Ruth’s selective hearing

It’s safe to assume that Ruth Patterson’s promotion to the Deputy Lord Mayor position in Belfast was part of a long-term rehabilitation effort by DUP strategists with the clear objective of securing that elusive second DUP seat in South Belfast at the next Assembly election. Patterson’s earlier spats with the Chinese community in working-class loyalist parts of the constituency certainly did not help alter the image of the party amongst the more affluent unionists residing outside of the loyalist working-class heartlands in this constituency, so a softer image for Ruth in recent times almost led to a seat being gained in the May Assembly election.

Pity, then, that her initial period in the post is being soured by the no surrender mentality which guided the Balmoral councillor’s actions in ignoring Niall O’Donnghaile’s best wishes upon the pair’s elevation to their respective posts.

But now, apparently, Ruth has come forward with an alternative explanation. She, erm, has now clarified the situation, explaining that, because she has a ‘hearing impediment’ she simply did not hear the Mayor….

  • Trapattoni

    What?

  • Turgon

    Never having met Ruth Patterson I have no idea whether she has any hearing difficulties or not. However, we do have evidence that Donnelly has mocked people with hearing difficulties in the past: Here he mocked Cecil Walker who performed very badly in an interview because he could not hear the questions.

  • dwatch

    Patterson is just trying to play SF at their own game of chicanery, and making a bad job of it. She wants to pay more attention to Sinn Fein’s smokescreening at Verbal deception by trickery or sophistry. She might learn something.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Turgon
    Cecil Walker was widely derided for his poor performance in that debate. You’re being rather generous in attempting to explain away his performance as the consequences of some hearing difficulty, and, unsurprisingly, less generous in your pathetic attempt to suggest I was mocking anyone with hearing impediments.

    Now remember to mind your temper today, Turgon…;>

  • dwatch

    Knowing now the SF new Mayor is not genuine by his actions of hanging IRA pictures in the mayors room, the one way I would recommend Ruth to overcome her problem again would be to wear a thick rubber glove ( like the one she would wear when cleaning the toilet) when she next has to shake his hand in public. In fact I would recommend she carry the glove in her handbag in case she has to shake any SF councillor’s hand during the year she holds office.

  • Turgon

    No Donnelly I am not suggesting you were mocking “anyone” with hearing difficulties.

    No far from it I am demonstrating that you have now mocked two specific people with hearing difficulties. Funnily both were unionists: seems to be a pattern of mocking.

  • Chris Donnelly

    demonstrating that you have now mocked two specific people with hearing difficulties. Funnily both were unionists: seems to be a pattern of mocking.

    Wrong on all counts, I’m afraid, a consistent theme in your posts. But perhaps you’ll try and twist this into your alienation narrative….

  • sonofstrongbow

    Perhaps Ms Patterson could get one of those comedy plastic hands and attach it to a bargepole? I sympathise with her even having to be in the same building as the picture-hanger.

  • iluvni

    Whilst her initial refusal to shake hands was pathetic in the extreme, given that the Lord Mayor has subsequently shown himself as simply yet another production line Republican, I wouldnt shake his hand now either.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I am demonstrating that you have now mocked two specific people with hearing difficulties. Funnily both were unionists:’

    Funnily ? Inadvertently Turgon you may have hit on the cause of NI’s descent into chaos ,mayhem and murder over the past several decades . Whether deaf or not it seems a reasonable proposition that some unionist political leaders and indeed many of that era’s unionist politicians were not listening . Mercifully the wax has been removed from some of the former worst cases but there’s still enough wax around to keep several churches supplied with candles in the event of another oil supply crisis ..

    Unionist ‘deafness’ had of course an inbuilt tendency to contagion which is why it took so long for the Provos to listen up to ‘reality’ in the matter of political fixes.:(

    In the former USSR it was often said by those critical of the regime /system- that their eyes did’nt see what their ears heard and their ears did’nt hear what their eyes saw . Which is of course one reason why the USSR no longer exists .

    On a more relevant note for today’s global fiinancial and economic crisis -I find myself as do many others in the same shoes as the USSR era critic in the matter of eyes and ears and their disconnect!

