Friday, 12 April 2013

Eye on the Hill

Gizza some money...please!
WE'D like some money, saieth the men of the Norn Iron Executive to their paymasters at Her Majesty's Treasury, and some of that control of corporation tax also please.

Nay, saieth the venerable Secretary of State, Ms Villiers - you need to be nice boys and girls and learn to share.

Share? Saieth the Norn Iron Executive, we already share and are nice boys and girls. We have a nice table we sit around and we share all the nice things that our wee executive have control of.

Ahh, but have you a plan to share, saieth the Secretary of State?

Err, no saieth the boys and girls, we just sort of play this thing by ear and pretty much share that power thing.

Well, if you are not nice boys and girls, no extra money to help you along...

And thus the saga of aid to Norn Iron continued, with no happy ending in sight; where endless positions are shuffled and strange things happen.

In a nutshell our fairy story is about how Norn Iron hasn't agreed a shared future strategy, and Ms Villiers says you need to be 'nice' to each other.

But, our heroes in the Executive remain dogged saying they don't need a piece of paper to get along.

So the tale goes on, and once more no-one hears a happily ever after and life goes on its merry way for the rest of us.

Bye Bye Lady Thatcher...
 NO-ONE can deny the presence that Baroness Thatcher cast over the political landscape (she preferred Lady Thatcher to Baroness Thatcher according to ‘reputable’ right wing newspapers).

Lady Thatcher certainly was a figure of hate for both sides of Norn Iron’s political divide during the 80s proving that she wasn’t as divisive as people say; her stand over Hunger Strikers led to riots on the streets in republican and nationalist areas, while her signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement led to riots on the streets in loyalist and unionist areas.

As her £10m plus funeral arrangements are put in place and Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson glad hands the former Apartheid South African Premier, FW De Klerk, one notes that the BBC is forced into a quandary over the charts.

In an attempt by those who rejected Lady Thatcher’s tough love to the economy and even the union, the sing from that playful allegorical movie ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ is being touted as a potential Chart topper. The song is, “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead”.

Just as people have been getting their knickers in a knot by either solemn remembrance or because of parties, it seems a relative storm in a teacup and one suspects Lady Thatcher at her prime would have enjoyed the joke rather than the posturing by both sides.

Bagged and tagged
 HAVE you got your five pennies ready? If not when you approach your local retail outlet remember to have your re-useable bag to hand.

In the same way that you have your recycled bag, the Norn Iron Executive has recycled policies from elsewhere – like those from our cousins south of the border.

We hope that this trend continues; where something sensible is proposed we can then adopt it. However, this isn’t always the case. The widespread abuse of libel laws to challenge scientific publications has been addressed in England and Wales. Not the case here, where it has been rejected by Finance Minister, Mr Wilson.

As a former Economics teacher, Mr Wilson should be aware that economics has various trends and opinions, with other people’s views often challenged by academics with differing views. With Norn Iron not offering the same protection will an academic journal or paper now be open to challenge in our courts?

But at least we can be content that the plague of carrier bags will be addressed – we hope!

Journal of a (senior) Civil Servant
 MONDAY: Minister irritating everyone, but got him a nice warm mug of Horlicks and his favourite biccies and he’s calmed down
TUESDAY: Minister needs all sorts of stuff for questions in the Assembly – the intern can do that as I need to write a business case for something….what was it, oh yes that ‘trip’ the minister and I discussed
WEDNESDAY: New York here we come – Minister gives me and the other bod I work with the nod to join him on a ‘fact-finding’ trip. As the plebs would say ‘aye right’ but they don’t realize how tough a job we have
THURSDAY: Swimming trunks and sun tan lotion packed for our trip at the weekend to a lovely Mediterranean resort
FRIDAY: So much for that planned golf afternoon – Minister wants a trip to some city in the US arranged, but would settle for a jaunt to Canada. Must get the secretary to book that.. I might manage to get nine holes in before that black tie dinner with the fee wine.

Of course, we don’t believe this leaked journal, suspecting it to be a false trail laid by a disgruntled journalist, or plain fiction of a diseased mind (not ours – honestly!).

However, while some visits may be justified and essential we wonder just why there is a need for two or more civil servants to accompany a minister – just how many bags are they carrying?

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