DUP/SF will live to regret latest outrageous power grab

How’s the “Social Investment Fund” coming along?

A product of a bizarre power grab by the DUP and Sinn Fein, who placed responsibility for it with OFMDFM despite its complete unsuitability for the purpose, the “Social Investment Fund” has been a disaster. You will struggle to find anyone who disagrees.

So it is not as if we were not warned. The DUP and Sinn Fein govern together for one purpose and one purpose alone – the accumulation of more power and the patronage that goes with it.

That the Ulster Unionists engage in electoral pacts with the DUP and that the SDLP agrees with Sinn Fein on almost everything merely enables this accumulation of power to go on unchallenged – what exactly are the Ulster Unionists and SDLP for if it is not to oppose them with all their might, and to challenge them at every single election and on every single issue? And as for the NIO meekly allowing all this to happen…

The latest power grab – the placing of planning power in enterprise zones directly with the Department of the Environment, er, sorry, no with the Department of Finance and Personnel, er, sorry, no, with the Department of Enterprise, er, sorry, no, ah, yes, with OFMDFM, merely backs up this accumulation of power.

Since the DUP and Sinn Fein don’t agree on anything other than the desirability of accumulating power for its own sake, there is no chance that this power will be used to any great effect. On the contrary, it will simply mean that every significant economic planning application will be placed in the barrel – alongside the A5, Welfare Reform, Transforming Your Care, the Victims Commission, the Maze Development and so on – to be determined almost at random some time in the next decade (perhaps).

It’s a farce and an outrage, but it does not surprise me about the DUP or Sinn Fein one bit. What does surprise (and, frankly, annoy) me is that everyone else is acting all astonished. This has happened before and it will happen again. The rest of us, outside the DUP’s and Sinn Fein’s cosy carve-up, have to grasp now what is going on. These are not reasonable parties leading us towards a utopian shared future. They are power dividers who care only for themselves in present, not for the rest of us in the future.

They may live to regret it practically, of course, given OFMDFM’s record of complete inaction on everything.

Meanwhile, the rest of us need to stop endorsing this cosy carve-up by not voting, by feigning disinterest or by dividing ourselves up into ever smaller parties and pressure groups. We need instead to stand up united for democracy. There is just a chance, given how obvious this latest power grab is, that that is exactly what will happen – let us hope the DUP and Sinn Fein come to regret strategically as well this as an even more blatant example of pure power accumulation.


7 thoughts on “DUP/SF will live to regret latest outrageous power grab

  1. The Listener says:

    It is not so much annoyance about the “carve up” but the sadness at the inneffectual “once great, Unionist Party” and “the poodle to SF, SDLP”. The latter is the saddest, as in recent history it has continually followed an ultra nationalist agenda, because its leadership thinks that it is the only way to ensure a catholic/nationalist following. The only following they feel conmfortable with. They should go forth, with all the fundamentally decent people they have on board, to sell on the doorstep, original and stimulating policies to all and sundry.

  2. Howard says:

    Any predictions as to which party will be first to walk from the Exec? UUP, SDLP, or Alliance?

  3. tenniselbow says:

    But Alliance aren’t immune to a power grab either – wot 2 Alliance executive seats where did they come from , not exactly pure democracy.
    And as for Alliance’s acquiescence to SF/DUP on suddenly changing the Assembly speaking rules in the week NI21 came into existence so that NI21 be disadvantaged stinks of fear, exclusive politics, putting limitations on democracy and propping up carve up politics of which Alliance are an intergel part.
    Alliance WILL lose votes to the NI21”s.

    • Alliance took the Justice position on a democratic cross-community vote to keep the institutions working; and earned the Employment position under the current system.

      NI21 would have taken them both in the circumstances. Indeed it has already protested not getting the Deputy Speaker’s position, to which it is not remotely entitled.

      • The Listener says:

        I digress perhaps, but as you mentioned NI21, which sounds more like a new electronic device rather than a serious political party, it is an interesting partnership of two merry political salesmen, one of whom would be centre right and the other centre left, whilst the party or pressure group, is vaguely presenting itself as centre left. All part of the amusement arcade at Stormont!

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