Owen Paterson: “I don’t know what planet they’re living on.”

That was Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson’s reported response to the reaction of our special little pleaders to the outcome of the UK Government’s 2010 Spending Review.  And he has a point.

The NI First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, claimed the cuts were ‘worse than feared’ .

But his party colleague, and NI Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, has stated that

“Whilst the level of budget reductions we are facing is unwelcome, and will present a serious challenge, it comes as no great surprise.”

And, as the BBC report also notes

The first and deputy first ministers have accused the British government of breaking its promises over budget cuts in Northern Ireland.


Mr McGuinness said Mr Paterson had delivered “very unpleasant news”

“We’ve made it clear to the British government consistently that we expect the commitments that we made, the financial package agreed with the previous administration to be honoured and from what I’m hearing today, it does not look as if they intend to honour it.

“So we’re going to be involved in a bit of a battle with the British government on this issue over the coming period.”

Perhaps the NI deputy First Minister shouldn’t have been so quick to claim victory…

Meanwhile BBC political editor Mark Devenport tries to make sense of the figures

According to the Treasury website, we appeared to be doing better than other departments with a cut of only 6.9% in our current budget, the cash used to pay salaries and other recurring costs. [pdf file] This seemed to be the beneficial knock on impact of the ring fencing of health in England and the generous settlement for education.

But the website revealed that so far as capital spending is concerned (the money used to build roads, hospitals and other public projects) we were taking more of a hit, down 37%.

So that’s clear then? Well I thought so when the Department of Finance put out different figures, estimating the current revenue cut at 8% and the capital cut at just over 40%. The explanation for this discrepancy is that the Treasury and the Stormont Finance department started their calculations at a different stage – the London arithmetic applied to the figures after the recent emergency budget, the Belfast sums started prior to that reduction.

Then to confuse matters still more the local Finance Minister Sammy Wilson came up with a global figure of £4 billion – the amount he said we are losing cumulatively over the next four years. This surprised me, as we have all been talking about a £2 billion cut in the run up to this Spending Review. So have we got double the cuts expected?

Mr Wilson says no – instead the previous Department of Finance briefings were based on the notion that we would be down £2 billion in four years time, not the amount we would lose in total on the way.

If you understand that get back to me – it doesn’t seem to be borne out by the annual breakdown on the Treasury website.

It looks to me like OFMDFM and the NI Finance Minister are trying to make it look as bad as possible, whilst the NI Secretary of State is trying to do the opposite…

To be fair to Sammy Wilson, however, he’s also making sense.

“Over recent months I have been trying to prepare the people of Northern Ireland for such a settlement. I have also been working hard to prepare my Executive colleagues for the difficult decisions we now face. The fact is that we now know the actual outcome, we have a duty to take those difficult decisions. That is our responsibility, that is what we have been elected to do. [added emphasis]

“If we delay or fail to agree a Budget, the losers will be the communities we represent. Our schools, colleges, hospitals, health centres, indeed all publicly funded services need certainty in their budgets as soon as possible. By working together, we can mitigate against the worst effects of the spending cuts.

“The coming years will be challenging enough – let us show the leadership required to ensure they aren’t made more difficult than necessary.”

And the International Representative for west Belfast?  He’s protesting outside somebody else’s budgetary talks…  ‘Cause he didn’t get an invite…

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  • dodrade

    With “friends” like Owen Patterson Northern Ireland hardly needs enemies.

  • Driftwood

    Owen and Sammy and our Chancellor seem to be living here on planet reality.

    Pete’n’Marty just went
    Waaah! waaah!

    This was an excellent day for all of us here in the United Kingdom, but instead of thanking George Osborne for a job well done, our pathetic FM/DFM run and cry ‘not fair’!

    As if either of them will be short of a bob or two.

  • alan56

    A lot of crazy politiking going on. No surprise there. Seems to me that that we could have done much worse. Mabe the US gegraphical disconnect is affecting Peter and martin!

  • pippakin

    The blame game is well under way.

    I’m not sure the north is doing that badly, compared to the south they are still cushioned from reality.

  • al

    Politcians spinning and breaking promises. So what boys deal with it! There’s no point bitching and throwing a fit just get on with the money available.

