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Our incapable Government still hasn't delivered

Five years on from the St Andrews Agreement and everyone is still left asking, what was actually achieved?

As the continuing poor performance of our politicians proves, nothing for the good was actually achieved.

The St Andrews Agreement was predicated on flattery, egos, anniversaries and threat. It was a moment in time, a political solution in a very personal context.

The timing was impeccable, coinciding with Ian Paisley's 50th wedding anniversary. The new dawn - false and seedy though it was - became Northern Ireland's future, but the outcome has never lived up to expectations.

The Assembly is a shambles, the Executive is divided and Northern Ireland, as an entity, has gained little.

Our politicians are incapable of making hard decisions, the Assembly system mitigates against real progress and the perception remains that Northern Ireland and particularly our politicians haven't moved on.

Yes, we have a relative peace, but we've had that since 1996. Yes local people have greater access to decision-makers, except no decisions are being made.

We have a form of democracy, but without an Opposition or the ability/desire to create one, what we have bears little resemblance to what we need.

The foundations of the Northern Ireland settlement have been built on political sand. The edifice still stands but collapse is inevitable and will be down to the continuance of a non-functioning Government incapable of change.

ULTONIAN

Portadown, Co Armagh

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