"Flag-lowering, parade-stopping, gay marriage supporting, pro-water charging, holier than thou Alliance Party".
Was the recommendation that Peter Robinson made of the Alliance Party in his speech this afternoon, so let me take those epithets that raised raucous applause from the small minded, one directioned, homophobic, financially irresponsible, holier than God himself DUP delgates found so humourous and look at them one by one.
Flag lowering: Whilst this relates to Belfast City Council, for Derry City Council and many of the councils to the West of the Bann the Alliance Party policy on flying the Union Flag on designated days is actually a flag raising policy. Yes it is one that Sinn Féin and the SDLP need some work on to see it as being fair to the minority of unionists who live in the council areas that they live in. Some of those Unionists undoubtedly vote DUP but haven't seen the Union Flag fly from their civic buildings for years. Therefore where is the DUP call for the flag to fly on all public buildings to mark the Royal Birthdays, the Queen's Coronation Day etc? Of course designated days is what happens in most council areas in Great Britain, indeed some fly other flags Orkney flies the Norwegian Flag on Norway Day, and many the Rainbow flag for Pride.
So make that Flag Raising or Flag Equality
Parade stopping: No doubt refers to the Twadell Avenue stand off, but it was the Parade's Commission as voted for by 71% of the Northern Irish people in response to the Belfast Agreement who decided that one final part of their parade home on the Twelve in 2013 should not go past a parade of shops in a nationalist area. This was based on previous violence in the area from both sides over previous parades. The DUP of course are supporting the cost of policing the ongoing action there in hundreds of thousands of pounds, while the PSNI this week announced some cuts to manning of police stations to try and meet budget constraints on top of suspending historical enquiry work.
So make that Police Supporting and People Respecting.
Gay Marriage Supporting: Of course marriage equality is not just about the gays (and lesbians), it also affects the bisexuals and those who are transgender and intersex. But then when you are used to attcking just the G of the LGBT+ spectrum you can't be expected to know the details of some of my potential partners I an marry but others I cannot, spousal vetoes and stolen years of "togetherness". Nor does it allow those faith groups that want to carry out same-sex marriages the same rights as their brethren in England, Wales and very soon Scotland. Of course when you defend the union and attack LGBT+ equality on a par with the rest of the Kingdom you make a certain section second class citizens in their own land.
So make that Equal Marriage Supporting or just Equality Supporting.
Pro-Water Charging: Water charging is just one possible way to increase government income. We do have a failing water and sewage provision infrastructure which needs a sizeable amount of work and replacement. One way this is funding in England, Wales and Scotland is through the water charge component in the council tax. So yeah while we have a financial crisis shouldn't we be looking at the various ways that we miss out on the revenue that the rest of the UK can call upon to actually do stuff with, but then doing stuff and the Assembly are two things that very rarely go together. Of course Peter Robinson is looking to get control of local corporation tax, but that is only so he can lower it to match the Republic of Ireland and therefore create more holes in budgets. Taxes and revenue need to meet expenditure not cause even more savings to be sought.
So make that Fiscally Responsible.
Holier than thou: Coming from a party that fails to take into account people of non-Christian, Roman Catholic Faith, or no faith into consideration this seems rather rich. When their definition of what is right is based on a rather narrow reading of the Bible which not even every Christian in Northern Ireland holds to 100%. When they cannot legislate for the state without reference to the bible it is clear who truly is Holier than thou, though I suspect that like the Pharisees and Sadducees before them are actually Holier than God creating extra laws and legislations to go on top of what Moses was given. This is why Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love. For until you can live up to that one you cannot possibly start to consider the others and that is where the hate for certain sectors and failure to understand equality legislation leads to.
So finally I make that Being a Good Samaritan for EVERYONE.
So in conclusion what Peter failed to see is that the Alliance Party is actually: