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Politicians hurting us all with Stormont gamesmanship: Fall-out from crisis has repercussions for everyone in Northern Ireland

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 12/09/2015

Peter Robinson announced that all but one of the DUP's ministers would withdraw from the executive
Peter Robinson announced that all but one of the DUP's ministers would withdraw from the executive

The fall-out from the Stormont political crisis continues to have repercussions for everyone in Northern Ireland, directly or indirectly.

The latest revelations underline how vital support for victims of domestic violence could be halted because of the stalemate.

Two government departments were about to sign off a joint strategy to help people under threat of abuse in their home. The Women's Aid charity is deeply concerned because it requires action from both ministers, but because of the upheaval at Stormont it is by no means clear when this will be done, if at all.

In the past year, nearly 13,000 domestic abuse crimes were reported to the police here, representing about 12% of the overall crimes in Northern Ireland. It is no wonder that Louise Kennedy from Women's Aid has warned that without an effective response to domestic violence, lives are at risk.

The Belfast Telegraph has already highlighted the plight of the disabled children whose swimming competition had to be cancelled because DCAL would not put forward £3,000.

This is the pattern which will continue in the near future if the politics from all parties remain in deadlock at Stormont, and thereby continue to receive sustained and justified criticism from ordinary people who want them to get on with the job which they are elected to do.

Today we publish the reactions of people from a wide range of ages and background, and the result will not make pleasant reading for the politicians.

Student Fiona McGill describes them as being "silly and childlike", and Paddy Doyle, who works with young people, says "they would be more reasonable and responsible than the majority of our politicians".

The penny must drop sooner or later, and the politicians must find their way out of this latest mess they created. The people of this province are utterly fed up with their political gamesmanship and stand-offs, and it is time we had grown-up politics.

Belfast Telegraph

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