Whose junket is it anyway?

I’m almost despairing that high politics for us in Northern Ireland now comes down to a row about a trip to San Diego that’s scheduled, er, not scheduled, to happen until it’s been agreed/not agreed by Stormont’s Employment and Learning Committee…

The proposed purpose? To examine how research and development linked to universities could help create jobs. San Diego’s not a bad model. Ah well, it seems we don’t need any of that, unless it’s done by the Executive, OFMDFM or even Belfast City Council.

And that last named only managed to bring the MTV Awards back to Belfast…

On the up side, no doubt servicing the wall to wall local coverage will help take Barry’s mind off that little spot of trouble back in Carrickmore…

Whilst Northern Ireland’s self appointed and singular member of the opposition can be reassured that he only has to say the word and 104 (out of a total 108) government MLAs are leaping around like cats on a tin roof…

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  • The Raven

    I have no problem with this or any other trip which is undertaken by our elected representatives. I have no problem with our elected representatives spreading the word about this little corner of the planet. I don’t even have a problem with some of our public sector workers going somewhere to see how what they do is done elsewhere.

    I DO have a problem with 11 of them going – should that happen – with their coterie of civil servants, and any of the elected reps’ wives, which used to be a regular occurence.

    What’s the cost of the 11 of them going? Is it any different from the £Xm wasted on the Maze project? The £9m (?) wasted on RPA which frankly won’t happen? The millions in fines waiting to be paid by DARD? Anyone had a look at what’s being spent behind the scenes in preparation for City of Culture?

    But I’ll sit back and wait for the usual harrumphing from the masses in here; frankly, I’m sure the cost is only a fraction of the largesse I used to see spent in the private sector when “things woz good”.

    A junket is only a junket when it’s not you that’s going on it. Your initial sentence, Mick, is the crux of the issue. This is storm in a teacup stuff, and frankly, with 60k+ people unemployed – and not because of a trip to San Diego – I blame Nolan and others for this being the story du jour.

    But remember folks, if you don’t like it, you can kick them out in a few years time. Here’s hoping more than 54% of you turn out.

  • Drumlins Rock

    how do we kick Nolan out?

  • The yokel

    if everybody ignores him he will go away

  • Greenflag

    California is the Greece of the United States . With 12% official unemployment rate and probably another 5% added on to that for the actual unemployment rate not to mention that 546,669 California properties received a foreclosure filing in 2010 the highest total in any State . If the junketeers take a short trip across the border into Mexico they may even get to hear the sound of gunfire to remind them of the good old times in Norn Iron .Sadly the Mexican drug cartels have notched up some 40, 000 deaths in a tenth of the time it took Norn Iron to notch up 4,000.

    Perhaps they’re going to offer former California governor -actor and weight lifter Arnold Schwarzenegger the job of next FM ? He was very good at ‘lifting ‘

  • Cynic2

    Were the police informed?

    Has the Council pulled the licence for the ground?

    If not, why not and what measures are they forcing the Club to take to ensure the safety of spectators?

  • Cynic2

    Ha… right post …wrong thread!

  • Mick Fealty


    Erm, play the ball?

  • Jack2

    Taxpayers (remember the Govt has no money, only what they take from workers) paying for 2-3 proven big hitters going to the US is no issue.
    To pay for 11 is a complete joke.

    Its not a them or us or Nolan question, its our money we decide what happens to it.

  • lover not a fighter

    They would probably do less damage (to us anyways) while they are over there.

    I suppose it would be good manners to alert the San Diegans (?) that they would have to be cautious about whatever they allowed our Reps to interact with !

  • Pigeon Toes

    ” Mr McElduff said he would “not support a waste of public money.
    He added that his Sinn Fein colleague Michelle Gildernew who also sits on the DEL committee shared the same view”

    Ach that’s wile reassuring….

  • iluvni

    Tuscany, Barcelona, Paris….San Diego…

    Splendid locations to find much needed investment, I must say. I’m sure Rio has something important for the Committee to investigate…

  • Pigeon Toes


    “We have a good story to tell and we will be highlighting our proven track record in this field during our meetings with key Hollywood executives. This success and new found confidence mirrors what is happening in wider society and the message from this visit is loud and clear – we are open for business and will give every support to those who wish to do business with us.”

    On Tuesday morning the Minister’s will attend a digital media breakfast where they will speak with representatives from the computer games industry, digital media companies and post production special effects teams.”

    Equally reassuring…

  • Cynic2

    Perhaps some of the staff at Stormont could show some our MLAs one of these new found computer thingumys. That would allow them to ‘do research’ on-line without the need for wasting all that time flying to the USA.

    Indeed, they would save time too for all those officials who will be forced to travel with them to pay the bills, polish their shoes and generally stop them getting lost or falling in with inappropriate wimmin in the big bad USA.

    The brighter one or two among them might even discover a thing called ‘video conferencing’ that would allow them to speak to people in the USA almost as though they were in the same room, and all for the cost of a telephone call! I am sure BT would be delighted to demonstrate it to them.

    They might even find that the efficiency of all this would allow them to reach some conclusions by perhaps the end of next week instead of spending months in committee rooms planning the visit, getting the finding, fighting off media attacks and making more cuts to fund it.

    But of course that is ‘not the way Government works” so the rest of us taxpayers who fund this opulent lifestyle can just sit back, relax and enjoy a bit of music

  • Cynic2

    “Michelle Gildernew who also sits on the DEL committee shared the same view”

    That’s the Michelle who ran up HUNDREDS of millions in EU fines through incompetence and inaction while Minister of Agriculture? You have to hand it to Barry. It’s the way he tells them.

  • streetlegal

    – If you go to San Diego,
    Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair –

  • Uncle Sam can’t teach Ulster anything that they would want to import. Open your eyes and ears to the bigger picture which is collapsing around you ……… http://thedailybell.com/3295/Robespierres-War-on-Terror

    And don’t forget that the comments on stories have tales to feel too.

  • Oops …that should be tales to tell, and not feel, although that can also work in a Freudian sort of a way. 🙂