Belfast Telegraph

Pete Boyle: The SDLP and the UUP should join forces

Pete Boyle
Pete Boyle

By Caitriona McBride

Pete Boyle is CEO of Argento, a jewellery retailer with 26 outlets:

Businesspeople think it's disgraceful that we haven't had a government in 1,000 days.

I'm a businessman and if you run a business you just have to get on with it. You couldn't just walk away from your business for 1,000 days. I just think it's disgraceful. People are scundered. People have moved on.

We've come through the Troubles - I hate even using that word. Businesspeople don't look at religion. We all work together, we ask each other for advice and we collaborate.

Government isn't doing that, but you get what you vote for. Individuals vote and keep putting these people back in.

People live much more of a collaborative life now, but for some reason, when it comes to politics, people revert back to who their mum and dad voted for. The SDLP and UUP should have joined forces to make a new middle ground. Although it's unlikely. They need a new identity.

To be honest, the public have themselves to blame. Nobody forces those parties on them.

I don't think people live their lives falling out with their neighbours, but then they vote in the same way they always have, so nothing changes. The fact that we haven't had Stormont hasn't really affected my business - Brexit is overriding everything for businesspeople. The only good thing is that positive changes might come in now in regard to same-sex marriage and abortion rights. After those difficult decisions are made by Westminster, they might come back in and they can say "it wasn't us".

People want their leaders to lead. You can have two clowns, Boris and Trump, leading two of the biggest nations in the world, so maybe it's better to have no government than those two.

Brexit has had an effect on business. Retail in the UK is in a really bad way.

Don't vote for the DUP or Sinn Fein if you want a government. It's not hard to get rid of these people - it's called democracy.

The SDLP and the UUP need to form a new party. It's the only way to get Sinn Fein and the DUP out. At the minute, it's ludicrous - it's a mess."

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