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Self-important Alliance offers nothing new

David Ford's contention, at his party's conference at the weekend, that Alliance offers something different, is bitterly ironic.

This is a party which is as much a function of division in Northern Ireland as any other and it now props up carve-up government at Stormont.

What exactly is the Alliance Party vision? It says it opposes segregation, but it is an ally of Sinn Fein and the DUP in the Executive.

It has no view on Northern Ireland's constitutional position and no sensible position on socio-economic matters. It is purportedly linked to the Liberal Democrats at Westminster, yet its MP does not sit on the Government benches. It took the Justice portfolio at Stormont without advancing a viable shared future strategy one inch.

The party is actively opposed to normalising politics in Northern Ireland, preferring to treat voters like infants and deny them a say in who governs the United Kingdom.

Alliance is a party without point and without principle. It perpetuates the division which it purports to oppose and it wants to make Northern Ireland ever more a political place apart.

David Ford's speech last Saturday was full of preening and self-importance, but the party he leads has absolutely no vision for the future of Northern Ireland.

IRWIN ARMSTRONG

Chairman, NI Conservatives

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