Question Time comes to Newry…

Right on Thursday night witness the usual mild form of political torture as our local politicians take stage that annually demands they talk about something other than themselves… Two years ago they scored an improvement (possibly with the help of the Slugger O’Toole Question Time Crib Sheet). What questions do you think they should be discussing on Thursday night? Slugger understands the production team may be listening in this year…

  • slug

    1. A question about the UUP-Tory link would be relevant – as David Cameron comes to town this weekend to speak to their conference.

    2. A question about whether VAT should rise (Irel) or fall (UK) in response to the credit crunch?

    Mick (or anyone else): Do you know who the parties have decided to put up for question time?

  • David Dimbleby will be joined in Newry by Alan Johnson, Arlene Foster, Conor Murphy, Mark Durkan, and Lord Maginnis.

  • runciter

    Ten years after the Good Friday Agreement, are we closer to or further away from a United Ireland?

  • Every day a day closer. Think about it runciter

  • kensei

    We know reductions in public spending are coming in the future, which will affect the block grant. How does this square with Northern Ireland politicians asking for more money? [Could possibly be it in term,s of the subvention as a means of cutting down on the budget black hole.]

    How does the furore over the police interference with an MP’s business square with the history of bugging elected officials in the North?

  • slug

    Interesting line up. Conor Murphy is of course the local man in Newry.

    Interesting choice from the DUP, a major chance for Arlene on national stage.

    Alan Johnston is on record as supporting Labour candidates standing in NI.

  • slug

    I don’t think this panel will embarrass NI.

  • William

    Padraig McShane:

    Obviously wishful thinking on your part….perhaps you could enlighten me as to how you can make the above ‘from the tip of the tongue’ comment, which is so off the wall, as to make you a figure of fun.

    A United Ireland will not happen whilst Northern Ireland Unionists are in the majority and as they always will be, there is no chance of it ever happening.

  • One Trolley’s Never Enough

    I would imagine that the endless queues of shoppers from the Free State will provide a modicum of debate on Question Time. Stories abound in Newry at the moment about the maurading hordes of Mexicans inflicting grid lock on the roads and the checkouts. My favourite so far is of a Southern shopper standing in a rarely seen empty space in The Quays car park and refusing all signals polite or otherwise to move out of the way and let somebody park. Apparently she had got out and walked from her car somewhere up the Dublin Road and had gone on ahead of her husband who was driving and was keeping the space until such time as he arrived !!!!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Can we just leave the philosophical rowing to the night itself guys? Questions for the home audience and those in ‘the outside world’?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘A United Ireland will not happen whilst Northern Ireland Unionists are in the majority and as they always will be, there is no chance of it ever happening.’

    Wow…pass the crystal ball, can I have a go?

    Kensei’s question regarding police/politicians is a good one. Seconded.

  • Niall

    anything on the economy is good and very relevant as this is the UK’s most notable border town in a time when we are told a global solution to a global problem is required.

    Any question of any Irish politician on economics has the potential to embarass……. they all start rattling on about saving construction and great education.

  • Pete Baker

    Is it the patriotic duty of tax-payers in Northern Ireland to shop in Northern Ireland?

  • Just as well it’s not being held in Newcastle. Thank the Lord there’s only one Newry – in these islands!!

  • An announcement about the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre is expected within the next two days, according to local news reports. Are World Heritage sites worthy of protection?

  • kensei

    Oh, and it might be worth asking if we’ve squandered our peace honeymoon period, given the current downturn.

  • A question for south of the border shoppers: Is Newry the new New York?

  • iluvni

    Hope to God Question Time from Newry means we dont have to suffer the worse than woeful Lets Talk this month.

  • McGrath

    There needs to be a refocus on catalysing and fostering home grown export business instead of the typical reliance on attracting foreign investment. The NI economy needs diversification and a less volatile foundation.

  • niall

    For yermanluvsNI,

    “Does ye lot being here mean we won’t be subjected to LetsTalk this month?”

  • Niall

    McGrath,

    Is the volatile foundation the ability of the south east of england profits being taxed and spent to subsidise this place?

    Perhaps our question then is “Should we be worried that the bankers and people in the real world over there won’t be able to keep us in the style we are accustomed?”

  • iluvni

    Perfect, Niall.

  • Kathleen

    I’d like to ask could the baby P case happen here? Are the agencies here equiped to make sure it doesn’t happen.

  • niall

    Kathleen,

    Lammy in Omagh?

  • tot

    Has the (New) Labour government (and indeed local politicians) failed in their fiscal managment by not putting aside any funds for a rainy day from the boom times?

    Does the prime minister/government accept any responsibility for the current economic position including tri-partite financial supervision system or is it all the fault of the american sub-primemarket (as per recent gordon brown interview.

    Can Britains role as a willing world policeman be justified against the current funding shortages across the public sector.

