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A Ship of Fools: The Renewable Heat Incentive fiasco


Enigma Variations

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Considering last night's Spotlight revelations, I'm surprised that nobody has started a thread on what was justifiably described on the programme as the biggest financial disaster since DeLorean.
Put simply, the outrageous idiocy of the RHI scheme is projected to cost northern Irish taxpayers £500M over the next 20 years which will be paid out to sly amoral chancers who will benefit to the tune of millions annually to create air pollution by burning fuel unnecessarily. By way of example farmers are now making a profit from heating farm buildings even during the summer while keeping windows and doors open.
I had assumed until last night that the scheme was so complex that there was at least a "fig leaf" of mitigation for those who introduced it, but it now emerges that even a mathematical dunce could see why it was an economic time bomb for the government from the outset. Not only that but the entire fiasco was created by not one, but a catalogue of errors from the outset, and to make matters worse Arlene Foster the minister in charge of the scheme was warned about its flaws in 2014 by a whistle-blower, but it came to nothing. The flaws in this scheme were so apparent, that all of those involved, including Foster, would resign their positions in any properly functioning democracy.
But she won't, and as usual nobody will take the blame. I predict that there will be no political accountability because the disreputable symbiotic relationship between Sinn Fein & the DUP effectively guarantees that there cannot be. It is time to disband Stormont because our political system is so flawed that the vast majority of people in our society with sufficient intelligence & ability to govern us wouldn't be seen dead joining the DUP or Sinn Fein, and most of the people who run for election are utter buffoons.
Never was Plato's allegory more apt.
 
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vivabrigada

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I can't disagree with you but the only alternative is joint London Dublin rule. I',ll wait till they both dump the Tories.
In saying that, this will haunt Arlene for a long time. Peter Robinson was a political sick man for a long time after scandals.
She knew this was about to come out as did Uncle Marty so she hides in China hoping it would blow over but Marty stayed i Ireland for "personal reasons". Aye Marty!?
Nolan was like a dog with a bone as the DUP ran for cover. The press will go to town.
Popcorn time.
 

CastleRay

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Mar 20, 2015
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Considering last night's Spotlight revelations, I'm surprised that nobody has started a thread on what was justifiably described on the programme as the biggest financial disaster since DeLorean.
Put simply, the outrageous idiocy of the RHI scheme is projected to cost northern Irish taxpayers £500M over the next 20 years which will be paid out to sly amoral chancers who will benefit to the tune of millions annually to create air pollution by burning fuel unnecessarily. By way of example farmers are now making a profit from heating farm buildings even during the summer while keeping windows and doors open.
I had assumed until last night that the scheme was so complex that there was at least a "fig leaf" of mitigation for those who introduced it, but it now emerges that even a mathematical dunce could see why it was an economic time bomb for the government from the outset. Not only that but the entire fiasco was created by not one, but a catalogue of errors from the outset, and to make matters worse Arlene Foster the minister in charge of the scheme was warned about its flaws in 2014 by a whistle-blower, but it came to nothing. The flaws in this scheme were so apparent, that all of those involved, including Foster, would resign their positions in any properly functioning democracy.
But she won't, and as usual nobody will take the blame. I predict that there will be no political accountability because the disreputable symbiotic relationship between Sinn Fein & the DUP effectively guarantees that there cannot be. It is time to disband Stormont because our political system is so flawed that the vast majority of people in our society with sufficient intelligence & ability to govern us wouldn't be seen dead joining the DUP or Sinn Fein, and most of the people who run for election are utter buffoons.
Never was Plato's allegory more apt.
I agree with all of that.
 

Enigma Variations

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I can't disagree with you but the only alternative is joint London Dublin rule. I',ll wait till they both dump the Tories.
In saying that, this will haunt Arlene for a long time. Peter Robinson was a political sick man for a long time after scandals.
She knew this was about to come out as did Uncle Marty so she hides in China hoping it would blow over but Marty stayed i Ireland for "personal reasons". Aye Marty!?
Nolan was like a dog with a bone as the DUP ran for cover. The press will go to town.
Popcorn time.
I'd go for an appointed executive chosen by London and Dublin over what we have at present any day, and allow Westminster to make any necessary legislative changes. Anyone objecting to the latter should remember that all of the social advances of the last 45 years were introduced by Westminster, not Stormont and as a society we need, as a minimum, legislation to address the fatal foetal abnormality/abortion issue, while gay marriage equality would also be desirable, and I'm not sure that Stormont MLA's have the maturity to agree legislation.
I'd like to see a full list of the beneficiaries of this scheme obtained under freedom of information rules. It might be interesting to see how many of them have close connections to politicians.
 

