The dark side of politics rears its ugly head as Alliance offices attacked.

Last night we have once again seen the ugly side of politics in Northern Ireland as the East Belfast Alliance party office was attacked with two petrol bombs. Last week, I was there doing an interview with Chris Lyttle and normally I don’t write about what I see when I’m out and about doing interviews but after last night I thought I should convey some of my impressions about the office and the people who work in it.

What really struck me about the office was that it is primarily staffed by young people who seemed to be completely committed to the party despite the obvious dangers that working in this part of the city brings. I couldn’t help but admire the determination of those who I briefly met to actually continue on their work.

Ever since the flag protests the office has been subjected to attacks before with many of its public representatives being intimidated and threatened. However, you would not know this if you visited the office as the MLAs and staff just continue on with their work.

I mention all of this as sometimes we do forget that these offices are places of work with people who have families. There is a dark side of politics out there that we still have not been able to defeat in Northern Ireland and no group of people should ever have work under the continuous threat of attack.

The fact that the Union flag has come down over City Hall has brought no real physical harm on anybody, yet a minority of those who feel so aggrieved by it feel they can inflict harm on others. There are local government elections next May, I would suggest if you’re so politically aggrieved by a decision that you get out and exercise your vote rather than throw petrol bombs at the offices of those who have a mandate to represent the people.

Here is the Alliance party press statement

Naomi Long MP said: “This is not an attack on an individual party or office, it is an attack on democracy. There can be no justification for this and there is no place for this kind of violence on our streets.”

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “This attack will not deter us from delivering for constituents and businesses in East Belfast. Elected politicians should be able to work on behalf of their constituents without the fear of violence or intimidation.”

Judith Cochrane MLA said: “I would urge anybody with any information about this attack to contact the police. The people responsible must be apprehended and brought before the courts to face justice for their actions.”

Update-Speaking on the Sunday Politics-David Mcilveen MLA (DUP) has condemned the petrol bombs as ‘an attack on democracy.’

Sinn Fein’s Daithi McKay has also condemned the attack and expressed sympathy with Naomi Long.

Cllr John Kyle of the PUP tweeted

Throwing petrol bombs at Alliance Party office does little to improve education or advance cultural equality. Register to vote instead

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  • Charles_Gould

    CS

    I admire your advocacy of Alliance, but I just wish they would achieve more on CSI from their two ministries. Don’t you think Alliance could *at least* pull off integrated teacher training in return for not walking out of the Exec?.

  • carl marks

    SF was at Castlederg I objected to that, the IRA has been on a long standing ceasefire the UVF has not. Now I know that you can turn a blind eye to DUP/PUP/UUP collaborating with terrorists and your only defence seems to be “the big boys made me do it” but the rest of the world see different when you stand beside a terror group when its breaking the law you are as guilty as them.
    Please show your evidence (apart from the all taigs are guilty argument) that have supported SF please show posts. I have opposed the play park fiasco and have my doubts about the maze but you don’t do facts do you.
    How easy when you are cornered and your argument is proved facile that you resort to abuse. How about you (and the rest of unionism) start to take the blame for your own actions, it will do you good .
    Please go on with your examples they are really quite amusing.
    Your sad attempt to pretend the leaflet was irrelevant and your desperation to throw up the Shinners every time someone points out the unionist double standards and your own hypocrisy would be remarkable except it seems to be the standard reaction to unionists
    It’s so interesting that when someone disagrees with you they are called a Shinner Troll but would you not be better to learn how to debate, its healthier than abusing people when then beat you in a argument.
    PS Trolls don’t fly that would be birds.

  • carl marks

    the above post (in case anybody was in doubt) was addressed to Chinook.

  • Charles_Gould

    carl

    Not good to use sectarian terms in your posts.

  • carl marks

    Charles_Gould
    check the context in which they are used. alas sometimes it is the only language some people understand.
    when you ask a questioon and get called a shinner troll for your trouble, what can you do.

  • Charles_Gould

    Carl If you are the subject of ad hominem abuse you can flag the post as breaking slugger’s house-rules. I understand your frustration as I hate ad hominem abuse.

  • carl marks

    charles, slugger house rules are applied in a very flexable manner. it also moves like God in a mysterious manner.

  • Neil

    charles, slugger house rules are applied in a very flexable manner

    Very true. Have a read at FDM’s posts and compare with our old mucker UPC. Then try and tot up the yellow cards being dished out and see if you can see something linking the recipients. I can.

  • carl marks

    Neil
    I agree, I don’t have a degree in statistics but there certainly seems to be a pattern!

  • carl marks

    Neil
    Heres a line from our old friend Alias
    “Why are you so angry with me, kid? It’s not my fault that you ignored one “Don’t try this at home” disclaimer too many and had to type that rant with a stick strapped to your forehead.”
    Seem like a obvious case of playing the man but strangely no card, but gendjinn got a yellow for much less.

  • Chinook

    carl marks,
    You asked the question and I answered it.
    You appear to class me as a bigot when you’re own remarks are highly questionable.
    Don’t remember saying all t***s are guilty considering i’ve been living with one for 29 years.She happens to be a Catholic Unionist and although her views differ from mine we get along extremely well.Oh! My son is also a t**g by the way.NI is never as simple as most people would like it to be.
    Unionism has done many wrongs in the past but not everything you see as wrong means it is wrong.
    The “leaflet” was necessary to inform the PUL community of what was happening.
    I was not aware that Slugger is now a debating circle.I am here to express my views and as a working class Unionist who was born in NI and still lives here.My thoughts and comments are my own and i stand by them.I post my views on Slugger,have a light spar with marsh mallow gloves and move on to another topic.Like most people here,I do not class this as a game to be won or lost,this is not a courtroom,I am not on trial yet you appear attack people with the vigour of a QC defence barrister.It is no great surprise that several commenters have refused to answer your questions.
    How do you know that trolls can’t fly?Can elephants fly?What about Dumbo!.I’ll let you into a little secret – both are imaginary, ie not real.do you get it!
    Since I amuse you so much I will give you a few more of my opinions.
    1) I do not believe in marriage.

    2) I support Capital Punishment.

    3) I see nothing wrong with a “Shoot to kill”policy where the combatants are armed with intent.