>> 13 Sep 2004


Paul Murphy, the lugubrious Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has laid it on the line. Oh yes.Murphy, the Northern Ireland Secretary, told The London Times that unless the institutions set up under the Belfast Agreement were restored, Members of the Legislative Assembly at Stormont (MLAs) could not be paid indefinitely.

“There is a limit obviously to how far you can go on doing that,” Mr Murphy said. He said MLAs had gone on being paid reduced salaries to allow them to look after their constituents and to preserve the political class that has developed in Northern Ireland. “Politics went to sleep in many ways in Northern Ireland and we wanted to make sure that people who committed themselves to a political future were able to stay,” he said. Halting the pay of MLAs would be one step short of dissolving the Assembly altogether, which would require approval by Parliament.

So - accept the further corruption of democracy or we'll stop your salaries? Fine. Stop the salaries Paul. We don't need no politicians.


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