    Should the speaker of the house of commons resign?

    Should stormont have taxation powers and be told to cut their own cloth.

  • Kathleen

    True niall, it would still be good to have the issue discussed. Especially since the baby p case happened after Victoria Climbie. Even after Omagh would it still be possible for such a case here?

    I’d say chances are it could still happen.

  • Paul McMahon

    Bearing it’s proximity to the twenty six do the panel agree that it would be practical for the North to adopt dual currency trading using both Sterling & Euro?

    As an aside, it’ll be intersting to see, particularly with Connor on the panel, if the Quinn Support Group try to use this as a platform to expand their campaign.

  • joeCanuck

    Should stormont have taxation powers and be told to cut their own cloth.

    That would be a very interesting discussion indeed.
    I would give that my vote.
    Any Assembly that doesn’t have taxation powers is pretty much just a talking shop; or given the past few months here, a non-talking shop.

  • catchagrip

    The hinterland to the west of Newry was once described as bandit country by an earlier NI secretary of State, Merlyn Rees. Would the panel agree it is still bandit country in light of the enormous amount of conterfeit goods, illegal cigarettes and laundered diesel which pass through the area?

  • good grief

    Should corporate tax be lower or is the multi-billion shortfall in Irish tax revenue a cautionary tale of boom & bust economic planning? Would people in NI be happy with the current proposed solution in RoI – Joe Public tax increases to cover the shortfall?

  • William

    Question for the panel on Question Time

    Considering that a Conservative Councillor is being requested to resign from Croydon Council in London for IRA membership over thirty years ago, should we now be requesting the resignation of Government Ministers in Northern Ireland, who still support the IRA? [e.g. Conor Murphy with his comments on Paul Quinn’s murder and Willie Frazer’s attempted abduction]

  • Given the current financial climate and the bleak prognosis for the future, isn’t the border which artificially divides this island an extravagance too far, costing as it does several billion per year on the British tax payer and untold lost earnings to the southern Exchequer?

  • Dave Hartin

    Given the lack of resources, dreadful PR of the last month and the near-impossible job they have to perform, how does the panel suggest we encourage quality professionals into a career in social work?

  • Is it fair that everytime there’s a political crisis, the Prime Minister is forced to put his hand into his Chancellor’s pocket to “bribe” politicians back to work?

  • pacman

    Question for the panel on Question Time

    Considering that a Conservative Councillor is being requested to resign from Croydon Council in London for IRA membership over thirty years ago, should we now be requesting the resignation of Government Ministers in Northern Ireland, who have previously been members of paramilitary organisations? [e.g Peter Robinson – Ulster Resistance]

    At least be equitable William particularly if you’re trying to proffer the notion that the Conservative/UUP pact will dispense with the usual sectarian politics.

  • percy

    Question for the panel:

    Did Iris Robinson contravene Article 9 of the Public Order (NI) Order 1987 by using threatening, abusive or insulting words which have the likelihood to stir up hatred and arouse fear?

  • pith

    “Interesting choice from the DUP, a major chance for Arlene on national stage.”

    Best wishes to her. Wonder what she’ll sing. It all depends on the public vote of course.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    How many murders is Conor Murphy directly, personally responsible for?

  • Skintown Lad

    In view of the paltry achievements of the Executive since coming to power, are politicians in Northern Ireland suffering from a lack of experience on bread and butter issues?

  • Zoonpol

    Is the £500 pay rise justified for the MLAs?

  • RepublicanStones

    Question for the panel….Does Mick Fealty look better with or without a goatee?

  • gram

    Don’t forget the “fun” question at the end which always makes me squirm.

    I’d like to suggest; “Do you think sex toys are an appropriate christmas gift and if so what will you be buying your partner?”

  • Dec

    I’d like to suggest; “Do you think sex toys are an appropriate christmas gift and if so what will you be buying your partner?”

    And you seriously want to hear Arlene Foster’s response?

    My question would be how many jobs did the May International Investment Conference actually create (excluding PR & Corporate Events Management positions)?

  • pacman

    In light of recent Irish Government comments concerning patriotism regarding Irish consumers shopping in the North, does the panel believe that the Southern Irish people have finally abandoned their Northern brethern to a partitionist fate instead of actively working towards reunification?

  • pacman

    Given the reopening of the sectarian divisions caused by the recent “homecoming parade” in Belfast, does the panel think that the executive should finally abandon the fairytake that is “A Shared Future” and instead concentrate their efforts on providing for two equal but separate futures for the people of NI?

  • autocue

    Could someone confirm to me or deny that William Frazer actually is a member of the Conservative Party?

    I am not taking the mick.

  • dunreavynomore

    Question

    “Does the panel agree with the local M.P. that it ‘isn’t necessarily for the psni’ to decide if the ira had a hand in a murder or not?”