08 May

A Wry Eye – Calculations gone awry

LIKE Diane Abbott’s unique take on mathematics, pollsters can be subjected to the most unlikely results when they factor in this, that, or the other to divine the result of an election.

As no-one expected the Conservative Party to do quite so well at the local government elections last week, the hammering given to the Labour Party was the equivalent of Anthony Joshua knocking out Vladimir Klitshcko, but without a referee stepping in to prevent permanent damage.

However, back in Norn Iron the political parties are now engaged in the usual accusations that the problem lies with “them uns” and not “us uns”. Once “them uns have been identified everyone can unite against them…

In the meantime, there must be a worrying glance at the results of the polls. If that trend continues into the general election Prime Minister May will be enjoying a mandate so large Her Majesty’s Opposition will be shouting into an un-listening abyss.

Thus any sway or influence that the Norn Iron parties may have in Westminster will be much lessened. Sure in the committees they can wind up some issues up to the level of controversy, but the reality is that Northern Ireland will be an afterthought.

Yes, we’ve increasingly been an afterthought, but our prediction is that the Northern Ireland Secretary will be relegated to the child’s high chair around the cabinet table after the election.

There is no irony in a region that voted to remain in the EU that our best chance of sorting out the border post-Brexit comes from the European bureaucrat negotiators…

EU negotiator in chief, Michel Barnier, has said the border issue will be among the topics that must be resolved in the first phase of negotiations.

He may also be concerned over cross-jurisdictional arrests. English actor and writer Stephen Fry faces an investigation by the Gardai over comments that may be regarded as blasphemous under Ireland’s Defamation Act.

If an attempt is to be made to extradite Fry, a UK national treasure, the border will snap shut like a nervous clam at a Belfast fish restaurant. The land borders, airport terminals and ferry ports will have patrols of armed militia determined to keep Fry safe.

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