Okay, so the local press has covered this to death. But am still amazed that given the epic financial disaster, the people who lead the government aren’t meeting the people heading the national response. Erm, each other.
Surely OFMDFM would meet with the DETI Minister though? In written questions, Alastair McDonnell asked OFMDFM ‘if it has held meetings with the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment on the current economic downturn’.
The First Minister and deputy First Minister: The breadth of the impact of the global economic downturn on the local economy…. (108 words later) … We have not had bilateral meetings with other Ministers to date, including the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment. We will keep under review the effectiveness of our response to the prevailing economic and social challenges. If this suggests that bilateral Ministerial engagement would be useful, we will, of course do so.
OFMDFM said of the downturn that ‘its local effects are not going to be transitory or amenable to quick simple remedies’. That means the effects will be permanent and remedies long term. It also says the response must be a full government approach. But no meeting. Remember – this is the global issue.
So – to recap. No meeting planned on the meltdown of Western capitalism. (Or even the potential job losses at the HBOS call centre in Belfast?)
A couple of questions later we learn that OFMDFM is however happily planning a meeting with Paddy Ashdown to discuss ‘initial response to the interim consultative report by the Strategic Review of the Parades Commission’.
Yip, that’s the one they’re all talking about round my way.