MacKenzie and Murphy: Negotiation by leak and spin…

The one thing that will be concentrating Laurence MacKenzie’s mind today, will be his possible appearance at the Regional Development Committee tomorrow in open session. Whether he does or not is in the gift of the Minister. The question is who wants Mr MacKenzie to appear there the least, himself or the Minister?

Up now though he has made it clear that rumours emanating from the Murphy appointed Board saying he has considered resigning are not true. Rather it looks like a negotiating trick to put more pressure on the beleaguered CEO of NI Water. The negotiations will likely be over the size of Mr MacKenzie’s severance package.

As Pete notes, the Ministerial support which has been pretty solid for most of this year has now disappeared like, well, like “snow off a ditch”. That RD committee may be the only thing concentrating his mind, since with his SF wing men gone, he’d be taking it from all sides.

But then Mr MacKenzie knows better than anyone else who is still in play exactly what his deal with the DRD last January entailed.

With the Minister either unwilling or unable to sack MacKenzie the latter may figure that he is entitled to take a decent early severance payment if he’s the one to carry the can, the whole can, and nothing but the can for the hapless Murphy.

Tonight’s news programmes should be worth watching. If he gets past those, we’ll see if he appears at tomorrow’s RDC… If he does show, we may even live blog it…

  • Silence is golden (handshake?).

  • Pigeon Toes

    Let’s face it, he’s not going to sign a confidentiality agreement without some type of pay off.

    More games.

  • Cynic2

    If there is a handshake or an ‘we cant talk about it, it’s confidential’ response it will be the death knell for the Minister.

    He will look devious as well as incompetent.

    And if there is a vote of no confidence and all the MLAs bar the Shinners vote against him what then? He wont move, SF wont make him and the reputation of this system of government will be significantly damaged.

    Let me be clear too. I am a unionist by disposition but up to now felt that Murphy was one of the more competent Ministers. That belief was wrong. Objectively I think he really should go because:

    * he sacked the old Board and appointed one with no experience

    * above all his performance in the crisis was totally utterly lamentable

    * he failed to hold NIW to account from an early stage and was in denial about how bad things were

    * he blindly supported McKenzie when noone else in their right mind would have

    * he failed to co-ordinate across all of Government to bring all the relevant resources to bear until the very last stage when tens of thousands of people were cut off from supply

    I have no doubt that SFs answer will be to support him at every stage. If they do so they regrettably will simply show that party interests are more important to them than the suffering of tens of thousands of voters.

    I also don’t think that Murphy is the only one in the firing line here. Where was our esteemed First Minister for most of the time, for example? What was going on in NIHE? Why did Marty drop the ball and blindly support Murphy when he was digging himself into a large water filled hole.

  • 241934 john brennan

    Beware of another yellow card – for kicking shinners in the….oops ….shins.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Fully agree Cynic…………..except for one little thing………….noone……….is NOT a word !!! 😉

  • McKavanaghs

    MacKenzie has tendered his resignation and the NIW Board has recommended to the minister that he accept it.

    Trevor Haslett hotly tipped as interim replacement.

  • Sean Og

    Why all the red and yellow cards?

  • Mick Fealty

    Persistent breaches of the golden rule Sean!

  • edgeoftheunion
  • oh no it isn’t, its the pantomime season remember.

    If they kept the Speaker waiting they would know what for, but as its only us the public never bother.

  • Why are we waiting; why are we waiting 🙂

    Hamlet without the Prince of Darkness

    To GoCo or not to GoCo

  • Mick Fealty

    Official start is eleven I think…

  • There’s no show without Punch, oh yes there is

  • call centres to be dealt with by liam! Nice one trevor

    Is Liam the Ciaran Rogan of NIW?

  • category 1 called the incident director not by Lawrence of Absentia

  • category 1 called by the incident director not by Lawrence of Absentia

    200 lines into building does not mean 200 people on the other end of lines, if that were the case a 1000 calls an hour is easily manageable

  • Trevor’s body language suggests belated New year’s eve request to mutual aid appears to have been laid at the door of sarah venning

  • The wrong type of snow
    the wrong type of leaves

    to which can be added

    the wrong type of thaw

  • Incident director revealed to be sarah venn diagram

  • With respect to liam, who has been a soldier, the core of the issue is not comms but strategic planning translated into operational, contingency and emergency plans.

  • Now we know why thousands of businesses and families were without water over the Christmas and New year period.

    In essence it was because of unprecedented weather conditions and poor comms.

    Believe that and you believe anything.

  • Mick Fealty

    Important to note that Sara Venning is actually Number 2 in NIW, and Trevor is not even a Board member. Yet.

    Yet it is Trevor who is constantly having to correct her and talk over her when she (frequently) goes off the point.

    This is where you are getting a real glimpse at the problems of NI Water.

  • Manpower available over holiday period, budget for contingency, percentage volume of water lost from 70% of all defects namely the private house defects – all not known by the threesome.

  • Health warning

    It’s dangerous to pop in and out of Committee hearings when you’re working.

    They might have had 200 lines but according to the BBC news script they also had 600,000 attempted calls.

    Apologies for the misreporting