“Do you recognise that picture?”

Following on from Julia Paul’s report, on Hearts and Minds last night Noel Thompson interviewed the SDLP’s Mark Durkan ahead of his party’s weekend conference.

  • Pete

    Not a bad performance from Mark Durkan. Thompson simply doesn’t give this political agenda and its leader sufficient respect. Clearly Thompson’s character is deserving of some scrutiny because I think you’ll find that he is flawed in the sense that he doesn’t get the social conscience stuff that Durkan comes out with.

  • Pete Baker


    Play the ball.

  • Pete

    In what respect? Thompson is not the subject of this thread, only a bit part player who actually is a bit lightweight, but who thinks he’s the purpose of the interview. That’s why you get silly comments suggesting that I’m playing the man.

  • veritas

    play the ball from Mr Baker, now I`ve heard it all!!!!

    Know wheres the dictionary so I can again look up Hypocrisy!

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Get a grip, John. He’s a figure of fun and certainly no John Hume.

  • Plastic Paddy

    I’m actually inclined to agree with John’s first sentiment – this was a strong performance from Mark Durkan. One must admire the strength and earnestness of his convictions. This is a practical and intelligent leader.

    It’s the fundamental, big-picture stance of the SDLP that I take issue with, namely partitionist nationalism. The strength of the nationalist position is as a national majority – not as a local minority, though the oppressed minority identity does fit neatly into the civil rights crusader ethos.

    You can’t escape the fact that NI is a dysfunctional entity. Solutions will not be forthcoming from within these narrow, bitter, sectarian borders.

    The SDLP wants to treat the symptoms, and ignore the disease. (In case you missed it – partition is the disease.)

    On the other hand, I guess I could see the SDLP using a slowly, slowly approach to demonstrate to the Unionist people that they have nothing to fear by having nationalists in government, that’s a bit of a gamble though. (It’s a whisper away from “British rights for British citizens”.)I would be far more comfortable with an Irish party (as opposed to a regional party) playing this role – which comes back to my oft-repeated support for an SDLP-Fianna Fáil linkup. (If the Tory-UUP linkup proves successful, it’s hard to imagine the SDLP not looking South for allies.)

  • IJP

    Have I arrived in a parallel universe?

    That was the worst interview I have ever seen a Party Leader give.

    Effectively, he was asked countless times why anyone would vote SDLP and what the SDLP is for – and he could not give a single concrete reason.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    He’s a figure of fun

    In what respect?


    That was the worst interview I have ever seen a Party Leader give.

    It depends what your standards are. If you think that the bully in Ian Paisley or the conspirator in Gerry Adams is better than a compassionate SDLP lerader then you’re very wide of the mark.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    A figure of fun,John. People snigger and roll their eyes when he appears. The best of a fella but no politician.I have to disagree about the worst interview remark. There was a Ukranian member of the Comintern in the 60’s gave a worse one.One thing separates Marko from the other two – they were/are successful.