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"SDLP don't understand the difference between Equality and Good Relations" - Martina Anderson MLA

28 September, 2010 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights, Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) speaking in opposition to an SDLP motion in the Assembly today said:

"It is obvious that the SDLP don't understand the basic tenets of Equality. To suggest that Equality can not be achieved without good relations is nonsense. You can not sacrifice equality for the sake of good relations. While good relations are desirable you can not legislate for Good relations but Equality legislation can and should form the foundation on which to build good relations.

"If equality and good relations have equal status - as stated in the SDLP motion - is the SDLP saying that even though objective needs dictates that Catholics meet all the criteria, that housing for Catholics should be blocked. This is the case in certain areas of the North!

"This motion and amendment betrays the proposers (SDLP) lack of understanding regarding the equality provisions in Section 75 of the 1998 Act.

"Equality is necessary, good relations are desirable. Equality is the primary duty and I find it disappointing – but not surprising – that the SDLP don’t seem to recognise that. But what else would we expect from a party that opposed the MacBride Principles of equality? " CRÍOCH

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