What is there to say about Sammy Wilson that hasn’t been said before? Erudite? Ground breaking? Articulate? Passionate? Tree hugger? Maybe there's quite a bit yet! Before he was appointed Minister for the Environment in the Northern Executive, I honestly think no one had thought of him as having an interest in any issue other than his political career. Sammy is one of a cadre of 50 something DUP clones who spent their political life in the shadow of Ian Paisley. One might lay some value on what these cast of minnows think if they had at any time over the last 30 years quietly taken the Reverend aside when he was a 50 something himself and told him a few home truths about how his paranoid ranting was tearing the community apart and pushing back further the day when murder would end.
In Sammy’s case he certainly he more of access to Reverend Paisley to do so as I understand he was a regular guest of the Paisley family in to the wee small hours for some time. Former teacher Sammy has to put it mildly taking the knocks in the past only to overcome the slings and arrows for his place in the sun as MP and Environment Minister, and no global warming is going to cast a cloud on his reign.
There’s an old story about Sammy. 30 years ago during the winter of discontent a DUP constituency meeting had commenced while Paisley was flying home to Aldergrove. At the time the DUP were shoring up Callaghan in Westminster and Sammy kept the faithful enthused as to how good a job Paisley was doing, securing the future through state contracts of Shorts and Harland & Wolfe. As Paisley entered Sammy was milking the applause and as the meeting continued Paisley unaware of the agenda launched into an attack on Callaghan and told the delegates how he was going to pull the plug in the vote of confidence. Thatcher was the future and that was that as far as the DUP were convinced. Not only did the Reverend Ian get his own standing ovation but Sammy it seems led it!
And that’s the crux of the matter. If you spend the bones of your political life as a journeyman for other people’s ideas you end up with none of your own! Sammy has gone beyond a joke, he’s not even a cute hoor. He makes Jackie Healy Rae sound like Aristotle.
I wonder what North South ministerial conferences on the environment are like? Say what you will about Minister Gormley, and I’ve said a lot on my blog that is not positive to the minister, he understands the arguments and will debates the issues on factors affect climate change and clearly believes in his brief. Could these 2 ministers actually have anything in common? If not how is the institution working or is it just there for the optics?
The northern system of sharing out portfolios is bizarre, publicly picking departments for your party’s MLA is no way to put an effective administration in place. If you cannot match a parliamentarian with an aptitude for a department, it’s clear that the civil servants run the policy and that’s bad for democracy. That’s what happens here often to give us poor ministers too but at least there’s a chance someone gets into a government with a vision to do something, I’m thinking of Michael D as Arts Minister, Browne in Health or Aiken in Foreign Affairs. At least an idealist can make it to office here sometimes.
Sammy Wilson with his cheap line denying of global warming, opposition to TV ads and his support for nuclear power seems to be the price worth paying by an island unequipped to tackle a real crisis for peace.
Click the address to follow Sammy Wilson on twitter http://twitter.com/sammywilsonmp