6/13/2006

Committee Chairs appointed.

I see that Peter Hain has finally stepped in to end the farce that had developed over the chair of the Preparation for Government committee at Stormont and has appointed the two deputy speakers- Francie Molloy of SF and Jim Wells of the DUP to chair the committee. This has to be seen as a real failure. My initial reaction is that it seems that Mr. Hain doesn't know exactly what he's doing. If he was indeed willing to appoint people to chair the committee why didn't he do this at the time and save the terrible spectacle of last week's fiasco?

It seems Hain has been forced into appointing joint chairs because the committee was unable to do itself due to the intransigence of the DUP. This augurs very badly for the future and sends out a very clear signal that the DUP will do all that they can to block progress and hold up the possibility of a power sharing executive. They must not be allowed to deliberately hold up progress while continuing to claim that they are willing to share power. If the DUP want a power sharing administration then they must work positively to achieve one. If they don't then they should be honest about that. Paisley can't have it both ways.

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