After the last Assembly election I had hoped that the new younger members would be more progressive that the previous Assembly.
Like many people, I was depressed but not surprised at the debacle of last year’s threats and counter threats over the future of the Assembly.
I am not really sure what was achieved by the posturing and belligerence.
The Assembly is still perceived as dysfunctional despite what some members say about better cooperation between parties.
Northern Ireland needs some “positive delivery” in order for everyone to see that progress is being made.
Photo opportunities is one method, but has none of the weight that project completion carries.
In order for Northern Ireland to start to pull its weight the Executive would need to deliver things that we can see.
The completion of the five big infrastructure projects before the end of this Assembly term would be a real boost (including NI transport Hub at Great Victoria Street, York Street Road junction and the route to the North West).
A start could be made by appointing a project boss and publicising a date for completion, with all resources being made available.
One of the biggest wastes of “human capital” remains the Barriers to Normality (usually called Peace walls).
These disrupt normal life, job creation, and education and cost the taxpayers some £1 billion every year.
For all the pious word about all the walls being gone by some date in the future, this won’t happen as long as local politicians continue to block progress, and there are no defined goals to be achieved, or no unified leadership.
There is so much good work being done on the ground but there is a clear disconnect between the words from the Assembly and the actions on the ground. The “tinkering” must be brought to an end.
Do our Executive and public servants really want to normalise Belfast, or are they content to accept the low standards of progress which we have now. How about a dynamic change!
A New Year; A New Approach.
Tom Ekin, Belfast