Edwin Poots is married with four children and has lived in Lagan Valley all his life. He’s a local DUP councillor on Lisburn council, a member of the Free Presbyterian Council and last, but not least, a farmer.
His interests outside politics, hmmm...according to this, none.
I may be stereotyping here, but as a Free Presbyterian, DUP councillor and farmer, I have a hunch Edwin would not be au fait with every aspect of Northern Ireland’s vibrant and varied culture; there may well be quite a lot of stuff going on out there contrary to his religious and political beliefs...how about Sunday sport (say, the GAA), dodgy modern theatre, "risque" art, the Irish language, just for starters?
Yet, there Edwin is, supremo of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, pronouncing on such subjects as funding for the Belfast Gay Pride Parade and the proposed Irish Language Act. Fortunately (for Edwin),"spending Sunday with his family" will stop him getting too involved with all those Gaelic Football types*, but apart from that, yep, a DUPer, Free P, farmer will be the main man overlooking our "culture" and "leisure". Great.
Obviously not the best man qualified to carry out this important and sensitive job.
No, but he’s the man in whose local government constituency the Powers That Be and Sinn Fein are desperate to build the White Elephant Stadium and accompanying Homage to Terror Museum. So, that makes it all Ok then.
When you set up a Mickey Mouse parliament, you tend to get Mickey Mouse politicians and ministers elected and although Edwin looks suspiciously like another Disney character, he most certainly qualifies for that Mickey Mouse description.
So, for the first time, on any blog anywhere, I believe:
Poots Must Go!!!!
*The upcoming set of Gaelic Football qualifying matches will be played on Saturdays, technically a working day for Edwin....think he’ll be at any of the games; it is N.Ireland’s most watched sport after all?
Update 3rd July:
Another display of political acumen from our hero…and good to see his "colleagues" putting the boot in whilst he’s over in the US selling the Yanks our culture, or whatever else he’s supposed to be doing.
The deadline of 30th June for submission of proposals arbitrarily set by Mr Poots was a full five days after this letter was sent, so he was somewhat jumping the gun saying there were no other alternatives at that stage.
In the meantime, the Amalgamation of N.Ireland Supporters Clubs have put out this Press Release:
The Amalgamation of Official NISCs
FANS ASK MINISTER: WHERE ARE YOUR PLANS?
The Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs has again called on the DCAL Minister, Edwin Poots, to publish all information relating to the proposals for a National Stadium at the Maze.
A spokesman for the group said: "The Minister recently set a deadline for the production of detailed stadium proposals. We are of the view that if this deadline is to stand, then it must be inclusive of the details of all of the potential sites - including The Maze. We call upon the Minister to release, without delay, full details of:
• The Business Case
• Environmental and Traffic Impact Studies
• An Equality Impact Assessment
• Details of a Public Consultation on the matter
Without the opportunity to scrutinise this information in full, neither the Minister nor the Assembly are in a position to make any decision on the location or viability of a National Stadium. If the Minister cannot adhere to his own 'deadline' then he cannot expect others to do so, unless of course by setting such a 'deadline' his intention was to create an uneven selection process."
Seems fair enough, after all, they are only asking for exactly the same information Edwin’s demanding from the other proposals.