Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Kicked out the kitchen

I know it's not the best time to be asking the BBC for a snappier service, given its current woes, but someone should really update the website's Profile pages for the main political players in the Northern Ireland conflict, especially on a day when they've published a story entitled IRA is 'still recruiting members' (although realistically, it's hardly the most shocking of news).

Still, though. Check out the first few lines of the David Trimble profile, last updated on, erm, July 22nd 2003. Given the outcome of the general election three weeks ago, it makes for interesting, almost eerie time-capsule reading:

David Trimble is known by many commentators as the Harry Houdini of Northern Ireland politics.

The Ulster Unionist leader has survived so many challenges to his leadership and his policy that most observers are beginning to lose count.

Mr Trimble appears to thrive under pressure.

When he faced down hardliners in his own Upper Bann constituency, he quoted the former US President Harry S. Truman's advice that: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Mr Trimble added pointedly: "I'm in the kitchen, and I'm staying in the kitchen."

But the voters begged to differ...

Incidentally, was there something in the water in 2003? Between Trimble's "heat" (eww), IDS "turning up the volume" and Paul Bremer's infamous "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him" (sorry, "we gaddem"), it did seem to be the year of hackneyed political catchphrases. Although I suppose the same can be said for most other years as well.


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