Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Ruane is a small word but it is one that has increasingly guaranteed to result in a highly negative reaction.

In a past life I was part of a team negotiating with Ruane on a topic of particular contention. From that process I drew three lessons about her. First that she had authority within republican circles (at the time I did not know from where but it would appear from the patronage of Gerry Adams). Second that faced with a choice between a compromise that would achieve something useful and the opportunity to appear a martyr she'd choose martyrdom. Third, that she has great difficulty comprehending something beyond her own mindset. So how she has behaved as a minister has come as little surprise.

As a believer in the need to move towards voluntary coalition it is useful to have a minister that is a walking talking advertisement of the necessity to reform our system of government. However, when the inability impacts upon so many this has to be a secondary concern.

Her performance this morning in the Assembly was another 'virtuoso' performance of inability. An announcement about the school capital programme was reduced to a farce as she basically refused to provide any information. This makes her explanation of her non-appearance last week as an accident very dubious. It looks more like she wanted the delay because with the Assembly due to rise tomorrow the chance of further scrutiny is significantly reduced. While the special sitting over Gaza was a particularly dumb idea perhaps one on the future of our schools would be more worthwhile. At least it will show that her petty games can be countered.

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