What is going on in the DUP when it comes to taking big decisions?

Northern Ireland’s minister for Sport Nelson Mc Causland has taken umbrage with the football authorities and the Ulster Scots Agency over their handing of finances.

In the case of the Football authorities he has spoken of a lack of justification for an alleged waste of £.5m.

It is appropriate that Mr Mc Causland shows himself to be vigilant when it comes to how money particularly public money is spent.

What is worrying however is Mr Mc Causland’s failure to challenge even more serious abuses of public money.

What of the millions of pounds squandered on business plans for the Maze which was supposed to be a multi purpose stadium embracing all sports?

What of the monies spent by Belfast city hall in coming up with alternative plans?

The waste of public money didn’t stop the DUP taking out ‘the forty foot pole’ to sink the Maze project.

Millions were spent on plans to cull councils across Northern Ireland, the goal being we were told, to save millions through streamlining, procurement etc.

What did the DUP do with this plan after a multi million pounds splurge which ridiculously included potential payoff deals of up to £30.000 for long serving councillors not seeking re-election?

They drove a horse and cart through the project despite a deal having been done with Sinn Fein two years ago to cut the number of councils from 26 to 11.

The latest evidence of indecision making by the DUP emerged over Assembly expenses and resettlement payments.

The substance of this was agreed across the board in the Assembly Commission and yet the DUP ‘pulled’ this much to the chagrin of Speaker Hay with just hours to go before it was to come before the Assembly.

Add water charges to this. Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has decided in his head this will have to happen. He has incurred the wrath of his boss Peter Robinson for his openness on this subject at the Executive table. I have been told by a DUP insider the First minister has made his feelings known to Mr Wilson on this matter which could prove very controversial for the DUP in the run up to the Assembly election.

Sources close to the Executive were told to tell the media the financial crisis is much worse than the public realise.

Should the public be surprised if monies are spent as if they are going out of fashion with nothing to show for this?

Finally, what of that quality control grouping proposed by Peter Robinson many moons ago the purpose of which was to monitor departmental spending and to act as the custodian of joined up good value government?

Has it ‘sped’ away?
Eamonn Mallie

  • Seem to have read this post before, twice.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Well that’s a couple of minutes of my life I wont get back reading that rambling stream of consciousness.

  • True, but there’s a few quid you won’t get back the next time the DUP initiate one of their multi million pound screw ups. Sammy’s calls for an efficiency drive should maybe begin at home?

  • Cynic

    Its simple. They were ruled by Robbo with a rod or iron but its melting and they are incapable of decisions. At the same time none of them has the guts to challenge him – that will wait until electoral disaster in 2011

  • Cynic

    Its simple. They were ruled by Robbo with a rod of iron but its melting and they are incapable of decisions. At the same time none of them has the guts to challenge him – that will wait until electoral disaster in 2011

  • Neil

    Their problem will swiftly become one where their future plans will be viewed through the lens of all the old plans that were so exciting, and the right thing to do and will save us fortunes which then get binned and significant cost. The boy who cried wolf kind of a thing.

    Examples of the DUP following through? They did enter power as promised, but you wouldn’t have thought that was on the cards if you listened to Paisley just previous, ‘Never, never, never’ if memory serves was his response. Then drop the principles like a hot potato. Same deal everywhere else IMO. Any time the DUP actually did what it had agreed to they did so late, begrudgingly and with bad grace. Then as you say the rest of the time they shit themselves at the last minute and pull support.

  • Cynic

    Whoops…sorry for double post

  • The Impartial Observer

    The DUP are incredibly lucky that the UUP have been such a shambles. If they were up against a half capable and organised party they would be facing annihilation.

  • While this post focuses on the DUP, the other day there was one that looked at Mrs Doyle blaming everyone else, and the was one on Chaos& Ruin, and anyone could write the same post about any of the parties and their dysfunction, disorganisatoin, and disarray in respect of decision-making individually or collectively.

  • David Cather

    3 posts basically on the one topic, explain?

