Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Bilingual street signs will divide Ulster

A good example of the sort of pointless political posturing that often passes for political debate on these shores is to be found in the bizarre attack by Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay on Alliance over its opposition to a proposal for bilingual signs in Irish and Ulster Scots (Writeback, January 14).

By expressing that opposition, Alliance representatives are accused of making "slanderous comments" towards the Irish language. The letter illustrates the fact that if a person is opposed to something Sinn Fein favours, that party will in turn allege incorrect and unworthy sentiments by twisting the available evidence to suit its own political objectives.

Although his letter refers to the Shared Future document, the author does not understand it.

I would suggest that he dusts off his copy and reads it again. The proposals to erect bilingual signs are inconsistent with the principles agreed by the Executive in the Shared Future strategy.

That document discussed concerns that political symbols, such as flags and emblems, were being used to mark out areas and it expressed this view.

Alliance is opposed to the erection of bilingual signs because they allow those of bad faith to seek to "claim" an area for sectarian purposes, serving to perpetuate local community division.

Bilingual street signs are a divisive and expensive distraction from the process of breaking down barriers and sharing local communities. I am sure most of your readers would prefer their taxes to be spent more wisely in the protection of important services.



Councillor Tom Campbell

Alliance

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