Nicely put by Newton Emerson in Saturday’s Irish News. If kids from Northern Ireland are leaving, it isn’t because of public sector austerity. Compared to other places Northern Ireland has been feather-bedded in this regard.
In the Republic the Haddington Road agreement has overseen agreed cuts in public wages in an effort to save jobs, and a recruitment freeze has helped preserve the jobs of those already in public sector employment, whilst casting huge shadow over the employment prospects of those leaving school or college.
In England, councils have slowly been stripped of their capacity to shape local economies and under Thatcherite initiative of Eric PIckles has drastically cut local authority’s outspend on charities and other civil society actors to deliver services that no longer exist.
Here’s the thing. The preferential deal first negotiated and then very publicly disowned by Sinn Fein Making a stand is one thing. Making one whilst holding the office which is ultimately responsible for this omnishambles is quite another. And making stand against one set of cuts only for it to replaced with something worse, is a class of 1984/5 NUM style leadership…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty