Whither the stoops?

Today around one o’clock I wanted to take Alex Attwood in my arms and tell him sssshhhh, it’s OK, it’s OK, little man, everything’s going to be all right… He was on Talkback with W Austin, and Wendy had just played a spoof piece where Mark Durkan (aka Sean Crummey) was asked to say briefly and finally if he was retiring as SDLP leader. Of course Crummey/Durkan went into a five-minute spiel with the usual Durkan circumlocutions by way of the Dingle peninsula. Then Alex came on and Wendy asked if he’d be putting his hat in the ring. Maybe still in a slightly stunned condition, Alex replied by quoting approvingly from the spoof Crummey piece (‘As Sean Crummey rightly said…’) and then went on to give a circuitous response which didn’t answer the question but did a baffling verbal tour by way of the Cape of Good Hope. In the end Wendy had to pull the plug on him as he went into the fifth lap of his latest sentence.

I blame the debating society in Queen’s. They convince their budding little Student Union politicians that it’s really clever to use polysyllabic words and long sentences; once they get that in their heads, there’s no shifting it. I’d even guess Alex himself knows it’s a chronic problem but like a hopeless drunk, he can’t resist reaching for yet another long one. But there’s more to life than politics, Alex. Honestly. Shhhh, there, there. Close your eyes, it’s gonna be OK, if the worst comes to the worst and they elect Alasdair McDonnell, you can always go back to practising law…

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