Live blogging Question Time tonight…


Guests are: Shaun Woodward, Margaret Ritchie, Gerry Kelly, Sammy Wilson, Lord Trimble and Jim Allister. Should be good crack!! The live blog will be online from about 10 onwards…

Update: And we’ll keep it open for Hearts and Minds on which Martin McGuinness and Nelson McCausland do a great impression of two actors in radically different plays. Neither of them very funny.

  • They haven’t updated the BBC QT website yet with Margaret Ritchie’s addition yet. Wonder just how late she was added?

  • lamhdearg

    where did they find the other chair for margaret,i realy do not want to watch this as OUR political reps are a bunch of ars*ho***, but i probaly will, does anyone eles think jim allister is being set up as the next nick griffen as i dont think i could stick his sickly smile if he takes the NICK GRIFFEN DEFENCE.

  • They’ve had that number of panellists in NI before

  • ABALL

    What about Super-Injunction Donaldson? They should stick him on for a laugh!

  • scarecrow

    Are u picking up from twitter? if so what do we need to do?

  • LabourNIman

    Allister is getting slapped around almost as badly as the BNP were… and I’m loving it.

  • iluvni

    I dont think Margaret Ritchie actually knew who the Foreign Secretary is.

  • al

    Anyone know when this is on the iPlayer?

  • nollaig a chara

    They def didn’t take to young jim at all…lol and i thought our Madge was way out of her depth… Sorry

  • slug

    Alistair did manage to get two points across to the GB audience – Gerry Kelly’s past as an IRA bomber and his present position; the fact that there is not a standard oppositional style of government in NI.

  • slug

    Ritchie – pretty good on the whole, was able to come across as a reasonable person; related well to the audience.

    Wileon – excellent as always. Like his politics or not he is a great commuinicator. Clear on the economics question.

    Trimble – now a Conservative. Generally on top of the issues but not as good a communicator as Wilson.

    Woodward – impressive

    Kelly – did poorly on the Greece question but generally an intelligent contributor.

    Allister – wasn’t given a lot of time but did make some points quite clearly including Kelly’s background and the “mandatory” nature of the NI government.

    Studio audience – generally impressive. Seemed to be ahead of the politicians, most exhorting people to move on, challenging Jim Allister, and generally quite interested in broader economic and social issues.

    Atmosphere: Not the old type of tense atmosphere. The audience and most of the panel were pretty civil. Jim Allister participating. Thre was a time when DUP would not have participated along side SF. The thaw continues.

  • ardmaj55

    I’m greatly encouraged. Jim Allister got a hostile reception from the audience. David Thimble made no great impact on the debate.
    All in all, a decent programme. Sammy, whatever you think of him, [and who doesn’t] is great entertainment value. gerry kelly did alright. There’s hope for British democracy after all.
    Frankie Howerd can sleep peacefully in his Pompeii neighbouirhood after this.

  • ardmaj55

    LabourNIman. Sunny Jim is impervious to incoming satire. He has rendered argument redundant, bless him. More power to his elbow as long as he can take votes from the duplicity party.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Margaret Ritchie did better than I expected and as well as I had hoped.
    Gerry Kelly was ok but too defensive.
    Sammy Wilson always goes for the entertainment value. Has no real gravitas.
    David Tremble….was the opposite. Re-invented as “British” rather than “Ulster” he tried and failed to be more sophisticated than the rest of the panel.

    Jim Allister…yes portrayed as BNP type. But slightly over-promoted. The TUV after all have no MEPs, MPs , MLAs and a hanful of local councillors. Much as I hate loathe and despise the Alliance Party, they were more deserving of a place on the panel than Allister.
    Yet Allister will take votes off DUP and turn unionism into a three party philosophy, therefore his promotion is good for the Republican/Nationalist agenda.
    I dont think that he really gets that neither SF-IRA and its supporters would be too surprised to learn of Gerry Kellys previous incarnation. That one wont work anymore.
    Is any SF-IRA voter gonna wake up tomorrow and say “I was thinking about what Jim allister said and Ive decided to change my vote”.
    In atual fact his concentration on the fact that Stormont is being part run by the IRA is music to the IRAs ears.

  • Wabbits

    I thought it was a pretty well balanced programme and it was also noticeable that they all managed to behave. Probably because they didn’t want to look like the usual squabbling mouths that they usually are on regional programmes of this nature.

    Jim Allister – Performed well for someone who was getting ganged up on. I think the Nick Griffin treatment will do him no harm in his heartland and with his potential voter type.

    Margaret Ritchie – Was solid if unspectacular. She settled in well at the beginning and then seem to loose her nerve towards the end and started that irritation habit she has where she seems to trip over her words. Shes going to have to get comfortable with TV quickly. Over all though not a bad Dimbleby debut from her.

    David Trimble – Why does a grown man with such experience take such obvious “redners” ? The gentlemans club reference from Dimbleby was an awkward moment for him. His constant references to being a Conservative won’t have helped in playing to the UU audience either. That’s the problem with schizophrenia.

    Gerry Kelly – Still comes across as an arrogant self aware sod. He performed well enough and of course, as always, stayed on message. I know it’s not really a criticism of him but, as usual, the audience seemed to have been well infiltrated by the SF rent a mob. (Did Allister have one friend in the house?). The only thing I had with kellys performance tonight was that his Belfast accent is grating and almost unintillegable to anyone who’s not from Ardoyne.

    Sammy Wilson – Performed well but he would need to learn to stop the finger pointing. Of course he also has good comedy value. Like when he forgot about one of the many jobs that he has. Showed up what he thought of being a Belfast City Councillor when he forgot that he was one. Maybe it’s also an indication of just how far up his own hole he has got.

    Sean Woodward – In a word – impeccable.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Wabbits,
    Gerry Kelly is from West Belfast, not Ardoyne.
    If the audience was as balanced as the BBC tells us, then about 35% would not have been voters and about 25% of the remainder would have been SF-IRA voters.
    So logically there would have been a large number of SF-IRA types there…which is obviously a good thing isnt it? Unless of course you have a problem with SF-IRA types being (presumably) represented in accordance with their strength.
    As for Jim Allister not having any friends there…..well on the bright side…..HE WILL next time.

  • David Crookes

    “The TUV after all have no MEPs, MPs , MLAs and a handful of local councillors” (FitzjamesHorse, #14).

    Thanks for that important observation! The TUV is getting a frightful amount of attention for a party whose electoral score to date is a hat-trick of defeats.

  • Hope all you fans of TUV will enjoy our article in tonight’s Belfast Telegraph.

    Loved the biased BBC audience – liveblogged elsewhere of course.

  • Rory Carr

    Surely, David Vance, the failure of the studio audience to respond positively to Jim Allister can be seen as a reflection of the wider electorate’s like failure and in that the sense the audience can be taken as representative of the views of the wider community.

    It would appear from the reaction of the audience that they do not share Allister’s doom-laden negativity and rather wish he would go off into the wilderness gnashing his teeth (he does do a lot of teeth-gnashing, doesn’t he?) and stop trying to hinder progress. As is evident from the ballot box, this opinion of his views are widely held throughout the community as a whole.

    Is your article in the Belfast Telegraph likely to reverse this perception?

    I hae me doots.

  • Jaggers

    Interesting to see the three unionists (Trimble is still a unionist, right?) taking pops at each other – SF and SDLP on the other hand looked rather cosy together. Is SF minus the IRA and abstentionism (UK that is, they rescinded Dail abstentionism some time ago) really the same as the SDLP (that party of civil rights and credit unions, community politics and a quest for equality)?

  • Just checked out the parallel live blog of Question Time over on Biased BBC. A parallel universe.

  • The question for Gerry when he said he opposed all torture was an easy one and Jim missed it because he isn’t as sharp as he thinks. It was: When did you change your mind?

  • ardmaj55

    I thought that Gerry Kelly got a good reception from the panel, and he made his point well that ,whatever his background he has a strong mandate. It’s no use Unionists telling nats who to vote for. They only succeed in making themselves look undemocratic, which basically most of them [in BOTH parties] are.

  • JohnM

    Alan in Belfast – just followed your link. Depressing stuff! Is that a BNP/Combat-18 funded website by any chance??

  • Scaramoosh

    Most notable that when Jim Allister tried the old IRA card against Kelly – nobody clapped. People are moving on Jim Allister is not.

  • No, the depressing stuff was found on the Slugger QT liveblog. A parallel universe in which the Old Bailey bomber is the essence of reasonableness.

  • ardmaj55

    Scaramouch [25] That was Sunny Jim’s strongest line to take against SF and still it went down like a lead balloon. Just read over on Talkback MB that a poll in BT said SF now in lead. That should cheer gregory up no end. By the way, also read Kalista’s news about getting a new job. All the best and congrats, Kal. {yes, I’m over here, now.]

  • Jaggers

    Alan in Belfast, tried the link and the following is a selection of quotes from a user named with the tag David Vance

    My political colleague, Jim Allister, is the man to watch on this outing. The audience will be massively akin him. [before the show of Jim Allister]

    This audience is LOADED folks!!

    Yes, she is speaking Leprechaun [of Margaret Ritchie]

    Sammy is an ex-Nudist. Dodgy moustache [of Sammy Wilson]

    pROVO AUDIENCE

    The audience is a disgrace. and as I said beforehand, a set up [10.57pm comment]

    SDLP audience [10.58]

    Dimbleby a disgrace [11.03]

    Woodward is pondscum [11.13]

    Yes, no Muslims in the audience…one upside

    pro BBC pro Sinn Fein audience [11.32]

    What inner beauty this person with the tag David Vance must have.

  • coconnor

    David Vance on Margaret Ritchie:

    10:49 – David Vance: Yes, she is speaking Leprechaun.

    I guess the TUV have rather short memories.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8346243.stm

  • Guess the TUV has a sense of humour, something a few here could learn to develop. Now, back to admiring the Old Bailey bomber

    Hey Jaggers

    Thanks for that. Nice to know you are a follower.

    All – if you think in your wildest dreams that BBC audiences are in any way representative of the electorate then you just having been paying attention, have you?

  • “Nobody loves us, we don’t care” ?

  • Jaggers

    Mick, if you get a moment any chance of asking Jim Allister for a comment on what appears to be a TUV “spokesman” David Vance saying on a Twitter-type of forum of Margaret Ritchie “Yes, she is speaking Leprechaun” [screendump preserved showing the quotation]

  • Rory Carr

    Yet it remains, DV, that this particular audience and the NI electorate share remarkably similar sentiments – both have shown that they simply cannot abide Allister, the TUV and all the revanchanist claptrap that they espouse – the audience in its hostile reponse to Allister last evening and the electorate through the ballot box at every opportunity.

  • > Guess the TUV has a sense of humour

    David – more like a persecution complex and an intense dislike and lack of respect for anyone not in your club. Caricaturing your political opponents will win you a few cheap votes but no lasting credibility.

    Stick to expressing what you’re for, and not what you’re against!

  • Neil

    All – if you think in your wildest dreams that BBC audiences are in any way representative of the electorate then you just having been paying attention, have you?

    What in your opinion is representative of the electorate? Your opinion perhaps? Or big Jim’s? Funny. You should try to bear in mind that ‘the elctorate’ includes us fenians you know, disgraceful and all though it is, giving votes to papes, but there you are. Somehow I don’t see any of my community supporting big Jim, and as for the Unionist community well, you’d want an election to guage your own popularity.

    I forecast that this is the only time the TUV get to crow about how representative of the electorate they are, prior to having put themselves up for rejection. Enjoy it while it lasts, for it won’t be long until your party’s relegated to being a minor irritation for the other Unionist parties. For Nationalists the TUV and big Jim are heaven sent, splitting the vote and invigorating apathetic Nationalists to get to the polling booth. Thanks for that btw.

  • Wabbits

    Wabbits,
    Gerry Kelly is from West Belfast, not Ardoyne.
    If the audience was as balanced as the BBC tells us, then about 35% would not have been voters and about 25% of the remainder would have been SF-IRA voters.
    So logically there would have been a large number of SF-IRA types there…which is obviously a good thing isnt it? Unless of course you have a problem with SF-IRA types being (presumably) represented in accordance with their strength.
    As for Jim Allister not having any friends there…..well on the bright side…..HE WILL next time.

    Posted by FitzjamesHorse on Feb 12, 2010 @ 02:43 AM

    Fitz, I couldn’t care less what part of Belfast GK is from and your pedantry obviously knows no bounds. His accent is still unintelligable and that does not make for great communication skills. It was on that basis that I critiqued it.

    As someone who works in the media I might inform you that it is a well known fact that most audiences of this type on TV are not representative of the SF electoral strength but rather disproportionate to it. Usually because SF are well organised in getting their people to apply for seats and those same people don’t neccessarily answer questionaires honestly.

    I don’t blame them for that I merely point it out lest people actually believe the guff that you posted above.

