During a meeting of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on the impact of the UK in leaving the EU on Northern Ireland, Alasdair McDonnell, former leader of an insignificant political party called the SDLP, stormed out of an insignificant meeting at Stormont. Well more of a tizzie than a storm!
He accused a British Labour MP (not an Irish labour TD as they are quite rare these days!), Kate Hoey, who originally hails from these shores of ‘our wee Orange, bigoted and racist country’ and which as a point of order isn’t a country at all, of causing offence to his erstwhile leader of the same insignificant party, John Hume.
Ms Hoey apparently issued a short dis-respective snigger at the mention of Hume’s name. Puerile school yard behaviour that drove Alasdair in his state of angst to knock over his chair on the way out but only to return moments later to lift it back up again ... decorum is decorum after all.
As Alasdair politely and quietly closed the door behind him to stymied cackling from Ms Hoey, British Unionism was once again at each other’s throats over Brexit.
The UUP having deliberated for several days has decided to back the ‘No Camp’ of Cameron et al, while the DUP has thrown its hat in the ring in support of the ‘Yes Camp’ of Boris et al.......not much of a choice really when one considers the past antics of both Boris and David!
Gavin Robinson, East Belfast MP, claimed that the South didn’t want ‘us’ (not sure if that ‘us’ includes those who planted the booby trap device under the prison officers car) to leave as they would lose their big friend in Brussels and, ‘......that they will become quite isolated should we choose to leave.’....a pessimistic portrayal of isolation that would not be present should they leave Ireland!
UUP leader Nesbitt retorted that the border was central to his party’s support for Europe and that if Brexit was successful, and with Scotland voting for staying in the EU, that would inevitably lead to another referendum for them and this could impact on Norn Iron..... Sinn Fein joined in support with Nesbitt but not entirely for similar reasons...only those reasons affected by European peace grants for their ‘community’ workers!!!
Another walk out was enacted by Stormont's sports minister, Caral Ni Chuilin, who objected to being placed under oath to answer questions from the Assembly Scrutiny committee. Especially so, since her arch nemesis and a man who has been scrutinised more so than any minister, Nelson McCausland, chaired it.
She accused its chairman of being biased and of holding a conflict of interest as he being the prior occupier of her post in the early stages of plans to redevelop Casement.
A scene that re-ignited their old bitter feud of a champion sectarian, racist, bigot against a one-time Irish republican.
McCausland, oblivious to his own past behaviour in ministerial posts claimed the Assembly had never before witnessed such behaviour from a minister.
"The decision by the minister to get up and walk out and refuse to answer any questions may well say more about culpability than anything that could have been said in answer to questions,"...says the holder of multiple ‘Petitions of Concern’ and career denier of culpability!
The Belfast Telegraph 09/03/2016, attempted to echo McCausland’s remarks, by printing a sensational ‘you read it first here’ front page story about the affair. But on further scrutiny it had about as much clout as a busted balloon and only served to re-inforce the minister’s initial position of ignorance!
Based on leaked emails, it highlights the fact that her aides knew of the emergency evacuation concerns and thus implying that she must have also known. A sentiment that McCausland wholly agrees with and a situation that he could empathise with, since he also claimed ignorance over the activities of his aides with regards to the Red Sky affair......and he still holds office!
And whilst on the topic of sectarian racism, the same bigot has also expressed his disapproval of plans by the Republic of Ireland's footballers to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising by wearing a shirt expressing such said event. He referred to it as an ‘uncritical endorsement’ of the Easter Rising but wasn’t surprised by the FAI’s decision.
A direct reference to FAI Chief Executive John Delaney singing the song Joe McDonnell in 2014 after the South beat the USA and for which he, Delaney, apologised if he caused offence.
Not content with attacking Irish soccer McCausland, a holder of more chairs than a circus juggling act, ironically chair of the Assembly's Culture, Arts and Leisure committee, went on to attack the GAA over the unveiling of a commemorative stone in Crossmaglen to the men of 1916 and attended by the Ulster GAA president Michael Hasson. He called in to question the GAA’s openness and fairness as a sport for all in that by this action and others they are clearly an Irish nationalist organisation and closed to Unionists since their constitution requires all members to be committed to an independent united Ireland.
A similar type organisation and constitution to that of the Orange order with regards to Catholics and loyalty to the British Queen.
He also disparagingly highlighted the lack of proof reading by the organisers when they unwittingly unveiled another miss-spelling by Republicans, this time the word ‘commemorative’ in the inscription. A similar inscription error and also disparagingly referred to, was that of his beloved Order’s commemorative medal of the ‘Seige’ of Derry several years ago! Both organisers would do well to learn to proof read.
Nelson, still unfinished in attacking all things Irish went on to attack the adaptation of the word ‘craic’ by Irish language enthusiasts and their spurious claim of it as being one of their own.... a claim that no Irish language enthusiast would ever make! He went on to support his position with an etymological critique of the word ending in it being, yes, you guessed it, a word whose origins stem from the Gibberish Society and its connection to Scotland!
McCausland was later joined in his racist bigotry against all things Irish by TUV deputy mayor of Mid and East Antrim Timothy Gaston.
Gaston demanded that the contractor replace all manhole covers in Ballymena that has the Irish word ‘uisce’ written on them as well as the English word ‘water’ and were used as part of a £4 million ratepayer-funded public realm project in Ballymena town centre.
His father, every bit as racially bigoted as the son, came to prominence with a similar narrow minded racist and bigoted ideological outlook when he demanded and succeeded in forcing the fast-food giant McDonald’s to replace the word ‘yield’ on its drive-through with ‘give-way’ as ‘yield’ was a southern term and not British. It’s in the genes!
