What really gets me frustrated is the fact that the politicians up in Stormont are not doing their job. There is still no agreement between the parties, we have no First Minister or Deputy First Minister!! There is no one leading our country!!
It confuses me how politicians can surpass deadlines and act like children. If I was to walk into my part-time job and just stand in the one spot all day and do nothing, then when asked by my boss “why am I not working?” and reply with “cause I don’t wanna” (like a child) I would get sanctioned, I wouldn’t receive pay for the day and I would be one step closer to being fired. So why on earth is it ok for politicians (who are supposed to be representing us) to do nothing and still get paid? If you don’t do your job you DON’T GET PAID!
Personally, this is just a recipe for disaster. There is hardly any faith in the parties that represent us as it is and now they are putting more wood to the fire by thinking it is ok to do their own thing. And speaking of “wood to the fire” I think people have forgotten about the huge RHI scandal. The RHI scheme was launched to help businesses in Northern Ireland meet the cost of installing renewable heat technologies, put simply businesses would install heat systems and would receive payment for using a renewable energy, however there was no boundaries on this scheme and businesses decided to abuse this scheme by installing heating systems in empty sheds and having them run 24/7 meaning that they would receive a great deal of money from the government. Once all this scandal was released to the public (and might I add it was a great deal of time later) and research was done to discover what repercussions had taken place it was found that the scheme would cost the taxpayer over £400 million! What gives this scandal more flavour is the fact that our previous first minister Arlene Foster oversaw the whole process and denies any wrong doing!! There has been little action taken against those that abused the scheme and those that let it get this far.
I really think it’s time we put penalties on politicians that do not work and create schemes only to make a quick buck out of their constituents. If we let this continue who knows what will happen in 10 years time. I’m sure other countries that read of our current political situation laugh, they must think we are all thick that we have leaders who care only of themselves and are looking to deepen their own pockets.
Granted not every politician is the same, some are working to do everything they can for us. A recent example would be that of SDLP’s Justin McNulty. Newry & Mourne’s extremely vital hospital Daisy Hill was under threat by the Southern Health Trust, they thought in their great wisdom that since there was a staff shortage in the country that they would cut Daisy Hill’s emergency departments opening hours to 8am to 8pm. To everyone in my area this was the stupidest idea every, people would have to travel to Belfast or Craigavon in an emergency. The Trust had many options and just went with whatever was easiest to them, I’m sure the “big shots” making the decision do not need to worry about healthcare because they have enough money to go private. Thankfully Justin knew how this would cause major problems, he took a stand and fought to keep the hospital running, he did not idly stand by. Justin held a meeting of which 800 people attended and thousands more watched it live on Facebook, he listened to the people and tried his utmost to get everyone united, no matter what party you were Justin encouraged everyone to pitch in. Justin made many journeys to the trust and fought for the people, he did not give up and did not compromise. In the end of his hard battle, the Southern Trust announced the hospital’s emergency department would remain to its usual opening hours and many people are alive and well thanks to Justin’s hard work.
To round this all up, I just want people to realise when voting in the future who the true politicians are, which actually represent the people and want to go to work each morning and make the world a better place and which are running for power, money and their own personal gain.
Niall Byrne is a final year BSc in Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be contacted on Twitter @NByrne96