Fiddling whilst the economy burns…

There’s a good piece by Brian Feeney in today’s Irish News. No doubt we’ll blog it tomorrow when no doubt John will link it from Nuzhound. Today he links Maurice Hayes who notes that have those lost 150 days, the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister have siezed on the success of a talented young man from Dungiven to cover the inevitable cracks in the mandatory coalition:

…the real difficulties for the Executive are likely to arise from the realisation that, in the appalling triage of resource allocation, government is about the harsh reality of choosing between competing priorities.

Their troubles are likely to arise less from internal differences than from external events over which they have no control. Chief of these must be the state of the UK economy, with sterling plunging towards parity with the euro.

That is the real X Factor: how much farther the economy has to go into recession; how long it will stay there; how long before any sign of improvement; and how many will suffer in the interim.

With its inordinate dependency on public sector employment, the North will be particularly vulnerable, when the inevitable cut-backs come.

The failure to make decisions when the Executive was in hibernation means that infrastructural schemes which might have gone ahead when finance was available may now have to be shelved, if not lost altogether.

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  • …the real difficulties for the Executive …

    The timing of all of this is stunningly bad. Just at the moment when cooperation and consensus are required, we are heading into certainly one, and possibly two, election campaigns during which the power-sharing partners will be obliged to tear each other apart!

  • Nomad

    No! But X Factor helps people forget they just lost their jobs! What? Oh.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The timing of all of this is stunningly bad.’

    Not at all it’s just natural justice. The ‘reward’ for farting around for 40 years playing ‘see who hates the other side the most’

    Slow learning comes at a cost soner or later . Make hay while the sun shines as they say . Wait for it to rain and you miss the harvest . NI politicians have not only waited for the rain but have gone deliberately out of their way to engage in tribal rain dancing activities to their chosen totems 🙁

    Unionism has been especially adept at this losing strategy 🙁

  • The Raven

    People will note the large increases in Boroughs where the building trades were strong – Magherafelt, Cookstown, Limavady (double whammy as the Seagate casualties are only coming on to the books this month) and others.

    Carrick took a hit with a stunningly callous 99 losses.

    Whither now for our frequently-out-of-the-country DETI minister? And what of INI and their overseas budget?

    Time for some refocus, beyond the political.

  • Carrick took a hit with a stunningly callous 99 losses.

    Car component manufacturers are in for a year from hell. If your local economy has any dependence whatsoever on the car manufacturing business, or its suppliers, god help you.

  • Greenflag

    At last some ‘good news ‘ for the Norn Iron Economy or what’s left of it . RTE reports

    ‘As the euro and sterling edge closer to parity some British holidaymakers travelling to Europe are reportedly already receiving less than €1 for £1 at bureaux de change.

    Sterling has lost more than a quarter of its value against the euro and the dollar over the last year. Earlier this week the pound crashed through the 90 pence level against the euro for the first time since the single European currency was launched ‘

    With the City of London Financial services sector now in the pitts what can British politicians do if anything to reverse the situation . They could of course apply to join the Euro and at least save on the cost of exchanging their money for a bit of winter sun/fun ?

    And what are the Tories offering ? Truth is theres not a whole lot either party can do until the USA and Eurozone start out of recession . We are all interdependent now . Dave’s ‘sovereign ‘currency myth has been seen to be naive as any American or British observer of the currency markets will now admit .