24/09/2012 Stormont Today


24/09/2012

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 24/09/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Good evening. Welcome to Stormont Today. The big Ripon is BP motion

:00:35.:00:39.

calling for the removal or Nelson McCausland. The Post Minister made

:00:39.:00:45.

his views very weird. There is clearly as it the green agenda with

:00:45.:00:54.

a sectarian pact team put England the motion. -- sectarian agenda.

:00:54.:01:02.

all kings of reasons which I cannot going sooner. During in the in the

:01:02.:01:10.

studio is the Shadow Secretary of State, Brown incorporate. -- Vernon

:01:10.:01:18.

Coker. The motion said that by failing to condemn loyalist bans

:01:18.:01:23.

which preached at rates Commission ruling, he had breached the

:01:23.:01:28.

ministerial code of conduct. When Nelson McCausland became a minister

:01:28.:01:37.

he signed up to the ministerial code. In those he promised to up

:01:37.:01:42.

old law and order and promote good community relations. We contend

:01:42.:01:49.

that his bill you to condemn these actions on these two occasions

:01:49.:01:54.

exacerbated the buyer was that arose out of them. These dangers

:01:54.:01:58.

constitute appeal you to uphold law and order and promote good

:01:58.:02:04.

community relations and he must these the consequences. A hyping

:02:04.:02:10.

the proposal buried disappointing. Indeed, it is depressing. The

:02:10.:02:17.

proposal indicates that the motion is not part of an arrow, sectarian

:02:17.:02:21.

agenda and there was nothing a row about it. But, it is clearly a

:02:21.:02:31.

sectarian agenda with a sectarian pack team putting down a motion.

:02:31.:02:38.

the SDLP membership and then the breaking of the law, he entering of

:02:38.:02:43.

houses, the illegal parades carried out by the civil rights movement

:02:43.:02:47.

and a founding fathers of their party? Will one of them stand on

:02:47.:02:54.

their feet and see my -- that they condemn that. We need to set the

:02:54.:02:57.

tone and demonstrate leadership this week and that mistakes have

:02:57.:03:02.

been made and we could up and bitter, the leadership can stand up

:03:02.:03:07.

and accept that we need a mystic and we need to seize up. The pledge

:03:07.:03:12.

that he took his clear, precisely to find in relation to the

:03:12.:03:17.

minister's responsibility to uphold the rule of law, it lays out how

:03:17.:03:22.

that pledge you'd be practice. In particular order minister by

:03:22.:03:25.

stating that those who deliberately and knowingly broke the termination

:03:25.:03:31.

of the Parades Commission in this instance, the band's playing as

:03:31.:03:36.

passing St Patrick's Chapel on the 20 per of August were and his words

:03:36.:03:41.

are totally justified is in clear breach of that pledge. This house

:03:41.:03:45.

has a duty to uphold the highest standards so that the people of the

:03:45.:03:49.

north, who put us here, can have convinced that those unique that

:03:49.:03:57.

rules play by the rules. This motion, it is about decency and

:03:57.:04:02.

accountability and it is about order. The SDLP went on the attack

:04:03.:04:07.

in relation to what can be described as "civil disobedience".

:04:07.:04:12.

That was the initial porkies but they were on the pickled go and and

:04:12.:04:19.

they still Ark and stop the SDLP was born to it at a movement that

:04:19.:04:23.

employed civil disobedience as a tactic including the illegal

:04:23.:04:30.

occupation of public property. Does he can be in his predecessors for

:04:30.:04:34.

their actions? Alistair MacDonald is not a member of the Exchequer

:04:34.:04:40.

that and so, I eat pose a second question, does Alex at we condemn

:04:41.:04:46.

the founding fathers of the SDLP boarder Action? It is clear back

:04:46.:04:50.

they are Anne will position to bring or what such a motion that

:04:50.:04:57.

that bringing themselves up to charges of gross hypocrisy can stop

:04:57.:05:02.

