Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Sammy Wilson tells MLA Steven Agnew to go away and learn economics - not realising that he had taught him himself

What Sammy Wilson said: You’ve a lot to learn about economics
What Steven Agnew said: Well, you taught me!

Finance Minister and former teacher Sammy Wilson
Finance Minister and former teacher Sammy Wilson

When Finance Minister Sammy Wilson told another MLA to go away and learn economics, the DUP man didn’t realise that he had taught him himself.

Mr Wilson, a former head of economics at Grosvenor High School, lambasted Green Party leader Steven Agnew after asking “stupid questions” in the Assembly.

“I have to say that the Member's grasp of economics is as good as his grasp of changes in the climate,” Mr Wilson told Mr Agnew, Stormont’s only Green MLA.

“We all know why there is only one of him in the House when we hear a question like that.”

The East Antrim MLA added: “If (he) went and did a wee bit of economics first, he would not ask such stupid questions.”

But his put-down proved to be less withering than he intended.

“Well,” shouted Mr Agnew, “you taught me.”

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn then suggested Mr Agnew had attended Grosvenor High School.

An indignant Mr Wilson retorted: “He did not learn it from me!”

But he did — at least in part. Mr Agnew attended an Easter revision course led by the man who is now Northern Ireland’s equivalent of the Chancellor.

And it wasn’t time wasted — as the North Down MLA scored an A grade in his A-level Economics afterwards.

Mr Wilson said he had no recollection of a young Mr Agnew attending his revision course, quipping that it was time he went back and took another.

“If he did take economics he needs to come back and take another course because he's forgotten all he learned,” Mr Wilson added.

Not to be out-done, Mr Agnew said: “Sammy was a good teacher and — as I always say — he should have stuck at it. I am not sure why he doesn’t remember. I reminded Sammy one day that I went to Grosvenor.

“He was head of economics when I was at Grosvenor from 1991 to 97 and my main teacher was Andy McCann. But both he and Sammy held a revision course over Easter which as I remember they charged for. In my A-level I got an ‘A’.”

What they said

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson (to Green Party leader Steven Agnew): “If the Member went and did a wee bit of economics first, he would not ask such stupid questions.”

Steven Agnew: “Well, you taught me.”

Allance MLA Trevor Lunn: “Perhaps the previous questioner learned his economics at Grosvenor High School.”

Sammy Wilson: “He did not learn it from me!”

Steven Agnew: “I attended a revision course taught by Sammy. He was a good teacher. He should have stuck at it.”

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