    Big Sammy was blasted by the trade unions today for saying that their protests are a waste of time. Which they are. Why can people not just play the cards they’re dealt? The government isn’t going to listen to a few upset people. Maybe if people were less apathetic and got out and protested in numbers perhaps a compromise could be reached. As the other thread highlighted the majority of the population feel they cannot influence government. But have these people actually tried? Doubt it.

  • DC

    It’s not on cutting benefits. If people are going to lose their jobs – in the public and private sector – the safety net should rise or at the very least benefits should go up in line with inflation. Inflation-linked so that the standard of living (of the very basic sort) is maintained. Not lowered – along with certain benefits scrapped or greatly reduced.

    Therein lies the beauty of this Coalition – welfare raid, and if you don’t like it then you’re a Red Ed and an uncool, anti-aspiration, and probably a thoroughly unelectable chap.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Given that the Englezes have “breached their undertaking” as Robbo puts it, Patterson just makes himself sound like a complete twit trying to pretend he doesnt know what is going on – and of course when it comes to porkies the Tories have recent form as in the Westminsters when they swore blind they would stand in every constituency and then caved in to sectarian pressure in FST.

    It will be interesting to hear what Tommo the Orangeman, (is the leader of the UUP still alive?) will have to say – presumably he will try and suggest that the DUP and SF are wrong to hold the Englezes to account.

    ..and a good day for the dissers who will no doubt milk the perfidious Albion angle.

  • Glencoppagagh

    No public sector jobs need be lost (although many of them ought to be) if pay cuts were imposed. Oddly, nobody is suggesting this (not even Sammy who seems to almost relish the prospect of making spending cuts), but why upset hundreds of thousands when you can get away with upsetting just a few tens of thousands.
    Cutting public sector pay would also be of enormous long-term benefit to the NI economy. To avoid doing so now is to squander a singular opportunity.

  • Glencoppagagh

    I think the dissers have let us all down. All theyv’e got is a cheque to cover fat police overtime payments.
    They just didn’t frighten ‘the Englezes’ enough.
    Marty should have send round a few trusted lads to get them into shape.

  • DC

    Well they might divert some of the money over into capital spend reducing public sector jobs and/or wages.

    Who knows, but this is where an effective or even at least a rhetorically functioning opposition would come in handy. Now it’s a case of keep schtum all round while we slice the pie behind closed doors. Because the only people truly “all in this together” are our politicians and their respective parties.

    It’s Daniel Bedingfield time for them, rather than for the public sector workers – who will sadly lose their jobs regardless.

  • I know which Planet. It’s Planet SpendSpendSpend. This is a reality check for those used to writing cheques.

  • IJP

    In fairness, Sammy comes out of this looking the best.

    On the £4bn versus £2bn, it does make perfect sense – the £2bn figure (actually it’s lower than that even using DFP figures) is the total taken from the *annual* Budget at the end of the four years. The overall loss *over the period* is £4bn from the gradual reductions (although even this is debatable, given how inflation etc is calculated).

    All in all it is plainly not as bad as it could have been, but it is a challenge, as Sammy says. I wouldn’t say anyone is living “on a different planet” myself, but it is a very quick dose of responsibility which may well benefit our politics in the long run.

  • DC

    Well I think Sammy in relation to FST, the Tories took their lead from the SDLP who have a bit of form on that one as well.

    But the porkies, jeez come on the NI politics has been riddled with porkie pie tellers.

    “Sharon I wasn’t…….and don’t be smart with me.”

  • Frustrated Democrat

    It seems that some in our Executive have difficulty in understanding economics, in fact that would seem to apply to most excluding Sammy Wilson.

    The UK is borrowing money at a rate that is unsustainable, £16 million per hour, and our local politicians seem to think they should be immune from any cuts to solve the problem.

    Owen Paterson, a real friend to Northern Ireland, has managed to keep the cuts down to a level that is manageable for Northern Ireland and all they can do is moan and groan about it and rattle their begging bowl a bit louder. The actual amount of money they have to spend will increase over the next four years before inflation and real cuts of 1.7% per annum are not excessive and overall are 17% less than the average of all UK departments.

    Let us all grow up and start managing the finances here in a professional manner and start on increasing the private sector and no more bleating

  • bob wilson

    Peter and Marty on the ‘blame the English’ election ticket
    It will work for Marty possibly but it just makes Robbo look daft – esp when he is partially contradicted by Wilson

  • Munsterview

    Owen Paterson: “I don’t know what planet they’re living on.”

