I happen to agree with Lord Rooker – “Let’s face it, the structure of the 11 [Assembly] departments is absolutely barmy. It’s illogical.” – but I doubt that Secretary of State, Peter Hain, would want him to say that in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph.As David Gordon notes in the article –
“Lord Rooker is the Government’s Northern Ireland spokesman in the Lords, as well as being Minister for Agriculture, Environment, Finance and Personnel and the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).
A further responsibility was recently added to his portfolio with his appointment as Minister for Children, which comes under the OFMDFM umbrella.”
and of that umbrella he said –
“Every week, I find something new I am responsible for. I’m the women’s minister, for starters. That takes a bit of explaining.”
He also had this to say about being the Labour Party’s spokesman on NI in the House of Lords
“The Lords Ministers work harder than the Commons Ministers – you may quote me on that by the way,” he says.
Rooker, old chap, you’re being quoted on everything.. as I’m sure the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland [and Wales], Peter Hain, will remind you.
And David Gordon ends the interview with –
Lord Rooker says: “I’m not envisaging that I’m here for the long-term.”
Opinion might be divided on whether that’s a good thing…