Sammy Wilson … Reason 254 why local politicians need Atlantic Philanthropies’ money & initiatives like PoliticsPlus

A little over an hour ago and about half way through a response to the rhetorical question “What has new or social media ever done for the peace process?” I suggested to the Critical Approaches to the Northern Ireland Peace Process symposium in Liverpool’s Edge Hill University that

it has made it harder for politicians to recover their balance when they slip on banana skins.

You can follow conference updates on the #CritAppEH hashtag.

And then I spotted a Facebook update from Sammy Wilson, that’s repeated on his new Twitter account @eastantrimmp.

While either one of the references on their own might have passed under the radar, suggesting that one or more Assembly colleagues are “jihadists” and claiming the “Je Suis …” mantra for himself within a week of terrorism in Paris pushes the boundaries of taste in public office, and emphasises why Atlantic Philanthropies identifies a gap in training and capacity in NI elected representatives and sees fit to fund initiatives like Politics Plus.

Sammy Wilson facebook

What are the odds Sammy will be back in the office of the NI Assembly Commissioner for Standards again before too long. The Code of Conduct has some relevant passages:

NI Assembly Code of Conduct

In the meantime Sammy – more leadership and less of the ill-judged wisecracks.

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  • David Crookes

    He should really have said JE SUIS BAMMY. Leaving aside the question of poor taste, we must note here the equation of utter triviality (some person or persons have told me off, boo-hoo) with a number of murders. How would Mr Wilson react if a French politician, after being criticized, compared himself to the victims of Darkley or Enniskillen?
    We must also note the mad arrogant victimology that pervades the hardline unionist psyche. “Ussuns must be allowed to do whatever we want, because that is our divine right, but if themmuns want to do the same thing (say, march along Royal Avenue — remember?). we’ll stop them. And if ussuns are criticized for doing anything that we do, we are innocent victims.”
    The DUP is heaping up its own rather squalid funeral-pyre.

  • Jag

    So, let’s get this straight –

    Sammy, one of the wiliest political operators in Northern Ireland calls Jim Allister a “thug” during a committee hearing where Jimbo’s gimlet legally-trained questioning, surrounding alleged ministerial malfeasance, was bearing fruit and landing punches.

    Sammy’s knowing – he’s been around long enough, he knows – pejorative directly resulted in the committee hearing being suspended, and Sammy’s colleague, the then beleaguered DUP minister, Nelson McCausland survived another day. In other words, Sammy’s “thug” comment directly led to the committee being suspended, so the parliamentary investigation into Nelson’s conduct was curtailed.

    And now Sammy is clambering over the events in France to justify his careful pejorative, and goes on to accuse who? Jimbo? of behaving like a jihadist?! Best form of defence is attack, eh Sammy, but even this is disproportionate.

  • Morpheus

    Hey, he is what he is. Distasteful? Hell yeah but this thread is sandwiched between several others talking about freedom of speech. We’ll just have to add this to the list and then show our approval/disapproval of him at the ballot box(es).

  • Rights and responsibility … Sammy’s an elected representative not a satirical magazine or a late light comedian. He demans the positions and institutions he is elected to with this kind of rhetoric.

  • Ernekid

    I think we need term limits for the Assembly. Where Members are only allowed to complete 2 4 year terms of being an MLA. It’d be an opportunity to clear out the dinosaurs like Sammy and get some new people in. Far too many of our politicians have been on the political scene for over 30 years and still have the same attitudes that they had at the start whilst the rest of society has moved on.

  • chrisjones2

    Sammys comments how utter contempt for the system that he helped set up

    And is hes found to have transgressed the report goes to te Standards Committee where nothing at all will happen

    The only way to deal with this is NOT VOTE FOR ANY OF THEM. Make them an irrelevance

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Sammy Wilson = class personified.

  • chrisjones2

    If we are paying them surely we might assume they are competent to do their jobs without Money From America

    Silly me

  • Dan

    I find the ‘donation’ from Feeney much more offensive.
    Under no circumstances should he be able to buy influence over our elected Assembly no matter how much he hands over.
    The standards commissioner should ensure it is rejected. Its brown envelope politics of the worst kind

  • chrisjones2

    SEE ABOVE ….NOW PLAY SPOT THE MLA!!!