    Any one moving in English Academic circles these last ten years or more ( and that includes my Unionist friends at such events ) will be more than aware that the patience of politically literate Middle England towards the ‘Bloody Irish’ is well and truly exhausted. The same applies to business and other circles.

    Despite the joint ‘Three Regions’ approach when the chips are down each region will protects own interests, next to the ‘Wee North’ the Scots are in line for ‘they should be left stew in their own mess’ treatment, the Welsh are the least threatening and I can see a mutual accommodation being reached there.

    However the Tories will concentrate on their own heartlands to the South and East. Country Life has been expressing a quite confidence for weeks now that things are moving the Shires way. Fox hunting and the rest of rural issues supposedly ‘put to bed’ under Labour are back on the menu and my Seassanach friends are looking forward at least two terms and a whole lot of revisionist changes.

    The Shires and stockbroker belt know now that their hour is here and Oh Boy are they relishing every moment of it!

    The Celtic Fringes do not figure in the overall scheme of things save to ignore them as much as possible. Of these the North is at the end of the line.

    Other than you know who on the unionist side having a discussions with you know what on the nationalist side to get a ‘security situation’ underway before you know when, then that is the way the North will stay in the overall scheme of things as far as the Tories are concerned !

  • GoldenFleece

    DC you do realise that public spending will be £43 billion more in 2015 than it is currently?

    These cuts are the price of Labour’s legacy. And cuts were coming with Labour in government anyway.

    It is laughable that Labour play the saints in all this.

    And who the hell gave Alan Johnson the Shadow Chancellor job?

  • Frederick Chichester


    UK spending reductions average 19%. The “Celtic Fringe” less than 10%. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good old anti-Tory, anti-English rant eh!

  • bob wilson

    What nonsense the cuts were Harder outside the Celtic fringe

  • bob wilson

    Patricia McKeown argung on UTV should not set a budget!
    Saying ‘our govt should negotiate with the UK Govt’
    Patricia the UK Govt IS our govt and it Has a mandate!

  • DC

    The cuts are at the expense of poorly regulated and costly financial markets – and those banks doing off balance sheet trades, getting round Basel rules etc. At least 6-7% of the deficit was spent propping the banks up.

    Anyway, the Tories promised to follow Labour’s spending plans till the crash happened and took all parties and governments by surprise, especially the rapidity of the collapse.

    On the future, the difference is Labour intends to halve the deficit in 4 years and operate an average 20% departmental cut, the Tories hope to wipe out the deficit and do an on average departmental cut of 19%. The speed and depth is at the expense of welfare payments. (Because such voters aren’t likely to be ConDem voters.) Labour at least planned to bring society with it rather than let a big society fend for itself.

    Besides, full employment isn’t possible nowadays as economies can’t be controlled and protected at a national level – thanks to globalisation and monetarism (controlling the money supply plus aiming for low inflation economy). If there is no way to increase jobs via government or aggressive demand-side then there needs to be a proper welfare safety net there to support the unemployed and the too ill to work.

  • GoldenFleece

    Yeah I seen the advert for the special spending review on UTV and they called it “Axe Wednesday”, I knew then it would not be a sensible debate so I chose not to watch it.

    NI got off pretty light imo.

  • White Horse

    Ideological Britishness at its best, eh David? We can’t be having those poor people bringing down the tone of the Nation.

    Jesus was a true Brit after all.

    Unionism really is a class act.

  • iluvni

    Did I really just hear Martin McGuinness saying “you cant cut your way out of a recession”…and….”we are all in this together”.

    May I make it clear, on my own behalf, that I most certainly am not in anything together with that buffoon, thanks very much.

  • bob wilson

    Oh the irony of it.
    Marty says the English havent kept to the promise to spend £18bn on infrastructure (although Owen Paterson says he’s wrong)
    Why do we need the extra money for infrastructure?
    Because there is an ‘infrastructure deficit’ that built up over the 70s, 80s and 90s
    Why? Becuase Marty and his mates were engaged in an expensive campaign of death and destruction

  • Munsterview

    Just anti -Tory ! I can sympathise with many of the English arguments regarding their own Local situations

  • pippakin


    Ah but the English voted tory, hardly anyone else did. So, presumably they got what they wanted…

  • Munsterview

    Not comparing like with like !

