Robinson should look in the mirror – Dickson

Alliance Chief Whip Stewart Dickson MLA has responded to Peter Robinson’s declaration on the need to reform the Stormont institutions by telling him to examine the role the DUP has played in making them unworkable.

Stewart Dickson said: “Peter Robinson is right that the Stormont structures aren’t working. Indeed, Alliance has been pressing for reforms since 2002, and David Ford’s call for a reboot of the institutions reflects our concerns that the Executive just isn’t delivering for the people of Northern Ireland.

“But Peter Robinson should take a look in the mirror, and face the fact that the DUP must share the blame for failure. On Monday the DUP misused the Petition of Concern procedure in order to protect Nelson McCausland from any degree of accountability. Last week the Lord Chief Justice reminded us of another DUP Minister who breached important conventions on the relationship between government and the judiciary. And his Party’s involvement in the Twaddell camp makes a nonsense of the DUP’s claim to support law and order. You can’t blame the institutions if your own actions bring those institutions into disrepute.

“The fact is that as long as parties put their own interests first, the institutions won’t work. By putting their party positions first on welfare reform, Sinn Fein and the SDLP have created a financial crisis. But the DUP’s handling of the June monitoring round, and long-term mismanagement of public finances in DFP and DHSSPS, have left the Executive in a place where it can’t cope with that crisis. It’s time that both the DUP and Sinn Fein admitted that not only do the institutions need reform, but they have been putting their parties first, and the people of Northern Ireland second. If they don’t wake up to that reality then the crisis will only get worse.

“What Northern Ireland needs now is politicians that are capable of acting in a professional manner, who put people first and narrow political interests second. Alliance provides that alternative.”


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