McGimpsey concedes defeat

Michael McGimpsey, Minister for Health, does not believe the present budget proposals will be increased by Gordon Brown.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Do you think that it will be increased?

  • fair_deal


    I don’t know but throwing in the towel in a press interview will do nothing to help.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Michael is right – we’ll see, but he’s probably right.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree that Brown is not going to throw more money at us – at least not without expecting something in return. If the Executive went to him with a business plan showing some kind of return on the investment, that would be something. But holding out the begging bowl ain’t gonna cut it.

  • steve48

    Hypocritical bullshit from the DUP hasn’t done anything to help either other than lie to the people who voted for them. Maybe the provo’s could throw in the £26 million they lifted (oops sorry they must have returned it for McCrea Campbell et al to be taking their seats. must have missed the news that day)

  • GavBelfast

    Of course ‘Gimp’ is correct.

    What possible motivation is there, now, for Brown to throw more money into the trough? £400M (conservative estimate all-in) to go down the drain at the Maze for a start? I think not.

    Comrade Stalin’s business plan idea and projected return idea might make a difference, but where is that?

  • Milo Mindbender


    Interesting elaboration on the usual UUP forumala of blaming everyone else but themselves for their failures. With the new twist the Gimp is pre-emptively blaming his cock-ups on Gordon Brown before he invariably makes them.

    I can only hope that the BBC looks at replacing the diahorrea of ‘Give my Head Peace’ with the farcical comedy emanating from Cunningplan House.

  • Ignited

    Although McGimpsey is in all likely-hood correct, he and the UUP should be throwing their weight behind the DUP/SF to get the best financial deal.

    Michael Shilliday – its not about whether he is right or not, the UUP have taken the decision to work in this executive and they now have to provide a united front with all the other parties to get the best financial deal. What a defeatest attitude from McGimpsey and the UUP.

  • merrie

    This will be a feature of NI politics – different ministers shooting their mouths off with no central control. Difficult enough when there is a single party running the government.

    So when one Minister rants that NI is an ungovernable banana republic, another witll be saying how well everything is going.

    The public may well be confused.

    Worse, it may hinder negotiations with other people/governments.

  • steve48

    Having failed to gain anymore resources in the six week gap/fig leaf for the DUP including a claim by Big Ian 4 days before Jolly Tuesday that he wouldn’t attend without more finance what makes anyone believe that there is more gold under 10 Downing street than number 11. Is it not about time that we got away from the spin of how good things are in the garden to the reality that money is tight.

  • to the reality that money is tight.

    I agree with your sentiments Steve, but remember that money is not tight. Northern Ireland has a phenomenally high level of public expenditure per head, especially in realtion to the actual wealth that it generates.

    Money is wasted on continuing Thatcher-era make work schemes designed to make Northern Ireland governable in the 1980s.

    And the public, and in particular the professional ‘voluntary sector’ lobbying industry, has completely unrealistic expectations of what services cost and what our tax base is. Particularly as we have no real experience of the tax we pay being linked to the services we get.

    If I want to spend three weeks in Turkey this year, I need to not go out on the bevvy every night now so I have the money to go away… it’s not rocket science.

    Instead of promising everybody everything, our Ministers should be having an honest debate with their colleagues and with the rest of us about what we might like to do and what it will cost. There’s no point expecting the world to owe you a living just because you’ve decided to stop shooting people, because it doesn’t. We’re swimming in cream at the moment and our political leadership still have the begging bowls out. It’s pathetic really.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Sammy, so you agree with Michael?

  • Itsplaintosee

    Northern Ireland should leave the Union and seek a stronger relationship on the Island of Ireland. A joined-up Ireland would deliver more benefits to the North and far outweigh any perceived threats.

  • Unionist critic

    This is one in a series of comments which demonstrate that the UUP may actually be the biggest obstacle to progress. Empey and McGimpsey are clearly bitter about the DUP dominating and leading the new Government. The statements from all the others before going into the Executive meeting was about the challenge ahead and looking forward to working with others on their briefs etc. The UUP and McGimpsey could not resist having a dig at the DUP.

    I think this comment is of a similar nature. McGimpsey is not interested in being a team player and instead wants to put the blocks on progress for the Executive. His comments on finance make no other sense. With negotiations going on it would be blatant stupidity to concede defeat, although both incompetence and defeatism are natural form for the UUP. But also put this in the context of the UUP’s previous comments on the financial package. Empey was critical of the DUP’s stance that as much as possible should be done to nail down the package before forming an Executive – he said that the Chancellor would give the maximum response if an all party Executive came to him to negotiate. McGimpsey’s comments run completely contrary to that. What other reason can there be for dumping that approach no other than the same old grudge.

  • pondersomething

    Ignited it’s the UUP who’ve been calling for a common front between the four parties, rather than just grandstanding from the DUP. Paisley said he wouldn’t go into government without a satisfactory financial package – he didn’t get a good package but went into govt regardless.

    I certainly agree that Paisley did the right thing by going into govt even if it’s just with the block grant we have – but it was unwise for the DUP to grandstand about a financial package they were unable to deliver.

    It’s small beans now relative to the history made last Tuesday, but it may have repurcussions down the line for how seriously people take the financial competence of the DUP.

    It is also worrying how all the parties have gotten diverted by the futile chimera of lower corporation tax instead of pushing for the concrete, long-term sustainable investment in education and infrastructure which Northern Ireland needs.

