The Reason Why Hain Is Mainly on the Plane

“If I didn’t fly, how else was I going to get there? By taking the ferry? Spending three days getting there?” says Hain. Oh, and “Get a life”, too. – Jet-setter Hain flies into flak on travel

  • pith

    Lairdy lairdy me! They’re all at it now.

  • Apparently there are scheduled airlines making the trip between the Province and the Mainland. You’d think a secretary of state would have someone on the staff who’d know about that sort of thing.

    BMI and Easyjet can’t have been full ALL the time.

    And maaybe if he had to use airlines like ordinary mortals we would have less of the cosmetic “security” that we have to put up with these days. How many bombs are we stopping by shrinking the size of cabin luggage (or banning violins until the Proms were over)?

  • Daisy

    According to the article:

    “Mr Hain is currently highlighting his environmental credentials as part of his bid to be the next deputy leader of the Labour Party.

    He has championed the multi-million pound Environment and Renewable Energy Fund, which offers Ulster householders grant-aid for the installation of solar heating and other measures in their homes.”

    Cleary a case of do as I say, not as I do.

  • smcgiff

    Of course if there were no union between NI and GB there’d be no need to suffer his visits, at least not at taxpayer’s expense! 🙂

  • Streamer

    It doesn’t matter Pete, we don’t really give a toss how you get here. Better still don’t even bopther coming here for all the good you do any way. You’re an out and out azz-hole.

  • lib2016

    an out and out azz-hole

    Shame! Nobody likes it when the bailiffs arrive, and that is exactly what Hain is here for. The harder you scream the better he is doing his job.

  • Rubicon

    For years the complaints about absentee ministers abounded. Now it’s their attendance that’s the source of complaints. This strikes me as a churlish line of criticism. Would it be better for the SoS not to highlight NI issues in a timely way at cabinet? Isn’t he also SoS for Wales?

    Has anyone tried using the standard airlines services to Cardiff? The service from Belfast would mean a loss of a day’s work for each trip.

    Perhaps that’s the real basis of the gripe here – Mr. Hain just ain’t liked but no politico here is quite able to articulate why without putting their own arse in the firing line.

  • idunnomeself

    Rubicon is onto something

    We’d be even more annoyed if he didn’t bother travelling, i doubt he cares what ypes of flight he gets, and i doubt he arranges it. I’ve seen other ministers on scheduled flights, so i assume he doesn’t always go chartered

    The BT is just on a strange little binge of FOI based stories, where they have to pretend that the information they get is contentious..

    sometimes, like here, it just isn’t

    and as for an MLA criticsing him.. well they have a cheek..

  • Crataegus

    He shouldn’t be SoS for Wales as well and perhaps he could consider living here in one of those plush Government Buildings, start wearing silly quasi military uniforms and strange hats with tassels.

  • Rory

    While Loyalist terror groups and republican dissidents still pose a threat surely it is prudent that the NI minster travels by the most secure means. Travelling by commercial flights would put not only himself but his fellow passengers in jeopardy, certainly would create more of a potential hazard than the eco-damage caused by the flight of one aircraft a few times a week.

    I hope the above is sufficiently bombasticly pretentious as to counter the shoddiness of the Telegraph’s cheap shot.

  • moochin photoman

    Well he’s hardly going to rely on Translink is he?
    Storm in a tea cup an absolute non story given what our own MLA’s have been claiming

  • Aidan

    Agreed – if I was in his position I certainly wouldn’t be travelling EasyJet.

    Get off your high horses people.

  • Crataegus

    If I can bump into Government ministers on trains in India I see no reason why I shouldn’t expect to bump into Mr Hain on flight to Belfast. If he feels it an uncomfortable concept then perhaps he is doing something wrong. He should meet the people like all good socialists.

  • Pete Baker

    Perhaps the key point is in the NIO response

    “To meet all his commitments, it is vital that he has access to flexible and efficient travel which is not offered by scheduled flights.”

    So, surely, reduce those commitments?

    Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, MP for Neath, and campaigning for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party is a lot to fit into a week.. after all..

  • Miss Fitz

    I’ve met many of our local politicians at both City and Aldergrove in the past, and it seems that although they too are responsible to Parliament, they can manage with BMI or BA.

    Mr Hain seems to be a haughty man, who appears to be behaving more like an Emperor than a transient SOS.

    Wonder if he buys his shirts at Charvais?

  • Pete Baker

    Perhaps surprisingly, I don’t, actually, begrudge Mr Hain his choice of travel.

    It makes more sense when faced with the option of trying to grab a ticket on EasyJet at the last minute.. but.. if he didn’t travel back and forth as much…

  • Miss Fitz

    The choice isnt Easyjet or Private charter, there are quite a few good steps in between.

    Hell, I begrudge him, it’s my tax pound being used to keep our servants in a style to which I will never become accustomed

  • Pete Baker

    The point, Miss Fitz, is that Hain’s choice of job, or potential job, plays a large part in his current options for travel.

    In regular usage, though, there is a justifiable argument for a cautious approach in choosing the carrier involved.

  • flyer

    Actually, it is quite easy to get to London for 9am meetings if you get out of bed and catch the first Easyjet to Luton or Stanstead. I can fit in a full day’s business, using trains and the tube. Ministers have drivers.

    What time does he cabinet meet? Certainly not at 9am.

    Hain could probably book a seat on a no-frills flight every day, in case he needed it, and still save thousands compared to a private jet.

  • rosey

    Misss Fizz Hain can act anyway he wants. Didn’t all the outer Labour SOS’s act the same., but didn’t Tony Blair just dump them in the end.

  • One can only imagine if he became Deputy Party Leader how that attitude of his would fly (ahem).

  • Rory

    There are important issues on which any NI minister might be challenged: aspects of the policy he attempts to administer; the way he does (or fails to )administer that policy: indeed his very right to administer any policy whatsoever in Ireland.

    With such weighty matters as these to focus on it seems to me that this issue is another cheap silly-season stocking filler suitable only for gossip among adolescent wannabes.

  • I don’t know, Rory, I do think the dismissive attitude he shows by making the comment, “What, I should take the ferry?” is indicitive of the attitude towards a large swathe of his constituents here. Now I don’t expect him to be stuck on a ferry for 3 days and miss meetings, but he should keep in mind when looking down his nose at those of us who are stuck on the ferry, or crammed into a sardine tin Easyjet at the lowest possible rate, “There but the grace of God go I.” That’s what sticks in the craw. This on the heels of him falling asleep while Raymond McCord spoke to him about the murder of his son is what makes me worry about what exactly he is doing here in his administration of policy. It doesn’t bode well.