19/11/2013 Stormont Today


19/11/2013

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Mark Carruthers is the guide through the corridors of power at Stormont.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 19/11/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to Stormont Today. Coming up on the programme tonight.

:00:30.:00:34.

Passions run high as the Assembly discusses the disappeared.

:00:35.:00:44.

That was never to be. Liz McVey has passed away and every woman who was

:00:45.:00:48.

wracked with agony, sort reand grief. The speaker gives memberses a

:00:49.:00:53.

dressing down after heating words in the chamber yesterday. I just cannot

:00:54.:01:00.

allow members to get contributions to be so offensive it's unbelievable

:01:01.:01:06.

as senior position polices. I'm joined by Simon McBride to look over

:01:07.:01:14.

the day's proceedings. Flags, parades and dealing with the

:01:15.:01:19.

past. Three of the most contentious issues in Northern Ireland politics.

:01:20.:01:23.

So contentious that the former US envoy Richard Haas is here to help

:01:24.:01:27.

politicians find a solution. Today in Stormont, it was the past that

:01:28.:01:29.

was centre stage with a heated debate on the disappeared. The

:01:30.:01:34.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt brought to motion to the House

:01:35.:01:39.

following the BBC and RTE documentary telling the story of

:01:40.:01:44.

those abducted, murdered and buried by paramilitaries during the

:01:45.:01:48.

troubles. Of the 16 people listed as disappeared, only nine bodies have

:01:49.:01:53.

been found. In the case of Jean income Conville, that was not

:01:54.:01:58.

because of information supplied by the provisional members of the IRA.

:01:59.:02:03.

Her demaines were discovered by a member of the public. So, Mr

:02:04.:02:09.

Speaker, after nearly 15 years, only half the disappeared have been

:02:10.:02:13.

recovered because of information supplied by Republicans.

:02:14.:02:18.

Republicans who enjoyed the prif Lynn of immunity from prosecution if

:02:19.:02:23.

they engaming in the process which is independent and is international

:02:24.:02:28.

-- process of immunity. Only half the families have had the comfort of

:02:29.:02:33.

a Christian burial because Republicans engaged successfully. Mr

:02:34.:02:37.

Speaker, in terms of dealing with the past, half the truth is simply

:02:38.:02:41.

not enough. It may be helpful to remind

:02:42.:02:47.

ourselves of the state of the IRA position on this tragic matter. In

:02:48.:02:52.

April 1999, the IRA issued a statement, coinciding with the

:02:53.:02:55.

establishment of the Commission, accepting responsibilities for the

:02:56.:02:58.

deaths of a number of people kill and secretly buried. At that time,

:02:59.:03:02.

they blamed their position and the commitment to cooperation with the

:03:03.:03:05.

Independent Commission for the location of victims' remains and

:03:06.:03:09.

stated "our intention has been to do all within our power to rectify the

:03:10.:03:14.

injustice for which we accept full responsibility and to alleviate the

:03:15.:03:18.

suffering of the families. We are sorry that this has taken so long to

:03:19.:03:22.

resolve and for the prolonged anguish caused to the families". For

:03:23.:03:28.

the families of the disappeared, they are left with the fate worse

:03:29.:03:32.

than death. I suspect most, if not all of us in this House at some

:03:33.:03:37.

stage, have lost a relative, have lost a loved one, be it a mother,

:03:38.:03:43.

father, brother, sister, some even unfortunate enough even to lose a

:03:44.:03:47.

child, and we all know the trauma of that. At least for all of us in this

:03:48.:03:51.

chamber, we've had the opportunity to grieve, to go to the graveside,

:03:52.:03:57.

to be able to attend a funeral. No such privilege has been given to the

:03:58.:04:01.

families of the disappeared. That's why for them it's a fate worse than

:04:02.:04:05.

death. If you look at our politics over the

:04:06.:04:10.

last 40, 50 years, especially over the last 20, it's gone, Mr Speaker,

:04:11.:04:14.

through a number of phases. The ceasefire phase, the devolution

:04:15.:04:21.

