Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Executive's dedication to shared future is a charade

The re-emergence of the CSI (Cohesion Sharing and Integration) strategy at Stormont (News, October 20) re-emphasises that the Executive's commitment to a shared future is a hollow charade.

Last year, Sinn Fein and the DUP produced this pathetic document as a consequence of the so-called Hillsborough Agreement.

It provided the Alliance Party with a comfort-blanket and persuaded David Ford to take the justice minister's post, but everyone else could see it was a box-ticking exercise.

Now it emerges that the public made its view clear by savaging the document in a public consultation. No wonder the responses have been kept under wraps.

The DUP and Sinn Fein's strategy practically ignored key issues, like shared schools and housing.

The document had little to say on sharing and there was a gaping hole when it came to integration.

It says it all that we're still waiting for a workable integration strategy after over four years of the Sinn Fein/DUP carve-up.

Their document was late, it's not being advanced with any urgency and its contents are, in any case, completely inadequate.

The two parties ought to be ashamed of their efforts and Alliance ought to be embarrassed that this empty strategy was the fig-leaf which allowed it to join the Executive.

Only when politicians lead from the front can we ever hope to move away from the past.

IRWIN ARMSTRONG

Chairman, Northern Ireland Conservatives

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