Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Basil McCrea and NI21 face big bullies in Alliance and UUP

Will Chambré - Eye on the Hill

The problem of bullying in schools and in the workplace is widely known about – and now it emerges that the Assembly has its fair share of bullies.

The Basil McCrea, John McCallister axis that is now to be called NI21 have been told they are to be pushed down the pecking order when it comes to speaking rights in the Assembly.

Basil said the other parties had been ganging up on their new party, like a crowd of over-sized school kids rounding on the new kids.

The response by Basil very much indicated where the NI21 are targeting their ire, now and in the future: The Alliance Party.

Alliance, in the past, were the party regularly bullied by the big boys. Now through accident they have the two seats at the executive table and Basil and John think they’re picking on them.

With Alliance and the UUP in their sites for specific issues and the real big boys on strategic issues, the problem NI21 face is that the bullies really are bigger than them.

Thus the fight back on the floor of the assembly will be prove increasingly difficult as they’re pushed aside by the big boys (and girls).

But fear not, while Basil and John’s voices may be silenced on the hill, you can be sure we’ll be hearing lots more from them on the View – well for the meantime anyway.

Thank you G8 – it’s been great

What a palaver! The great and powerful are to descend upon us mortals next week.

Leaders from the economic powerhouses of the world are to arrive in Norn Iron and be treated like a new version of worldwide Royalty, with carefully posed photo calls with tame locals.

No doubt some bright officials from the department of finance and personnel will be able to calculate the benefit.

However, come Monday that official will be stuck in traffic like the rest of us, as roads minister Danny Kennedy has warned of traffic gridlock as the likes of the US president and Japanese prime minister descend on Belfast.

He claimed there will be extra buses and trains on the rails and roads. But we’ve got Danny’s agenda! After Translink was so heavily criticised in the assembly, the promise of road closures may boost the cash flow of the troubled  company; enabling Danny to claim that there are more people using public transport.

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