Are you feeling up for a bit of a laugh? Fancy getting that old funny -bone tickled with a goose-down feather for a change ,instead of sitting about with a long horse’s face? It’s my usual thing to see the funny side of life ,if it is obviously daft as a box full of frogs or possible to see at all . Living in Norneverland , all manner of black humour is provided with mother’s milk and falls manna-like ,from the scrubbed cloudy skies, like the dreary rain. It literally never stops falling and the foolishness has no “off” switch.So….. First ,we’ll have a laugh and then we’ll talk about the cold. hard facts of business.
Thankfully we are provided with an abundance of political grotesques to laugh at , too .It would be too much to ask to laugh with them because they are not in themselves hilariously funny people , but by the stars that shine , some of them are so bloody stupid and ill-informed that there is nothing to do but lie on your back and howl to the heavens with laughter until your very shaking sides, hurt. Even when you cannot see their faces and they are simply talking tripe on the radio, you’ll still laugh out loudly. I shouldn’t have been laughing at all, given the occasion, but there was the good wife practically tearing out that luxuriant hair of hers with rage and frustration ….and there we were attempting to get dressed sensibly for a really good friend’s father’s funeral. I was struggling with that half-windsor tie- knot and those fiddly wee buttons on the shirt lapels, as the radio rocked.
Short of throwing the radio at the wall and kicking it around the room , I could safely say that she was showing some of the signs of abject frustration .At whom was her ire directed ? …you might ask . I’d have to reply that it was that torrid eeejit Edwin Poots of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). There’s no other way of putting it nicely ,but if you needed a self-destructive political numpty with both feet in his mouth and a self-destruct button clenched between his teeth, Mr Poots would fill the bill every time. He was doing that very thing he always does , live on radio ,right at that very moment. It was nearly too much to bear and still stay sane.You know that thing when he sounds like he’s trying really hard to talk sensibly but it gets all mixed up and comes out like spaghetti.
Let me sketch out the scene.Broadcaster Steven Nolan on Radio Ulster(SIC) was clarifying something with him in reference to the upcoming elections and also with reference to the actual implementation of the St. Andrews Agreement of 2006 which had actually brought about the recent ten -year attempt at a power-sharing government .That attempt had ended in a shameful series of scandals perpetuated by that same DUP and finished on a high with the biggest financial scandal of the lot.The Scandal of the Century”! Loot for Soot/Cash for Ash ….£490 million burned up and wasted on the DUP’s watch… and with all manner of dodgy shenanigans being slowly revealed like a stripper shedding clothes.. .. and also with the knowledge that the last First Minister had no idea that it actually was a proper power-sharing government at all. It would soon become ever- clearer just why that was her position .
As his job description dictated,Mr Nolan had first to clarify that the DUP and Mr Poots had actually signed this St Andrews contract in 2006 , after reading the thing and agreeing to it ,which allowed them to take up those joint- reins of a power-sharing Executive some ten years ago .Mr Nolan’s point was that this agreement had included many things that had been carefully hammered out over time and superceeded the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement ,at the request of unionism , including , specifically an Irish Language Act which had not since been implemented during those same ten years.
It appears that Mr Poots had no idea at all what his party had signed up to that at all , so Mr Nolan put him over this same question several times again to make especially quite sure that the politician had understood what exactly was required of him and his party and whether or not he felt able to answer the question at all .At bottom , the DUP politician was absolutely clueless about what had actually been expected of him , which begged the question why any agreement signed by himself or any of his colleagues in the DUP would ever be worth the paper it was written on , in any projected future. It was quite an admission.That alone, was quite a revelation to expose at the very beginning of yet another election. It also asks the question why these politicians wasted all of our money for the past ten years when they had no notion of the blueprint they were supposed to be working to… and why exactly we should have been paying their wages at all.It also begs the question as to why we should ever let them into government again when they have been so abysmally bad at doing the job at all.
That’s the laugh out loud part.Here now are just a few of the bones of that presumably inpenetrable contract. It’s all online but this will give you some idea:
Some of the points in question which Mr Poots and the DUP appear to have been unable to understand are listed below in exact transcripts from the St Andrews Agreement they signed on for in 2006. Reading these again will tell you everything you need to know as to why Sinn Fein , or any other partners in government they might wish to have in future ,will never be able to work with them….. ever.
They obviously signed up under false pretenses…..
NOTES FROM THE ST ANDREWS AGREEMENT
8. Amendments to the Pledge of Office.
The Pledge of Office would require that Ministers would participate fully in the Executive and NSMC/BIC,and would observe the joint nature of the office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
10. Functions of Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
The First Minister and Deputy First Minister would reach agreement as to whether any functions of the current OFMDFM should be transferred to other departments, and would put proposals to the Executive and Assembly accordingly.
Arlene foster obviously did not understand this at all , nor did her underlings.
HUMAN RIGHTS, EQUALITY, VICTIMS AND OTHER ISSUES
The Government will continue to actively promote the advancement of human rights, equality and mutual respect. In the pursuit of which we commit to thefollowing:
• In early November, we will publish an Anti-Poverty and Social Exclusion
strategy to tackle deprivation in both rural and urban communities based
on objective need and to remedy patterns of deprivation. The strategy
will build on the good work of the ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ and
‘Renewing Communities’ initiatives. This can be taken forward by an
• The Government will introduce legislation this autumn to establish a Victims’ Commissioner for Northern Ireland.
• We will establish a forum on a Bill of Rights and convene its inaugural meeting in December 2006.
• The Government believes in a Single Equality Bill and will work rapidly to make the necessary preparations so that legislation can be taken forward by an incoming Executive at an early date.
• The Government will introduce an Irish Language Act reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland and work with the incoming Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language.
• The Government firmly believes in the need to enhance and develop theUlster Scots language, heritage and culture and will support the incomingExecutive in taking this forward.
In the final two paragraphs you can see quite clearly the huge hole in Edwin Poots understanding of what was required of him and his DUP colleagues , but there is obviously much , much more that can easily prove that the DUP were basically unfit for the purpose for which they were employed.
Where also was the promised support from the British and Irish governments these past ten years , to conclude all of this ?.