This is the second part of a Trilogy of posts based on a submission to The Panel of Parties, more generally named ‘The Haass Talks’. The blog post has the added advantage of being able to link documents and expand on a point here or there by way of detailed explanation that wasn’t possible with a hasty and brief submission written almost upon the submission deadline. Was the submission made with an expectation that it would have any influence? No. It was made because there are things that needed said.
Flags, symbols & emblems.
If there was any sense of future in the most recent Programme of Government, any semblance of strategy, any coherent pathway to a better Northern Ireland, it would be less likely that flags, symbols and emblems would be a prominent issue to be addressed. The main parties, the DUP (perhaps by default) and in particular and Sinn Fein (more likely by design), are misdirecting on ‘street’ issues because their inability to address fundamentals of government in delivering education, health and economic confidence.
The parties struggle to convince the public of a positive present; never mind trying to convince the public of a confident future on key issues. Issues around flags, symbols and emblems are not going to go away, but they need not take centre stage as they have over the past year or so. The Parties need to step up to the plate on the big everyday tickets and address matters of concern to all the citizens. It is the absence of constructive leadership of any form which is creating a vacuum that will be filled by ‘something’ that offers a certainty of sorts.