DUP Manifesto 2016: Vote Arlene or Martin McGuinness will drown a puppy.

DUP Manifesto 2016: Vote Arlene or Martin McGuinness will drown a puppy.

Who is this Arlene of which you speak?
Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s our dysfunctional mandatory coalition government set-up… but when I think of what an incumbent party should be preaching about come election time; change isn’t it. Stability maybe? More of the same successes? Not change.
Yet the DUP Arlene waxes lyrical about changes they’d she’d make… ok, why haven’t they hasn’t she then? You were the largest party in government and it’s been that way for some considerable time. Change? If we need change, which the DUP seem to agree with, can I suggest starting with the obvious? If the system isn’t working, change starts at the top.
The DUP Arlene says, “I want to see an Executive with a reputation for taking decisions and getting things done.”
What things were they was she getting done with their in-out ministers in the last mandate? That, by it’s very nature, wasn’t taking a decision, it was avoiding taking a decision by maintaining stability on a purely administrative basis.
In general, I find it difficult to accept any mandatory coalition executive talking about their her successes, it’s very much a group effort (or lack thereof), so when they talk she talks about achieving the ability to control our own corporation tax rate… how much of that exactly are the DUP is Arlene taking responsibility for? Was it entirely themselves alone herself alone?
This one in particular seems odd to me,
“The number of people admitted to hospitals in Northern Ireland has increased by over 25,000 between 2010/11 and 2014/15”
So the brag here is… we’re having to go to hospital more? Bravo chaps & chapettes, bravo indeed.
Equally,
“the Ambulance Service has responded to 13,000 more Category A emergency calls between 2010/11 and 2014/15”
Is anyone investigating either:
A: Why there were 13,000 more Category A emergency calls in those years,
or if there weren’t 13,000 more,
B: Before 2011, what were people doing? Were 13,000 people just dying because they didn’t get an ambulance?
 
“The DUP kept student fees in Northern Ireland to year-on-year inflationary uplifts.”
I’ve never heard “cost increase” referred to as an uplift before, but regardless… Do you hear that students? Hooray, it’s the DUP Arlene you can thank for that, please address all thank you correspondence to:
DUP Headquarters Arlene Headquarters
91 Dundela Avenue 91 Arlene Avenue
Belfast Arlenefast
BT4 3BU BT4 3ARlene
Also, the DUP are Arlene is using their her manifesto to brag about, “new colleges like Belfast Metropolitan College in the Titanic Quarter and the North West Regional College.” We’ve already mentioned executive function and shared responsibility, but I’m really not sure how this is the DUP’s Arlene’s to brag about!
“Over the past five years, the DUP has created opportunities for hard working people across Northern Ireland:

as we have maintained free travel on public transport for over 60s.”
Ok, they’re she’s taking the piss a bit now… Translink is DRD, and yes, they have DRD currently because the UUP left the executive, but they need she needs to take slightly less liberties with beefing up their her CV.
The DUP Arlene currently reminds me of somebody who worked in McDonalds dunking french fries into the fryer and writing on their CV, “Role included carbohydrate thermic-induction mechanism operative”
“Through… opportunities the DUP was able to deliver on its manifesto commitments to:

introduce Sarah’s Law – a new law to increase the information available to the public through a new child protection disclosure scheme.”
How in the name of feck are the DUP claiming ANY credit for Sarah’s Law????
“By the end of March 2016, £70m will be committed under the Social Investment Fund, for the first time benefiting churches, Orange Halls and many new areas not included under traditional DSD schemes.”
Well, there we have it… churches and Orange Halls. You’d think that the DUP Arlene would maybe shine a bit of light on stuff that wasn’t firmly in their wheelhouse, but no such mistake from the party Arlene… You vote DUP Arlene, you’ll get a new coat of paint on churches and they’ll she’ll scrape the paint bomb residue off of Orange Halls. Also, a really interesting use of capital letters there… churches doesn’t get one but Orange Halls do.
“The DUP… has argued consistently since 1998 that the system of government was too big and too bloated….

… As a result of DUP determination we have delivered a reduction in the number of Special Advisors… a reduction in the number of MLAs per constituency… arrangements for an Opposition in the Assembly.”
Come on now guys Arlene, catch yourselves yourself on. You have more SpAds than anybody and you have seemed pretty damn comfortable with that. The reduction of MLAs per constituency, the Alliance Party tried to bring that forward to reduce that bloat that you’re so concerned about. And the opposition bill came from John McCallister!
So, spurious claims and taking responsibility for stuff outside of their her sole control aside… what are they is she pledging to do in the next mandate?
“Beating Cancer”
Bold statement…
“Transforming Mental Health”
Given that they’ve had 5 years being the Minister for Health, Social Services & Public Safety… I suppose now is as good a time as any to get started on this…
“The DUP supports new legislation for a fresh start on the how parades and protests are dealt with in Northern Ireland”
We’ll forgive the typo… Aside from that, they pledge what exactly? New legislation? Thanks for that information, I’ll definitely vote based on knowing there’s some form of undefined legislation coming down the line.
“The DUP will look at alternative finance from the European Investment Bank”(re Farming)
And this plan is based on the DUP losing their position on leaving the EU I assume?
“Establish a £1 Billion Northern Ireland Investment Fund.

…Detailed discussions have been ongoing about leveraging in further finance from the European Investment Fund..”
I’m sure the EU are going to love all these asks. “Hey, I know we want to leave you, but can we have a load of money pretty please?”
“Making political donations open, transparent & fair.

The DUP believes that the time is now right to reform the system of political donations in Northern Ireland.”
In case anybody has missed it, the DUP has been one of the blockers to this happening and have voted down motions in councils on the subject.
All in all, there’s not really anything in there that is shocking, maybe asking stuff of the EU is a bit much; they’ll be the largest party in the executive with almost certainty, so it’s easier to judge them against what they’ve said previously… but that’s for another blog post another time!

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