phase, and the devolution of justice phase, the Uniteded stand against

:04:22.:04:26.

terror period. If our politics is to be defined in this time in any way,

:04:27.:04:32.

it must be that the needs of victims and survivors, including the

:04:33.:04:37.

disappeared, must have primacy that this must be their time and this

:04:38.:04:42.

must be their place. The forceable removal of people from their

:04:43.:04:48.

families, torture and burial in unknown locations, has to be among

:04:49.:04:51.

the worst human rights abuse imaginable. It's indelible evil on

:04:52.:04:57.

the history of our community. I think in particular whilst there are

:04:58.:05:11.

many stories in that programme, while people refuse to visit the

:05:12.:05:16.

area. "I have a vision of Columbus standing there looking into a hole,

:05:17.:05:20.

I've never done anything to the IRA, neither did my mum, so why are they

:05:21.:05:25.

torturing us 38 years on and they are still torturing us today. All we

:05:26.:05:29.

want is to put him in the grave beside my mum and dad", that is what

:05:30.:05:37.

one of the victims said. I will never forget Miss McVey saying to us

:05:38.:05:41.

that day "we only want his body so that we can have it interred and the

:05:42.:05:47.

family plot -- in the family plot" where his father at that stage was

:05:48.:05:52.

already buried. She said "before I die, I want him there". ".

:05:53.:06:06.

That was never to be. Miss McVey has passed away, an elderly woman, who

:06:07.:06:18.

was wracked with agony and sorrow and grief.

:06:19.:06:25.

That programme didn't play to our politics. That programme played to

:06:26.:06:34.

our humanity. It was a challenge to all to search their conscience, even

:06:35.:06:44.

those whose conscience is seered by years of justifying and supporting

:06:45.:06:51.

terrorism. In the case of some perpetrating terrorism. Appeal to

:06:52.:06:58.

whatever ounce of humanity might yet exist to do the right thing. The

:06:59.:07:06.

motion was passed with an amendment calling for anyone with information

:07:07.:07:10.

about the disappearance of Lisa Dorrian to bring it forward to the

:07:11.:07:15.

police. News editor Political Correspondent Sam McBride joins me

:07:16.:07:20.

now. A measured debate in the House today across the benches? It was. I

:07:21.:07:24.

think by the standards of what was being discussed and how some of

:07:25.:07:28.

thesish yous, which are extremely emotional, and where people feel

:07:29.:07:31.

strongly about it, have been dealt with in the past in the Assembly,

:07:32.:07:35.

this was quite restrained, I think it was a sombre point. We saw Lord

:07:36.:07:40.

Marlow there being understandably very emotional about the mother of

:07:41.:07:45.

KLM BA McVey who met Ian Paisley when he was First Minister a few

:07:46.:07:50.

years ago and of course died before her son's remains were recovered and

:07:51.:07:54.

still I believe haven't been recovered. I think that in a way was

:07:55.:07:58.

reflected no how Sinn Fein dealt with the issue. They, quite

:07:59.:08:02.

unusually, didn't force a vote. Normally when parties disagree with

:08:03.:08:06.

the motion, as Sinn Fein made very clear today, both on the airwaves

:08:07.:08:09.

and in the chamber today, they didn't agree with the motion, they

:08:10.:08:13.

thought it unfairly targeted Gerry Adams, but they didn't force a

:08:14.:08:17.

division of the House and that was something that some of the speakers

:08:18.:08:19.

in favour of the motion, Tom Elliott being one of them, really asked

:08:20.:08:23.

them, please don't do this, it would add to the distress of the families.

:08:24.:08:26.

Do you think that was part of drawing this thing or trying to draw

:08:27.:08:35.

the sting out of the debate? There wasn't the - All sides in the House

:08:36.:08:39.

were agreed that people with information about what happened to

:08:40.:08:42.

the people that were disappeared should brimming that forward to the

:08:43.:08:49.

