Long asks politicians to remove Kingsmill drawing

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has askd for a drawing using imagery of the Kingsmill massacre to be taken down by several politicians who posted it on social media.

Mrs Long said while the image was clearly making a political point, senior political representatives posting it were using it to score political points.

“Given the hurt caused by this past weekend’s events relating to Kingsmill, senior political representatives sharing this image on social media cannot have been unaware of the impact their actions would have. I would call on both Christopher Stalford and Doug Beattie to remove the post and apologise for using what was an obscene atrocity to score political points. It is irresponsible, inflammatory and insulting behaviour which is unbecoming of their role.

“Artists, of course, have a right to freedom of expression, and will often use images which are provocative or even grotesque in order to make their point. However, we are not artists, comedians, or satirists, we are supposed to be politicians. Our role in society is not to play the provocateur, we have a duty to show restraint and leadership and should carefully consider the impact of our words and actions on the community and the political process, and never more than when it comes to dealing with our painful and bloody past.

“Some of our elected representatives appear to be engaged in a race to the bottom, in which we will all be losers. It needs to end now. We need maturity and leadership from elected representatives and we need to reflect how we intend to address our past and those most directly affected by it with integrity and compassion, and find a way to co-exist which ensures there is no repeat of this tit for tat abuse of these actions or those which led to the creation of victims in the first place.”

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