Sunday, May 8, 2016

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Dissenting From Disadvantage

Derry voter Michael Doherty shares his views on the election results from Derry.  

Congratulations to all those re-elected to serve in Foyle, and especially our new MLA, Eamonn McCann, a man I’m proud to say I personally know and respect. I look forward to his enviable debating skills being used to highlight the discrimination against Derry at Stormont.

My commiserations to Maeve McLaughlin, who I’m also proud to say I personally know and respect.  Maeve’s work ethic, especially as Chair of the Health Committee, was excellent. I’ve no doubt Maeve will be back.
Everyone knows I wholeheartedly supported Dr Anne McCloskey’s campaign in this election. It wasn’t to be … this time. To get 3,410 First preferences, and to be the last candidate eliminated, with 4,227 votes is an exceptional achievement. I have met some very inspirational people on the campaign, many of whom I hope are now my friends.
I hope the larger parties reflect on this result.


Just over 55% of the electorate turned out to vote
Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein lost over 5% of their respective votes in this City
Almost 20% voted for Independents and Parties opposed to the policies of the Stormont Executive

They should now respect that, rather than seeing us as a “rump” of “Malcontents”, this City has a growing number of voters who are sick of hearing promises for Derry that haven’t been delivered.
In March 2014 I wrote a letter to The Derry Journal outlining my frustration with the lack of delivery for Derry. Here’s how I ended the letter.

For this we must hold our MP, MLA's, Councillors, and Statutory Bodies to account. Failure to do so will lead only to our City’s children and grandchildren continuing to seek their future in the US, Britain, Australia and elsewhere while economically, socially, and by every other metric, Derry collapses around us.

I was, within days, branded an “Anti Peace Dissident”.
Firstly, I’m not, and never have been “Anti-Peace”. Secondly, if demanding infrastructure and a proper University, both of which will deliver much needed jobs to my City makes me a “Dissident”, then it’s a badge I now share with 20% of the electorate in the City. I proudly dissent from a "Government" that wilfully discriminates against my home City.
If the Stormont Parties take heed of this election and start actually delivering for Derry, they might even get our vote next time.

Here’s hoping.

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