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Public's trust is the real casualty of Stormont failure

Love him or loath him, Basil McCrea's decision to leave politics is a disappointing one. This writer would not endorse all that NI21 stood for but the important point is that a face prepared to be different from the established parties will not be there to challenge them.

McCrea is clearly bruised, and politics can do that, but it is important that individuals and other groups do not give up. This week the Rountree Trust has reported again on the disastrous state of the Northern Ireland economy, confirming what this writer has been sharing publicly for some time.

The five main parties (the UUP cannot excuse themselves of responsibility) which make up the NI Executive have failed to deliver their own Programme for Government. They have failed with the economy - 20% of our population in poverty, child poverty increasing. Unemployment for young people in the 18-24 age group has doubled in the last 10 years. They have clearly demonstrated an inability to think outside the box or with entrepreneurial flair.

They have failed with our education - selection needs to be resolved in the interest of all our children, and a clear debate and resolution to the nature of our education sector needs to obtained once and for all.

They have failed with our health - or rather they have failed to have the courage to tell us what really needs to be done.

They have failed to deliver the much vaunted Shared Future policy which this writer believes to be fundamentally flawed.

Trust is the real victim of the ineptitude of this and previous NI Assemblies. It is time to restore trust.

Frazer McCammond

Leader, Democracy First

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