At the weekend Gerry Moriarty treated the increasingly shrill rhetoric from the Minister of Finance Mairtin O Muilleoir during the past week, with scepticism. Mot least the Minister’s loud references to “sticking plaster solutions” to the RHI debacle.
And if “post-truth” means repeating an allegation so often that, regardless of its veracity, the public will be emotionally primed to believe it, then Ó Muilleoir is a master of this phenomenon.
In every interview, he constantly referred to DUP “corruption, arrogance, bigotry and sectarianism” – with “corruption” his most frequently used word in relation to the renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme that could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.
But the fact is nobody has proved corruption so far. Certainly there is evidence of civil service and political incompetence that cost controls were not imposed on the hugely overgenerous subsidy to encourage the use of biomass boilers.
However, it was not until later in the week that veteran interviewers reminded Ó Muilleoir that corruption was unproven.
And then this morning, the Minster for the Economy Simon Hamilton gently let it slip that O Muilleoir’s department had not raised any substantial objections (see clip from live blog below) to the scheme passing under their scrutiny in the last ten days of contact.
Trumpesque, is that a word?
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