Month: April 2021

Crisis of confidence

The latest Political OD podcast was recorded before the widespread calls for the resignation of the PSNI’s Chief Constable, following the usual pass the buck to the PPS which then had to consider a base of evidence that could be described as less than slam-dunk to secure a conviction. Morally, publicly, reprehensible as Sinn Fein actions were at the Storey funeral the PPS could only work with the files before it.

The story being built around the Storey funeral suggests ‘everyone’ is confused on both law and responsibilities, including those who wrote the law and those who might be expected to uphold the law. The public does not share that ambiguity in respect of what happened at that funeral.

All this within a year after the first Covid lockdown, and notably just over a year of New Decade “New” Approach. The relationships between the Parties making up the Northern Ireland Executive seem to be little better than 2017 (when the Assembly last collapsed). The ability of our institutions to address anything much with a degree of competence seems, at best, little improved on earlier incarnations.

Devolution is not delivering. Is this institutional, or simply that those at the head lack the competence/experience/imagination? By way of example, the further delay to the York Street Interchange infrastructure project – £140 million allocated in 2017 –  because of ‘place making’ has the public rolling its eyes. It is a motorway junction causing untold travel misery for commuters and delays for businesses. We don’t need to ‘make’ a place, we need to make a start!

The public is being played for a fool. Either Stormont steps up, or it needs to step out of the way. Honestly, between 2017 and 2020 most people happily got on with their lives and had Stormont not been resuscitated in early 2020 few believe we would be in a worse place today. Next time the Assembly collapses, let’s make sure a DNR is in place.