“…each political party seems to be obsessed with the role they think they should have either in a society that is yet to come or a society set in the good old days. The difficulty for those of us in business is that we need them to be playing their roles here and now.
“For many Republicans, the milk and honey and good jobs etc will only come when weve rid ourselves of perfidious Albion and Gerry Adams is installed as president of the new Irish socialist republic. Likewise, for many unionists, therell be no progress or investment until those pesky nationalists realise that they were British all along and we all get back to the nice quiet Stormont politics of the past.”
As for the British and Irish governments, Kelly thinks they should:
“… just say theyre too busy. The sooner they do and the sooner we face up to the fact that we have to share this small area of land, the sooner we can get on with the business of living semi-normal lives. Because thats just it when the assembly and executive were up and running, we were beginning to live semi-normal lives. No matter how hard the no-men try to convince us and themselves that it didnt work, it did. When they werent fighting about what colour of lillies should be displayed, or when they took a break from the schoolboy name-calling, power-sharing worked pretty well thank you very much.”
So what did the Assembly do for us?
“It was making significant progress on a number of fronts for example, reviled planning laws were being reviewed and were on the way to change. The 11-plus was thrown out, but theres no-one there to decide on a replacement. A major investigation into homelessness was carried out, but theres no-one there to read the damn thing or take action on it. Major retail developments such as Victoria Square have been waiting for the final sign-off from ministers, but now face even more delays. What about the rates review whos going to do it now? The list is long and depressing.”
But he suggests that there is not enough sense of urgency; “too few local people understand that we cant wait.”