In 1997 Martin McGuinness said that all political mandates must be respected and that the British Government should not discriminate against the 100,000 people who voted Sinn Fein.
Ten years later, Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein, aided and abetted by those arch moderates, the DUP, are trying to discriminate against the 105,064 people who voted SDLP in 2007.
A new Policing and Justice Ministry should be created immediately. The principles of democracy and the practice of allocating all ministerial office under the D'Hondt system is the right and proper way to proceed. This means the position should go to the SDLP. Yet SF and the DUP turn democracy on its head. They abandon the very mechanism that guarantees parties their entitlement to a full allocation of ministerial office. They essentially re-create the politics of exclusion.
But there is more to it. SF are running scared of an SDLP, leaps and bounds ahead of them in terms of being effective in government. Margaret Ritchie is living proof of that. Another SDLP minister would only expose how SF has neither the craft nor the guile to deal with Robinson/Dodds elements in the Civil Service et al. So worried are they of the SDLP that SF would prefer the justice minister to go to Alliance/unionist /NIO amalgam rather than a nationalist.
CLLR TIM ATTWOOD SDLP