The Public call for a Stormont return is growing louder - Butler

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The Public call for a Stormont return is growing louder - Butler

This last week has seen a lot of attention being placed on a particular newspaper editorial, with both politicians and commentators from all directions giving their interpretations and positions.

I firmly believe and hold that, in the wake of public sector pay freezes, crumbling roads, failing health services and a cost-of-living crisis that we have not experienced for decades, coupled to a growing number of global catastrophic events, it is not “the powers that be” who are steering the DUP towards a return to Stormont.

Rather, it is those unionist thinkers and voters who know that there is more at stake than what is being suggested by some of the commentaries.

There is not a single unionist voter or politician who supports the unwelcome aspects of the Windsor Framework. Many unionists, myself included, did not vote for or welcome Brexit, the consequences of which are now being manifest in the UK/EU arrangements.

Our reality and challenge to change the significant issues brought by the WF must be achieved collegiately, protecting the vision and reputation of Unionism and our place in the union of the United Kingdom by putting people and their wellbeing first.

Putting people first is not what Sinn Fein did between 2017 and 2020 and it disappoints me greatly that some unionists see that mirroring this behaviour in some way equates to “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” The Ulster Unionist Party have a vision to build a Union of People, which can only be achieved through delivering prosperity, opportunity, and better outcomes for all the people of Northern Ireland. 

The ongoing abstention from Stormont in a wider context is not only harming prosperity, opportunity and wellbeing but expediting a negative modality of unionism that some seem intent in promoting.

Since August this year, as part of a significant team of unionist activists, we have knocked on many hundreds of doors across Lagan Valley. We have asked a series of questions relating to local, regional and national issues and I cannot be more clear when I say that those we have spoken to are sending a resounding and almost unanimous YES to Stormont operating now.

These constituents are not “the powers that be” but my friends, neighbours and constituents, who recognise that we need to be in Government at Stormont, growing prosperity and increasing opportunity for everyone to make Northern Ireland work.