Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Court's incinerator decision an indictment of the lamentable state of politics here. It's time for MLAs to put up or shut up

Editor's Viewpoint

The judgment from the Court of Appeal over a £240m waste incinerator in Newtownabbey is further proof that Northern Ireland is simply not being governed.

The judges refused to overrule a decision that the Civil Service had no power to give the go-ahead for the controversial development in Mallusk in the absence of a minister.

What an appalling state of affairs as the problems pile up for all of us, with urgent decisions on health, education, infrastructure and the economy all forming an unseemly queue waiting for attention.

After many months of dithering and cynical posturing by the main parties, we are down to the wire. It is either a return to Stormont by politicians or a return to direct rule, which we have in all but name.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley is not providing much confidence either, though admittedly she is in a difficult position.

Meanwhile, the MLAs are taking full salaries and expenses for doing virtually nothing, and Mrs Bradley seems to have no inclination to impose pay cuts, which is angering people on all sides.

This lamentable state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue, while the DUP and Sinn Fein blame each other for the impasse.

The public are not fools, and they know when they are being palmed off in a political circus.

Whatever we voted for, it cannot have been this embarrassing shambles. Perhaps it is time that ordinary people came together to insist on their right to be governed properly.

Our MLAs, despite their many faults, know this place better than the Westminster politicians, and a functioning Stormont is better than the farce we now have to endure.

There is real anger building up, and people are holding the MLAs and politics itself in contempt. This is not good for democracy, nor for any of us. Do the MLAs have no shame? It's time to put up or shut up. Otherwise the end of workable devolution here is inevitable.

Belfast Telegraph

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