Alert the amphibious squadron!

On his blog, the BBC’s Mark Devenport tells us that they “had been given a heads up” for this afternoon’s Assembly debate. Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was to warn of potential meltdown.. again. He is off to London.. again. But then the DUP’s Peter Weir intervened on a point of order.. Let’s hope they have the footage..

Then, as Gerry was about to get to his killer quote, Peter Weir jumped to his feet. Was the DUP member going to fight fire with fire? Well not quite. What the North Down MLA wanted to check with the Speaker was whether Gerry should be wearing a tie. Puzzled looks all around. The Speaker Willie Hay confirmed that the Sinn Fein President, wearing a jacket but no tie, was not breaking any dress code.

Mr Adams tried to pick up his thread, and delivered his warning about “meltdown” but somehow Mr Weir’s bizarre intervention took the stuffing out of him. Memo to SF: next time you threaten to bring down Stormont, remember to wear a tie.

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  • Rory

    The type of behaviour exhibited by Peter Weir, if translated to the internet, would rightly draw accusations of “trolling” and as such effort adds little to an interesting blog debate neither does Weir’s intervention on this matter.

  • al

    more fun than listening to gerry talking tripe

  • TAFKABO

    Hard to wear a tie when you’ve already got your master’s dog collar round your neck.

  • ulsterfan

    After 7pm I always wear a dinner jacket with black tie as a mark of respect that I am visiting the home of other Bloggers .
    I hope others reciprocate and Gerry has a lot to learn.

  • Rory

    Ah! Ulsterfan, so that was the funny looking little thing I spied on your webcam chat – your dickie!

  • McGrath

    Stunning political verdure by Mr Weir, whats next? Throwing paper airplanes at each other, maybe flinging rubber bands?

  • It would have to rank as one of the stranger questions to be asked in any fora surely.

  • Dewi

    Pete mun – Slugger’s gone mad – got no time to read all the stuff let alone make the usual fatuous comments…..why not just have like 5 blogs a day?

  • Mick Fealty

    At risk of sounding poe faced, this is just plain old politics guys. If the secret of comedy is timing, it;s the same for parliamentary interventions.

    Politically, SF surely must draw the conclusion that breifing the media before before making a parliamentary play is not a good idea; news spread’s like wildfire around Stormont’s echoey halls.

    Perhaps the DUP is making use of its greater experience of parliamentary process (though Sammy Wilson may be better at handing out rhetorical lessons in opposition than taking it as a minister).

    In any case, if you are going to throw a haymaker, the last thing you want to do is signal it to the ‘opposition/’partners in government

  • willis

    If the purpose of a blog is to attract comment then young Davenport should join the eminence grise Mr Walker on Slugger.

    Is it the commenting rules on bbc.co.uk? or simply that Mick has built up a critical mass?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sinn Fein appear to have been reduced from one of the most dynamic and strategically clever political parties in Europe, to the laughing stock of the NI Assembly.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Adams is pretty good at foreign diplomacy, makes a change from international terrorism.

  • interested

    Whether the intention behind the intervention was to throw Adams off his stride it clearly worked. Frankly Adams needs taken down a peg or two – he definitely wouldn’t like being interrupted – after all he’d view it like interrupting the Queen. Gerry is after all republican royalty, well at least in his mind.

    Weir knocking a little of the pomposity from Adams at least gets another issue back up the agenda though for a little scrutiny.

    Gerry really is struggling to find a reason for being these days though. It would appear that the only way he can make himself meaningful to political life in Northern Ireland is to threaten to tear down devolution. You have to wonder of course if he ran that one past Marty before striding Rambo-like into the chamber to threaten meltdown.

    So far he, rather than Sinn Fein is starting to look more and more ridiculous, but that will change as time goes on if Gerry doesn’t change. “His” woman on the Executive Catriona Ruane has already been touted for the chop so maybe the Adams/McGuinness rift is deepening as they realise that the beared wonder just doesn’t add anything for them any more.

  • Steve

    Ahh I see the kooks are out predicting the end of Gerry and SF again.

    Makes you wonder how many times they can be wrong before they keep their own council?

    Though I suppose if you cry wolf often enough youy might get it right sooner or later, too bad its always after people quit listening

  • TAFKABO

    Though I suppose if you cry wolf often enough youy might get it right sooner or later, too bad its always after people quit listening

    And that comment brings us right back to the topic of Gerry telling us the whole deal’s about to collapse.

  • DC

    “At risk of sounding poe faced, this is just plain old politics guys. If the secret of comedy is timing, it;s the same for parliamentary interventions.”

    It is good to see Adams get interrupted because we all know of his repulsive ego (even though McDowell wiped the floor with him); however, the way in which Peter Weir conducted this prank will backfire in terms of diminishing the notion of respectable two-way; it also highlights Unionism’s problem with being able to sit and listen to a particular concern.

    Mick, part of politics it may be, but the other part of politics too in Northern Ireland will, therefore, view this with contempt given the juvenility associated with it coupled with an ongoing atmosphere of strained relations, which is not the case at Westminster, long settled into the way of things. Your Westminster-centric view of things belies the perception of rumbles of concern not just with politics itself but just exactly what the institutions can bring.

    The key to understanding where the problems lie is to try and find out just how much genuine talking has been done and by whom, to establish whether it isn’t a case of sulking sides, both sides just expecting progress without co-operative groundwork.

    The essential key to public diplomacy is this essential two-way in order to feedback confidence to build together on ideas each other holds, this bounces back out into society here and is picked up positively and jacks up reputation. This is not happening.

    I find Devenport can be a bit smug for his own good, like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth but I’ve my own prejudiced view of small men….

  • interested

    DC
    “which is not the case at Westminster, long settled into the way of things.”

    Maybe we should be more like Westminster. You have to wear a tie in there – why not in the Assembly chamber?

    A valid point which Peter Weir was possibly trying to make – although you dismiss it as a prank.

    “The key to understanding where the problems lie is to try and find out just how much genuine talking has been done and by whom, to establish whether it isn’t a case of sulking sides, both sides just expecting progress without co-operative groundwork.

    The essential key to public diplomacy is this essential two-way in order to feedback confidence to build together on ideas each other holds, this bounces back out into society here and is picked up positively and jacks up reputation. This is not happening.”

    I’m sorry, but that’s just the political equivalent of management-speak. All we were missing was a few references to ‘blue-sky thinking” or some other meaningless sh*te.

  • DC

    I am glad attire and ties mean that much more, another example of the shallowness if not meaningless of Unionism and its style of politics, often caught up in the rush to obey rules, which in fact weren’t even broken in the end. Ehh, hello?!

  • Rapunsel

    Seen this on Stormont live last night by accident. By the way what a totally crap tv programme and hardly one to inspire confidence in Stormont amongst the public. For other than the hacks watching it , Peter Weir ,looked like a total bollox in my view , more interested in criticising what people were wearing ( and I don’t think he was intending to throw anyone of their stride but just engaging in schoolboy fun for the benefit of his own party members) than engaging in the debate. Actually none of the thing inspires confidence in me that we have MLAs capable of doing the job, watching people laboriously reading speeches they obviously hadn’t written. Inspirational!

  • Dessertspoon

    Obviously not wanting to overlook the whole tie issue,as vital as it is to the world….what exactly is Gerry’s problem now?
    Why doesn’t he just stand outside Parliament Buildings wearing a sandwich board emblazoned with the words
    “The end of the Assembly is nigh!”
    And no “nigh” isn’t “now” in a Belfast accent.

  • interested

    Rapunsel et al
    Even if Weir’s motivation was simply a bit of schoolboy humour it did demonstrate just how rubbish Adams is. It did manage to completely throw him off his stride. Even David McNasty who was on the programme said that no-one in the chamber realised that grizly had delivered his “dire warnings”.

    Why exactly is it that the only Shinner who is predicting the death of the Assembly is Adams? Why do none of the others seem quite so keen to see the end of devolution?

    It would appear that this is the only way Gerry can get a bit of coverage for himself. He’s becoming an isolated lonely figure – only good for giving the blame to when the Shinners do badly in an election. Even when they were getting some credit in the south for the Lisbon treaty it all went to Mary Lou.

    Poor oul Gerry… But i’m sure he’ll be back with another prediction of meltdown in another couple of weeks.

  • pee wee

    Tiocfaidh Ar Tie?

  • [aside]”Alert the amphibious squadron!”

    I’m trying to but the skipper appears to have left the wheel. I’ve a feeling Murphy might feel a bit sick tomorrow … problems with a stability test.

  • For what it’s worth, Gerry wouldn’t have been allowed to speak in the Dáil improperly dressed as he was.

  • DC

    Yes Sammy but for what it’s worth too, Adams was speaking in a regional assembly not a national parliament, which people on here are making references to.

  • Mick Fealty

    The previous ruling stated that jackets and ties could be removed if conditions made it too uncomfortable. Poots wasn’t that far off the mark then.

  • interested

    DC
    For what its worth, the speaker actually wasn’t ruling in accordance with his own guidelines – issued after Barry McElduff made an issue about wearing a jacket.

    Those guidelies state business attire is appropriate for the chamber and that includes a jacket and tie, unless there are exceptional conditions in the chamber when they can remove jackets.

    So Adams shouldn’t have been allowed to speak in a regional assembly (of the United Kingdom) dressed as he was either.

  • DC

    “The previous ruling stated that jackets and ties could be removed if conditions made it too uncomfortable. Poots wasn’t that far off the mark then.”

    Adams probably isn’t a big fan of ties given a complaint he has with his neck area after a certain botched assassination.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Sammy Morse:

    For what it’s worth, Gerry wouldn’t have been allowed to speak in the Dáil improperly dressed as he was.

