Paint it black


It’s possible my hearing was playing tricks with me, but  did the DUP’s Alastair Ross, chair of the Standards and Privileges committee at Stormont, speaking about the committe’s report on the Irisgate affair, actually use the word “transparency” ?  Did I get that right? Because immediately after he’d patted himself and his party and maybe the committee on their commitment to…you know, I’d nearly swear  he said “transparency” –  immediately after the word, the camera cut to several shots of the report, showing more blacked-out portions than I’ve seen since the  Black and White Minstrel Show back in the day.

Certainly Mike Nesbitt wasn’t impressed. He compared the report to “the North Korean culture of tell-you-nothing”. A bit unfair, Mike. It did show you some bits. There was white as well as black. Anna Lo wasn’t full of admiration either: “I’m concerned that too much was deleted from the commissioner’s report and what has been published does not do justice to his original report”.

Apparently the Standards and Privileges committee voted to have these many bits blacked out, with Mike Nesbitt voting against three of the blot-outs and Anna Lo two – at least that’s what the DUP’s Jimmy Spratt said. An earlier draft of the report would have been published a year ago only a lawyer for Iris said it could have a negative impact on her health.

So tell me this: is Iris OK now? Did the report with the multitude of ‘redactions’ (that’s Jimmy Spratt’s word – impressive word, too) have any negative impact on her health?  And what exactly was Iris’s medical condition in the first place?  Have we ever had a public statement by a medical consultant as to what was wrong with her?

I’d stress that none of this has anything to do with Peter Robinson, other than that she’s his wife. A man cannot be held responsible for the actions of his wife, and vice versa. But the whole Irisgate affair was cloaked in such general vagueness about where she was and what her condition was, the issuing of this report with all its blacked-out – sorry, sorry, redacted bits –  seems a fitting conclusion to a spectacularly-technicolor event.

6 Responses to Paint it black

  1. paddy November 29, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    to be honest Jude reading between the lines Iris had no problem showing all her bits so why not let us all see all the facts .

  2. paddykool November 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    ….‘redactions’….? Yes Jude …some of these muppets are beginning to use the dictionary .The paper looked like one of those FBI files that had been “censored” , didn’t it? Now there’s a word worth its weight in salt… I’ll send on my own take on this in a short while..Like yourself , I’m still wondering if Iris had rabies, before or after the dog bit her…..!!!.

  3. neill November 29, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Some good points Jude the distinct problem we have here is that we accept a nudge nudge wink wink attitude towards honesty and integrity in our politicans and parties and yet the public are apathetic which perhaps is the most troubling problem.

  4. Iolar November 29, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    “Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts…” (Jagger et al 1966)

  5. ben madigan November 29, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

    if Jude wants to delete this comment for legal reasons – fine

    wink, wink, nudge, nudge, rumours, whispers, hints, allegedly, reportedly, seemingly, no proof,unsubstantiated, legless lies, suggest . . . .

    I’m saying nahim!! I ony heard this thru the grapevine – in vino not always veritas!

    maybe, perhaps, a certain individual might not have been, couldn’t conceivably have been, was no doubt mistakenly sighted and wrongly identfied
    (errors are commonplace, rumours are rife)
    in an A and E Hospital Unit, as a victim of gasp!!! domestic abuse.

    No truth here! Unadulterated scandal mongering!!

  6. PeadarW November 29, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    I can tell you exactly what Iris’s condition was it was a severe case of embarrassment and ‘gotcaughtitis’ and Robinson had her off side quicker than you can say “transparency”.
    The ‘health’ruse was to keep her away from the media and all those awkward questions that were never answered.