Friends of the Earth inform Slugger that the ‘new’ Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (that’s exactly the same as the old EHS, plus shiny new badge and two new board members to you and I) will be launched today. They are, it would seem, less than enthralled by the prospect:From Friends of the Earth: :
Environmentalists will mark the launch of the NIEA (Not Independent Environment Agency) today by holding a rival “non-event” at Carrickfergus Castle . Campaign group Friends of the Earth will unveil its new identity – from today the organisation will be known as Friends of Sammy Wilson . The organisation will also announce a number of other cosmetic changes and largely meaningless reforms.
John Woods, Director of Friends of Sammy Wilson, said:
“I am delighted to be announcing absolutely nothing of any substance today. Our new identity is designed to fool people into thinking I am serious about the value I place on Sammy Wilson and my determination to protect him for the benefit of future generations.
“I am particularly proud to be able to announce that the board of Friends of Sammy Wilson will have two independent members, and I am heartened that a number of impressive looking poodles have applied.”
Well known for his Sammy Wilson sceptical views, Mr Woods said that although he accepted that Sammy Wilson existed, he did not believe that he was the result of human activity.  He commented,
“There is a large body of scientific evidence that shows that Sammy Wilson is a conspiracy by over 2,000 scientists who simply want more research funding. I know because I’ve seen a documentary on Channel 4.”
Friends of the Earth’s non-event at Carrickfergus Castle today will run in parallel with the launch of the Not Independent Environment Agency. Journalists and guests are not invited to attend as absolutely nothing of any significance will be taking place.
Instead large quantities of coffee are being served at 7 Donegall Street Place, Belfast from 10am to anyone who has better things to do with their time.
John Woods concluded:
“Well, you have to laugh. If I didn’t laugh, I’d probably top myself.”
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty