Political future of SDLP cannot override interests of peace

FROM Opposition in Aghagallon

I am fed up with the nonsense now coming from the SDLP. Leader and deputy are some partnership, saying different things all the time! It says on the SDLP website, “The SDLP have delivered in government and will do so again”, and then Dolores Kelly tells us the SDLP and UUP should consider opposition.

These notions of opposition are delirious in my opinion. There is a political arrangement here that is different from anywhere else, and for good reason. Dolores Kelly constantly tells us how bad things were during the Troubles and how wrong violence is, and was. Doesn’t she see that the current arrangements facilitated an end to violence?

The SDLP tell us how they are big supporters of the Good Friday Agreement and then on the other hand Dolores Kelly tells us the SDLP should consider opposition, even though the Good Friday Agreement has put them in the Assembly. Where is the logic?

The only logic I can see is that Dolores sees opposition as a suitable path because the SDLP are no longer the dominant nationalist party in government. The arrangements were fine when Seamus Mallon was the Deputy First Minister; a time when at least there was leadership.

I don’t agree with putting political party interests ahead of the community and peace. Stormont is far from perfect but it has everyone round the table. I would much rather someone like Dolores, a deputy leader, was pushing to take her party’s Ministry and try to make a change through that avenue.

The fortunes of any MLA or any party cannot be allowed to take precedence over everything else.