Today Eamonn Mallie believed he had a scoop when Martin McGuinness made claims of the UUP seeking funding for an opposition from the Government. Problem is Devenport Diaries had the story yesterday from an NIO source. The same NIO source said the request had been turned down.
"An NIO source told me this has been raised by the UUP. But there are no plans to include it in the "Normalisation Bill" due to deal with political donations and double jobbing. That bill is currently expected in 2013. Of course any party can choose not to take seats in the Executive. However, in contrast to Westminster, there is no funding or official recognition for a Stormont "opposition". My source suggests the question of funding might be one for the Assembly Commission, which manages Stormont, rather than the NIO."
The saleability of the demand for money isn't easy in good times never mind the difficult times we are in and it undermines the claim to a principled stance - we believe in X but only if there is cash for doing X.