Time to focus minds on making real progress: Ekin

Maybe the disastrous Orange March and its aftermath of wanton destruction will focus the minds of everyone on making real progress in Northern Ireland.

As Trevor Ringland of One Small Step Campaign said (“Leaders should follow football’s example”, Belfast Telegraph, 16 September), there are two groups in Northern Ireland: those who want to move forward in a Shared Future that is progressive and understanding, and those who want to keep us in the old failed ways.

Many people are crying out for positive leadership. Who ever heard of leadership that continually criticises others, tells us how fearful we must be of others, continually resists change and improvement, and hypocritically changes blame and excuses, depending who is the butt of the argument?

For 60 years, at least, we have heard this non leadership.

It has been too easy for the heads of political and social groups to sit on their hands, being negative.

I have not heard constructive leadership: about bringing our laws into line with Great Britain (for rioting, four years jail in GB; four months in Northern Ireland); about reducing the size and at the same time increasing the efficiency of our public sector; about increasing the number of economically productive jobs; about balancing our schools with the diminishing numbers of school children; about consistent and long term welfare for the young, old and ill; or about getting rid of paramilitarism/gangsterism/criminality.

It is too late for the heads of existing political parties and social groups such as the Orange Order to change their ways. They have had their chances, so its is up to younger, more 21st century-oriented people to give leadership, for more weight to be given by opinion formers to those who are trying to move Northern Ireland forward to a brighter and better future for all.

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