Naomi Long stated: “The Prime Minister is proposing bringing in ‘super-nannies’ to advise parents that rewarding bad behaviour only leads to worse behaviour. Parents will be told they must not cave in to unreasonable demands, that they must set boundaries and deadlines that
stick, and that they must not say one thing and do another.
“This sounds to me like the kind of advice which the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State and the Northern Ireland Ministerial team should be taking rather than giving. In fact, rewarding bad behaviour is precisely what Ministers are doing in Northern Ireland!
“Every unreasonable demand is catered for, which leads to more unreasonable demands. Every boundary and deadline is broken at the behest of those for whom they were set. And Ministers spend most of their time saying one thing and then, almost immediately, doing another.
“Much like a pressurized parent with a poorly behaving child, the Government is too distracted by other things, too tired of the bickering and too exasperated by the behaviour to see that by not taking a firm line and sticking to it they are actually encouraging more of the same. Instead they offer empty threat after empty threat, pander to the demands of the most demanding, set deadlines and then move them. They offer goodies to those in society who behave badly and largely ignore those who are being constructive.
“The ‘really serious’ deadline of the 24th November has, in reality disappeared being replaced by a new ‘really, really serious’ deadline in March. Not surprisingly the DUP, buoyed up by their ability to move one immoveable deadline, are already saying that even post an election,
they do not consider March a deadline, leaving many wondering what the point of
an election is other than an ego trip for the DUP. Meanwhile, we still
have no idea when or how Sinn FÃ©in is going to get its act together on a
real commitment to policing or what they will demand from Government in
“Surely the time for rewarding these two parties for their errant behaviour has long passed. It is time we got on with a process which is fit to work and fit to last.”