Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The dog's breakfast

Perhaps the Ulster fry has not been completed because the UUP were busy making the dog's breakfast.  Yesterday, they released a brief document on the budget crisis.  Unlike the wall to wall coverage of Sinn Fein's proposals, it receives skant media attention.  Whether they realise it or not this is probably doing them a favour as the less attention brought to the document the better for them.  However, the fact it is not on their website maybe shows they do realise it. So despite it being called "You heard it here first" not from their website you don't. (In the absence of this it can be downloaded here.)

On first reading I thought it could be so bad that it would be deserving of a cult status - so monumentally weak that its direness is worthy of appreciation. However, it even fails to achieve that.  The document is by and large incoherent noise and babble with some economic cliche bingo thrown in.  It barely has a single actual proposal.  

The sole thing it does do  is isolate the  UUP Health Minister Michael McGimpsey with no backing for ring-fencing.  It rejects:

"Narrow departmental priorities cannot be allowed to usurp Northern Ireland plc’s priorities..."

Then offers a sentence on health that is near non-sensical:

"All research suggests that front-line health services are at the head of the public’s list of public service delivery which should be protected."

If Sinn Fein's proposals were economically illiterate then the UUP document is the equivalent of cave paintings. I had suggested the Sinn Fein proposals should be placed on the fridge for the UUP I have an alternative suggestion.  One of the most memorable quotes from my time in the UUP was John Taylor during a UUP Executive refering to a Maginnis/McGimpsey drafted negotiation document as "toilet paper". This follows in that tradition.


Chekov said...

I wanted to defend this, but it is indeed dire. For a start it seems to be heads of proposals rather than actual detail. If we were going to produce a serious document, here's the categories we might look at! Funding proposals? Why not try water rates for a start and dropping the dreadful, pointless free prescriptions nonsense? That might actually be something that has to be defended though. An indictment not only of the UUP but of the way politics is done at Stormont.

Anonymous said...

But the real biggie is the slap down to McGimpsey.

No ring-fencing of the entire Dept Health Budget but only protection for "front-line" services. That's far from what the Gimp was fighting for!