Friday, July 21, 2006


It's so obvious it's laughable. Not a day goes by without some noise from the UK government craftily designed to encourage pressure on the DUP - from within Northern Ireland - to accept its role in a devolved government.
The day before yesterday we had Permatan Hain saying the number of NI government departments would have to undergo a drastic cut. This is a pretty obvious ruse to get thousands of civil servants onto Paisley's case pronto. I love Hain's pseudo-logic: 'if it's OK to cut the number of local government authorities, then it's OK to axe central government units too'. Yes, PermaBoy, but who said it's right to cut the councils? Who said it makes sense to ditch Fermanagh District Council and have planning approvals for sheds in Belleek turned down in Cookstown? No one but a mad management consultant high on the stuff you never used to inhale in South Africa.
Today Permantan has pulled another emotional lever: Assembly members' staff are to be axed if there's no progress. Remember: I'm not arguing with the logic - of course an MLA with no job needs no staff - and regular readers will know I agree that Ian Paisley needs to embrace a new inclusive Ulster, but it's the sheer calculated cynicism of the Permatan machine that makes me realise England doesn't really give a stuff about Unionists any more.


At 5:17 a.m., Anonymous Bill said...

They never did.

At 11:24 a.m., Blogger Cybez said...

and in the news today...Hain's 'interference' criticised

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has accused the NI secretary of interfering too much in the running of the assembly since its recall in May.
Speaking on the BBC's Inside Politics, he said Peter Hain should have left the local parties in control.

"People are playing politics with the secretary of state, trying to push him one way or the other," Sir Reg said.

Could be true?

At 5:34 p.m., Blogger new to ulster said...

You are right about one thing -

"England doesn't really give a stuff about Unionists any more."

I'm English living in NI and the media back home is starting to preach about how much money comes to NI.

At 8:50 p.m., Blogger Cybez said...

Was it a "troops out" message a few years ago?

At 11:50 p.m., Anonymous new to ulster said...

With more people from England visiting Northern Ireland they have noticed that house prices are lower, rates are lower (I used to pay just under £1500 plus £378 water and sewage for a one bedroom flat in Bristol, I now pay just over £500 for a three bedroom house in Co. Down), education is better (not for long), class sizes are smaller (not for long), I don’t have to commute for over one hour a day and the air is cleaner.

The Republican media campaign is telling the English about the “Ulster Spongers” paying less tax.

At 6:59 p.m., Anonymous Paul said...

"I'm English living in NI and the media back home is starting to preach about how much money comes to NI."

Can you point me in the direction of any of these articles?

If there is a "republican media campaign" on the mainland, my impression is that it's having very little impression (just did a google on "Ulster Spongers", Wilson's little jibe from 74 popped up but that's it).

From what I've heard, since the Provos stopped bombing and shooting them, Northern Ireland is way down the list of the typical English,Scottish, Welsh person's list of concerns, somewhere slightly below dental charges I'd guess

So I'd be interested to see what evidence you have seen to the contrary.


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