Nelson McCausland, but unbowed and unapologetic today. Stephen Walker

:05:03.:05:07.

is what we know it. Quite heated debate which split along

:05:07.:05:15.

traditional lines. Is it was quite a heated debate. We got a labour of

:05:15.:05:20.

it in those clips. People will remember this debate was on time.

:05:20.:05:27.

The SDLP motion was supported by Sinn Fein, by the Alliance Party

:05:27.:05:36.

and by the Greens. It divided what the majority of Ulster Unionists

:05:36.:05:42.

rolling in behind Nelson McCausland. Two Ulster Unionists did not cope.

:05:42.:05:46.

An independent Unionist go put of the SDLP emotion and afterwards, he

:05:46.:05:51.

explained why it. The Post minister and his party had an opportunity

:05:51.:05:56.

today to put a marker down and show they are determined to stamp out

:05:56.:06:04.

sectarianism. All I had today from Nelson McCausland and his party

:06:04.:06:10.

colleagues was all the averages of the other side. Nothing about him

:06:10.:06:14.

being unable to condemn the violence that was happening,

:06:14.:06:23.

condemn others, who were breaking the law. Explaining why he bloated

:06:24.:06:28.

the way he did, there. The boat bailed - Does that mean there isn't

:06:28.:06:34.

into the matter? 47 members voted for the motion, and Baltic it's, so

:06:34.:06:39.

the motion failed, but the SDLP leader Alistair MacDonald made it

:06:39.:06:43.

clear that as far as she is concerned, it is not the end of the

:06:43.:06:49.

matter. We intend pursuing this. We intend speaking to the Assembly

:06:49.:06:51.

ombudsman and going through the committee of privileges and

:06:51.:06:57.

procedures, because this needs to be established once and for all.

:06:57.:07:01.

Those are the views of Alastair Macdonald, making it clear that

:07:01.:07:04.

although the vote was lost he's going to try to take the matter

:07:04.:07:14.
:07:14.:07:19.

brother. -- brother. -- further. The national allegiances of

:07:19.:07:23.

athletes and the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games was

:07:23.:07:27.

what all the Jane de today. I agree with the minister that it was a

:07:27.:07:32.

wonderful location or our sports people, with a Olympian or

:07:32.:07:38.

Paralympian, in particular might own constituency was blessed with

:07:38.:07:46.

Michael McKillop and Paddy Barnes. As the minister any plans for

:07:46.:07:48.

developing a boxing strategy arising out of the wonder of

:07:48.:07:57.

success of our boxers in the Olympics? The minister did announce

:07:57.:08:04.

a strategy for the boxing fraternity, and I note that he is a

:08:04.:08:11.

great interest in boxing, but, there is a planned in place, so

:08:11.:08:15.

being boxing clubs to see what equipment and materials are

:08:15.:08:20.

required across the North and that will report back to the minister.

:08:20.:08:26.

Boxing is a great we, as a diversion, for boys and girls, in

:08:26.:08:30.

relation to bringing Bin in of the streets and so intimate different

:08:30.:08:35.

way, and a very old pulling spoke. It might be one or and one in the

:08:35.:08:42.

ring but there is a great team at this you have won a boxing club.

:08:42.:08:50.

Passed - aren't a boxing club. Everyone is aware of the difficult

:08:51.:08:53.

choice that the maerl will we will have to make in terms of allegiance

:08:53.:08:58.

and we support them, what the readers, but will the Minister

:08:58.:09:01.

asked his brain that the same opportunity that that presently

:09:01.:09:07.

afforded to the likes of Roy Wii Boy and Graeme it will and others,

:09:07.:09:11.

to play well at the Team GB will team Ireland, should be reported in

:09:11.:09:15.

the Olympic Games to boxers so that they are not compelled to pick or

:09:15.:09:24.

team Ireland which they could fight or Team GB if they used to do so?

:09:24.:09:30.