Commission for the -- bring that forward to try to find the remains

:08:50.:08:52.

of those people. There was agreement on that point and on the point that

:08:53.:08:55.

it was absolutely wrong. Sinn Fein probably felt that with the way that

:08:56.:09:00.

public opinion has reacted to the documentary, there was very lit toll

:09:01.:09:04.

be had by forcing a vote which they were going to lose anyway and which

:09:05.:09:07.

would look poor, I suppose. Do you think, Sam, that this will put the

:09:08.:09:11.

issue to bed for a while, or is it something that's never going to be

:09:12.:09:14.

too far away from the headlines? I think at the time of the Good Friday

:09:15.:09:18.

Agreement, you can imagine people thinking these issues of the past

:09:19.:09:23.

would fade as time has gone on. Yet, week after week, they come back to

:09:24.:09:26.

the Assembly. There is no prospects of this stuff going ie way. The Haas

:09:27.:09:32.

talks might come up with some sort of solution which removes some

:09:33.:09:36.

issues from the agenda, but as long as there are bodies not discovered

:09:37.:09:41.

and as long as there's Croftry around certain incidents about the

:09:42.:09:46.

troubles or historic moments marking anniversaries for for atrocities, it

:09:47.:09:49.

will keep coming back to the chamber. For now, thank you very

:09:50.:09:52.

much. Yesterday, we brought you some of the heated exchanges during the

:09:53.:09:56.

debate on the Office of the police ombudsman. This morning, the speaker

:09:57.:09:59.

made it clear he wasn't happy with some of what was said.

:10:00.:10:06.

I was asked by members to look at Hansard, especially during the

:10:07.:10:11.

debate yesterday on the awsmts I have to say, on initial look at

:10:12.:10:16.

Hansard, it does not make good reading. We are almost half way

:10:17.:10:23.

through this term and this Assembly and I have to say, the debates in

:10:24.:10:27.

this Assembly have very much fallen very much to a point where I have to

:10:28.:10:35.

say some of the debates themselves I would ask members to question, some

:10:36.:10:41.

of the offensive language members are using in this Charles de

:10:42.:10:44.

Gaulleberg. . Certainly reading Hansard yesterday

:10:45.:10:55.

-- chamber. Reading Hansard yesterday, I refer to remarks made

:10:56.:11:01.

by Mr Alastair, Mr Elliott and Mr Keegan in the chamber yesterday.

:11:02.:11:07.

I have to say, some of their contribution fell far short of the

:11:08.:11:12.

good temper in moderation and that we should all expect in this

:11:13.:11:18.

chamber. Let me say to the three members I've been watching closely,

:11:19.:11:26.

the three members that I have named. I have to say, if I find that they

:11:27.:11:32.

have crossed a line in future, I will not call them for the

:11:33.:11:36.

contribution. In fact, I will go further. I will ask them to take

:11:37.:11:41.

their place and I will move on. Members need to realise, my job

:11:42.:11:45.

here, is to protect integrity of this Assembly and very much protect

:11:46.:11:51.

the business that goes through this Assembly House, debated in this

:11:52.:11:55.

Assembly. I just cannot allow members to get to be so offensive

:11:56.:12:01.

it's unbelievable. The speaker reflecting on some of

:12:02.:12:05.

yesterday's more colourful exchanges. The removal of members of

:12:06.:12:10.

paramilitary organisations from safety partnerships was on the

:12:11.:12:13.

agenda for the Justice Minister today at Question Time. But first,

:12:14.:12:16.

we hear a lot about dissident Republicans, but what about the term

:12:17.:12:21.

dissident unionists? There are a small number of

:12:22.:12:25.

disaffected people on both sides of the community seeking to take

:12:26.:12:28.

Northern Ireland back to the past. We have seen their reckness and

:12:29.:12:32.

willingness to endanger life. Whether that is through acts of

:12:33.:12:35.

terrorism, organised criminality or public disorder. The term dissident

:12:36.:12:39.

Republicans is well understood. I use the term dissident unionists in

:12:40.:12:46.

reply to Mr McGinness referring to those who engage in criminal

:12:47.:12:50.

behaviour and do not accept the current political arguments. Neither

:12:51.:12:55.

dissident can be allowed to thwart the process of Northern Ireland.

