I THOUGHT I WAS WORTH A LITTLE MORE

ruth patterson

“I thought I was worth a little more”.

Apparenty these are the words that Ruth Patterson , the ex-DUP councillor uttered some short time ago when she lost out in a hoped-for and , to her , expected promotion to Emma Pengelly in the party. It would have meant a rise in both finances and position of worth in the party.Sadly , that phrase does little more than expose both the extent and the limits of both her bruised ego and her apparent worth.
There may be more to Ruth Patterson than the noisy cartoon figure we’ve come to know publicly ,only through media exposure, but how would we ever know or be sure if there was anything more than that rough sketch? She may have done some stirling work for her community behind the scenes but that kind of dull day -to-day grind doesn’t play well in the radio or television media, which is essentially a “Big Story” , splashy entertainment medium , sustained by each new garish crisis that unfolds daily .There are many life-stories happening each day , but it is only the big , overblown ,noisome contrivances that make it to the television screens or radio waves and that are felt worthy for our edification, or let’s say it …our entertainment and amusement.Entertainment is king, after all. Everything else is just so much smoke.
We all expected Peter Robinson to retire at the first opportune moment .I’ve a notion he would have left the stage long ago , especially when he had that last hospital incident and with the onset of that strange throat condition his days of constantly talking politics seemed limited . It was no real surprise when he jumped ship.The timing was just about right. Especially after that stunt-fest of the ludicrous “In/Out Ministers” of the past few months had been superceeded by news of the “New/Old Deal”. what was to follow that? Some housekeeping and late spring cleaning of the party , I suppose; unfinished details to tidy-up before his departure to Florida.
Someone like Ruth Patterson was in the lower echelons of the DUP.Some might say she was from the wilder shores , resting somewhere in a similar sedimentary layer as , say for example ,someone like a Willie Frazer{ Oor Wullie} , Jamie {Wee Jamie}Bryson , Willie{My Heart Belongs To Jesus} McCrea or a Bernadette{ No harassment here}Smyth. If these cartoon characters did not exist our world would be drained of much of its colour and ribald humour.
It is true that each of them may be completely unaware of their inherent comic cache and it is also true that they may do some excellent work for their communities behind the scenes but there is also an element of self-promotion struggling to push through the Good Samaritan fascade.This is possibly a personality trait common to each of them ,which feeds the ego and asserts itself in some exaggerated personae. We have all been aware of the various stunts and public emotings of each of these characters which have conspired to push each of them to the very limits and constraints of the law. Each of them has faced judgement for their assorted behaviours at one time or another.

 

In the case of “Ronseal Ruth” as she has been universally dubbed, for ease of recognition, her demeanour is reflected not just in her exaggerated, bronzed, tanned make-up .That “Tangoed” look, as in the orange coloured drink thus named , might perchance , be an outer reflection of her Orange Order affiliations , but it has to be said, it is a fashion- statement shared throughout the land by many over-tanned ladies seeking to bring a little more sunshine into their grey lives. It is seemingly , more iin the very way she sees herself fitting into the pantheon of Norneverland political figures. You might say that her political perception was similarly out of kilter and that she read the signs amiss , being unaware how her actions were playing out , not just in public , but behind the scenes in the party that has lately abandoned her.
It is obvious that many, like Ruth, actually live within a sort of fantasy version of our cold reality .A classic piece of video ,which can still be found on YouTube, says it all .Storming and publicy enraged to the point of apoplexy, angry at the signing of the Good Friday Agreement , she bellowed ..”may God forgive them for what they’ve done to Ulster!!”. This was howled out on camera without the slightest hint of irony, like some she-wolf which had just lost its cub to the hunter’s bullet. .In fact she seemed , in common parlance “to have lost the run of herself”…she continued, pointing her finger aggressively ..”May god forgive them , for I won’t !” .You might dispassionately think, whether or not you are a believer in the Great Organiser or not, that Ruth Patterson was actually displaying nothing less than a “God Complex” right there on the pavement as she railed and ranted ….”…and neither will the children of Ulster” …she continued.Sitting there metaphorically beside her mentor, God ,whose possible forgiveness she’d just dissed and disparaged . Shaking her fist to the unknowing but probably bemused traffic passing by , she repeated ..”Neither will the children of Ulster”. It seemed to expose a mind steeped in some theatrical , overblown version of the natural world, possibly coloured by speeches made by a variety of past demagogues. Take your pick…Hitler, Mussolini…Ian Paisley…The self-mythologising already manifesting itself in a truly-believed already – envisioned future of “Wee Ulster Children”.
There have been many other public “performances”,possibly designed unknowingly to boost a political profile ,but they have been at best genuinely felt, if hamfisted and at worst ,carrying that whiff of old stink like putrid ,theatrical ham.
Maybe this is is simply the latest example of the DUP using up and then abandoning its ultra- loyal , loyalist collateral when that finally ignites into a sulphurous , poisonous brew and creates embarrassment for the party in the eyes of the public.It’s hard to be the “New UUP” when that kind of background wash and rime is still visible. It may be ultimately why loyalism is being left behind in the political game. It appears to become an almost uncontainable energy , unviable, except to exist as some ripe street -entertainment for the rest of us.Then again, it is possible that the newly loosed Ruth, Oor Wullie and Wee Jamie could yet gather and unite as some ISIS -like axis …a triptych of Loyalism , and possibly form a proper “Loyalist Party “…A- No- Bones- About-It -Dyed- In- The- Wool- As- Red -White- And -Blue- Loyal- To -Ulster- And- Against- Everything -Else -Like- A -Stick -Of- Seaside -Rock Party, that even the most misbegotten can easily all understand; a party with no corners to hide in .
We may not have heard the last of the unflappable “Ronseal Ruth” yet. If truth be told , we need all the entertainment we can gain from any quarter in Norneverland and the likes of her and some of the other political and religious , comical grotesques are the only ones providing it…