CastleRay

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I'm in favour of devolved administrations but we've elected total incompetents from irreconcilable standpoints and jammed them together in a structure that ensures Political stagnation.

Direct rule would be better until another generation comes along and takes on the baton properly. I'd get rid of the Assembly and run departments from Westminster but keep all the north / south and east / west stuff. Instead of the Executive, resurrect the Civic Forum, without the Political nominations, and have them to select a Chair and a few deputies to represent Northern Ireland at those meetings and any consultative involvement with governments and other bodies.

Just a few thoughts and hopes that'll not happen, but I may as well since others are at it too.
 

Irish-Rationalist

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Watched the Spotlight programme and was struck with incredulity at the total recklessness and ineptitude in which this scheme was undertaken and promoted by supposedly well educated politicians and professionals at Stormont.

Foster should, and undoubtedly shall be brought before an investigative committee, but I'll predict her minions and underlings shall experience penalty than her being coerced to reconsider her position as DUP leader and FM.

One of the usual unionist suspects suggested earlier that Stormont should consequently be terminated and direct rule re-instated. Although this is a ludicrously expensive blunder, DR shall not happen, as both Westminster and Dublin have invested too much in devolution and the sustainment of the precarious peace process, which has now bedded down.

Joint Westminster-Dublin administration sounds reminiscent of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Treaty signed by Thatcher, and that caused huge unionist opposition and public demonstrations. However, with post GFA devolution and forthcoming Brexit, we live in a transformed political landscape, and a review of events since 1994 clearly demonstrates that anything is possible, and that it would be foolish to rule anything out.

My prediction: considering the scheme was rolled out by the former Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), a few knuckles within that former Dept shall be rapped, and Ms Foster shall be spared her job in keeping with the best interests of sustaining devolution.

Direct rule, joint rule; they're not going to happen. It'll take a considrable upsurge in Dissident activity, Loyalist retaliation, and a return to full scale violence for Stormont to even come close to being considered for dissolution.
 

Mickeymac

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Sure is some fanciful ideas put forward here on this thread as to the future of devolution, can anyone out there tell me why the current political leaders and their parties would agree to any of the fantasy stuff proposed here?

I don't even believe for one second that (Vote Mike, get Colm) would go for it or even any (half loaf is better than none) would bite.........wise up guys ffs.

Unity is the only resolution to the whole damn mess and it only requires 50% plus one vote which in my opinion is very achievable next week considering the political turmoil created by extreme Tory right wing in fighting over Brexit which will seriously affect the incomes and disposable income to a lot of folk in NE Ireland.
 

Enigma Variations

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Foster should, and undoubtedly shall be brought before an investigative committee, but I'll predict her minions and underlings shall experience penalty than her being coerced to reconsider her position as DUP leader and FM.
I was also very striking that Arlene Foster gave an exclusive interview today to UTV today and the BBC couldn't get a word out of her, and earlier they couldn't find anyone from the DUP to comment upon it either. It's as if Foster is behaving with total vindictiveness towards the BBC for running the story and this is her way of punishing them.
 

CastleRay

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I was also very striking that Arlene Foster gave an exclusive interview today to UTV today and the BBC couldn't get a word out of her, and earlier they couldn't find anyone from the DUP to comment upon it either. It's as if Foster is behaving with total vindictiveness towards the BBC for running the story and this is her way of punishing them.
The Alec Ferguson of Northern Irish Politics :lol:

Can't see her doing that.
 

