Alliance 'stands for a united NI'

Published Saturday, 22 March 2014
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Alliance leader David Ford has said his party does not fit the nationalist or unionist mould but stands for everyone in Northern Ireland.

Alliance 'stands for a united NI'
Alliance leader David Ford spoke at the conference. (© Presseye)

Mr Ford was delivering his speech to the annual Alliance conference in Belfast.

"We aren't the moderates in Northern Ireland politics - we're the radicals," he told party members at the La Mon Hotel on Saturday morning.

"We don't fit the unionist vs nationalist mould, we were made to smash it and there's only one way we will do it - by convincing more and more people to step forward and vote Alliance."

Earlier this week, South Belfast MLA Anna Lo caused a stir among unionists when she gave an interview suggesting she would prefer to see a united Ireland.

Mr Ford's speech made reference to the incident and Ms Lo's achievements as a politician.

He said: "Some in this society are motivated by hope of a united Ireland, some by the continuation of the United Kingdom. What unites us all in Alliance is an unequivocal commitment to building a united community.

"So when people ask you on the doorsteps what Alliance is about, tell them this. Alliance is the only party whose primary objective, whose driving force, whose very reason for its existence is a determination to build a shared future for everyone in Northern Ireland."

In her speech, Ms Lo said she joined Alliance because it "puts people before politics".

She continued: "Like the rest of you and like most people in Northern Ireland, I don't lie awake at night thinking about the border or Northern Ireland's constitutional future - nor is that what gets me out of bed in the morning.

"No. What I care about above anything else, what drives me and my politics, is the everyday needs of ordinary people. These are the people I work to help; these are the issues that I want to tackle. Employment, housing, welfare, our environment, and good relations.

"I joined the Alliance Party because my motivation isn't a united Ireland, but a united Northern Ireland. I joined Alliance because my priority was a shared future."

© UTV News
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51 Comments
lucylou in belfast wrote (275 days ago):
LUCIFER== Where have you been ? when you feel the need to ask is the public that callow and gullible? I think we unfortunately see the results of that around us on a daily basis. It's one of the reasons we have the likes of SF/DUP running the country instead of all of them being RUN OUT of the country.
Dorothy in Kansas wrote (276 days ago):
Lucifer in Stitches... I'd like to tell you that the public isn’t that callow or gullible, but I can't!
Joseph in Belfast wrote (276 days ago):
Lord Pirrie whos company H & W built the Titanic made the same comments 100 years ago and the bigots turned on him back then. Nothings changed much.
lorna in limavady wrote (276 days ago):
I think I should change my name here to Lucifer or doirecormac better chance of being here. noone cares what I think utv!!!
Lucifer in Stitches wrote (276 days ago):
Hell’s Teeth! Here we go again. ANOTHER Unionist over-reaction. This time to Anna Lo committing the heinous crime of voicing an honest opinion. So. She remarked that a United Ireland is preferable to a divided one. Big deal. I have formulated a political equation for this rather pathetic little statelet of ours ; “The bigger the Unionist knee-jerk over-reaction, the closer we must be to an election” So unsophisticated is the political mindset here, and so ingrained is the bigotry, that this may well harm the Alliance Party politically. It really shouldn’t, as it is one person’s opinion, not party policy. I mean, is it DUP policy that the earth is 6000 years old, dinosaurs never existed and that voting citizens of this country should have certain rights curtailed on the basis of a sexuality objected to due to an anachronistic, divisive, misogynistic and homophobic religion that is increasingly irrelevant in the modern world? Well, if it isn’t, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is. Rather than someone voicing an opinion, bigoted and homophobic lackwits attempting to press their hate-filled “beliefs” as policy (and using public money to fund it!)is what I find offensive. Don’t be DUPed by this manufactured, cynical wrath. Muppets, the lot of them. Intellectual amoeba, if they think the public can be fooled by their petty politicking and electioneering highjinks. Er. Please tell me the public isn’t that callow or gullible. Please… anyone?
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