Allister claims Northern Executive an 'anti-democratic, dismal failure'

Mon, Nov 19, 2012, 00:00

The Northern Ireland Executive is an “anti-democratic, dismal failure” with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness the “personification of evil”, delegates at the fifth annual Traditional Unionist Voice conference in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, were told at the weekend.

TUV leader Jim Allister told party colleagues that Northern Ireland was “stained with innocent blood” as a result of having Sinn Féin in government.

Referring to the recent murder by dissident republicans of prison officer David Black – whose family live in Cookstown – Mr Allister said it was a reminder of the “IRA/Sinn Féin manual, Murder They Wrote”.

“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,” he said.

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

“I salute the Black family for having the strength and courage to cut through the hypocrisy and pretence by telling [Martin] 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.”

Mr Allister called Stormont a place of “woeful squander” of public money, which was “anti-democratic” on account of having no formal opposition.

“Bloated with 108 MLAs when half would be enough, 12 departments when six would do, waste beyond belief on 161 spin doctors, £5 million on hospitality, £400,000 on photographers, an undisclosed sum on foreign travel and still £100 million to squander on useless North-South bodies and £20 million on a shrine at the Maze,” he said.

Since the DUP came to power there had been 133 official North-South ministerial meetings, he argued, but only a handful of “face-saving east-west get-togethers”.

On the lack of a formal opposition at Stormont – a topical issue and one fiercely debated within the UUP and SDLP – Mr Allister called himself a “one-man opposition”.

“The fact that even our opponents recognise the worth of the TUV contribution in the Assembly demonstrates . . . that government without opposition is not just absurd, but anti-democratic.”

The sooner the SDLP and the UUP “recognise they are doormats . . . rediscover their dignity and step out to distinguish themselves in opposition” the better, he said.

Mr Allister, who left the DUP in 2007 over the decision to go into government with Sinn Féin, is his party’s only MLA.