Bill Clinton’s Big [Economic] Ideas for NI…

Or, as I think I heard it described on the fawning UTV report, his “special insight” on developing the local Northern Ireland economy, ahead of next month’s one-day US economic forum on NI.  According to the BBC report

Mr Clinton said new jobs could be created through greater investment in renewable energy and rebranding the local fishing industry [as “organic”].

The second is hardly a unique selling point.

And I’m sure I’ve seen the first suggested somewhere else before…

But we, including Declan Kelly, know what happened to that, much vaunted, initiative.

And, as the BBC reported, the NI Energy Minister, the DUP’s Arlene Foster, has already thought of it…

His other suggestion was to market NI as a tourist destination…

Mr Clinton said the UK City of Culture title would have an “echo effect beyond the confines of Derry” and said it was a opportunity to brand not only the city but the whole country as a tourist destination.

He insisted local industries must prepare for an increase in visitors, many with “modest incomes”, who would want a “meaningful” souvenir of their trip.

No wonder only “three or four people waved hello”.

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  • White Horse

    Pete, you might have noticed that he’s not the president anymore!

  • Pete Baker

    I did.

    Local media and politicians?

    Not so much…

  • Arlene and Nelson in New York.

    Are the DUP duo unwitting victims of an(other) ‘island of Ireland’ prank?

  • Pete Baker

    What are you on about now, Nevin?

    I dread to think…

    But try to make it relevant to the actual topic.

  • sdelaneys

    I almost swooned at his genuis when he said something along the lines of ‘You need to know what kind of jobs you want to create and you need to know how to finance them,’ Imagine that.The trip was worth it for those insights alone.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Fear not. All will be well when we build the Cafe at The Maze. I mean to say,what tourist in his/her right mind, could refuse a slap up meal at the Johnny Sands Chippy ?? 🙂

  • As usual, Peter, I’m looking at the bigger picture.

  • Pete Baker

    Or just pointing at something because it exists…

    Regardless of its significance or relevance to either the actual topic or the claim you make of it.

  • lamhdearg

    Jimmy Carter fell and hurt himself this week, for him i have respect,

  • pippakin

    Clinton and the fawning reporters (why stop at UTV, they’ve all got their mouths firmly on his rear end and are busy swallowing shite) appear to be living in, thanks to governments and wankers, the past.

    Did no one think to tell Clinton that at this stage any jobs will do.

    I am coming round to the idea that these islands could so easily be self supporting and organic. It’s almost too easy for politicians to grasp the idea.

    In the meantime, and subject obviously to his health, I would just remind everyone to lock up their daughters.

  • aquifer

    Organic fisheries ‘is hardly a unique selling point.’

    In the south west of England they have a day fishery where the boats go out and catch stuff and bring it back that evening, but they then fly it to france.

    If we fried the fish here and sold it to the tourists we would get extra revenue from hotel beds, guiness consumption, taxi fares etc and if tourists like it so much they may even buy one of our spare houses to retire to.

    Offshore wind farms could be used to monitor any overfishing, and trawling would be unsafe near them anyhow.

    Smart guy that Bill Clinton.

  • sdelaneys

    and their cigars.

  • I was more interested in the part of his speech ( on the BBC ) where he suggested if the banks in the UK and Ireland made 18 trillion dollars in credit available there would be no recession any more. Just a coincidence that the Real IRA are threatening banks then.

  • Foster, tourism, Irish American lobby … Do try to keep up, Peter.

  • Greenflag

    While people in NI should be grateful for both the Clinton’s strenuous efforts and persistence in helping the ‘dumb’ i.e ‘not american enough’ Northern Irish politicians’ to sign the GFA and establish a power sharing government I would be more interested in asking the ex President -how Wall St and the banking sector were allowed to wrench control of government and society out of the hands of the american people and what americans can do NOW to seize it back ?

    Clinton was after all the President whose signing of the Glass Steigal Act in 1999 basically took any remaining protection away from the American people and allowed Wall St and the Banks to wreak the havoc they have since then not just on the USA but throughout the world !

  • maeglin

    Pete – I think you will find that he is in fact still “President Clinton”.

  • slug

    US Presidents continue to carry title of President after office.

  • Greenflag

    A stomach problem I believe not a fall . Carter was and remains one of the USA’s best ambassadors for world peace and progress . Which is why he is unwelcome in Israel . A good man and a real ‘Christian ‘ unlike the fake Bush and his coterie of recovering alcoholic nutters !

  • Down South

    His brief wasn’t to come here and tell us what we should do to make jobs and money appear. We all have ideas about what needs to happen but for some reason we don’t have either the focus nor the clout to get it together. In that regard the visit was to act as confidence boosting, letting people know that support is there when we do finally get our backsides off the public sector comfy chair and start to make our own way.

    The two ways to motivate recalcitrant adolescents is to shout at them (Cameron and Osbourne) or to encourage them to go the next step (Clinton and Kelly).