Right you two. Say sorry…

In their new role as the official opposition, the SDLP is allocated one day a month to set the agenda in the Assembly chamber.

From Enda Mc Clafferty over at the BBC:

The SDLP has tabled three motions for Monday:

  1. To ask MLAs to express their shame at the suspension of devolution over the past 10 years and to accept responsibility for the “decline in public services” during that time.
  2. Members are asked to apologise to public sector workers who have “experienced pay injustice” and to end the power of one party being able to collapse the institutions.
  3. The first and deputy first ministers are urged to commit to reforming the institutions in the Programme for Government.

A further motion calls for the setting up a special committee to consider legislation to prevent the future collapse of Stormont by a single party with a report on the options to be compiled by September.

Expect lots of opposition today and much of it will be aimed at those on the opposition benches.

The SDLP motions will stoke and divide the executive parties.

Asking DUP and Sinn Féin MLAs to express shame at how their respective parties collapsed the institutions is a bold move.

It will be met by a predictable robust response.

But both Sinn Féin and the DUP will tread more carefully around reforming the institutions as it is not an avenue they can completely close off.

It is much easier ground for Alliance and the Ulster Unionists.

The SDLP will feel it has laid a political minefield but don’t expect too many casualties.

As the great politics philosopher Elton John once said – ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’. It really is a sad sad situation…

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