Where else would we see it? Political leaders and politicians, who show their faces on our screens continually, with no apparent shame, are not doing the job they have been elected to do for 1000 days. Yet, this is what we are subjected to continually in Northern Ireland as we reach that milestone. As local politicians pontificate on national and international issues, the Northern Ireland public continue to lose all faith in local governance and in politics here. This is very sad indeed and also very dangerous, for when the public lose all faith in local politics, it sets us on an extremely bad road and an entire disconnection between the general public, who want this small part of the United Kingdom to prosper and be better for them and their family, and those we are all supposed to look to and trust to deliver it.
The Good Friday Agreement is in the news a lot lately, due to Brexit of course. Lots of MLA’s are loudly proclaiming it as sacrosanct, I would take these people more seriously of course if they were not insulting it every single day. They show no intention of going into the cross-community arrangement which is needed more than ever during these testing times. This of course not being the first or only time the assembly has been suspended, it has spent almost 50% of the past 20 years in states of suspension. A pathetic dereliction of duty, especially by those who talk so much about the spirit of that agreement and our peace settlement.
Let us, of course, not pretend Stormont has a list of great achievements when it has actually been at work. It has failed in many areas, most of all on our sad and destructive past, where it has kicked the can down the road repeatedly in a cruel and callous way rather than making the decisions needed to address our terrible past or help to heal our battered and divided country, to deliver a better place for the next generation. Even when it came to handling welfare, it ran away from responsibility, bizarrely wanting others in London to make those decisions. Tough decisions were going to be needed though and they knew this. Easier to not have to make them and instead, blame others when they make the decisions needed. The biggest single failure though exists every single day that passes without a Stormont Executive. You would think, with such failure, this would bring shame and it would show. Instead, we see grandstanding over things like Brexit, with certain sections of our media not reminding our local politicians enough that they are utterly failing the people of Northern Ireland every single day.
With record money being made available to Northern Ireland, in all areas, our politicians don’t wish to go into Stormont and control it, try to spend it wisely and run their relevant departments. They choose to ignore things like our catastrophic NHS waiting lists and the disgraceful figures in areas like Mental Health. Let us be in no doubt, the utter failure from our politicians here is one part of the reason Mental Health figures are so appalling. It is indeed despicable that anything comes ahead of the lives and wellbeing of the people of Northern Ireland, but that is the reality of the attitude from some local parties and politicians I am afraid.
I long for the day when some of these chancers are found out by the public, for only then will we see a Northern Ireland that genuinely works for everyone. It might seem a long way off currently, but, it really doesn’t have to be this way. If enough good people get involved in our politics, together we can bin this diseased setup which calls itself our democracy here in Northern Ireland. Young people especially are abandoning Northern Ireland, this is tragic! I urge some of them to stay, get involved and change politics for the better. No matter if they are on the left or right of politics, their country needs them more than ever
Deputy Chair & Party Spokesperson
Northern Ireland Conservatives