Duncan Morrow said: “All the unionist parties can offer is back to the future. I suppose we can’t be surprised that the DUP and UUP have decided to turn the coming elections into a tribal headcount. But it is profoundly depressing that these parties would prefer to turn away from the real world and shackle politics once more to the divisions of the past rather than lead the way beyond this type of sectarian politics.
“Sectarian head-counting is not leadership and it is not peace-making. It just means more ‘them and us’ politics, more green and orange mudslinging, more vision-free leadership. Yet people are desperate for vision and leadership away from this inward and backward looking politics. Elections should be competitions between people with differing ideas on the economy, services and the future, not an excuse to circle the sectarian wagons and warm up tired old slogans. The job of real leaders is to inspire the public with a vision of the future they can believe in, not terrify them by beating the drum of fear.
“The unionist parties are showing the world and the voters that they will not and cannot escape the past. There is nothing the rest of us can do about this pact except look on in despair and pity. But it underlines again that these elections are a time for change.”