Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 1 September 2015

It's time for parties to drop the unionist and nationalist tags and get down to real politics

By Nuala McKeever

Published 09/10/2012

I've said it before and I'll say it again (that probably qualifies for some sort of grant in Northern Ireland, in the 'Traditional Utterance Heritage Commemoration Memorial' section, ) - why does any party here need to define itself as unionist any more? Or nationalist, come to that. If the border question has been agreed upon - it will only go through consent etc etc - then surely it's now time for parties to re-mould themselves along socio-economic/left-right lines, isn't it?

There's more uniting strands of UUP, SDLP, Alliance and even some DUP and SF, than there is dividing them. Why not give voters the chance to back MLAs on the basis of their social policy? If Mike Nesbitt really wants a party for all then drop the unionist tag. Have the courage of your convictions and be a party for all. Same goes for SDLP. Strict adherence to unionist/nationalist party lines is a disservice to voters who have moved beyond sectarian colour coding.

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