Northern Ireland parties give verdicts on PM debate

Most of them…  From the BBC report

The DUP, the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists, the SDLP and Alliance gave a mixed reaction to the debate.

TUV and the Green Party also gave their view. Sinn Fein declined to comment.

Well, it was a debate about the economy…

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  • Mark McGregor

    ffs. Given the comment being linked it is clear SF had the right idea with the ‘we couldn’t care less approach’

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    “Northern Ireland Parties” giving their reaction to the Debate is a bit like the old Skibbereen Eagle editorials on the Czar of Russias foreign policy.
    Nobody in Westminster will stay up all night agonising about what anyone in Norn Iron thinks.
    The Debates were BY the Media FOR the Media.
    It is natural that the Media attempts to make the Debates relevant but an uphill task.

  • slug

    You serious? How can the debates not be relevant? They have been the most dramatic development in this election and gave the Lib Dems a 10% boost. They’ve been watched by more than watch Coronation Street. This has made the election much more presidential. I just can believe you think its “an uphill task” to describe these dabtes as relevant. They are one of the most relevant things in the election!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    in fairness Coronation Street storylines recently have been so bad, we cant be surprised at the fall in ratings. Tyrone and Molly…….sheesh give us a break.

  • Alias

    It isn’t healthy for a democracy to be influenced by televised debates, with such dramatic outcomes from them as occurred in the first debate. It’s lazy and it’s superficial, and it reflects an electorate that is not mature enough to study the issues in any depth and to vote accordingly.

    They are also manipulated by the party leaders with the status quo leader staying on-message that the opposition party leaders were inexperienced and presented a risk that the country could not afford to take, and the opposition party leaders giving their sales pitch that change was needed.

    It’s very dangerous indeed for the electorate to rely on these packaged performances as the basis on which to choose how a country is to be managed for the next 5 years. Given that sovereignty resides with parliament in the UK, either of these hacks could give parts of that sovereignty away (Clegg favours surrendering sovereignty over macroeconomic and monetary policy to the EU) and these changes are not likely to be reversible at the next election, becoming extinct thereafter as policy options to be decided upon by that electorate.

    There should be an independent commission headed by an impartial judge which explains what each party’s policy on a particular issue is to the public and that offers analysis or correction to any spiel put out by the parties during the campaign – similar to the Referendum Commission in Ireland. The public know they can’t trust the media anymore, and they also know that they don’t know enough to trust themselves either. Which is why, to some degree, the kind of voodoo where they can form a gut reaction in response to suitably shot debate formats and go with that is now more important than it should ever be.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I tend to agree with this.
    I dont really expect a return to 1950s style crowded public meetings as shown in grainy black and white on TV.
    But this “Debate thing” is a step too far.
    But once let loose this genie wont go into the bottle.
    It seems to take the “power” away from people and into the hands of analysts, journalists, bloggers, tweeters and other stuff I cant understand and dont want to understand.
    Quite apart from the constitutional issues arising from excluding Scottish and Welsh nationalists and other parties to give annoint the de facto Presidential system….the thing I personally detested was the “media room” of spinners and journos deciding the outcome.
    An American import to placate the Chattering Classes.

  • Cynic2

    Oh dear horse. World gets too fast for you its time to get off. As with narrow minded nationalism its time to take the old pension thing and do a Victor Meldrew

  • There seems to have been an acknowledgement by the NI Politicians that the Conservatives are coming to power. Not surprising, therefore, that they seemed to be taking more notice of Cameron than anybody else.

    If things had gone according to plan for UCUNF, the UUP would be properly primed and able to explain why, in the longer term, people will be better off with a Conservative Government. That they are not able to at present is largely down to their lack of preparation, aggravated by the delays over candidate selection.

    The only NI party that is putting out any readable message about why they should have their candidates elected is the DUP. Their very clear message is

    ‘vote for us and we will use our leverage in a hung parliament to squeeze the maximum amount of dosh that can be squeezed for Northern Ireland from the Government’

    UCUNF, if properly prepared, should have been knocking that message for six. It has failed to achieve that with the NI voters because people still believe it. When the NI MPs are finally elected on May 7th, the Conservatives and the UUP will be looking back on what might have been. Unfortuantely, they might not get the opportunity to work together again.

  • wild turkey


    once the dust settles after 6 May and there is (eventually?) a new gov’t and PM can we look forward to a post on ‘What the PM thinks of Norn Ireland Politicians’?

    on the wider issue of the current westminster campaign and the ‘leaders’ debates this week has seen the campaign transmute into weird amalgam of X-Factor meets Coronation Street. Neither show I watch.
    But if they went the full hog, held the debate in the Rovers Return with our beloved corry regulars asking the questions, with analysis and commentary from our sparkling Julian, now that is TV i would watch.

  • slug

    But FJH it has drawn in so many voters and engaged them with the key issues facing our democracy.

  • G O’Neill

    Another pathetic sideways swipe at sinn fein from PB surley we should have some balance on this site rather than someone with a childish obbsession with one particular party.

  • madraj55

    FJH I have to agree. Wh you go back over the list of US presidents thrown up since debates began there in 1960, it’s not a good thing for democracy. The first one on 15th april was watched by 9m. the second by 4m. Droves of viewers were turning over after the half hour mark last week to go to the football. and the first debate among the er….party leaders here, would be a perfect cure for insommnia, and Mark Carruthers will chair next week’s BBC turn. Need more be said.

  • slug

    I am appalled to learn that Carruthers will chair the debate.

  • Ben Finch

    Anyone wanting to work out the real policy differences between the parties will be pleased to know that the Northern Ireland version of Vote match is now up and running.

    The Northern Ireland version wasn’t launched along with the English, Welsh and Scottish version due to the slow responses from the Northern Irish parties. However, now the parties have finally responded, the version has been launched.

  • Neil

    This is it. The country has changed thanks to big brother, x factor, red button madness. The majority of folks are in the ‘average’ intelligence zone, so this kind of thing will have a huge impact on those folks who probably don’t generally have a massive interest in politics over and above anti-immigrant, anti-pedo Sun headline type stuff.

    We (as a population) now expect to be able to ‘evict’ any person, be they public servant, football manager or politician. This has been a factor particularly in sport where a football manager must consider their position if they lose four games on the trot, politics is just catching up. As to whether or not it’s good for democracy, who can really say. It’s reconnected a lot of people who would otherwise not really be that interested, but on the downside it’s reconnected a lot of people who would otherwise not be that interested.

  • Rory Carr

    “…it was a debate about the economy…”

    which so failed to inform any viewr as to the state of the economy or actual plans for managing it over the next parliament that I decided that I would prefer the debate to have been on those old favourites – law ‘n’ order.

    So I did what I suspect a lot of other viewers did – I switched over to – Law and Order ( a popular US drama series used to highlight current aspects of society, the law and public morality in a fun kinda way.)

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Well I already have one pension. But not exactly time to take a plane to a clinic in Switzerland. Alas we are still around and actively coffin dodging.

  • EastAntrimVoter

    Interesting to see Rodney McCune and Gerry Lynch get some airtime regarding the PM debate. Does this suggest that East Antrim is in play, with the TUV taking a sizeable amount of Wilsons votes?

  • madraj55

    As well you might, Slug. I’m sure Cameron Clegg and Brown are shaking in their boots waiting for the verdict on their debate performances from our lot. As in not. Tongue in cheek thread title surely?