Wednesday, 25 June 2008

You don't know what you're doing

With justification Caitriona Ruane’s failures as regards fundamental aspects of policy have provided a focus for the bulk of criticism which Northern Ireland’s education minister has attracted. That said, Caitriona doesn’t just do macro-incompetence, she can manage micro incompetence with equal ease.

Roy Beggs, UUP MLA for East Antrim, has pointed out that the worst minister anywhere ever ™ promised to deliver a leaflet outlining her proposals for post primary transfer procedures to every house in Northern Ireland, without having any notion how much such an operation will cost. After a question was tabled in order to establish the information, it transpired that this promise had been quietly dropped.

Of course Ruane’s vague proposals have certainly not yet been agreed by the executive and any document containing them would represent nothing more than the minister’s own view on how post primary selection should proceed. Sequestering public funds for a huge, unnecessary mail drop outlining official policy would be idiotic enough, drawing down the money to deliver propaganda would be a more serious offence altogether. The fact that she says she will do something without having any real idea whether it's possible or not, says everything you need to know about the woman's fitness for office.

Roy Beggs sums the matter up nicely, “this simple issue poses more questions as to whether or not the Minister knows what she is doing. There is still a looming crisis concerning post-primary transfer and the Minister is making chance statements about issues that have not even been agreed”. Ruane is incapable of managing even the simplest detail of her brief.

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