HOW many ministers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Well that depends if it is a light bulb that requires planning permission, or whether the ministers have returned to their work programme, or have been in university.
And, if they haven’t completed their diversity training, or used public transport they may not be allowed to. And, if it isn’t in the Programme for Government, then it may not be possible to allocate an additional lightbulb budget.
With all that in mind, one may be tempted to ask whether there needs to be a reason for asking why we have so many ministers and departments.
In the interest of saving money, or political expediency, it seems that the Department for Employment and Learning is to be put to the sword (hopefully they’ll have the lightbulb changed so the Executive puts the right department to the sword).
Of course, this has nothing to do with a nod and a wink to let Alliance keep the Justice Ministry… And, only the churlish would suggest that having two Alliance ministers is just a wee bit bothersome when the Executive all sits round the big table at Stormont Castle. Let’s face it, given the number of ministers and junior ministers, they risk having to ask the SDLP Environment Minister Alex Attwood for planning permission for an extension to the Castle.
But, say the naysayers, this is all about the personalities involved, or a DUP/Sinn Féin stitch-up.
Be that as it may there is a warning that this will mean the re-running of D’Hondt to allocate the ministries again. Oh dear, oh dear! We’re not worried about how this will all work out, we’re worried about having to try and explain D’Hondt again!