DEPRIVED loyalist areas are getting a £33m injection, so naturally everyone is complaining. Predictably, loyalists think it’s not enough, republicans think it’s at their expense and some others think it’s being allocated as a political bribe. Which it is, let’s face it……as there’s no hard evidence that ‘loyalist areas’ were ever discriminated against in the first place. It’s a reflection of the situation regarding peace funding from the EU, where the evidence points in the opposite direction. I don’t think anyone apart from Jim Allister even denies this any more, as I noted in excruciating detail in December.
Since the peace dividend seems to have made little impact on the lives of ordinary people the first time round, it’s time for the Government to try again. Hopefully, it won’t mean funding paramilitary lifestyles this time round. It would be nice to think it’s going where it’s needed most instead, in a practical form, and keeping on funding for those schemes that work.
Tackling the severe education problems in loyalist areas and dealing with the unacceptably high level of paramilitary influence sense would be a good start. It might mean prioritising creches over funding applications for ‘single-identity, social-confidence-building activities’ once in a while, for example.
The last thing people want to see on Newsline is another barely-literate UDA steroid-ridden ‘community activist’ spide dripping with more jewellery than Mr T telling us about the hardship he’s facing ‘cos he now has to teach kids something apart from how to build petrol bombs. And for a non-heroin-dealing wage, like.
A little transparency might boost public confidence in funding for mainly loyalist areas.
Here endeth the rant.