Belfast Telegraph

Friday 4 September 2015

'There Haass to be a better way to a better future for Northern Ireland'

By Henry Reilly

Published 07/01/2014

The architect of the proposals, Richard Haass
The architect of the proposals, Richard Haass

So the doctor and the professor have left town. And there’s little to show for their time, aside from a large bill to the taxpayer.

It’s still not clear of course why the talks ran aground. But at a time when the footsoldiers of Irish republicanism were making their presence felt in Belfast City Centre, it defied belief that the Stormont elite came together to get their frillies in a twist over flags, parades and how to get terrorists off the hook. If nothing else, we should be grateful to Dr Haass for revealing just how out of touch the Executive parties really are.

The process’ failure probably made for interesting conversation among the chattering classes. But in the real world, it passed by largely unnoticed. For Northern Ireland to move forward does not require a Haass style agreement, but instead requires politicians to address those issues which really matter.

It necessitates a health service which delivers and a Health Minister prepared to put patients and frontline staff first. The future can never be better than the present, when people die needlessly each winter, unable to afford the cost of staying warm.

The employment prospects of our young people will not improve, for so long as we retain the current open border approach towards EU migration.

We cannot expect to have a truly world class economy, while we prioritise the sunset industries of tomorrow, neglecting our indigenous manufacturing and entrepreneurial base. And we will never return to the days of being an industrial and economic powerhouse whilst we consent to being tied up in EU red tape and Brussels bureaucracy.

But above all, a better future requires those in positions of leadership to realise, it cannot be built upon backroom deals, brokered by two foreigners over flags, parades and conspiring with terrorists to help them evade justice.


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