Open Unionism


A forum to discuss new ideas and perspectives on Unionism…

You heard it here first… sadly

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By bobballs

The UUP has produced its response to the economic crisis.

I’m afraid its appalling. Nevertheless, it may have achieved what it was designed to do – gain a headline in The News Letter.

Its four key demands on the economy are:

  1. The coalition Government must produce its economic paper on rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy immediately. This must include specific proposals on Corporation Tax and Enterprise Zones.
  2. The Executive must review its economic development spending to ensure that areas which give the highest economic return are developed. For example the creative industries and tourism.
  3. The Executive must continue to prioritise upskilling, research and development and strategic capital investment to ensure mid and long-term economic growth.
  4. The Executive should introduce an Emerging Markets Strategy to ensure that Northern Ireland companies have the correct links to and networks in emerging economies such as India, China, Brazil and Russia.

Demand 1 reprises the UCUNF manifesto. Demand 2 urges the Executive to invest in wealth creating industries. Well, they’ve spotted that. And has the UUP heard about the Matrix Panel? Demand 3 demands something that’s happening already. Demand 4 is a call for the creation of Invest NI.

This is a poor document. The Sinn Fein paper was a poor document. This is the economic wisdom that’s supposedly driving forward our economic recovery.

McNarry has a history of going on ill-advised solo runs over the economy. As in August last year, this should never have seen the light of day. Why did Tom Elliott allow his name to be associated with this?


Filed under: economy, finances, UUP, ,

9 Responses

  1. Progressive Unionist says:

    Yes this is weak and typical of the UUP’s lack of direction.

    As whoever posted this item outlined, these 4 points are either reheated from the manifesto or are already being addressed – and if this is meant to be a preliminary UUP response to the post-comprehensive spending review (arriving less than 18 hours from now) challenges then heavens help the UUP…

    (Also who posted this post – where’s the by-line? ) (there really needs to be a by-line for posters on this site)

  2. slug says:


  3. realunionism says:

    I thought Ian Parsley had this first? ….

  4. bobballs says:

    Sorry, everyone. I’ve put the byline in now.

    I’ve also checked up the support for this theme and apparently author display is not a feature of this theme. That’s a big omission.

    So I checked out some other themes that do carry the author display but I still preferred this one… so I’m going to persist with it.

    Therefore the solution is to REMEMBER to insert the byline. I’m used to the author being displayed in previous themes, so I’ll just have to stay on top of this.

    So… David Cather first posted this doc up on facebook and got the link from him. Ian Parsley then posted it up on his blog, and I left a comment there. I thought that comment could be developed a little more for this blog, so I posted it here.

    Setting aside the lack of new ideas or analysis, the problem with paper is that its being presented as a considered analysis. It isn’t. It’s also headered as revelatory (‘you heard it heard first’… erm, heard what?). When it shouldn’t be.

    To my mind, this is another example of short-termism. The UUP only saw so far as producing this to do an exclusive in the News Letter and getting a headline for a day. It didn’t consider the longer term effects of having a shabby, poorly crafted economic document circulating. So they got their headline, but suffer a much more harmful hit on their credibility.

    It’s a piece of real amateurishness. The problem for NI, is that this shows that the UUP place little or no emphasis on ensuring expert economic advice is woven into their policy publication (these things can be cobbled together after all)… and they’re overseeing our economic recovery. But the problem for the UUP is that two of its most senior people are fronting this. This didn’t come from a policy sub-group – this is the thinking at the summit of the party on economics.

    Parties should publish more often – but they have to exert quality control and generate ideas. As The Dissenter said on Parsley’s blog, if you’ve got nothing to say… it’s sometimes best to say nothing.

  5. thedissenter says:

    The issue at the heart of this, and Sinn Fein and the rest, is the lack of substantive policy. Lots of presentation, little by way of content. Sinn Fein used to do big policy papers, until people started to use them to question their stance on a range of issues. During the Westminster election there were five pieces of UCUNF information through the door, but none explained what the difference would be in chosing Bradshaw over anyone else, and others had a stronger public representation record…

    The problem with UCUNF was that it was simply not different from the rest at the end of the day: again, style over substance.

    Has anyone laid out the policy papers from each of the parties and worked out the differences? Big on wishes, short on hard practical implementation/choices to be made. Not even election literature shows evidence of all but marginal difference: constitutional issues aside.

    In the absence of policy, presentation matters. Which makes this paper doubly poor.

  6. […] TUV Publishes Proposals Ahead of CSR The TUV are the latest party to publish proposals on how to cut spending, their effort published by Economics Spokesman David Vance certainly kicks the pants off the UUP’s effort. […]

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