Belfast to bow out of UK City of Culture race, Londonderry goes on

Councillors at Belfast City Council have decided that they won’t, after all, be putting forward a bid to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2013 – despite it being the 400th anniversary of the signing of the city’s first charter by James I. The decision by the Development Committee has still to be ratified by the full Council. From the BBC report

Ulster Unionist councillor Bob Stoker said he believed a bid, which has to be submitted by December 11, would cost around £1m. “I don’t think we can do justice to the city of Belfast within such a short period of time,” Cllr Stoker said. “Would the ratepayer be getting value for money if we put £1m into a bid that is highly likely to fail?” He said he also believed Belfast had to do more work on its cultural attractions in order to win such a competition.

No such worries in Londonderry [Shouldn’t that be “satanic” Derry? – Ed] Possibly.. Although the city was not named on the longlist when it was announced Derry City Council are to disregard any financial concerns, as usual, and will be pressing ahead with their bid.

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  • granni trixie

    “A bid likely to fail” – self fulfilling prophesy by Bob Stoker – AND I predict sentiments which will follow him to the next election to the Council.

    “The economic situation” can be used to justify anything,sometimes reasonably, but if you use it to avoid an opportunity like this,you might as well throw in the sponge entirely and say ‘why have the arts’.Mistakes were made in the case presented last time round – but lessons were learnt! Per square foot we have so much artistic talent we have a good case to make. The City Council’s decision on this says to me that,unfortunately, they are philestines.

  • John O’Connell

    How would it cost £1 million to list the attractions of Belfast. Sure it hasn’t got any.

    Derry wouldn’t need a million either but it has some culutural attractions.

    I think that is what Bob is talking about.

  • There was already a lot of unease over the UNESCO bid for world heritage status for the walls, so I can’t see how Derry City Council will manage this affair any better. Besides, it’s a B-list prize and everyone knows it. Although Derry City Council have a well-deserved reputation as hinted at here, for throwing our money about like the proverbial non-armed man, even they have to draw the line somewhere, especially with ‘Val the Impaler’ now in place as town clerk and lord high executioner.

  • The Raven

    A B-list prize for a B-list city – it’s so close to the truth, I’d love to see them get it. If there’s a prize for the quality of whinging, they’ll get that too.

    Roll on Halloween – because there’s nowt else to look forward to there.

    7.2% claimant count, and around 10% of total population living on disability related benefits? What else could £1m be spent on…?

  • Dave

    “How would it cost £1 million to list the attractions of Belfast. Sure it hasn’t got any.”

    That’s unfair. My wife is very attracted to the TK Maxx store on Boucher Road.

  • Rory Carr

    There are also attractive road signs pointing to Downpatrick, Dublin and Airport which lift the hearts of any who find themselves in Belfast.

    As for Derry, the River Foyle is handy for jumping into to escape the babble of the locals.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    That L word again.

    Is it the only city in the world to have a name imposed on it citizens which celebrates ethnic cleansing?

  • It’s extremely short-sighted of Belfast City Council to take this view, given that so much has been spent on the refurbishment of the Ulster Hall, the Ulster Museum and City Hall itself (not all by BCC, of course) and the increasing reputation of the city as a short break destination. This year’s Belfast Festival is better than ever, and a good example of what can be done.

    But why is the bid going to cost £1m? I presume because it’s going to involve consultants. Can’t BCC use their own staff and integrate the bid into their existing work on tourism?

    I chose to come and live in Belfast and I’m very proud of the city. It has a lot to offer and I woudl have hoped for more vision from our councillors.

  • Nordie Northsider

    Derry hasn’t even got the infrastructure for a series of arts events. I remember Fiona Shaw in a production of Elektra that had to be staged in the Templemore Sports Complex (later unofficially renamed the Oedipus Complex).

  • Democratic

    “That L word again.

    Is it the only city in the world to have a name imposed on it citizens which celebrates ethnic cleansing?”

    How so Sammy – I was under the impression that the entity called Londonderry in the day was so named because of the British constuction of the city from the former (destroyed) small township/woodland area known as Doire/Derry.
    What historic great ethnic genocide in the area led to the city being so-named then in your view?

    Or let’s be honest or you just spouting attention seeking bollox?

