The third series of Holywell Trust’s Forward Together podcasts has heard from experts in a range of areas – including the economy, skills, education, young people’s experience, housing – and also considered best practice elsewhere. As it moves towards a close, it puts the arguments for major change in the governance of Northern Ireland to our political leaders.
In the first of this closing series of podcasts, we spoke to Steve Aiken – who at the time was still leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. (We did not predict his early demise as party leader. Neither did he, judging by the conversation.)
Steve made interesting, if challenging, comments around the political aspects of the legacy of past conflict, and its impact on relationships today. He argues that consideration of the past must be contextualised, but also that the past for many people here resonates into their lives today. We have not succeeded putting the past into the past.
Equally controversially, Steve sees the best approach to health services reform to involve joint action with Great Britain. He also discusses education reform and how best to improve citizen engagement and his approach to citizens’ assemblies. Next week’s podcast will hear from Naomi Long, on behalf of the Alliance Party.
The podcast can be heard here.
The Holywell Trust Forward Together podcasts are funded by the Community Relations Council’s Media Grant Scheme.
Disclaimer: This project has received support from the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council which aims to promote a pluralist society characterised by equity, respect for diversity, and recognition of interdependence. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Community Relations Council.
Paul Gosling is editor of ‘Lessons from the Troubles and an Unsettled Peace’, author of ‘A New Ireland’ and ‘The Fall of the Ethical Bank’ and co-author of ‘Abuse of Trust’, the story of a child abuse scandal in Leicestershire. He is engaged by the Holywell Trust charity on peace and reconciliation projects.