An open letter to Arlene

Dear Arlene

I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to you and your party for my recent fickleness. I have let you down and I pledge, from this day forth, to do everything in my power to regain your trust.

As to my fickleness:

A temporary failure on my part to give you the benefit of any doubt. I ignored the cardinal rule, if it’s a one off then give someone the benefit, if it keeps happening well it’s time to re-assess the situation and the relationship. To the best of my knowledge, and I have checked Wikipedia, you have not overseen the development of a RHI scheme before and I have no reason to believe that you will be repeating the exercise in the future.

I can most certainly sympathise with your HR difficulties; I was wrong to jump to conclusions when you blamed your officials. On reflection, it is a fact that you just cannot get the right staff nowadays whether in BT4 or BT74, and even if you do get someone half decent – well they move on don’t they. And don’t get me started about civil servants. A little less central heating and flexi time, and fewer meetings and you might get some joined up work out of them in between their sick leave and next posting.

And I share that sense of betrayal when someone close to you gives an interview to that horrible, horrible man. I must admit that when I heard him speak, years and years of Pavlovian conditioning to politicians failed me, and I allowed myself momentarily to think there was a ring of truth in what he was saying, and that it should be investigated. Mea culpa.

Normally it goes without saying that you can expect political opportunism from your opponents but when the BBC yet again abandons its impartiality – well I can only despair and speak out. Time after time we see the BBC openly displaying its bias against the DUP and abusing its dominant position in local media. I am only too aware that BBC NI is full of lefties, climate change believers and ex modern language students intent on digging up dirt on the DUP. I hereby make it a New Year’s resolution to stop watching and listening to BBC news and current affairs output. But if you feel it might be useful to critically monitor their output I shall be happy to continue, please advise.

And now my biggest failing. I doubted your leadership. I see now that it would have been wrong to display human connection and humility as it would have been equated to vulnerability by your opponents. Better to be seen as strong, aloof, and above the political rabble even when the political rabble has left and the Assembly is empty. Half an Assembly is better than none, I see that now.

Finally please remember that whatever they throw at you: ex colleagues, Nolan, whistleblowers, NIAO reports, emails, leaks, etc you’re bigger than any conspiracy of political pygmies, media hacks, part time supporters and traitorous officials. Extraordinary allegations require extraordinary levels of proof. Hang in there and begrudge everything and everyone. Trust me on this one, my instincts are usually sound.