  • Rory Carr

    Clearly the Deputy Mayor’s hearing has improved sufficiently since the inauguration ceremony for her to listen attentively to the rollicking we must assume she has had from wiser and more senior elements within her party.

    She can’t really afford to “cock a deaf un” (as we say here) when it’s Peter on the line telling her to pull her socks up and behave herself now can she?

  • Greenflag

    iluvni,

    ‘I wouldnt shake his hand now either.’

    Sounds like you could be a candidate for the wax treatment . It’s a sharp short briefly painful procedure in which you unzip or debutton and place your member on a table . The consulting doctor then strikes it-the member -with a rubber headed mallet with just enough force to cause the wax to pop out of both ears simultaneously .

    The benefit of the treatment is that there is no lasting damage to the member’s functionality in progressing to the next generation and best of all your hearing will improve in leaps and bounds and you may even understand the basic common sense fact that shaking hands with somebody does not mean that you agree with that person’s political or other views . Even Jesus Christ -I presume you are a follower of the Jewish carpenter -stated that we should do unto others as we would have others do unto us –

    Of course it might not be always appropriate to turn the other cheek which I can perfectly understand 😉

  • Greenflag

    @ rory carr,

    I hasten to add that the wax treatment is a male only procedure and both the medical profession and scientific research facilities have long ago established that the weemen folk only ever hear what they want to hear and that any treatment that promises to uno that harsh fact of life is probably a scam .

    As Ruth Patterson is a grandmother of five and seems to have had a career which would have brought her into close contact with gunfire it seems only reasonable that her hearing might be impaired 😉 And of course if her grandchildren are as voluble as most that breed that in itself is probable cause for a hearing impairment ;)?

    Let’s wish her a full recovery to non hearing impairment and a successful career in -let’s face it – probably one of the most politically cantankerous environments on the planet – a brave granny indeed .

  • Spud

    Dwatch

    The pictures in the mayoral chamber are of the leaders of the 1916 rising and the proclamation. The same leaders that Queen Elizabeth bowed her head to in honour not a month ago.
    She seems to have no problem with the symbolism, its a pity some of her subjects like Ruth couldnt follow suit.

  • dwatch

    Spud,

    So we are back to Verbal deception by trickery or sophistry. The Queen laid a wreath and bowed here head as a mark of respect at the Garden of Remembrance to all those Irishmen who died re the formation of the Irish Republic.

    Pearse, Connolly,Clarke, MacDonagh, MacDermott, Plunkett & Ceannt were only 7 of those who died being executed by the British Army.

    When the DUP take the mayors office next year I hope SF wont complain if the next Mayor puts up photographs of all those who were murdered (executed) on orders by Adams and McGuinness by the IRA from 1969 to the signing of the GFA. SF want to play dirty games so too can Unionists.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Ruth says : “Believe it or not, I did not expect to become deputy Lord Mayor.”

    I find that very hard to believe.

    It’s not that long ago that Ruth Patterson was High Sheriff. Back then, she refused to invite Sinn Fein to her swearing-in as High Sheriff, on the basis that she didn’t have contact with parties linked to paramilitarism. When asked to explain why she had invited the representatives of the PUP and UPRG/UDP, she said that she didn’t know whether they were linked to paramilitarism or not.

    It’s strange how the gaps in Ruth’s knowledge, and now apparently in her hearing, appear only to have consequences whenever Sinn Fein are involved.

    (as someone with a hearing problem, the answer when I’m at work and can’t hear things is simple – get a hearing aid. They’re free on the NHS. )

  • Comrade Stalin

    dwatch:

    When the DUP take the mayors office next year I hope SF wont complain if the next Mayor puts up photographs of all those who were murdered (executed) on orders by Adams and McGuinness by the IRA from 1969 to the signing of the GFA. SF want to play dirty games so too can Unionists.

    There is nothing “dirty” about the 1916 proclamation. What is the difference in terms of intent between it and the Ulster Covenant ? Both are documents which legitimize and idolizing death and non-democracy in their intent, and both are documents which are held in high esteem by the respective tribal blocs.

