SHEPHERDS AND SHEEP

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Are we really living in a form of craftily designed two-headed benign dictatorship in Norneverland ,coming as it does , with a built-in “petition of concern” which can veto just about any decision which is made by a majority and overturn their view , steam-rolling any chance of change, flat on the ground? Is this really what is meant by the notion of “democracy”?How can it be a real democracy when the majority view can be trumped by a special clause? Our first Minister ,Arlene Foster, talks benignly in generalities about all the positives of leaving the EU and also the supposed negative aspects of allowing gay people to marry ,just like everyone else. I really cannot see how allowing anyone of any sex could be a harmful thing to do.How would it damage anyone?
It’s beguiling to imagine that some people are simply easily led and that’s all there is to it.It’s a certainty that many simply follow a well-worn route, unquestioningly, like sheep following a shepherd, or possibly and more likely,the same sheep are being harried and coaxed by a well-trained dog, nipping at their ankles.
What can anyone make of Arlene Foster’s and her party’s stance on a range of things affecting our daily lives, such as Brexiting the EU or the latest twist of the Gay Marriage row,
There is a general consensus that no -one has a clue as to how and what Brexit will mean and yet she promotes it at every turn , without giving us any real detail as to how she arrived at this decision .I’ve never seen her plan or her argument as to why it would be a better deal for us .In Norneverland we already know that, never mind the falling value of everything , it will inevitably lead to a more complicated life that we could all do without ; a hefty majority saw this very clearly and voted accordingly to have nothing to do with the mad , proposed Non- Plan ; even the Prime Minister of the UK really has no notion and yet even now when it is transparent that the Prime Minister hasn’t a clue, Arlene follows her blindly , clinging to every piece of insubstantial waffle slipping from Theresa May’s lips. She even repeated the same gormless chat in a party political broadcast on television last night.Enthusiasm personified in the face of nothing. No substance whatsoever.No proof.
She’s now parroting the Tory line that Brexit offers the greatest opportunity…. ever …for the UK.Sure it does ! It offers the same opportunity to learn how to swim ….and learn damned quickly, that someone has when the ship is rapidly sinking under the waves. Most of the passengers would rather fix the hole in the ship as fast as possible and stay afloat.
The rest of us see that after some three months there is no consensus and no real plan going forward. We know this because no-one has been able to utter anything remotely resembling a way forward , pretending that they have a really good poker -hand, when all they have is a clutch of blank paste-boards in their fingers.For example,no-one can see how we can have a border from the EU and not have a border, at the same time. It’s like one of those riddles of physics where a cat can be alive and dead inside a box at the same time , because we can’t see it. Neither can anyone see how we’ll all be better off by removing ourselves, having then no input at all into European laws or prices …literally consigned to being outcasts from one of the largest trading blocs on the earth….doomed to exist in a nether world of memories of great empires from along-gone past.That is what is called “faith”. Arlene doesn’t need anything else , but some of us do .Some of us need hard facts instead.
While we tussle with that one and all the uncertainties that Brexit will bring, Arlene Foster simply says nothing, keeps collecting her wages and appears to have a faith that somehow ,everything will just work out fine .Then on top of that there is her use of the dictatorial “Of Concern” process which is allowing her far-right evangelical Christian views to ride roughshod over the very idea of equality laws concerning marriage in her realm. Some specific citizens of Norneverland are obliged to fly off to parts of the UK or across the world to get married. Marriage, normally being a stabilising civic institution elsewhere ,open to anyone with or without a supernatural faith in the unknown ,is not allowed here .If a gay married couple return to their homeland in Norneverland , Ireland, they still remain unmarried in the eyes of Arlene Foster and her government. She claims to have friends who are gay, but I’m not really sure how she can square that with her position. It appears she might be as deluded about that too, as she seems to be about Brexit.I can’t imagine how she can have the gall to separate any individual citizen who pays their taxes and otherwise supports the civic laws of the land to the point of having a marriage contract, from everyone else .At bottom, it simply is not a fair thing to do and really should be an illegal thing to do to anyone ….any citizen….,no matter their their colour, creed or sexuality.
I’ve no doubt that eventually the laws of the land, sometime at an as yet ,un-named date ,will have to catch up with the faster-learners and accomodate all of its citizens equally and fairly ,as they at least attempt to do in the UK at times; not just some of them who are part of your own particular herd, but everyone , without favour or fealty ; I’ve equally no doubt, that if, and when, Theresa May eventually comes up with the magical Brexit plan that so far eludes her and her “Three Blind Mice”(as they’ve been aptly named), we will all be worse -off than we were before .Arlene might have great faith in the Great Unknown and I’m aware that many share beliefs like hers ,unquestionably and unquestioning ,but I’m personally not of that mind and I think that many are gradually making it crystal- clear that neither are they.
Where the Deputy First Minister finds room to wriggle in all of this is still a mystery to me . He opposed Brexit vehemently and he might even support Gay marriage , for all I know, but how can he continue to hold hands with someone whose views seem to have no real fairness or even material substance. It’s beginning to look as though Sinn Fein will soon need to make some very hard choices as to the company they keep. Their friends in government appear to be leading the sheep over a cliff-edge hanging on to the conservatives’ coat-tails and with no real mind of their own.