I have read the petulant and rather desperate response (‘UUP is all over the place on Irish language,’ Sep 15) to the highlighting of Paula Bradshaw of Alliance being photographed alongside Gerry Adams and happily holding a thumbs up banner in support of the Sinn Fein red line of an Irish language act (ILA).
How is her clear support for the Sinn Fein red line position designed to get an assembly up and running to deal with health reform, improving education and creating jobs?
If, as Paula Bradshaw says in her letter, “any legislation based on cost and compulsion ... will be bound to fail” then why was she so keen to stand smiling beside Gerry Adams, a man for whom compulsion and cost are clearly not a consideration?
If her party, and more importantly herself, are serious about getting the assembly back it is rather contradictory to stand shoulder to shoulder in a trophy photograph with Sinn Fein in clear support of their red line vision of an ILA.
Ms Bradshaw talks about the proposals her own party have around comprehensive and inclusive language legislation.
Why then did she not limit her public appearances to holding up a copy of Alliance proposals rather than being photographed smiling beside Gerry Adams and clearly supporting his stance on an ILA?
If she did pose for such a picture you can rest assured that Gerry Adams would have the wit to refuse to pose beside her.
Ms Bradshaw also falls back on the tactics of politicians who have been caught out by resorting to personal abuse by accusing me of prejudicial rantings about the Irish language.
Any reasonable person reading my letter would find no such prejudice being shown towards the language. My support and respect for it was clearly stated.
She talks about my party holding three positions on an ILA. She has not being listening! We are totally opposed to a standalone ILA.
Other thoughts and ideas are designed to take it off the table as a deal breaking red line and remove at least one obstacle to a return of the Assembly.
Ms Bradshaw on the other hand would openly appear to support the Sinn Fein red line position that is actually stalling a return.
Ms Bradshaw invites us to knock her door. I would invite her to knock our door and give us a copy of the legislation she was expressing support for in the photograph along side Gerry Adams.
I rather suspect that knock won’t come since she was in effect offering open ended support for a document I suspect she hasn’t’ actually seen herself.
The bottom line is that a picture paints a thousand words. No amount of outrage will cover Ms Bradshaw or Alliance embarrassment around her thumbs up photograph standing proudly alongside SF.
If I ever do have occasion to knock her door I somehow don’ think I will spot a framed copy of it sitting proudly on a coffee table!
Alan Chambers, UUP MLA, North Down, Stormont