Some Neck – Miriam Lord on Shatter, The Irish Times – Fri, May 23, 2014
Shatter does it his way, indeed:
Alan declared it would be appropriate “to mark the fact that ministerial surveillance, eh, ministerial . . . em, eh, er, whatever it is.”
“Severance! Severance!” cried the hacks, in gleeful assistance ‘‘. . . eh, severance, ministerial severance is no longer payable.” Then, scarcely able to contain his cleverality, he announced “the first decision is that I’m taking the severance payment.” And he paused, for dramatic effect, delighted with his sense of timing. The second decision came when the journalists looked sufficiently excited.
He was giving the money to charity. His friend’s charity, as it transpired, as he has known and admired Jonathan Irwin’s work for years. Entitlement – as any tax-avoiding millionaire will tell you, means you can choose your own good causes. Entitlement – as any Sinn Féin deputy will tell you, means you can take your full whack from the State, give some of it to the party, then selflessly boast about only “taking the average industrial wage”. Its makes no difference to Joe Public, who pays out regardless.
Alan then blithely declared – as if he has earned some special distinction – that “by sheer accident, I appear to be the last minister for many years to be eligible to get the payment”. By sheer accident, we presume he meant by sheer ability to make a mess of his job.
How is he coping after his resignation? “I’m extraordinarily well. How are you doing?” Then he revealed he told nobody except those closest to him, of his plans.
He’s some neck on him, as they’d say back home. In short: