06 Feb

A Wry Eye – Brookie soap drama intensifies

ELECTIONS are such fun – a drama that allows us a small diversion from our otherwise mundane lives. Last week was especially entertaining!

Leading the melodramatics was the Secretary of State, James ‘Brookie’ Brokenshire, who has created his own little soap opera, like the late 90’s Brookside show, by offending as many people as possible.

Brookie might have saw himself as championing the cause of soldiers, but his timing certainly failed him. Needless to say, almost 45 years after Bloody Sunday is not the best time for the UK Government’s representative in Northern Ireland to opine his views on war crimes.

As if this wasn’t enough, he then rejected any ‘special status’ for NI during the Brexit debate. One MP was emphatically supportive of Brookie’s stance – the DUP’s Sammy Wilson, who was acting as cheerleader in chief, minus the pom poms.

Maybe it was just a bad day in the office, but the best soap opera needs conflict and the ensuing outrage and indignation, which the SDLP and Sinn Féin managed to provide.

The argument over Brexit also rumbles on. One wonders what influence anyone in NI will have on Mrs May’s now headlong charge to exiting the EU, given the scant regard to the righteous indignation from Scotland.

At least Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill maintained a united front at the Joint Ministerial Committee meeting in Cardiff – united in disagreeing with whatever was being said that wasn’t to their liking!

Disagreeing with something is part of our DNA here in Northern Ireland. Perhaps US President Trump has been taking lessons from us, as he seems to be disagreeing with everyone, especially the courts.

Of course, we might even be able to give him a seminar in arguments if he accepts the invitation from Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness to “c’mon over to Norn Iron big lad”.

Michelle O’Neill wants to rescind the offer, but until she is re-elected and takes a top spot in the Executive Office, she isn’t in a position to.

However, if Mr Brokenshire takes over the reins after the election, he may be able to offend America and make friends with President Trump. Who knows what this week will bring.

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