Robbo, Luscious Martina, Wee Ian and the first month of our bright devolved future


In North Belfast, the Brits are building a peace wall through the grounds of an integrated school. Such is the level of GUBU in the northern body politic that this sort of thing barely raises an eyebrow. In fact, a lot of what has been emanating from Stormont renders comment almost superfluous.

The Assembly votes for free personal care for the elderly. Immediately Finance Minister Peter Robinson declares that the necessary £50m isn’t there to do it. Furthermore, Robbo underlines that under the new dispensation the Executive is not accountable to the Assembly (although, by some mystical process, nationalist ministers are). Robbo further opines that the four nationalist ministers who voted for free personal care may be in breach of the ministerial by due to their voting against the DUP.

Sinn Féin Nua, in the person of Derry MLA Dr Martina Anderson, launches its big document [pdf] on engaging unionism. Martina is a very clever woman, and frankly I would have expected better from her than a farrago of platitudes, but that I suppose is the logic of the peace process. But the big document doesn’t really matter. In advance of its publication, Sammy the Streaker had already complained that, by trying to engage unionism, the Provos were being, er, sectarian.

Ian Óg Paisley does an interview in Hot Press wherein he gives voice to how repulsed he is by gays and lesbians. Some punter from the gay community came onto Talk Back to give out about this. Ten years ago, a spirited gay would have pointed out that the DUP is full of gays, and Wendy would have cut him off before he started naming them. Today, the gay speaker goes into fluent Gerryspeak about how the gay community wants constructive engagement with the DUP. And my heart sinks.

By the way, the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers, wherein Papa Doc holds the top position and Baby Doc is a junior minister, has responsibility for equality. That includes gay rights.

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