DUP say No to Feile Invite

The DUP have refused to take part in the annual West Belfast Talks Back event, which always attracts a large crowd to the St. Louise’s school venue. The Andersonstown News quotes a “source close to the party” as saying that Peter Robinson had been keen to attend the event, but was over-ruled by others within the party. In recent years, senior DUP figures like Arlene Foster and Jeffrey Donaldson have taken part in the event.
The remaining panellists this year will be Gerry Kelly, Lord Laird, Nuala O’Loan and David Ervine. Those wishing to attend would need to arrive in good time before the 7.30 start time this Wednesday as it is always standing room only by that stage.

  • Bushmills

    A source close to the DUP talking to the Andytown News? Doubtful. Unless Roy Garland counts.

  • unionist

    another sign of the power of the taliban

  • Jo

    This is bizarre. Jeffrey attended and was made welcome. Why wont Peter be allowed out?

  • dantheman

    If you saw folks on the hill a few weeks back, you’d be shouting “Code Blue, Code Blule”.

  • memorystick

    This really is a bad sign, the DUP are clearly trying to appear as hardline as possible at the minute – the prospect of a deal is looking bleaker and bleaker

  • Surely you most need to appear hardline when you’re planning concessions?

    Remember the Yes Prime Minister episode where they were discussing the set to use for their party political broadcast? The traditional set if they had scary radical announcements, and the modern one if they had nothing new to say?

  • Carson’s Cat

    Sounds like the West Belfast Festival trying to make a story out of the fact that no-one from the DUP could be ar*ed going this year.

    The story has absolutly zero credibility. After all, which party ‘source’ is going to tell the feckin Andytown News that Peter Robinson or anyone else wanted to go but was ‘over-ruled’.

    Sounds more like “they would have liked to send someone but no-one was available”. However that wouldnt get any cheap publicity for the festival or give the opportunity to have a dig at the DUP.

    At least John Laird wont have any problem with transport. Plenty of black taxis on the Falls so no need to keep his outside with the meter running!

  • lib2016

    Let’s be optimistic! It looks good for genuine movement at last if the DUP are playing their cards close to their chest. Why would any sensible politican take a chance of revealing his hand halfway through the endgame?

  • Jo

    Good thought, lib. Except..when PR doesn’t want to say something he won’t say it.

  • Roy Garland

    Is it really such a good idea to present oneself as entirely hard line when planning consessions? Surely this only works when we also establish our credibility as genuinely desiring to make some kind of deal based on understanding if not mutual respect. Otherwise are we not inviting others to try to take us to the cleaners with further demands and even more concessions? Also what kind of effect are concessions likely to have on supporters who don’t believe concessions are even on the cards?

  • Now Read on . . .
    “… No, no! It’s not you. You’re a lovely girl, honest you are. It’s me. I’ve got sh*t to work out …” [Phone clicks silent, Feile remains alone in darkened room sobbing quietly, elsewhere, Robinson pockets his mobile and sashays towards Barry’s, arm-in-arm with his new squeeze].

    Tune in next week for more, ‘Broken hearts and Subsidised Community Festivals’ by Karl Rove, author of ‘The Speaker was to be confirmed’ and other weepy hits.

  • kensei

    “Sounds like the West Belfast Festival trying to make a story out of the fact that no-one from the DUP could be ar*ed going this year. ”

    That in itself would speak volumes.

  • lib2016

    Roy Garland,

    We know that at the time of the referendum unionism was split (very) roughly 50/50 over powersharing. Even assuming huge changes whatever way the DUP jump they will split the unionist electorate, whilst uniting nationalists.

    Step forward, First Minister McGuinness?

  • memorystick

    “Sounds more like “they would have liked to send someone but no-one was available”. However that wouldnt get any cheap publicity for the festival or give the opportunity to have a dig at the DUP.”

    Not one spokesperson from the DUP was available? But they an MEP, 9 MPs, 32 MLAs and 182 councillors, surely you can’t be saying that every last one of them was unavailable for a high profile event like that?

  • Jo

    Roy

    I think the historical thing is that to appear begrudging to do any deal at all is believed to heighten the receptivity of the other party to ANY offer.

