Friday, 19 March 2010

Bejaysus, Begorrah, where did all the politicians go?

SURE when it comes to the day celebrating the patron saint of Ireland the best place to celebrate it is in either the Holy Lands (near Queen’s Uni not Jerusalem!) or in…the good ole US of A.

Pilgrimage to Slemish? Picnic in Downpatrick? Trek to Armagh? Not a bit of it!

When it comes to St Patrick’s Day, the best place for party leaders and assorted MLAs to have a row is in America.

There, they can share a smile, glad-hand investors or even soak up what real politics is all about.

And, away from critical eyes they can even (whisper it softly) be seen to be getting along!
Well, apart from the sociable Social Development Minister, and SDLP leader, Margaret Ritchie.

Ms Ritchie felt slighted that she wasn’t scheduled to press the flesh with President Obama.
Cue media storm in an eggcup and Barack finally meeting her with a delegation from the Republic, who were also not in Ireland on the day, celebrating the patron saint of Ireland.

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuiness said that Ms Ritchie was being a bit ‘silly’.

Hold the front pages! A Northern Ireland politician being ‘silly’ shocker! Well it beats the usual benchmark of being stubborn, obstinate and darn right confrontational.

Addressing our politicians and others assembled in the White House for St Patrick’s Day, Obama saluted the “outstanding leadership” of Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness…

Perhaps the President has missed the past year’s BBC news reports of the fun and games at Stormont…surely you remember the ill-tempered exchanges; the failure to find agreement until a fudge could be worked out that wasn’t too sickly sweet for either side; long nights sampling Shaun Woodward’s hospitality at Hillsborough; and generally accusing each other of being prats…
Perhaps Mr Obama believes a leprechaun made up all the nonsense, because these two party leaders appeared to be on their best behaviour, almost friendly towards each other.

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