In the past few elections the SDLP has been taking a hammering in the Northern Elections with Sinn Fein engineering themselves into the position where they say they are the true Irish party. So the SDLP have been trying to claim back this territory for themselves last year they had their White paper on Irish Unity. Now they have a document about North South Co-operation.
The DUP have an alternative East-West proposal. As DUP MEP Jim Allister said.
“Bearing this reality in mind, the most obvious and natural area of co-operation is co-operation undertaken on an east-west basis, rather than the unnatural and politically-motivated north-southery”
Personally I think both of these proposals are more politically motivated then serious proposals to enhance the North. But what of the question which is better for the North. A North-South link or a East-West link.
The DUP’s first point is about tourism. Yet none of it really says why tourist links are needed to be created with
Next the DUP take about road infrastructure co-operation. Now no where in the plan do they talk about building a bridge between the North and
Then the proposals stop. I think this document was put together quiet quickly really as it does very little about economic development. But I will continue on with the comparison. If we compare the two economies
Alan Mitchell of CBI Scotland said: "To have that much of the economy generated by wealth spending rather than wealth creating can't be good for the Scottish economy long term.”
The same goes for the Northern economy if they want to survive long term they have to wean themselves off the British exchequer. Maybe this is the DUP’s plan to make the country totally dependent on
Now some of the policies the SDLP came up with can be taken or leaven and they would work on an North-South, east-west basis even some like The development of an all-Ireland approach to suicide prevention should possibly be implemented on a British-Irish level However I can see where some policies would bother unionists. Such as the ability of cross-border workers being able to pay tax in either jurisdiction. Now I am not sure how many cross-border workers there are. But the prospect of money being brought out of the
On the whole North-South co-operation on issues such as tourism, transport, waste disposable and economy makes sense. Much more sense then the East-West co-operation. But we have to thread carefully on this issue. Unionist sensibilities are as valid as Nationalist sensibilities they have to be shown that this is the prudent and wise thing to do. Not forced into it to appease Nationalists. The south is desperate for workers the North has them and as Northern Secretary Peter Hain said the North and the South “must work together to prosper”. Perhaps