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.
So.. as all the ducking and diving by major politicians goes on as their false and greedy expense claims are outed we can all give a righteous and outraged shrug and tell the weans, ” See, I told you they’re ALL no good!” And, on this occassion we’d be absolutely right given the massive fraud that the “honourable” members of parliament have been engaged in for years.
But, sometimes, in the middle of all the garbage you see something that makes you laugh out loud! One such thing comes with this screen grab from the BBC news site on May 12th 2009!
Well… I suppose he would be! I mean having used all our money to maintain the pool he’d be entitled to be angry over any leaks.. wouldn’t he?
Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for his first military action yesterday, missile strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan which killed at least 18 people.
Four days after assuming the presidency, he was consulted by US commanders before they launched the two attacks. Although Obama has abandoned many of the “war on terror” policies of George Bush while he was president, he is not retreating from the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.
The US believes they are hiding in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan, and made 30 strikes last year in which more than 200 people were killed. In the election, Obama hinted at increased operations in Pakistan, saying he thought Bush had made a mistake in switching to Iraq before completing the job against al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
So…. the first blow is struck against the promise of Obama…. the first blood stain on his Presidency.
I’m sure the American generals made a good case in the comfort of their upholstered armchairs in the war room of the White House for using $200,000 missiles to blow up a few more mud huts and to kill a few more “terrorists” but Obama… Obama… I expected more from you. I thought you might at least call a halt to such actions until you at least were sure these war mongers have terrorist targets this time.
Now.. your hands are personally red with the blood of a few mud hut villagers. A too swift end to the innocent view that you are a different breed of politician.
SAD… so… SAD….
Absolutely great news! And fantastic that President Obama has moved so swiftly to address this cancerous sore on the face of the biggest democratic nation on Earth.
Some of the practices at Guantanamo.
Let’s hope he can find the will to finally end the detentions and torture, the strength to face down those in power who will wish to continue with these vile practices and the humility to apologise in the name of all the American people for the things that have happened at Guananamo .
I wish him well in his work to close this disgraceful place.