There can be no tolerance or equivocation about Harriet Harman’s personal attack on Liberal Democrat chief secretary Danny Alexander. Miss Harman knew what she was saying when she called her political rival a ‘ginger rodent’ How much more offensive could she be? Any party leader worth his or her salt would instantly show her the red card and ban her from the grounds for at least a month. Recently a DUP member had to apologise for calling Conall Mc Devitt ‘the mouth from the South.’ This is not an isolated abuse in the Assembly. Speaker Hay has been exemplary in his behaviour forcing a number of his own colleagues ‘to walk.’ Party leaders must simply crack down on all these crude base utterances. Is it any wonder the standing of the Assembly is so low with the public? The reality is the public wants a working Assembly with their own people at the helm but they want them to behave responsibly and to pull together for the greater good of all. Nothing is more important than saving jobs right now. The challenge for the parties is to bury the hatchet on divisive issues and illustrate they can give leadership.