YOU may not have noticed it with the torrential downpours and grey skies, but the summer's here and, to paraphrase those Derry punk scamps, The Undertones, it’s time for our MLAs to get out and find out what fun is about!
This is the last week when the Assembly sits, the last week when they plenary
session gets to debate stuff they can't really change or do anything about, the
last week when committee chairs can frown in indignation about some ministerial
cock up or another.
There are but two plenary sessions and a clatter of committee meetings before
the Assembly summer recess. Travel agents are circling like vultures ready to
seize the wary MLA who has to yet make a booking to get the hell out of here
before the recreational rioting season kicks in...
We may (or may not) paint an unfair picture of the fact that the MLAs are
getting an eight-week break to run alongside the Easter, Christmas and other
assorted leave days in their school-term-time only schedule. What passes for
reality is that some MLAs will man their constituency offices ready to help
their constituents and calculate the loss of mileage claims while not going to
The business of government will also continue with a duty roster of Ministers
and their spokespeople on hand to deny any knowledge of any problem to avoid an
on-air spat with Stephen Nolan.
While we too will be offering this column a break over the summer, we will be
monitoring the machinations in the monsoon-like conditions, keeping a weather
eye on MLA pronouncements and making sure no consultation goes unconsulted on
for our clients new and old.
The boss will keep driving us on like slaves constructing public affairs
pyramids to achieve real change...