Monday, 22 June 2009

Poots is back - and this time its environmental!

Two of Three Thousand Versts’ favourite DUP MLAs are major beneficiaries of Peter Robinson’s perverse executive reshuffle.

Climate change denying, MOT hating, snow fan Sammy Wilson becomes Northern Ireland’s latest Finance Minister, a post which is often considered the executive’s most senior, excepting those of the First and Deputy First Ministers.

Famously Wilson did not wish to take the environment portfolio at all. We can only wonder how spectacularly unenthusiastic he must feel about overseeing the province’s budget for a year or two. Moderately less unenthusiastic than the people of Northern Ireland might be, contemplating the Minister of the Absurd taking the reins of their economy during a major recession.

But Wilson is a doyen of good sense in comparison to his successor as Environment Minister. Edwin Poots developed a reputation for ministerial incompetence, only exceeded by Caitriona Ruane, when he previously held the Culture brief. An enthusiast for the ill-fated Maze stadium / republican terror shrine project, which would have been sited at his constituency, Edwin believes that the earth is five thousand years old, that humans co-existed with dinosaurs and that the universe was created in six days - literally.

All of which would constitute harmless eccentricity if Edwin were a lollipop man rather than a minister of the Northern Ireland Executive.

Not content with embellishing his team with a pair of loons, the DUP leader has added a third. Nelson McCausland might ordinarily be viewed as bringing some baggage to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, given that he is a ‘true believer’ in the Volk- kitsch of Ulster Scots. His appointment is consistent with the Dupe approach to DCAL, which is to use it as a means to posture against anything which is perceived as ‘Irish’.

For anyone who values culture, art or sport for their own sakes rather than as mediums for sectarian one-upmanship, McCausland makes a depressing appointment. Misty eyed advocates of the ‘Cruithin’ will be rather more heartened.

6 comments:

Ignited said...

You've reached a new low Chekov.....

How dare you compare lollipop men to Edwin.

Anonymous said...

I never had too much of a problem with the Cruthin notion as it bound the history of Scotland and the North East of Ireland into a tighter weave. Plus it kind of hit the one ireland landmass nation thing on the head. But Ulster Scots is a later day political confection that is as much of a cultural straight-jacket as Irishness in its political manifestation. Ulster Scots is myopically introspective and suffocating creativity at birth.

Timothy Belmont said...

Restrain Ed at the ministerial pew lest he flaps off to DCAL! :-)

Chekov said...

Anon – I don’t have a problem with the notion of close links between this part of Ireland and Scotland. Nor do I have difficulty with the idea that there is shared genealogy between inhabitants of Ulster and ‘Pictish’ Scots. It’s the whole prior habitation thing as a whole which I have a problem with. Countering Irish nationalism with an equally misty eyed Ulster nationalism. Who was here first is of academic concern only.

Deep Undercover said...

Didn't Poots want the Causeway Visitor's Centre to have a creationist exhibit in it?

Jeff Peel said...

My goodness Chekhov...I couldn't have put it better myself. Well said on all counts! I only survive living here contented with the fact that as soon as my kids are at uni I'll be off to Piedmont, sipping Prosecco by a Lago. Lunatics are running the asylum. It's going friggin' pear shaped (and we're not just talkin' Pootsies' ears).