DUP minister Edwin Poots is a minister in the power-sharing executive at Stormont.
In the assembly on Tuesday morning, with the hint of a smile on his face, he managed to insult the vast majority of the people of this nation, their 2,500-year-old language, their cultural identity, norms and customs as he calmly rejected introducing an Irish Language Act.
For doing so he was warmly congratulated by other unionist ministers in the executive and unionist MLAs of all hues.
On Tuesday afternoon in the assembly SDLP minister Margaret Ritchie decided to redirect funding away from the Conflict Transformation Initiative towards other community-based organisations in loyalist areas.
The minister's decision was based on her belief that the UDA is more liable to respond to pressure of this kind to move on their weapons than other forms of diplomatic pressure.
The minister is entitled to her opinion. I think she is wrong. I said so a few weeks ago in this column. The objective of getting the UDA to move on their weapons is entirely laudable but the minister's approach is unlikely to succeed. And given the seriousness of the objective success has to be the overriding concern.
However, the response from unionists to both ministerial decisions could not be starker or more disturbing.
The minister for finance, Peter Robinson, accused minister Ritchie of breaching her ministerial code of office and on foot of his remarks the speaker, Willie Hay, suspended the meeting of the assembly for half an hour to establish whether there were any protocol implications in minister Robinson's accusations.
While this drama was unfolding inside the assembly's chamber, outside swirling around the corps of journalists was a briefing that senior civil servants were unhappy at the decision to redirect funding. It is not clear whether the civil servants or unionist MLAs were briefing the media.
It is also not clear whether the civil servants willingly became involved in the controversy or were dragged in by unionists to bolster their argument.
What is interesting is there was no surge of indignation, nor was the assembly suspended, nor did the concerns of senior civil servants feature when a lobby, led by people armed only with words – albeit Irish language words – was snubbed.
While there is understandable concern, especially among Catholics, about how the UDA disposes of its weapons this has been temporarily overtaken by the reaction of unionists to the decision to withdraw funding and the row they have manufactured on the back of the decision.
There are a number of issues of public concern that arise and which go to the heart of what has been going on in the assembly in recent weeks.
Indeed they go to the heart of the structure of the Good Friday Agreement and the functioning of the assembly and ministers in the executive.
For nationalists and, I suspect, many unionists living in fear of those in the UDA involved in racketeering and drug peddling, they will see this unionist row as a form of defence by unionist MLAs of the UDA despite the claims from unionists to the contrary.
Over the last month the DUP and UUP have vied with each other in their sustained attack on the Irish language. Week on week they have poured scorn on those who use the language in the assembly and those who educate their children through the medium of Irish.
Sinn Féin and the SDLP united and were forced to use the cross-community voting mechanism to block unionist attempts to ban speaking Irish in the assembly chamber.
Despite losing this motion Sammy Wilson, DUP MLA, has put another motion down for debate calling on the assembly to oppose the education minister's funding of Irish language schools.
The unionists are well aware that these motions are meaningless and will have no effect on the future development of the language yet they persist.
Over the last month the assembly's debating chamber has resembled Lisburn Council at its worse and Belfast City Council of the 1980s when unionists abused their power.
At times like this we can be thankful for the safety mechanisms of the Good Friday Agreement, in particular individual ministers' independence.