Verba non facta: Politics is the art of doing not just saying what you one day plan to do…

Okay, a quick nod to the fact that Stormont is sitting next week. Guess what’s first on the agenda? Well, here’s a clue. It’s not anything the Executive is directly involved in. So, it’s not health. And it’s not education. Nor indeed is it anything to do with welfare reform.

Nope, it’s that shabby little affair of what one singer said at the Ardoyne Fleadh.

Ah well, it’s going to get a few politicians onto Nolan to rehearse to the great unwashed just how poisonous the other side really is.

In meantime, Mr Nolan will continue to ask questions like How much money does the NHS need? whilst his poor beknighted respondents struggle to get out the honest truth that the department simply won’t tell them.

In the meantime, it looks like (we can only guess since we’ll never be told) that Sinn Fein’s promise yesterday to be positive on health budget is a sort of agreement to squeeze DCALs budget a little further for the sake of health.

And finally, whilst Sinn Fein plays at opposition gathering names on an online petition, it seems the SDLP, the DUP voted with the Lib Dems and Labour to get the bedroom tax abolished.

One wonders where Northern Ireland might be right now if Sinn Fein had accepted the negotiated deal OFMdFM had wrung from the Tories? Perhaps not facing a ‘crisis’ (however manufactured that may turn out to be) in the funding of Health, and now, policing.

And a statutorially bound corporation for the development of the economic infrastructure of west Belfast (as a whole) rather than small short term deals, it might have already made a difference where it ought to matter most.

  • sean treacy

    With regard to Mr Nolan asking questions,did anyone else hear the question he put to Daithi McKay yesterday.Suffice to say that if they had not been discuussing cycling ,I would have asked Mrs Treacy to cover her ears immediately!

  • Zeno1

    “Perhaps not facing a ‘crisis’ (however manufactured that may turn out to be) in the funding of Health, and now, policing.”

    The last time I looked the NI Budget total was around £23 billion.
    It may seem a stupid question, but how is a couple of hundred million be
    causing such problems? Are the problems just being manufactured for
    other reasons?

  • Nevin

    “a sort of agreement to squeeze DCALs budget a little further for the sake of health.”

    DCAL accounts aren’t in the best of health; they’ve been qualified by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Accounts for North-South Implementation Bodies, as has been noted previously, are excluded from the NIAO’s remit. And the ministerial code gets another airing. Would the introduction of an official opposition or changes to the operation of committee scrutiny improve the quality of governance?

  • gunterprien

    “The last time I looked the NI Budget total was around £23 billion.”

    Was that before or after I pointed you in the direction of Sammy Wilson’s £4 Billion in Cuts.
    You know those £4 Billion in cuts that you tried to laugh off and then said they weren’t “cuts” they were “savings”
    So 8Billion..The question is .
    Is that £23 Billion a figure from 2010? I.e before Sammy Wilsons £4Billion in cuts..Or after.
    You Haven’t forgotten I hope?
    It would be a shame to mislead people wouldn’t it?

  • Morpheus

    Ahhhhh, The Fleadh. In case anyone missed it LAD did an excellent take on it this week showing the mind-numbing hypocrisy from McCausland – our Social Development Minister:

    The DUP also had lots to say about the annual Brian Robinson Parade held today in Belfast

    I swear, the hypocrisy is getting worse.

    When it comes to the health service cuts then a guy on Nolan had a stonking point the other day – something similar to what zeno said below. He said that he calculated that for him to make the same level of savings as Poots (£160m savings on a £4.7b budget) he would need to save £5 a week.

    “One wonders where Northern Ireland might be right now if Sinn Fein had accepted the negotiated deal OFMdFM had wrung from the Tories? Perhaps not facing a ‘crisis’ (however manufactured that may turn out to be) in the funding of Health, and now, policing.”

    Or maybe £750,000,000 would have been taken from the NI economy…

    …and counting

  • Zeno1

    The Block Grant has increased every year. The budget has increased every year. There has not been £4 billion in cuts.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you for the Nelson McCausland video by LAD! Facebook’s not one of my things, even for LAD, so I’d mised it.

    But then “Do as I say, not as I do” has always been a mantra of our masters of every persuasion.

  • Morpheus

    The worst part Seaan is that any point made about the unacceptability of what the Druids said is totally lost – and make no mistake, it was totally unacceptable. Surely there is someone, anyone, in political unionism who has the intelligence to know that when it comes to things like this they don’t have a leg to stand on so it’s best to allow the police to do their job and the political leaders to condemn it – which they did – and then allow the committee of the event to ensure that it never happens again.

