A week is a long time in politics. We all know that .What about a year, then?
I was taking a peek at something I wrote this time last year and at that time the talk was of how and why Nigel Dodds decided not to become the new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Dawn Purvis had been on the radio talking about the lack of unionist political leadership in relation to the education of Protestant children and their poor educational performance in school compared to their Catholic counterparts.There was some talk of Sammy Wilson throwing his hat into the ring for the leadership of the DUP.On the pavement Oooor Wullie and something he called the “Protestant Coalition” was about to protest about refugees coming into Norneverland from war-torn Syria.It was the kind of Christian thing you ‘d expect here as the season of Christian goodwill drew in. Love thy neighbour as yourself and all that…..
Not a word has been heard since then of the outgoing First Minister Peter Robinson , who may have actually died in the meantime along with a plethora of other deaths in this past twelve months.The In-Out Ministry of Funny Walks seemed to have done him in anyway, but it was to be his last bit of circus tomfoolery .He might then have slipped away at the same time as Alan Rickman or possibly as Terry Wogan or George Martin slipped away to various acclaim. It’s a sure thing that if he eased -off this mortal coil at the same day or on the same weekend as a Prince, David Bowie or the esteemed Leonard Cohen, we’d never have heard about it anyway. Noone would have noticed. There is a silence.He’s gone leaving only the whiff of scandal like a silent fart still lingering in a lift.Does anyone miss him? Does anyone remember him twelve short months later? Maybe he’s like Elvis ….still alive some forty years after his death, hiding on the moon.
His feted successor of only months , Arlene Foster,has now sailed into a political storm of her own brewing ,in the form of the “Cash for Ash” Heating Scandal. She displayed a similar arrogance to her predecessor but I doubt that she will have the same longevity, given her immersion in the greatest financial scandal in living memory.It’s looking as though she’s in our debt to the tune of some £480 million so that will not be easily forgotten or paid back , unless the DUP has some some very rich benefactor with extremely deep pockets to bail her out and pat her on the head. We’ll have to put wages, hospitals, schools, roads , various plans for our future and so on on the back-burner for some twenty-odd years apparently . This is the same politician who encouraged her supporters to vote Brexit and drop us all into the chaos of an uncertain future earlier in the year.She ‘s in debt Bigtime now.
They do say that all political careers end in failure and that is usually the case in historical terms. Just look at them all. It’s really a mug’s game when you think about it. You’d be safer doing anything else….peeling little onions for pickling …or running a dog’s hair-dressing salon. …at least you wouldn’t cause as much trouble for the rest of us.The failure in this instance is there already for all to see, even if the career continues, astumble.It only took a matter of months to bring it to the surface but it will hang like rotten fish for years to come; dragged out at every turn when a point needs scoring.We’ll all remember who broke the bank of Monte Carlo.
We do appear to have a habit of entering the festive season on the breeze of some delightful scandal, just when Jude held out little hope for any amusement prior to to the turkey- hunt ,but remember that like a pet …that’s “not just for Christmas “, but is an ongoing committment, our choices of politiciams can sometimes turn out to be the most expensive gift to ourselves that we can ever buy. I think we’ve bought a Jonah in the case of Our Arrogant Arlene and like old Jonah , she’s just holed the ship below decks .Titanic-like , all that expensive talk and tat is now worthless junk at the bottom of the ocean.
It’s seasonal …innit?

The beloved Beano Book ” Jonah “cover illustration (presumably by the great  Ken Reid) from 1962  ,is part of my own  comics collection and is copyright of DC Thomson.