  • Neil

    The TUV take a principled stand against the men of violence wha?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/8393317.stm

  • Neil

    A graphical representation of how representative the TUV is for a) Unionism and b) the elctorate as a whole, including us fenians.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/editorial/p1Images/20100212_p1_big.jpg

  • David Crookes

    THANKS, Neil (#12). Might an outright condemnation have been a vote-loser? Or did it really seem like a trivial little thing?

    Anyone who works to destroy the stability that we have now should take responsibility in advance for the consequences of any such instability as he may manage to create.

    Here’s another thing. It is WITLESS for anyone to say, ‘In such-and-such a circumstance, Britain will have to…..’ Britain will not have to do anything. You can enjoy group fantasies when you live in a communal pram, but the real world outside will not minister to those fantasies.

  • Stewart

    “Yes, no Muslims in the audience…one upside”

    Classy stuff from vance.

  • riverlagan

    I would hope that it is not the message that people disagree with, but that it is the messenger that is the issue, regarding Allister, and the TUV.

    Would people be more open to disagree with Sinn Fein/IRA being in Government if, say, David Ford and the Alliance Party where the ones in the TUVs position?

  • Rory Carr

    Sorry, River Lagan, while I take your point that Jim Allister may be…er…somewhat less than prepossessing, I’m afraid that it really is the message and it wouldn’t matter if Selma Hayek, clad only in a fetching tattered loincloth delivered it. The punters simply ain’t buying. The goods are shoddy and just sooo! yesterday.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    >>No, the depressing stuff was found on the Slugger QT liveblog. A parallel universe in which the Old Bailey bomber is the essence of reasonableness.<

  • daisy

    I found Woodward to be condescending and patronising trying to pretend he’s nothing more than a referee for these frightful squabbling children.

    Allister has a very disturbing habit of raising his upper lip like a horse does when he’s displeased.

    Otherwise, a pretty dull affair.

  • Scaramoosh

    The Sinn Fein publicity bureau should set up a Facebook site calling for Gerry “Mandela-Old Bailey Bomber” Kelly to be appointed Justice Minister. For, whilst there is no chance of this happening, the irony sure does resonate with one and all…

  • Driftwood

    Masterful response from Woodward about his expenses, claiming his multi-millionaire in laws shouldn’t have to pay for his lavish lifestyle. And then a lecture on womens’ rights (ie his wife)and how she shouldn’t be expected to keep him. great stuff. You almost would have thought he was a Tory once.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Ah Wabbits,
    you are so right. My pedantry knows no bounds.
    But do I detect a little sneering at the Ardoyne community.
    For someone who works in the media….I am guessing selling copies of the Belfast Telegraph to cars parked along the Wstlink……it is perhaps surprising that you may not be regarded as a more credible source on the Media than ……David Dimbleby.

  • RepublicanStones

    Yes, no Muslims in the audience…one upside

    Surely this biggoted shite isn’t what the TUV represents?

    I wonder what Allister’s view of the above beaut from DV is….

  • RS

    I dunno, plenty of provo supporters so I suppose it balances.

    And on the Muslim issue, last time I checked there make up 0.2% of the NI population. Assuming, for one moment, that the BBC audience is representative of NI (I know, stop laughing, we know it never is) then there should be no Muslims present, right? Or do you feel that the BBC should discriminate in their favour?

    If you want classy comments, stick to ATW.

  • The word “upside” is the one that’s most disturbing. One thing to notice the audience makeup, another to specifically celebrate it.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    David Vance

    You are paid tax payers money to appear on the Beeb with your more level-headed face on. Are they aware that you view it as an upside that there were no Muslims in the audience? Why would you consider it a downside for a Muslim to be in the audience?

    I object to my tax money going to such an unreconstructed atavist as yourself.

  • Gaudi

    How on earth does anyone know there were no Muslims in the audience. Unless of course you rely on racial stereotyping and expect all Muslims to be a certain shade of brown!

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Or all the Muslim wimmen wearing ninja turtle outfits.

    Can’t help but remember David Vance’s previous hilarious claim that there was a Muslim panzer division at Stalingrad. I bet that’s where the question time Muslims were.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    Ardmaj: your “satire” ref. is connected, I assume (?with the comment of the great satirist/songwriter, Tom Lehrer, when he heard that Henry Kissinger had won the Nobel Peace Prize, saying that it had made his (Lehrer’s job), and satirists all over, redundant.

  • Jaggers

    David Vance if you’re still watching

    Can I ask you, from the point of view of you being a TUV spokesman, under what circumstances your party would share power with Sinn Fein. It’s plain that some people within Sinn Fein were, using your terminology, terrorists, they bombed, they killed civilians (women and children included) as well as RUC and British Army (and indeed Gardai) , indeed the only person I knew killed in the Troubles was killed by the IRA at the Rough Collie Club meeting at the La Mon Hotel.

    But here is a situation where the IRA have given up their arms and that has been verified by the IICD and Sinn Fein has undertaken to pursue its political objectives through peaceful democratic means. And as such Sinn Fein have a significant mandate to pursue their politics and in general as politicians they seem no worse than other parties.

    So what is required for the TUV to share power with Sinn Fein. Must all those with unclean hands as you would say resign from Sinn Fein? And if so what is the criteria for determining people with whom you won’t deal. As a democrat (I’m making an assumption there), how can you make politics work if you don’t work with democrats whose views you don’t share? Must Sinn Fein ask for redemption – sort of like the Pat Robertsons and Jim Bakkers or must they self-flagellate begging for forgiveness – not meaning to be flippant but I know how important religious forgiveness is in some quarters of NI?

    And by the way, what prevents the TUV from working with SF in the Assembly yet being perfectly happy to exchange words on a Beeb programme or indeed on here?

  • Jaggers

    Sorry to hear about the person you knew killed at La Mon. That was indeed a truly monstrous act and the IRA leaders that authorised that deserve to hang fro the crime they masterminded.

    The issue with Sinn Fein is three fold;

    1. It contains many IRA savages in senior rank and they have not paid for their crimes. Since the IRA Army Council is still intact, the IRA/Sinn Fein hydra is still intact and we will not share power with it.
    2. Sinn Fein/IRA are committed to the destruction of NI as a political entity. Which company would have on its board those who see the destruction of the company? It is a force for chaos and I refer you to Ms Ruane as an exemplar.
    3. Thank you for making the assumption I am a democrat. If you are a democrat you will then accept I – and my party – have a perfect right to engage with whoever we want. I do not seek religious repentance from IRA killers – that is between them and their maker. I seek justice. So, for example, I would like to see the IRA commander who authorised the bombing of the little village of Claudy behind bars. If only we knew who he was?
    4. TUV will not work with Sinn Fein in the same way as we would not work with PUP. Same sides of the one repulsive coin.
    I have no issue in challenging Sinn Fein in any media venue and exposing their depravity. However I would not sit in a terrorist-inclusive executive such as the miserable failure at Stormont since to do so is morally wrong. Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right.

    Final point – since you ask a civil question – I do recognise that there are many who vote for Sinn Fein and this does give them a mandate. It does not confer upon them the right to be in government and that is where TUV policy is located. A voluntary coalition is the way forward here. A cohesive government and an effective opposition. What’s so wrong about that?

  • Jaggers

    David Vance, thank you for taking the time for replying and for your sympathy which I don’t doubt is genuine.

    1. You say that SF have many who have not paid for their crimes within the IRA. What are your party’s proposals to deal with that? From a legal point of view there are processes which can be invoked which determine a man’s innocence or guilt. What is your party doing about that? If nothing or indeed your efforts come to nothing, then will you accept that you must deal with these people? What evidence have you that the IRA army council is intact? An army council would have consisted of individuals and they may still be extant but that is not the same as an organisation being intact. I would guess the army council’s role was to direct IRA operations but hasn’t that organisation’s operations ended? I think it commendable that politicians and their parties be held to account particularly in the area of lawful behaviour but how exactly are your party doing that with SF?

    2. You are absolutely right that SF want to see a united Ireland which would change the status of Northern Ireland from being a component of the UK to being a component of the Republic. But from the point of view of democratic politics, so what? Europhiles and euroskeptics abound but you would not turn your back on dealing with euroskeptics simply because they wanted to transfer sovereign powers to Brussels, or would you? Politics is about different views but with your mandates and ability, you determine how a piece of land and its people are governed – why doesn’t that apply to TUV? Is it because you don’t really have a mandate (I recognise the 66000 first preference votes last year but in an Assembly you’re likely to have 7% of seats, no?)?

    3. I am indeed willing to accept that you are a democrat and as such have a right to choose to engage or not engage with any political party. However, as always in life, there are important political decisions to be made and NI, as elsewhere, is suffering economically at present and people want better public services. Taken in isolation, is your position in any way defensible or do you explain to your voters that a vote for TUV is a protest vote and will not result in better governance?

