Rather than actually penning an article about human rights, Brian Walker has simply published, verbatim, Jeff Dudgeon's account of a debate at the 'McCloskey Civil Rights Summer School', on Slugger. The result is that, unique amongst Walker's blogposts, it is actually worth reading.
The NIHRC's chief quangocrat, Monica McWilliams, attended the event and, from Jeff's synopsis, it sounds like she faced a robust challenge from the floor. Given that she has presided over the human rights bill fiasco and continues to defend recommendations, expensively formulated, which comprehensively fail to fulfil the commission's remit, she deserves little sympathy.
McWilliams response to criticism aimed at the NIHRC and its work typifies the fashion in which unelected bodies, purportedly constituted in order to perform a particular task impartially, often develop an entirely independent dynamic of their own. Rather than serving the public they instead start to push a self-justifying agenda, whether it is sustained by their original purpose or not.
The NIHRC's task, as Jeff observes, was to deliver advice on a possible Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. It was not, and never has been, to push through any kind of bill at any cost.
Yet the Chief Commissioner, who failed to deliver a unanimous report, whose body has undergone criticism from the Secretary of State and whose bill is clearly dead in the water, still feels its is appropriate to deliver nakedly political broadsides towards a Conservative party which has no more intention of implementing the NIHRC's recommendations than the current Labour government.
It is from the public purse that we have paid this woman almost £70,000 per annum to oversee the formulation of useless advice, and it is the public purse which continues to sustain her attacks on elected politicians.
It is thoroughly shameful that taxpayers money should be wasted, funding a quasi political pressure group.
Clearly until McWilliams resigns, or is fired, this situation will persist.