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Scandal in the North December 16, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Alibaba has a long comment here raising questions on the current – ahem – issues engulfing the DUP leadership and the power-sharing administration. Certainly this seems to be more than usually problematic in a context where problematic is essentially standard operating procedure, and I recall that in the last month or so The Phoenix had an excellent article on this very matter at a time when other media seemed curiously uninterested in such things.

There’s a certain amount of entertainment to be had in some of the details of this, but it is without question a serious topic and one that seems to have a potential for much wider ramifications.


1. dublinstreams - December 16, 2016

in the interview he keeps talking of collective responsibilty http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/in-full-dup-mla-jonathan-bell-s-nolan-interview-1-7736420 did Jonathan Bell discuss his problems with the renewable heating initiative with all the other ministers ?


2. CL - December 16, 2016

-Stormont’s deputy first minister has called on Arlene Foster to “stand aside” as first minister while the ‘cash-for-ash’ scandal is investigated.’

Martin McGuinness said he was concerned that “credibility of the political institutions is being undermined”.
But Mrs Foster replied that she would not be stepping aside and “does not take her instructions from Sinn Féin”.-


3. Aonrud ⚘ - December 16, 2016

Went along to the rally in Belfast. Usual mix of PBP, SP, NIPSA speakers. A few Anti-Fascist Action flags to be seen, and a quite visible Saoradh cohort (biggest placards, anyway), who kept somewhat apart from the rest of the group. First time I’ve seen them.

Speakers obviously contrasting the wasteful expenditure with austerity measures, and pointing to other ongoing scandals – NAMA etc. Probably preaching to the choir judging from the numbers present, but with the volume of people in and out of the Christmas market at City Hall, it was certainly very visible to a wider audience. (It was interesting to see the number of comments on social media in advance of it that were outraged at the potential disruption to the Christmas market…)


Aonrud ⚘ - December 16, 2016

Also, the contrast in aims represented by the placards was good. PBP’s “Foster must go!” alongside Saoradh’s more ambitious “Stormont must go!”


4. roddy - December 16, 2016

No Bell did not discusss his problems with all the other ministers.


5. Alibaba - December 17, 2016

‘On Monday, Arlene Foster will face a vote of no confidence in the assembly.

Sinn Féin must decide either to vote with the opposition parties or abstain.

Either way, the DUP have the votes to see off the challenge under Stormont’s cross-community voting rules.’



6. roddy - December 17, 2016

Once McGuinness asked Arlene to step aside,the rest is now immaterial.


7. tomasoflatharta - December 18, 2016

Readers are entitled to the suspicion that the true purpose of any DUP/Sinn Féin “independent investigation” is the shutting down of this row, and after a short while, a return to business as usual.

Sinn Féin should be pressured to resign from the Stormont Government – any other behaviour means propping up “Cash for Ash” Foster, colluding with austerity, and implementing a Unionist Veto.

Jonathan Bell (ex DUP) 1
Sinn Fêin (Unionist Veto) Minus 5


8. roddy - December 19, 2016

How does asking Foster to stand aside prop her up exactly?


9. Paddy Healy - January 2, 2017

Before Christmas Martin McGuiness Said on Television that the SF call or Arlene Foster to step aside on “cash for ash” was “friendly advice” http://wp.me/pKzXa-tz
To-day Sinn Féin says that unless Foster steps aside it “will consider all options including fresh elections”
Following further DUP provocations (such as ending Irish Language grants) and continuing cuts in public services the anger in the nationalist community is growing
Sinn Féin Chair calls for “independent public inquiry” into “cash for Ash”
It was a typing error!!!! It should have been “an independent inquiry”
Some Typing Error! The crisis is not confined to DUP!!!!
Patsy McGlone SDLP(Mid-Ulster) said: “(Sinn Fein) Surrendering the demand for a judge-led public inquiry is surrendering the need for transparency, accountability and consequences for the loss of hundreds of millions in public money.”-irish Times


10. roddy - January 2, 2017

First of all a”public” inquiry would last several years and let Foster off the hook while a time limited inquiry would get to the point quickly.Secondly McGlone voted for the scheme to continue when it was obvious it was a catastrophe,chaired the committee that was supposed to oversee this fiasco and is a longtime member of the so called FF forum


