Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Politics must focus on the real problems

Society here faces real problems such as sectarianism, poverty, unemployment and a future crisis in the public finances.

Political debate should focus on these matters, rather than a tired and futile revival of sectarian electoral headcounts.

Ian Paisley Jnr's article underlines this. There is not one mention of any policy therein. No reference to anything of relevance to anyone concerned about cutbacks to the health budget, or worried about losing their job.

Instead voters are told to unthinkingly support any unionist in preference to any nationalist, regardless of such apparent irrelevancies as their record in office or their policy positions.

Northern Ireland's constitutional status was virtually guaranteed for the foreseeable future by amending Articles 2 and 3 in the Republic's constitution, which removes the Dublin government's formal territorial claim to sovereignty over all 32 Irish counties.

It is time now for politics here to be based on policy, on ideology, on differing and competing arguments over public spending, health, jobs and other matters which feature in political discourse elsewhere in Europe.

The unionist electorate should not be blinded by nonsense about "saving the union".

SIMON FINN

Strabane

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