Alliance: Northern Ireland must become economically self suffient

Here’s a proposition that will go down like a lead balloon at Connelly House, and Dundela Avenue. The Alliance party had their AGM today, and resolved that…

…Northern Ireland must set itself the objective of becoming economically self-sufficient, and no longer relying on subvention from London. The call was passed unanimously at a meeting of Party Council in Castlereagh.

Proposing the motion, new Party President Colm Cavanagh stated: “We have seen yet again this week parties going to London and demanding more money. They will then come back and say ‘Oh look, we secured more funding’. Yet there is no thought going into how we make our economy truly competitive.”

Seconding the motion, North Down Councillor Ian James Parsley stated: “We have to recognise how important this is not just financially, but also politically and socially. We cannot allow our government to continue being hindered by the fact it is reliant on London for the money it wants to spend. If we create the wealth right here, we will be able to go to London and look the UK Government straight in the eye. This ability has led to self-confidence in the Republic, and there is no reason we cannot aim for the same.”

Former Belfast Lord Mayor Tom Ekin added: “We can have no more begging bowl politics. We need a widespread review of economic policy, planning, infrastructure and everything else if we are to stand up on our own two feet. We must make this a priority in the new Assembly.”

The motion means the seven Alliance MLAs will pursue the objective of a self-sufficient economy as a priority, as it becomes the leading opposition party to a four-party Executive, now likely in May.

The meeting also saw David Ford MLA and Naomi Long MLA re-elected as Leader and Deputy Leader, and Coleraine representative Yvonne Boyle agreeing to continue as Party Chair until Party Conference, on 3 November. Party activists applauded the work of candidates, election agents and party workers in securing recent electoral gains, and called for urgent further action to grow the party.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty