WATER BOARD CEO-Laurence MacKenzie resignation statement: BBC NEWS

January 6, 2011

BBC News – In full: Laurence MacKenzie resignation statement.

I’m not renowned for my understanding nods and sympathetic supportive comments when civil servants make massive mistakes and leave us hanging out to dry but the recent treatment of Northern Ireland Water CEO Laurence MacKenzie does NOT serve us well.

It is very difficult to see what this fall guy could have done to prevent the recent water crisis.

  • He did not control the last 50 years of underspend on water infrastructure that meant so many aged and under-maintained pipes were not fit for purpose- the government did! Let’s sack a politician.
  • He did not decide the current budget allocation to NI Water that allows for the employment of staff, the man hours for meticulous disaster planning and the bulk purchase and storage of massive water relief aid if disaster strikes – the government did! Let’s sack a politician.
  • He did not control the weather and since these conditions were “unprecedented” it seems a bit harsh to put the guy’s career in the freezer over something that our weather experts did not predict!

It seems to me that the correct head to roll here is that of a politician.

It is time for Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy to take political responsibility for the failing of his department. Now, since he too could not have foreseen this particular set of circumstances, I’m sure Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness could then post him to some other department where we can await patiently his not foreseeing some other impending disaster.

At least by one of them resigning our politicians would show some element of  political maturity, an ounce of the accountability they currently avoid by all means possible and Laurence MacKenzie could use the disaster we’ve experienced as leverage to get the situation sorted out before it all happens again.

BUT… here’s my prediction of what will happen now MacKenzie’s resignation has been accepted:-

  • no politicians resign and this behaviour just re-enforces the public perception that ALL POLITICIANS are merely self-serving, money grabbing, morally corrupt incompetents;
  • the disaster will be used as a rationale for the privatisation of the water utility in Northern Ireland;
  • a nice shiny new CEO will be appointed to the latest money making exercise. No doubt he/she will be  all cleanly washed and buffed to a shine and will then proceed to take a massive salary for “sorting out the problem” . He/she will fail in this task and the abject failure will only be highlighted when we have prolonged droughts and/or another session on Mother Nature’s freezer. By the time all this happens the politicians will have moved on, made even more money from having done nothing but jabber and the NI public will be paying through the pocket for private shareholders to rake in big dividends while the water system continues to corrode beneath our streets.

Am I wrong in my prediction? I do hope so but I doubt it.


BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Anti-social problem is ‘ongoing’

January 5, 2009

As has been highlighted in this blog before , see the entry on Underage Drinking, things aren’t particularly good for certain sections of our community when young people get deeply involved in drink and drugs.

According to this BBC report the people of Rosemount are currently in the front line in Derry but the scene is repeated in many areas across Northern Ireland every weekend.The main question has to be… where do the parents of these children believe them to be? And why aren’t they checking out their offsprings’ whereabouts?

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Come on parents.. ask the hard questions:-
“Where were you to-night?”
“Who were you with?”
“What were you doing?”

It can’t do any harm to ask and it might do a lot of good for the children of Northern Ireland.

If you are experiencing these problems …what do you think are the solutions?

Son finds job-share drinkers to join dad at pub

April 25, 2008

I have pointed out this Reuter’s story to all my children…. for obvious reasons!

“Found: drinking companions to join elderly gentleman for a friendly Drinkbeer at his local pub.

Mike Hammond was bombarded with offers after advertising in his village post office for someone to accompany his 88-year-old father Jack on visits to a southern England pub from a nursing home.

He offered the lucky winner 7 pounds an hour plus expenses and, after sifting through the applicants, decided on a job-share. Drinking duties are to be divided between a retired doctor and a former military man.

“Dad’s now going to be going down to the pub several times a week — three with his new friends and twice with me,” Mike Hammond told The Times on Thursday. “I want to give him some of his old life back.”

And should anyone want to help out with the expenses I’m sure the weans would be happy to accept the help!  🙂

What a brilliant idea! Well done that lad!

New Year Resolutions: 2008

December 31, 2007

It’s that time of year – a few glasses of bubbly, a couple of sweet kisses, an out-of-tune rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” in thick fake Scottish accents, some dark resolutions.gifbloke first futting with a scabby piece of coal in one grubby mit and a tin of larger in the other, a few grimaces at fat eedgits cavorting in fake tartan skirts to the excruciating strains of a cat being strangled… and it’ll be here… 2008!

Happy New Year!

Then we can get down to the real business of breaking all our nice shiny New year Resolutions!

But here’s a few we’d need to make as a people and we’d need to stick to. Feel free to add your own suggestions but here’s a couple for starters…. Read the rest of this entry »

Beaten up and can’t see a doctor? – Where are we going wrong?

October 24, 2007

I’ve just discovered that a friend was beaten up in Derry between 1am and 1.30am on Sunday morning. Standing, minding his own business he was attacked by 5 thugs who just happened to be passing by. A random assault by mindless morons.

altnagelvin.jpgDid he challenge them in anyway? Did he cause them to attack him? No. He was just phoning a taxi when he was set upon by this bunch of thugs. Just one of those things that happen in Derry and every other town in Northern Ireland on a typical Sunday night.

But there is more… the weak of stomach ought to turn away here… he tried to get away but was pursued and beaten to the ground by the thugs. His life was probably saved by a taxi driver who phoned the PSNI. The thugs did a runner and when the PSNI found the lad unconscious they brought him to Altnagelvin Hospital at around 1.45am.

But there is more… the weak of spirit ought to turn away RIGHT now Read the rest of this entry »

Coming soon: 1 glass of wine or a small beer and you’re banned.

October 23, 2007

pints.jpgIt’s on the way … so get used to it. You know it makes sense!

It is being widely reported that Northern Ireland and the republic will introduce new drink driving limits that will mean a half of beer or a small glass of wine will put a person over the driving limit.

The BBC puts it this way:-

“In both jurisdictions, it is currently 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

However, Stormont Environment Minister Arlene Foster has told the assembly her department is looking at bringing in a lower limit.

In Dublin, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is expected to announce measures putting drivers who drink a half pint of strong beer or glass of wine at risk of a ban.

The new 50mg/100ml limit would come into effect in the Republic of Ireland early next year.”

This would bring Read the rest of this entry »