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Well-aimed salvo at politicians

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 23/09/2015

Honoured: Bill Wolsey
Honoured: Bill Wolsey

The public has become so accustomed to carefully-crafted statements on major public occasions that it is refreshing when someone breaks ranks to speak his or her mind.

This happened yesterday at the launch of the Belfast Future City strategy when the self-made businessman Bill Wolsey went off topic.

He told the politicians that everyone in business knows how dangerous it is when there is a political vacuum, and he reminded them that the people want them to improve the lives of everyone.

He further underlined that it is time for the politicians to get on with their jobs and to repay the debt to the people who elected them.

It is no surprise that Mr Wolsey received spontaneous applause from his audience, because he was saying what everyone else is thinking.

The problem is that the politicians seem not to be listening, and already the new set of talks seem to be producing the same kind of nasty inter-party and individual niggling that has left Stormont stranded again.

While our politicians continue their party games our economic situation remains precarious, with Northern Ireland running out of cash next month if the current rate of depletion is allowed to continue.

This is totally incongruous at a time when we are poised to invest £1bn in Belfast to provide a much-need strategy and infrastructure to improve the city for everyone.

Belfast has many attractions and positive factors, but it is still under-performing economically and too many people are disadvantaged.

The private sector is again showing an ingenuity and a willingness to adapt that the politicians appear to lack seriously.

It is time that the politicians not only gave full credit to entrepreneurs in the private sector, but also tried to learn something from them.

The continuing deadlock at Stormont is maintaining extremely bad publicity in the rest of the world, and the constant drip of news about our lack of political stability is creating untold damage.

The business and community people, and the churches, have all told our politicians to get on with the job of making an agreement. Yet, still they snarl at each other in public and private. Have they no shame? Will they ever learn? The time is running out for all of us.

Belfast Telegraph

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