Month: March 2020

Health warning

RHI has exposed weaknesses in the entire Stormont infrastructure, which were already known and ignored in favour of ‘Keeping the show on the road’. Despite knowing what needed to be reformed, for 20 years, the current Health Service ought to be so much better – and isn’t.

We rightly praise our frontline health workers for selfless dedication. Perhaps we’d be better demanding an end to political hobby spending and instead have some focus on the health reform that Northern Ireland badly requires. Our NHS Staff are indeed outstanding, but a reminder that only a few months ago the NHS in NI was on the point of collapse, and this virus crisis won’t disappear the waiting lists. In a few months time, virus off the headlines, the NHS in Northern Ireland will itself need critical attention – and our politicians who have been shirking responsibility for reform these past twenty years need to step up fast.

When we are through the first stage of this crisis, it’ll be time to SERIOUSLY look at what needs to be addressed, and act, quickly. If you are of the mind how outrageous RHI has been, think about the new hospital building that is still not completed at the Royal Victoria, nine years late and possibly opening in the autumn 2020! Think of those state of the art ICU units, currently standing idle.

How valuable would that new RVH facility be at this time? Not time for outrage? How much money has been wasted rather than being committed to front line services? Not time for outrage? If not now, there is a time coming…

Conversation by @3000Versts and @thedissenter – Subscribe or follow on iTunes, Spotify, Podbean. Or just listen here.


An uncertain legacy

Julian Smith has left the building.

Politics is often remembered by the moment, the big event. For Julian Smith that would be the return of the Stormont Executive. Focus on the moment and forget the consequences?

Fact is we are left with spending promises (or demands) but no idea of the basis of a future budget at Stormont, and there remains perverse plans to deal with the legacy of the past. Getting the show on the road might well be followed by keeping the show on the road, but whether that means much as changed or this iteration of the Stormont Executive is any more stable only time will tell.

A long look at the Southern Election and the impact of Sinn Fein significantly increasing its presence in the Irish Parliament is the subject of the post below. It is likely that PoliticalOD may be visiting that topic in the months ahead.