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Time the middle ground united to restore sanity

When will this farce end? We face an election next year when more of the same is in the offing for another parliamentary cycle... and into the future. The present formula has clearly failed.

When Sinn Fein and the DUP finally made it to the top table people hoped they would conduct themselves as statespeople, but instead we have had little more than protracted ethnic wrangling.

How can the merry-go-round be ground to a halt? Is it not past time that the middle ground of politics here is reclaimed by the UUP, the SDLP, the Alliance Party and the Greens?

If these parties were to go into next year's election offering a voluntary coalition to push the DUP and Sinn Fein into opposition for a period, perhaps some sanity might be restored to Northern Ireland's politics.

This would involve the major parties changing the mood music of the local "debate".

As far as the SDLP is concerned, it would involve having the courage to put talk of Irish unity far down the agenda where it belongs, as so few people, north or south, seem to prioritise it.

As far as the UUP is concerned, it would involve turning down the insecure obsession so many have with "Britishness".

What the vast, vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want and deserve is the place to be administered responsibly.

We could do with less talk of "equality" and more of responsibility.

We are all too painfully aware that extremist tendencies here are part of the political furniture, but isn't it time this furniture was so arranged as to prevent most of us tripping over it all the time?

PADDY McEVOY

Holywood

Belfast Telegraph

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