  • Greenflag

    Ah but that ‘s different Spud . Queenie does’nt have to get elected . Subjects like Ruth have to bow whereas the object of their subjection can bow or not bow to whomsoever or whatever is deemed currently appropriate .

    Those who know their English history should recall that even the teenage King Richard at the tender age of 14 bowed to English peasant upstart and revolutionary Wat Tyler for as long as it took to put the latter at ease -until his (Wat Tyler’s ) head could be removed and his entrails scattered over several counties .

    Of course we live in now in less bloodthirsty times as anyone who reads about Somalia , or the DR Congo or Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya or Pakistan will attest and at least in the UK the monarchy is no longer a law unto itself . And on that note does the Queen still own and have first call on all the Kingdom’s deers ? and if one steals the queen’s venison I presume the former mandatory death sentence has been relaxed to maybe just life imprisonment or does any monarchist out there know ?

  • qwerty12345

    Comrade Stalin wrote: “When asked to explain why she had invited the representatives of the PUP and UPRG/UDP, she said that she didn’t know whether they were linked to paramilitarism or not. ”

    You just have to laugh. Of course one could also suggest that such “ignorance” has a long pedigree in her particular strand of unionism.

  • Greenflag

    dwatch,

    ‘SF want to play dirty games so too can Unionists.’

    No one would doubt it . They have at least a 50 if not 90 year head start in that department ever since they chose to ignore the democratic wishes of the majority of people on this island .lest we forget!

  • ayeYerMa

    More likely that she has a hearing impediment than Gerry Kelly receiving these death threats from the so-called “Orange Volunteers” after the McArdle appointment.

  • What? did she say?

  • dwatch

    ‘There is nothing “dirty” about the 1916 proclamation. What is the difference in terms of intent between it and the Ulster Covenant ?

    Comrade Stalin, were was the ‘Ulster Covenant’ hung in the Mayors room? Had SF hung a Photograph of the President of Ireland beside the Queen then Unionists may have not been happy but I doubt I they would have been as deeply annoyed as they are against this 1916 proclamation.
    Which in most Unionist eyes is a re declaration of war here in Northern ireland. A snub to a SF Mayor by a DUP deputy Mayor is nothing to this dirty nasty act by a naive little boy who has been pushed from behind by other cowardly SF councillors who knew rightly the response it would receive.

  • Spud

    Aye yer ma
    Being an ex combatant in the war herself I am sure Ruth can empathise with mrs McArdle.

  • dwatch

    ‘More likely that she has a hearing impediment than Gerry Kelly receiving these death threats from the so-called “Orange Volunteers” after the McArdle appointment’

    No one was fooled by this nonsense. If anyone wanted to murder Gerry Kelly or other SF ex IRA terrorists released under the GFA the last thing they would do is telephone to issue a death threat. More like the work of SF itself.

  • Spud

    dwatch

    The lad is a republican, why would it shock unionists that he would put up a copy of the proclamation.

    “were was the ‘Ulster Covenant’ hung in the Mayors room?”

    Are there not photographs all around city hall of unionists that signed the Ulster Covenant??

  • chewnicked

    How is Patterson an ‘ex-combatant’?

  • Spud

    Chewnicked

    She is an ex UDR member,
    “I joined the UDR to serve Queen and country,” she said. “At a time when my country needed me I was there. My country is as precious as my children.”

  • dwatch

    The signing of the ‘Ulster Covenant’ took place in the Belfast City Hall, and any photographs are part of the City Hall’s history. It is not displayed in the Mayors room as an ongoing part of present day politics.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CCsQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FUlster_Covenant&ei=V7n0TbaAH8mYhQfr0MjiBg&usg=AFQjCNHU91p3P8Upzgdck8XHFll9hsaBtg

    The 1916 Proclamation did not take place in Belfast City Hall. But has been installed in the Mayor’s room as a present act of war. Watch the reactions from Unionist councillors especially those who represent Belfast loyalists in working class areas.

  • Spud

    dwatch
    The hanging of the Proclamation is an act of war??
    Dont be such a drama queen, lol

  • Comrade Stalin

    Comrade Stalin, were was the ‘Ulster Covenant’ hung in the Mayors room?

