Friday, 19 June 2009

Redact that

FUTURE editions of these writings will be redacted (blacked out) in appropriate places to enable you, faithful reader, to enjoy protection from reading words that may compromise our good, decent, hard working politicians.

But seriously, or at least as seriously as one can take the expenses fiasco, a phrase comes to mind that includes the words horse, stable door and bolted.

To clarify: the Daily Telegraph snags an exclusive, reveals, in detail, the ridiculous and stupid lengths MPs across the board went to in order to claim a few extra quid.

Then, this week the House of Commons publishes all the MPs receipts, except they are redacted (blacked out to us mere plebs) to ensure security is not compromised, or some such feeble reason.

Again, the information has already reached an incredulous public. But the Commons decides to release a version with portions, many of the bits the public already knows about, blacked out. All this comes a year after MPs were told to publish and be damned by the Information Commissioner.

Will someone please tell these slow of thinking public representatives that going to such extreme lengths to prove themselves stupid is really not necessary. And, please, show them a dictionary and point to the word transparency.

On a brighter note…

THE Loyalist paramilitaries have started to decommission their weapons…at last!

It must have been than big scary Shaun Woodward telling them they’ll be declared more illegal that they already are and he’ll tell Margaret Ritchie to cut their funding.

Or was it more a case that they needed to find some space for the next shipment of illicit drugs and knocked off electrical gear.

We may never know.

North Antrim set to be an election battleground

AS mentioned recently, smooth-talking ex-DUP member, ex-practising Barrister, and ex-MEP Jim Allister is poised for a fierce challenge to the DUP hegemony in North Antrim.

Allister has dared Ian, father of Ian.

Ian, son of Ian, has dared Allister back

And Allister will no doubt double dare him. And so on, you get the picture.

And we may then ponder what other TUV candidates will stand in the General and Assembly elections.

Even if Allister is thwarted in his parliamentary ambitions he could be in the Assembly by 2011. This could make moribund Assembly debates a little more interesting.

However, his stated ambition is to bring the mandatory coalition to an end. Well, everyone needs a hobby.

Next week

WORD on the street (well in the corridors of Parliament Buildings) is that the DUP reshuffle of its ministries and Assembly committee chairmanships will take place on June 24th.

Of course, having said that, it will probably be announced before that to spite this writer…

This is a sensible course of action for the DUP, given that it will allow the new ministers a period to bed into the job over the summer recess. Or, it will provide a chance for the new ministers to look at their new ‘to-do’ list and recover from the shock over the summer.

On a brighter note (pt 2)

THE PM has announced that after talking to PR and MM he is setting up a working group ASAP on the PMS.

When PR (Peter Robinson) and MM (Martin McGuiness) turned up on the No. 10 doorstep this week, Gordon may have been forgiven if he thought he was going to be sold a copy of ‘the Searchlight’. However, when they got in through the door the emphasis was they basically said ‘do the decent thing Gordy!’

Mr Brown, misinterpreting this statement as a call for his resignation, instead agreed to see if he could help the PMS savers/investors.

Pity the PMS couldn’t have held out for 50 years…according to Exodus Chapter 22, after 50 years all indebtedness is wiped away; and as Presbyterians they should be familiar with this and other biblical treatsies on borrowing and lending.

Until then it is either a buy-out or putting themselves to the tender mercies of the working group.

Meanwhile, money lenders have been seen steering clear of the temples. Just in case.

On a less bright note

THERE is no resolution ahead on the academic selection debate (or debacle). Sorry, but there really is no resolution in the immediate future. Honestly!

On a grim note

THE sight of people being forced from their houses is one that is horribly reminiscent of the dark days that precipitated the start of the Troubles.

Women, children and men emasculated by fear have been forced from their homes in Belfast yet again.

This time it was Romanian families forced to flee intimidation and violence.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that this was 2009, not 1939.

Everyone with an ounce of intelligence has condemned such thuggery. Its easy to condemn, we have at least 30 years solid practice. And like the Apprentice Boys of Derry, we should have graduated by now.

So who was behind this? Morons? Neo-nazis? Thugs? Or you and me?

Having wasted their own lives and opportunities they seem determined to destroy other people’s lives out of spite.

The result? Many possible new comers to Northern Ireland will pass on by and those already here will leave for pastures new.

Every 11th November, we remember the millions who gave their lives in the fight against oppression, intimidation, and racism. Many nations around the world continue in their struggles against dictators and ethnic cleansing.

We can not let mindless fascist idiots set our agenda. We must have a shared future that embraces religion and race. I could rhyme off the poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller but instead another apt quote comes to mind. Edmund Burke wrote ‘When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." Essentially ‘All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing’