How opinions change

When I was but a young thing, there were issues with the first couple of iterations of the NI Assembly, to the point that it kept collapsing. During this period, I thought that it was a crying shame; we went from having a dozen local ministers covering things to having three direct rule ministers; clearly they weren’t going to do as good a job, and NIreland would suffer.

A few years later, and things are somewhat different to my way of thinking. Clearly for a country the size of NIreland, it’s over-governed with three ministers, let alone the dozen local ones. Especially when the three local ones are drawn from the same quality pool as these jackasses.

The chief executive of Translink has been criticised for not appearing before Stormont’s regional development committee.

On Wednesday, the committee discussed the issue of Translink’s offer of a pay rise of 24% to its train drivers.

Committee chairman Jimmy Spratt said he did not think it was “a hardship for someone on £200,000″ to appear before it and “explain what’s going on”.

SDLP assembly member John Dallat said he was disappointed at Ms Mason’s non-appearance, and added that he could have been meeting the prime minister on Wednesday.

“Anyone who puts a family commitment before appearing at this committee needs to consider their position,” he added.

Mr O’Neill said that he was confident about Translink’s business case for the pay offer and that it could fund it.

However, Independent MLA David McNarry said Translink should be wary of assuming the pay offer would get “royal assent” or that the committee would “unanimously endorse” it.

Which one there is the most silly fecker?

  • John Dallat – for assuming that there is no possible family explanation that would be more important than a bunch of committee fools in a jumped up talking shop. Which is more important – delivering a report to Stormont, or any number of things that someone’s family demands of them?
  • David McNarry – for thinking that any employee contract negotiation requires “royal assent”. It’d be a pretty sorry state of affairs if it was required. Politicians should only really be involved in a single salary negotiation, and even then in a limited way: their own. And they should definitely be required to justify that salary to the people they represent. For example, Mr McNarry should be justifying why he’s worth £43k in salary and £67k in expenses for his office…

It’s sometimes striking to me just how quickly and completely my opinions can change. Clearly local democracy is a good thing, but too much of it can really get stupid very very quickly.

One thought on “How opinions change

  1. As a train driver I much appreciate your insight. Its all very easy to jump to conclusions given the big headlines of a “24% payrise” we are apparently getting. For what its worth, its not a payrise at all but a restructure of our contract, hours, and basically allowing for many future eventualities without the company forking out huge overtime payments as has been the case for many years. As with most wages in N.Ireland weve been well under our mainland counterparts for a very long time, to the sum of many, many, thousands. To be honest the public havent really been that concerned, its just these monkeys up on the hill trying to come across as the voice of the people. Ive had a look myself at their “expenses” – and among other things, Mr (S)pratt claimed £140 for a microwave. Jeez, the price of those things has went up a bit eh? Was that a useful sap of tax payers money?. And I wonder how many times our Jimmy has done nightshift, worked public hols like the 12th July, worked reams of weekends, got up at 330am on an early shift every other week, and didnt get home until after midnight on a late? Yes, life is easy as a train driver it seems. We get bricks and bottles thrown through our windows to liven things up, and some sadness in the form of suicides under our wheels. But meanwhile Jimmy and the boys try to make us all think that no one deserves any money except them. On the subject of Dallot, that quote he made about his commitee being more important than family is plain disgusting. And I think now we can all see why Catherine Mason didnt waste her time going anywhere near these imbeciles. Most half intelligent folk wouldnt have bothered either.

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