Belfast Telegraph

Macho men boasting about their big toys is a global concern, yet female-led Stormont doesn't seem to be doing much better

Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un
Vladimir Putin
Donald Trump

By Lindy McDowell

How much of the war and suffering in this world is down to testosterone? Right now the global political stage is being hogged by male world leaders whose main focus seems to be boasting about how big their ballistics are.

Kim Jung Un, Trump and Putin. All desperate to show off the size of their intercontinental missiles.

Trump's Mother of All Bombs (dropped in Afghanistan) has already been trumped by Putin's Father of All Bombs, which still mercifully awaits detonation but is being flaunted to the cameras by Vladimir - like a teenager Instagramming the knuckle-duster he bought on eBay.

And as if that wasn't enough...over to Pyongyang.

There the obviously unstable Kim Jong Un has also been flashing his long range equipment, in his case during a Day of the Sun celebration which included tanks, goose-stepping legions, sword-dancing women officers and civilian masses all, quite wisely, applauding as Fat Boy felt the love.

Kim's ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) which was a centrepiece of this grovel-fest, has since been "tested" and sadly for the despot - but happily for the world - fired blank.

Perhaps in his rush to up the ante by showing off what his projectile was capable of, he was just that bit too hasty.

A classic case of premature escalation.

Meanwhile, as if these three ballistic braggarts squaring up to each other wasn't bad enough, the vile Assad of Syria has reportedly been deploying nerve gas against civilians.

What is happening to the world right now?

Where are the voices of calm and reason?

It seems to have come upon us with lightening speed this racheting of global tension.

I'm still of a mindset that when I see headlines along the lines of "America to sort out Kim" I immediately assume that the US is finally going to curtail the Kardashians.

Oh, for the days when "Kim" automatically made you think "Kanye". Not "brink of global annihilation".

And Donald was still mostly a duck.

It's as if, overnight, the world's male leadership has had a rush of blood to the head. Or elsewhere.

It's not just the bombast we need to worry about but the fact that such is the ego in all cases here, no one is going to want to lose face by stepping back.

They are all Jack Reacher now.

And that's the real problem. Every generation has its macho wing-nut leader whom the world looks upon with unease. North Korea, god help it, has had three in a row.

But right now we seem to have a coming together of presidential men behaving madly.

So would women really be any better?

Back to Stormont which, with its current crop of female party leaders, should by my reckoning anyway be an oasis of cooperation or, at the very least, more common sense.

Oddly it isn't.

New look Stormont still has the whiff of machismo in the wings - the oul boys still muscling in, still leaning over shoulders and still trying to call the shots.

The stand-off there, of course, is a whole lot less perilous than the Korean crisis. But the confrontation, seemingly, just as concrete.

Where a deal is concerned, either at international or local level, bombast and intransigence aren't going to cut it.

If they can't sort themselves up at Stormont, the only obvious solution would seem to be to pull the plug.

For, as all those parties who clamoured about cuts will surely agree, we just cannot afford another costly election here.

An election which will, by and large, return much the same result and, inevitably, the same macho impasse.

No matter who ends up being able to flaunt their "bigger majority".

What a barking mad place for a lamppost

A lamppost in Lurgan, sited smack-dab in the middle of the pavement, has provoked the ire of local walkers who say this is not good enough for the Millennium Way project, which is costing a cool £5.7m.

Apparently, according to experts, the lamppost siting may only be a temporary thing.

This hasn't quite placated critics who complain it is a major inconvenience.

The dogs of Lurgan, on the other hand, presumably see it as a very convenient convenience ...

These floral tributes are blooming awful

The funeral of the father of Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star Paddy Doherty was indeed a bit OTT with flag-draped Rolls Royces, Irish dancers in the church and guests dressed, in some cases, like they were headed for the nightclub. But in the end grief is grief and this was a family send-off reflecting the colourful tastes of the late deceased.

In the immortal words, it was what he wanted. Me, I don't much mind. But I'd draw the line at shaped floral wreaths. Or my name in carnations.

Works for some. Not for me.

Belfast Telegraph


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