Since the Conservatives formed a minority government with DUP support last year, the effect the 2017 General Election has had on this country is profound. For the first time, Britain now has a government with MPs from all the four nations that make up the United Kingdom. In an ideal world, though, the Tories should not have to depend on unionist votes. Instead, it should be the Conservative Party representing unionists in Northern Ireland, not the DUP and the UUP.

"The only way Northern Irish people can move on is by removing religion from politics altogether"

When the Obamas visited Ulster, Michelle Obama made a speech to a young audience who have no recollection of the Troubles. She stressed that they have an opportunity to make Ulster's future better for successive generations. Yet how can they take advantage of it when their nation is plagued with sectarianism? The only way Northern Ireland's citizens can move on is by removing religion from politics altogether.

Ulster deserves better from its representatives. Sinn Fein does not have this nation's best interests at heart. They may have persuaded the IRA to abandon violence, but Barry McElduff's timid suspension over his Kingsmill comment on Social media proves many of its MPs are not interested in peace.

The same problem applies to their councillors. Michael McIvor's taunts towards unionists on Facebook are typical of Nationalists who do not believe Protestants' concerns should be taken seriously. How can they claim to speak for the whole of Northern Ireland when they disrespect the majority of its population?

Something needs to change in Northern Irish politics, and fast.

Republic of Ireland party Fianna Fail has established branches in Northern Ireland, yet they have struggled to end Sinn Fein's stranglehold.

Mainstream British political parties are also failing to make a breakthrough. In 2008-10, David Cameron tried to win votes in Ulster by merging the Ulster Unionists and the Conservative Party under one banner.

Except the DUP played on that by claiming the UUP would support cuts to Stormont's funding. Not one Tory-UUP MP was elected.

The only way change can come is if there is an appetite for it. Northern Ireland must gradually abandon sectarianism. If they do not, they will never progress as a nation.