What about some ‘hothouse political talks’ around NI’s social and economic future?

Brendan Mulgrew makes a point worth repeating:

When has there been a hothouse political talks process around, for example, the economy, or education or health?

Aren’t parents whose 11-year-old children are forced to sit four consecutive Saturdays of transfer exams entitled to have that core issue put under a similar political spotlight?

Shouldn’t the search for a so-called peace dividend around tax breaks, enterprise zones or corporation tax have received the same dedicated amount of concentrated effort as that spent on flags and parades?

It is genuinely baffling to a large number of people that these issues dominate the political discourse and hog the headlines at a time when youth unemployment is on the rise, when A&e departments are seemingly at breaking point and when we have lived in a school transfer vacuum for more than a decade.

Nope? Too busy sorting out the past, and not talking about parading? Is it more comforting to think about we already we think know, rather than exploring what we might not?

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