SDLP leader anticipates the Con-DUP money bonus…

This just in from Colum Eastwood (see how many of Richard Bullick’s points you can spot?):

The talks in London are clearly undermining the talks here.  We need a resolution to that uncertainty so that we can get on with the job of getting the deal done here.

The chaotic talks between the DUP and the Tories are holding the politics of the North to ransom.  If there is an economic package coming from London then it needs to be targeted to those areas and those people in the North who have been left behind.

The DUP needs to understand that it is not their money. It belongs to all the people of Northern Ireland. It must be targeted where objective need exists, not the parochial political desires of one party.

During previous Executives, under the watch of the DUP and Sinn Féin, the North faced further economic re-partitioning – with the West of the Bann losing out again and again.

That specifically means that the road infrastructure projects of the A5 and the A6 must be delivered. A new programme of house building to tackle the significant lengths of, and inequalities in, housing waiting lists.

Investment in higher education, including the expansion of the Magee campus. And an end to the choice between working or raising a family faced by too many working parents.

It is clear from these negotiations that both the DUP and Sinn Féin are eager to get back into government but just haven’t yet worked out how and what timing will best suit them.

Despite all the speculation, I’m not sure SF as a corporate body has yet been told what it wants to do viz a viz Stormont.

But you can be pretty sure if there is a restart, health spending (a quagmire for both DUP and SF ministers) and roads (Derry is doubly cursed by A5 and A6 failures) will feature highly as the carrot to get them back on track.

  • Zorin001

    Upgrading the energy infrastructure, particularly west of Bann is a must as it’s a serious block to major manufacture expanding operations here.

  • Karl

    Arlene isnt coming back with 2 billion quid for nationalist constituencies. Mind you, shes not coming back with 2 billion anyway, but whatever she gets is going to unionists in the ever increasingly clientist state.

  • Gopher

    Eastwood loses 3 seats to SF and attacks the DUP which counted for little in any of the aforementioned seats apart from the diverse South Belfast.. He really needs a high viz jacket with genius at work printed on it. The electorate that bought into the DUP’s electoral success need rewarded which means all the priorities are in the East especially when we need to improve our links to the rest of the U.K. Perhaps if your party had a point or you were actually concerned with “one man (or woman) one vote” in Foyle and other constituencies people might take you seriously Calum

  • ted hagan

    You’re an optimist, I’ll give you that.

  • ted hagan

    She’s one up on Sinn Fein if she does split the cake fairly. (ie ‘Look what I got while Sinn Fein were sitting on their backsides’)

  • chrisjones2

    Pity the SDLP threw all its MPs under an electoral bus or it could have said that in Parliament

    70% of its voters don’t support a United Ireland and it makes out greening the Shinners its strategy!!!

  • Karl

    Its not going to get anyone to cross tribal lines to vote for her so its not going to happen. She may be forced into some general, across the board splurging but you can bet the cash will be staying in the east and any that goes west will be as a result of making SF jump for it in return of a return to Stormont, which is why they should steer well clear of her.

    The DUP have done a sterling job in keeping the Sammy Wilsons et al off the airwaves but already British public opinion is turning against the blatant extortion attempts from them.

    In fairness to them, theyre in an invidious position because unlike a normal coalition party, they cant really push the Tories on policy issues, so it has to be naked cash which turns the British public against them and pricks the ears of Tory MPs.

    Most likely outcome is no formal deal with the DUP supporting on important votes, for cash as and when we can allocate on the quiet to you.

  • ted hagan

    No of course she’s not going to gain votes from the nationalist side but it will aggravate and sicken Sinn Fein, something I’m sure she would cherish.

  • Karl

    Annoying SF just for the sake of it and giving money to themmuns isnt going to go down well in unionist strongholds. She will cement her position in unionist constituencies and complete the UUP irrelevance

  • ted hagan

    She doesn’t need to do that though. The Ulster Unionists are dead in the water. Mission accomplished. Her next tactic if she has any sense is to promote the benefits to everyone of remaining within the UK. And there are plenty of undecideds in the ‘nationalist’ community.

  • George Fleming

    Could it just be possible the Tory “chancellor of the exchequer” will not hand over one penny in the DUP-Tory deal until the Stormont assembly is up and running again?

  • Karl

    They’re not dead yet. Unconcious and clinging to a life raft, I’ll grant you, but not dead. They have to work out how many of the UUPs 85,000 votes will be lost unionism under if they finish them off.

  • Karl

    DUP want to go back. SF dont. Not sure how Tory money for DUP capital projects is going to persuade them.

  • Zorin001

    It gets harder and harder every year

  • Redstar

    Come next month when it’s burn everything you can lay hands on and scream vile sectarian hatred at your Catholic neighbours it’s all back to normal for the real DUP and Arlene we know best. You give them far too much credit Ted

  • Dónall

    70% that’s a good round figure. Where does it come from?

  • Casper

    At the end of the day the DUP need the Tories infinitely more than the Tories need the DUP. If two pro union parties can’t agree a deal in 10 days of talks imagine how the Brexit deal is going to go.

  • Granni Trixie

    Not forgetting HOL sweeties for some.

  • Oggins

    So any monies should be spent in the DUP areas? Am I taking it wrong?

  • chrisjones2

    Life and Times Survey

  • Karl

    The DUP are certainly not doing themselves long term with the Tories. Embarrassing them by denigrating their negotiating skills before Brexit. That serve will be returned with interest in time.
    The Tories might be thinking 18 MPs not turning up from NI might be worth it. The DUP might get a deal, but the cost in long term political capital with the boys of the 1922 committee will outweigh whatever sweeties they get. Interesting to note the constituency boundaries do not appear to have come up.

  • Casper

    The Tories did themselves no favours either regarding their negotiating skills, Teresa May boasting in public pre-negotiation that she would be a bloody difficult woman wasn’t exactly inspired leadership.

  • Reader

    Karl: She will cement her position in unionist constituencies and complete the UUP irrelevance
    How?
    Come on folks – you are talking about the money as though there was going to be a cheque deposited into a DUP bank account.
    It is possible that the money may be ring-fenced – for instance I heard half of it would go to the Health Service. The most recent Health Minister was a Shinner!
    Either the Assembly gets back into business to spend the money, or it will be allocated by the SoS and the NIO.

  • Casper

    The only figure that will matter is the one that is counted after a proper border poll chris.

  • Karl

    Nope, but she has 300 odd (no pun intended) MPs, has her hands on the levers of power of a trillion plus economy and leads a country of 60 million. Arlene has 10 and a shaky grasp on political and administrative competence in a political backwater populated by a third of the people who would rather not recognise Westminster at all.
    Tory revenge will be served cold.

  • Casper

    It’s a certainty. History shows us this.

  • Dónall

    I would be interested in seeing that survey.

  • Karl

    And it will be allocated to reopen A&Es, wards, provide additional nurses, build new facilities in largely unionist constituencies. If you think its going to be based on need and allocated accordingly then I wish I wasnt as cynical as you.
    If Health is getting a billion quid, you can bet SF arent getting Health.

  • Casper

    She’s won’t be one up on SF at all. The DUP are in a position now where they are expected to bring home the bacon. If they do so well and good, after all they deserve it. But SF losses nothing by this. If on the other hand the DUP fail to get anything juicy then SF will nod and smile knowingly.

  • Dónall

    Found it. I would take it with a pinch of salt however. I should imagine that a lot of people favour unity at a time in the future when it is less likely to create significant community tensions. It would also seem that a lot of former SDLP supporters have switched to Sinn Féin. Was this the 30% in favour of a United Ireland?

  • Casper

    Watching the British Treasury spending English tax-payers money on N.I. projects would not aggravate or sicken anyone in N.I, that’s just a daft idea. Let them empty the coffers and spend it all here, see if it makes Gerry laugh or cry.

  • ted hagan

    DUP gets the kudos for screwing more cash out of Westminster? Adams will be tearing his hair out, believe me.

  • Casper

    Sorry, I can’t see it that way ted. The more they spend the better for us all on this island. I believe a UI is inevitable in the near future anyway so let Britain pay to pave our roads and build our hospitals and schools before that day arrives. I tip my hat to the DUP if they can manage it.

  • ted hagan

    I enjoy the politics and the manoeuvrings. I have no time for either the DUP, or Sinn Fein.

  • Ciara 007

    Not dead, there is very much a spot for non DUP Unionists as there is for non SF Nationalists. The UUP unlike the SDLP are seriously stuck for talent and charisma, they will need to carve out a new image for themselves, difficult task but not impossible.

  • 05OCT68

    How can we get them to vote for Unionist parties?

  • chrisjones2

    Yes. Cling to that.

  • Gopher

    Passenger Duty which should be priority number one is universal no matter where you live. Priority number two is infrastructure in the East to maximize the effect of passenger duty and the daily commute in and around Belfast so yes you are wrong as Belfast we are repeatedly told is a nationalist city now

  • Casper

    Certainly I will chris, the same way you cling onto any irrelevant poll/survey on the matter that might support your view. I know it concerns you deeply because you never give over about it.
    Unionists talk more about a border poll (particularly you chris) and SF taking seats at Westminster than republicans do!
    If you were not worried you wouldn’t return to the sublect so often, or at least not to this extent.
    More to the point, if it didn’t scare the bejesus out of you then you wouldn’t be at all afraid of a future official poll.

  • Casper

    No-one cares about passenger duty where I live. I have literally never heard one person wanting it changed, so no, it is not any sort of priority except in unionist minds.

  • Oggins

    Why is passenger duty priority? Because most international flights are from Dublin?

    Agree we need to address the west link with the traffic lights and a few other pinch points like Saintsfield junction to the south.

    We have the super buses being worked at, but you need to change public perception on transport. Get people out their cars. You need to either make it worthwhile financially or time wise. Neither do as present. My previous job in Belfast had me spending £40 a month in fuel for work. If the buses were half that and quicker then I would use the bus. We need to crack that first.

    We can’t ignore the west. The island of Ireland has 70% of it population sitting within 60 miles of Dublin and Belfast city centres. Nuts.

    We should be actively trying to grow the likes of Derry and the larger towns in the West. To do that we need greater transport links, primarily roads.

    By spending in the West we are encouraging growth in the West and releasing tension on a strained system in the east.

    Don’t carry if a town or city is nationalist or unionists, just want common sense applied

  • Gopher

    Unionists are the ones making the deal

  • Casper

    You said –

    ”Passenger Duty which should be priority number one is universal no matter where you live”.

    I’m telling you that is not anywhere near correct. Yes unionists are making the deal but don’t try to claim passenger duty is or should be a priority for everyone because it’s simply not.