SEND IN THE CLOWNS by Harry McAvinchey


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.

9 Responses to SEND IN THE CLOWNS by Harry McAvinchey

  1. Ruaidri Ua Conchoba September 26, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    Send in the clown indeed, Harry.

    Poots being replaced by another flat-earth freak doesn’t bode well for modernity in the North.

    It’s always amused me, mainstream political unionism like to portray themselves as belonging to a modern, forward-looking British nation. That of course is nonsense. The reality is they reject the progressive society on offer Great Britain. If truth be told, they have more in common with the ever-diminishing ultra-conservative Catholics element across this island – it’s ever so easy to appreciate why many of the people of Great Britain view we in the North as a bunch of mad Paddies living in the dark ages.

    What the North needs is for the average decent garden-centre Unionist to get their asses back into a voting booth and empower more progressive elements. Until that happens, I don’t think we ought to hold our breath’ in hope of radical change to our current situation.

  2. Perkin Warbeck September 26, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Two Names, One Hat

    Wherein lie the roots of the surname Poots?
    Which soil does it beguile while it evolutes?
    ‘We don’t want you around !’
    So Edwin’s gone to ground
    And prevailed upon to don his hobnailed boots.

    Which brings us now to sing-along Nelson
    About whom one question, none else, son
    Was it of Willie or Eddy
    As water wet his heady
    The vicar was thinking, Feast of Assumption ’51?

    • paddykool September 26, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      When I’m calling you , Mighty Perk, I’ll not be Crazy, merely calling indians On the Road Again…..go figure…

  3. Antonio September 26, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Who would be the best leader of the D.U.P for nationalism ?
    It’s difficult to see any senior DUP members who would be better able to build a working relationship with Nationalists.

    Who would be the best leader of the DUP for Unionism?
    Again, while Robinson has done a mediocre job at best for Unionism, I do not see anybody there who would obviously do a better job. Maybe Arlene Foster but she won’t get the leader’s job because she is a blow-in from the U.U.P

    • Jude Collins September 27, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      Don’t bet on that last statement, Antonio. Arlene has that bottled-up-rage air that is much loved my sections of the electorate.

      • paddykool September 27, 2014 at 10:11 am #

        Spot on , Jude . Arlene is the kind of bossy blade that a lot of Ulster folk of the unionist persuasion could warm to. . She’d scare the devil out of them!

      • Antonio September 27, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

        I suppose so but I still think he gender goes against her and more to the point I’d say there would be a large chunk of the DUP membership who would be a little too suspect of the UUP blow-ins such as Foster and Donaldson.

        I read somewhere about the possibility of Sammy Wilson being party leader and based at Westminster and Arlene being First Minister – a mirror of what Sinn Fein have done with Adams as leader in the Dáíl Eireann & McGuninness as joint first minister in the north

  4. ANOTHER JUDE September 27, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    The alternatives to Mister Northern Arland Robinson are pretty grim, none of them look like the sort of people you would like to hang out with. Sour faced, harbouring deep resentment at having to share power with themmuns never mind the lemmings, it might take a generation to purge the DUPs of their anti Catholic, paramilitary associations, so whoever gets the gig at the circus on the hill will only be ringmaster for a short while until Martin wins the big one. Watch out for all sorts of shenanigans before that.Peter and hubris go hand in hand.

  5. Freddy Mallins September 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Yes and did you know that Arlene has apparently never heard of Brian Robinson (of UVF murderer fame) because she’s not from Belfast! She actually said that on air, when condemning a Nationalist march. Whenever you hear a Unionist talk about their blunt honesty, try not to laugh.