Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Why Won’t The Sammy Show Just Go Off Air?!

Today in the Assembly Environment Minister Sammy Wilson attempted to defend his ridiculous decision to ban UK Government-backed ads urging people to be more energy efficient. The Minister was responding to an Assembly motion of concern over his recent position.

I watched the debate and I must say it was nothing short of an hour long episode of the Big Sammy Show. Wilson ranted, laughed manically, ranted, laughed and then ranted some more. As far as responsible or serious government goes- this was farce.

Wilson is single-handedly is making a mockery of the role of a Minister of Government and he is turning NI into a laughing stock.

The Environment Minster attempted to deflect some of the furore over his decision to censor the energy efficiency ads by singling out several MLAs with a pre-prepared brief that besmirched their environmental claims or green credentials.

But the Minister was missing the point.

MLAs are not the running the Department for the Environment- he is. It is about time he put an end to this self-induced side show and assumed some sort of mantle of responsibility and duty of leadership.

His performance may have been amusing but he is increasingly looking like a man that should not be allowed anywhere near instruments of power.

As I have posted before Wilson is a man who loves the sound of his own voice- he appears to revel in this figure of fun persona that he has crafted for himself - and simply is not happy when things are not revolving around him. He is a man who pays homage to populist sound bites and eco-sceptic dogma.

At one point the Minister questioned MLAs, who were supporting the motion, on what scientific evidence they based their assertation that there is a link between climate change and human behaviour. What on earth is Wilson taking with is porridge? He obviously has not heard of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)!!

Wilson chooses to simply ignore the work this international panel of leading climate scientists have been involved in, under a mandate by the UN, and during the debate today he did not even acknowledge the outcomes of the recent climate change discussions in Bonn.

At the end of the day this whole furore is not about Sammy Wilson censoring an ad, it is about an Environment Minister who refuses to accept international consensus that climate change is influenced by human behaviour.

While Wilson might think the whole debacle is one big laugh- the position he has adopted is immature, ignorant and irresponsible.

The Minister is completely entitled to have his own dogmatic, eco-sceptic views about the human impact on climate change but as a Minister he is bound to the Ministerial code and to addressing the environmental commitments published in the NI Programme for Government.

The Programme for Government unequivocally ackowledges the role of man in influencing climate change- Sammy Wilson and his party, the DUP, signed up to this! So Wilson's recent position towards Government-backed energy efficiency ads is extremely difficult to comprehend.

The Environment Minister’s current attitude is extremely unhelpful.

Whilst his attics may sometimes seem amusing, he should attempt to contribute something positive to the climate change debate instead of indulging his own political platitudes.

A starting point would be for Sammy to take stock of his own rogue emissions- judging by the amount of hot air he is currently polluting the NI political climate with!

This is a democracy and Sammy Wilson is entitled to his own opinion- but not to his own facts.

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