Well folks, this is what all the slaughter, suffering and destruction of the last four decades or so was about.
This morning’s News Letter has a great story revealing that the appointment of David Gordon as press officer for the power-sharing Executive (salary a cool Stg 75k p.a.) was contrived behind closed doors, out of sight or scrutiny, employing a legal device so undemocratic, anachronistic and secret that not even Lord Brookeborough in the heyday of one-party Unionist misrule would have dared contemplate its use.
And all so that First Minister Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness could appoint their man, David Gordon, to the job without the post being advertised and filled in the customary, above board fashion.
In so doing the FM and DFM have driven a cart and horse through fair employment legislation – the product of a civil rights struggle which Mr McGuinness’ party purports to support – which was designed specifically to make public appointments fair, above board and free of political bias.
In the case of Ms Foster such behaviour may not be surprising since the DUP was always an opponent of anti-discrimination hiring laws; but in Mr McGuinness’ case his behaviour is nothing less than scandalous, since his party is supposedly in the vanguard of the movement for fairness and equity in Northern Ireland.
Here is how the News Letter’s Sam McBride described the device used by the two leaders to change the law so that they could appoint David Gordon:
The law change was passed under the same principle which allowed medieval kings to issue decrees without consultation, something which the 18th century English jurist Sir William Blackstone defined as “that special pre-eminence which the King hath, over and above all other persons…in right of his regal dignity”.
I can only hope that David Gordon now has the decency to quit the job. Not to do so would bestow legitimacy on a gross act of political trickery. His job is now tainted and he should not take it.