Sinn Fein have seemingly sided with the Opposition parties in walking out on First Minister ,Arlene Foster of the DUP as she launched out on a personal speech , hoping to exonorate herself before she got down to the business of getting that Christmas bird into the oven. She obviously wanted to offload all that angst about the Cash For Ash scandal , before the thought of it over the holiday season stuck in her throat like a wishbone and ruined the season of joy and goodwill.
She very obviously didn’t want all this gubbins to fester like gone- off cranberries until January or later and cause a whole lot of festive indigestion.
In the event she got the DUP Speaker of the Assembly to steam -roll her invocation onto the agenda even though it was possibly not the legal thing to do.As First Minister she is part of a political double-act even though she arrogantly pretends to herself that she is the only one in charge.She’s beginning to sound as downright megalomaniacal as Maggie Thatcher once was ; screaming and squealing at her schoolboy ministers before they gathered like piranhas to shred her political career.
Laurel cannot work without Hardy though. Only Martin McGuinness , her Deputy First Minister in her stead , had to sign -off on anything she wants to do and he didn’t do so in this case because it was thought not the best thing to do for the Executive. He thought that keeping the problem as an in-house DUP -led affair would only damage the institutions and many other had similar thoughts.
The Speaker had invited the Ministers without Sinn Fein’s imprimatur on the document , so it was , in reality ,invalid. This resulted in the other parties non-acceptance of the Speaker’s remit and he had no valid answers for them He seemed to lose the run of himself ..Seemingly flustered ,he allowed Arlene Foster to go ahead and speak without the joint -stamp of authority ,needed , so everyone except the DUP were forced to leave the room rather than listen.
Out trooped Alliance, TUV, Sinn Fein, and the UUP.What else could they do ? Without authority , it left Arlene Foster portentiously talking away to the fluff in her own belly-button and the assorted DUP underlings who hung on to her interminable utterances for the best part of an hour ,live on radio while her pointless words were largely unheard and ignored and drifted into flurries of useless combinations of blether and abstractions to the outside listening or non-listening public.Most have lost heart in ever getting a bit of sense anyway.for them , it’s one DUP scandal too many
What or where it leaves Arlene Foster or the Speaker is not clear. It has almost made them both totally irrelevant . That might actually be progress in Norneverland.