One of the things both the UUP and the SDLP have had to firefight is the active indifference of the media to almost anything they say. It’s not been helped by their lack of consistent messaging. But I was struck by this line at yesterday’s launch:
“Difference doesn’t have to mean division – it doesn’t have to mean deadlock. In this election voters have a choice.
“We are asking people to choose between two parties who have shown that they can’t work together or take the chance to choose differently – choose those of us who have shown that we can work together.
“Choose parties who want to work together for the common good.”
Like most political slogans, it won’t mean much if it cannot be followed up on. Going into opposition has clearly allowed both parties to think outside the usual captive boxes, and discomfited the incumbents.
But it is at clear and coherent and hard to defend against.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty