Noting the willingness of the media – several times every bulletin, it seems – to pass on PM Brown’s reassurances of the readiness of the UK to tackle the swine flu pandemic (‘we have enough vaccine to innoculate over 30 million people [half the population]’) I enquired about the matter at the Newry Health Clinic on your behalf …
I think you’ve guessed where this is going …
‘We have no vaccine. Nor will there be any for the next six months.’
The duplicity of politicians !
Again this was illustrated by the latest on the ‘ghost bridge’ above.
You will recall this was to be jointly funded by the two governments (well! We have only one government, that of the Irish Republic – and a devolved administration in the North, but the latter’s contribution, we all assumed, would come out of the British subvention).
So anxious were all our local politicians to have their own stamp on the venture that they issued innumerable press releases on the issue.
Catriona Ruane of Sinn Fein (the failing Education Minister, who has left my granddaughter Niamh – among thousands of others – in limbo this summer over her transfer to secondary education) issued one such in January:
"During our meeting with Minister Conor Murphy (her fellow Sinn Fein Transport Minister) we received commitments … do .. all within .. power to facilitate this key cross-border project ..". Her statement went on to insult the Irish Government, referring to it as the Free State Government, a term not applicable for the last 60 years or so! She was reared under that jurisdiction and not in the "North of Ireland" – as she and her colleagues wrongly refer to Northern Ireland – and, – especially as ‘Education Minister’ – she ought to know. Having renounced their former Republican principles they stubbornly cling to their ancient semantics! The reality is they shore up British rule here while referring to traditional Republicans as "dissidents". They are the dissidents.
This week the same Minister – i.e. Murphy – issued a statement along the lines that he and his colleagues had no involvement – did I hear the words, "No selfish political or strategic interest" or was that from some other political double-talker? He was replying to a query from another such local, Danny Kennedy who pretended that the Newry Southern relief road would benefit and be prioritised and funded from the British Exchequer. This is even worse duplicity because the latter scheme was never given serious consideration at Government level and certainly will not be implemented in the present straightened circumstances.
They will all soon be calling at your doorstep, asking for your vote in the EU elections.
I urge you instead to turn to the Green Party representative!