Rather than Nelson McCausland doing the honourable thing, he was allowed to make a lengthy oratory before the Social Development committee, during which Gregory Campbell thought the most important issue was whether or not the minister had come before the committee voluntarily or not. No worries Gregory eh? Perhaps Jim Allister's move onto the committee will make things a whole lot less cosy, while giving him something to concentrate on other than his normal Jurassic politics.
Much has been made of our esteemed MLAs expenses and employment habits but while those who bother to declare such things claim they are doing nothing wrong legally, how does it stand morally? Perhaps if it was one or two here and there, it could go unnoticed, but the employment of family members is widespread and within the DUP, it's rife.
It isn't hard to find the information but it does take a bit of digging to get all the facts. If that sort of thing should interest you, it can be found HERE. However, L.A.D. has done a quick breakdown of the figures in case you're too lazy to read the stuff yourself.
As of the last update in July 2013, the figures are really encouraging for those seeking work, especially if you know an MLA. A small number of the positions declared have since been terminated but what's a couple of jabs between you and us?
44 MLAs currently employ a relative, a colleagues relative or have procured services from a relative. The worst offenders are Britishphile, Jonathan Bell who employs his wife and two of the Robinson clan, and Adrian McQuillan whose sister-in-law, aunt and George Robinson's nephew are all employed.
|Jonathan Bell. A very dear friend of the Robinson Family|
Irish Nationalist Shin Fayne IRA Roman Catholics (INSFIRARC) only figure once, Fra McCann employing the niece of Paul and Alex Maskey. However, before the moral high ground is claimed, it should be noted that INSFIRARC MLAs only take the industrial wage, the rest going to the party. It is entirely possible that family are employed by the party and as such, are indirectly paid for by INSFIRARC MLAs.
Given top L.A.D. fan and supporter of Flegger rights, Judge Jimbo Allister is a one man band, maybe it's unfair to say that 100% of his party employs a family member.
Here's a breakdown to make things a little easier to look at.
For reasons of simplicity, these figures don't include other interests such as rental properties, directorships, council roles and the like. We also haven't included the tribe of nomadic faeries employed by the Green's Steven Agnew as faeries are not bound by normal EU employment law.
|* Although UKIP isn't really a party, we've included it so we're not seen to be excluding the far right.|
L.A.D are the defenders of undemocracy and we feel that not enough opportunities are being given to friends and family of MLAs. Surely there is room for almost all MLAs to employ at least one member of family. We don't care about what them INSFIRARC ones do of course.