Stormont Stalemate vs Reality

Tuesday 19th September 2017

I would dearly love to be informing you of the latest Stormont report. A report that would detail a plan for reform and improvement of our ailing health system, a report that highlights how we will address the academic impasse over selection at year 7 and maybe how we our legislating on mental health & wellbeing and how we are going to tackle the epidemic proportions of poor mental health in our wee country. After all that is why I got into politics.

Sadly, as is all too often in Northern Irish politics we find ourselves bound by the belligerence of the politics of domination and one up-man ship. The ability of the so called big two parties to find compromise and solutions is failing, and time is running short before we see the secretary of state intervene and potentially impose direct rule.

On Friday of last week I was approached by a lady that I hadn’t previously met, and, having recognised me as the UUP Mental Health spokesperson, she then shared her very personal family circumstance and her daughter’s life threatening wait on a psychiatric consultants appointment that has been repeatedly delayed due to increasing waiting list times and pressures on front line care staff. I was genuinely touched by the ladies plight, however my overriding feeling was of anger that there are still those in political power that seek to service their own political agenda, whilst watching the health, wellbeing, learning and prosperity of all the people of Northern Ireland crumble before their eyes.

We cannot afford to accept the current stalemate at Stormont any longer. Therefore immediate action is required. Reinstatement of the devolved assembly, appointment of Ministers with a vision and heart for ALL the people of Northern Ireland and a paradigm shift in how politicians seek to improve the lives of all of us here in this wee country we call home.

Robbie Butler MLA

Lagan Valley

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