MacKenzie and Murphy: Negotiation by leak and spin…

The one thing that will be concentrating Laurence MacKenzie’s mind today, will be his possible appearance at the Regional Development Committee tomorrow in open session. Whether he does or not is in the gift of the Minister. The question is who wants Mr MacKenzie to appear there the least, himself or the Minister?

Up now though he has made it clear that rumours emanating from the Murphy appointed Board saying he has considered resigning are not true. Rather it looks like a negotiating trick to put more pressure on the beleaguered CEO of NI Water. The negotiations will likely be over the size of Mr MacKenzie’s severance package.

As Pete notes, the Ministerial support which has been pretty solid for most of this year has now disappeared like, well, like “snow off a ditch”. That RD committee may be the only thing concentrating his mind, since with his SF wing men gone, he’d be taking it from all sides.

But then Mr MacKenzie knows better than anyone else who is still in play exactly what his deal with the DRD last January entailed.

With the Minister either unwilling or unable to sack MacKenzie the latter may figure that he is entitled to take a decent early severance payment if he’s the one to carry the can, the whole can, and nothing but the can for the hapless Murphy.

Tonight’s news programmes should be worth watching. If he gets past those, we’ll see if he appears at tomorrow’s RDC… If he does show, we may even live blog it…