  • pondersomething


    Fair_deal I normally view you as one of the least partisan of the more party-oriented bloggers on Slugger, but I cannot fathom how you think the headline “McGimpsey concedes defeat” is a fair representation of the BBC interview!

    It’s sounds more like something the Dundela Ave pravda kids would put out.

  • mchinadog


    I am not sure you have the answer at all why would the DUP put out something like that. It is the Undertaker i.e. McGimpsey and his so called leader that are so angry with the electorate at making the DUP the largest party, the UUP are now only bit players in Northern Ireland politics that the only things they say are both spiteful and unhelpful. What help are people like McGimpsey to the Unionist cause – none. I have great faith in the DUP and in particular Peter Robinson that he will manage the finances of Northern Ireland a lot better than either his predecessors in the Assembly and more so direct rule Ministers. He will sort out the wasteful quangos, over indulging agencies and get Northern Ireland back on its feet again after 35 years of IRA wrecking the place and wasteful Civil Servants.

  • Observer

    McGimp is no team player and resembles a bitter, bitter man only out for the good of himself and his unelectable party.

    There is probably an element to suggest that he is distancing himself from any bad news.

    Your Political career is over Michael!

  • pondersomething

    Sheeesh and ye claim to be team players but already it seems like you’ve some of the team targeted to be taken out…

    A blindingly obvious strategy on the DUP’s part, and not the wisest one.

  • IJP

    Ah, the “excuse-itis” has started already.

    Of course there’s no more money. The block grant is already generous, not least considering it’s such a bad investment (since we waste so much of it on segregation).

    If all our esteemed Ministers can do after one week is start making excuses for failure already, I’m not optimistic about the chances of proper training for junior doctors, maintenance of acute service provision, or adequate funding for mental health.

    If it’s already soon enough for the Government to make excuses, it’s already soon enough to wish to see them thrown out at the next election and replaced by people prepared to govern properly.

  • Alex S

    1,Whether or not McGimpsey is correct in his view that Brown won’t pay up won’t make a blind bit of difference to how Brown responds to the Paisley/McGuinness demands.
    2, on the same programme last week Paisley threatened to withdraw from Tuesday’s ‘enthronement’ if he did’nt get a better package, what with the recent Nolan interview in which he admitted to having been ‘rolled over’ and his failure to back up his withdrawel threat it is time to face facts folks, Paisley is a ‘busted flush’

  • Sammy, so you agree with Michael?

    I agree with what he said, although I’m not sure the tactics were all that clever. There’s a lot more that needs to be said that he didn’t say, though.

  • GavBelfast

    “Paisley is a ‘busted flush’”

    He certainly can’t bring people out onto the streets again, or worse. Thank God.

  • Smithsonian

    Apart from blind faith in Peter Robinson do you have anything to support your supposition that Robinson will be significantly better than anyone else? Do you think everybody that went before was useless or just mendacious? You are as naive as Sammy Morsewho thinks everything is simple.

    Do you either you or Sammy Morse have a background in economics? How does the health of Northern Ireland’s population compare with other regions? Why is that? … and doesn’t it mean that the block grant is rather inadequate? Why do we have higher DLA payments than anywhere else and what do you think we should do about it?

    How big is the police budget? Perhaps we should make cuts there if we are short of money? (of course it will be devolved as per St. Andrews). Who says that large schools are more cost effective than a number of smaller schools and shouldn’t people be allowed choice in the all important matter of education? One size does not fit all.

  • Porlock

    The Gimp is up to his usual nonsense—blame someone, anyone will do, for the fact that he won’t make a button of difference to health issues.

    His only concern is another run for the Westminster seat. Which may explain why he has appointed Phillip Robinson as his political adviser. Robinson was once a junior member of the UUP’s press office (memorably described to me by David Trimble—in the days when I was a member of the party—-as “the bag carrier’s bag carrier and much too eager to please.”)

    Anyway, this same Robinson has spent the last few years in the PR world, primarily in the phone selling business. No background in health. No knowledge of key health issues. Yet The Gimp has brought him on board to promote his master’s interests in South Belfast. More or less the same approach The Gimp took when he appointed Bob Stoker as his political adviser when he was at DCAL.

    The only good news–albeit a year down the line–is that Empey will rotate and dump The Gimp (who was, after all, only 4th choice when McFarland and Kennedy turned it down and when Empey’s offer to someone else to take DEL was also turned down).

    As Fair Deal has noted on another thread, South Belfast is winnable with an agreed unionist candidate. The fact that The Gimp places his own future as a candidate over the health needs of NI tells you everything you need to know.


  • T.Ruth

    Imagine a Minister of Health with a vested interest in undertaking. I have visions of him on hospital visits with tape measure,business cards and disount offer literature to hand. He is the ultimate moaner-and certainly not one who generates enthusiasm.A personality transplant might help.
    As for “Norn Iron” we do need a mechanism or strategy to energise the private sector. The feel good factor created by pouring money into the deep well of public spending fades quickly and we need solutions that create jobs,prosperity and a better future. This is entirely possible even without an equalisation of corporation tax levels though the arguments in favour are solid.The new Minister of Finance PDR has the expertise and the confidence of the business community to help us to take the province forward.

  • 0b101010

    I’d be more impressed if a local politician had the guts to say we shouldn’t be handed any more money. The hard part of local government is trying to manage the country without being able to run crying to daddy for more pocket money as a reward for behaving.