Belfast Telegraph

Ladies had a real Hart to Hart about the state of our politicians

(Overheard on a bus).

Jessica: Och Teresa, how are y'?

Teresa: Och Jessica, is that you? I didn't know you with yer new hair.

Jessica: Och I don't know if I like it. There's a new girl in the hairdressers. It's a bit young, isn't it?

Teresa: Well ...

Jessica: Haven't seen you this ages.

Teresa: I know, I'm all outta m'routine from Brian took his bad back.

Jessica: Och dear, is he not well?

Teresa: He was in bed for a couple of weeks, but he's up and about now. I've just been at the GP with him.

Jessica: What did he say?

Teresa: She. She told him to take it easy an' gave him a line for another month. Honest t'God, if he'd been quarantined for that Ebola, he'd be over it by now.

Jessica: Is he infectious?

Teresa: Wha? No, it's a bad back! I'm only sayin' ... never mind.

Jessica: How'd'y'get Halloween over y'?

Teresa: The usual. Our ones came round with the kids and we had apple tart, dunking for apples, toffee apples.

Jessica: Funny, I don't like apples.

Teresa: Neither do I. They all dressed up and we had a prize for the scariest.

Jessica: Who won?

Teresa: Brian. Wins it every year.

Jessica: What does he go as?

Teresa: Just himself. But y'know what he's like. With that face of his.

Jessica: Aye ...

(Pause)

Jessica: Oh hear, our Caroline's got a new job at Stormont.

Teresa: Och, that's great! Does she like it?

Jessica: Oh aye, she's gettin' to meet all the politicians. She's met yer man who's over from America this weather. What's his name.

Teresa: Haass?

Jessica: No, the other one, off the TV, remember that show years ago? The good lookin' couple, always solving mysteries?

Teresa: Cagney and Lacey?

Jessica: No! They were married, man and woman!

Teresa: Oh aye, I know who y'mean now. Whatcha call them?

Jessica: Eh ...

Together: Hart to Hart!!

Jessica: That's it. Yer man from that's over sortin' things out.

Teresa: I didn't know it was him. God, he's not aged well has he? I used to think he was gorgeous.

Jessica: I know, he was!

Teresa: It's that politics. Wrecks yer looks.

Jessica: I wouldn't go into it.

Teresa: Neither would I!

(Pause)

Teresa: Wouldn't mind their money but.

Jessica: Oh I know.

Teresa: For doing what? They said on the news the Executive had agreed this new budget with all the cuts. Turns out two parties agreed, one didn't and three parties didn't even vote at all! That's some money for old rope, isn't it!

Jessica: Our Caroline says they're all much nicer when you meet them than they look on the TV.

Teresa: They'd need to be. I hope one of them'll come round and explain to my Brian why he's still waiting on his back operation going on nearly a year now.

Jessica: What can y'do?

(Bus passes a billboard ad for The Fall)

Jessica: See that's comin' on again. Did y'ever watch it?

Teresa: Och I tried to, gave up.

Jessica: Too gory?

Teresa: No, I just couldn't hear anything they were sayin' over Brian pointing at the TV, trying to place where they were in Belfast, going, "That's ah ... that's ah, y'know ... round by where the thing used to be ... y'know, whaddamacall it ..."

Jessica: The scariest bit in it was yer woman's face. Terrible sour bake. They should get yer man Hart into it, seein' as he's over here anyway.

Teresa: Great idea. Never mind weeks, he'd have it sorted in 50 minutes!

Jessica: Wonder what his wife looks like now?

Rioters' behaviour hard to swallow

Is the rioting that's happening nightly in east Belfast a sideshow being put on for Mr Hart's benefit?

How come it suddenly started last week? Do 60-odd individuals suddenly decide, spontaneously, to go and riot in an organised fashion, with no one telling them to?

Maybe they're like the swallows you see in that area at dusk, swooping and swarming en masse, as one, but with no visible sign of who's in charge.

I can believe it of the swallows, but when it comes to young men causing havoc, it's harder to swallow.

Political will to make it stop, anyone?

We're addicted to blaming others

Harsher penalties don't have a positive effect on rates of illegal drug-taking, according to a report out last week. A rethink on the approach to the "war on drugs" is needed.

But wait, we can't possibly stop criminalising drug-taking, can we? We need to vent our righteous anger onto someone, don't we?

We've been told for decades that drugs are the scourge and we must demonise the takers.

Could we possibly wean ourselves off our addiction to blame and put all that energy instead into treating the problem, rather than simply punishing those caught up in it?

Cold turkey, anyone?

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