Enigma Variations

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The Alec Ferguson of Northern Irish Politics :lol:

Can't see her doing that.
Not in the long term obviously. Politicians need the media but I'd safely say most football manager wish they didn't exist, at least sometimes. However as it was the BBC who made the running with the story I'd have thought it normal for her to have spoken to them first.
One of the questions I'd like to ask her is that considering that there was already a similar scheme already running in Britain why they didn't use that as the template. If someone at Whitehall had already done the donkey-work why was it necessary to waste time doing it again, with a few tweaks taking account of local circumstances? I'd also like to have seen the briefing document that she was provided with when the scheme was developed and put before her for implementation. Ultimately it was her job to study the detail also, and not to rely entirely on the judgement of civil servants. If you are handing out taxpayers' money is it not too much to ask that you know how it is going to work in practice. Ultimately the proof of how obvious it was that this was a "licence to burn money" is its success and the conclusion has to be that she either didn't read the briefing document at all, or didn't understand it.
 

devonish

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Pathetic is the only word I can think of to describe the performance by all involved, I did expect more from senior civil servants who have been shown to be incompetent. Foster has been shown to be negligent and / or incompetent and what about these SPADs, clearly of bugger all use when it comes to real issues.
 

Enigma Variations

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Pathetic is the only word I can think of to describe the performance by all involved, I did expect more from senior civil servants who have been shown to be incompetent. Foster has been shown to be negligent and / or incompetent and what about these SPADs, clearly of bugger all use when it comes to real issues.
The most embarrassing thing about this is that Arlene is in China, just as this story has developed into a scandal about monumental incompetence with her leading it.
Given that in a society like China's where attention to detail is instinctive, there's a side of me that would love to be a fly on the wall at those meetings with the canny Chinese in order to witness the rollicking laughter after she has left the room and has moved out of earshot. And there's another side of me who is cringing at the thought.
 

aiteal

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This morning Nolan was continuously emphasising the failure to push through emergency legislation to shut the scheme down immediately upon it's glaring flaws being exposed. Throwing out the question of who rushed to benefit with callers. Hopefully the BBC has something to release here.
 

devonish

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This morning Nolan was continuously emphasising the failure to push through emergency legislation to shut the scheme down immediately upon it's glaring flaws being exposed. Throwing out the question of who rushed to benefit with callers. Hopefully the BBC has something to release here.
In the past there has been moaning about the amount of public money spent on private sector consultancies, this is a good example of neither the civil service nor the minister having any commercial awareness, if a private sector consultancy had been involved in the design I think the disastrous design faults in the scheme would have been identified and if not, at least there would be the scope to claim for losses. Alternatively, copy and paste from the English equivalent.
 

vivabrigada

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Sf want companies named:
25m
Stephen Nolan‏ @StephenNolan
Breaking:Nolan show understands Sinn Fein insisting a 2nd legal opinion being sought as 2whether names of businesses in RHI can be published.
He also said that he has evidence that private homes were heated by the freebie scheme.
He said that the wooden pellets were being dried out then put in the furnace, used in the same furnace to dry out the next batch in a never-ending cycle, all at our expense.
He added that there was more to come.
Arlene said she act appropriately!
You really couldn't make this up.
 

Enigma Variations

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This morning Nolan was continuously emphasising the failure to push through emergency legislation to shut the scheme down immediately upon it's glaring flaws being exposed. Throwing out the question of who rushed to benefit with callers. Hopefully the BBC has something to release here.
I didn't hear the programme but my understanding is that the explanation offered for not suspending it immediately is that local suppliers of wood burners would then have been left high and dry with what would be rendered slow moving stock, and may have been bankrupted as a result. There were several ways the could have satisfactorily addressed this. They could for instance have provided emergency interest free loans to the suppliers for the cost of the excess stock until it had been moved on. The chose the worst solution available to them, i.e. to bankrupt the state instead.
 

cut the begs

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Sf want companies named:
25m
Stephen Nolan‏ @StephenNolan
Breaking:Nolan show understands Sinn Fein insisting a 2nd legal opinion being sought as 2whether names of businesses in RHI can be published.
He also said that he has evidence that private homes were heated by the freebie scheme.
He said that the wooden pellets were being dried out then put in the furnace, used in the same furnace to dry out the next batch in a never-ending cycle, all at our expense.
He added that there was more to come.
Arlene said she act appropriately!
You really couldn't make this up.
sf knew..wasnt martin peters deputy at the time..direct rule needs brought back now.the dunces in stormont couldnt run a bath.
 
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