No sign of progress in Lisburn…

Although the leadership of the DUP breaks down old barriers, at a Council level the message is somewhat different.

The SF website reports: Sinn Fein Lisburn Council group leader, councillor Paul Butler has said that the refusal of DUP mayor Cecil Calvert to extend the invitation to this years mayoral banquet to Sinn Fein councillors not only breaches council protocol it also highlights the inability of the DUP to take even the first steps towards sharing power with nationalists and republicans.

  • davidbrew

    real boot on the neck stuff there. What next to complain about, I wonder, in the next episode of Most Oppressed People in the world…Ever ? “I was at a council meeting and I asked Edwin Poots to pass the stapler….BUT HE DIDN’T”

    Frankly I would pay good money not to have dinner with the members of any local Council

  • Belfast Gonzo

    UPDATE: While the DUP claims it hasn’t backed down, Sinn Fein has now received its invites to the mayor’s bash.

    If visible demonstrations of the DUP’s new attitude are necessary to build trust, this is a bit of a half-hearted start… but a start anyway.

    Published: 7 October, 2004

    Lagan Valley Sinn F

  • peteb

    If I recall correctly, Gonzo, SF councillors were invited last year.. but refused to attend.

    Have they accepted the invitation this time?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    They’d look a bit silly if they didn’t…

  • peteb

    But then they’d have to explain their own U-turn…

  • Fraggle

    Yet an other example of DUP childishness. Direct rule from the imperial overlords in london is better than giving this shower control. Where are all the sensible unionist politicians?

  • Christopher Stalford

    “where are all the sensible unionist politicians?”

    i.e. Those who cave in to every republican demand? Unfortunately (for you) those people aren’t in business anymore.

  • Fraggle

    lol @ christopher.

    no, I don’t mean caving in to every republican demand. I only mean politicians who don’t wase time pissing around with the banquet invites. bunch of idiots!

  • Fraggle

    davros, it’s a similar situation in terms of bloody-mindedness ut in this case, it’s an official council banquet that all councellers are entitled to be invited to.

  • Davros

    It’s one of those Family things 😉 Like being annoyed at not being invited to a wedding that you REALLY wanted to be able to refuse to attend !

  • Fraggle

    lol know exactly what you mean.

  • Davros


  • Mark McGregor


    Dav’s 1st comment? Can we all use abuse or is it only select contributors that get away with it on such a regular basis?

  • irishman

    Lisburn Council is the most fitting example of why unionists should not be trusted with any degree of power.

  • Mick Fealty


    What is that first comment (now removed) but playing the man and not the ball?

    This is about the third time I’ve had issue a verbal warning over what has been a very quiet summer on Slugger.

    If you persist in forgoing substantial argument to make cheap points either about others here or public figures, consider yourself in line for a first yellow!


    There is a great deal of value in discussing contentious issues, and in getting into good scraps here on Slugger. There have been a number of high quality threads here of late – a welcome change from some of the barfly chat we’ve had recently.

    I don’t want to slow the rate of exchange by any means, but please, please think about whether you really have something of substance to add to the conversation before you hit the post button! If not, let someone else who has do the heavy lifting.

    In mitigation of my slow response, please remember that outside the disappointingly quiet e-debate on the Charter of Rights, I am not paid a penny for the time I invest here as the site moderator!

  • Davros

    That’s disappointing Mick, I had thought better of you than that you would be swayed by pressure. Please tell me what was different between my remarks and the lauded comments made by Newt that are plastered all over the site ?

    It is factual that Mr Butler made a grossly offensive remark about Auschwicz. What I posted was in no way different to reminding people that Martin Meehan showed the non-sectarian credentials of a wing of his party in his “orange Bastards” remarks.

    As for covering cowardice with playing man and not Ball … as made clear, Mr Butlers attitude IS the Ball. Compared to Alex Maskey he has gone out of his way to be confrontational – and as such he is well placed in Lisburn where his opponents are no better.

    What next on Slugger ? Red card for pointing out that someone talked of as a minister-in-waiting for Justice was sent to jail for his part in Bombing the Old Bailey in which one person was Killed and 250 people injured ?

  • Mick Fealty

    There are ways to expound an argument other than going for a quick hit. It’s a thin and perhaps arbitary line – maybe.

    If in doubt, good writing which explains to the reading public the premise and nature of the argument will get most political views through here untouched.

    By no stretch of the imagination did you do that the first time round. Humorous nods and winks are not good enough! If you have a good pot/kettle arguments, then work at them – and at the very least you’ll be surer of success.

    As for Newt, he’s had a yellow here before. If you think he’s been out of order, please, please point it out to me.

  • Davros

    I would still like to know what was abusive.
    Did anybody here not know that Mr Butler made those remarks about Auschwicz? What was different about commenting on those in context and posters here who referred to Paisley’s comments on Romanist Journalists ?

    It was a fair point contrasting the success in building bridges by the Maskey Wing and the Meehan Wing.

  • Mick Fealty

    Which part of “Humorous nods and winks are not good enough!” do you not understand?

    Davros, our readership is drawn from all over the world – some are more familiar with the inner workings of local politics than others. And please note, it is exponentially larger than the number of people who comment. All I am asking is that you think of that wider group and rack the standard of your polemic to meet their needs, and remember it is not simply the ‘person’ you think you’re having the rucus with that you’re talking to.

    One of the reasons for introducing the play the ball not the man rule was to not so that every one could be nice to each other. But rather to ensure that arguments can be sharp and abrasive, without letting it sink into the kind of self absorbed serial diatribes that you can find easily elsewhere on the Internet.

    It’s also to help people achieve higher standards in terms of their own arguments. For me, it is immaterial who wins the arguments. Just that, so far as is possible on such a site, the conditions should exist in which everyone works under the expectation that they enter into a competition of ideas, without being subjected to cheap (ie lazy) shots.

    Now please Davros, play the game – and play it as well as you possibly can!

  • Mick Fealty

    Another useful term is ad hominem:

    Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason: Debaters should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their opponents’ motives.

  • Davros

    None of which addresses the issue Mick.

    Mr Butler’s confrontational and abrasive style of politics IS the Ball. That’s why the point was made that Politicians such as Alex Maskey are treated very differently from Politicians such as Mr Butler.

    If little Johnny comes crying that none of the other kids at school invite him to their parties or want to play with him, most parents would suggest that little Johnny looks at how he behaves towards the other kids.

    I have written before that SF show Jekyll and Hyde character traits in their approach to politics here. Dr Jekyll has made progress, Mr Hyde keeps dragging him back.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Frankly I would pay good money not to have dinner with the members of any local Council

    Presumably that inlcudes Robinson x2, Dodds, Campbell and if he gets his was Donaldson?