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….