    [Mod – clips removed – one clip funny, four = spam]

  • chrisjones2

    4 different issues eg

    One on bullying

    One on gay rights etc etc

    Hence the ‘SPOT THE MLA’ comment

  • Katie-o

    Seriously I’d rather have a politician like Sammy than some of the more polished sophisticated types about. At least you know what he is, like him or lump him he is what he is.

  • eiregain

    Once again a politician slabbers something that if said in england, it would be the end of his career.

    He still has all the right in the world to come out with such vitriol, which is why we MUST rethink how we vote (voting for real issues that will progress NI rather than familiarity or tribalism), otherwise were stuck with sammy and nelson throwing spanners in all sorts of works.

  • tmitch57

    Jihad is literally Arabic for struggle. Depending upon whom he was referring to in the Assembly the word might be appropriate. After all at least one party in the Assembly, and another party that used to have Assembly members, used to refer to the armed struggle.

  • carl marks

    If Gerry came out with, I’m starting a Je Suis Gerry campaign” can you imagine the faux outrage would come from unionists along the lines of ;how dare he/she compare themselves to the victims it’s a insult!
    But Sammy can do it ok.

  • Makhno

    I thought the headline referred to his antics in the committee room yesterday, but here he goes again. And sadly again, I think he knows exactly what he’s doing, buoyed up by the party’s wave of indulgence and amusement. I don’t think Sammy would need to be told much about how not to be an oaf, but chooses to be so. He’s been facing strong competition for King of Comedy from the most unhumorous (is there even such a word?) specimen on their front bench, Gegory himself, and must feel that’s unfair. Can’t remember what his leadership ambitions are, and how he last polled among DUPs, but he should remember Heseltine, Bevan Lenihan and other conference favourites never made it to the big chair, though let’s see with Boris.
    What I found really offensive was his treatment of a civil servant at committee a few weeks ago. Allister and his other enemies are to some extent fair game, but I thought the degree of scorn etc levelled at the civil servant, showed an essential meanness of spirit beneath the bluff ‘eejit’ persona. I’m glad I never had any time for him in the first place.

  • Turgon

    Dan made a point below which is actually much more pertinent than laughing at Wilson.

    Atlantic Philanthropies’ charitable work in Northern Ireland has been interesting to say the least. This is not a conventional charitable foundation. It invites applications for funding by invitation only and previously gave its grants in secret.

    The organisations it has given to in Northern Ireland are a very mixed bag. Clearly some are worthy non controversial ones such as the Hospice. Also, however, they have strayed into very political issues such as funding the NI Human Rights Commissions doomed attempt to introduce a Bill of Rights.

    This organisation is clearly a charity and has done good work but some of its work, and this latest grant seems an example, has a clear political purpose and direction designed to advance their one agenda.

  • Ernekid

    To give any funding or training to our current lot of politicians is to proverbably cast pearls before swine. It’s wasted on them. If Northern Irish politics was a house that needed renovation. I’d recommend to knock down existing structures and have a total rebuild from scratch.

  • Tacapall

    “but I thought the degree of scorn etc levelled at the civil servant,
    showed an essential meanness of spirit beneath the bluff ‘eejit’
    persona”

    What other way could you describe a politician who would claim back a £1 charity donation. Sammy might get on like the village idiot at times but beneath that ignorance is a man with an agenda, like most DUP politicians, personal wealth comes before everything.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Voters already have the power to impose term limits. They choose not to. Why should they be overruled ?

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Wilson is anything but an idiot. These comments, like “curry my yoghurt” and other comments in the past, are designed to elicit the usual and completely predictable reaction from the unelected chattering classes.

    Wilson and the DUP draw strength from righteous indignation as it helps cement the perception that they are on the side of ordinary people and not the aristocracy.

