An audience member, who grew up in the Markets, asked the panel, “do they feel optimisitic or pessimistic about the future of Northern Ireland?”Dan McGinn said that they had to hedge their bets.
Brian Feeney – “One thing I’m certain about – I won’t be here in 50 years’ time. This election is a necessary hurdle to get to negotiations, leading to an Assembly election that will ratify any deal reached between SF and the DUP.”
“Deal’s on the table, everybody knows what it’s going to be, it’s what it was in December.” He thinks it’ll be done.
Chris Thornton – Worried that it might be possible to exchange one disgruntled, frustrated minority for another. What if unionism ended up like nationalism at the start of it – depends on the leadership of unionism – DUP moving in that direction.
Alex Kane – [Quoting Mark Twain] The real pessimist is one who fears the optimist is right. He was 13 yrs old, his father was a JP. “2 or 3 years and it’ll all be over”, he said. That was 1969.
From the campaign trail, Kane adds an anecdote. Out in Four Winds last night with campaign team – a canvasser in her late 20s was talking to sweet 70 yr old lady. After 2-3 mins the canvasser mentioned comments about electric chair and rope. The old lady said she’d plug the chair in herself.
[so that’ll be pessimist for Kane, then]
Should we be optimistic or pessimistic?