Friday, 13 May 2011

Health. UUP must approach it right.

Yes, I did mean to write UUP & not DUP. Whilst the DUP may now have responsibility for health it does not signal an end of the UUP's concern in that Dept...

Health was such a contentious issue before the election and irbid likely to remain one now the election has been & passed. However, the budget that the DUP said was adequate is the budget they now have to work to. They claimed efficiencies could be made and, critically, could be made within timescales that would not cause a problem to the budget nor would those efficiencies adversely affect patient care.

This clearly was not the belief of the UUP. One party is likely to be proven right, one will be wrong and it is the way that the UUP approach each scenario that is key.

To some extent, the UUP feels it had the superior knowledge and experience on this issue and there is a real danger that, should things within Health start to go wrong, the temptation to say 'I told you so' will be to great to avoid. Of course, there'll be some justification for it but there'll be little tolerance. The UUP's best bet should the DUP fail is to be the bigger man, so to speak and acknowledge that it was always going to be a difficult task.

On the other hand should the DUP succeed in their task, a completely different challenge faces the UUP: that of being gracious in (effectual) defeat. Should they start to focus on minor discrepancies between the plan and the outcome (of which there will be some) they will look like sore losers.

So, at some point in the future, the UUP will have to work very hard to avoid looking smug or avoid looking bitter. No mean feat going on past performances.

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