burl ives 2What is it with our politicians ? This is such a small place that there is really nowhere to hide when it comes to concealing arrant  foolishness.If the place was as big as America and the activity was happening in some little hick town out in the sticks, you might almost  expect it.Some drunken, redneck, wife -abusing, bigoted,  flat-earther of a good ol’ southern boy,{or northern boy!} back in the 1930s..  a Burl Ives as shyster,  with an ivory tipped cane and a Scarlett O’Hara glancing anxiously away , her bright red nails clacking on the mint julep jug.. It would hardly create a ripple outside the state boundary and maybe,  at most,  raise a few eyebrows and sad shaking of sage heads..but….

Recently we’ve had the debacles of our Health Minister Mr Edwin Poots and also the myopic, ruminant  pedantry of  Minister Nelson McCausland. These two ministers are bulwarks of the Democratic Unionist Party, but their grasp of the term “democracy”  or even rationality ,seems to be a very nebulous affair . In the DUP , we appear to have gathered together a shoal of very like-minded fish. They are creatures, huddled to share some of the strangest and most illogical belief systems and downright  insane  thinking ever congealed into one  messy, bubbling magical  gumbo.

To unpick just two of the lunatic ideas we first have to accept that they and many of their strange little gang believe some very weird and wonderful stuff that many in our western culture have long since forgotten.Not so  here at the very edge of the known European universe.Here in Norneverland. iI is a given that they are widely known to be homophobic. There may be many reasons for this , based on upbringing or educational bias. This may also have been picked up in old tribal shibboleths, handed down from earlier times  in much the same way that some Native American Indians thought that taking their photograph was to steal their soul or that the practice of cannibalism in some cultures  was to ingest the very essence , spiritually,  of their deceased  family members or  of their vanquished enemies. Magic , in many forms is still practiced in parts of the African continent and some practices have spread in immigrant cultures to the like of New Orleans where the assorted “mojos” and “gris gris” have entered the very realm of blues music.

These near-magical tropes  are very old-fashioned stances  to take in a largely enlightened world where the facts of homosexuality are long ago  accepted as quite the norm for a substantial percentage of creatures , both human and otherwise ,since time-immemorial. A variety of sexual behaviours has been observed  in many different animals.  This is accepted generally as  no more relevant than the size of a person’s feet  or their height. It is what is unique to that individual. That is all. To continuously make reference to a person’s sexuality is, not to put a fine tooth on it , nobody else’s business but their own , really . It doesn’t threaten anyone else or “infect” them  with a different sexual bias . You might be attracted to blondes or brunettes . You may be attracted to males or females , or both .You may even be attracted to  a “personality”, to misquote HRH Charles, “Whatever that is….”. Why then , should so many DUP political ministers get  a bee in their bonnet about a person’s private or public preferences? The bias is extended even  to homosexual blood.

Mr. Poots ,as Health minister, has locked into an obsession about gay men and women donating blood . He thinks that somehow blood from homosexual people will infect the bloodlines of stout Creationist and godly types in in Northern Ireland .He has no problem , it seems with Roman Catholic blood, blood from Muslims, blood from coloured persons , the odd thief , axe murderer or embezzler. it’s only blood from homosexual people .It’s not as if the actual blood isn’t checked for impurities, before being let loose on the population. I am not allowed to donate blood , for example, having suffered from hepatitis some forty years ago. You would imagine that sometime, somewhere , somehow, he might have read a few books or someone would have taken him to one side and explained a few facts of life to him .You know what I mean….This is what to say in public.” This is how to explain yourself.This is what you should never talk about…Never …never talk about stuff you really know nothing about , Edwin…there’s a good lad .”

“Now …about the creation of the earth …it’s not really 6000 years old …okay? …No that’s just a wee fairy tale for the kiddies . They’ve found bees in amber that are billions of years old so I can tell you for fact that the earth is pretty darned old. They call it carbon -dating and it is pretty accurate. I know ….., what’s a billion years here and there in the vastness of time …?….but there you go …it’s what we have to get on with…okay? …Is that clear enough? “It’s called scientific fact because it has undergone some rigorous logical tests.It isn’t just plucked from the ether , the most wanted and wished for , to be truth.

“Now this homosexual blood…it’s the same human blood all we standing- up creatures have inside us .There’s about eight pints of this soup swilling about  inside us …full to the gaiters with spaghetti bolognese, ulster fries, guinness, good wine  and probably …god save us , the odd Big Mac, bowl of Irish stew  or those wee rubbery sweets from the petrol station that  you like to eat by the handfull. It doesn’t matter if it’s a female lassie or a big butch hellion  with hands on him like hobbits’ feet .It’s the same red  stuff. Okay ..They may have to strain some of the bits out of it but it’ll work okay when pumped into any suitable medical  case”….now have you got all that Edwin?”

Okay…you get the picture . I imagine there are teams of astute advisors swarming around our ministers so that  they can keep their feet out of their mouths , make sure their flies are zipped  up  when they go on television, wipe the dribble from their chin and tie  for a photo op and all that .Obviously not. They’re allowed to go forth and look as ridiculous as is humanly possible and talk arrant rubbish. It’s not what you expect from your public servants whom you are paying a lot of money to run things and have a bit of sense. Mr Poots has now come into conflict with Sir Declan Morgan, the most senior judge in the land who finds Mr Poots’s decision to ban this blood and his decision not to rescind the ban as totally irrational. Well you would wouldn’t you? You might as well pontificate that the earth is flat. Self -belief and all that.  Mr Poots , by all intents , is wasting our precious money in his pursuance of these fairy tales and inane beliefs.

Speaking of wasting money , we have Mr.McCausland, his colleague,  under pressure, wasting  more of our  time and money in government. He has apparently been caught out with an, ah, alleged inaccuracy several months ago concerning contacts with a company which is a long-time donor to his party the DUP, leaving him open to charges of favouritism, apparently.  He ,basically refuses to accept it as fact, even though it looks like this is the case. It should be pointed out that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and lays duck eggs, it is in all probability a brother of Donald or Daffy.Maybe that is a little difficult to comprehend . You’d imagine it would be simple, wouldn’t you? You are either not telling it like it was or you’re telling it like it was. It’s either black or it’s white. It’s either fish or fowl?  Every other party thinks you’ve been a  naughty boy and can prove it .You, on the other hand , backed by your party of irrationalists , can’t really see it that way. It makes you even wonder at the man’s take on what’s the right thing and what’s the wrong thing .Then extend that little conflict of morality to the party that is backing his stance. Do they actually know what is real and what is not?At the moment the DUP has blocked the Assembly even taking a vote on the issue, as if to say that if they don’t concede this truth as existing , somehow  , by denial, it will not exist. This is what is called a “Petition of Concern” apparently. Another name might be “We  Are Very Worried About This”. It is the act of a political ostrich. Is it any wonder some of them think the earth is only 6000 years old? .Never mind them wasting our time and money with this childish nonsense: who lets these people out of the house without supervision? They haven’t reached the Age of Reason yet.


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