SDLP leader was foolish to make MLA pay claim

SIR, — If ever proof was needed that the SDLP party is out of touch it is surely illustrated in the newly elected leader Dr. Alasdair McDonnell’s call for substantial pay rises for MLA’s.   

During this time of severe austerity, when genuine hardship is the lot of 

many citizens, his call for 

remuneration enhance-

ment for politicians is at best crass and insensitive and at worst misguided and avaricious.

If Dr. Mc Donnell genuinely feels that a salary in excess of £43,000 per annum (apart from generous expenses) is akin to “starvation wages” then I suggest that he should try to survive for a year on the minimum wage or perhaps in the situation where many people now find themselves of having been previously self employed in say a construction job and now finding they are not even entitled to benefits despite there being no work available.

In case any of your readers are fooled by the post foot in mouth bleating of a politician being “quoted out of context”, misrepresented etc. or the cobbling together of a hastily prepared apology I suggest they should study 

Dr. Mc Donnell’s recent words in relation to the SDLP’s filling of positions in the current assembly going forward when he talked about “dividing the cake”. I kid you not.  

He did not speak of bringing a broader range of experience to the positions or fresh ideas to the table as it were, but rather a division of the spoils among the preferred.

Now who was it when told that the peasants had no bread replied “let them eat cake”?  Marie Antoinette I believe. We all know what happened to her. The SDLP may do the decent thing but somehow I doubt it.

Yours etc.,