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Alliance Party abhors extremism of all hues

 

When Alliance isn't being accused of being a unionist party, we are accused of being a nationalist party. This is lazy thinking. Alliance is a cross-community party.

I refer to a letter published on Monday (Write Back, September 4) in which the writer was keen to make sweeping statements about the Alliance Party without stopping to assess the facts.

So, let me lay it out clearly for him. Yes, we believe there should be an Irish Language Act. We don't, however, believe it should be a red line in saving our health service.

It's easy to think in binary oppositions - good/bad, east/west, unionist/nationalist - but it is problematic.

Anna Lo used to be asked if she was Catholic Chinese or Protestant Chinese. The issue with thinking this way is not just that it can create boundaries between groups of people (which often leads to prejudice and discrimination), but it doesn't make room for anything 'other'.

Alliance is proud to be objective and to judge each issue on its merits, rather than first assessing whether it is an orange or green issue, and I would challenge your earlier contributor to do the same.

One wonders what we could achieve if this way of thinking was adopted by more people.

CLLR KATE NICHOLL (ALLIANCE)

Belfast City Council

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