  • Drumlin Rock

    IO, unfortunately the normal cycle has come round too quick for the UUP, it usually takes 10-12 yrs to rebuild a party, look at the Conservatives, and about the same time for one to fall apart, ie. Nu Labour, for it to happen so quick for both is unusual teritory.

  • Jean Meslier

    Impartial Observer.
    You took the words out of my mouth.
    The quandary within the DUP seems to me, as an outsider, that they cannot wriggle away from the chains of – smash everything and – save ulster from sodomy through to line dancing.
    Robinson is wounded. But like an injured tiger, outsiders can’t get quite close enough to assess the damage.
    The DUP’s inability to back up the previous crowing of “running rings around SF” should have been the spark for UUP to hit them like an iceberg hitting the Titanic.
    But, to date, – nothing!
    Their forefathers ruled supreme over the 6 counties for 50 years. What expertise did they leave for this UUP? – Zilch!

    I genuinely feel sorry for people from across many shades of unionism who are now beginning to realise the significance of the hare and the tortoise story.

    The Giants Causeway Interpretive Centre
    The ₤5 land deals
    The Swish family saga including the curing of gays debacle.
    The Ulster Museum fiasco
    Boundary interference
    Plus the other stuff mentioned by Eamon above should have been adequate for the UUP to punch holes in the DUP.

    This precarious lack of modern leadership amongst unionism, in general, makes painful reading of a community which needs to retrain or serve an apprenticeship in something real soon.

  • Neil

    Diifculty picking a head line I reckon.

  • Cushy Glenn

    The truth is that – like the Lim Dems- the DUP haven’t adjusted to being in government, but unlike the Lib Dems they haven’t got a larger power mad party to force the hard choices through. They want to be populist, and put off unpopular decisions indefinitely. Thanks to the mad system at Stormont, there’s no opposition, and no way to get them out. They will never make the hard calls as long as there’s another election in the offing- and here there always is. Project Punt is to stay in power at all costs.

    This even means making basic tactical errors to keep the UUP down. So, instead of bringing the UUP into the parades review and locking them in to the process, they kept them out to appear the Orangemen’s best mate. If the reports today are true, and the OO has nixed the package, then the UUP has a free hand to say “Not us brethren”.

    DUP paranoid behaviour is just like that of Sinn Fein and the SDLP, who vote for some cuts in the executive and then turn up at protests at hospitals protesting against the cuts. Another day where I can say “Don’t blame me- I voted no”.

    At least the SDLP has the wit to give someone like Dallat his head to bash the civil servants in the public acounts committee hearings and create the impression that the government is being squeezed- Punt’s old mantra of Castlereagh world city of efficiency has long ago been shelved

  • Cynic

    Agree totally …because coming from a unionist standpoint I sometimes attack SF for the same thing it’s assumed just to be partisan politics…but you only have to look at the Education disaster and the performance of the minister to realise just how bad it is and she is.

    Yet in the La La Land at Stormont she is unsackable as she has her party leader’s support and must be kept in post or it will look as though themmuns have got one over on us. The pity is you could name perhaps 4 or 5 other Ministers across all shades of orange and green of whom the same might be said.

  • Cynic

    “an injured tiger”

    … dart guns with telescopic sights can work wonders

  • You are easily forgiven today as Eamonn has posted this story four times with different headlines.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    As football parlance is all the rage these days……I think Id compare the DUP to a clumsy but effective central defender. The object of the exercise is to clear the ball as far away as possible. Row Z tactics.
    In comparison the role of the striker is more precise……literally targetted on a small area called the “net”.
    The DUP have spent all their 40 years kicking for touch.
    SF-IRA has a very precise goal in mind.
    The DUP are not easily converted into the subtle ways of a striker.

