Monday 9 February 2009

Sammy Wilson, Minister for … what, exactly?

Well, his brief description on the Executive web site says that his responsibilities include:

"Planning control; environment and heritage; protection of the countryside; waste management; pollution control; wildlife protection; local government; local government reform; mineral resources (planning aspects); driver and vehicle testing and licensing; road safety and transport licensing and enforcement."

We already saw last year that his commitment to the 'driver and vehicle testing and licensing' part of his remit was close to nonexistent. The Minster responsible for road safety in Northern Ireland branded the law which saw him fined for riding his motorbike without tax or MoT as "absurd". And he was allowed to keep his job!

Today, the same Minister, wearing his hat as Minister responsible for the environment, has blocked a British government advertisement campaign on climate change, which urges people to reduce energy consumption and cut carbon dioxide output. Wilson wrote to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to say that the advertising campaign Act on CO2 "was not welcome". He explained that he did not believe in its message that "man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause of climate change" and that the campaign was contrary to his personal views.

Now since Mr Wilson's 'personal views' seem to be causing him great trouble in at least two of his areas of responsibility, one has to wonder why he is still in office.

But then, of course, DUP Minister's are never really expected to address the whole of their responsibilities – after all, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure Gregory Campbell has responsibility, amongst other things, for sport and language diversity, which has not stopped him from using his position to largely ignore the most popular sport in Northern Ireland, and to block the Irish Language Act. The wife of the First Minister has caused worldwide outrage at her blatantly bigoted attitudes towards homosexuality, but at last she wasn't a Minister. Her husband and party leader, whose responsibilities include 'promoting and monitoring implementation of equality of opportunity' was slightly less than fulsome in his condemnation of her remarks.

The DUP in office has proved, time and time again, that they are motivated primarily by negativity – towards modern science, towards diversity, but mainly towards recognition of the Irish dimension of Northern Ireland and its people. The continuing support they receive from the unionist voters serves as a constant reminder of why Northern Ireland needs to be dismantled and consigned to history's dustbin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Flat earth party it is.