Margaret Ritchie must feel decimated. The word 'decimate' derives from an ancient Roman army practice of killing every tenth soldier as an exemplary punishment. Margaret must feel doubly unlucky.
Out of 10 departments her budget was arbitrarily selected to fund the loyalist-backed Conflict Transformation initiative (paying bribes to the UDA?).
Having drawn the short straw, she was then abandoned by her nine colleagues. So much for collective responsibility in a partnership government.
After five months we still wait for an agreed programme for government or, indeed, any proposal fully supported by all parties.
Instead of power-sharing we got decimated government with laughing gas.
Responsibilities are divided and parcelled out to 10 ministers, seemingly without collective control or agreement.
Did we vote for the folly of a house divided against itself?
Brian Rooney, Downpatrick