Creating the Good Economy Live Blog…

The cuts are coming, no matter who says what in Stormont. To turn over what that means, NICVA have convened a range of leading commentators from business, politics, trade unions and the voluntary and community and social enterpise sectors will be joining David McWilliams and Will Hutton in the Stormont Hotel.

I’ll be live tweeting, audiobooing along with a Star Chamber of other bloggers including Ivor Whitten of Hand of History, Geoff McGimpsey of Open Unionism. I’m hoping Mooch will be joining us too…

MOst of the content in this live blog will be generated through Twitter… If you want to follow the proceedings (and participate) today follow the #NICVA hashtag… And keep an eye out both here on Slugger and on the other blogs for follow up content over the next few days…

It’s a rare opportunity to talk about the real politics of the new austerity in both a UK and an island context…

  • Old Mortality

    I hope you hear something more original than whingeing about bankers and how they’re all paying for a crisis that’s into of their making zzzzz. If NICVA is paying the pipers, I fear the worst although McWilliams should be less compliant.

  • Mick Fealty

    No, I’ll be doing that tonight at the Cleraun Media Forum this evening in Dublin (—Seminar-8-Nov-2011.pdf)…

  • Cynic2

    Why austerity? The cuts in NI are measured as a few % of GDP and even modest growth would balance them out. The issue is one of redistribution in NI – a movement from state sector to private

    And the problem or even advantage here is that our state sector is so bloated and inefficient that we could easily save that few % from efficiency savings. And I don’t mean the type of facile savings the civil service quote. We need radical reform of a type that our existing Senior civil servants could not deliver.

    So lets start with the top. Require every senior civil servant to undergo a competence assessment managed externally. Based on past experience about 30% will be incapable of delivering their current roles and 40% need some development. Those who cant should go. Those who need help should get it and be reassessed. The rest should be promoted and thrive.

    But none of this will happen. The DUP and SF are taking even greater control of senior civil service appointments. Not because they want better Government but because it means more pork for cronies.

    They want poodles not competent people who can deliver and who, heaven forbid, might have bright ideas that could make them look stupid.

    So strategically the best we can hope to do is muddle through.

    Watch the slow atrophy of the services that many of our people rely on.

    Wait for the electorate to wake up that they are voting for donkeys.

    Oh yes, and beef up the PSNI Fraud Squad to investigate the rampant corruption that is on its way.

  • Cynic2

    Is it me? Usually on Slugger anything that touches on ‘the national issue’ provokes a torrent of response. Anything important and the comments section lies empty.

  • Cynic2, these big names on the NICVA platform are names that I’ve heard so I decided to have a look at Will Hutton to see what the £150 convention fee has to offer.

    Here is a snippet from the NICVA link above:

    Will Hutton is the Principal of Hertford College, Oxford University. He is also Chair of the Big Innovation Centre at The Work Foundation, the most influential voice on work, employment and organisation issues in the UK. Regularly called on to advise senior political and business figures and comment in the national and international media, Will is today one of the pre-eminent economics commentators in the country.

    However, when I googled with ‘will hutton work foundation’ I stumbled on a Guardian article (October 2010) which painted a rather less rosy picture:

    The Work Foundation, which bills itself as “the leading independent authority on work and its future”, announced today that it had been acquired by Lancaster University. The move came after a winding up petition, citing a £26.9m pension deficit, was filed at the high court yesterday.

    The university claims the purchase minimises losses to creditors, including pension fund members, and safeguards 43 jobs, including that of the foundation’s executive vice-chair, Will Hutton.

    So, a big idea is one thing; putting it into practice is quite another.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Shocking Nevin, absolutely … The first things the Con Dem government cut deeper than anything else by simple ratio were the research councils (followed by the universities) for Science, put simply people who work in areas where deep universial mysteries are investigated and the path to new technologies as well as their functions are worked upon.

    On the otherhand there seems to be no austerity to these economic forums designed to aid the private sector which by definition should be able to come up with their own ideas.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Let me clarify, public scientific research in the UK is often to 3 non commercial sectors: Defence, Environment and the NHS as well as some blue sky research through university clusters. A cut to the science sector is transferred to these areas.

  • FuturePhysicist

    My belief is that one of the reasons the UK is one of the unhappiest places in Europe ergo most unproductive workforce is because of high public investment in the philosophy of consultancy.

    Scotland has actually a better attitude, I’ve seen SNP posters telling people to work as if they were in brighter times. That works, and so do many others as unemployment is slowly falling.

  • Cynic2

    “putting it into practice is quite another”

    Generating a £26m pension deficit on an organisation with 43 staff is a prodigious feat

  • Cynic2

    Will Hutton’s bio on

    is illuminating. After a brief spell in the City he started at the well padded BBC then on to the tax dodging Guardian before joining the Work Foundation. Clearly he brings a wealth of experience in the white hot heat of technology and the commercial sector then.

    Sorry Mick but I wouldn’t waste a fiver on what looks to me more like a wingefest than anything else. The one thing it does demonstrate for me is how unbalanced our economy really is.

  • Was almost going to go to this today to hear McWilliams at the end. Saw sense and decided not to risk heightening my blood pressure needlessly.

  • Cynic2, Will is also on the advisory council of Demos – click AC link

    Powerful ideas.

    Demos is a think-tank focused on power and politics. Our unique approach challenges the traditional, ‘ivory tower’ model of policymaking by giving a voice to people and communities, and involving them closely in our research. ..

    “ MPs cannot represent their constituents because the whips are their masters, not us ”

    The New Face of Digital Populism

    But who controls the digits?

    And a cautionary quote:

    There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. by Victor Hugo.