In a land not so far away, sits a big house on a hill, this house is known locally among the poor who live in it's shadow as Stormont. In this house lurks a phantom 'government' who are in possession of a phantom budget and wielding a giant axe to decimate services the poor people rely on. In addition to this is what appears to be a process of self-deception which involves convincing oneself of a truth or lack of so that one does not divulge any knowledge of this deception. You see this process of self-deception ties in with how the people in this big house have become friends with their one time big bad enemy. This new found friendship for some is considered unrealistic whereas others regard it as insulting and insensitive. Those who raise concerns over these actions are regarded as anti-peace process, anti-progress, anti-mainstream and in some cases anti-GAA.
As with many tales this sordid story contains a queen, her servants, the rich, the reckless and as always the poor peasants. The poor in this story are sadly bracing themselves to bear the brunt of the phantom budget with the queens more senior servants expected to do the work of the phantom politicians in the near future. Meanwhile the phantom politicians roam the marble halls of Stormont sucking expenses like vampires suck blood as they continue their work with trying to normalise an abnormal situation and with promoting a process that puts reconciliation before truth and justice.
Just yesterday the Stormont Assembly speaker Mitchel McLaughlin in the company of the Sinn Fein Mayor for Derry/Strabane laid a wreath at the cenotaph in Derry to commemorate the Battle of Messines in 1917. After the event McLaughlin had this to say. "The assembly represents everybody and every shade of opinion in our community as well and as the speaker I have the responsibility to speak for all of them." With these words in mind I hope to see Mitchel and the Mayor at the next Bloody Sunday March in support of the poor who continue to campaign for justice despite cuts to legal aid. Cuts which are undermining the rule of law 800 years after the sealing of the Magna Carta which promised;
‘To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.’
As the poor await the outcome of other decisions effecting them the phantom politicians appear to be either suffering from electile dysfunction or are deluded enough to think that poor will continue to believe that they actively opposed further cuts despite their ongoing implementation and welfare reform which has already been agreed. With the tension on this issue mounting as you would expect a little bit of deflection has taken place. Just the other day the Irish national flag miraculously appeared on the roof top of Stormont and hey presto it became the main feature in local news broadcasts.
A similar tactic was employed prior to the announcement to abolish the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. During this time the limiting of flying the union flag from Belfast's city hall to designated days was stirred up resulting in weeks of mayhem. This mayhem over a nine week period cost the tax payer over £15 million to police. Still we are told the coffers of the kingdom are not infinite.
I can't help but think that this money coupled with the money used to police the Twadell protest camp could have been better spent with an estimated £40,000 still spent weekly on policing Twadell. This money could have been used to fill the gap in the legacy investigations budget, with state forces suspected of war crimes still free to roam the streets unimpeded. In contrast senior citizens here such as Ivor Bell are to face prosecution on the strength of historical audio accounts despite there being no way of testing the veracity of these accounts. The disparity here beggars belief but then it shouldn't with the scales of justice clearly weighted in favour of the kingdom and it's supporters.
You see in this grim story the kingdom is built on the politics of orange and green. Phantom politics which are not only deflective but divisive. These politics help portray as a nation of sectarian muck savages and shift our focus from things that really matter . Things that effect us all whether orange, green or a recent addition to our increasingly multicultural society. Things like the closure of over 100 schools in less than eight years as well as individual cases of inhuman and degrading treatment within our healthcare emergency departments.
Yet as the poor become poorer and continue to accept less than they deserve the phantom politicians in the house on the hill get to experience their happy ever after, through their endless piece/peace process.
As you may have guessed this aint no fairytale!!!