side issue

Also found in: Idioms.
References in classic literature ?
But you're always a-wandering off on a side issue. Why can't you stick to the main point?"
"Of course there is a difference between a hundred roubles and two hundred and fifty, but in this case the principle is the main point, and that a hundred and fifty roubles are missing is only a side issue. The point to be emphasized is that Burdovsky will not accept your highness's charity; he flings it back in your face, and it scarcely matters if there are a hundred roubles or two hundred and fifty.
The princess for her part, going round the question in the manner peculiar to women, maintained that Kitty was too young, that Levin had done nothing to prove that he had serious intentions, that Kitty felt no great attraction to him, and other side issues; but she did not state the principal point, which was that she looked for a better match for her daughter, and that Levin was not to her liking, and she did not understand him.
It was as though the side issues had been shorn away, so that the main struggle was thenceforth on simpler lines.
But I had my own object in view, and I declined (as we lawyers say) to pursue the question into its side issues.
Placing Boracay under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is just 'a side issue' in the Duterte administration's plan to implement the second phase of agrarian reform.
Demand growth is decent, but not spectactular from a historical perspective, which tells me this is once again a supply side issue, said Bernstein analyst Paul Gait.
"Considering the court is dealing with a side issue and that we have constitutional timelines, I decline to grant leave for calling of further evidence in this matter," Justice Muchelule told the jammed court.
"It is crucial to create such prerequisites that the communities and their role be enhanced, as before in Ukraine it was a side issue. The central government used to concentrate most of powers", he stressed.
As for Kinnear, getting players names wrong is a side issue. fans feared from his arrival would be doomed to fail - they have been proved right.
A side issue of events in Turkey and Egypt has been the impact, if any, on the prospects of Islamic finance, given certain sensitivities.