One thing that has been shown, over the Olympics and this last period

:09:30.:09:35.

of time, regardless of what team anyone plead for all drawing, the

:09:35.:09:44.

whole community got behind been to support them. I noted for Rommel's

:09:44.:09:49.

riches of the committee that someone from you was achieving, on

:09:49.:09:56.

the world stage. It is a huge achievement to secure the world

:09:56.:10:01.

police and borough games, and it is enough to capture the imagination

:10:01.:10:05.

of people in Northern Ireland and put it the end with the scale and

:10:06.:10:11.

possibility of this event, and if she is working with the tourism

:10:11.:10:14.

minister and volunteering to make sure we get as much information out

:10:14.:10:19.

there about the opportunities for volunteering and tourism in gold in

:10:19.:10:29.
:10:29.:10:30.

as it it, or so. -- in gold in this event. Now that the Olympics and

:10:30.:10:35.

Paralympics up past, there will be a focus on the world police and

:10:35.:10:41.

borough games. This is a major international sporting event and

:10:41.:10:45.

when people look back to the Olympics and the many programmes

:10:45.:10:50.

and articles in relation to the Olympics and Paralympics, one of

:10:50.:10:55.

the main features has been the role of volunteers, who meet in dipping

:10:55.:10:59.

League games, they broke that extra dimension to the Olympics, and I

:10:59.:11:04.

have no doubt that the department will be able to recruit three

:11:04.:11:07.

doesn't buy put the ball it appears to do their up on the streets of

:11:07.:11:17.
:11:17.:11:18.

Belfast, to make these the crinkly police and fire games. -- friendly.

:11:18.:11:23.

The centenary of the signing of the Ulster Cup it was marked at public

:11:23.:11:29.

buildings with a lecturer in the long gallery. Among those attending

:11:29.:11:37.

was Vernon Coker. An important event would you to attend? It is a

:11:37.:11:42.

very significant historical event, the start of the decade of

:11:42.:11:46.

commemoration and it sets the tone all the rest of the decade will go,

:11:46.:11:51.

so it is an extremely important event and an interesting one for me

:11:51.:11:56.

to be at. And you have done it and -- several other appointments

:11:56.:12:03.

related to it. I wanted to come and see what was going on with respect

:12:03.:12:09.

to the marking of the same thing or the Cup at 100 years ago. And went

:12:09.:12:12.

to the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road. What was important

:12:12.:12:17.

about that, it was historians reflecting on what happened all

:12:17.:12:21.

that time ago, talking about the significance of it to ordinary

:12:21.:12:26.

people, people are bringing in memorabilia from the time, people

:12:26.:12:31.

who had been talking to and went back there about what happened, so

:12:31.:12:36.

it was the people's history that was recorded at the Spectrum Centre.

:12:36.:12:45.

That was what made it so important for me, do you that. A picture of

:12:45.:12:53.

you signing a book, singing a visitors' book. I think it is

:12:53.:12:56.

important. If you're the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern

:12:56.:13:00.

Ireland, it is important the company will Bono when, to talk to

:13:00.:13:06.

people about these important, historic events. There are more to

:13:06.:13:13.

come, that MPs 16 rising, that will be marked in an important way.

:13:13.:13:19.

any people are saying that it is important that this first event in

:13:19.:13:21.

this decade of centenary commemorations gets off on the

:13:21.:13:25.

right Britain, that the process gets off to a good start, and there

:13:25.:13:29.

is some nervousness, and he will be aware of this ahead of the parade

:13:29.:13:36.

on Saturday, that things have the potential not to go as well as they

:13:36.:13:39.

might also what are you doing about the tops going on behind closed

:13:39.:13:49.

doors to make sure Saturday passes The vast majority of people wanted

:13:49.:13:54.

these events to be marked in a peaceful way. There are discussions

:13:54.:13:57.

going on looking at how these events can be marked in an

:13:57.:14:03.

appropriate way. I think what is needed is local leadership. People

:14:03.:14:10.

need to come together to see were compromises can be found. I

:14:10.:14:14.

expected to go well. I am sure the vast majority of people would

:14:14.:14:20.

expect that. You have to hope that the discussions that no doubt will

:14:20.:14:27.

be going on, in which people will seek to market in an appropriate

:14:27.:14:32.

way -- to market... That is what everybody will work towards

:14:32.:14:37.

achieving. Did you give direct advice about dealing with

:14:37.:14:43.

residents' groups, for example? Certainly what you would want to

:14:43.:14:46.

see his everyone talking to everyone. Local leadership, people

:14:46.:14:51.

on the ground. Seeing how these occasions can be marked in an

:14:51.:14:55.

appropriate way. Certainly that is what you would hope to be happening.

:14:55.:15:05.

You are here at Stormont on the day the SDLP tabled a vote of no

:15:05.:15:08.

confidence in Nelson McCausland. Some people think that was not a

:15:08.:15:12.

great idea in the lead-up to Saturday's parade. Do you think it

:15:12.:15:18.

was wise? The Assembly will decide on which Motion's are put forward.

:15:18.:15:23.

That is a matter for the Assembly. We want to see all of these

:15:23.:15:27.

occasions, starting with the Ulster Covenant, marked in an appropriate

:15:27.:15:31.

way. That will require local leadership and people coming

:15:31.:15:36.

together to discuss these events. Certainly that is what I expect to

:15:36.:15:43.

happen. If you remain in this position, you would expect that you

:15:43.:15:48.

would be back and attending other events that different parts of the

:15:48.:15:54.

community would be celebrating? There are quite a lot of

:15:54.:15:58.

commemorations and celebrations in the next 10 years. Exactly.

:15:58.:16:01.

Starting with the marking of the signing of the Ulster Coburn up

:16:01.:16:10.

this weekend, hugely significant event. -- also covenant. To --

:16:10.:16:15.

Ulster. I think sensible people in Northern Ireland and the rest of

:16:15.:16:19.

Ireland, they will be looking to see how it can be marked in the

:16:19.:16:22.

wake that would do everyone credit. Thank you for coming in. Nice to

:16:22.:16:29.

meet you. The Department of Agriculture's decision to move its

:16:29.:16:33.

headquarters from Belfast got a mixed reaction from staff,

:16:33.:16:40.

according to the union. Today it was the turn of MLAs to quiz the

:16:40.:16:46.

Minister. It is a very difficult time in

:16:46.:16:50.

terms of the weather, the increasing prices on the global

:16:50.:16:55.

markets. We have to continue to work with the industry. That is one

:16:56.:17:00.

of the reason -- reasons we established the board. A lot of

:17:00.:17:05.

these things, such as pricing in global markets, are B and our

:17:05.:17:12.

control. We have to work with industry and do our best for all

:17:12.:17:15.

involved. There is distinct difference between the set up we

:17:15.:17:20.

have and what is in Britain, that most of our farmers are involved

:17:20.:17:24.

with co-operatives. We have to continue to work with the industry

:17:24.:17:33.

to make sure we promote all our sectors. They need... Car and the

:17:33.:17:38.

Minister guarantee this House that she will bring measures in to bring

:17:39.:17:42.

stability to the local milk producers before the end of milk

:17:42.:17:49.

quotas? One of the pieces of work we have taken forward as getting

:17:49.:17:58.

involved in the UK dairy package. Looking at the potential market we

:17:58.:18:03.

should be exploring. One of the differences is that we're self-

:18:03.:18:08.

sufficient in milk and milk products. In Britain, they are not.

:18:08.:18:12.

We are target in the export market. We will continue to work with

:18:12.:18:18.

industry. The Department's headquarters at Dundonald House and

:18:18.:18:27.

higher bank or no longer fit for purpose. We saw an opportunity to

:18:27.:18:33.

spread high quality public sector jobs across the North. I secured

:18:33.:18:37.

the programme for Government commitment and an outline of the

:18:37.:18:45.

project has been approved. The top two were in the north-west. I made

:18:45.:18:54.

my decision to relocate to Ballykelly. The availability of an

:18:54.:18:59.

