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SDLP's Cartwright cannot have it both ways

I WAS shocked to read that Justin Cartwright, the SDLP candidate for Balmoral, has positioned himself as an "economic unionist" (Saturday Review, February 15).

His vision for our economy is to tether it to the historical decline of the economy of Britain. The recent, rapid banking-driven recession in the south does not compare to the prolonged stagnation of the British economy.

The economy of the north of Ireland is controlled by Westminster. The north accounts for 3% of the British economy and is subject to decisions taken by a Tory administration on the basis of the 97%.

Under the watch of the Tory Government, the economy of the north shows worse levels of economic performance than Portugal, Spain and Ireland.

Maintaining the status quo in the form of two competing, fractured economies on this island can only result in worse outcomes than those which we are facing today.

There is an alternative: a planned and agreed approach to economic development across the island, which will stimulate economic recovery.

Justin Cartwright's assumptions on the lack of appetite for Irish unity are also to be questioned. The surge in support for Sinn Fein (and, indeed, the vote for his own party, which, until they tell us otherwise, is pro-unity) suggests otherwise.

Justin Cartwright's time would be better spent outlining his social and economic policies, as opposed to cynically trying to present himself as both a nationalist and a unionist. You cannot be both.



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