Do you know, here was me lamenting Sammy Wilson’s low ministerial profile. And no sooner is that done, but Sammy comes streaking back into the headlines:
Environment Minister Sammy Wilson last night branded the law which saw him fined for riding his motorbike without tax or MoT as “absurd”.
The Minister, who has responsibility for road safety in Northern Ireland, was caught by a camera detection unit on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast — a short distance from the Stormont Parliament Buildings.
And so the multi-tasking Sammy – minister, Westminster MP, Stormont MLA, Belfast councillor – finds himself forty quid out of pocket.
Meanwhile, we find a superannuated politician, Patricia Lewsley of the SDLP, sticking her oar into the Movilla teachers’ strike.
The background to this is fairly straightforward. There is an allegation that a pupil at Movilla High School in Newtownards assaulted a teacher. Other teachers refused to teach the pupil concerned. On having their pay docked, they went on strike. Efforts have been ongoing to resolve the situation.
These efforts have not been helped by Patricia, who is no longer a Stormont MLA but does enjoy a comfortable position as Children’s Commissioner, and who has branded the strike an abuse of children’s rights.
I’m rather sceptical about the whole concept of children’s rights – we raised children fairly well for centuries without them – and have never quite seen the need for a Children’s Commissioner to advocate on their behalf. Nor has Patricia particularly made the case. What next, I ask myself? We have a Children’s Commissioner, we have four (4) Victims’ Commissioners – can it be long before a Hoods’ Commissioner is appointed?