It’s hard being a post conflict politician. Peter Robinson amused half the NI Twitterverse with his reference to a scientific process apparently known to him as ‘frackling’. Yesterday, Gerry Adams referred to ‘friscal’ reforms in his interview with Sean O’Rourke.
Hard, I suspect: 1, because the policy formation function in Northern Ireland is poor, even inside government; and 2, when all you have to do is hand in your list of demands for others to fill the nuance of peace time politics is fraught with complexity, it can be hard to deal with a whole new vocabulary.
But it’s clear that our northern politicians are struggling with grown up politics. In that interview Adams was calling for referendum when it is anything but clear what sort of deal. And just two weeks one of his own party called for the ECB to begin acting as a bank of last resort. A case of the left not even caring what right is up to.
Brian Feeney doesn’t pull his punches in today’s Irish News either:
“Are they [the Unionist MLAs] the only ones Who can’t see that Cameron was driven to run for the emergency exit, not because he had Britains interest at heart, but because he was terrified of facing the Commons with another treaty to sell?” [a point which actually requires a whoe separate thread]
Yep. But here’s the kicker…
Did Mitchel McLaughlin really tell the Toytown parliament [aka the Northern Ireland Assembly] he feared the loss of national sovereignty if Cameron Had agreed to The Merkel/Sarkosy proposals? God help us.
Would that be Britains national sovereignty or Ireland’s, both of which were jettisoned at Maastricht twenty years ago and further circumscribed by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The trouble with our politicians is that they are unembarrassable in their self important ignorance.
And progress in the south is no better… In the Dail yesterday, Gerry Adams reacted strongly to something, which, apparently, the Taoiseach did not say, in a private briefing to the three opposition leaders earlier in the day.. [you are allowed to ask questions you know Gerry? – Ed]
The Taoiseach gave him short shrift:
It’s a case of you deliberately misinterpreting what I said this morning. Because I said that I did raise it at the council of ministers,” stressed the Taoiseach. “Now if you didn’t hear that this morning, then either you or your advisor do not understand plain English. Because I thought I made it very clear.”
You can read more of Badly Bilingual of Belfast here…
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