    In years gone by, if someone came into a shop, appeared as surly as bedamned and didnt seem to want to buy anything, the temptation in the past would havebeen for the good Ulster shopkeeper to show them the door. It’ll be an indication of how much SF want an Assembly if they let 24/11 approach standing behind the counter, with their arms folded. From their viewpoint, what more have they to offer the DUP?

  • Keith M

    Lib2610 “We know that at the time of the referendum unionism was split (very) roughly 50/50 over powersharing.”

    Unionists (those that vote for Unioniost parties) certainly voted against the Belfast Agreement. The broader “pro-union” group, including those that vote APNI or those that don’t vote in elections most likely voted for. However to say that it was simple about “power-sharing” is complete nonsense.

    Many that voted no objected to terrorist being released from prision. Other objected to SF/IRA getting places on an executive before decommissioning had been completed (as had been agreed in the Mitchell Principles).

    “Step forward, First Minister McGuinness?” For this to happen under the current rules the total nationalist block would have to be bigger than the Unionist block.

  • maura

    Are we somewhere, in the future, going to hear some arguments about the exclusionary nature of the Feile?

  • No Maura, because if we do, then they’ll cry, cry, cry.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Is the West Belfast Festival not an annual commemoration of the first day of internment? If so every loyalist worth his salt should celebrate this anniversary as internment took some of the most dangerous and evil republicans in Ulster off the streets, preventing them from perpetuating their sectarian campaign of ethnically cleansing the Protestant people from Ulster…

  • maura

    K. Rove *No Maura, because if we do, then they’ll cry, cry, cry. *

    Who are they/we, Karl?
    Maybe if the Feile organisers arranged a few floral arrangments in Red,White and Blue, the invitations might be accepted? 🙂

  • Gum

    “Is the West Belfast Festival not an annual commemoration of the first day of internment?”

    No, Concerned Loyalist. The festival was designed to fill a void each summer when the memory of internment and the hunger strikes proved an excuse for youths to riot. Surely you dont have anything against something that does dispel boredom and provides a positive forum for art/ dicussion?

    On the other hand, you may just be trolling…

  • Chris Donnelly

    Are we somewhere, in the future, going to hear some arguments about the exclusionary nature of the Feile?

    Maura

    Could you elaborate on your assertion?

  • pith

    Can’t wait to read what Brian “World Affairs” Feeney has to yelp on this.

  • maura

    Chris*Could you elaborate on your assertion? *

    What I mean Chris, is that on ths very blog, I have been reading, for weeks now, about the exclusionary nature ( toward Unionists)of the GAA etc. When it is pointed out that the GAA has in fact no exclusion laws against anyone, it is argued that it is exclusionary in *essence.*
    Thus, what I am asserting here I suppose, is that because of the SELF- exclusionary attitudes of the DUP and Unionists in general, we will somewhere in the future have Unionist bloggers debating about the exclusionary nature of Feile and even *bloomin* flower beds!
    In essence, Nationalists are to blame for the’exclusion’even when it is self-inflicted.
    It is a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Gum,

    “On the other hand, you may just be trolling…”

    What the hell is “trolling”? A West Belfast version of “dogging”, which Stan Collymore made famous?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Maura

    Get you now- thanks.

  • Gum

    Concerned loyalist – surely you know what a ‘troll’ on a forum such as Slugger is? Sorry to dissappoint you, but it has nothing to do with what you suggested.

  • slug

    There are already two unionists on this forum. Isnt that enough?

  • The Devil

    That was a totally unnecessary and unjustifiable piece of censorship,

    but if Mick is going to surrender control of Slugger to Stalinist Sinn Fein types then it’s not totally unexpected is it.

  • Pete Baker

    Mr Satan

    “That was a totally unnecessary and unjustifiable piece of censorship, but if Mick is going to surrender control of Slugger to Stalinist Sinn Fein types then it’s not totally unexpected is it.”

    See commenting policy in full

    If you still have a complaint then contact either myself, or Mr Fealty, directly.

  • Jo

    I would go to this but I really cant abide LL. Anyone else feel hes a poor substitute for Peter?