MLA Twitter list

With more MLAs than ever embracing Twitter, I have compiled a list of the 50 Assembly members to date who have created accounts.

While the 50 accounts may represent less than half of Stormont’s 108 MLAs, it shows an increasing acknowledgement from the political establishment of Twitter as a potentially useful, even powerful means of communication. Particularly in light of the use of the NI Executive Twitter account for releasing the results of the D’Hondt process for the new Executive.

Follow the list here.

Best of frenemies – thoughts on the last four years

I wrote the following after spending the day in Stormont on the last day of term. I intended posting it earlier but after the week that was, it didn’t feel appropriate.

There was a distinct feeling of summer last week as I passed Carson on my way up the long symmetrical road to Parliament Buildings on Stormont’s hill.

It wasn’t just the blue skies, blinding sunshine or the freshly cut green grass, but the distinct atmosphere bouncing around the marble floors and pillars of Stormont’s Great Hall that rang; last day of school. For all intents and purposes March 23 was the end of term at the Assembly, albeit not a school term, but the final sitting of the four year session of the latest incarnation of our local devolved government.

Although for many observers, school is an appropriate enough analogy for Stormont, given the prevailing political immaturity and on the job learning that many MLAs have been cast into. Read more of this post

Twitter list for the Assembly Election 2011 #ae11

I’ve been working on a comprehensive twitter list as a resource for the upcoming May elections. You can access it here.

Although I’ve called it ‘Assembly Election 2011‘, to keep things straight-forward, I’ve also included local election (#le11) candidates in the list as well.

The list generally includes candidates, party feeds, political staff, commentators and bloggers, but I’m continually adding to the list all the time. Feel free to include your suggestions.

http://twitter.com/AldousDuke/assembly-election-2011

Deeny stands down

West Tyrone’s independent MLA Kieran Deeny is to stand down at the next Assembly election.

Citing “family reasons” and the demanding time schedule he faced performing the role of a practicing GP and Assembly member Dr Deeny said, “It has become increasingly difficult to work even part-time as a GP and as an MLA and do the jobs properly.”

However in announcing his decision, Dr Deeny fired a parting shot at the four main political parties for not backing the hospital campaign in Omagh. While he enjoyed support from individual MLAs, he claimed there was no desire at a leadership level from either Sinn Féin, the DUP, the SDLP or the UUP to back his Tyrone County Health Coalition:

Read more of this post

Sinn Féin to target four Assembly seats in West Tyrone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sinn Féin will seek to extend their political dominance in West Tyrone in 2011 by attempting to add a fourth MLA to the three Assembly seats they already hold in the constituency.

Chairman of Omagh District Council Declan McAleer (above right) and Chairperson of Strabane District Council Michaela Boyle (above left) are the two new additions for the 2011 campaign, joining Barry McElduff and Pat Doherty (centre). Strabane based MLA Claire McGill will step down at the next Assembly election on May 5.

Read more of this post

GP MLA’s two day week draws criticism

Assembly voting records published during the week surprised no one in West Tyrone when they revealed Dr Kieran Deeny lay joint bottom of the table with a lowly 23% attendance for votes in the chamber.

Of course this is nothing new and the independent Assembly member makes little apology when these stories surface, reiterating the fact that he opts to remain a practicing GP and focus mainly on health issues. He repeated again this week;

Because of the insecure nature of politics, I could not give up my GP job and I think people are aware of that. I’m committed to working two days a week and so sometimes that means I have to do constituency work on an a Monday or a Tuesday. Read more of this post