    There was a DUPer on Nolan last week who was suitably ‘outraged’, or whatever the ‘angry’ synonym of the week was, calling on the license and public/private funding to be pulled and he got his ass handed to him in interview…surely someone should have said that he was making a rod for his own back for the next time a band behaves like in the numerous online clips.

  • gunterprien

    Sammy Wilson said so..I guess he is only the ex minster for finance.
    What would he know??? You MUST know Better.
    Enjoy 2015..More to come.
    P.s. When you say no cuts,,Do you mean by calling them savings..That changes things?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Politics is no such thing, if politics wasn’t facta non verba we wouldn’t have a civil service, public service or private sector doing all the real work.

  • Zeno1

    Look it up. The Block Grant has increased the last 4 years and the NI Budget also increased.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Couldn’t agree more. The trouble is we’re in a words war of attrition, where the last shouted comment is judged to have won. Sublties, or even logical follow through just do not count, or we would not have Loyalists singing the Famine Song to say “Irish Go Home” in Ireland! And it’s only a matter of minor degree between leaders and led.

    I had what is called a Classical education, so while I was watching the rise of the DUP I remembered the archetypal populist, Cleon, from my Thucydides. Extremes of illogical bombast are the very bread of Demagoguery. From Wikipedia:

    “His influence lay in his forceful and bullying style of oratory, anti-intellectual and anti-aristocratic in tone, and his populism.”

    and also:

    “In 427 Cleon gained an evil notoriety by his proposal to put to death the whole male population of Mytilene, which had put itself at the head of a revolt. His proposal, though at first accepted, was soon rescinded, largely because of the clever oratory of Diodotus. Nonetheless about 1000 chief leaders and prominent men of Mytilene were executed.”

    It hardly needs saying with the reporting of the Druids recent suggestions that this sort of “clear them all away” thinking is hardly the sole property of the DUP.

  • gunterprien

    Do you understand what Inflation is??
    I suspect you do..Now tell me were those “increases” above the inflation rate?
    If they weren’t..Then you would agree that that was a cut.
    AlsoSammy Wilson either doesn’t know what he is talking about then..According to you..And that’s a bit worrying since he was minister for Finance.
    Due to the difficulty Britain is in and the 7% Budget deficit which they want to erase before 2020 AFAIK..And the £2.5 Trillion in debt.
    I tend to believe Wee Sammy Wilson and NOT you.
    But please ignore this last bit..and concentrate on the question about inflation.
    You “claim” to Understand numbers.
    So..What has been the inflation rate of the last 4 Years?
    And what has the Budget and block Grant Increased Year on year.
    So Fill in the blanks.
    Inflation rate 2010=____
    % Change in Block Grant 2010=_____
    And % change in Budget 2010=_____
    And each year for thw “last 4 years.
    It should be such a breeze for you 8 Billion.
    Studier of Statistics..etc and Chief Number cruncher.

  • Zeno1

    So, inflation is running at around 2.8% which is healthy, and the Block Grant has increased by less that 2.8% while the budget spend has increased. It’s really not a huge deal.
    UK Government Debt in 2013 was £1.185 Billion or around £18k per person. Again not a big deal.
    The deficit has been falling steadily for the last 4 years and is predicted to be erased by 2020. By 2030 the UK is predicted to be the biggest economy in Europe.

    If your point is that GB is in some sort of financial difficulties, then you have made a mistake.

  • gunterprien

    Not a big deal..He says.

    Jaysus wept..If the “increase” was Smaller than inflationThan in real terms it was a cut.

    And none of your wishful thinking or stats will help with that.

    So the Budget has been cut and the Block grant was Cut.

    And to underline your Wishful thinking.

    Uk biggest economy in Europe by 2030.. * chortle*

    And every mainstream Media organisation puts UK debt at £1.5 Trillion.

    So sorry.

    “Quote “If your point is that GB is in some sort of financial difficulties, then you have made a mistake.”

    Lets see .
    Unfunded Public sector pension = 360% of UK GDP.
    Worker Pension ratio set to fall from 3.3 : 1 to 2.4 : 1
    by 2020’s.
    10- 15 million “workers” out of a workorce of 33 million ( 2 million of which are unemployed) are receiving some form of taxpayer handout..of WTC, Income Support, Rent allowance etc..etc..etc.
    Lowest pensions in the EU.
    Yeah..I say the UK is in DEEP DO-DO.

  • Zeno1

    It’s just wishful thinking on your part Gunther.

    “And every mainstream Media organisation puts UK debt at £1.5 Trillion.”

    No they don’t Gunther. I quoted the BBC for Government Debt and that is the only important one.
    The UK Economy is recovering and getting better all the time. As I said, predicted to even outstrip Germany by 2030.