A time and a place for everything but inaction is never an answer

Effective government can only be carried out by people who are united in looking forward
Effective government can only be carried out by people who are united in looking forward

There are literally tens of thousands of people all over Northern Ireland quite happy - possibly delighted - this week that the Secretary of State has finally done something positive and set a b****y Budget.

But they’ll not talk about it; not out loud anyway and certainly not where they’re remotely unsure about who may hear.

A large number of them will have been through the Troubles and, after this week, may well be feeling more strongly about certain issues than they have for sometime.

Others simply don’t care because life is good and the political process has long since left their consciousness.

More will be too busy trying to stay away from debt, pay off the mortgage and worry about the apparent collapse of the high street.

If they do think about it, a great many will simply be relieved that someone has made a decision and if it wasn’t going to be a new Executive then Ms Bradley will do rightly.

Though direct rule is still a long way off, the Budget announcement is a sign that Westminster is prepared - more so than on Brokenshire’s watch in any case - to impose its will to keep the wheels turning.

Health will get some funding, education likewise and the construction industry will also hopefully get a hand up as it appears also to falter for a moment only we hope.

The problem is that there will be limited input at best on how that money is spent or any creative, innovative programmes to tackle issues we face - in underachievement in schools, in mental health and preventative care in general in a social or medical setting.

Those issues that so exercise the DUP and Sinn Fein are at one time vitally and rightly important to a lot of people and yet felt to be a complete side issue right at this minute by someone running, say, an export business based on cross-border processing, petrified as Brexit approaches.

I once suggested at a meeting of a leading employers’ organisation that maybe they might consider following their Victorian forbears into public life and take part in the process of rebuilding functioning politics. They looked at me as though I’d arrived up the Lagan in a U-boat.

But I’m still asking the question.