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.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty