Kane should note that the old Stormont had a hard task of governing NI

Alex Kane (Comment, April 4 and April 11) and others in the press and media might be more successful in raising the level of political debate, and thereby further informing the young of that from which they came, if they were less given to nagging references to unionism's past (of the when did you stop beating your wife kind) as though only unionists were responsible for the nature of Northern Ireland's past.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th April 2016, 12:19 pm
Updated Monday, 18th April 2016, 1:20 pm

And, given the lack of consent, and all too often the deliberate absence of the elected parliamentary opposition as part of that refusal of consent, and often the refusal of religious leaders to attend state functions, how did the government manage in governing?

The young, too, might then reflect on how they might manage if they were put in a similar situation today.

Yet despite that lack of consensus and the opposition from one sectarian faction or another, in matters of education and health, there were those in the unionist government after the war who saw to it that the welfare state based on the Beveridge Report and the Butler Education Act, and applied by the Attlee Government in Great Britain, would also be applied to all irrespective of political or religious allegiance in Northern Ireland.

Similarly in housing, at a time when local councils of whatever political hue discriminated in favour of their sectarian blocs, Billy Grant, the Minister of Health and Local Government, established the Housing Trust, as an independent body mandating that it awarded houses on a points system, and further there should be no ghettoes.

All new housing estates would be mixed in terms of confessional Christianity, some predominately of the Roman Catholic tradition and some predominately of Protestant traditions.

An objective then achieved but later destroyed in “the troubles” and which today’s authority, despite supposedly favoured by a growing secularism and dissolution of the separateness of church traditions, has difficulty in reactivating.

W A Miller, Belfast BT13