Nellie The Elephant

Writing towards the end of last year Sean Mallory with his wry take on political matters at home and further afield.

“Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk
And said goodbye to the circus
Off she went with a trumpety-Trump
Trump, Trump, Trump..........”

Not with Donald Trump though!

October's decision by the British government to give Heathrow the green light to expand by building a third runway, has not only caused uproar among environmental campaigners and residents in the area but also vexed British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh too. 

Walsh, after studying a map of the route of the proposed runway, only found out that his company's HQ, which cost £200m to construct in 1998, is to be razed to make way for Heathrow's third runway! Poetic justice!

Speaking of planes ... Gerry Adams, having publicly been outed as an informer, did a runner to Cuba, mainly to avoid the heat of the Dáil Éireann for not informing sooner, and to attend the funeral of Fidel Castro to pay his respects to a man who actually achieved a revolution in its original terms. 

On returning to the Dáil, Adams finding support in Bertie Ahern, discovered that the conflagration he had ignited hadn’t dissipated at all but had been further stoked by Brian Stack's family calling him an outright liar - and considering Adams’ past it wasn’t a bad call - and by Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell's unscrupulous attempt to score political points over a murder.

Farrell, using the protection of his Dáil privilege to avoid libel, and luckily for him he did, called for Sinn Féin TDs, Martin Ferris and Dessie Ellis, to make a statement about the 1983 murder of prison officer Brian Stack.

The fact that Ellis was in prison at the time and that Ferris complied emphatically with a Garda Síochána investigation in to the murder which resulted in him not being considered a suspect, didn’t seem to thwart Farrell whose demand for the truth doesn’t seem to be a moral or ethical trait he practices himself.

Shortly after, Farrell, a member of the Southern legal system, allegedly received numerous calls from his solicitor’s office informing him of a sudden decline in clients!

On another flight of fancy, Theresa May, flew in the face of human rights and half way around the world only to land in the theocracies of the Persian Gulf. Mrs May, undaunted by the abuse of civil liberties and misogynistic state laws and adopting a realpolitik attitude, allayed the fears of the Kings and princes who thought she had come to rebuke them for their tyrannical rule.

Instead, she rebuked those who stood on the side of human rights and who opposed her desire to unequivocally sell the Persian theocracies more arms, irrespectively how they wished to use them in future.

Back in Europe and feeling the wrath of such a rebuke, Boris Johnston, Britain's foreign secretary, refused to apologise for his unexpected show of morals, his inept timing and insensitive remarks describing Saudi Arabia as puppeteering and playing proxy wars, while the British PM was a guest of the Sauds.

Johnston is expected to apologise by setting out Britain’s position when he travels there next rather than trying to portray his views as that of the British government’s. 

On another flight to a destination further afield, China in fact, was Arlene Foster, DUP party leader and First Minister of the global political fulcrum, Norn Iron, learned what the true meaning of the idiom, ‘chickens come home to roost’ means.

Arlene, on her own due to a ‘personal’ issue with her nemesis McGuinness, and who at her party conference was recently serenaded as being on fire (another piece of inept timing) was beginning to feel the heat as news broke of her handling of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme which will cost Stormont one billion over twenty years while she was Minister for the Department of Enterprise and Investment. 

Arlene resorting to the much exhausted tactic of denying all culpability, stressed the blame lay with those who didn’t scrutinise it properly .... which included MLAs, civil servants, but excluded her. 

Just as she did with Seymour Sweeney, fracking and Dee Stitt, who still hasn’t gone away, and who shares a similar accounting faux pas from the past when Charter NI's accounts for year ending March 2013 succumbed to another conflagration of the fire brigade kind. 

And of course, not forgetting her persuasive powers where Invest NI awarded several millions to a company in administration, Stream, to relocate from Derry City to East Belfast just before the last Westminster elections and elections in which Naomi Long lost her seat.

In East Belfast apparently 2+2=5.

This unfortunately for her, failed to satisfy the hunger of those in ‘opposition’ and did very little to shake Sinn Fein out of its apathetic state towards this debacle.

Unexpectedly though for Arlene, the other half of the Dodds clan, Nigel, having lost his leadership candidacy as potential leader of a misogynist party to a woman – humiliating - has come out fighting for her and dismissed all accusations with the same pompous attitude with the remark that she has nothing to answer for. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, comes to mind.

Brian Feeney – Irish News, 14/12/2016, in criticising our politicos behaviour, underlined the dire lack of intelligence in political representatives here as influencing and perpetuating such behaviour.

Unfortunately, there's no correlation between the ability to shoot straight, make a bomb and make a well-reasoned speech.

To rub matches in to Fosters wounds, Arlene is still reeling from the fallout from her and her party's unambiguous support of Charter NI, and other ‘Unionist paramilitary dominated community groups’ in South and West Belfast. 

George Hamilton, chief constable of PSNI, has stood by his officer’s intelligence reports and confirmed that individual or individuals connected to Charter NI continue to be associated with organised crime and unionist paramilitarism.

This has lead the general public to wait on Seamus Mallon to publicly denounce Foster and the DUP, to wait on Mike Nesbitt and the UUP, Naomi Long and the Alliance, Jim Allister and the TUV, Independents, SDLP and the People before Profit, to walk out of Stormont just as they did when Kevin McGuigan was shot. 

Diane Dodds, DUP MEP, and a person very seldom heard but soon to be unemployed thanks to herself (Feeney's assertion is starting to gain weight), finds it unpalatable for SF to meet with Hamas. Dodds feels SF are glorifying their own past while her party funds the UDA in East, West and South Belfast. All this despite Jeffery Donaldson meeting Hamas back in August. 

Perhaps Diane has eyes set on another seat closer to home ... Ms Pengally, friend of the now defunct Robinson would need to watch over her shoulder!

And so as Arlene continues to ward off attacks on her holding the Office of First Minister at the centre of global politics – Stormont – attacks originating from within her own party and quite possibly with a Knight of the realm at the helm in partnership with the heir of a past leader, she and her equally dim witted colleagues can rest easy knowing that their ministerial ineptitude is a British trait.

British government ministers, in a bid to boost tourism, have been heavily criticised by a Commons Public Accounts Committee for a series of failures. One of which was the investing of £285million of taxpayers’ money on an airport where planes are unable to land at the British colony, St Helena, in the South Atlantic due to the weather conditions. 

Weather conditions, not planes being unable to land, was something which Charles Darwin pointed out in 1836. All based on the airport’s business case, which was described as marginal at best. Ring any bells anyone. 

Abroad, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, shocked the world with her crass effrontery when addressing an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the ‘debatable massacres’ committed by the Assad government in Aleppo and directing her angst at Syrian, Russian and Iranian officials asked, "Are you truly incapable of shame?”

Even Netanyahu was heard to snigger at this!

Patrick Cockburn, Independent, 14/12/2016, dismisses Powers remarks with the following comment:
....comparisons by the US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, with the Rwanda genocide of 1994 and the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 are wholly out of proportion.

And last but not least, Putin and Russia coming under sustained attack for their alleged cyber-attack in the US presidential elections and quite possibly Brexit, can always take heart that 20 years ago TIME wrote about how US ‘advisors’ helped Boris Yeltsin win the Russian elections ....what goes around comes around! 

1 comment:

  1. I missed all the debacle with 'renewable heat' whatever the feck that is, was it due to DUP corruption or just good old fashioned DUP incompetence?