Sunday, 7 September 2008

The public wait with bated breath on the outcome of crucial talks to see if DUP and SF can break the political deadlock

The above heading could well have featured in the Northern Ireland media this week and may well feature next week. Not least because local political journalists, like the Stormont politicians they study, often lose sight of the bigger picture.

In truth, many probably paid more attention to the initiative by Eleanor Gill and the Consumer Council to give advice on the ‘credit crunch’, than the crunch talks between the DUP and SF.
With fuel and food bills rocketing and the housing market in a state of flux, many have had the limitations of Stormont brought into sharp relief. Margaret Ritchie, the Social Development Minister got herself some good publicity for a new housing scheme that will help 100 families or so. More people focused on the Labour government in hope of help but the effect of his Stamp Duty holiday might benefit fewer people in NI than Mrs Ritchie’s scheme.

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