Peter Robinson has come out. He seems to do this every time he has a summer holiday .A bit of rest and relaxation gives him time to think away from the hurly-burly of the working week and that wee lightbulb goes off in his head . Last year’s Special Performance came in the form of nixing the Maze proposal and all the lost investment that followed.
At long last he’s admitted that the current set-up of politicians are unfit for purpose. I ‘m inclined to agree . It’s a curiosity that only yesterday I mentioned in an article that some of our ministers were unable to deal with reality .The difference between right and wrong leaves them flummoxed . It hardly raised a ripple when I wrote it . I got one single comment.That comment wasn’t even about their grasp on reality. That gives you some idea how interested people are in who governs them. Our politicians actually have a carte blanche to do anything they want without sanctions. They can basically break the law and still keep their jobs . I don’t imagine another “democracy” on earth would allow ministers to bend the truth without a sacking or some kind of punishment.Imagine if they carried on like that in China . Remember the Expenses Scandal in the UK and the duckpond? Man…the press made merry with that one .It was a cartoonist’s dream. The media filled pages and stories for weeks on the strength of it. When something similar happens here..what happens? …Nothing. The sad fact is that we have absolutely no control mechanisms to keep our politicians in check.
If it was in Westminster and someone had fiddled their expenses, there would be a national scandal. Heads would roll.Cabinets would re-shuffle. prime ministers would be forced to resign. That’s not what happens in Norneverland. Here, that would be totally acceptable. Here a politician can insult the judiciary and simply walk away. Here a politician can simply say that the politicians are the all-powerful ones who make the law and the judiciary are simply there to carry out their wishes .No matter how crazy they might be. It’s a simple fact that we have made our politicians the most complacent and safe group of politicians that may ever have existed. Party by party , we are at a point where our politicians can do anything they want ..and get away with it .It doesn’t matter whether or not they can do their jobs rationally or not. In Nornneverland the emperor never wears clothes. Nobody cares anyway.
Having another election would not change any of that. There has been much talk about the good things that Stormont has done .The Giro d’Italia was cited .Well, fair enough , we have had these “glamour” events which government ministers love to bask and glory in,.Our golfing pal Rory had a good run and the first Minister and his Deputy rubbed a bit of that old fairy-dust on themselves . We now had a champion boxer to gloat over and there’s much clap-trap talked about him uniting the two communities just as Wee Barry McGuigan did thirty years ago…Oh , you missed that one ? Yes…the two warring tribes were as one some thirty odd years ago …for five minutes….
That was all lovely and touchy-feely but what we really wanted here was some form of intelligent and grown-up governance. We never got it.The only alternative is a form of Joint Rule by both the Republic and Westminster of course . That alternative is built into the Good Friday Agreement. If we had another election tomorrow we would simply be installing the same circus acts that we are currently enjoying ,so what would change?..Absolutely nothing.Wee Sammy would still be telling us black was white and the flat-earthers would still be telling us that the Giant’s Causeway happened sometime in the 1600s.
The bottom line is that the First Minister thinks that the system as is is inoperable and bound with dysfunction. He is the person at the top of the local food-chain , so he’ll also know that replacing it with the very same thing will bring in the very same result. As a DUP minister I feel he already knows that the only thing that will happen as this system develops is that the irrationality of his ministers will become more and more apparent and untenable and the whole thing will be an even greater laughing stock to the world outside. That kind of exposure to the glaring light could only be avoided by stalling the onward march .A Joint Rule scenario would give him that breathing space….If it doesn’t dissolve into another war-zone.