionists who back the farce in stormont are only in it for self interest and money...
petand in Londonderry wrote (616 days ago):
Jim Allister should read his bible, particularly the chapters about the Good Samaritan and The Woman at The Well. The Commandment "Love thy neighbour" could also be browsed through by him as could the request"forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"
James in London wrote (617 days ago):
@Iseult you say you are still firmly part of the UK?? For now maybe, but when Scotland leave the Union N.I will follow. The sooner the better. I would like to see a referendum here in England on Independence. We support N.I & Scotland. I want English taxpayers money to stay in england. The only country in the UK that see themselves as "British" is you lot in N.I. English in England, Scottish it Scotland. Irish in Ireland.
patto69 in Belfast wrote (617 days ago):
Iseult, there was a hell of lot of murderr and mayhem and as Operation Ballast uncovered it was organised by people who retired happily and continue to live off state pensions and at the tax payers expense. Allister and you may see life through the prism of unionism, something you can while away your life doing. But like Allister you have to accept the voice of the electorate. Allister may wish for the halcyon days when unionists could hector and lecture and their writ held true. Unfortunately he can save it for the history lessons, because those days aren't coming back.
Ryan in Belfast wrote (617 days ago):
People seem to think that Jim Allisters "TUV" is something new, its not new at all. TUV was made as a new political party in protest at SF/DUP going into Goverment. There were many Unionist splinter parties in the past, theres been the UKUP, Ulster Nationalist Movement (which was Loyalists adovacting the independence of NI)and many more. Some of these political parties have adovacted what would be considered "extreme" unionist opinion like that of Jim Allisters but where are these parties and their leaders today? They no longer exist because they have failed at the ballot box because their politics is too extreme, one sided and out of date. I wouldnt be surprised if TUV didnt even exist in 4-5 years time.
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BRIAN ROWAN
The pictures from Stormont this week showed us how politics here still walks in and out of step.
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