What a bizarre day. Early afternoon Twitter went nuts with the ‘news’ that Peter Robinson had been ‘named’ by Jamie Bryson reading studiously from notes and after giving him the pseudonym of Person A he alleged the First Minister was to have been paid money.
When asked by the Committee Chair whether he had any evidence to support his allegations Mr Bryson said that the NCA was in possession of evidence, not himself. In other words, Mr Bryson appears to have no direct evidence of any wrongdoing.
Slightly more interesting was the dFM’s earlier performance. All along he and others had insisted that the First Minister was acting without his knowledge in several meetings, including one with the, erm, former Vice President of the United States.
[How on earth did they sneak him in? – Ed]
There was a mildly heated exchange over the matter when Jim Wells asserted that relevant documents had been sent to a senior Sinn Féin advisor, Dara O’Hagan which, if true, could blow rather a large hole in the secret meeting story that’s been doing the rounds for much of the summer.
Despite that Mr McGuinness was insistent that the draft memorandum of understanding sent to Dublin (and then discounted and set aside as a bizarre ‘debtor’s charter’) was not shared with him.
[Wouldn’t an FOI request for sight of the relevant correspondence sort that one out? – Ed] Well, maybe. And then again, maybe not.
Welcome to the crazy world of NI politics where black is taken for white, though generally not for long. And the public are taken for
a ride granted.
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