  • foreign correspondent

    Minor rant alert –
    I’m from the Derry City area and though I would be the first to admit that Derry has its problems it does rankle that people have always have to bring out the old hackneyed insults, about the whining people of Derry bla bla bla. I would ask the hecklers how much time they have ever spent in Derry and exactly what virtues do their own places of origin have to make them feel so superior?
    Ok, feel better now.
    By the way I live in Madrid where they have just spent 37 million euro on the Olympic bid despite the fact that it was always extremely unlikely that Madrid would be picked to host the games directly after London, because the COI people have always alternated continents for the last fifty years or more. The city’s mayor, Gallardon, and his obsession with bagging the Games is thought to be the main reason for this very expensive gamble. He said he would resign if Madrid didn’t get the games but no word of that so far…

  • Nordie Northsider

    …it was always extremely unlikely that Madrid would be picked to host the games directly after London, because the COI people have always alternated continents for the last fifty years or more.

    Typical Derryman: blaming the Church of Ireland for a gerrymander.

  • granni trixie

    It is clear to me from the above posts that I live in a world of the arts and Slugger-people generally do not. If contributors dont have value for the arts – I give up (but how interesting to anoraks analysing slugger types!).

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Democratic,

    from the UUP website.

    “According to the city’s Royal Charter the official name is Londonderry and, as stated in a recent High Court decision in January 2007, remains so. It usually appears as such on maps. The name was changed from Derry in 1613 during the Plantation of Ulster to reflect the establishment of the city by the London guilds.”

    The various plantations/ethnic cleansings visited on my country by Britain are something even most Brtions are rightly deeply ashamed of, never mind what the majority of the citizens in the City of Derry think – it is a totally innapropriate name associated with a dark episode in Britian’s imperial past.

    p.s. I love the implication of a benevolent British construction project. lol.

  • Democratic

    Then I suggest you look further into the subject Sammy if those 2 lines encompass your (or the UUP’s) some total of knowledge on the subject matter.
    “The name was changed from Derry in 1613 during the Plantation of Ulster to reflect the establishment of the city by the London guilds”
    Even humouring your nonsense – I still can’t see were the allegations of genocide come from on the founding of old Londonderry as a city. Bear in mind that there was little to nothing there as the former Doire/Derry settlement had been destroyed by raiding Irish reavers at the time.
    Nor did I say anything about benevolence – the British guilds who built the old city did so for commerce – novel idea for businessmen eh?
    In fact like I said – let’s be honest your just talking bollox……Fair enough you may want the London prefix axed from the name of the city to remove the British taint – but be honest about your reasons please!

  • Democratic

    One more thing out of interest Sammy – just so I can get an impression of the type of person I’m dealing with here.
    I take it that it is your contention that anything constructed and named here during the 17th Century onwards by British money is a celebration of genocide?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Democratic,

    anything constructed/renamed as part of the process of the plantations/ethnic cleansings is obvioulsy viewed as part of the process of the plantations/ethnic cleansings. Simples.

    I cant really see what your difficulty is here, other than denial – trying to suggest that the introduction of the L word had nothing to do with the plantation is silly – but perhaps you simlpy didnt realise, and if so it might be a good idea if you did some reading up on the Plantation of Ulster.

  • Democratic

    Lol – Sammy you accuse me of silliness while ridiculously trying to contend that the naming of Londonderry was a celebration of genocide simply because it was established during the plantation period……….simples – yes you are!
    From that logic I would have to deduce that the presence of my own family name in Ireland originating from that period is an afront to your sensibilites!
    You obviously have no interest in any discussion beyond hysterical propagandist postings so I will bid you good day.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Democratic,

    re. “because it was established during the plantation period”

    not a bad effort – but rather “part of the process of the plantations/ethnic cleansings “

  • Democratic

    LOL – Keep it up Sammy…….I think I’ve got an idea of your type now and I don’t think we have anything more to discuss it seems – but hey stay bitter!……

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Democratic,

    oh dear, starting to get personal, I suppose learning about the Plantations/Ethnic Cleansings may have been a bit painful.

  • Democratic

    Yes Sammy – your postings were hugely instructive and insightful – good work…..what’s next on your hitlist – the wicked slur of the abborently sectarianly named Queen’s University perhaps?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Democratic,

    re. “Queen’s University ”

    How strange, are you now suggesting that the building of the University was also part of the plantation of Ulster?

    As the name ‘Democratic’ might suggest – I take it you are in favour of dropping the offensive L word in line with the wishes of the majority of the population?.

