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Flagging up a concern about Alliance actions

Published 26/10/2012

I AM disappointed at the stance adopted by Alliance on the issue of the flying of the Union flag at Belfast city hall.

Alliance, Sinn Fein and the SDLP all set in place a public consultation process about the issue.

If you initiate a consultation process and people make their views known, what sort of a democratic party then chooses to ignore the opinions of the people and proceed with their own intolerant ideas?

Unionist members of the council, whether Ulster Unionist, DUP or PUP, did not commence this argument. It was started by nationalists. Regrettably, Alliance has accommodated them.

Some Alliance supporters have claimed a move to designated days would represent a normalisation of Belfast with other UK cities. This is incorrect. The findings of the council's own report showed that the predominant practice in Great Britain is for the Union flag to fly 365 days-a-year at council head offices.

Alliance should be in no doubt of the importance which many people throughout the community attach to this issue.

They should do the right thing and block the proposal from Sinn Fein and the SDLP to rip the flag off the City Hall on all but a tiny number of days.

If they do not change their stance and their pandering to Sinn Fein and the SDLP, then everyone will see that, in Alliance's vision of a 'shared future', unionists are to be excluded.


Chair, Queen's University Young Unionists

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