Executive Office showing notable aggression towards opposition

Executive office headed by Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster has reacted angrily to opposition criticism. Picture by Matt Bohill 
Analysis by Allison Morris

WHILE defending their policies is to be expected, the adversarial nature of how the Executive Office responds to criticism from the new opposition has come as something of a surprise.

It seems only reasonable that a robust opposition would question the allocation of £1.7 million in public money to a UDA linked community group.

Money that was signed off by First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in March of this year.

This new found spirit of cooperation and non aggression policy being implemented by the two main parties, while unconventional given their very different outlooks, has helped bring stability to the assembly in turbulent political times.

However, the aggressive nature to which they have been responding to criticism has been noted and is not in any way the actions of a secure, controlled and professionally managed administration.

When Claire Hanna rightly questioned why the UDA linked Charter NI was chosen to manage such a huge sum of money the Executive office hit back with a personal side-swipe at he SDLP assembly member calling her party "out of touch".

When the opposition questioned why the law was changed to allow journalist David Gordon to be employed as a government spin doctor, bypassing any public competition for the role, the Executive responded aggressively accusing critics of hysteria and "trying to throw dirt".

Mr Gordon, a former Nolan Show producer takes up his position at Executive communications office this month.

Before unpacking his lunch box he might want to remind his colleagues of the power of restraint and that such blatant hostility towards the opposition only makes the public wonder what it is the Executive office are trying to hide.

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