This is an excerpt from Hearts and Minds [about 27 mins in] Thursday night where Owen Patterson was being asked to hypothesise about the election results in May [school error to start off with there].
Noel ‘so the election of Martin McGuiness as First Minister should make no difference [to Unionists]; it wouldn’t be in any way in your view a set back?’
Secretary of State ‘Well I think it would be an extraordinary endorsement of the progress that has been made here and I think we should celebrate the fact that everybody here wants to vote’
Anyway after being asked directly about the election of MM as First Minister the Secretary of State seemed to link this prospect with ‘an extraordinary endorsement of the progress that has been made here’ Hmmmm
Firstly whether it MM or PR or anybody it’s democracy at work and the imperative here is to respect the will of the electorate [whether you like it or not]. The interesting point is whether or not Owen Patterson seemed to be endorsing MM through what he said. Clearly this will anger both Unionist parties and the SDLP as it does smells of advocacy on the Secretary of States part…
Born and living in Northern Ireland, I’m a Lecturer by trade and a pragmatic Unionist by design. Interests include Middle Eastern / African politics, British cinema and sea fishing!