Saturday, December 31, 2016

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Coulter’s Coveted Cock-Up Cups For 2016

Former Blanket columnist and current Ireland columnist for Tribune magazine, Dr John Coulter, casts his usual irreverent eye over the political year, north and south, and presents his Coulter’s Coveted Cock-Up Cups for 2016.

Ireland’s political parties, north and south, as well as Christian fundamentalist gossips have swept the boards in the 2016 Coulter’s Coveted Cock-up Cups.

The Top Tit Trophy goes to the Democratic Unionist Party for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme scandal, which – if the Shinners are to be believed – could cost the Northern taxpayers some £600 million.

Hope all the elderly out there reading this will remember the DUP at the next election when they find out there’s no nursing home places because of the scandal. 

The Looney Looper Award goes to the rival Ulster Unionists for lurching to liberalism instead of the Unionist Right wing, thereby only winning 16 Assembly seats in the May poll. 

If the Shinners manage to spark a snap Stormont election because of the RHI debacle, pollsters are predicting the UUP will be very lucky to get back to Parliament Buildings with double-figure MLAs with all constituencies being reduced to five-seaters instead of the usual six which has been the case since 1998. 

And speaking of Sinn Fein, the republican party picks up the Political Prats Prize for not calling a snap Stormont poll for the new year when the Assembly met to hold a pre-Christmas emergency debate on the RHI scandal. 

With Unionism in disarray over the scandal, the Shinners will have their best chance ever to become the largest party in Stormont and thereby lay claim to the coveted First Minister’s chair. 

That would be some slap in the teeth for Unionism as it prepares to celebrate the centenary of the founding of Northern Ireland in 2021 – a Sinn Fein First Minister. And given the splits in Unionism and Loyalism, the chances of a pro-Union party snatching back the First Minister’s post in the next decade are slim to none. 

I was going to give my Politician of the Year Award to the DUP’s now-suspended MLA and former Stormont Executive Minister Jonathan Bell’s for playing the God Card on the BBC when he blew the whistle on the RHI crisis.

But listening to Sinn Fein Stormont Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir upping the cost of the RHI cock-up from £400 million to £600 million, he has positioned himself very effectively to succeed current deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, not just as deputy – but to nudge the DUP’s Arlene Foster out of the First Minister’s spot. 

Magic Mairtin’s very clever presentation of the costs to the Northern Ireland taxpayers is bound to cultivate even more apathy among Unionist voters with the DUP. That can only help Sinn Fein in key marginal constituencies.

The Best of British Cup goes to the slippery Stoops as the SDLP has made a super job of replacing the old Nationalist Party as the more than politically useless official Opposition at Stormont. 

Under party boss Comrade Colum Eastwood MLA, the SDLP has abandoned its traditional nationalist stance to become the UUP’s little lapdog in the Stormont version of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

The Takeover Trophy goes to wee Jimmy Allister’s lone star Traditional Unionist Voice party for winning only one of the Assembly’s 108 seats when all its propaganda suggested the TUV was going to eclipse the UUP as the main Unionist rival to the DUP.

The Yellow Belly Trophy goes to the Alliance Party for failing to persuade the election battered UUP to merge with it and reform the Liberal Unionist Party of the old Home Rule era. 

Now that Big Naomi has pushed Dire Davy out of the Alliance leadership, prepare to see liberal Presbyterianism kick ass throughout 2017 as under her watch, Alliance will run rings around the UUP and Greens attempts to pretend to be centrist parties. 

Meanwhile, south of the Irish border – or should that be a Trump-style border wall once Brexit kicks in – the Lost In Space Prize is clinched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael coalition for all the people queuing at the food banks.

If ever there was evidence the republic has failed as a political experiment, it’s the tragic sight of seeing so many folk in those queues – and not all of them homeless!

And don’t expect Fianna Fail to have the answers – so that party romps home with the ‘What The Feck Do We Do Next’ Cup. Basically, Fianna Fail has no workable solutions to the growing economic crisis in the republic. 

Fianna Fail really needs to grow a set of political balls and put the people of the South of Ireland first by rejoining the British Commonwealth and joining the UK in implementing an Irexist from the failed European Union. 

Looking at the extreme sadness on the faces of those queuing at the Southern food banks, it’s time for the Southern parties to put people before party and principles and team up with the Brits to combat the poverty traps. 

This leads me to the most prestigious of my awards – much-sought after Gobshite Cup. The 2016 award goes to Christian fundamentalist gossips in churches the length and breadth of Ireland who spew out their vile bile and don’t give a hoot if that gossip has any legal, ethical, Biblical or factual foundations.

Maybe when a few more of these tub-thumping pew gossips appear in court on defamation charges, they will think before opening their gobs? With 2017 just around the corner, there’s already an impressive set of assholes queuing up for the 2017 awards. In the meantime, happy Easter!

  • Follow John Coulter on twitter @JohnAHCoulter

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