Ranting women are the new, unacceptable face of politics

Sandra Chapman
Sandra Chapman

In this column last week I lamented the fact that after decades of being ruled at Stormont by men, the first women to reach the top – by that I meant First Minister and Deputy First Minister Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, showed up as “intransigent, belligerent and egotistical”.

I have had lots of support for that view and nothing has happened this week to alter my opinion.

Martina Anderson MEP makes controversial speech at the European Parliament

Martina Anderson MEP makes controversial speech at the European Parliament

I wasn’t to know that worse was to come in the form of Martina Anderson, Sinn Fein’s representative in the EU whose tirade about Brexit in the European Parliament left me cringing in disgust.

Mouthy Martina who, thankfully, unlike Ms O’Neill, speaks slowly enough for us to make out every bitter word she said, declared that British Prime Minister Theresa May could stick her idea of a border – hard or soft – where the sun doesn’t shine because “you’re not putting it in Ireland”.

There appeared not to be too many in the chamber to hear the rant, as it was late in the evening, which was a pity because the rest of the representatives of the EU countries would by now know exactly the kind of bile we have to deal with here.

Fellow MEP Jim Nicholson of the UUP said it wasn’t the first time a Sinn Fein representative had embarrassed themselves in Europe.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson rightly declared her as “ranting like a fishwife”.

I doubt if she’ll be offended by that because she will 
believe she got a message across.

It won’t do her any good and may well put back for decades the cause she and her party craves – a united Ireland – if it ever happens at all.

No one in their right mind would want to be ruled by the likes of Anderson who shows no empathy at all for those in the North who have suffered for decades at the hands of republican terrorists.

The other mouthy woman this week was SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who columnist Allison Pearson described as “another treacherous queen of Scots”.

Ms Sturgeon has grandstanded so much she has only succeeded in putting the fear of God into the Scots, many of whom – if the polls are to be believed – think she should back off and wait until Brexit is done and dusted before making any more pronouncements.

I’ve visited Scotland every summer for the past 40 years and I know that the Scots prefer being part of the United Kingdom.

They know which side their bread’s buttered on with each Scot being subsidised to the tune of £1,600 per year.

That’s why they voted to stay as part of the UK in their last referendum.

I have great respect for the people of the South of Ireland – I have family living there – and I know how politics and attitudes are changing across the border.

What Anderson and O’Neill avoid explaining to Northerners is just how strapped for cash Eire is.

It can’t afford a health service free at the point of entry and the country will be paying for years for the incompetence of its previous politicians who didn’t see the economic crash until it hit them.

Many of the young, forced to leave the country to find work, are in no hurry to return home.

It is that young generation which knows what kind of Ireland it wants and it isn’t one riven with political ideology, harping back to some remote, romantic past which never existed.

While it is good in the main to see women getting ahead in politics – one I admire greatly is the polite and dedicated Labour MP Kate Hoey – expensive hair colouring and celebrity-style make-up so beloved by the Sinn Fein women will do them little good if they fail to understand the wider picture and rant instead like fishwives.