Terry Wright: There is little point in re-establishing the same old assembly

Voters in Northern Ireland have made it clear we need a functioning assembly but do we need this assembly?

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 19th December 2019, 2:24 pm
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

You cannot escape the darkness by hiding under the duvet or take a community forward and address problems on a credible democratic basis if it is governed by politicians who hold themselves hostage to narrow agendas.

To re-establish this assembly will be to ignore that it has become a slumbering and discredited democracy.

Political leaders who now advocate the return of Stormont were, until recently, focused elsewhere or claiming that the process had failed.

For over 1,000 days the strategies, cluttered mindsets and red lines which flowed from these positions have disenfranchised and heaped misery on the sick, instigated stress on parents, teachers and learners and delayed development in a stalled economy.

The state of our regional infrastructure speaks for itself. Now that they determine it expedient, the mood music is changing and politicians, content to limit their accountability and treat their constituency like fiefdoms, deign to re-engage with their responsibilities.

From all appearances, Westminster and Dublin will allow power-sharing to be cynically manufactured and tokenistic. This indulgence has condemned everyone to political drift and lack of transparency in government.

The latter can be addressed quickly through publication of the report on the RHI crisis.

Make it clear to the population where the responsibility lies along with the flaws in a process which prevented meaningful scrutiny. There has been enough fudge to protect individuals and parties seen as vital to the ‘peace process.’

The electorate has a right to know the level of accountability and measure of integrity of those who are being brought together to negotiate a return to Stormont and may be allowed to take their place in government. It is in the interests of the two governments and MLAs that this should happen simultaneously with any talks.

If not, the electorate will conclude that it is being treated with the same disdain that has been in place since the collapse of the assembly.

Terry Wright, Londonderry