:12:56.:12:59.

They need to see the futility of their actions and to pursue peaceful

:13:00.:13:04.

means. Nothing should be said to encourage

:13:05.:13:11.

the dissidents. That term is insulting. I wish you would put it

:13:12.:13:15.

beyond all doubt and confirm that you do not regard those engaged in

:13:16.:13:19.

legitimate peaceful pro-South Coasts such as those on the flags issue on

:13:20.:13:26.

ongoing protests as dissident unionist and that we must be careful

:13:27.:13:37.

in our choice of words. Thank you. -- peaceful processes. Does he agree

:13:38.:13:42.

with me that those involved in loyalism who're causing disorder and

:13:43.:13:51.

mayhem are in fact dissidents? He's correctly identified the way in

:13:52.:13:54.

which I used the phrase last time, the way in which I've used it again

:13:55.:13:59.

today and I believe people need to be careful if they sit here with a

:14:00.:14:03.

democratic mandate that they do nothing to en encourage dissidents.

:14:04.:14:08.

Is it not a scandal that a well-known member of an illegal

:14:09.:14:16.

organisation now sits on the Belfast Policing Board. Is that not

:14:17.:14:22.

something which ordinary members of the public would rightly object to?

:14:23.:14:26.

The arrangements for removal are quite clear. If somebody has

:14:27.:14:32.

demonstrably failed to uphold the declaration against terrorism which

:14:33.:14:38.

they made on appointment to the PCSP or the district PCSP, that is the

:14:39.:14:44.

way the law was formulate and put through this House. If there were

:14:45.:14:48.

changeses to be made, including vetting prior to appointment, they

:14:49.:14:51.

would have to be considered by this House at a later stage. I certainly

:14:52.:14:55.

understand the concerns which have been expressed by Mr Maginnis if

:14:56.:15:01.

that is the feeling about the community -- the feeling of the

:15:02.:15:04.

community of some members. In light of recent events in

:15:05.:15:17.

Coleraine and east Belfast, can I ask the minister what discussions

:15:18.:15:21.

he's had with the Chief Constable in respect of illegal loyalist activity

:15:22.:15:26.

and the status of the UVF ceasefire? We need to be careful how we handle

:15:27.:15:31.

those issues. The specific matter of a UVF ceasefire or lack of it issues

:15:32.:15:36.

is a case in the organisation are not for the Department of Justice,

:15:37.:15:39.

but they remain with the Secretary of State. But the member and others

:15:40.:15:43.

will appreciate that when I meet the Chief Constable, I discuss a range

:15:44.:15:48.

of issues which include criminal and terrorist activity. Social

:15:49.:15:52.

Development Minister also faced Question Time and he was asked if he

:15:53.:15:56.

had misled his committee over a meeting with double glazing Fareham

:15:57.:16:02.

Turkington Windows. He was asked the question by Stuart Dixon. Given the

:16:03.:16:08.

evidence to the DST Inquiry on Thursday past with regards to a

:16:09.:16:11.

letter of 24th May 2012 to the chair, did you mislead the

:16:12.:16:18.

committee? There's a proprocess being taken

:16:19.:16:23.

forward by the committee at the moment. There were a number of

:16:24.:16:27.

submissions made last Thursday. There'll be further submissions made

:16:28.:16:35.

this Thursday. I'm due to come to the committee later on in the month

:16:36.:16:41.

of December, I think it's the 12th December, and at that point, I will

:16:42.:16:44.

in fact be giving a submission to the committee. I think it would be

:16:45.:16:49.

wrong and premature to address until I have the courtesy of giving that

:16:50.:16:53.

to the committee. It's a very simple question to the

:16:54.:17:00.

member, dishe mislead the committee. Why did you instruck a civil servant

:17:01.:17:04.

to change the content of that letter? I don't know if the member

:17:05.:17:08.

has difficulty understanding plain English, but I simply said there in

:17:09.:17:14.

response to the first point that I would make the information available

:17:15.:17:18.

to the committee on the 12th December when I go to the committee

:17:19.:17:22.

and I intend, in response to your second question, to give the answer

:17:23.:17:26.

to that in due course as well. Very simple answer will be given on the

:17:27.:17:30.

