For approaching 1000 days, the people of Northern Ireland have been without a functioning Executive or Assembly. For 1000 days, politicians in Northern Ireland have used their free time to: Appear on radio programmes, protest about Brexit, complain and go on holiday (frequently in some cases…) For 1000 days, the taxpayers of Northern Ireland have kept the lights on in the Stormont Estate – an estate which has become nothing more than a big, beautiful, glorified canteen for lazy politicians – surrounded by a busy park. For 1000 days, the taxpayers of Northern Ireland have paid these lazy politicians to not do their job.
Despite all of this, and even during a three-year cycle where referendum losers have falsely and shamefully used Northern Ireland’s history as part of their narrative to ignore a democratic vote, and stay handcuffed to a failing European Union – Northern Ireland’s economy has continued to grow.
One example is the services sector, which is the largest part of the Northern Ireland economy. It grew by 0.8% in the second half of 2019. Compared to the same time in 2018, output was up by 0.5%. In fact, official figures suggest that overall Northern Ireland services output is now at its highest point in 10 years.
Despite some troubling recent news in a local firm, overall – the Northern Ireland unemployment rate (2.8%) was below the rate in the other parts of the UK. In fact, the overall employment rate (72.0%) in Northern Ireland increased during the last twelve months by 0.7pps and over the year by 2.0pps to be the second-highest ever on record! (Odd that this has largely gone unreported…)
Cruise-liners from around the world are regularly visiting Northern Ireland, tourism is booming and there is more investment in infrastructure. Northern Ireland simply isn’t struggling without its stop-start devolved Assembly. Frankly, it could be easily argued that Northern Ireland is doing much better without it.
So the question remains: Why are the British Government continuing to pay the wages of these chancers, why are the taxpayers forking money out to prop up a failed system which has been inactive for such a long time. Why are the people in Northern Ireland constantly funding these parties and their failed talks processes?
It’s time for the Stormont Gravy Train to be brought to an end. It’s time for a return to direct ministerial rule from Westminster. When the time comes in future for a further rethink on Governance in Northern Ireland, any new model should be put to the people in a referendum.
For now, end the expensive non-Governing Stormont farce and let Northern Ireland continue to thrive as an integral part of an Independent and free United Kingdom!