Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, and North Down Candidate, Stephen Farry has responded to the call by the SDLP for ‘a crackdown on sectarianism’ by accusing them of missing the point that they actual contribute to sectarianism in Northern Ireland through the policies they pursue.
Dr Farry stated:
“The SDLP have focused exclusively on the symptoms of sectarianism, but seem to have nothing to say on its causes.
“A number of their policy proposals do make sense, but are mainly recycled from the Alliance Party and other sources.
“The SDLP are the architects and defenders of a system of public policy where people are pigeon-holed into two different monolithic communities. We see this most clearly in the use of communal designations in the Assembly, but also in the census and other forms of monitoring. When people are told by the SDLP and others to think of themselves in terms of ‘them’ versus ‘us’ is it any wonder that we have competition over territory, resources, the erection of flags and sectarian attacks?
“What are the SDLP going to do to address sectarianism, not just its manifestations? What are they going to do to expand integrated education? When are they going to stop fetishising difference, and build a united community?”