What Peter might learn from Martin and Gerry…

There are still things I am puzzling over that have happened in the last three months. One, is why on earth the second President Bush would disturb his rather sleepy retirement to pursuade Reg Empey to vote with the DUP on a Policing and Justice Bill that they were provided no access to before its provisions were agreed on by the parties inside the semi detached polit-bureau in Stormont Castle? And the other is why the BBC turned on the First Minister last week with evidence of wrong doing that was less than complete. Nevertheless, it caught the FM off his guard, and may have caused him unwelcome damage, however lateral. Lawrence White in the Belfast Telegraph says Peter should learn from Gerry:

While Peter might feel under pressure over investigations into his property dealings, the allegations are nothing of the scale that continue to be directed at Martin and Gerry.

Gerry has been accused of ordering the death and disappearance of Jean McConville and masterminding the Bloody Friday slaughter of nine people as well as the laying waste of Belfast in the 1970s. Now he is also apparently facing a death threat from dissidents.

But apart from one snappy answer to a UTV reporter, Gerry has managed to keep his cool. He has also managed to keep up the pretence of never being in the IRA. All has been done in a remarkably calm manner.

But, of course, he goes on to note:

Of course Gerry and Martin have plenty of experience of handling hostile questioning from the times they were scooped by the security forces and interrogated by police. A few days in Castlereagh would make handling questions from journalists seem like small beer.

But ominously for Peter:

Now that Peter’s weak point has been identified he can only expect more hostile questioning over property deals. As First Minister he must keep meeting the media and leave himself exposed to further interrogation.

If there is actually more to come…

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