“the exception that proves the rule”

On a tauter than usual Stormont Today last night, after all the whisperings, BBC political editor Mark Devenport finally looked at the detail of the DUP’s ministerial shuffle. And the exception is defending his multiple mandates – “I have made it clear that I believe the jobs that I have at Westminster and the Assembly are complimentary.” But isn’t it, as Peter Robinson said, “simply not possible to sustain and fully perform multiple roles”? Below the fold the DUP’s Edwin Poots on the aftermath of the EU election and his new role as NI Environment Minister. He agrees with his party leader that “it is reasonable to come to the assumption that man is contributing to it [climate change]”. [Which would make Sammy Wilson? – Ed] Indeed.
Northern Ireland’s new Environment Minister, the DUP’s Edwin Poots, is adopting a less confrontational approach to climate change than his predecessor. His comments on climate change come just before the end.

Of course, Sammy Wilson’s actual position on man’s contribution to climate change was more subtle than may have been suggested..

“I think I have already made it clear that 46 per cent. of climate scientists believe that climate change is not solely down to the activity of man. That means, of course, that there are scientists who believe that it is. There is an array of environmentalists, scientists and economists who take a contrary view, however, and who believe that the impact of man is not significant. I want to make it clear that I happen to share that view.”

So does the new NI Environment Minister think man’s contribution to climate change is significant?

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  • GGN

    Well theres another complaint away to the BBC, after me praising them this week as well.

    Will they ever learn?

  • Westminster and Stormont may be “complementary”. However, very few of us are “complimentary” about the DUP’s performance in either venue.

  • Pete Baker

    Westminster and Stormont may be “complementary”.

    Indeed, Malcolm.

    Unless Sammy does regard those elected positions as complimentary..

    Some others may too.

  • iluvni

    I see that today, as per usual, the DUP benches were completely empty during the Prime Minister’s statement and questions on the EU talks held last week, and also during the statement on Allowances by Harman.
    I think I did catch a sight of Paisley at one stage hanging around at the door behind the Speaker. A telling contribution as usual from our DUP politicians.

    Lady Hermon…again, nowhere to be seen. But sure, what else is to expected from her these days.

  • Big Maggie

    For someone who looks as though he himself is a scorched victim of manmade global warming, Sammy Wilson ought to know better. Here’s hoping that Edwin Poots can show the way in safeguarding the environment.

  • “the exception that proves the rule”

    It seems that Edwin’s religious denomination takes an exception to the sexually explicit semi-colon:

    Poots is a young earth creationist and an opponent of the theory of evolution.

    He is a member of the Calvinist Congregation of Lisburn, a strict sect of Presbyterianism distinguished by its insistence on the orthographic purity of scripture. Scriptural passages reproduced in print by the Congregation may not include certain forms of punctuation, notably the semi-colon, that it regards as lewd in appearance and disruptive to the immediacy of the divine word. wiki source

    Stephen Peover, Permanent Secretary, Department of the Environment, please take note.

  • Nevin @ 05:03 PM:

    You don’t intend to give us any peace of mind, do you, Nev?

    So, which is (or where can I find) the “orthographically pure” text? Does it exist in English?

    For my problem starts with Genesis 1:

    1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
    3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    4: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

    As a student of the English language — not a theologian, nor a Hebrew scholar — , I find that explicit. There are excellent reasons of grammar (and therefore comprehension) for the nuanced use of the semicolon and the colon. Would that contemporary writers were so precise.

    So, what replaces the semicolon in Genesis 1.2 without disturbing that precision? To me, none of the dozen alternatives to 1611, that I’ve spent a few moments reviewing, seems to offer that degree of concision, definitive sequencing, and rhetorical effect.

    Beyond that (not quite a) quibble, there’s further elucidation needed here.

    I know that the Huguenots settled in Lisburn: the first in the Cromwellian period, more under the Restoration. Their first enterprise gave the name of “Blanket Row”. A further wave of immigration came around 1698, led by Louis Crommelin. Their linen bleaching and spinning developed the local industry, and Crommelin was something of a marketing genius. I find it remarkable that their Calvinist tradition has been maintained to the present day.

    Then there’s the unusual surname “Poots”. I cannot quickly find an origin for this. Is it transliterated or corrupted from, say, French “Puits” (“Wells”)? I notice that the immigration of Pootses into the US seems to be substantially from the Low Countries and Germany.

    Is our Edwin, then, for all of his problems with punctuation, a living fossil, a national treasure?

  • Big Maggie


    Now there’s a coincidence. We were also discussing Poots, colons, irrigation and farming over here.

  • Malcolm, the Wiki compiler has failed to note that Edwin is a deacon in the Free Presbyterian Church and Ivan Foster has already reported on Edwin’s fall from grace vis-a-vis music:

    Just what is the character of those ‘musicians’ and their ‘music’ with which Mr. Poots was ‘very impressed’ and for whom he is anxious to provide funding?

    A look at Wikipedia”, the online encyclopedia, will clearly show the immoral titles, themes and lyrics employed by these ‘musicians’. That anyone calling themselves a Christian should commend them and so influence the young to listen to such filth, is reprehensible in itself. But when that person is an office-bearer in the Free Presbyterian Church one has to wonder what view of his behaviour his minister and session hold and whether they will stand up for the Word of God and what it has to say on the issue.

    That Mr. Poots is going to try and obtain funding for such an abomination and blasphemous enterprise sets out afresh how far from the standards of God those who have sold themselves to obtain the ‘glory’ of public office have gone.

    Murderers in government, funding for sodomy, the pursuit of lottery funds and now the promotion of blasphemous and filthy ‘music’ in which the name of the Lord Jesus is desecrated and intermingled with obscenities.

    May God bring the Free Presbyterian Church back to its fundamental beliefs before t‘ichabod’ is written over its portals.

    There’s a cluster of Poots in the parish of Dromore in Griffith’s Valuation circa 1860 and a small number in neighbouring parishes. Poots, Potts and Potte are linked to makers of pots.

  • As has been suggested on the parallel thread (thanks, Big Maggie @ 07:08 PM, for the tip), it looks as if someone might, just might, have had a go at Edwin’s wikipedia entry. [For comparison, the one on “Malcolm Redfellow” seems to have been erased. Pity that: it reminded me of things in my disreputable TCD youth that I had long forgotten. Lorst ‘n’ gorn forever.]

    As for the Dromore entry in Griffith’s, that’s an area in which the lady in my life roams free: I’ll consult with her.

    I know

    There’s a Portadown undertaker called Poots,
    Who conveys the Prods back to their roots …
    (Here’s a limerick, you see,
    With a rhyme for Drumcree) …
    And mourners in suitably sombre dark suits.

  • Malcolm, an undertaker was a candidate in a local government election in or around Lisburn (I think) many years ago. His slogan was, “Vote for Bloggs. The last man to let you down.”

    Griffith’s Valuation online.