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Alliance Party has forfeited the moral high ground

POLITICAL openness and transparency are certainly important, but so, too, is political consistency.

For a political party that claims to be the champion of these principles, it was a total contradiction for Alliance MLA Judith Cochrane to vote with the DUP to limit the evidence heard in public session by the Nama inquiry at Stormont. In addition, having complained so bitterly about a scurrilous leaflet campaign in east Belfast, where is the consistency in embarking on a similar exercise in north Belfast (News, March 15)?

Perhaps Alliance is not familiar with the adage "two wrongs don't make a right" and that may explain its leaflet in north Belfast, which had the whiff of electoral desperation about it.

Michael Long can spin all day, but let him, or Nuala McAllister explain away the presence and significance of a jar of banknotes beside the headline 'What have they got to hide' on the leaflet?

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink innuendo politics without a shred of supporting evidence does not promote the electoral trust which its says it so desires.

It is simply trawling the political bottom in search of votes and devalues the credibility of their North Belfast Assembly candidate. Alliance has forfeited the moral high ground. Yes, openness and transparency is a valuable prize. But, just like the east Belfast leaflet, political misrepresentation can never be justified as it is incompatible with honesty and integrity.

If this is the Alliance Party's 'New Alternative', it is welcome to it.

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