Thin skins are probably not the most useful trait in a politician. Indeed, I suspect that most us writing about our politicians have, in practice, much thinner skins than the subjects we write about and might not last five minutes in the media glare. But Seamus Close took the opportunity to express some frustration with the idea that Northern Ireland’s political class was somehow infected with a collective professional indolence. Noel MacAdam:
Mr Close (59) said his decision went back to October, 2002 when Mr Reid “decided those of us who had been working extremely hard, at the stroke of a pen, that we were worthless.
“My political colleagues working, for example, on the finance committee and public accounts committee were putting in a lot of hard work and at a stroke the Secretary of State said ‘you are useless’. Now that hurt.
“And that has been compounded over the last 12 to 18 months when Mr Hain never misses an opportunity to say that we are not doing our jobs. Can I ask him: How was I to do my job when your predecessor chucked me out?” asked Mr Close.