Monday, 11 January 2010
I was speaking to someone last night about – what else – the Robinson affair, and she raised a point I hadn’t considered and haven’t heard others consider: who was behind this political landmine which has sent the DUP flying skyward, clutching its more vulnerable bits? On the face of it the man responsible – certainly given the majority of air-time on the BBC’s Spotlight programme – was Selwyn Black. He was introduced as a former RAF chaplain and he himself argued that he’d blown his whistle because ….Well, can you remember why he said he blew his whistle? There certainly was an implication in the programme that it was because he was being used to tend to matters personal – Iris’s relationship with young Cap’n Kirk – rather than matters political, which is what he was hired for. There was also a strong indication that he blew the whistle for conscience reasons – that he couldn’t bear to see corruption at work within the north’s government. “This goes right to the heart of government in Northern Ireland” he said, or something along those lines. Mmm. If I had been in his position, would I have seen what occurred as a matter of such gross corruption I’d have felt compelled to blow the whistle, knowing it would bring down the party by which I was employed AND conceivably the whole peace process? Probably not, but then I have perhaps a more calloused conscience than Mr Black. One thing’s for sure: Jim Allister must be longing to meet Mr Black – assuming he hasn’t met him already – and shake the hand of the man who gave the biggest political leg-up that’s ever been delivered in the history of this state.