    Very big difference in what a few % points and a cut back will mean to areas of Essex I know and the Shankhill or the Bogside where services and living standards are well below the national average of these relatively comfortable areas to begin with.

  • Seymour Major

    Is there any suggestion here that the cuts hit Northern Ireland more than anywhere else?

    I dont think so. In real terms, the cuts are the same as for Scotland and a bit less than Wales. Overall, they are fair.

    So what is all the fuss about?

  • Cynic

    “So we’re going to be involved in a bit of a battle with the British government on this issue over the coming period.”

    Nah Marty …you are going to pretend you are …. until the election. If its that bad resign! No? What a surprise.

  • Cynic

    Dear Peter and Martin

    I understand you pain. Everyone does. But occasionally reality strikes and you have to do some real governing not the sham fight that you continually play at.

    Yes these cuts are hard but lets reprise a few little problemettes that are all of our own making:

    AGRICULTURE whats the total amount of penalties levied by teh EU becasue of the failure to amagemnet apyments and deal with fraud?

    ENVIRONMENT – again, what’s the projected level of fiones pelase?

    ROADS – all those plans for roads from nowehere to next to nowehere and funded by moeny from ireland that they dont have. Sadly they will have to go.

    HOUSING – I know its not fair Alex as you just came in but you are cleaning up the mess tjhat seeems to ne HIHE


  • Munsterview


    Over the term of the last government I could see their middle-class support going over the hill.

    A teacher friend had her handbag stolen from her car while at the local re-cycling centre in London some six years back, all cards etc gone. The incident happened on friday afternoon, yet no local police available to take a statement before tuesday, that became wednesday and finally on thursday six days later the statement was taken.

    Around the same period this woman had to take in her mother in her own home in the South Coast as the cut backs in social services in London made independent living impossible. Cut backs were having effect back then……. what the hell will they do now!

  • The Raven

    “….and start on increasing the private sector and no more bleating…”

    As long as all parties here (1) realise this will take a generation and (2) commit the resources to doing so. And no, Arlene turning up to herald 25 jobs when it suits, doesn’t count.

  • pippakin


    They will do what we here in Ireland will do, manage as best we can.

    Some say we, the electorate, bought this on ourselves, that we somehow we should have known it was all being done on borrowed loot, perhaps but none of us knew that the bankers were robbing the banks at the same time.

  • Cynic

    RPA – where are all those hundreds of millions of savings Edwin? Well, where are they now?

    EDUKASHUN – millions wasted and a collapsing system so why is Catatonia still there?

    In almost every single area there is either huge waste or no action. You have squandered billions and in the process burned thousands of jobs.

    The only reason you are not thrown out of office is that there seems to be little alternative. In an economy 65% dependent on the public sector SFs policy of higher taxes is simple economic cannibalism. We tax civil servants harder so we can employ more civil servants and ……. Anywhere else we’d call it a PONZI scheme and lock them up.

    Meanwhile the UUP policy seems to be to hanker after the heady days of the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant (Fermanagh Version) when the OO was a force to be reckoned with and all w s right in the world.

    Then back with the SDLP …..by the way, has anyone heard of them recently? Anyone know what they are up to?

    Well boys and girls, time to face up to your responsibilities and do some real politics and some real Government. Come on, we are waiting

  • cushioned from the Euro is the phrase you’re struggling to avoid.

  • fair play to Sammy Wilson. School lessons for the rest of them.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “So what is all the fuss about?”

    Oh, how about the fact that it is simply preposterous to say that all is fair. Heard Mr. Osbourne, and if I were present and allowed to speak, I would have asked him what he means by fair. Then in reply I would have said, fair is when everyone feels their fair share of the pain. The well to do will simply not be sharing in any of the pain and so you really can’t call the scheme “fair”.

    In case you don’t grasp the point, think of how much money Bill Gates and his wife have donated to charity over the last fews. Now ask yourself how much that has crimped their lifestyle. Now make the charitable donation an involuntary extracted tax collection. Either way, no sharing in any pain. And it isn’t just Bill Gates and his wife. There are more than a few with a lot less dollars and pounds who would likewise feel no pain with a greater extraction. For the justification, your universal declaration and your domestic law provide for the protection of property (as do our federal and state constitutions here in the US). Some have more property to be protected. So some should justly pay more for the protection.

  • pippakin

    st etienne

    I’m not sure. Is what the British government doing right? In the long term they may pay a higher price.

    I’m a bit ticked off with the Euro banks, ok the Irish govt borrowed but those bloody banks knew they were cooking the books all the while they were lending the money!

    Not sure there is a solution other than knuckling down and paying off the govt debts, which does not include Anglo Irish Bank, their investors and savers should go chase the directors for their cash.

  • Pete

    “The NI First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, claimed the cuts were ‘worse than feared’ .But his party colleague, and NI Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, has stated that
    “Whilst the level of budget reductions we are facing is unwelcome, and will present a serious challenge, it comes as no great surprise.”

    You have removed the context of Robinson’s comments – they refered back to the SoS’s statement last week. Paterson shouldn’t have been telling fibs about the capital budget last week.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Given that the Englezes have “breached their undertaking” as Robbo puts it,

    Normally I might assume you’re now going to drop your imaginary bullshit about how the Americans, the Irish government and Sinn Fein have the means to force the British government’s hand over anything in particular, but I’ll not hold my breath.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The other thing is that it was obvious that Sammy smelled a rat – he made a comment a few days ago about needing “clarification” from the government about how exactly they were counting the £18bn commitment.

    This kind of insidious number-fiddling is what annoys me most about the Tories. What would they have had to lose by being honest ?

  • bob wilson

    Yeah Comadre Stalin you might ask the same question of the DUP and SF

  • Frusatrated Democrat


    We seem to again be ‘on a different planet’ in NI there are areas in the SE of England that are every bit as bad as the worst areas in Northern Ireland.

    We are NOT a special case any longer; we are part of the UK and have to accept our FAIR share of the cuts, if we had a United Ireland it would be much, much worse.

  • Neil

    Then back with the SDLP …..by the way, has anyone heard of them recently? Anyone know what they are up to?

    Most recently campaigning against all you can drink for 20 quid promotions, where the customers on average drink less than 20 quids worth of booze.

    Just seemed especially pointless to me, suggesting that someone who spends 20 quid to get in to an ‘all you can drink’ night is much worse off than someone who just drank 20 quids worth of drink. In either instance the customer is a drunken mess.

  • Johnny Boy

    Pretty simple political maneuvering, talk up the harm the cuts will cause, then take the credit if things aren’t so bad, and dodge the blame if everything goes pear-shaped.

  • Driftwood

    The cuts could, and should, have went a lot deeper. Especially to the benefits scroungers and welfare cheats who live the life of Reilly throughout our kingdom.

  • Dazzler


    The above article says that the block grant will be reduced by 8%.

    How does a reduction of 4bn from the block grant of 9bn only represent a reduction of 8%?

  • Johnny Boy

    I think it’s 4bn over 4 years and the 8% is in “real terms” so I assume they are factoring in inflation…basically it’s confusing.

  • I agree with you and the rabble rousing towards Paterson on the likes of the Nolan Show is reprehensible.

  • Cynic

    Depnds if you are a solicitor or lawyer drinking Château Talbot dear boy. Cheers!

  • Bob wilson

    In cash terms – for running ‘NI govt’ the Exec will have precisely the same amount of cash.
    Due to inflation however this amounts to about £1.4bn of a ‘cut’ During that time of course a well led Exec could reduce staffing through natural wastage, keep costs down salaries via a pay freeze and seek other effieicnies. So the impact would be fairly minimal

    On the capital side the ‘40% cut’ headline amounts to about £300 to 400m a year less to spend. Given Robbo et al decided to freeze regional rates and Conor et al block water charges – which could have filled this gap – it was a tad cheeky to think the Treasury was going to cough up
    Again a well led Exec could show some leadership – the thing they have spectualrly failed to show to date

    Once the dust has settled and the pathetic attempts to blame the ‘Brits’ died away the focus will switch to were it should be – the ability of the Executive to form a budget

  • Neil

    the ability of the Executive to form a budget

    Cue political pointscoring and cat fight style bitchiness in the executive for the forseeable.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Comrade Stalin,

    Far be it from me to join you off topic but…

    Are you referring to the kick up the hole that Obama adminstered to Posh Boy Dave Cameron for his party(UCUNF) trying to hold up the transfer of Police? Are you still in denial about that?

    Or like most Unionists, are you still in denial about the role of the Yankees in keeping the Englezes honest in the Peace Process?

    I suppose you also believe George Mitchell is a fictional character created in Connolly House?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    “Once the dust has settled and the pathetic attempts to blame the ‘Brits’ ”

    The Tories proved themselves in FST and Hatfield to be a bunch of sectarian disreputables and in spite of that dont even seem to have any Unionists support in Ulster and now the bad dogs have gone back on a deal and everybody is supposed to ignore it – Patterson is one cheeky mother-fecker.

  • Munsterview

    Conceded !

    Where Northern Ireland is different is that colossal amounts of public monies were spend in former years in ‘security services’ to the detriment of other public expenditure on infrastructure etc. The Six Counties are not starting from the same baseline.

    I am well aware of just how run down certain areas of urban wastelands in London and other areas of England really are, all the people there are condemned to mere existence and yet from pre-school right through to provisions of services for the elderly, it is precisely in the support services for these ghetto areas that swinging cuts will hit the hardest.

    A ten or a fifteen percent cut back in a reasonably comfortable lifestyle will lead, in most instances, to some inconveniences and discomforts but little actual hardships. For a family already on the margins cuts and the withdrawal of services such as proposed can and probably will lead to the collapse of most of these family units, such as they are with even more pressure on social services.

    All these withheld and ‘saved’ monies will have to be then spend in emergency child services, court services, prisons, psychotic hospitals, medical services, probation services etc. Once again as in Tatcher V the Miners, this is not a debate just about economics of the North taking it’s fair share of the cuts, it is about the very structure of society itself.

    Monies spend in this way show little in return, they deal with the immediate urgency of reoccurring situations only without ever coming to grips with the root cause. Ultimately such ‘fire-brigade action’ just leaves the fires out but with a mess to still be cleared up and because nothing has been done to alter the cause, a situation remaining where fires will again break out in an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future !

    How can there be any quality of life in underclass society, already recognized as dysfunctional, when supports painstakingly put in place over the years to answer certain needs and on which there is now a mass dependancy, are suddenly and irrevocably removed with people left flounder around to effect their own salvation ?

    The Tories answer like that of Fianna Failure down here is to borrow a phase from ‘Gone with the Wind’ ……. ‘ Fralkly me dear I do not give a damm !’

    Some of us, and more than a few at that, still do !

    This debate is not just about the cuts by the ruling parties and failed financial mandarins on these proposed budgets, it is about how we perceive and define the very society that we live in and the values that we live by.

  • Reader

    Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit: and now the bad dogs have gone back on a deal and everybody is supposed to ignore it
    What deal?
    So far as I can see Gordon Brown spent his last year in office making spending promises he was unable to keep. He was perhaps fortunate to lose the election.
    If you had wanted Gordon to be PM, you should maybe have devoted your energies to England during the recent election – New Labour don’t stand in Northern Ireland.

  • barnshee

    NI has not got a big enough tax take to pay for the tide of benefits currently received. The english taxpayer funds this state of affairs via a subvention”
    If you want more raise it yourself Rates water charges local income tax

    And shut up or fuck off— or preferably both

  • bob wilson

    Sammy – you fall for the DUP £4bn spin if you want too!
    Even the media are realising they were ‘had’ on that one

  • jim

    ime 1 of them n proud about it

  • slappymcgroundout

    “And shut up or fuck off— or preferably both”

    You making a play for comment of the month/year?

  • Munsterview


    Do you not realize that in some unionist circles that actually constitutes articulate dialogue ?

    In fact if you add in a few sailing metaphors, remove the crudities and express the demand in a more elegant form you actually have the distilled essence of entire political philosophy of one particular unionist party regarding their attitude to nationalists !

  • Barnshee

    “you actually have the distilled essence of entire political philosophy of one particular unionist party regarding their attitude to nationalists !”

    ER I am referring to ALL the whingers of N Ireland -Black- White Orange-Green etc.
    The english taxpayers “subvents” to keep the shithole afloat

    Why EXACTLY should NI get more back than they pay in tax?
    Why not raise more AFAIK N I has tax raising powers?

  • slappymcgroundout

    barnshee, if you will take the time to notice, I didn’t mention NI at all. I am not singling out NI. My objection is to the entire plan as it affects the entire area of concern. Think about what you saw. Happy slaps on the back. Right after someone said something about nearly 500,000 losing their jobs. In that context, the happy slaps on the back isn’t austere, but heartless.

