11/11/2020 – The Worst Day Ever and the DUP Are Back

I am coming to you from my car this morning. It’s Wednesday, midweek and the weather is kind of moody. I love the morning commute to work, it’s about a 20 minute drive for me bombing down the motorway. There’s nothing better than sitting in the car with the heating full whack listening to a nice podcast with a cup of coffee. That is made so much better when it’s windy and raining as it is today. I prefer cold weather to hot, it just makes sense to me that no matter how cold it is you can always wrap up more but if it’s absolutely roasting you can only get so naked. Also, we’re mammals so we’re heat producing anyway because, obviously burning calories produces heat hence ‘burning.’ Anyway, I feel like I waste so much time in my day just by being weird and awkward with times. Like if something doesn’t start until 4 I would pretty much waste the entire day up to that point. I’m not even sure why it’s just something about halves I don’t like, I like things when they’re full and proper. Hope somebody reading this can understand what I mean by this. Yeah anyway, I definitely need to work on utilising my time more effectively throughout the day and to make the most of spare time I get. So, this morning I thought I’d sit in the car, finish my coffee and write my blog post.

Well, I thought I could start with a story.  I think I may have encountered the epitome of life. It wasn’t recently, it was actually in February but I literally just remembered it and I thought I’d ought to tell youse. (‘Youse’ is the spelling in the Oxford English Dictionary.) So, I was on my way to work one morning last year, it was pretty cold outside but a nice crisp cold. The sun was out and it was a nice morning I’d say. So, my commute to work, at this time, involved me getting off the glider and walking through a residential area. I was walking down this pretty long street listening to some music, wirelessly, thanks to modern technology and my sisters. I can see this guy about 40m away obviously getting ready to leave the house for an appointment or work or something, whatever it was he was in a rush. He quite quickly put his child in the back seat, strapped them in and got into the car. Unfortunately for this guy, on this crisp February morning the condensation on his windscreen had decided to freeze over. So, hurriedly he disappeared back into the house, without even turning the car off. He appeared a few moments later armed with his kettle at the ready. I can only assume he had the kettle boiled for tea or something because this definitely wasn’t planned. I could almost see this coming but I definitely wasn’t ready for it. Right as I approached him, probably about 10m at this stage, ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ by The Smiths was playing full volume in my wireless earphones. It was almost in slow motion but right as he poured it his fate was sealed, within an instant the brand new red Audi Q5 turned on him. The high-tech automatic wipers sprung into action spraying all of this boiling hot water directly back where it came from. I mean, I knew extras were expensive on cars but I didn’t know they could be that costly. Hardy har har. Obviously as soon as I saw this I removed a wireless earphone and sort of paused. If I’m being truthful, it wasn’t necessarily with the intention of helping so much as anticipating what would happen next. Anyway, the moment I take out my wireless earphone I just hear this guy’s kid crying her eyes out in the back seat, he’s like screeching in pain and sort of swearing through gritted teeth. Right at that moment he looked up and made eye contact with me. I was shook because he was clearly having a bad morning and I didn’t like the thought of me making it worse. Well, he couldn’t have reacted better. No word of a lie, he smiled at me with one eye half-closed, set the kettle on the passenger seat, calmly got into the car and just drove off. Literally just like that, as if nothing had ever even happened. I put my wireless earphone back in right at the chorus and I just thought, ‘Fuck me, that is the epitome of life if I’ve ever seen it.’

That’s the story done and I’m short of my word count so I thought I could give a quick ode to the DUP. Basically there’s a deadlock in government here because the DUP want the circuit breaker to end this Friday and nobody else does. All the other parties voted to extend the legislation for a fortnight and it was blocked by the DUP using the petition of concern. Robin Swann then came forward and proposed an extension of a week which was voted through but blocked, again by the DUP and the petition of concern. For those of you who may not know what a petition of concern is, this is the basic gist. It’s a protection which exists in the Northern Irish Assembly, it requires 30 MLAs to sign it, once it’s signed it means that in order for the given legislation to pass it needs a 60% majority in the assembly and at least 40% of MLAs from both communities. It exists to protect the assembly from being run by one community or the other which is fair, although it acts more as a deterrent for radical legislation rather than protection. I just mean it’s not like they’re just ramming through discriminatory legislation and it’s constantly being blocked, obviously knowing it will be blocked deters parties from presenting discriminatory legislation. This is great in theory but the DUP have been known to abuse the petition of concern from time to time. The thing about it is that it does seem more suited to conservatives to use, naturally by blocking legislation you’re usually conserving change. They’ve used it countless times to block same-sex marriage and abortion legislation. After Sinn Féin complained about it a few years ago Arlene said she was happy to get rid of it which Sinn Féin rightly nipped in the bud. The petition exists as an option if things get a bit sketchy in the assembly which can happen in such a small country. Especially with a history like ours. OK, that was not a basic gist so much as a full blown explanation. To get back to what I was saying, the DUP haven’t abused it in ages and it seems like they’ve built up an appetite for tyranny again. I’m so disappointed personally because during the lockdown I did nothing but stand up for and defend both the two main parties’ responses because I felt like they really worked together for the good of the country. Well, that didn’t fucking last long did it? It took just a few months for the parties to have a major disagreement and as per usual it’s the DUP at the heart of it. I think they’re probably doing it for popular support just judged by the pro-business language they’ve been using. It’s probably a good move from them too because I think public opinion would probably be in support of the DUP on this issue. I’m definitely not in support of them to be honest, I think that as soon as the circuit breaker ends the numbers will probably spike again. The task should be trying to time the end of the circuit breaker in such a way that we can maximise opening hours in December to try and pump the economy a bit. I’m not sure, I haven’t seen all of the scientific advice or the economic projections so my opinion is as useless as yours.

Thanks for reading anyway. To close, the DUP are a bunch of sourbakes.

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