Monday, 20 December 2010

Bye, bye baby

WHERE does an MLA go when they decide to pack up their Stormont office, put belongings and desk tops into cardboard boxes and head off into a setting sun?

Facing life on the fringes of political life – a lonely barely recognised figure at party conferences – what consolation does an MLA draw from life.

Of course, there is a pension. And, this week it emerged that MLAs get a ‘winding up allowance’.

This is, supposedly, a cash pay-out to help with paying off constituency staff, paying outstanding stationery costs, rent etc.

We, however, wonder whether the costs are actually as high. Of the 12 MLAs who over the last two years have handed in their letters of resignation, how many have physically closed their offices, for new incumbents to open brand new offices. And, when one thinks about stationery, does the Assembly not provide the MLAs with smart headed paper?

But aside from these niggles the Ulster Unionists have got their knickers in a knot over the whole issue. Why? UUP leader Tom Elliott claims that some DUP members who resigned may be standing for the Assembly again.

Never mind the costs – some of the most vocal DUP advocates and able politicos will once again stalk the carpeted and marble corridors.

We suggest that Mr Elliott takes a wee break and watches the first Terminator movie. In that movie the android played by the current Governor of California promises: “I’ll be back!” He does indeed come back to wreak havoc. But at the end of the film the android has his rear end kicked.

So, Mr Elliott can hope that some of his DUP rivals will return to face a similar – if metaphorical – ending. But then again, as John Lennon once said, Mr Elliott may be forced to sing the Late Mr Lennon line: “You may say, I’m a dreamer”.

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