Northern Ireland: Still Waiting for Votey

How imminent is his/her arrival, who is waiting in the Agreement Anti Rooms?
The Ulster Unionist Party Executive met on the weekend 10 / 11 February and the Dome of Silence seems to have descended, except for the statement that the Ban on Sinn Féin taking part in cross-border ministerial meetings remains unaltered.
It is not clear whether David Trimble will appeal against the High Court decision that he had no power to enforce such a restriction.
This raises an interesting legal situation. As First Minister, defying the decision of the Court, can he be charged with contempt, along with his Party Executive, and if they persist in their attitude and, convicted, can they, should they, be fined, jailed or both?
Can Sinn Féin initiate such an action? If so, what effect would it have on the Peace Process should the First minister and his Executive be incarcerated?
How will all this play, as Votey’s appearance on the electoral stage looms large, both in the Six County auditorium and the Wide Screen presentation in the United kingdom.
For some time it has been obvious to me, and, I hope, to others, that the UUP’s policy was centred on delaying the implementation of the Belfast Agreement in the expectation that they might regain lost ground, with a change at Westminster.
Although much discontent in particular areas is being expressed the opinion polls discount by a considerable margin their hope of this, unless some disaffected Labour supporters fail to turn out on the day.
The Mandelson episode still lingers on and he and we await the findings of the Inquiry, about whether he had lied concerning the passport intervention.
It still seems strange to me that Prime Minister Major should have got away unscathed when he lied at Question Time on March 16th 1993, the media never batted a syllable of comment.
I wrote recently pointing this out to the Times and the Western Mail – neither paper published my letter, although the Times replied briefly saying, “Although we thank you for your letter to the Editor we regret that we were unable to publish it”. I wonder why, well not really, it was too true, too direct and too anti to their political orientation.
The Green Dragon website is not so narrowly focused and BBC Wales at least is now aware of it as a source of information.
On stage the Becket type dialogue continues, so will Votey arrive soon, and will he be clothed in Blue, Yellow, Pale Pink or a multi-mix?

©: Samuel H. Boyd, Cwmbran, Wales, 16 February, 2001.

Samuel H. Boyd

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