Friday, 3 October 2008

Why the red face?

An interesting little spat has been drawn to my attention, between Roy Beggs Junior and Sammy Wilson, the Environment Minister. Beggs has fastened on Wilson’s confused answer to a question about sewage treatment in Larne Lough, which seems to expose both the minister’s flimsy grasp of his brief and a glaring gap in his knowledge of the geography of his adopted constituency.

“Sammy Wilson often boasts about how he can carry out several jobs at the same time. Well the fact that he cannot tell one end of Larne Lough from another tells me that he cannot. The lack of basic local knowledge which he displays is astounding.”


Anonymous said...

Coming from a man whose dad had a little trouble with waste management is simply astounding

Chekov said...

I believe that is what would be referred to as 'playing the man' on Slugger. Or possibly 'playing the man's da' rather than the ball.

Bally Rickard said...

For the benefit of anonymous....

Beggs Snr’s ‘little trouble with waste management’ was that he owned land which was licensed to accept inert material (ie soil and rubble). It was and remains one of the very few properly licensed landfill site, paying landfill tax in the East Antrim area. What he did wrong was that he failed to declare it in the House of Commons register of interests, while contributing to waste management debates. For this he had to make an apology in the House of Commons.

What also happened was that a waste contractor- working on behalf of the local Council took non inert (mostly seaweed) and dumped it there over a period of weeks.

This was spotted by a rival local Councillor who lived nearby, took photos, and then kept it to himself for months before reporting it to Environmental Health and the local paper a month or so before an election. Said Councillor was/is best friends with local paper editor and they ran and reran the story right up to the election, where Beggs almost lost his seat after having had a massive majority. A now award winning journo was a cub reporter at the time and cut his teeth on the ‘story’.

If this makes Roy Beggs Jnr unqualified to criticise Sammy Wilson MP MLA about a local sewerage issue well it is a strange world we now live in.