12st deaths and I would ask the member to have a bit of patience --

:17:31.:17:34.

12th December. Do you have any concerns that delays to the welfare

:17:35.:17:40.

reform Bill will place his department's ability to administer

:17:41.:17:44.

and provide benefits to the most vulnerable at risk? The member makes

:17:45.:17:52.

a very important point here. One that has been largely overlooked in

:17:53.:17:57.

general comment and in particular in the media. Because when we talk

:17:58.:18:02.

about welfare reform and delays, we tend to think in terms of the recent

:18:03.:18:07.

visit by Mike Pinning and the point he made by way of financial

:18:08.:18:12.

penalties that would impact on the Northern Ireland block grant.

:18:13.:18:16.

There's more to it than that. Potentially, it can also impact on

:18:17.:18:21.

the viability of the jobs we have in Northern Ireland providing services

:18:22.:18:24.

to the rest of the United Kingdom in the delivery of welfare. There's

:18:25.:18:30.

also this point that's been made there, that, as regards this - I'm

:18:31.:18:34.

really concerned that delays to welfare Bill are already resulting

:18:35.:18:38.

in operational difficulties - due to the need to put in place clerical

:18:39.:18:44.

work around as the two benefit systems begin to diverge. There are

:18:45.:18:48.

practical difficulties as well, putting at risk the social security

:18:49.:18:52.

agency's ability to administer and provide benefits. The agency is

:18:53.:18:55.

already incurring additional costs. At the moment, modest, but they'll

:18:56.:19:00.

quickly rack up. So it's important, not just for the penalty issue to be

:19:01.:19:06.

kept in mind. That's a hugely important one, as the DWP minister

:19:07.:19:10.

pointed out, but there's also the practical difficulties that are

:19:11.:19:14.

detrimental to claimants in Northern Ireland.

:19:15.:19:18.

We are totally dependent in Northern Ireland on the IT system throughout

:19:19.:19:22.

the rest of the United Kingdom. There's no possibility of Northern

:19:23.:19:27.

Ireland going it alone and devising its own IT system for welfare

:19:28.:19:33.

payments. It would be totally impossible. The cost would be

:19:34.:19:40.

astronomical. It would be simply totally destructive to the Northern

:19:41.:19:43.

Ireland block grant in terms of the cost of it. How we could do it, I

:19:44.:19:47.

could not imagine. Social and development minister Nelson McCause

:19:48.:19:54.

land. The Assembly has backed cross party motion, calling for

:19:55.:19:58.

streamlining. It's said a better structure would improve economic

:19:59.:20:02.

growth, competitiveness and social well-being. Sandra spoke in the

:20:03.:20:07.

debate and she's with me now. Are you saying individual departments

:20:08.:20:10.

aren't pulling their weight, because you said some parties treat their

:20:11.:20:14.

departments as thief Domes? Yes, well, fit for purpose and strong

:20:15.:20:22.

infrastructure is key for economic matters in Northern Ireland. It's

:20:23.:20:25.

important this matteder is addressed. It's an important issue

:20:26.:20:29.

and we are doth calling on all ministers to make sure that all

:20:30.:20:33.

infrastructure projects are progressed as speedily as possible

:20:34.:20:38.

and the construction industry who we met last week, many of us, they tell

:20:39.:20:46.

us how they've suffered since 2007. We have a glimmer of hope on the

:20:47.:20:53.

horizon here and it's important that we have as many projects coming

:20:54.:20:57.

forward now as possible. At the same time, the executive can't single

:20:58.:21:00.

handedly keep the construction industry afloat in Northern Ireland?

:21:01.:21:04.

