Some of us need the occasional help to understand the intricacies of Northern Ireland politics but this isn’t it.
Anyone reading this post some time after I put it here may not realise or remember that Northern Ireland had an election to their assembly two days ago. You can see the results on the BBC web site: short version – Democratic Unionists (DUP) still the largest party but lost seats and Sinn Fein gained significantly. Unionists generally have lost an overall majority.
Where do you start to deconstruct the nonsense of Ms Cherry’s tweet on the results of that election? Four questions will do.
- Has she not heard of, or does she deliberately choose to ignore, the immediate cause of the election and surely a major factor in the DUP’s losses? I refer to the disastrous Renewable Heat Incentive, (RHI) with which the recent first minister Arlene Foster DUP was intimately associated.
- Why does she think Theresa May was ‘sleeping’ on a matter that was devolved to the Northern Ireland assembly? By the same token she has been sleeping while Scottish school education heads into inexorable decline on the SNP’s watch. Perhaps the RHI and Scottish education prove that both Stormont and Holyrood are mediocre institutions populated by mediocre politicians. Why not? It’s a more valid hypothesis than Mrs May’s responsibility for a devolved administration’s cock-up.
- What does she mean by ‘This changes everything. Utterly’? Is she meddling in Northern Irish/Irish politics? Does she mean it changes everything in Scotland, whatever ‘everything’ is? If so, how? She really needs to spell it out.
- What pot does Ms Cherry think she’s stirring here? Is it the electoral chances of her own party or some putative Leave [i.e. leave the UK] campaign in a possible-but-unlikely future separation referendum? Or is it something deeper and more disturbing, here or on the island of Ireland?
Joanna Cherry SNP MP is (was before being elected) a top lawyer, a Queen’s Counsel no less (she’s always very insistent about that). Her tweet demonstrates that high qualification is not always matched by high intelligence. To end where I started the immediately preceding post on this blog, on this subject at least she needs to ‘put up or shut up.’
DB: ‘Dingbat’ if you didn’t know is one of many good pieces of Australian slang. It means a stupid or eccentric person. In relation to this politician on this subject it is entirely justified.