As we approach yet another New Year we look back on 2016 as a year when, whatever pundits and politicos thought should happen, the people spoke and their voice was heard, writes Gregory Campbell.
Whether in the Brexit debate, the US elections or other electoral contests in Europe there has been a wave of resentment at Governmental politically correct leftist propaganda.
We have yet to see if there are further outworkings of this sentiment in Holland, Germany and France. Rather than many ‘experts’ lambasting how people are voting they ought to be asking why they are voting this way? Locally there have been numerous events following the Assembly elections, a number of challenges remain to be resolved and there needs to be progress made not just in stabilizing Northern Ireland in an increasingly unstable International environment but ensuring we build a more prosperous long term future for all our people.
The needs are substantial, training and preparedness in education for our young people to enter the workplace, an economy that offers employment opportunities to expand that workplace while improving the services that Government delivers to the wider population.
Brexit offers opportunities as the UK appeals to the wider world for export opportunities, outside the Europhile monstrosity that we will thankfully be free from shortly.
While there are short term challenges ahead we must not lose sight of the long term political picture which people will want to see a concentration on over the months and years that lie ahead.
The year 2016 lies behind us, for decades that year was the one that violent irish republicanism assured it’s followers would bring both our countries (Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic) together as it was one hundred years after the failed Easter ‘Rising’ or 1916.
It may be too much to hope now that the pipe dream has passed, that more and more will concentrate on the future rather than a failed past. Whether it be coroners’ inquests, inquiry demands or historic cabinet releases there needs to be a constant repetition of the need for no rewriting of the past.
Some of us came into politics to help in whatever way we could, to assist in ensuring Northern Ireland could not be co-erced out of the UK by violence, now that it is patently obvious there is nor prospect of that happening, as we enter 2017, we need to ensure those failures of the past are not repeated as we build for the future, for all of our people.