Monday, 26 January 2009

Stroke City hosting North-South chinwag

The North South Ministerial Council ended the political week with a chinwag at Magee College in Londonderry/Derry/Doire.

It’s the first time the council has sat down to natter since Peter Robinson assumed the reins from the Big Man, and Brian Cowen stepped into the shoes left vacant by Bertie.

Staying topical, they discussed how to beat what the British Government has now officially confirmed as a recession in the UK.

With no sense of irony, it comes on the day that Thales Missile Systems announced a contract for providing Starstreak missiles for the MoD (Raytheon style protests are not likely in Newtownabbey though) and two construction companies from Northern Ireland won the contract to build a motorway.

Unfortunately that motorway is being built in Scotland…

As northern and southern ministers contemplated the murkiness of spiralling unemployment, there must have been a certain amount of handwringing over what actually can be done.
With banking giant HSBC pulling out of the PFI deal on the Erne Hospital and the venerable Superquinn empire conceding exchange rate defeat for its Dundalk store, the bad news seems to keep flowing like a tide.

But rest assured that such North South Ministerial Council meetings will promise much co-operation to “weather the storm” but it seems unlikely that First Minister Robinson will go as far as saying that a united approach with his southern counterparts is required. As a Chelsea fan he is allergic to any sentence with “united in it” lest he be invited to Old Trafford.

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