Smaller parties should demand a review of how Stormont operates as a pre-condition

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

I welcome the renewed focus of the secretary of state, Karen Bradley, on talks to restore devolved government and perhaps the reduction in MLA salaries will add further focus.

The Renewable Heat Incentive saga illustrates a long-standing dysfunctionality in the workings of the institutions and disconnect with the electorate.

It shows the need for proper scrutiny and accountability that opposition style politics would bring to government.

It was always intended that the Good Friday Agreement would be reviewed to allow a maturing of the institutions.

This has not taken place.

The St Andrews ‘non agreement’ is the failed legacy of Blair.

St Andrews has created a carve up with increased polarisation and ‘sham’ fights between DUP and Sinn Fein.

This ensures all elections are sectarian headcounts with winner takes all in each community.

These talks need to be all embracing and include the gradual and phased ending of mandatory coalition to allow a real and genuine power sharing.

Northern Ireland deserves better government not the same old failed institutions of the past.

Smaller parties need to take responsibility given the stalemate and provide an alternative as between them they represent 35% of the electorate.

It is time to end vetoes on progress.

Smaller parties should make a long overdue full review of the institutional arrangements a pre condition of entering any further talks.

Johnny Andrews, Conservative and Unionist Party, Co Down