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Green party showing rest of the Opposition how to hold the Executive and ministers to account

letter of the day: government failures

The Assembly proceedings last Monday could have been mistaken for a sort of 'real-life-of' TV show knock-off, with the sheer amount of name-calling and mudslinging going on between the DUP and the main Opposition parties.

That is, until Steven Agnew of the Greens got up and managed to put some context to the whole debate, and actually bring some constructive arguments to the floor.

He made particular reference to Arlene Foster's "catalogue of failures", alluding to her failure to enact an independent EPA as Environment Minister, and an estimated loss of £1bn-worth of investment from an offshore windfarm project as DETI minister.

Further to Mr Agnew's speech last Monday, we now know that the Greens had raised the issue of the overly-generous RHI subsidies with Arlene Foster in July 2013, via a question to Mrs Foster - a question which, at the time, she completely rejected and powered on with the scheme regardless; a question that, if taken seriously at the time, could have potentially saved us millions of pounds.

I believe that the new official Opposition, while good at grabbing headlines and focusing media attention, has a lot to learn from what Mr Agnew and the Greens have been accomplishing over the years, in terms of actually holding the Executive and its ministers to account.

Now with two MLAs in the Assembly, I believe that the Greens can fast continue being not only the Opposition that we want, but also the Opposition that we deserve.

ANTHONY FLYNN

Belfast

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