    Austerity means different things to different people. For some it means less steak dinners and more fine pasta dinners, while for some others it means going from mac and cheese to dumpster diving. And as I am sure you can appreciate, when the folks who wish this austerity travel, they’ll be staying at 4 star estalishments and not at the Motel 6. So they won’t be feeling any of the pain they ask others to bear. It doesn’t get any more heartless than that.

    Now, onto NI, yes, you get more back than you pay in taxes. So does the southern US (whereas Cali pays more than it gets back). I won’t speak to why the southern US should be in that position, but in your case, you had a near civil war for 30 or so. That couldn’t have helped but to downgrade and stagnate your local economy. So think of your subvention as your version of the Marshall Plan. And if the rest of the UK isn’t happy with it, then I would suggest that they join with you all on a plan to get your economy moving, to include Marshall Plan pounds sterling and the provision of Marshall Plan expertise.

    As it stands now, everyone in the UK who isn’t well to do is in for a world of hurt. Pie in the sky dreaming to think that the private sector will pick up the 490,000-some jobs lost, as more than a few private businesses will go under or downsize owing to less money from govt contracts and less money in society in general what with the cut in benefits.

    And read the news. Sales have dropped for the 2nd month in a row. And whereas jobs were created, say, something around 150,000, from January through August, September brought the most unemployed over the last eight months. And the one institution reported that housing prices fell the most on record. The UK’s growth over the third quarter slipped to 0.4%, down from 1.2% in the second quarter. Doesn’t sound like a time for govt austerity to me, unless, of course, some don’t care so much about the downward slide as they’ve got a parachute to survive the descent.

    Lastly, I don’t live where you live, i.e., not in the UK at all. I only care about you and the rest as fellow humans. And going back to the happy back slaps, if that didn’t tell you that this was ideological and not sound policy, then there really isn’t any point in trying to have a rational discussion. The mood should have been somber and sad, to at least demonstrate some empathy for those sure to feel the pain. Instead, and again, we got happy slaps on the back after some were told that nearly 500,000 of them will relatively soon be losing their jobs and isn’t that reason to celebrate.

  • Munsterview


    Good to see your more detailed coverage of the issues I touched on in 21 October 2010 @ 5:07 pm.

    Perhaps some other patient soul will take up the pen for a third time and consider formulating the message for a dismissive expletive level of economic literacy and it might just get through.

    Up to these current cuts, the position pertaining in the North seems to be that as long as the fenians are getting it in the neck and hurting, others are quite willing to cheerfully expose all other parts of their body to whatever happens to be coming down the line.

    This is a return to Tatcher Toryism and will create the same social devastation as her policies of greed over need did. Individuals in whole regions and generations in Northern England have not seen a real wage package since the period of the miners strike and the clear out of industry that followed.

    It is now all about financial services in London and a quality of life in the Home Counties stockbroker belt where these well paid elites live. ‘barnshee’ in his expelitive summed up the response of Cameron’s Government to all beneath this constituency, most of Northern Ireland included.

  • RJ

    im an Irish Nationalist or just dont care but i believe as Long as the Northern State Continues to Excist then i have the right to be Protected by that state and Politicans even tho i dont agree with them i dont believe in the Hope of God they should rool over to london if they do they are traitors to that State.
    benefits scroungers and Welfare Cheats doesnt excist here its the Duties of the Assembly to provide Support to all her Citizens no matter what Religion, Nationality, or Community its Call Responsibility Stupid not scrounging, dont know what Plant Your On, the Assembly should be Raising More Revenue and Taxes i agree but not to prop up the Westminister Tory-Lib Dem Parliament or Kingdom but for the Benifit of Our People in the North, So I Believe Sinn Fein and Peter Robinson are right to fight
    thats what there Elected to Do, i totaly Disagree with Owen Patterson for 2 Reason [a] i hate the Tories [b] he Wasnt elected by any one here so has no mandate whereas Martin and Peter where. i didnt mind Labour and sorta miss them because they did alot more for the North than any other British and Irish Government.

    its a decision for the Assembly to make so i guess ill have to wait and see like everyone else , but what ever happends the parties will still be the government next year and for the next 50 and maybe even a hundred years from now, its the good thing about the Government in the North, but then again i cant see a United Ireland been the end results of the break up of the UK Either, so i guess are children and grand children will still have the same government with the Same Parties,

    God Bless Ireland and the English, Scottish, and Welsh in the roads ahead,