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Why Platform for Change has reached end of line

In taking its decision to cease its activities, I think it is important people should understand the reasons why Platform for Change arrived at that position.

Its ambition from the outset was to try and provide to those involved in politics in Northern Ireland, and in particular the supposed middle ground parties of the SDLP, UUP and Alliance, a platform through which they could build consensus on various issues. By using it also as a forum to engage with civic society, they could then offer themselves as a genuine alternative to the current Sinn Fein/DUP political axis that controls our government. However, our final meeting at the Crescent Arts Centre confirmed that no such consensus existed, nor did it appear that there was any likelihood of one emerging any time soon.

Neither did there appear to be any drive, desire or appetite to create such a political dynamic.

I feel it is important that the consequences of this reality are reflected upon by wider society. Those of us in Platform for Change did so and decided there was little point in us continuing with Platform for Change.

However, many of those who were involved with Platform for Change will undoubtedly continue to argue for a politics that seeks to take responsibility to create a constructive shared future where the people of Northern Ireland live and work together in a peaceful environment for the benefit of all of us.

Politicians who believe in that do exist, in my opinion, in every party, so the challenge for the future is how do those politicians emerge as the political leaders rather than those who simply continue with the flawed politics of the past.

TREVOR RINGLAND

Holywood

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