Thank goodness the political chaff won’t hurt Londonderry culture bid

Spare us the egotism of small-minded differences. Gregory says exactly the wrong thing, preferring to dig at Sinn Fein rather than strike a blow for Derry.

If I wanted to be facetious, I would say that at the very outset of this bid, the clue was in the name: ‘UK City of Culture. Why on earth would they plump for a city whose elected representatives are divided on whether we should take the accolade if they’re awarded it?”

It’s not just an accolade, Gregory, it’s a chance to bring development to your native city and allow it to break from the worst of its past. Are you up for it or do you belong to the wretched tradition of the Faceless Men who argued against the university for Derry when you were a boy? Mark Durkan calibrates it exactly for any sane nationalist.

This bid is an opportunity for Derry to promote itself as a city and to promote the wider region. It is about our civic ambition. It is about our cultural ambition. It is nothing to do with political aspiration . . What we have to do now is make sure that all parts of the . . . community can get behind the bid.”

Fortunately the low level chaff won’t affect the prospects. Note, SF have not repudiated it. Stick to the bid Marie LouIse, the name is a pimple not worth picking..

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London