Take a close look at the photo below. Is your local MLA – and now Stormont Minister of Education – the one on the left or on the right? I’ll give you a clue. The Red Hand is displayed by the real Ulster lady!
The other is a Mayo woman who is twiddling her fingers while our school system collapses under her. Protestant Grammar schools have announced their own selection exam and all she can do is threaten court action. Today’s news from the Primary Teachers’ Conference criticises her for unequal funding of their sector: Stranmillis college stands at the brink of being subsumed by QUB: St Mary’s University College is underfunded: all teachers are stress-ridden. But not Catriona: she’s finger-painting!
What is the future for our schools, Minister? When will we learn, even the fate of the September 2008 intake? Is selection to continue under another guise?
Meanwhile her Councillor party colleagues continue to treat us all as if we were residents of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. As usual the local papers are filled with their self-promoting and self-righteous claptrap! Here is a small selection from this week’s Reporter.
‘SF Assembly member for South Down has said that urgent action is needed in order to stem the loss of jobs from the Construction industry’.
Hello? You are a government Minister now, lady, not a protester! If urgent action is needed, take it! But first, take care of your own portfolio!
Meanwhile her Councillor colleagues claim to be concerned about job losses too, and the flight from Newry of public service positions. ‘The most vulnerable in our community will be first to be hit’, waffles the new SF MLA in regard to local Housing Executive job losses, apparantly oblivious to the stark reality that his colleague and neighbour (Conor Murphy) is the Minister responsible! We are not fools!
‘Inadequate ambulance cover in South Armagh,’ wail the SF Councillor threesome, Colman Burns, Turlough Murphy (brother of the Minister responsible, Conor Murphy) and Terry Hearty. Tell that to the Quinn family whose son was beaten to death there and for which crime no one has yet been made amenable, though the family is convinced (and they are not alone) that the perpertrators are (former) colleagues or fellow-travellers of the threesome!
‘Newry’s job losses due to Southern Trust "rationalisation" ‘, another headline reads. ‘100% of the top civil service jobs are in Belfast and 80% ot the top Grades 6-7 jobs too: though the government promised relocation to other areas in 1991 we continue to see centralisation of public sector jobs,’ complains the SDLP’s Councillor McArdle. ‘We must make a strong case that Newry gets the status it deserves,’ wails SF’s Brendan Curran.
To whom do you think you need to make this case, gentlemen? Your own colleagues are the responsible ministers. Do you lot not even talk to each other now?
Meanwhile, where is he, the new all-powerful Minister for Regional Development?
Right, first time! He’s out socialising!
"I would like to commend the excellent committee of the Camlough Hurling Club for the great night they organised here", he commented (Reporter 24.4.08 p42).
How does one get on board this gravy train?
And just how docile and malleable are our local newspaper editors that reproduce this insulting balderdash in the guise of news?
Meanwhile, as usual, the real decisions are made by N Ireland (British) Minister Shaun Woodward and his colleagues. May God spare us from local Ministers!
Oh no! I’ve just scanned the news headlines below!
The supreme bigot who started it all, now as his swansong, treats us to predictions of a ‘bright future’. And how bright?
Well, they’ve just postponed elections to the Councils for a further 2 years, meaning we’ve stuck that much longer with the group of self-servers I’ve just complained of!