Meanwhile, Arlene Foster once again exerted her ‘lady-boy’ charms to override Dodds and Morrow to have Jim wells selected as the DUP candidate in the upcoming Stormont election. Wells, whose potential selection was under serious jeopardy, apparently due to his homophobic mutterings during a prior election, after fiery exchanges between him and the senior party officer team inclusive of Dodds and Morrow.
An excuse that is somewhat seriously hard to contemplate when considering Dodds and Morrows views on the said subject! Arlene stepped in, well more, trampled in over-all and sundry and routed all objections in a bid to end any further development or formation of any potential party divisions prior to the election...her sectarian racist and homophobic bigot Jim was her sectarian racist and homophobic bigot Jim and no other sectarian racist and homophobic bigot was going to change that!
On settling this little quibble she then proceeded to trudge of towards the Newtonards Road to unveil a mural commemorating the Somme and replacing a local Unionist UVF mural. In attendance at the unveiling was a person called Wilson, not Sammy ‘the racist’, but more commonly known on the Road as ‘the General’ ....obviously someone who commands respect from the locals and someone whom Arlene having in her retinue didn’t feel uncomfortable with!
Not content with one unveiling, she then made a quick dash in her ministerial car to South Belfast where she unveiled another mural to St Patrick. This was an attempt by unionist/loyalists to undo the ‘gaelicisation’ of St Patrick and make him more acceptable to them....just as they did with his shamrock and I suppose Ireland too!
Arlene then went on to issue a dire warning to the British Unionist community gathered for a pre-election Taig bashing party: that if they didn’t keep vigil there was every possibility of the seat of British Ulster being under the control of Sinn Fein, specifically Martin McGuiness. A fine example of stating just how far this wondrous ideology of sharing for the future extends for Irish Nationalists – you climb up a few rungs in the ladder but don’t even think of climbing on to the top rung!
Speaking of the Deputy First Minister, who would have ever thought that Jeffery Donaldson would ever have defended Martin McGuinness?
On hearing that there was now proposed legislation potentially giving McGuinness the right to appoint those to the panel for overseeing paramilitary activity (which would seem to please Mr Storey and Co) Tom Elliot MP objected to such legislation due to McGuinness’ murderous past.
Of course Elliot’s own past of belonging to a state murder machine and his position of objection, i.e., the UDR, undid the old proverb of honour among thieves!
Jeffery, on hearing Elliot’s objection weighed in and defend the decision although to be fair, he defended the legislation rather than those who would wield it.
Never one to miss a money generating opportunity, Sinn Fein, under attack over their usurping of the legacy of Bobby Sands from the Sands family, are also issuing Centenary bonds in marking the 1916 Easter Rising. These little gems of memorabilia will cost over £100 with the proceeds going to fund the “various 1916 commemorations” happening throughout the island. What exactly these commemorations will entail is unknown at this point or just how the proceeds of all sales are to be spent. I smell a ‘Trust’ at play here!
The odd aspect of the bonds is that they will bear another Booby’s name, that of Booby Storey. Why?
Former journalist and now Irish Senator, Mairia Cahill, who has travelled full circle in her short political life from Provo, to Dissident and now to Stick and who stated that a DVD of her uncle’s funeral was sold for a fiver by the same people best summed up the Centary bonds with the following; "This is more a case of 'the dead, the dead, they have left us our Fenian fools' - and anyone who buys one of these needs their head examined."
Those who stupidly enough part company with their hard earned cash will be entered into a prize draw with first prise of a chance to win a trip for two to New York with thousands of dollars spending money. The second prize is a trip to Dublin for the Easter Rising commemorations, again with spending money.....most likely your own that you gave in the first place.
Like the Bobby Sands Trust this little entrepreneurial escapade benignly describes itself as,
We are a non-profit organisation set up by a group of people who are passionate about the preservation of one of Ireland's most important heritage sites, the 1916 Battlefield Site at Moore Street. We have come together with the relatives of the 1916 leaders to provide an innovative scheme to sell Centennial Bonds at €100 each in order to put a bid to NAMA to purchase the 1916 Battlefield Site. The Bonds for Moore Street will be offered nationally and internationally.
And so as McCausland struggles to embed the word ‘craic’ in to his Gibberish dictionary alongside words and phrases such as ‘floor sucker’ for hoovering/vacuuming and ‘dafty wee weeins’ for special needs children we can all rest soundly in our beds knowing that Cameron et al have now resolved the refugee/immigrant ‘problem’ by asking Turkey to deal with them in the way that Turkey previously dealt with the Armenians.....Result! Thus lowering the anti-immigrant security level for Sammy Wilson and the Bigots back down to DEF-CON 3. Our benefits are safe from the greedy clutches of immigrants/refuges but definitely not from Osborne or Wilson and his cronies for that matter!
On another scandalous note, Gareth Graham has willingly publicly ate a very wealthy humble pie and apologised for casting any aspersions on the integrity of or for calling their reputation in to disrepute of Cerberus in the NAMA NI property deal.....the pie tasted extremely sweet as Graham in return for his humble gluttony received all his properties back....a man with a backbone made of similar putty to that of another local person caught up in the dirty dealings of NAMA - John Miskelley.
But unlike Graham, Miskelley has jumped ship to the American investigator’s side as a whistle-blower and doesn’t intend to move anywhere else soon.....something about whistle-blowers in America receiving 10% of all monies involved in a suspected fraud case which in this case of £1.3 billion adds up to approximately £130m possibly being the incentive to squat where he is....should cover a few debts!
And last but not least the sorry saga of the southern elections continues to drag on with all sorts of possible coalition permutations being bandied about by the media. Just who will sit where and on what bench in the Dáil is still anybody’s guess but at least there is one positive we can take from all this and that is to thank our lucky stars that Nelson McCausland prefers chairs to benches!