    I don’t know whether it is or not. But modern day unionism quite happily traces its lineage back to that document, in the same way that SF trace their lineage back to the 1916 proclamation. Some would, of course, argue that SF has no right to consider itself the heir of the proclamation ..

    Very much doubt that any UUP or DUP politician would want to argue against the hanging of the Covenant if it came up ..

    Had SF hung a Photograph of the President of Ireland beside the Queen then Unionists may have not been happy but I doubt I they would have been as deeply annoyed as they are against this 1916 proclamation.

    SF don’t quite consider themselves or their supporters to be an integral part of the current Irish state, at least not in principle.

    Which in most Unionist eyes is a re declaration of war here in Northern ireland.

    Now you’re just being silly. Hanging a photocopied bit of paper is not a declaration of war.

    I actually see SF’s silly symbolic acts like this to be a demonstration of their own impotency; they have no means to deliver on their aims to they resort to stunts like this. Sadly, people like yourself are actually lending credence whenever you get your hackles up about it. SF can stick up all the bits of paper they want, the path to Irish reunification won’t be accelerated in any way.

    A snub to a SF Mayor by a DUP deputy Mayor is nothing to this dirty nasty act by a naive little boy who has been pushed from behind by other cowardly SF councillors who knew rightly the response it would receive.

    You really should stop getting yourself in a tiz over nothing.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The 1916 Proclamation did not take place in Belfast City Hall. But has been installed in the Mayor’s room as a present act of war. Watch the reactions from Unionist councillors especially those who represent Belfast loyalists in working class areas.

    I love the way unionists come up with all kinds of excuses when the question of double standards comes up.

    I quite accept that the Covenant is an integral part of Belfast’s history. But that does not change the fact that it is a document, like the 1916 declaration, that pledges the use of force to overthrow what may be the democratically expressed will of the people. You can’t have it both ways.

  • sonofstrongbow

    If something representing Irish Republicanism is to hang on the wall can I in a spirit of compromise suggest the current Lord Mayor?

  • Returning to the original post, I don’t think any long-term rehabilitation effort will work with Ruth Patterson. A good Christian loves their neighbours and loves their enemies. It is clear that she does not love her enemies, in the form of the Sinn Fein Mayor of Belfast. As for loving her neighbours, just listen to the tales Clare Bailey has to tell of Ruthless Patterson’s attitude to her neighbours’ children.

    I wonder if the problem she has with Niall O’Donnghaile is his age, not his party. Is she one of those who demonize all young people? If she was a grandmother in a fairy tale, would she be heating up the oven in a gingerbread cottage?

  • Greenflag

    ‘You can’t have it both ways.’

    That’s the problem . You can or at least within living memory you could. Not too long ago you could have it both ways -even threeways and sideways as long as your politics were ‘unionist’.

    Both documents are part of Irish and British history and as such should be given the respect of the other side .If the other side can’t bring themselves to that simple truth then you can look forward to the grandchildren of the current generation wasting their lives over cloths of different colours .

  • Greenflag

    ‘The hanging of the Proclamation is an act of war??’

    The original hanging of the Proclamation in 1916 perhaps which is one of many reasons we celebrate the Easter Rising and always will . The hanging in Belfast City Hall can be looked upon as an eh parity of ‘hanging ‘ and not a parody ;)?

  • andnowwhat

    @Davenewman

    Hi.

    I Googled “Claire Bailey Ruth Patterson” but couldn’t find anything. Do you or others have a link?

  • Obelisk

    One of the easiest things we say here in the North is that symbols don’t matter, they should get down and do the hard, you can’t eat a flag etc. etc. etc.

    Utter tripe. Of course symbols matter, here more than anywhere. The fact that they generate such emotions is indicative of how important symbols and symbolism are and to say otherwise is closing your eyes to the reality of this place. Symbols SHOULDN’T matter…but they do.

    Once we accept that they do, maybe we can deal with them maturely.

    I’ve looked through the responses to the Lord Mayor’s act and they all seem to be either mocking his age, implying he is being used by older Sinn Fein members to stir up trouble or believing that this heralds a return to the bad old days.

