Some readers will bemoan the absence of the DUP from Thursday night’s leaders’ debate (April 2) despite the inclusion of those parties with far fewer seats than the DUP that also have only a regional footprint in either Scotland or Wales.
But I think it’s time for you to dry your eyes and consider the message that’s being publicly conveyed to the people of Northern Ireland (NI) by Westminster.
Those clubbable members of swish golf or rugby clubs living in the leafy suburbs of NI are being told that they’re not a member of the British club.
Those that parade to display or pronounce their Britishness are being told that they’re not British.
Those that wrap themselves in the British flag are being told that it’s not their flag.
Politicians that utter ‘the union’ with every second breath are being told that they’re not really part of the United Kingdom or a British debate.
Those that plan to extort money from the British exchequer are being told that the English (Westminster) intend to spend their money on their own, ie. the British living in Britain instead of those living in (Northern) Ireland.
Those people watching the leaders’ debate from Northern Ireland can be left in no doubt that they are outsiders looking in on a debate from which they were very deliberately excluded.
The time has surely come to plan instead to repatriate tax and spending powers to Stormont and to give serious consideration to an independent Northern Ireland within the European Union?
It must be plain for all to see that ‘the Union’, ie. the United Kingdom, is superfluous within the European Union and Westminster largely irrelevant when it merely rubber stamps legislation imposed upon it by Brussels?
With a population of just 1.8 million we could establish a bespoke tax and benefits system that treats each person as an individual and meets their needs and strengths.
We can grow our economy, deliver lower corporation tax to attract those companies that bring the highest paid jobs and provide the greatest return on investment.
Think about it; it makes sense.
Bernard J. Mulholland