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Time to stand up and be counted over finances

That The Belfast Telegraph has chosen to focus on the grave financial choices facing Northern Ireland is welcome, but the slant put on it in Friday's headlines was straight out of the DUP propaganda textbook ('Friendless Ulster has most to lose in cutbacks', News, August 6).

The financial truth is indeed that Northern Ireland, in line with the whole of the UK (and indeed the rest of Ireland) faces severe challenges; but the political truth is somewhat different, and merely serves to expose how misleading the position of the DUP and its allies was before the last election.

Contrary to what was suggested by a 'source', Northern Ireland has never had more 'friends' at the centre of Government in the UK.

In the new Prime Minister, we have someone who took significant political and personal risks to give Northern Ireland its best-ever opportunity to become directly involved in UK-wide political decision-making.

However, there is no question that the best proponents of Northern Ireland's interests would be MPs from Northern Ireland itself.

To that end, the Ulster Unionists took a courageous decision in 2008 to offer the people of Northern Ireland a direct route to the heart of the UK Government with David Cameron's Conservatives.

For this they were opposed by the DUP.

The Belfast Telegraph has now called for a new type of politics. This must include a recognition that Northern Ireland can't afford to stand aside from the big picture and hope MPs from Britain will continue to ensure money keeps falling from the sky.


North Down Borough Council


From Belfast Telegraph