    Now I gotta be honest…I really don’t get it. No surprise, I think the Unionist commentators above are in the wrong. What they SEEM to be saying is that trying to redress an obvious imbalance in symbolism at City Hall is an act that is hurtful and divisive to their community and that talk of being inclusive is just a lie.

    Being Inclusive does not mean Nationalists are going to adapt to the arrangements as they were made before we had a say in the name of a quiet life.

    Being inclusive means we will take on board on your concerns, and we do want to work with you, we know we won’t have everything our own way…but then neither will you. And when because of previous years one side’s symbols are now heavily pre-dominant, corrective action must be taken to establish…yes here comes that well worn cliche…parity of esteem.

    The Mayor has been doing inclusive actions, to quote the telegraph “During his three weeks in office Mayor O’Donnghaile has visited the loyalist Shankill Road, the Presbyterian Assembly and last night the 26-year-old former Press officer attended a graduation ceremony for the Belfast Bible School at St Anne’s Cathedral”. Why is this suddenly invalidated because he has decided to express who he is…and the people who voted for him in his party inside his parlour?

    I would like to know where this analysis fails though. He has kept symbols of the British tradition up whilst he has taken some down and replaced them with symbols of the Irish tradition to achieve what seems to me to be a sort of balance. Tell me how this is hurtful. Had he taken them all down you’d have a point but you he didn’t. Tell me how this injures the poor people of the Shankill. I’ve argued recently that Nationalist can’t get a Unionist perspective and vice-versa, and this is really one of those times.

    And please, don’t say it’s his choice of items.I think Unionists would have been annoyed no matter what he put in. A picture of the President condemned as a ‘foreign’ head of state. The Irish flag condemned as a ‘foreign’ flag. Like it or not the 1916 proclamation and the leaders of the Rising hold a special place in Irish history and should be acknowledged as such.

  • andnowwhat

    @Obelisk

    In short, “republican mayor is a….republican” shocker.

    Belfast city hall is a monument to unionism, there’s more than the little Niall has done to redress the balance.

    I wonder how those who object to what he did feel about that dreadful and embarrassing Ulster says no banner blighting the city hall for years.

  • chewnicked

    ‘ As for loving her neighbours, just listen to the tales Clare Bailey has to tell of Ruthless Patterson’s attitude to her neighbours’ children’

    Such as? The relevance escapes me at the minute.

  • Limerick

    “Ex combatant”

    LOL

  • West Sider

    Ruth also has some difficulty in making her mind up about things that other “democrats” would have no hesitation about.

    “Do you condemn loyalist terrorist violence?”

    Was, I think, the gist of a question once asked of her.

    The response is the stuff of media folklore.

  • andnowwhat

    I’m sure Anna Lo’s opinion of Ruth “I got my hairstyle from Something about Mary. Iris Robinson gave me the gel” Patterson would be interesting.

    I remember hearing her on the radio when the attack on the Chinese community was in full flow and she could just not see the issue.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t think the personal stuff is at all appropriate, guys.

  • West Sider

    Agreed Comrade Stalin, and I cannot edit my own post, so Slugger admins… I hope you can edit.

    Post in haste, repent at leisure…

    BTW – she still is an embarrassment…

  • Spud

    Limerick
    “Ex combatant”

    LOL

    She may not look like a combatant but the taxes of the nationalist people were spent on training her how to kill with a weapon all the same.

  • Limerick

    “She may not look like a combatant but the taxes of the nationalist people were spent on training her how to kill with a weapon all the same.”

    Spud,

    Yeah, the only problem with that is the fact that Greenfinches were unarmed. You have served a useful purpose however in exposing the ridiculous nature of the term ‘comabatant’ which is currently being bandied about by former terrorists. Men who would quite literally cack in their pants if they were ever exposed to any real combat as opposed to shooting unarmed women in the back.

  • Mick Fealty

    CS,

    Ms Patterson already has two small hearing aids. I know a little about the problems of hearing impairment.

    There are problems which arise particularly in crowds where background noise can blot out individual voices.

    In which case, the lady’s story (such as it stands) is perfectly plausible.

