| 10.1°C Belfast

Close

Premium


Andree Murphy

Smaller NI parties need to remember they are in government too

Andree Murphy


In these difficult times, every party should be trying to move forward without one eye on the next election, writes Andree Murphy

Close

Decision makers: Politicians, advisers and officials at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont on July 23

Decision makers: Politicians, advisers and officials at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont on July 23

PA

Decision makers: Politicians, advisers and officials at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont on July 23

In January, there was a huge push for the parties to form a local government in the wake of pressure from health workers. It seemed that the issues keeping the parties apart were reduced as pressures to have a locally accountable health minister became urgent. In rode then-Secretary of State Julian Smith and the ever-present Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, with their fait accompli: the New Decade, New Approach document.

The focus of the following hours was on the reaction of the Big Two parties.

This document built less of a bridge between them, but more a political ferry that allowed everyone to make necessary journeys of compromise. But for the smaller parties, the document probably posed different questions.