“Northern Ireland has a commissioner for everything except corruption..”

In the Irish News, Newton Emerson identifies some more of those poisonous foundations.. to add to the rest..

Semi-official systems to reward the cooperative undoubtedly exist. Industries which are otherwise heavily regulated appear mysteriously immune from regulation in the case of certain individuals. Even more mysteriously, these individuals can find themselves back under regulation if they cross accepted peace-process ‘red lines’ on crime or anti-agreement associations.

In private conversations about this with police officers I have been told to grow up and accept that the tens of thousands of people with paramilitary pasts are still with us in the present and must be coaxed into the future. But if the need for this is so obvious, must the coaxing be so totally unaccountable?

Northern Ireland has a commissioner for everything except corruption. The Assets Recovery Agency can not investigate fraud by public-sector bodies and the Audit Office never touches anything even vaguely process-related. The media is blinded by “security” excuses at every turn.

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  • aquifer

    Newt is ‘on the money’ as usual

    ‘A state this corrupt forfeits the authority to levy taxation.’

    Correct. If they surrender their monopoly of legally sanctioned force to a private group of sectarian extortionists they are unfit to rule and we should withdraw our co-operation in matters such as taxation, traffic legislation etc.

    Now the state is promoting construction projects where the contractor is responsible for the quality of the installations and materials. How is this to be policed? How uncivil can our public servants be to those connected with gun gangs?

    The public sector here is massively large, and it is clear that throughout the troubles public money ended up in brown paper bags on its way to gun gangs. Via intermediaries yes, only a percentage, but we should know that collectively we have been funding our abusers.

    We could start our campaign of civil disobedience by simply parking on a double yellow line and waiting for a demand for payment.

    Like to word our letter of appeal Newton?

  • Ann

    Italy works a little bit like that I’m told, grease a palm here or there and you’ll get the work done much quicker than trying to go through official channels which are very burdensome. A bit like paying a little extra to the repair man for going that little bit extra, call it tipping, and hey presto the work gets done.

    Sometimes a little corruption works, sometimes not.. The problem with the NI scenario is that, no matter how many palms are greased nothing ever gets done.

    We need corruption gone root and branch, then maybe our politicians will have to dine on yachts to get that little bit extra. Make them work for for their greased palm, instead of having their cake and eating it.

  • Es Cosa Nostra

    😉

  • Greenflag

    ann,

    ‘The problem with the NI scenario is that, no matter how many palms are greased nothing ever gets done.’

    Trees rot from the top down – so too do organisations , corporations and also entire countries .

    The problem in NI is not ‘grease’ per se -it’s the fact that the carriage ‘wheels’ being greased are stuck in some very deep ruts. No matter how much grease is applied the wheels merely spin around in the same deep ruts eternally . In addition of the four wheels attached to the NI carriage, the forward two wheels are always in reverse, while the rear wheels revolve forwards . This of course adds to the overall immobility of the NI carriage and throws out a lot of ‘shit’ in every direction as well as digging those ruts ever deeper .

    It’ll never work until they take all the wheels off and have the carriage body taken away for dismantling 😉

  • Newton Emerson

    Aquifer, I share your fantasy of a rebellion by (for want of a better term) “decent people” but I’m not optimistic, as the vanguard of that class has also been drawn into the heart of the system.

    Two years ago, the Westminster Northern Ireland Affairs Committee published a report on white-collar crime and paramilitarism which specifically highlighted: “the involvement of ‘professionals’ including accountants, solicitors and estate agents”.

    This long-overdue statement of the glaringly obvious provoked a furious response from… the Alliance Party. The report was never mentioned again.

  • Greenflag, you’ll be pleased to see that the Rathlin ferry saga has demonstrated ‘connections’ between Belfast, Dublin and Edinburgh ie the ‘difficulties’ are not confined to Belfast.

    Some of the more recent FoI documents would suggest that the DFP is attempting to wash its hands of the affair despite the fact that its own Central Procurement Directorate should be exercising due diligence in the processing of contracts. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before the DRD points the finger at the DFP.

    Newton, is the Irish News providing a running commentary on the saga – or is it turning a blind eye?

  • Driftwood

    In the post conflict moneygoround, I can’t help thinking that the so called peace process was simply a huge economic sticking plaster. Everyone followed the money. The mainstream media seem to be blind to all this. Why no ‘Spotlight’ or ‘Insight’ investigations? Touching a raw nerve?

    Or is it simply a case of us ‘holding our noses’ and accepting this institutionalised corruption as part of the price we pay. Better to leave some rocks uncovered etc, sure look at those nice new shopping centres.

  • Pigeon Toes

    http://nalil.blogspot.com/2008/11/santas-grotto-breaking-news.html

    In another surprise announcement, the Department for Reindeer Development confirms rumours that Santa’s sleigh has been taken over by the elves.

    A spokesman said, “There is absolutely no proof that Santa’s sleigh was ever able to complete all the work in one night, or indeed that it was capable of carrying the amount of parcels needed. You have to think of elfin safety….

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Semi-official systems to reward the cooperative undoubtedly exist. Industries which are otherwise heavily regulated appear mysteriously immune from regulation in the case of certain individuals”

    Like the ferry industry?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Excellent article as usual by Newton.

    I think that the corruption problem here goes a bit deeper. Not only do you have ten thousand people with some kind of paramilitary past, you’ve an even wider net than that again, of politicians who supported them or otherwise gave them comfort or support. We’re irrevocably wrapped up in this mess, and I think it is going to take a politician of unusual calibre and determination to root it all out.

    Newton,

    This long-overdue statement of the glaringly obvious provoked a furious response from… the Alliance Party. The report was never mentioned again.

    Have you more information on the details of this ?

  • Pigeon Toes

    “politician of unusual calibre and determination ”

    That would be in the realms of fantasy….

  • Newton Emerson
  • Tazia Doll

    “Sometimes a little corruption works, sometimes not..”

    In Italy, it doesn’t really work at all.

    ‘Waste, delays and a 7.7 billion-euro bill. European record of 200,000 time-barred proceedings. Inside the courts. Never-ending cases. 3,612 preliminary investigations against judges have ended in 3,612 acquittals’

    http://www.corriere.it/english/articoli/2008/01_Gennaio/22/Italian_justice_stella.shtml

    If you need a lawyer with a 100 percent acquittal rate, ask a judge.

  • cynic

    “The Assets Recovery Agency cannot investigate fraud by public-sector bodies”

    ….it cannot investigate anything. It was quietly abolished! I wonder why?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Newton,

    Thanks.

  • Newton Emerson

    Cynic,
    ARA was absorbed into SOCA on April Fool’s Day this year, although “its work and investigations continue”.
    SOCA will now “apportion its operational effort” across the following four categories:

    – drugs trafficking, primarily Class A – 40%
    – organised immigration crime – 25%
    – individual & private sector fraud – 10%
    – other organised crime – 15%

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Out of curiousity, who built Portadown swimming pool?

  • Driftwood

    A few more questions. Why can the Northern Ireland Audit Office not investigate these issues?

    And, from Newtons article:

    I am aware of one instance where RIR soldiers at a security briefing were shown photographs of a loyalist who was working, at that very moment, on the roof of the briefing room.

    Wihout breaking confidences, I would be interested to find out more about such an event, presuming it is more than hearsay. The MoD are responsible to Westminster. Surely they cannot hide behind the NIO on such an issue?

  • Newton, it would appear that the DFM from the OFMDFM ‘boycotted’ the fairly recent meeting of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

    I liked this comment from the Chairman, even if he doesn’t refer to the year:

    “Q39 Chairman: It is good to have that on the record too. We are extremely grateful to you. We are finishing just a little before time, although because you have not altered your clocks in Belfast it appears to be 20 past four when it is, in fact, only twenty past three.”

    There are references to organised crime in this televised November 5 2008 NIAC meeting with Hugh Orde.

  • “Meanwhile, a fatal sense grows that Northern Ireland is becoming a quasi-Sicilian society. We feel the presence of a Cosy Nostra, if not quite yet a Cosa Nostra, with all the deep-seated damage that brings.”

    Newton, this is very old territory for me. I described the fascist and mafiaist nature of loyalist and republican paramilitarism years ago.

    I was told in the 1990s that police officers could observe paramilitary wrong-doing but not intervene in certain instances without political clearance. It was labelled the ‘not ruffling paramilitary feathers’ strategy; it seemingly was an important element of the so-called peace process.

    I’m sure you can imagine the scenario where a property owned by a godfather, who comes under SOCA surveillance, is quietly transferred into the name of said godfather’s solicitor, accountant, whatever.

    I think it’s fair to assume that some godfathers have been delegated powers of ‘policing and justice’ in the communities they control over up-and-coming paramilitary delinquents in return for funding for paramilitary-led ‘community’ projects.

    It’s a funny old world.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s a funny old world.

    It’s the world we turn out to vote for every time there is an election. I don’t completely buy the idea that this is all a cosy conspiracy cooked up by the NIO. Our local politicians know full well what is going on and have had ample opportunity to blow the whistle.

  • Stalin, I didn’t say it was cooked up by the NIO; it’s a strategy that would have been agreed by the two Governments.

  • The film Gomorrah will be of interest to those who are interested in corruption in Italy, as I imagine would be the book by the investigative journalist Roberto Saviano. I’ve seen the film, but not read the book. I wrote about the film and through a few references about NI in on my blog in the unlikely case anybody is interested.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Would you believe that even when there is an “investigation”, some departments allow those being “investigated” to remain in post?

    They also allow these individuals to answer FOI requests!

    And that some FOI responses are then altered

  • wild turkey

    ‘I didn’t say it was cooked up by the NIO; it’s a strategy that would have been agreed by the two Governments. ‘

    Nevin. I respect your integrity and grit. You should know that.
    But isn’t the NIO effectively the messenger boy for one of the governments? It is hardly an autonomous entity.
    On your point re: strategy, it has been evolving for two decades that the preferred outcome would be along the lines of ‘ let them shit in their own nest… as long as they no longer shit in ours… and we will on occassion pick up those bills that maintain a charade of health and cleanliness.’

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Why no ‘Spotlight’ or ‘Insight’ investigations? Touching a raw nerve?”

    Indeed.

  • Wild Turkey, I agree with you about the messenger boy bit. I was responding to Comrade Stalin’s conception of the NIO.

    When it comes to policing and justice, I’d rank the BIIC Joint Secretariat above the NIO when it comes to influencing policy and contentious day-to-day decisions.

    Your ‘nesting’ is an excellent complement to the ‘feathers’ and is a very colourful variant on the nimby syndrome.

    I suppose we can take it that many of these godfathers have been ‘feathering their nests’ from government and other public funds ….

    Thanks for the ‘integrity and grit’ complement. I’m hearing that some public servants find this grit a bit discomforting.

  • Pigeon Toes, are there not protocols in place to remove civil servants under investigation from further involvement in that small segment of government departmental business until these matters have been resolved?

  • Pigeon Toes

    We, the taxpayer imagines that such protocol exists.

    The truth of the matter is that the departments in question appear to believe that their/our employees are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

    Recent FOI responses to particular questions have obviously ahd pieces of aper placed over parts to hide parts of correspondence etc.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “I am afraid that there is no substance, but shadow – deep, dark, menacing shadow. Destruction by “peace” is a new and deadly tactic.”
    Monsignor Denis Faul

  • wild turkey

    Nevin

    The integrity and grit is not a complement. To my mind it is a statement of fact. Nothing more need be said on that score.

    I have just tried to contact you via your blog but the ‘CONTACT’ click appears not to be working.

    Could you contact me at my email address as I have some info and supporting documentation which may be of relevance to this particular post.

    Look forward to hearing from you

    regards

    WT

  • Driftwood and Pigeon Toes, feedback from journalists indicates that some material in articles is ‘censored’ by MSM lawyers.

    Governments have the power to issue notices to editors and these can be as severe as not permitting the editor to disclose that censorship has taken place.

    Blogs make this process of control and containment more difficult to enforce. Bloggers can provide additional ammunition for journalists and politicians to fire. Let’s hope that all are up for the challenge.

  • WT, the pigeon is on its way …

  • Pigeon Toes

    And who gives a *flyin fiddlers’* about the law/guidelines/procedures/human rights/childrens’ rights that are damaged within that process?

  • Mr Angry

    All your consciences are belong to us.

  • “Perhaps that thought needs spread more widely before the NIO allows us an antidote to this poison.”

    Two points, Newton.

    The ‘process’ is being managed jointly by two states, not one, even if one state is nominally sovereign. Is there any reason why the Irish News can’t communicate that thought?

    There appear to be massive problems in the procurement process; the Rathlin ferry saga involves a relatively small sum of money so it should be possible for investigative journalists to use it as a possible window into other and far larger procurement ‘problems’. Can I repeat a question I posed earlier? Is the Irish News providing ongoing coverage of the saga or is it turning a blind eye? If the latter, what has it got to lose?

  • “ample opportunity to blow the whistle.”

    Perhaps the serried ranks of the Alliance Party could blow the whistle – if they’ve got the puff. What’s the point of them sitting as nodding donkeys on quangos?

    The Northern Ireland Audit Office provides guidance for those who wish to exercise their right to whistle-blow. John Dowdall and his team are just a letter or a phone-call or an email away.

    Public representatives and journalists need help if our society is to be ‘house-trained’; it’s essential that bloggers move outside the comfort zone of the chittering classes.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pigeon Toes:

    The truth of the matter is that the departments in question appear to believe that their/our employees are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

    If I am suspected of some kind of misconduct at work, I can be immediately suspended on full pay pending an investigation, and I’ve got very limited rights to do anything about it. I don’t see why the civil service should be a special case.

    [A report in the Belfast Telegraph some time ago uncovered that there had been people in the public sector who had been suspended on full pay pending an investigation for several years. That’s pretty crazy.]

    Nevin:

    ‘I didn’t say it was cooked up by the NIO; it’s a strategy that would have been agreed by the two Governments. ‘

    Respectfully, I don’t see the distinction. The two governments are implementing a policy that attempts to find what they see as common ground between the elected representatives here which best maintains some sort of peace and quiet. The NIO is responsible for implementing these policies, and it sets about this task with an obsessive level of enthusiasm.

    I don’t see it as a case of the NIO or the governments having their face set against what the people here really want. I see it as a case of us getting the government that we deserve, and I think that is what needs to be explained to people.

    Perhaps the serried ranks of the Alliance Party could blow the whistle – if they’ve got the puff.

    I think they have been doing so in the assembly. I know next to nothing about your Rathlin related investigations so I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t immediately grasp the point being made in the links you provided.

    “Puff” in the context of your comment could be translated to mean “electoral support”, and this ties back to what I have been saying – people here are getting the government that they deserve. Our electoral representatives consist of people who either are paramilitaries or are closely linked to paramilitaries, or people who claim in public that they don’t like paramilitaries but privately maintain some kind of relationship or connection with them. The mafiaesque label is, I think, more apt than people realize; are we really that surprised that if we elect people who do not find paramilitarism and criminality abhorrent, we will end up with systemic corruption ? People like Newton Emerson write excellent articles pointing out precisely what the outworkings are, but the politicians politely (and rather deliberately) ignore them and the public act as if it isn’t a big deal.

    If we really took a hard line against criminality it wouldn’t have been possible for some of the shady characters who have joined the TUV to do so while Jimbo can still claim with a straight face that he opposes paramilitaries in government.

    The Northern Ireland Audit Office provides guidance for those who wish to exercise their right to whistle-blow. John Dowdall and his team are just a letter or a phone-call or an email away.

    I hope they are treated with more respect than the Commissioner for Public Appointments is ?

  • Pigeon Toes

    “If I am suspected of some kind of misconduct at work, I can be immediately suspended on full pay pending an investigation, and I’ve got very limited rights to do anything about it. I don’t see why the civil service should be a special case.

    [A report in the Belfast Telegraph some time ago uncovered that there had been people in the public sector who had been suspended on full pay pending an investigation for several years. That’s pretty crazy.] ”

    I thought that rules which applied to my profession would also apply to Civil Service. They don’t and I have recent correspondence from the individual to prove that they are taking an active role in the project being “investigated”.

    And yes it defies all logic

    Nice to see them responding to some of my deliberate red herrings though re a piece of legislation which became redundant in April 08..

  • “Respectfully, I don’t see the distinction.”

    Comrade Stalin, you need to look at IMO a more senior body than the NIO in the realm of policing and justice: the BIIC Joint Secretariat. Dick Spring gave us a brief glimpse into the workings of its predecessor. He doesn’t describe how JS officials convene meetings of ‘stakeholders’ to resolve contentious P&J;policy and day-to-day issues; a British member of the then AIIC JS team provided me with the broad outlines after a member of the SDLP described how it ‘operated’ the AIIC connection.

  • “I think they have been doing so in the assembly. I know next to nothing about your Rathlin related investigations”

    Comrade Stalin, the AP leadership has been briefed but there’s been neither sign of smoke nor fire in the succeeding months.

    Members of the mainstream media and local press have also been briefed but it seems that only the News Letter’s Sam McBride has been prepared to cover the story.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Re: Ratlin Ferry. If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to put the press off pursuing an issue, it’s the monomaniacal rantings of an obsessive nutter.
    Just saying, like.
    But back to the Jameson case. This goes much, much deeper than has been revealed here. I wonder if the Robert Hamill inquiry will take a look into liquor licensing practises in the Portadown area?
    Just asking, like.

  • “it’s the monomaniacal rantings of an obsessive nutter.”

    I’ve not seen any of those, SRR. I think there is most likely an alternative explanation for the failure of the MSM to report government investigations.

  • Greenflag

    Fast forward to 2020 AD

    A competition will be held to find out which will be the most corrupt country on the planet . To the amazement of it’s long suffering citizenry Mexico will take second place to Northern Ireland .

    After a year long investigation an explanation will emerge. The Mexican authorities will have bribed the judges more than the NI authorities have.

    Comrade Stalin

    ‘people here are getting the government that they deserve.’

    Wrong way around . Is the Government getting the people they deserve ? The nature of the NI State by reaon of it’s history of conflict and it’s ‘fudged over’ solution has opened a pandora’s box of opportunities for the newly politically empowered on both sides . This is a gravy train that must now feed both the front and rear of the train and as both train ends are pulling in opposite directions why the surprise ?

    Stopping this train will require the tracks to be removed . It’s Hobsons choice when or if that should ever happen .

  • second place behind the free state you surely mean Greenflag.

  • Greenflag, they’re running a new train on old tracks. Surely an old buffer like you would remember something similar happening across the fields of Athenry a few years ago.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Nevin,

    You clearly know a great deal more than I do about how these things work at a high level. I can’t dispute what you’re saying about how things are really run, but I don’t see how it materially changes my point. The way that NI is run is to do with finding a kind of equilibrium, a “least worst alternative” to violence. Someone earlier in the thread talked of omelettes and eggs. I think that justice and fairness are the eggs, and the omelette is a quiet life for the politicians and security services, which is in turn a “relative peace” for the rest of us. The fact of the matter is that local politicians here are not raising a finger to try to change this. If they did, we would see the matter of devolution and internals structural reform being pursued with a great deal more enthusiasm than it is at present.

    The media are bound up neatly in this cosy arrangement. They don’t step on people’s toes. To me the height of this was revealed during Ian Paisley’s swansong, when journalists were each granted a “slot” to interview Paisley, and journalists who had published articles critical of the man were denied access. In any sensible place, the journalists would have recognized the damage that this kind of blackmail has over their profession, and they would have come together and agreed not to cover the story. But no; they all puckered up and jumped into line, and did as they were told. Aside from this, I think the local media are lazy and incompetent, content to reprint and report on press releases rather than investigating into the heart of matters and asking the tough questions. Perhaps some of this is justified; in the past, journalists who got too close to the nerve in collusion investigations found themselves being harrassed by the police to the point where their lives and careers were destroyed.

    Greenflag:

    Wrong way around . Is the Government getting the people they deserve ?

    I think it’s time for the government to dissolve the people and appoint another 🙂

    The nature of the NI State by reaon of it’s history of conflict and it’s ‘fudged over’ solution has opened a pandora’s box of opportunities for the newly politically empowered on both sides . This is a gravy train that must now feed both the front and rear of the train and as both train ends are pulling in opposite directions why the surprise ?

    I don’t think it’s anything to do with where the border is drawn. It’s to do with what way people vote. The politicians here know that as long as they play to the tribal tune, the votes will come in irrespective of their conduct in public. The only thing that can change that is devolved government.

  • Greenflag

    Murphy went out with his friends for a picnic to a lake in Northern Ireland . When they reached the lake they saw a Norn Iron politician splashing about drowning .

    The friends rushed to the lake shore and started to shout .

    ‘Give us your hand -give us your hand ‘

    But the politician did’nt appear to hear them and was sinking fast . Then Murphy walked over to the lake shore and said
    ‘ Take my hand -take my hand ‘
    In a flash the politician reached out to Murphy and the latter dragged him out of the water .

    The friends gathered around Murphy :

    ‘How come he heard you and could’nt hear us ‘?

    ‘Simple my friends ‘ said Murphy , ‘ I know my politicians – they only know how to take and you lot were asking him to give’

  • Ann

    Is the Government getting the people they deserve ?

    I think so, and not to lead the thread of track, I listened to Shirley Williams ( I know I know) during the Osborne/yacht saga talk of politicians and how she felt that good people are being pushed out of politics in favour of the career politician. We do need a good and new batch of politicians inspired by the ideal of serving the people rather than personal gain and notoriety. There are such young and idealistic people out there.

    The problem according to Williams was the media, in that all aspects of their lives were on show, discussed and trashed by the msm, and that this was a put off. For some politicians their families have been targetted, (i.e. their children). In one way she has a point, (which is not to say I agree with this privacy law they’re trying to introduce). But good people, idealistic young people need to be encouraged to go into politics, and if we want to do that then we need to look at how the msm protray politicians.

    Many of us have a very justified opinion of them as a bunch of wasters, and to prove my point look at stormont, so we do need new young politicians to replace the current crop. New people, young enough not to be carrying tribalistic baggage. Pity we have no good current role models for them.

  • Greenflag

    Comrade Stalin :

    ‘I don’t think it’s anything to do with where the border is drawn. It’s to do with what way people vote. ‘

    Sounds like chicken and egg time again . Surely the way people vote is because of where the border is drawn ?

    ‘The politicians here know that as long as they play to the tribal tune, the votes will come in irrespective of their conduct in public.’

    Indeed the toms toms are always heard first . This is the human condition .

    ‘ The only thing that can change that is devolved government’

    Perhaps . But I would’nt bet on it .

  • Greenflag

    Nevin ,

    ‘Greenflag, they’re running a new train on old tracks. ‘

    Naw -it’s the same train , same tracks – just a lick of paint here and there to give the appearance of ‘newness’ . Human /inhuman nature has’nt changed . Previous generations of politicians/ bishops / kings etc were of ciurse more ‘immune’ to exposure. In a world where bankers and clergymen are viewed as having lesser standards of ethics than Al Capone what hope for ‘politicians ‘ and car salesmen ?

    Garibaldi ,

    free state? I said 2020 AD not 1948 AD;)

  • Greenflag

    Ann,

    ‘New people, young enough not to be carrying tribalistic baggage.’

    In NI that means you’ll have to rely on ‘immigrants’. For even the unborn and as yet unnamed on both sides of the sectarian divide are already pre programmed with the tribal baggage. There are a few people who try to break out of the ‘lock’ but they end up either emigrating or retire to garden centres or join the AP .

    It’s easy to blame the local politicians but they are just as much ‘victims’ of their political environment as the people of NI.

    It’s the cage .

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sounds like chicken and egg time again . Surely the way people vote is because of where the border is drawn ?

    If you mean that the sectarian consensus started with the border, no, I don’t agree. The sectarian consensus will remain after the border is gone. It will take real political leadership to get rid of it. I do not know if such leadership is even possible.

  • “Murphy went out with his friends”

    Here’s the photo, Greenflag 🙂

  • Greenflag

    Comrade Stalin

    ‘If you mean that the sectarian consensus started with the border’

    No that’s not what I meant. I meant that the ‘border’ as it was drawn exacerbated sectarian tensions further than necessary .

    ‘ It will take real political leadership to get rid of it. ‘

    Political leadership will not get rid of it . As NI becomes a more secular state ‘sectarianism ‘ will diminish and hopefully die out and be seen as a mark of ignorance and retardation.

    ‘ I do not know if such leadership is even possible. ‘

    Not in a 6 county NI anyway 🙁 About as possible as building a snowman in an oven.

  • Greenflag

    Nevin ,

    Good one that – very apt 😉