DUP angst with local broadcast media grows

DUP MP Iris Robinson is apparently insulted that local broadcaster, UTV, have a policy of permitting presenters to wear poppies from November 2nd- 11th. Clearly, Iris doesn’t think this is a long enough period of time- and she knows who to blame:
“(UTV stated] they had to be careful not to offend anyone. Of course for ‘anyone’ read ‘republicans’.”
The DUP MP declared that this was a “sop to sectarianism and bigotry”, and that it shows UTV are “unable to provide objective leadership” on the issue (I bet you could guess what that ‘objective leadership’ would look like…)
I make this the third public statement by senior DUP representatives regarding local broadcasters in recent weeks: The party condemned the BBC for broadcasting the Long Kesh Great Escape documentary (‘Breakout’) and recently demanded that BBC and UTV broadcast the British Forces parade live this Sunday.

  • pith@bitter.com

    A very DUP attitude to the Poppy and one that would be incomprhrensible to 99 per cent of British people. Then agaign if there is one thing the DUP isn’t, it’s British.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Jeez Remembrance Day is just that. A DAY! I dont wear a lily for the month of April and shamrock for the month of March. Soon the things will lose all meaning with this carry on.

  • fair_deal

    So the local media has produced 60 minutes of Provo boasting, refused to cover the homecoming parade and restricted wearing of the poppy? And? You expect unionists to do what exactly shrug, be mute or cheer?

  • fair_deal

    Correction

    “refused to cover the homecoming parade live”

  • frank

    “refused to cover the homecoming parade live”

    Film 2008 with Jonathan Ross is on BBC2 during the parade.

    What do you expect them to do, ban Jonathon Ross 🙂

  • Rory

    I should have thought that Mrs Robinson might have been more unhappy at the sight of men wearing floral emblems upon their person. It is after all but a short leap, of the imagination at least, from the plastic poppy of imperialism to the green carnation of decadent ascetics and … (after here those of a sensitive disposition should cease to read)…to the pin-fixed paper lily of unrepentant fenians!

    I understand that some evangelical fellow in England has recently advocated that homosexual males should be obliged to have some form of words tattooed across their buttocks attesting to their supposed taste for “buggery” or “sodomy” or somesuch . I can’t remember the precise prescription nor do I much care to but this news has inspired me to suggest that perhaps Mrs Robinson might put forward a paper for consideration that, if legislation ensued, would require that all newscasters broadcasting either in or into Northern Ireland be required to be similarly tattooed as a sort of quality assurance mark as we have in the better food stores.

    I am thinking here of a poppy on the right buttock, and, perhaps, a tasteful orange lily on the left. In the interests of transparency, public accountability and all that schermozzle, it would of course be required that each new presenter bare his buttocks on camera and that he repeat this exercise weekly in order to ensure continued quality control.

    I just bet that she could persuade that nice Mr Robinson to put forward such a paper as one of those that demand immediate executive consideration in the interests of all of the people. Now all she has to do is to convince Mr R that the administration of justice be devolved and she’s at least in with a chance. A snowdrop’s chance at least?

  • fair_deal

    Frank

    “What do you expect them to do, ban Jonathon Ross 🙂 ”

    Good one.

  • skullion

    In what way have they restricted the wearing of the poppy.I may be wrong but i’m pretty sure i saw bbc ni presenters wearing the poppy last saturday.Again i may be wrong but i think remembrance day is next sunday so i think wearing the poppy for two weeks to celebrate/remember one day is stretching it a bit.

  • Ann

    I don’t see why the wearing of the poppy should be a measurable thing. Things have become so divisive again since this RIR march and protest. I’ve no problem with anyone wearing a poppy, although I did think it a little over the top when Question time came from the USA had an American spokesperson for the US Republican party wear one????

  • Rory

    Sorry to butt in with an unrelated topic, Chris, but I have just heard a news flash that reports the death of Studs Terkel. Humanity has lost its greatest champion in our time.

    Here he is for those who might not be aware :

    http://www.studsterkel.org/

  • picador

    The BBC are serious poppy fascists.

  • skullion

    Ann

    Absolutely.If someone on tv wants to wear a poppy no problem but we should’nt keep a list of “offenders” of those who don’t.

  • Observer

    We keep our Christmas decorations up for a minimum of twelve days to celebrate one day. Both world wars were exactly that and a visit to the Somme area is quite a moving and eye opening experience. The graves of tens of thousands of allied and axis troops from all around the globe rest side by side. Young men cut down in their prime, and before. Their sacrifice is what now allows people to organise protests and to express opinions that may not suit the state. It beats me to understand why the wearing of an emblem to remember their sacrifice and to raise much needed funds to help members of the military forces who are suffering should provoke such outrage and comment. There again the sacrifice of so many have given everyone of us the right to decide whether or not we want to wear a poppy. It should not form the basis of political debate. Equally UTV are free to make their own rules and their employers are free to comply or ignore their employers instructions.

    Just remember why we all live in a democracy that allows us freedom of speech. A different outcome of the two world wars might have us all living in a different situation to what we currently enjoy.

    I wear my poppy with pride and I hope that I offend no one by so doing. The rest of you can feel free to make your own choice thanks to the sacrifice of so many in the wars against cruel dictators.

  • Ann

    Fair deal,

    The wearing of the poppy should be a voluntary thing for anyone.

    and restricted wearing of the poppy?

    actually even if the soldiers in the homecoming parade didn’t want to wear a poppy no one could force them to, since it is not part of military dress. Why should it then be obligatory for people in the media. It should not become an object of division.

    ps I know there is no compulsion, but many of the media people must feel like there is.

  • Eunice

    FFS.

  • Padraig

    Since most of British Imperial history goes back to the Opium Trade, which consisted in getting zillions of Chinks zonked, and making big time money out of it. I consider we should all wear our Poppy with very great pride.

  • cynic

    Didnt the republican movement have some connection with trade in Colombia at one stage? Or did I dream that as well?

  • steve

    as usual cynic you imagined it

    though the uda has form

  • picador

    Sometimes I pity unionists, I really do. Reduced to complaining that a local media outlet restricts poppy wearing to a nine day period. Are they really so pathetic and insecure!?

  • fin

    the taliban virtually wiped out poppy farming in afganistan, the BA seem content to let it happen, possibly addicts in the uk will inject their poppy derivative with pride on the 11th especially as its so cheap now

  • latcheeco

    Here’s a cunning plan. Republicans should now officially adopt the poppy as a symbol of remembrance to their war dead as well. See how quickly they’re dropped by onionists if the taigs start wearing them from Easter to May 5th to remember their deceased.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Fair Deal

    ‘Provo-boasting’
    A documentary about a republican prison escape which included interviews of prison wardens. Oh dear. Perhaps we should limit historical programmes of the conflict to UTV’s tribute to the RUC….

    ‘refused to cover the homecoming parade live’

    And where, exactly, is the demand for live coverage coming from, apart from a few DUP representatives? Heck, why stop there? Why not live coverage of every loyalist parade- change BBC4 to BBC1690!

    ‘restricted wearing of the poppy.’

    Now, here you may have an interesting point. If indeed we are talking about providing individual broadcasters with the right to choose whether or not to wear political items and at a time of their choosing, then I would fully agree – religious and political liberty and all that!

    I just hope we wouldn’t get the ‘Breakout’ ranting if/ when a broadcaster decided to wear an Easter lily, or perhaps that the days when presenters would be punished a la Donna Traynor for exercising choice would be over…

    Observer
    “Their sacrifice is what now allows people to organise protests and to express opinions that may not suit the state.”

    One of my favourite singer songwriters, Kris Kristofferson, once wrote a song attacking Vietnam war protesters. As he matured politically through the 70s/80s, his politics changed radically and he disowned the earlier song, though I myself find it a catchy track and it has been covered by a number of country and western singers.

    Included in the original song was a line asserting that the US forces were fighting in south east Asia “so you wouldn’t wake up dead.”

    Little wonder Kristofferson later disowned the song, for the line revealed the type of infantile defence provided by those who resort to the dramatic -and dubious- claims that any particular conflict was waged to protect basic rights such as that of public protest.

    World War I certainly didn’t do that for the people of Amritsar, did it?

    It’ll take quite a rewriting of history to make this case with regard to World War I, never mind the many, many other imperialist ventures and colonial battles involving the British forces (though I accept its relevance with regard to remembering those who fought between 1939-1945.)

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    During the current political impasse both ‘sides’ will be looking for suitable implements to beat the other side with – in these ‘social interface’ areas there are many issues that are suitable to help in the combat. Presumably if the politcal climate improves then Robbo (or Dodsie) and Marty will be nipping these issues in the bud.

  • Dec

    So the local media has produced 60 minutes of Provo boasting, refused to cover the homecoming parade and restricted wearing of the poppy?

    Question: Where is 60 minutes too long but 10 days not long enough?

    Answer: In Unionist la-la land

  • George

    Does this complaint not happen every year? It was certainly wheeled out by unionists as far back as 2003 when UTV limited of time broadcasters could wear poppies.

  • Llamedos

    The early wearing of poppies has only been done initially by politicians followed by the media no doubt as a cheap form of one upmanship.Considering that hardly any of them have served in the military it is very ironic to those who have. When I was a boy Poppies were warn a few days before Remembrance Sunday. A good lead could be taken from our Monarch. Who it seems is no role model for Iris Robinson. The Queen is a lady and knows how to behave impeccably we should follow her lead in many aspects of our lives. Then some of us might really grasp the essence of being really British.

  • Llamedos

    The early wearing of poppies has only been done initially by politicians followed by the media no doubt as a cheap form of one upmanship.Considering that hardly any of them have served in the military it is very ironic to those who have. When I was a boy Poppies were warn a few days before Remembrance Sunday. A good lead could be taken from our Monarch. Who it seems is no role model for Iris Robinson. The Queen is a lady and knows how to behave impeccably we should follow her lead in many aspects of our lives. Then some of us might really grasp the essence of being really British.

  • Ri Na Deise

    You encouraging mooching off the state and never doing a tap Llamedos?

  • noel adams

    RORY
    Perhaps the MP involved should have the HOC house rules tatooed on her forearm where she could study them.
    Iris has not declired her income as health chair at stormont as required under section 2.further there is a section in the guidance which goes,an MP can vote on a bill if they have an undisclosed intrest but can not seek to infulence the outcome.
    On 20th May she spoke on IVF during the Embyroligy debate did not declair an intrest,if you check health ministers consultation paper on IVF it says outcomes in N.Ireland will have to reflect the Embyroligy Bill.
    Anyone in Strangford who wants to put in a compliant be my guest.
    To have one MP in this position is unfortunate but six is careless,they represent
    East Belfast
    East antrim
    East Londonderry
    Strangford
    Banside
    South Antrim
    Could it be so much doubel and trebbel jobing means they do not have time to look after the MP role.

  • noel adams

    NOBODY IS PERFECT
    Sorry folks should have posted Upper Bann not Banside.