Any Questions from Derry…

On BBC Radio 4 beginning now… Eamon McCann, Monica McWilliams, John Micklthwaite, and Paul Bew… Any nswers to follow…

  • ArchiePurple

    I was present at the live broadcast in the Playhouse, Londonderry last night and wondered why, in these days of ‘parity of esteem’, ‘shared culture’, ‘shared city’ etc., that there wasn’t a person from a Unionist background on the panel. McCann, who said he was ‘an old style Socialist’, McWilliams, a Nationalist who briefly relinquished her aspirations in order to promote her gender within the Woman’s Coalition, Paul Bew, who I recall as a student was a rampant Young Socialist and the token conservative, the Economist Journalist John Micklthwaite, were the panellist.

    It never ceases to amaze me why the BBC have to have McCann on every programme that mentions, Derry or Londonderry as if he was the only person in the city with an opinion
    So the great UK public didn’t have an opportunity to have a Unionist viewpoint on the issues discussed.

    Whilst it was quite a coup for the Management of the newly refurbished Playhouse Theatre to have BBC Radio 4 present the programme from their premises, for me the programme was a damp squib.
    I regret giving up two other functions that I would enjoyed much better than what I sat through last evening.

  • Archie,

    So you don’t count Bew as a unionist voice? There are lots who would disagree.

  • (Lord) Paul Bew – he who advised David Trimble for the Good Friday Agreement negotiations – is much more of a unionist than McWilliams is a nationalist! The fact that he is a member of the Lords would suggest that he still ain’t an Irish unity man.

    You may well be right about McCann, but at least he’s got a unique view. But he doesn’t speak for any significant number of people in Derry.

    It is however simply untrue to say the UK listening public didn’t get to hear a unionist voice.

  • slug

    “The fact that he is a member of the Lords would suggest that he still ain’t an Irish unity man.”

    I don’t think this follows – its possible to be in the Lords and favour a UI.

    There was no real nationalist on the programme either. In a sense it was very British – the people could be identified more in terms of left and right than anything else.

  • KieranJ

    “its possible to be in the Lords and favour a UI.”

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

  • Harry Flashman

    Archie has a point about the ubiquitous McCann though doesn’t he? Has there ever been a programme from Derry that didn’t have Eamon in it?

    Why is that? What’s so special about him?

  • Incensed License Fee Payer

    At least McCann is not Dunphy!