I was born in Belfast in the early 70’s, then Fermanagh for some years prior to going to University in Scotland. It felt a bit like going to Hogwart’s School, meeting up at the ferry terminal, then taking the train over snow covered hills of Scotland with good friends. Unforgettable!
Over the first few terms of coming back for holidays, I’d notice I would go into ‘Troubles mode’. Checkpoints, Soldiers, Terrorism. Growing up, I knew nothing else. It seemed normal, but it was so far from normal. In the 70’s hundreds died every year. Thousands of lives destroyed. Everyone’s lives blighted. Images of grief riven faces and tragedy, upon tragedy, upon tragedy! Everyone blaming everyone else back to the time of the Vikings or the Romans if required, just to prove it ‘was them lot who started it’.Neighbour against neighbour, people divided, fear, hatred, suspicion, jealousy, hurt, sadness and misery.
Two sides of decades of conflict, still represented by the main parties you vote for!
Parties who try to reach out to the other side, who say they want to, but can’t or won’t!
Parties who are unable to take the hard decisions for everyone’s good.
Parties who who cannot help but lurch back to the issues that defined them.
Just after I returned from Scotland, Naomi Long was elected MP for East Belfast. It was quite simple. “I would not be ashamed to have someone like her, represent me!” So, I joined the Alliance Party, as a simple indication of my support.
I am just a normal person, much like you, and I have decided that it is time to step forward and put my name on the Ballot paper! Why? So normal people from the whole diversity of religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds can have the confidence to know that I will respect them for who they are. Period!
The Alliance Party, is the only party you can vote for, that will make positive and progressive change in Northern Ireland. Your support, will allow me to take on the divisive politics of the past. Do you really want a shared and peaceful society for our children and your grandchildren?
You live in a democracy!
Don’t just sit there moaning that things will never change.
Get out and vote FOR CHANGE.
And if you want to do something more than just that, get in touch with me, get some leaflets and convince your family, your neighbours, your friends that NOW is the time for us to build something new!
Share this article, Tweet it, Facebook it, like it, favourite it!
If we all push together we could change this beautiful country and finally make it a place to be really, really proud of!
#UKSF17 delegates - DOWNLOAD YOUR CONFERENCE APP NOW for latest programme, abstracts and so much more! (you need to enter the email address you registered with) https://t.co/xVkgLIFXSR pic.twitter.com/SoLYmUFi9U— UK Stroke Forum (@UKStrokeForum) November 22, 2017