The thing is, stuff keeps happening all the time. It doesn’t have to happen on the same day, although that’s a considerable help if you’re trying to bury a bad-news story. But simply the never-ending procession of events can blur or even erase what at the time seemed a massive issue.
For example. Heard much about Ruth Patterson’s infamous Facebook comments recently? Even though she was arrested for them? To refresh: a fictional picture was presented on Facebook, describing loyalist paramilitaries opening fire on the Castlederg marchers, using machine guns, rocket launchers and grenades. Ruth’s response on Facebook, it's alleged, was “Who cares how we would be judged. We would have done a great service to Northern Ireland and the world in getting rid of these evil, devious scum like (sic) individuals...Would I shed a tear, NO. Would I lose a night’s sleep, No. Would I really worry about what anyone else thought, No”.
Even though Ruth apologised, you’d think that kind of talk would have excited swift action from the leader of her party. Uh-uh. No outcry from unionist politicians generally either. In fact, the Castlederg parade itself has been denounced for its insensitivity, leaving Ruth’s, um, lethal talk just a faint little blur in its wake.
And what about Stephen Brimstone? You must remember Stephen. He’s the DUP special adviser who’s alleged to have leant on DUP councillor Jenny Palmer to change her vote on the Housing Executive board in favour of the Red Sky company, whose £8 million-a-year contract was ended four months earlier amid allegations that the firm had over-charged for work on NIHE properties.
To the best of my knowledge neither of these matters has been resolved. But they're not occupying the headlines any more. I don’t suppose that would have anything to do with the political dust-storm created over the Castlederg march?..Nah. Probably just the wheels of justice turning slowly, slowly, until we lose interest and turn our attention to something else.