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Did Speaker forget both sides can be humorous?

We all know that nationalists have long deemed themselves great wits; indeed, sole custodians of political wit in these parts: the Sniper at Work sign, Paisley Says No, but the Man from Del Monte Says Yes, the butcher's apron, calling Ian Paisley Jnr "Ian Og".

Clearly, Sinn Fein resents any successful attempt by "themmuns" to challenge this perceived monopoly. Any such liberties must be swiftly slapped down lest other unionists catch on and develop a sense of humour, too. Gregory Campbell is clearly a marked man.

On this occasion, it is clear that the Speaker of the Assembly clearly was desperate to suppress any adverse comment on his fellow party member's own somewhat provocative behaviour.

Given that said member was herself guilty of showing disrespect when she chose to defy the Deputy Speaker twice by refusing to carry on when requested to continue following her outburst, perhaps the Speaker was somewhat hasty and disproportionate in his attack on the Honourable Member?

His "disrespect" was, after all, mild in comparison to the levels of rancour and sarcasm accepted during normal knockabout exchanges in the mother of parliaments at Westminster.

In any case, is it not entirely possible that, rather than uttering a deliberate yawn, the Honourable Member was, in fact, unable to stifle an involuntary belch as a result of stomaching another force-fed bellyful of curried yogurt?

DISSENTER

Carrickfergus, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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