  • Turgon

    Mick,
    I am reliably informed of exactly the same thing. I did not wish to mention it as many people are somewhat embarrassed about hearing loss and not knowing Ms. Patterson personally I could not ask her permission to mention it. However, since it is now out in the open let us be clear about a couple of things.

    Comrade Stalin’s remarks: “as someone with a hearing problem, the answer when I’m at work and can’t hear things is simple – get a hearing aid. They’re free on the NHS. “

    This is utter nonsense and would not help as you have pointed out. If CS has a hearing problem he should know that hearing aids offer some but only limited benefit. Indeed such an insulting remark about Ms. Patterson especially from someone who claims to have the same problem is actually unacceptable and a form of man playing.

    Indeed since the issue of Ms. Patterson’s hearing problems has now been mentioned it makes the whole of this thread, designed as it has been to attack Ms. Patterson, and imply she was lying, completely unacceptable. I think serious consideration should be given to pulling the whole thread. A thread laughing at someone’s health problems and implying that they were a liar for having them is extremely poor form.

  • SK

    Indeed since the issue of Ms. Patterson’s hearing problems has now been mentioned it makes the whole of this thread, designed as it has been to attack Ms. Patterson, and imply she was lying, completely unacceptable. I think serious consideration should be given to pulling the whole thread. A thread laughing at someone’s health problems and implying that they were a liar for having them is extremely poor form.

    Spare us the sanctimony.

    Given Ruth Pattersons’ track record, it’s fair to say that snubbing a SF mayor would not be completely out of character.

    Maybe she didn’t hear him, maybe she’s making excuses- either way, people are perfectly entitled to question whether their politicians are being completely forthright with them.

  • Mick Fealty

    I won’t be pulling the thread, but people should be mindful of the facts of this case. Informed opinion is always welcome. Sectarian venting is not!

  • lamhdearg

    if ruth can get the support of the village and d/pass , she will get the seat, she will not need the support of the “silly twits”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mick:

    Ms Patterson already has two small hearing aids. I know a little about the problems of hearing impairment.

    Ditto.

    There is nothing funny about hearing problems. But I do remember being in school and trying to skip homework after claiming that my hearing aid battery had given up and that I hadn’t heard the details. It was convenient but only worked a couple of times.

    There are problems which arise particularly in crowds where background noise can blot out individual voices.

    Were the conditions which applied in the council chamber while the Lord Mayor was speaking, at the time of the incident in question ? How can she function as a councillor if she can never hear anything under the normal circumstances when the council meets ?

    Turgon:

    This is utter nonsense and would not help as you have pointed out. If CS has a hearing problem he should know that hearing aids offer some but only limited benefit. Indeed such an insulting remark about Ms. Patterson especially from someone who claims to have the same problem is actually unacceptable and a form of man playing.

    You’re doing this “doth protest too much” thing a lot lately. I wasn’t trying to insult Patterson over her hearing. I’m not persuaded that the excuse applies. Look at the statements issued by various DUP people after the fact – they weren’t saying “there must be some mistake” they said “Mrs Patterson is well aware of council procedure and followed it correctly”. And they kept her away from the journalists for well over a week. I’m not convinced by the whole thing.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Mick

    “In which case, the lady’s story (such as it stands) is perfectly plausible”

    If the lady has a genuine hearing problem, then she has my symapthy.

    However, this whole row came up a few weeks ago. Why didn’t she clarify it then? The perception is that she has only reluctantly done so because of the pressure on the DUP.

    It was pretty laughable that her most vocal supporter was DUP man Robin Newton – another one with a history of insulting the Catholic/Nationalist population and then being forced to backtrack.

    Even in her statement, she waffles on about representing all the people (given her past record and some of her comments, that will be a U Turn!). To date, she has done nothing about reaching out across the sectarian divide whereas the Mayor has.

    She ignores the cross-community gestures that he has already made and issues him with a challenge. It’s a bit rich coming from someone who has a history of insulting ethic minorities and Nationalists.

    I’m not a SF supporter but I welcome the fact that they have put a young man in place who has none of the “baggage” that many Unionists use as an excuse to try and ignore the Nationalist mandate. As far as I can see (from 13k miles away), he has at least made a start at trying to reach out to the “other side”.

