Letter: Theocratic minority fuelling exodus from NI
I am one of the many Northern Irish citizens that left to pursue higher education and subsequently a career.
I am a millennial, not personally scarred by the violence of the Troubles, but I grew up around the half-healed wounds of the past.
I am also proud to be from Northern Ireland - proud to convince my friends not to go to Barcelona, or Berlin, but to come to Belfast for a city break. Proud that they all wish to return to Northern Ireland to experience more of the scenery, the culture, the people.
However, I see no future where I will return to Northern Ireland to live. Indeed, not one of my Northern Irish friends here in London wants to come home for anything more permanent than a weekend break. Why?
Imagine explaining the desires of our leaders to enforce their tribe's ideology ahead of funding our roads, our schools, our hospitals. Imagine explaining how a theocratic minority can seek to deny fellow citizens social rights now considered to be basic, inalienable and just.
Imagine explaining that you left a country to escape this kind of politics - a politics my contemporaries do not even understand, due to how archaic and childish it comes across. Now imagine explaining that one of these parties has the chance to influence their country.
It is depressing to both love your homeland but resent what a political class has made it become.
Until Northern Ireland is able to govern itself like a grown-up country, until it treats every citizen equally, greater prosperity will not come. Those that leave will not come back.
I ask your readers to consider what they want Northern Ireland to be. Because continuing to elect the same voices to Stormont, or Westminster, will yield the same result: crippling ineptitude, relative poverty and busy departure lounges.