At the circus the cry would ring out among the performers.”Send in the clowns!….Quickly!”..The clowns were a timely distraction or space -filler to be used when an act wasn’t yet prepared thoroughly ; the fire-eater might have gotten the inflammable liquid confused with the Hendricks Gin , the wire-walker might have stabbed her husband a few moments before during a lovers’ spat, or the tiger may be busily snacking on the ringmaster’s meaty arm. Strange things can happen and if the show must go on in the best showbiz tradition , a timely distraction is required .
We had one here at our own little Circus of Worldly Delights…Stormont. Our First Minister has sent in some new performers to cover the disasters of two of his Ministers .In one fell swoop , as the Scottish Decision is still being parsed and dissected, two of his Awkward Squad in the DUP have been greasily replaced to put them out of harm’s way . Basically he wants to leave us with less to laugh at.Instead of the gaff-prone Mr Poots and Mr Mc Causland , who are still vainly attempting to pull the shoe out of each other’s mouths as they wrestle in one corner, he is replacing them and their litany of foolishness with persons a little more dour. Mr. Poots’s little intellectual joust with the Highest Judge in the land over the “Gay Blood” and Mr.McCausland’s strange behaviour with the “Glass Company” were very amusing for most of us but were possibly not the impression Mr Robinson wanted to create.Mind you the First Minister is a past master at gaffe -prone tricks himself , lest we forget his own foot- in- the- mouth moment over his “Muslims and Shopping “statement. These tricks would all look good on that colourful circus poster but would have alarm bells ringing anywhere else .In any other country these politicians would be ridden out of town on a rail , but not in Norneverland. Here they will be replaced by some equally glum clones with the hope that they can keep their trousers on while they unicycle around the sawdust ring , honking their little horns. .
The stage is apparently being set for a meltdown in the ranks . There appears to be much confusion behind the canvas. All the signs are there for a change in leadership of the DUP. The only question would be who is foolish enough to lead this band of malcontented clowns.Obviously, as ringmaster of this particular circus, all decisions and all faults rest in First Minister Peter Robinson’s hands. I wonder how long he can hang on to that ringmaster’s whip.