    The SF-IRA as gone into this arrangement with the enthusiasm of people who know it wont work. And with Plan B, C and D in their pockets.
    DUP have reluctantly gone into this arrangement knowing that it has to work. And fearing it wont work.
    Rightly or wrongly SF-IRA can simultaneously oppose cuts as “English oppression” and be in government saying they are doing their best for the under-priveleged.
    DUP cant quite pull off that trick.
    The dissident opposition to SF-IRA wont produce a single seat in next years Assembly.
    The TUV dissidents were humiliated at Westminster but will have probably done enough to eat into DUP seats next year when “cuts” are an issue.
    Likewise there is a legacy of double jobbing to be dealt with. A Finance Minister urging that we are all in this together and drawing from the public purse as much as Sammy Wilson is probablya liability to the DUP.

  • Glencoppagagh

    ‘SF-IRA can simultaneously oppose cuts as “English oppression” ‘

    I don’t think SF will be pushing that one lest people notice that more severe “Irish oppression” is going on across the border.
    Maybe they’ll press for more drastic cuts in pursuit of an “all-island” economic strategy. On second thoughts, maybe they won’t.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I take that point .
    But the bigger point is that SF-IRA can talk out of both sides of their mouth without their supporters caring.
    Obviously their ability to so do winds up the Overclass.

    To some extent the DUP is less sure about its ability to deliver.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Big Decisions such as the Parades issue which the DUP negotiated with SF-IRA.
    And now rejected by the Orange Order. Perhaps a twinge of regret that the DUP cant really deliver the Orange Order (with several DUP men in the rival Independent Order the official Orange Order possibly think that they dont owe the DUP anything)
    While the 70 odd LOL people in attendance last night were wearing their LOL bowler hats rather than any DUP, UUP ot TUV rosette, it would be interesting to know how the vote broke down on party lines or more interestingly geographic lines.
    The actuall closeness of the vote 37 to 32 witha few abstentions is even worse news for the DUP and even better news for residents as it indicates a major split.
    The clever tactic of SF-IRA would be to say that this was the best offer.
    Ball firmly in DUP, Orange court.
    And as has been said Decisions are not their thing.
    No problem for Nationalists.

  • slug

    I’m not sure it matters what SF say on these issues.

  • Jean Meslier

    Returning to the question

    What is going on in the DUP when it comes to taking big decisions?

    Robbo was a moderniser (the only one?). But because of his years lording it in Castlereagh council he appears devoid of even the notion of accountability.
    That, plus Irisgate etc has seriously diluted his position as leader.
    The appearance to us outsiders is of a party literally doing as it wishes according to whichever of the various factions sees as advantagious to that particular faction.
    Thus you see Sammy and Nelson doing their solo runs in the media which was, up to now at least, definately not the DUP way.
    But at least Nelson seems to have grasped that accountability is needed especially in the present climate.

    But as for the UUP reaction to this, their impotency is unbelievable at the moment.
    I don’t hold to this talk of a 12 year rebuilding cycle mentioned elsewhere. When the chance to make hay arises you get up off your a*se and do it.
    In the middle of this muddle working class unionism is left in the lurch yet again.They need to emerge from their self inflicted coma and look for new ideas and new direction. Aye and maybe new partners.

    Modernising and accountability

  • slug

    I guess parties are coalitions – what is new?

  • vanhelsing

    —–but the bigger point is that SF-IRA can talk out of both sides of their mouth without their supporters caring——

    Interesting point fitz, why do you say this?


  • fin

    “Agree totally …because coming from a unionist standpoint I sometimes attack SF for the same thing it’s assumed just to be partisan politics…but you only have to look at the Education disaster and the performance of the minister to realise just how bad it is and she is.”

    Indeed Cynic, cos the Minister for Education in Westminister is sooo much better. Not just this weeks cockups but the £700,000,000 annual cost for badly managed PFI contracts for new schools, I’m surprised you find SF ministers so bad when many would think they compare favourably with those in Westminister

  • sliabhdubh

    A lot of money is wasted,paying for the wasters we elected to look after our interests.Stormont is just a club to waffle in ,look like your doing something,just throw a few insults and job done.I see the boul Iris will be getting a healthy pension,because of ill health,yet we make do with cuts,Brillant job these politicans have.