    4. I think you referred to three points but I accept the logical integrity of your decision with respect to the PUP and SF.

    To be honest I have a difficulty myself in resolving the logic of you being a democrat and recognising that many vote for SF AND denying that this gives SF a right to be in government. I’ve seen such views in Algeria and Egypt but you’d hardly hold those two countries up as paragons of good governance. It seems that the meat of the TUV position is in your point 1 and I would be very interested to hear how that can be progressed. It seems to me that someone with the integrity, morality and education as Jim Allister and others within the TUV would have a lot to offer the people of Northern Ireland but with a minor protest vote behind them, they’ll be like fruit rotting on the tree and no use to anyone.

  • Harry J

    I do not seek religious repentance from IRA killers – that is between them and their maker. I seek justice………….

    shame the TUV would rather sign petitions to release loyalist killers……….

  • Stewart

    ‘TUV will not work with Sinn Fein in the same way as we would not work with PUP.’

    I don’t recall allister referring to the PUP/UVF in any recent discussions.

    Perhaps its to do with the support within the TUV for mass murderer Torrens Knight?

    How’s the petition going by the way?

    David, Will the next petition involve the removal of all Asians from the north?

  • Jaggers

    Thank you for that intelligent response. I don’t think we will agree but you make your contrasting views in a civil way. The two trolls that follow you could learn from your example.

  • RepublicanStones

    David care to tell us how you can spot muslims, and indded it seems you can also spot jews now as well !

    And why is it an ‘upside’ if there are no muslims?

  • Stephen Blacker

    David Vance,

    It is obvious that your self-righteous attitude leaves you incapable of seeing things outside the little box you find yourself in. Your views on any kind of peace process is extremely blinkered.

    It is rank hypocrisy calling yourself a democrat, wanting people to recognise your 66,000 vote mandate but your party wants everyone to ignore the 120,000+ mandate given to Sinn Fein in the Euro election, what is that all about??

    Very difficult leadership decisions had to be taken in this country to end the Troubles here. Talking to someone that wanted to kill you is very hard to do but it was necessary to stop people dying and being maimed.

    Something that is also forgotten is when talks were going on with the enemy, the enemy were talking to their enemy too, a two way street. Whatever your point of view is, both sides were left bitter, hurting and in sorrow.

    The only thing TUV will give to the people of this country is a backward step in political terms, with segregation and alienation the order of the day. No one can argue that the political structures in Northern Ireland are ideal but coming out of a “dirty rotten stinking little war” it will be classed as a historical achievement.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Jaggers

    >>It seems to me that someone with the integrity, morality and education as Jim Allister and others within the TUV…<

  • Jaggers

    Prionsa,

    The TUV are a small feature on the political landscape (66,000 votes last year and a 7% poll in the Bel Tel). You or I may not like that but it’s a fact.

    Jim Allister is many things but being a QC he is educated. I have not seen many stones being aimed at him for traditional immorality. Integrity is more of a moveable feast but he has been fairly consistent within TUV.

    I asked David Vance the question about working with SF because I consider the people of Northern Ireland would be better served if Jim Allister and a few others in TUV spend 8 hours a day working on getting a specific company to invest in the province, or working out a more efficient way for a Health Trust to operate so that patients are better served or how a particular school can be improved or how drug abuse can be tackled or how organised crime can be overcome in a small province like this. Instead he spends his 8 hours working out how to belittle the DUP and the workings of the Assembly and take rhetorical potshots at SF. That’s a waste and a disappointment. Can’t imagine it’s the legacy that an educated man like Jim Allister would have chosen for himself.

    By the way, it was me that put on this thread the selection of quotes from the tag David Vance which included the Muslim comment. Challenge the man and his views, no reason we can’t be civil about that. By the way David Vance, if you’re still there, I’d love to hear what the TUV’s position is in response what needs to happen so that the TUV will work with SF.

  • Harry J

    The two trolls that follow you could learn from your example.
    Posted by David Vance on Feb 12, 2010 @ 10:06 PM

    so david, did you or did you not sign the TUV petition to release a loyalist killer?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Jaggers

    It is possible to be an educated bigot, the world is full of them. Allister’s integrity is in question just for the company he keeps never mind the underlying implication of his democratic (sic) principles.

    I love the way that the word “civil” appears when we concentrate on the more uncivil attitudes and words of certain protaganists. We can agree that there is more than one way to skin a cat jaggers, but I can’t soft peddle on bigotry.

