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Progress will only happen with a new attitude

DOESN'T anyone see the irony? The very people who strenuously claim they want closer relationships, either with Britain or the Republic, act in ways that are totally off-putting to people in Britain and the Republic.

I have yet to meet anyone in Britain who understands loyalists' behaviour, or, similarly, anyone in the south who understands republican violence.

The best way to make Northern Ireland more attractive, either to Britain or the Republic, is the same: and it is the only way that either of the opposing goals can be achieved.

We must all work to make Northern Ireland more politically settled, progressive and economically and educationally sound. The leading politicians must lead and help us deal with the big issues. The recent debacle of the Dr Haass talks and his comments in Washington about the dangers of the lack of political progress are a significant reminder that there is still a lot that is rotten in the state.

Too many of us are too comfortable, so that we ignore the problems which should be staring us in the face.

We see it around us; we are inefficient, we lack ambition, we depend on others for money and leadership, we are negative.

For the benefit of everyone, we need to change our mind-set and change our attitude to the benefits of being ambitious.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren.

ALD TOM EKIN (Alliance)

Belfast City Council

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