There was a programme on Channel 4 recently about a possible contributory factor to the sinking and demise of the “Titanic”. The nub of the theory is that when it set out on its ill-fated voyage , the damage was already done deep down in the ship’s innards. A coal fire, glowing progressively below decks was already out of hand in one of the huge three -storey high coal -bunkers, but time and money was of the essence to the owners , so the mariners set sail already afire, with the hope that the projected carnage could be dug -out and contained en voyage . Thus softened and weakened by the continuous heat, the hull was not in prime shape to accept the impact of the super-hard iceberg which caused the fatal final blow. The captain , obviously wary that fuel for the voyage might run out before journey’s end, already being consumed below decks by both the fire and the engine boilers, threw caution aside and forced the good ship Titanic into the ice-field with some alacrity. This haste and the fundamental lack of enough lifeboats because of previous cost-cutting ,resulted in many deaths.
I couldn’t help but think about our own good ship “Norneverland Executive” and the fire currently roaring in its belly in the shape of the “Cash For Ash” RHI £480 million scandal while I watched this investigative’s all only a theory at this great distance of some one hundred years since the event, but there’s been a fire burning in the heart of our own society for much the same length of time. At present our own First Minister , Captain Arlene is on “holidays” in every sense of the world. She had been placed in that annointed position because her party had already abandoned both Ian Paisley and then latterly Peter Robinson in an attempt to expunge any association with the NAMA and Red Sky scandals (and a few other scandals).It was thought that the Democratic Unionist Party could rebrand itself in some way and distance itself under a new leader’s stewartship. In the event , a fire was already glowing in the bowels of that plan .It only took a year for the brand new First Minister to be branded as equally scandal-prone as her predecessors. Indeed it appears that the DUP are in most respects incapable of government of any kind due to either chicanery or simple incompetence. They cannot actually do the job they’ve been tasked to do without keeping their hands out of the till and on the tiller at the same time and now the Executive is in something of a shambles, with the sulpurous stink of larceny and foolishness ebbing from the nethers below decks. For it to stagger from one crisis to the next on an annual basis is simply not good enough and as a result , the idea of a local government has become something of a laughing-stock.



I’m inclined to think that as the new year begins and as we all scramble for any available life-boats , that the good ship”Norneverland Executive” has begun the last few leagues of its journey.It has been something of an experimental vessel …a PushmepullyoU of a ship , or more realistically an ungainly paddle steamer, with an engine at either end, port and starboard ,each pulling relentlessly on a different course .Sinn Fein aimed for a future of equality among men and the outreach of their republican plan , while the DUP were navigating to the hegemony of some long -lost past that no longer exists in the modern was that supposed to work? It was always possible that it would somehow….sometime ….pull itself asunder even without a fire in the hold.


It’s looking more and more that we will have to accept that for the forseeable future we are not in a safe pair of hands with the current captain.She will either go down with the ship or more likely , we’ll all be forced to abandon it anyway.

5 Responses to FIRE IN THE HOLD

  1. billy January 4, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    plus the other form of transport coming down the tracks in about 12weeks time # brexit # looking like a big collision and not an iceberg in sight,its great init.

  2. Mark January 4, 2017 at 11:21 am #

    An old, I was first brought to the thinking it was not simply the iceberg which sank this Irish ship in 1974 by my headmaster, a still very learned man.
    Later, post wreck discovery, I followed several details as they emerged,
    The evidence, viewable at this link,
    and agreed with by my Material Scientist son shows beyond reasonable doubt, the criminal standard, that what sank the ship was poor workmanship in the Belfast shipyard, rather than an act of God, it is the same poor workmanship which, soon, please God, sink the occupied Ireland executive, the poor workmanship being not solely at the feet of the politicians but more pointedly, their civil servants, like their one time forebears in the Belfast shipyard, they are recruited not because of what they know, rather, because they present no danger to the unionists status quo, please note, since the whistleblower is female I make no mention of poor workswomanship.
    The key is, what are SF at? Second party of compulsory coalition government, spending Christmas hiding behind quips rather than taking action, so leaving the field open for a Derry stoop to make gains in any, hopefully, forthcoming elections, on the other hand, the Foster response clearly shows she is gearing for such, placing all the blame on those who put a bomb, now an IED, on her school bus (get over it wee girl, loads of us were blown up, and shot but don’t spend all day whinging about it) so, again, attempting to draw out the anti taig unionists vote to keep her as phriom aire, not pushed into deputyship.
    All this said, we’ll fudge it once more, I know Ireland is the substantial producer of tea but, in an era of healthy eating, is it not time we gave the sugary fudges a bye ball?

    • paddykool January 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

      I’d heard about the substandard riveting and steelwork in the Titanic, Mark, but this “fire in the belly” theory was a new one on me until recently. Apparently this kind of thing was, if not commonplace, at least something that was “containable” to some extent and usually dealt with successfully when it happened on ships. The titanic was a different kind of beast though.It was not so easy to deal with digging out fiery coals when it invoved a bunker some thre-storeys high.Nothing is perfect, of course and there is always a backstory of penny-pinching , arrogance and competition in the commercial world to consider too.
      As for what Sinn Fein is up to…..Well who knows ,really?Like all politicians they are making it up on the hoof. I would say that just like the DUP,currently having gotten their feet under the tables of Stormont on their own terms, they are loathe to leave that table even though we can all see the corruption around it. Most of that corruption has come from the ranks of the DUP as far as I can see and yet Sinn Fein continue to plod on with this game .Anyone with a working brain wants …and indeed demands a public inquiry about this latest foolishness at the very least.Sinn fein , in attempting to steer an easy way out of this for themselves and also taking in their slipstream the DUP for a softer landing , have been much too passive-aggressive for their own good. They are showing that no matter how corrupt and corrupting this Executive is cabable of being , they are still prepared to continue with the mad experiment .My personal feeling is that although the DUP are exellent word-wranglers, they are also incapable of fair governance for all the people and have proved that to me very sufficiently over the past few years . It is apparently a large part of their DNA that if a nationalist gains something , it means that a unionist loses. That is no way to do politics in a divided society.

      • Ciaran M January 4, 2017 at 1:17 pm #

        Agreed Paddy, a large part of the Unionist mentality is ‘if it’s good for themmuns then it has to be bad for us.’ Like the proposed new road from Omagh to Derry, Nationalists are for so Unionists are naturally against it.

  3. Colmán January 4, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    It is becoming clear that Northern Ireland cannot function under the current state of affairs. Without tax-raising powers any improvements to the economy just make the Westminister coffers richer as increasing the ‘block grant’ is politically unadvantageous in London. Simply put we are living on whatever the English government deem fit to give us. This is hardly the basis for a thrieving economy. Corruption merely complicates the situation. The DUP could not be trusted with tax-raising powers.

    So we are left with an economy on life-support and a placid population that don’t want to rock the boat in case they loose their pensions and free health insurance.

    I wonder what form joint-rule would take?