SDLP Economic Forum


The photograph shows Alasdair McDonnell winding up the Forum.
Fearghal McKinney made a short introduction
Alasdair made a short low key speech
Alex Attwood made probably the best speech I have heard him make.
And three sessions of panel discussions:

Rebalancing the Economy …chaired by Dominic Bradley MLA
Stephen Kingon…Past Chair of Invest NI
Paul McFlynn, NERI
Lisa McElherron, NICVA
Nigel Smyth, CBI

Growing Jobs Exporting Product…chaired by Patsy McGlone MLA
John Bradley, EMDS
Ronnie Hall, European Commission
Declan Gormley, IOD
Ann McGregor, Chamber of Commerce
Wesley Aston, UFU

Addressing the Skills Deficit…chaired by Alban Magennis MLA
Joanne Stuart, Attrus
David Gavaghan, Titanic Quarter Ltd
Sean Rogers MLA

Economics is the serious end of Politics and I dont actually understand a word of it.
Economists are “scientists” precise and academic. Although they CAN have agendas, even the “straight down the middle” presentation of economists is often uncomfortable for socialists like SDLP.
My notes are a collection of quotes and I will start another Blog which will reflect that. They were some interesting statistics and some very quotable quotes.
The Attwood speech deserves a thread on its own.
As always the success of a session depends on the balance between Speeches and Questions from the Floor.
Worthy and a bit dull at times…but it is what Politics should be about.

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11 Responses to SDLP Economic Forum

  1. Political Tourist says:

    Outside of NI politicians taking care of the pocketmoney London gives them, what would anybody in NI know of economics.
    The place has been kept afloat through the goodwill of British taxpayers for almost a century.
    The meeting sounded all a bit silly tbh, let’s have a meeting that’s sounds as though any of us know what we’re talking about.
    Surprised FJH you didn’t point any of this out to them.

    • I fully take your point on the VALUE of the meeting.
      It had the air of being WORTHY rather than USEFUL.
      Yet as I was compiling bullet points and quotes for a second post (to be published later tonight) I was surprised how many good points…and bad ones….were made by people.
      So Id urge you to reserve judgement until you see that.
      Likewise the Alex Attwood speech.

  2. James says:

    Not that many of the speakers are economists proper.

    And I suspect some of that list of speakers are not nationalists.

    • Some of them are economists.
      But I think the views of “Business” is important.
      To be honest, with the resrvation that they are often “conservative” Id rather listen to a “political” business person than an “apolitical” economist.
      Also trade unionists there. Peter Bunting was due to make a speech but has broken some ribs in an accident at home. (Paul McFlynn substituted for him) but I have yet to hear ANY Norn Iron trade unionist openly endorse the SDLP (sister Party of British Labour although many rank and file trade unionists in Norn Iron encourage their members to bankroll Labour).
      Time somebody in SDLP called them cowards and hypocrites.

      • James says:

        Some of the speakers are not nationalists. Many are not socialist.J Stuart was the one who in the Stuart report commissioned by a Unionist – recommended that Stormont charge student fees and now University Ulster students have to pay annual fees of thousands of pounds per annum. A right wing approach.

      • To be honest I had never heard of her.
        But she seems to be one of The Comma People…see the Blog Post coming up.
        She had a long list of “credits” including Vice Chair of the Norn Iron Assembly Business Trust?
        Previous “non parliamentarians” on the Board include Katherine McDonald from our old friends at Stratagem, which is headed up by Quintin Oliver, an Agent for Change and advisor to the wonderful Rowntree people.
        Current non parliamentarians on the Board include Glynn Roberts from the Norn Iron Small Retailers thing, who funnily enough is Chair of the Alliance Party.
        And another non parliamentarian is the wonderful Eddie Haughey, aka “Lord” Ballyedmond …of Norbrook, the “Private” Beach and the Very Big Wall…who we all love and admire so much. But surely a member of the “House of Lords” IS A Parliamentarian.

  3. Fear Feirsteach says:

    Looks like a lot of empty seats

    • I knew somebody would say that.
      It was actually at the very end of the forum.
      There were 100 chairs laid out. And I reckon about 120-140 in total attendance during the day.

      • Fear Feirsteach says:

        Well, you should have put up a photo of when it was busier 😉

      • Probably I should have chosen a better seat.
        There was a SDLP Press Officer taking pics and anyone else taking pics would have looked too obvious. I dont like to draw attention to myself.

  4. I would argue that the north being kept afloat by the British is an erroneous assertion, I would say it is kept in penury by the British, it all depends if you believe unionism or not.

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