    The fact that he dared to give Nationalist symbols PARITY with Unionist symbols,(despite Nationalists being the largest party), as did Alex Maskey, seems to have upset a lot of Unionists here. Well, I’m sorry, but tough.

    I would not have approved if he had removed all Unionist symbols (which he is perfectly entitled to do). However, it seems for many Unionists that only a City Hall where Unionist symbols reign and taigs know their place will do.

    This episode has been a PR disaster for the DUP.

    Like I said, if the lady has a genuine hearing impediment, fair enough.

    However, her past record aligned with the delay in making this statement (after several senior DUP members were given a hard time by the media) gives a clear impression that this step has been taken reluctantly and under pressure from above.

    For that, she has no-one but herself to blame.

  • Mick Fealty

    I think the burden of proof is on her critics. You get into the speculative territory you are heading for and it is pure man playing. So be very careful about what you say!

  • lamhdearg

    “Were the conditions which applied in the council chamber while the Lord Mayor was speaking, at the time of the incident in question ? How can she function as a councillor if she can never hear anything under the normal circumstances when the council meets ?”.
    ok then sack her.
    oh no rind.org.UK

  • “the pair’s elevation to their respective posts”

    I’ve just had a look back at a contemporary BBC report:

    “Mr Newton referred to the recent rule change in how top council positions are allocated. Positions such as lord mayor and deputy lord mayor will now be handed out on the basis of party strength and not that of political groupings.” .. BBC source.

    I’m told that Moyle District Council (still) has no standing orders and that the local SDLP councillors didn’t oppose the formation of a 3-member Independent grouping which not only gave the chair to an Independent but may also have cost the SDLP chair and vice-chair positions during the course of the Council four-year term. Why didn’t the SDLP follow the d’Hondt arrangements for selection by party strength?

    Padraig McShane, the new chair, had to exit his membership of SF following a series of incidents, which appear to have created embarrassment for SF HQ. One incident involved a ‘spat’ whilst he was still a SF councillor, a spat in which colourful language was used. I take it that greater decorum pertained in the Belfast ‘Dome of Delight’.

  • Rory Carr

    I can only but applaud Comrade Stalin’s final paragraph with a resounding, “Hear, hear !”

    I don’t buy the hearing difficulties excuse either for much the same reasons. Her time in purdah away from the possibility of her making another howler before the media was necessary as she had clearly become an embarrassment, the more so when placed against the sterling non-sectarian outreach work that was the hallmark of the young Lord Mayor’s first week in office. Equally clearly trickledown did not work with Ms Patterson and she had to hauled in for a complete makeover and indoctrinated in the new facts of life by her party bosses.

    In any case it is not what Ms Patterson may or may not hear that is the problem, the real problem is what we have been hearing from Ms. Patterson.

  • lamhdearg

    “the more so when placed against the sterling non-sectarian outreach work that was the hallmark of the young Lord Mayor’s first week in office.”.
    Non sectarian, i dislike the word sectarian, it means so many different things to to many different people, but our new lord mayor has not yet proved to me his non sectarian views, in fact when he gave us his view, that once the titanic Q was built the “them and as” position would change. i smelled a bigot. ps he cant count. ruth and niall are no better no worse than each other. pps anyone going to ask Paula mcCartney what niall did to help her family after her brother had his throat cut.

  • lamhdearg

    “that once the titanic Q was built the “them and as” position would change. i smelled a bigot.” in east belfast.

  • lamhdearg

    sorry
    i mean
    “that once the titanic Q was built the “them and as” position would change (in east Belfast)

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Mick

    Given some of the comments on this thread, I’d say there are a few ahead of me in the queue for “man playing”.

    Anyway, it’s your site and your rules. I would say that they are not always totally consistent though – if that get’s me kicked off, fair enough.

    On the issue of Ruth Patterson. I am perfectly willing to accept that she has a genuine hearing impediment. I didn’t say otherwise.

    However, I factually pointed out that she has a history of saying things that have embarassed the DUP on occasions in the past. There is no burden of proof required for that!- as you are well aware, her controversial comments are a matter of public record. I would say that entitles anyone with an open mind to examine anything she says quite closely.

    I still think that, in taking so long to answer the charges of rudeness and boorish behaviour – she has created a lot of bad publicity for the DUP. Why didn’t she clarify the situation until after Peter Robinson and Irene Foster had been given a hard time about it in the media?

    I’ll accept that Ms Patterson has a hearing impediment and sympathize. So let’s judge her on her performance from now on.

    She says that she will represent all the people. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    I expect any elected representative to represent all of the people. It would seem, to date anyway, that the new Mayor is trying to do so. If he doesn’t, I’ll have no hesitation in criticizing him.

    I’m yet to be convinced about Ruth Patterson. If she steps up to the plate, I’ll give credit where it’s due – if she doesn’t I’ll criticize her just as I would the Mayor (of any party!).

    I’m not playing any man (or woman). I’m just pointing out that, due to some of her behaviour in the past, many Nationalists are wary of Ms Patterson. There is nothing unreasonable in that.

    Many of our politicians (on both sides) have taken great strides forward and probably regret some of the comments they’ve made in the past. I sincerely hope that Ms Patterson can and will do the same.

    The ball is in her court.

  • USA

    Well done Niall.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Indeed since the issue of Ms. Patterson’s hearing problems has now been mentioned it makes the whole of this thread, designed as it has been to attack Ms. Patterson, and imply she was lying, completely unacceptable. I think serious consideration should be given to pulling the whole thread. A thread laughing at someone’s health problems and implying that they were a liar for having them is extremely poor form.

    Turgon
    What nonsense.

    Nowhere in the post was a mocking of Ruth’s ‘health’ problems.

    The facts provide sufficient grounds for doubting the reason provided for Ruth’s behaviour. It’s not like she sought to clarify her reasons for the snub when pressed by the media within hours of the incident- it took her more than a week to provide this reasoning.

    Furthermore, the spat has undoubtedly damaged the DUP strategy of making Patterson a more electable prospect in this constituency.

    That might be an inconvenient fact for many, but for the reasons Comrade Stalin has pointed out above, it certainly isn’t the case that we should all be moving along swiftly, no matter how indignant some become on Slugger…

  • andnowwhat

    So, noone could have went over to Ruth and pointed out what was happening? She’s been in the council long enough for her team to know about her condition.

    I was deaf as a child until the age of 10 (I spent more time on car bonnets than walking due to not hearing cars coming) and in the last 10 years or so it has started going, sometimes quite badly.

    My friends (and work colleagues when I was working) would do what I prescribed above if I’m missing something.

  • George

    I really don’t get this, surely all Ruth Patterson has to say is that she would be more than happy to shake the new mayor’s hand at the next public opportunity.

    That will clear up any misunderstanding.

  • The time lapse between the reports in the papers of Ruth blanking Niall and her explanation is more than a little interesting.

    As for the display of the 1916 declaration in the Mayor’s parlour, I think it was a bad idea which will largely only serve to wind unionists up. It’s not helpful.

    However, Niall’s appointment raises a very significant point: we live in a democracy. We cannot change whom the “other” side elects. Nor can we change the fact Sinn Fein and Alliance have self-evidently worked to earn extra votes and seats and the DUP and UUP have not.

    Nationalism is now the largest grouping on Belfast City Council, and Robin Newton’s whining in the Belfast News a few weeks ago about the Alliance Party being neither one nor t’other is not going to change that. In the meantime, they have to live with things the way they are, and it’s time for them to get on with running the council from the Chamber instead of complaining about the horrible things the largest party has done inside the Mayor’s Parlour.

    One thing I did consider, however. Would it be fair for the Deputy Lord Mayor to automatically become the Lord Mayor the next year unless an election will take place in the interim, and run d’Hondt with that in mind?

  • Nowhere in the post was a mocking of Ruth’s ‘health’ problems.

    Why use then inverted commas then both in your attempt at a justification and in your original post?

  • Trapattoni

    I really don’t get this, surely all Ruth Patterson has to say is that she would be more than happy to shake the new mayor’s hand at the next public opportunity.

    That will clear up any misunderstanding.

    Agreed George, not sure why she hasn’t done so.