Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Derry paying price of 40 years of SDLP misrule

In reply to Shauna Gallagher (Write Back, May 21), I would like to point out a few facts.

When the SDLP took political control in Derry in 1972, it had the second-highest level of unemployment in the north. Now, after 40 years of SDLP misrule, Derry has the highest levels of unemployment in the north.

Martina Anderson's Stand Up for Derry Campaign has worked by ensuring that projects like Project Kelvin came to Derry, when other parties were content to allow it to go to Coleraine. Martin McGuinness, when Education Minister, was the first minister to move departmental jobs to Waterside House in Derry.

The fact is that Margaret Ritchie, only a fortnight ago, called for a Yes vote in the austerity treaty. The SDLP fought the last Westminster election on the pledge that they would reverse the Tory cuts. Yet, so far, not one penny has been reversed.

When the Tories announced they were slashing the block grant to the north by £4bn, the then SDLP leader Ms Ritchie accepted the cuts by stating that they were "not insurmountable".

Sinn Fein was the only party not to accept them and refused to sign off on the Budget. Sinn Fein subsequently identified £1.6bn-worth of savings to offset the SDLP-accepted Tory cuts.

The fact is that the people of Derry are beginning to see through the smoke and mirrors of the last 40 years of feeble representation.

DALE MOORE

Derry

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