Clare Bailey reflects on two years since the collapse of our devolved institutions

Wednesday 09 January 2019

Today marks two years since the collapse of devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Green Party leader Clare Bailey MLA reflects on the two year hiatus and calls on the Secretary of State to take a more inclusive approach to improving the political picture:

“The pantomime season may have just drawn to a close, but the farcical situation of two years without a functioning devolved government continues across Northern Ireland.

“It’s impossible to sugar coat the situation we find ourselves in. Brexit has been a shambles and has left the Westminster parliament and wider society dangerously divided.

“Many public services are under severe pressure from a prolonged programme of Tory austerity. There has been little or no movement on human rights and equality issues such as same sex marriage and abortion law reform. Victims of institutional abuse are dying without access to justice or reparations.

“Steven Agnew MLA’s last motion before the collapse of Stormont was a call for a meaningful Ministerial accountability process. The RHI inquiry and successive Stormont controversies have shown that Steven’s call was spot on.

“The lack of Ministerial accountability has been a contributory factor in the death of our devolved institutions. Any return to devolution must include meaningful Ministerial accountability measures. The previous pattern of stumbling from crisis to crisis has seriously damaged public confidence in our politics and our society.

“The Secretary of State Karen Bradley continues with a take on the role of an absentee landlady and strikes an obscurely upbeat note about our dismal situation when she drops into the jurisdiction.

“There must be serious questions answered by the Secretary of State. What are the prospects for All Party talks and will these talks be inclusive and purposeful?”

Clare Bailey MLA concluded:

“I call on the Secretary of State to take an inclusive approach. A political system dominated by Sinn Fein and the DUP failed to deliver good government. Civic society and new voices can inject the impetus and positivity that the politics of the past has stolen away.”

ENDS

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