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Long's comment on student cuts no vote-winner

Published 19/04/2016

Naomi Long, Alliance Party candidate in the upcoming Stormont election, made a very interesting comment in the recent debate on BBC1's The View.

Hearing SDLP criticism from Fearghal McKinney that the Alliance Education and Learning Minister cut student places, she retorted that the SDLP wanted to put more student places "in places where there were no jobs".

This comment will cause outrage with voters in Derry, where courses and student numbers were cut by Stephen Farry because - it now seems - there were no jobs there for the graduates.

Derry is faced with a situation where it needs more jobs, but can't get the jobs because it doesn't have the graduates. But it can't get the graduates because, according to Naomi Long, it doesn't have any jobs for these student graduates.

This is not just a catch-22 situation for Derry. It is also a case of the 'I'm all right, Jack' mentality that resides in the Belfast region.

It is not for nothing that the Alliance Party has no support west of the Bann.

JOHN O'CONNELL

Londonderry

Belfast Telegraph

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