Friday, 13 February 2009

IT’S Sammy’s turn

SEEMS like a week doesn’t go by without a Minister being at the centre of a storm of criticism…and Catriona Runae has taken a step aside –no doubt a brief one – from the spotlight. Stepping in to the glare instead is Sammy Wilson.

For those of you saving the world by turning the TV off rather than keeping it on standby mode, Wilson has acted to stop an advertisement on climate change.

`The thrust of the Minister’s argument is that he does not believe that man made actions have caused climate change and the advertisement was a piece of New Labour ‘propaganda’.
And thereafter much hot air was generated…about the role of the minister for the environment.
He told Whitehall, sorry no, don’t run the advertisement in Northern Ireland. Wilson said Scottish Government had also banned the advertisement. The Scots said they hadn’t banned it, they just had their own ad…and thus more heat and bluster ensued.

Wilson has been trenchant in the defence of his stance. Local, national, and regional media entered the fray, while online the debate surged too and fro.

With the Green Party launching a petition to kick Sammy out, the week ended with Queen’s Radio – the university’s student run radio channel – saying they will run the disputed advertisement every hour on the hour from Monday. And the station’s staff say that Ofcom have said there is nothing to prevent them to airing the call to switch off those pesky stand-by devices.

But then again satellite, Freeview and cable viewers will have already seen the advertisement. Is it that Wilson just wants to protect those with no access to these services? And what will he do when the entire country has switched over to digital?

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