Paddy Healy - January 3, 2017

The day on which a public inquiry opened Arlene Foster would be politically dead because her position is completely indefensible
A secret investigation would enable Sinn Fein and DUP to inluence the outcome and facilitate a deal. More importantly,it would keep the option of a SF-DUP executive open,even after elections. And who knows wat else might emerge at the hearings when people are backed in to a corner in public?
The Labour party in opposition, like the SDLP to-day, often said correct things. Their treachery consists in the act that they would both do the opposite in power.
In a public inquiry the public can decide on the issue, irrespective of the conclusion of the official inquiry. Inormation to the citizens must always come irst for genuine democrats.
Have I not heard Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan, Joan Burton make similar points about public inquiries??


11. Alibaba - January 2, 2017

Today, Sinn Féin Chair stated: “The political process has now been dragged recklessly by the DUP, culminating with the RHI crisis towards an unprecedented tipping point.” I wonder if the unexpected could happen.

Supposing that Arlene Foster sticks to her futile refusal to step aside while an inquiry into the ‘cash-for-ash’ scandal is being conducted. Supposing Martin McGuinness repeats his request “to step aside as First Minister pending a preliminary report”, and Gerry Adams maintains his “does not want” an election stance.

Just imagine the others hollering for a showdown or as a minimum the SDLP call for “a judge-led public inquiry”. And why wouldn’t they, given the abuse of the scheme and the fact that the DUP Minister, Jonathan Bell, was suspended after he accused Foster of ordering Stormont staff to alter documents to reduce her responsibility for the scheme’s failures?

Perhaps Theresa May comes out expressing concern about the “ordinary people”, exchequer problems, along with Brexit and power-sharing not being jeopardised. Unexpected? This reeks of May calling the shots. Foster could be pushed to the sidelines or a fudged investigation denouement could happen.

I suspect that much is going on behind the scenes. Whatever happens, the DUP and Sinn Féin deal (sometimes known as non-aggression pact) continues. This is shadow boxing. I bet, I do.


12. roddy - January 3, 2017

SF have called for Foster to step aside for a “judge led ,transparent ,independent inquiry.Time limited and a judge from outside the jurisdiction.By the time “a public inquiry ” would report at a cost of perhaps hundreds of millions,the issue would be dead.Of all the parties in the North,SF have nothing to hide.They had absolutely nothing to do with the setting up or running of the scheme and have no links to any company North or South.The SDLP for example have been funded by Denis O’Brien.Do you think if they accept money from him,they would be adverse to funding from elsewhere?


Alibaba - January 3, 2017

To be sure, a public inquiry would be very costly and take a longer time than a time limited one. Frames of reference would determine a lot too. But this is what is needed to seriously address transparency and accountability. Come hell or high water, a public inquiry is the best way to keep things on the boil. Surely you know this to be true. Although I am not convinced that Sinn Féin would want it that way. Think it through.


13. roddy - January 3, 2017

Sinn fein have nothing to hide.


14. Paddy Healy - January 4, 2017

Belfast City Council Calls For Full Public Inquiry into “Cash for Ash”-Sinn Féin Rebuffed http://wp.me/pKzXa-tz
“Belfast City Council tonight agreed to call for a full public inquiry into the botched Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.
Sinn Fein failed in an attempt to have the motion amended to call for an independent investigation, instead of a public inquiry.
During a lengthy debate it was warned that future generations will be left to pick up much of the estimated £490 million overspend bill.
A motion proposed by Independent councillor Ruth Patterson “to call on the Secretary of State to initiate a full public inquiry into the shambles that is the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme” was accepted following a council vote.”–Irish Examiner


15. roddy - January 4, 2017

Sf have called for an independent,time limited ,transparent,judge led by a judge from ouside the North and with the power to compel witnesses and documents .


16. Alibaba - January 4, 2017

The ‘cash for ash’ scandal is simmering, and ‘Foster has claimed that calls for her to resign are partly motivated by misogyny.’ Foster insists she won’t stand aside temporarily. ‘I want an inquiry to take place so we can deal with all of the transparency issues.’  Transparency eh? If DUP/SF settle for a private injuiry during Foster’s watch, that’s a contradiction in terms of any understanding of natural justice.



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