By Assembly sketchwriters
With the Northern Ireland Assembly back in session, we could all be forgiven for expecting a new dispensation, a break from the past and a better government. The First Minister was adamant that he would forge a middle path in the new term. Even the Speaker called for a more parliamentarian-like display from our parliamentarians in his opening remarks. But, it was really business as usual for Allan Bresland (DUP, West Tyrone).
Our Allan is “one of those” MLAs. All parties have them. They are the readers. More than that they are the mumblers. But Allan is certainly the best of the mumbling readers. One of the interesting things about the system for picking who asks an oral question of a minister is the lack of a need to write a question before the ballot. As a result all parties select all their MLAs for the ballot. eg. Ian Paisley was selected to ask Peter Robinson a question next week (he inexplicably turned down the opportunity to ask if he has changed the carpet or anything at all for that matter).
And then our Allan was picked to ask the Health Minister a question. In his wisdom he picked one on gynae services in Enniskillen.
Alas, some of the more intimate words confused him, he was perhaps wrong-footed by the question he asked, or maybe the answer he was provided. So confused was he, that he mentally left the chamber and went to a happier place, a more comfortable place, an altogether more familiar place.
“Thank you Deputy Master” he mumbled at the man everyone else has thus far called Mr Speaker. He was keen, so he told Worshipful Brother Hay, to get information from the Minister on “the forced closure of the v-v-vagine services” at the Erne. Oh dear.
Cue much hilarity from those who could decipher the mumbles. Even Brother Simpson couldn’t stifle his smile…
About: The Assembly Sketch is not the work of a single writer, but instead is a conglomeration of views brought together and overseen by the administrator team.