  • Jaggers

    Prionsa,

    There’s the beauty of this blog. It’s not very likely that I’m going to ever sit down with TUV members over a coffee and talk about their position – which to repeat is a position which garnered 66000 votes last year and would seemingly get 7% in an election tomorrow.

    And yet, here I am with a mug of Carte Noire and able to offer an opinion and ask questions of someone who holds opposing views. If we stop being civil, we get nowhere on here except possibly being told by Mick that we’re not on the list and we can’t come in. And of course we can be civil without soft peddling ….

  • Comrade Stalin

    David Vance’s views in terrorism are not as straightforward as he might like us to think. All you need to do is ask him to condemn the Irgun and the King David Hotel bombing, and then sit back and wath as he either runs away (usually with a “I’ve had enough of Slugger for now, talk amongst yourselves” type comment), or equivocates about a bombing attack which killed British civil servants and civilians. I distinctly remember David a few years ago, in response to this question, stating that the Irgun were fighting a legitimate war of independence.

    So I think we can assume that if the La Mon Hotel bombing had been conducted by Jewish fanatics fighting for the creation of a free Israel, David wouldn’t be here using it to lecture the rest of us about how bad terrorism is and why we shouldn’t have them in government.

  • ardmaj55

    GFAsupporterbutRealist [4]
    No, actually, GFAsbr, I couldn’t have been referring to the episode you quoted, as I wasn’t aware of it. Thanks to your good self, I am aware of it now. Sunny Jim showed on Question Time that he has no insight into how unappreciated his hard line is seen by most unionist voters as pre 1968 attitude.
    He really wants to get back to the good old days when catholics knew their place and NI was a ‘great wee country’ never mind that the South African all white govt were envious of the ‘Special Powers Act’ which allowed for the RUC to use whips on people in their cells. He probably thinks that Mandela is still a terrorist and should never have been released.

  • Jaggers

    Comrade Stalin,

    I don’t doubt what you say and indeed Nelson Mandela, Yitzak Rabin, George Washington, Oliver Cromwell, King Harold and Boudica would all qualify for categorisation as one man’s terrorist (Cromwell was a republican to boot).

    I just wanted to get an insight into the TUV in 2010 to see whether there was a glint of a possibilty of seeing their political energies being directed towards good governance of the people of Northern Ireland (now they may say devoting all their energies to keeping SF out of government is a legitimate enough objective but where is all the rest that we expect from a normal force in politics?). And because he does represent a legitimate party with small though still significant support and because not everyone in the TUV is a banana, I wanted to explore whether that party can do anything of use in “normal” politics and what would be required to work with a party that is likely to get four times the TUV mandate.

  • Stewart

    David

    A couple of questions.

    Did you sign the petition for the release of mass murderer Torrens Knight & do you dislike all Mulsims?

  • Stewart

    Muslims

  • David Vance:
    She is Palin without the looks, charisma and wit!!!

    WoRaft:
    Is that one of those leprechauns?

    Ross:
    Is she the new SDLP leader?

    David Vance:
    Yes, she is speaking Leprechaun.

    Martin:
    Couldn’t they get the Corrs girls on instead?

    Disgraceful sexist and sectarian claptrap from Vance and his friends. There is a D. Vance on the recent leaked BNP membership list, a coincidence?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Jaggers

    All very reasonable if you are new to Mr Vance, those of his ilk and their views, and he has more than enough people on his own site who pull their punches…………or else. As for soft peddling I am shite at that and usually speak as I find, and my civility goes to pot when we have bigots masquerading as what was it? “Educated moral democrats with integrity!”

    Gie’s a break!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Jaggers, I’m sure those questions are being asked in good faith, but I’m not sure what the point is. The TUV is the latest political embodiment of rejectionist unionism. This flavour of unionism has never been about anything in particular other than being opposed to whatever the ongoing effort of the day is to try to bring about political reconciliation here.

    Thankfully, though, Vance is a bit like Nurse Typhoid; every party he joins to help out ends up getting sunk.

  • Jaggers

    Prionsa and Comrade Stalin,

    Being civil with those with opposing views draws out their position and somtimes facilitates reconciliations of sorts – others have said on here that David Vance’s comments and position thus far revealed are immoral and as that great British statesman of the 19th century who was a passionate supporter of independence for Ireland, William Ewart Gladstone, once said “what is morally wrong cannot be politically correct”