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Middle East brings a reminder of democratic rights

It is with great hope in the human spirit that we all greet the situation spreading across the Middle East.

All that people require is the desire to believe they are free from state oppression so they can do what people worldwide do: feed their families, develop their careers and enjoy the celebrations that life hands out to us.

While Northern Ireland enjoys many freedoms that others are willing to die for, I feel we need to ponder two vital points.

First, those who have died and suffered to gain us the lifestyles we enjoy now and the future this brings and, second, the behaviour of our elected politicians.

This is about fundamental rights. The right of free speech and, in a democratic society, the right to challenge those whom we have elected to govern us.

So, where are the voices shouting against inertia and incompetence at Stormont? Have we forgotten the pain at Christmas over the water fiasco? Is that minister still in office? Or the party in power so incompetent that it is seeking a role in Opposition?

Don't we deserve more? What about a party that has been recognised as having the hardest-working MP? The party that is setting the political agenda that others are trying to imitate?

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