Ulster Unionist Party Assembly candidate for North Antrim, Andrew Wright, has thrown down a hard-hitting challenge to the DUP/Sinn Fein dominated Stormont Executive – ‘start behaving responsibly for the Ulster people’.
Mr Wright said, if elected, he “wanted to bring the concept of responsibility into Assembly politics for the benefit of all the constituents of North Antrim especially”.
“We hear all the time of people and parties demanding their human rights, equal rights and appealing to the European Court of Human Rights. We hear that we need a culture of rights and that we need a Bill of Rights.
“What we never hear is the word responsibility. We are creating a society of people who demand rights without accepting responsibility for their actions. Rights do not exist inside a vacuum – they exist alongside responsibilities.
“Alongside the right to life is a responsibility not to take life – if you commit a murder then you lose the right to your life. If you refuse to work then you cannot expect others to work to pay for your laziness.
“As a worker it is your responsibility to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves through incapacity. As citizens we have certain rights, but as citizens we also have responsibilities that sit alongside those rights.
“Citizens have a right to expect the state to protect its citizens and as citizens we have a responsibility to serve the state when it calls us to fulfil that right, whether it’s as a soldier in time of war or jury duty in peace time.
“The assassinated American President, JFK, was correct when he said ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather, what you can do for your country.’
“Hopefully, we will soon be leaving the European Convention on Human Rights and we certainly do not need a Northern Ireland or British Bill of Rights – we already have one – the 1689 Bill of Rights which has secured, through continuous development of our Common Law.
“Magna Carta and the 1689 Bill of Rights are the two seminal documents on which the constitutions and common law of the most successful and stable democracies in the world today are based - those of the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“What we need is a culture of both rights and responsibilities that will build a society where people are put first, where work is rewarded and where peace, order and prosperity are the result.
“We need a Stormont Executive which has this ethos of responsibility at the heart of government. If the Executive cannot provide this for the North Antrim constituents, then voters can put them out come polling day,” said Mr Wright.