Does Northern Ireland have a moral core? In the light of the forthcoming election, it may be worth reflecting on how far Northern Ireland has apparently fallen over the past 15 years.
Regardless of an individual's political opinion, there is no doubt that, by any objective standard, if our MPs were to be judged on delivery for constituents, very few would be returned.
Whether on the basis of principled abstentionism or simple non attendance, the record of the Northern Ireland MP is poor.
Likewise, by any objective standard, some of our MPs have serious questions to answer regarding their conduct; questions that in many other places would cause retirement from public life, or rejection by the electorate.
How have we come to the place where the people will elect those who, by any normal standard, should be rejected? Have we, as a society, lost all moral rectitude? Are we so devoid of moral authority that no one will point out the corruption of our public life by those who seek to represent us?
Northern Ireland is condemned to this morass, unwilling to apply normal standards to those who seek to represent us, while, in a hypocritical way, condemning those we elect for any lack of moral rectitude.
Come May 6, Northern Ireland will again go to the polls and it's likely we will again elect former terrorists and alleged crooks.
Undoubtedly, these same individuals will continue to underperform and overcharge. We will privately complain, but publicly applaud. Is it any wonder nothing changes here?
Portadown, Co Armagh