Assembly owned Star -- side and the availability of buildings on that

:18:59.:19:03.

side. Can the Minister confirm that no staff will be forced to relocate

:19:03.:19:11.

to Ballykelly? I recognise the location could create problems for

:19:11.:19:16.

existing staff. I am going to take the time that we have to develop

:19:16.:19:19.

and implement change. That can include looking at more flexible

:19:19.:19:24.

working, looking at doing things a little bit differently. I do not

:19:24.:19:28.

expect that existing members of staff will be forced to move. Of

:19:28.:19:36.

course, the one thing I would say is that their responsibilities

:19:36.:19:41.

under existing contracts and they have to be honoured. We are

:19:41.:19:44.

locating high-value public sector jobs and creating a fair

:19:44.:19:51.

distribution of those jobs across the North. It was recommended some

:19:51.:19:58.

time ago in the Bain report. It helps to build a our economy in a

:19:59.:20:02.

fair wear. There is a better distribution of jobs. Michelle

:20:02.:20:11.

O'Neill. Welfare was back on the agenda today. The direct payment of

:20:11.:20:16.

housing benefit to social landlords was called for.

:20:16.:20:22.

We have emphasised the urgent need for this Assembly to shape the

:20:22.:20:26.

legislation to suit Northern Ireland, rather than merely rubber-

:20:26.:20:29.

stamped something that has been made in England and has no

:20:29.:20:35.

cognisance of the realities of life here. The move towards universal

:20:35.:20:41.

credit is being packaged as a means of giving and teaching the

:20:41.:20:45.

claimants financial responsibility. There is to be a single household

:20:45.:20:49.

payment of benefits to one nominated person per household.

:20:49.:20:54.

This move in itself is fraught with danger. I fear that many households

:20:54.:20:59.

will have to learn the hard way. Families will have major difficulty

:20:59.:21:04.

managing budgets. Some think that many have not done before.

:21:04.:21:10.

Especially when these budgets are already reduced due to benefit cuts

:21:10.:21:15.

and rising unemployment. Problems will also rise within families,

:21:15.:21:21.

especially where there may be addiction problems. Will the

:21:21.:21:25.

benefit find its way to its intended target? Within the

:21:25.:21:29.

constraints of the parity principle, I am pursuing other adjustments to

:21:29.:21:33.

make sure Universal Credit is better tailored to meet the needs

:21:34.:21:37.

of Northern Ireland customers once we have the Welfare Reform Bill

:21:37.:21:41.

through Assembly. I have asked that the IT functionality be put in

:21:41.:21:47.

place to allow the credit payment to be split between members of the

:21:47.:21:51.

household. I have asked the Department for Work and Pensions

:21:51.:21:54.

for the IT capability to make universal credit payments more

:21:54.:21:59.

frequently than on a monthly basis. While other continue to vigorously

:21:59.:22:05.

pursue these changes -- I will continue, Assembly Members should

:22:05.:22:07.

not there are practical considerations because of the

:22:07.:22:12.

extent to which we utilise the computer systems provided by the

:22:12.:22:15.

Department of Work and Pensions for the delivery of benefits in

:22:15.:22:19.

Northern Ireland. The best way is for Northern Ireland to be part of

:22:19.:22:26.

the main system with the flexibility require. -- we require.

:22:26.:22:30.

Everybody in this Assembly is looking for the same thing, to

:22:30.:22:34.

deliver firm or the Ryland the flexibilities we want, we need and

:22:34.:22:42.

would require. Last week there was a private member's bill concerning

:22:42.:22:48.

the employment of special advisers. There were questions about whether

:22:48.:22:58.
:22:58.:22:59.

or not individual MLAs could be provided with legal advice. Jim

:22:59.:23:07.

Allister was first to speak. Special manager is a special person

:23:07.:23:12.

in that they have the status of not just a civil servant, but a senior

:23:12.:23:19.

civil servant. They have access to all Government papers. They advise

:23:19.:23:27.

that the highest level. Indeed, some might say on some occasions

:23:27.:23:32.

that they are and effective Government. They advised the

:23:32.:23:37.

ministers and many of the arrangements made our probably the

:23:37.:23:45.

product of agreements between special advisers. Is everyone who

:23:45.:23:52.

purport to be a special adviser being paid from public funds? The

:23:52.:23:56.

