OK, catechism time. Sit up straight at the back, there.
Q: What has First Minister Peter Robinson done of note lately?
A: Two things.
Q: What was the first one?
A: He said he wouldn’t trust Muslims that were trying to blow him up but he would trust Muslims to go down to the shops for him.
Q: Nice. What was the second thing?
A: He apologised in person to Muslim leaders.
A: He said he didn’t find it hard to say sorry because of his mischievous childhood.
Q: Mmm. Anything else?
A: He said he was apologising in the proper way, man to man.
Q: Why are you laughing?
A: That man to man bit. Gets me every time.
Q: What’s funny about that?
A: I’m not sure. Maybe it has to do with the apology being squeezed out of Peter after a week or so of global disgust at his original statement.
Q: Now he’s said “Sorry” to the Muslims, is it time to move on?
A: It is indeed. But whether the apology will undo the damage to Robinson and the north’s reputation round the world remains to be seen.
Q: What did Rev Kyle Paisley, Ian Paisley Jr’s twin brother, say about Mr Robinson?
A: That he was a condescending ignoramus.
Q: Is there bad blood between the Robinson and the Paisley families?
A: I plead the Fifth.
Q: Anything else of significance happening lately?
A: Yes. The Police Ombudsman is taking the Chief Constable of the PSNI to court.
Q: I don’t believe it – the peelers are suing the peelers?
A: Something like that.
Q: Why so?
A: The police have sensitive intelligence material and they won’t hand it over to the Ombudsman.
Q: Much sensitive material?
A: Over a hundred pieces.
Q: Why does the Ombudsman want this stuff?
A: Because it relates to the killing of over sixty people.
Q: Wow. And why won’t the peelers pass the information over?
A: We don’t know. But there have been allegations of police criminality and misconduct.
Q: What does that mean?
A: That they didn’t bother their arses investigating the killings properly.
A: And they may have been protecting individuals involved in these killings.
Q: You mean the peelers had undercover agents who helped with the killing?
A: Could be. We won’t know until and if the files are released.
Q: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
A: Search me.
Q: Finally, would it be true to say that there’s a dark cloud hanging over the north’s First Minister and another hanging over the north’s Chief Constable?
A: Yes and yes.
Q: How did one famous Irish politician describe Northern Ireland some years back?
A: As a ‘failed political entity’.
Q: Was he right?
A: I plead the Fifth.
Q: OK, that’s enough for today.
A: Praised be Allah.