Saturday, 9 May 2009



The individual pictured above is rumoured to be a candidate for the forthcoming European Election. She was last seen in public waving a brown envelope outside the Electoral Commission office. She is known to have a particular phobia about barristers from Kells. Should you witness this person in public please contact your nearest journalist or failing that please ask her if she has any policies. You may not receive an answer from her as she is known to travel with a large contingent of political minders (hence the need for the big bus) whose sole responsibility is to prevent her having to answer questions. This process has been extensively trialed before the election with meetings across the country; rumours that she was caught out once and had to answer a question on her own have not been confirmed. When talking she repeatedly expresses a desire to "be number 1" although this is no longer believed to refer to the forthcoming election and will instead be presented as a desire to release a record. In this regard her association with this man is of most concern.

This man is known to have an extensive interest in the music industry. The music industry has no interest in him. His vocals are an acquired taste and are considered such a threat to the community at large that two policemen are required to accompany him at all times to prevent panic should he feel the need to break into song. The public are warned that should they observe this man approaching with an accordian strapped to his chest they should run in the opposite direction.

Others thought to accompany her include these individuals

This individual is now believed to be an advanced scout from another planet. It is believed that his home planet has a surface temperature several degrees warmer than ours hence his lack of concern in relation to global warming and a tendency to strip off his clothes (due to warmer temperatures clothes are not worn on his home planet). To assist the human race in understanding the motivations of this individual you are asked to open any conversation with "Sammy, what planet are you from?"

This man is a well known political hypnotist. He is used by the DUP to give messages to the public which are unpalatable but due to the hypnotic delivery can be communicated without a loss of face to the DUP leadership. Due to his previous association with the UUP there is a greater understanding of the effect he can have. Only now after several years are people actually realising that he is not opposed to sharing power with Sinn Fein despite having hypnotised UUP members into believing he was. Having studied him for some years we believe that he has been given his biggest task to date for the DUP. Post EU election he will be asked to convince the unionist community that they now have enough confidence for the devolution of policing and justice powers. He will do this by simply repeating, through many media sources, that the unionist community now has the confidence for policing and justice to be devolved. Eventually people will be hypnotised into believing that such confidence exists, those who do not believe it will believe they are in a minority and remain silent to avoid being ostracised. After the 8th June if you listen to Radio Ulster in the morning and hear Wendy Austin introduce him please turn off your radio to avoid entering a hypnotic state.

This individual having been stood down from his previous position was asked to run for the EU election. Having refused a request from Don Robinson his punishment is to accompany the candidate during the election. He is not permitted to answer questions, indeed within the assembly he is not allowed to ask them either.

Some DUP photos

Dodds family car gets a makeover for the election.

DUP meeting the public. (note absence of public or journalists)

Diane is placed in escape pod upon rumours Jim Allister is in town.

Hypnotist tries to get reduction in price of strawberries.

Note man on right in hypnotic state.

"Please Peter I've suffered enough. Don't make me do this for the whole campaign"

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Stealth tax

The decision of the Minister of Environment to boost Planning fees by 20% will come as some surprise to those of us who have listened to the First Minister's commitment to reducing the size and thence the cost of Government.

The Planning Service processing of planning applications is supposed to be a self financing arm of Government. The cost of delivering the service is meant to be met by those who make applications. Given the current downturn in the demand for new homes there is a resultant decrease in workload and income. Now in business terms the consequences are clear, an increase in costs or a reduction in staff. Yet is this to be the option in Government, especially where the First Minister and his Finance Minister are so commited to reducing the size of Government. What is to become of those staff who no longer have a sufficient workload, will they be redeployed to address the scandalous delay in the delivery of Area Development Plans? Will they be used to meet demands on planning service resources normally paid for under the normal budget process. Is this simply another stealth tax? If the priority is only to save staff then how does this fit with the priority to reduce the size of Government, if staff are not to be released where then are all the financial savings to come from?

Of course this issue does not stand alone in the scheme of things. The recent decision of the DRD Minister to approve a 10% hike in Translink fares only a few weeks after concerns were raised about the ability of the Executive to continue to fund free transport for Senior Citizens raises the same question. Are we simply watching an administration, frightened to tell the truth, introducing a series of stealth taxes on the people of Northern Ireland. Effectively the creation of a system where the public have no say in the priorities for government and where those leading the process have no experience of life outside the sheltered framework of politics, protected by political largess from the economic realities of life and decision making.

Fagan and the Artful Dodger were experts at distraction and pick pocketing, Peter and Nigel may soon be good enough for Stormont to replace the West End stage for our own production of Oliver.