  • Democratic

    “As the name ‘Democratic’ might suggest – I take it you are in favour of dropping the offensive L word in line with the wishes of the majority of the population?.”
    Oh yes Sammy – no problem there – provided the truth of the reasons why it is being done are laid bare i.e. the wish to purge the city of any British taint – not your hysterical rubbish about correcting genocidal memorials of course…..
    RE: Queen’s – I ain’t gonna justify your chips for you Sammy – you seem obviously fully capable of shouldering your own and designing reasons for them….lol – another one just came to me – The Royal Victoria Hospital right on the bottom of the Falls Rd – I bet that one steams up your glasses too with it’s obvious oppressive and insulting reference to the hated British queen….sectarian b@stards eh?……

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Democratic,

    Queens univeristy, the Royal Victoria Hospital what have these got to do with the Plantation of Ulster pray tell?

    So glad to hear you are in favour of the name change and at any ceremony there will have to be a very strict “Dont mention the Plantation” policy.

  • Democratic

    LOL – I don’t think there will be any danger of that if you are around Sammy – who haven’t shut up about it since you dropped in!
    Queens univeristy, the Royal Victoria Hospital what have these got to do with the Plantation of Ulster pray tell?

    Er – perhaps the fact that neither place would exist if not for the plantation – that is your problem isn’t it?

    RE: The plantation – since your problem with Londonderry apparently stems from this period and some supposed genocide which took place in the area which the name commemorates – out of interest my surname is what you would most likely spit out as a “planter name” – in fact my family and more importantly my family business are firmly ensconced in Belfast as a result of the plantation – would we in your logic also constitute an ethnic and sectarian slur to your sensibilites that would require corrective action?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Democratic,

    re. ” would most likely spit out as a “planter name”

    Why would I want to do that? You seem a decent enough type if one given to flights of fancy such as bizzarely trying to not only link the RVH and Queens to the plantation but now suggesting that you were involved yourself?

  • Democratic

    I didn’t suggest I was involved Sammy but much like the bricks and mortar of the RVH, Queen’s and indeed the historic Londonderry city I am here as a result – some just came later than others – I just hope that the other entities aren’t next to receive your ire for this sin! Flights of fancy eh? – you mean like stating that Londonderry is named after some unspecified genocide…….lol!

  • Cushy Glenn

    “7.That L word again.

    Is it the only city in the world to have a name imposed on it citizens which celebrates ethnic cleansing?

    Posted by Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit on Oct 22, 2009 @ 12:53 PM”

    In Londonderry county there is a townland called Ballylclose anglicised “the town of the ears” to commemorate a massacre and cutting off of the lugs of one group of Celts by another. It probably wasn’t much of a town or much of a massacre, but it meets your requirements I’d guess, if you were on the winning side.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Cushy Glenn,

    Very nice image, presumably as the name implies the town held on to the trophies of war – seems like there is a bit of a tradition for that that sort of carryon in the area. Wonder if the locals are proud of their heritage – perhaps they have funny marches during the summer months……

    Perhaps rather than City of Culture they should go for something that builds on that tradition, something with a more international flavour although there may well be some stiff opposition from the Balkans.

  • Reader

    It was Sammy: Wonder if the locals are proud of their heritage
    They kept the name of the town: so, complicit as hell, obviously.

  • The Raven

    “I would ask the hecklers how much time they have ever spent in Derry and exactly what virtues do their own places of origin have to make them feel so superior?”

    5 years and four months. I don’t care if it doesn’t count as enough. I refuse to spend another day in it. It was fuckin’ awful. So fuckin’ awful, I actually moved at the time to just outside Limavady, where at least they have a beach and decent countryside. But it gives you a measure of just how bad 5 years and four months must have been.

    I’m from Belfast originally. It’s fuckin’ awful too, but marginally less wet, cold, windy and whine-y than Derry. Marginally. Still. I won’t stand in defence of it either.

  • Doctor Who

    Another Belfast bid is doomed to failure, not because it couldn´t hold such a celebration but because the people in charge of promoting it couldn´t run a bath.

    As far as I am concerned the vast majority of people promoting the arts in Belfaast are charlatans.

    Do you remember the embarassing last bid when one of the ideas mooted was to tow a giant iceberg up Belfast Lough, I mean christ come on.

    Can you recall the dejected faces of the bid team, with glasses of champagne in hand, when their bid was rightly rejected.

    I knew everyone in that picture and the same crowd of wankers are still getting paid to promote arts and culture in Northern Ireland. Their big mistake the last time was that they thought they could win by the peace dividend. This time it will be beacuse they are just totally inept.