Department of Finance has not accepted that their appointment has

:23:56.:24:01.

been regular. That is my belief. If I am wrong about that, I am wrong.

:24:02.:24:06.

Certainly that is my belief based on what is in the public domain.

:24:06.:24:13.

Vetting is a requirement for every other senior civil servant. Why

:24:13.:24:18.

should special advisers be different? Why should they be

:24:18.:24:28.
:24:28.:24:30.

exempt from that basic fundamental requirement? Why are you proposing

:24:30.:24:36.

to single out special advisers in this way beyond the policy on

:24:36.:24:44.

convictions which is correct Northern Ireland civil service

:24:44.:24:48.

recruitment policy and procedure? ASBOs because of the controversy

:24:48.:24:54.

brought upon the issue by the insensitive appointment of Mary

:24:54.:25:00.

McArdle, which drew such public disquiet and brought such hurt to

:25:00.:25:05.

the family of Mary Travers. I am simply saying, never again should

:25:05.:25:12.

that be capable of having -- happening. Is part of what I see as

:25:13.:25:16.

good governance arrangements, when I'm happy to give as much

:25:16.:25:25.

assistance -- assistance as I can. Does that assistance extent to

:25:25.:25:31.

individual Assembly Members? From time to time it could, yes. Why BG

:25:31.:25:36.

declined to give me advice when I asked for your advice on the autism

:25:36.:25:43.

Bill? -- why did you decline? are all sorts of reasons as to why

:25:43.:25:52.

I cannot answer that. I thought -- I cannot go into them now. I cannot

:25:52.:26:02.

answer that question. A baby you could try to explain. -- ready.

:26:02.:26:07.

am not sure I could. If you write to me, I will try to answer your

:26:07.:26:17.

question. John Larkin and Dominic Bradley agreeing to disagree.

:26:17.:26:24.

Stephen water is here. Just to return to the special advisers Bill,

:26:24.:26:29.

it moves on a stage in Parliament Buildings Tamara? It does. It comes

:26:29.:26:34.

before the House tomorrow. Some of the issues we saw highlight of last

:26:34.:26:37.

week will be highlighted tomorrow. The issue has been incredibly

:26:37.:26:41.

controversial. Some of the arguments rehearsed last week, we

:26:41.:26:47.

were here tomorrow. We have talked a lot about the covenant tonight

:26:47.:26:52.

and in recent weeks. It looks like it is going to remain very much at

:26:52.:26:56.

the top of the agenda certainly for the foreseeable future? I think it

:26:56.:27:02.

well. I think the commemorations surrounding it up and be hard to

:27:02.:27:06.

miss this week. We had a service yesterday at St Anne's Cathedral in

:27:06.:27:12.

Belfast, attended by many people. We have an event tonight at

:27:12.:27:19.

Stormont. There is a dinner on Friday night. And a lot of focus on

:27:19.:27:25.

the parade taking place in Belfast on Saturday. We expect a ruling

:27:25.:27:29.

from the Parades Commission very soon on that March. A lot of

:27:29.:27:34.

coverage in the papers and on the radio and television. A lot of

:27:34.:27:41.

special programmes? That is right. A lot of features on BBC Northern

:27:41.:27:44.

Ireland. As special documentary being prepared. It will be hard to

:27:45.:27:51.

miss. An interesting development tonight relating to the Scot has

:27:51.:27:56.

referendum vote. What can you tell me? David Hulme from the Orange

:27:56.:28:04.

Order has issued a statement on the Scottish referendum. He has

:28:04.:28:09.

suggested that Ulster Scots should be given a vote in that referendum.

:28:09.:28:13.

Obviously the vote is for people in Scotland. He is suggesting because

:28:13.:28:19.

of the historical links, Ulster Scots should get their opportunity

:28:19.:28:23.

to describe Scotland's future. Some people may say it is tongue-in-

:28:23.:28:28.

cheek. David Hume believes there are great historical and political

:28:28.:28:34.

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.