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.
Interrogated at behest of Assembly jihadists by watchdog D Bain for being nasty to J Allister. Starting free speech campaign: Je Suis Sammy
— Sammy Wilson (@eastantrimmp) January 16, 2015
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.
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:
In the meantime Sammy – more leadership and less of the ill-judged wisecracks.
Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about, reports from, live-tweets and live-streams civic, academic and political events and conferences. He delivers social media training/coaching; produces podcasts and radio programmes; is a FactCheckNI director; a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland; and a member of the Corrymeela Community.