    That might come as news to Tony Gregory.

  • paul kielty

    Seen it last night, made my blood boil!
    At a time of international uncertainty, rising living costs, ( fuel/food/morgage rates etc…) rising unemployment starting to impact on us all. To see that idiot in his rather expensive looking pin-stripped suit (off course!!), having a laugh with his ‘old school’ friends, all at the tax payers expense, was a disgrace.
    Maybe Adams and the clown weir have inadvertently set a debate in motion. Namely, what is the assembly really for?
    I know that there is growing disquiet in the nationalist community over the ILA, j&P;, the maze debacle, and the growing feeling that unionism is simply incapable of compromising or living up to their side of the bargain. Wether right or wrong, that is the largely held perception.
    Some people may see this as dangerous, not I.
    In fact, doing away with this sham county council of 108, exuberantly, (scandalously) highly paid lazy attention seekers; Would save the hard pressed tax payers countless millions.
    These boyos, riding the gravy train, have had their chance and blew it.
    Time for plan B. Joint authority!
    Maybe messers Devenport and Fitzpatrick should stop tee-heeing, and coming over all superior, and start addressing the real concerns of the wider community. ( who also pay them handsomely!)

  • DC

    Hear, hear Paul.

  • Steve

    Paul

    do you really want to be left to the mercies of the unelected and unnaccountable simple cervants?

    Atleast these clowns give you some one to curse and gnash your teeth at

  • paul kielty

    Steve,

    Fair point, but if the price of losing someone to vent my spleen at, is to see that bloodsucking rabble evicted of the gravy train, and the public purse swollen somewhat….its a price worth paying.

  • interested

    Paul Kielty
    Get down off your f***ing high horse – the air’s obviously a little thin up there and affecting your brain.

    “At a time of international uncertainty, rising living costs, ( fuel/food/morgage rates etc…) rising unemployment starting to impact on us all.”

    You might want to go and check what the debate in the chamber was actually about. It was a debate questioning why the Minister was choosing to open up a new Irish Medium School despite rejecting applications for other schools in the area.

    You see – it was actually a debate about why a Minister sees fit to spend public money on a political pet project when people out there are suffering because of the global economy.

    Do you not think that the money could be better spent on tackling fuel poverty?

    “unionism is simply incapable of compromising or living up to their side of the bargain.”

    Back to that old chestnut again – you see, compromise actually means that, not simply agreeing with whatever nationalists want. Where’s the SF willingness to actually compromose on education? Frankly if Adams can’t get his head around that then tough.

    “Time for plan B. Joint authority!”

    Yeah – republicans tear things down but get a republican wish. Won’t work that way. You were calling for devolution to return for years but then cant hack it for more than 14 months when it is up and running. You’ve made your bed, now lie in it – without your Irish Language Act comfort blanket.

  • ulsterfan

    As a voter I expect MLA to be properly dressed.
    Adams not wearing a tie is disrespectful.
    Did some unionist politician question in good faith if SF were “house trained”
    This question needs an answer.

  • paul kielty

    interested,

    Charming language I must say!

    I am well aware what the ‘debate’, as you call it, (it ceased to be a debate as soon as the har-de-har-har brigade got going) was all about.

    “….spend public money on a political pet project when people out there are suffering because of the global economy”. Absolutely correct. I could not agree with you more. Whatever money the minister wishes to throw at a new Irish medium school, is but pennies compared to the whole grotesque fiscal tragedy that is the assembly.

    I was most certainly NOT calling for years for a return of devolution, nor indeed my bed has yet to be made.
    Purely, because I seriously doubted that a lot of what passes for serious politicians up on the hill, had the ability to behave themselves, rise above the past and look towards the future. Weirs behaviour, coupled with such memorable classics such as the ‘mooing’, whenever the NIWC were speaking, just reinforces those serious doubts.

    I find it hard to understand your blinkered support for these highly paid fools. I for one will not indulge in their mediocrity.

    Joint authority is on its way sooner of later. Especially if antics such as Weirs continue.

  • paul kielty

    Ulsterfan,

    You are spot on.

    Its a disgrace that any MLA, especially a shinner, should show such brazened contempt for democracy, by not wearing a tie. Well done, for gallantly standing up for standards and common decency.

    Adams should realise that to be ‘house trained'(does this constitute anti-irish racism?), one must be smart-arsed, heckle, laugh about and generally behave like the naughty boys at the back of the class.

    And taxpayers pay for this nonsense!

  • ulsterfan

    PK

    a sense of honour will help us all to tolerate the shortcomings of those who sit at Stormont.
    Let us poke fun and ridicule at them.
    It would be great if they were in fear of us and thought before they spoke and tried a lot harder to justify their position.
    Do we really deserve so much mediocrity————-its up to us to change that and to tell them to do a lot better.