Unionism has failed and continues to fail, and we need a leader, with vision, to inspire us.
We are now on life support and if there is no sign of life, those in attendance will take soundings and switch it off.
We have been weaned on unionism so long, like a clinging child we refuse to leave our birth mother: we keep returning to the teat when we should be on solid food.
I do have some sympathy with a mother who becomes frustrated with a child who just wants to cling to her skirts.
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The Protestant community needs to harness its gifts, and direct them to a common objective, but they won’t do that unless they’re pushed.
Propped up by handouts from Britain we have become complacent, apathetic and lazy: and dissipated our talents. Spoilt children are hard work.
There must be times when the mother is at the end of her tether and tempted to put him up for adoption.
To provoke interest she may have to sweeten the pill and pay maintenance. A better option is fostering, with the view to adopt, where the mother and foster mother, who lives close by, share custody, as long as the birth mother foots the bill.
Faced with the responsibility the foster mother will realise adoption could take up a disproportionate amount of her time and be a drain on her resources.
It’s nice having him for a visit, sharing the cost may test her maternal instincts to the limits. She adopted another child and when it became a nuisance and tried her patience she wanted to hand him back; she needs to be careful, one rebellious child in the house is enough. It may end with the mother and foster mother setting their own agenda until the child matures. By then they hope events will have moved so far down the line he’ll realise there’s no way back, accept the inevitable and come to terms.
They can also take comfort from the fact that some family members, living in North Down, are accommodating. This all comes with a ‘health warning’.
If the child grows up quickly he may want to negotiate his own terms. If that happened, the birth mother and foster mother might have a problem: they’ll all have growing pains.
Clive Maxwell, Bleary, Co Down
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