Ford sees the light but will his colleagues switch it off again.

It’s good to see David Ford, the leader of the Alliance faction in the Stormont Coalition, making belated moves to adopt the policies of my own party, UKIP. (Belfast Telegraph 10 July). However, I doubt if we will hear much more about this.

His suggestions on opposition, ending petitions of concern, voluntary coalition, transparency on political donations and ending sectarian designation are excellent, if not at all original, and may do something to calm the tensions that Alliance has been building up ahead of the summer. However, I doubt if we will see any action to back his words. If he strongly believed in these matters he would withdraw his party from the Stormont Coalition today and resign his and his colleague’s ministerial briefs.

Unfortunately, the extremist faction in his party, led by Lo, Dixon and Long, will be unlikely to agree to this as it would interfere with their agenda of dividing Northern Ireland on more rigid sectarian lines

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