Absolutely. I mean, you will go to airports and you will see members of

:21:05.:21:10.

the construction industry heading to GB and they have been doing for

:21:11.:21:14.

quite some time. The construction industry's been working in Northern

:21:15.:21:18.

Ireland and working across in they are parts of the UK and the world to

:21:19.:21:22.

keep them going. Singled out the education department

:21:23.:21:28.

today, John O'Dowd, you said to him, the schools building process aren't

:21:29.:21:32.

acceptable. Why that department specifically? Just because I was at

:21:33.:21:37.

a meeting last week with members of the construction and employers

:21:38.:21:41.

federation and it was raised at that meeting that minister O'Dowd had

:21:42.:21:45.

announced a plan of school buildings, but they haven't reached

:21:46.:21:48.

procurement, never mind build yet. It was an issue brought to me at

:21:49.:21:52.

that meeting. That's why I raised it today. You said construction

:21:53.:22:00.

industry needs the capital projects, but if your party rode in behind it,

:22:01.:22:04.

there would have been so many projects? There are so many projects

:22:05.:22:08.

that need to happen in Northern Ireland. That was a big one though?

:22:09.:22:14.

It was a big one, yes, but what the Ulster Unionist Party want to do is

:22:15.:22:17.

what is right for Northern Ireland and, you know, we'll find other

:22:18.:22:25.

projects and we'll do what we can to find other projects, to find

:22:26.:22:27.

projects for the construction industry.

:22:28.:22:30.

Can I just ask you one final question on a subject that we have

:22:31.:22:34.

already dealt with on the programme, the debate on the disappeared. Are

:22:35.:22:41.

you satisfied with the way in which Sinn Fein handled it and didn't

:22:42.:22:47.

force a vote? It was a very sombre debate this afternoon. I was pleased

:22:48.:22:53.

that we had almost unanimous support for that. It's very important that

:22:54.:22:58.

the Assembly shows their support for the families of the disappeared and

:22:59.:23:04.

we managed to do that today so I was pleased with the response. Thank you

:23:05.:23:10.

very much. There was a third Question Time

:23:11.:23:12.

today featuring the Assembly Commission. It has the task of

:23:13.:23:15.

ensuring the Assembly's provided with the property, staff and

:23:16.:23:19.

services required for to it carry out its work. Committee members

:23:20.:23:23.

fielded questions from the floor. There has been a concerning trend of

:23:24.:23:29.

reducing participation in elections over the past decade. Would the

:23:30.:23:34.

member assure me that the commission will continue to support and expand,

:23:35.:23:42.

rather than potentially reduce, the educational outreach service and,

:23:43.:23:46.

can she update me when it plans next to engage with my constituency?

:23:47.:23:53.

First of all, the member can be absolutely assured that I'll have

:23:54.:23:56.

and will continue to fight very hard to ensure that there are no

:23:57.:23:59.

reductions and indeed that we increase the work that the Assembly

:24:00.:24:05.

education staff are doing and that the programme does. In retlietion

:24:06.:24:10.

your own constituency, the Assembly team work with every constituency,

:24:11.:24:14.

if events are planned, we'd be happy to hear them, please feel free to

:24:15.:24:18.

contact myself or any member of the Commission in relation to that.

:24:19.:24:22.

Could I ask one of the Commissioners if the Commission's given any

:24:23.:24:27.

consideration to having a stocktaking exercise in relation to

:24:28.:24:30.

our lifts within this building? There's one of them I think has been

:24:31.:24:33.

out of Commission for at least a year. I see another one out of

:24:34.:24:39.

commission at the moment. Are our lifts fit for purpose?

:24:40.:24:47.

I thank Lord Morrowfr for his supplimentary. I was in the lift

:24:48.:24:54.

this morning and I pushed the buttons and the door opened and told

:24:55.:25:00.

me I had arrived, then they closed again. It was comical, like a

:25:01.:25:05.

cartoon sketch. I reported that as a fault. Obviously, the lifts with

:25:06.:25:11.

quite old, but the technology is not rocket science and I am advised that

:25:12.:25:17.

major work is being done to the lifts. A Commission placed in the

:25:18.:25:22.

House, in this long-going issue, placed the House on sale for the

:25:23.:25:27.

open market in January 2012. There's been a considerable level of

:25:28.:25:30.

interest in the property for development opportunities, there

:25:31.:25:34.

have been very few substantive bids made for Ormiston House and the

:25:35.:25:38.

committee is not in a position to agree a sale. The Commission has one

:25:39.:25:43.

bid for the property but that bid was at less than the asking price.

:25:44.:25:48.

The DUP member of the Assembly Commission there. The final Business

:25:49.:25:53.

Today, remember the passing of one of east Belfast's most famous sons.

:25:54.:26:00.

22nd N 1963, 50 years ago this Friday, the world was stunned to

:26:01.:26:05.

learn of the death of President John F Kennedy who was assassinated on

:26:06.:26:12.

the same day that he tragically lost his life in Dallas Texas, drive

:26:13.:26:18.

Staples Lewis died one week before his 65th birthday. Harper Collins

:26:19.:26:24.

boasts that his Chronicles of Narnia books alone have sold over 100

:26:25.:26:28.

million copies. We should be looking, not just at how we can

:26:29.:26:32.

commemorate him, but at how we can, sadly in a commercial way, make more

:26:33.:26:38.

of our great writers. We have Brian free, Brian Moore, Louis McNiece,

:26:39.:26:44.

Seamus hurricany and Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. The creative

:26:45.:26:49.

writings of CS Lewis has inspired imagination, a love of reading and

:26:50.:26:52.

story-telling amongst children all over the world. The Alliance Party's

:26:53.:26:57.

Chris Little. A few final thoughts now from Sam McBride. We touched on

:26:58.:27:03.

it earlier the Haas talks, the expectations, perhaps the lack of

:27:04.:27:08.

expectation. Do you think we'll see progress this side of Christmas?

:27:09.:27:12.

I've no idea to be honest and I don't think anybody else has, if

:27:13.:27:19.

they are honest, but yesterday Richard Haas alluded to his

:27:20.:27:22.

displeasure that Sinn Fein published their submission. We saw the

:27:23.:27:25.

submission of the retired police officers. It makes it harder to have

:27:26.:27:31.

negotiations. What is your explanation for why Sinn Fein did

:27:32.:27:34.

what they did. Have you been able to work it out? I really don't know.

:27:35.:27:39.

It's possibly trying to up the anti a bit and make sure that people know

:27:40.:27:44.

that something is going on behind-the-scenes. But we now know

:27:45.:27:48.

what their opening bargaining position is, which is very unusual?

:27:49.:27:52.

Some of their proposals are novel, such as having a single flag post in

:27:53.:27:59.

certain areas, things like that. Maybe they are hoping that by

:28:00.:28:02.

putting out their initial submission, it will make it easier

:28:03.:28:05.

for the unionists to say they didn't get everything they wanted but I'm

:28:06.:28:10.

not sure. Haas said the past is really difficult an issue and we

:28:11.:28:13.

have touched on the that already. A lot of people saying it may be the

:28:14.:28:16.

most difficult issue but cannot be brushed under the carpet? And the

:28:17.:28:23.

SDLP and the Ulster Unionists are talking about that. It's the most

:28:24.:28:26.

difficult issue but underpins a lot of the problems that come up in

:28:27.:28:30.

terms of parades and flags. A quick final thought. No legislative

:28:31.:28:35.

discussion again today? Yet again, there's been none. This was being

:28:36.:28:40.

talked about at the weekend, a legislature with no legislation.

:28:41.:28:44.

Westminster had an opposition day and they brought pieces of

:28:45.:28:48.

legislation. It's getting routine that there's little of substance

:28:49.:28:51.

being debated here. Thank you very much. That is it for tonight. Join

:28:52.:28:56.

me for The View on Thursday. Bye-bye.

:28:57.:29:00.

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Mark Carruthers is the guide through the corridors of power at Stormont, and is joined by key people from decision makers to opinion formers to make the experience enlightening and entertaining.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS