Unionism is ready for the ‘new normal’. As for our republican coalition partners, are they writing their own exclusion order? Life after coronavirus is not a walk across the Brexit border bringing the Tricolour to hoist over Stormont.
The post coronavirus period poses immense strategic decisions to be taken earnestly, politically, socially and economically. The appraisal should be underway with the Executive prepared to bind itself to a new normal start. Within the bounds of an agreement the commitment must be built upon determining ‘what kind of Northern Ireland will the electorate settle for.’ Without commitment to a settlement we are lost.
The positioning point is in defining and adapting to the ‘new normal’. Although while there will be massive change in all our circumstances, no one actually has a clue what the ‘new normal’ demands, except that in our divided community the old normal registers unprecedented severe hardships. It is going to be a tough and uncertain pathway out of crisis wreckage until we are able to link our needs to the ‘new normal’.
We Northern Irelanders are a resilient nation. Our natural instincts of compassion and fortitude coupled to a courageous fighting spirit will deliver our own brand of ‘new normal’. The question is, are all the political leaderships on board and willing to back the people? Are they competent in agreeing to the urgent introduction of long term political adjustments and economic measures to create and sustain a new Northern Ireland image and financial product?
The ‘new normal’ is a policy game changer which Sinn Fein are obliged to accept as part and parcel of the rebuilding process required over the next decade at least. Undoubtedly it is a direct challenge to the veracity of their current process and a potential risk that the ‘new normal’ will appeal to their core supporters. What cannot be brushed aside is that whatever the ‘new normal’ brings forth there will be no provision for prevarication by any leadership.
Make no mistake, the challenges post coronavirus are exceptional by any standard. Not only must Northern Ireland compete commercially in a U.K. financially burdened from giving the best assistance in the world to a public reeling from the lockdown. We will do so in the whole new ball game of freedom outside the E.U.
We can make it work. We have no choice other than to endorse the prospect of the ‘new normal’ in the expectancy that it delivers a better future for everyone, or it can fall because the leaderships staleness marks out their territory to stay stuck where they are. The ‘new normal ‘ can work if Diane Dodds duals a pivotal role with Connor Murphy in getting Northern Ireland smartly out of recession and back to work.
Effectively they cannot fail to agree to a fit for purpose made in Northern Ireland economic solution, a declaration of intent which lifts confidence, a dedicated economic drive which puts thrust into business and rescues Northern Ireland from extreme financial dire straights. For all our sakes, pray that the leaders are ready – all of them!