  • Morpheus

    The ‘righteous indignation’ ship sailed a LONG time ago, if they ever had such a ship

  • chrisjones2

    Heys Mods …I called Milliband a twat on another post and was censored but its OK to call Sammy one here. In my opinion he is one too but inconsistnet ? Moi?

  • Martyn

    There is a hard core of extreme voters who will always vote DUP and SF, no matter who’s stands. If the rest don’t vote that only guarantees that the status quo continues. The only way to deal with this is to vote, persuade others to vote and then all vote differently.

  • Hadn’t spotted it until now and didn’t seem to be flagged by anyone using the button! Gone now.

  • Makhno

    Yeah but it’s beyond greed, though I think that is evident in anyone claiming back a quid who’s on the MLA/MP salary. The meanness is in the ‘my party right or wrong’ and treating people who are in a subordinate position in such a manner. Evidence of a power kick, unsurprisingly, you might say.
    I’d say the best pundits we could get would be the cleaners, caretakers and catering staff on the Hill ( the three Cs). They’d tell us who was who, if they were allowed.

  • chrisjones2

    My apologies to the author. That wasn’t the reaction I hoped for. Its a pretty mild form of abuse that succinctly summarises ones views

    But then I am lazy

  • Stormont has a lot to learn, and MI5 a lot to try and hide and override with oversight. Come on, Holywood, get you APT ACTs together, FFS, or you’ll be wwwidely recognised as virtually incompetent and truly unfit for future Great IntelAIgent Game purpose …..

    amanfromMars 1 Sun 18 Jan 11:41 [1501181141] opening an avenue of opportunity on http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2015/01/16/obama_and_cameron_cybersecurity_partnership/

    Re: Elect a PR goon, what do you get? Smarter InterNetworking Non-State Actors?

    Elect a PR goon, what you get is more PR gooney, John Smith 19 …….. The Truth “Behind” The Charlie Hebdo Solidarity Photo-Op

    And IT and Media is all about micro/macromanaging dull animal perception and creating a false leading narrative and exclusive executive virtual reality whenever your operating systems admin is simply perverted, subverted and corrupted and easily hacked and cracked wide open to zeroday vulnerability exploitation traders … New Orderly World Order Great IntelAIgent Game Players. NSA answers to Global Communications Head Quarters questioning of IC Enterprises.

    Politics? …… ‘Politics is just show business for ugly people.’…Jay Leno? Right on, Bro, and it has had its day and fifteen minutes of fame flogging their dead horse as a vital mode and meme of future transport and delivery.

    I wonder who was pulling all those strings in Paris and directing all down the alley/leading them up the garden path?

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Accepted

  • Regarding the failures of FCUKGBNI Security and Secret Intelligence Services [take a bow and the plaudits, Palace Barracks], here be evidence for the prosecution in the case of their not having got their APT ACTs in furtherance of micro/macromanaging dull animal perception fully together …….. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/18/continuity-ira-suspects-mi5-cira-maghaberry-northern-ireland-prisoners

  • Monday update – Stewart Dickson has “raised this matter in the assembly and have written to the speaker and assembly standards commissioner, as well as the speaker of the House of Commons, as Mr Wilson is also an MP”

    Sammy Wilson has a right to free speech. But as a public representative he has the responsibility to use his words carefully, treating colleagues with respect. He has a right to make jokes, but will find that context and timing are needed to get a laugh from a wide audience. Mocking the terrorism in Paris and likening colleagues to jihadists fails on both fronts.

    DUP personalities have an increasing tendency to divert attention from ministers and policy issues and start fires – Gregory’s curry my yoghurt, Edwin’s radio interview with Nolan, and now Sammy’s off-colour free speech campaign.

    With an election looming, Peter Robinson must either feel that (some of) these distractions play well to the core vote required for the first-past-the-post Westminster election in May 2015, or he’s lost control of some big names in his party.

    Either way, the perception of DUP leadership and trust from non-supporters must wane every time another of these incidents occurs.

    Do we really have to wait until June 2016 for the playground to become less unruly? Do non-voters have to be further discouraged before elected representatives will realise panto season is over and they’re back in work?