BBC Spotlight …Fair?

So on 7th March 2013, we have a bye election in Mid Ulster and BBC Spotlight stages a “Special”.

And the five panelists are Mitchel McLaughlin (Sinn Féin), Mike Nesbitt (UUP), Arlene Foster (DUP), Steven Agnew (Green) and Bernadette McAliskey self identifying as a Republican Socialist and Feminist.

Now that seems odd…two Republicans…but with the best will in the world, Bernie is now a fringe performer. Clearly a former MP for the area but just how relevant is she at this time? I dont think that in 2013, she is as relevant as Patsy McGlone of SDLP.

Steven Agnew of the Green Party got the “middle ground” gig tonight. And that seems (for once) unfair on the Alliance Party…not that I am overly concerned.

And Arlene Foster AND Mike Nesbitt???? What is the point when they are running an agreed candidate in Mid Ulster???

Not at all good.


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23 Responses to BBC Spotlight …Fair?

  1. The whole point of pan nationalism is that there is no difference…

  2. Ah, right. Where did I defend it? Someone ought to read the BBC the Representation of the People Act. So why should people vote Patsy rather than Francie?

  3. That’s precisely why I am asking you John… sell him to me?

    • Well perhaps if you look at your own organ circa May 2010, many of your esteemed colleagues thought Rodney Connor a better bet than Michelle Gildernew. Personally I couldnt care less about taking a seat or not taking a seat…so I wouldnt “sell” Patsy on that basis. But surely its the typye of thing that you and yours “buy”….or maybe your lot are more selective.

      As you probably know, canvassers are told not to waste time on some voters. And I think SDLP would probably have Stratagem-Slugger in the same category as Jamie Bryson and Willie Fraser.

  4. You do misremember quite badly when the dander’s up…

  5. factual says:

    back on topic. how did mitchell mclaughlin come across do you think on spotlight/ I didn’t get a lot on twitter about him.

  6. Irish Aussie says:

    No its not good FJH, but deserved and entirely of its own making.

    If i was the BBC i wouldn’t have SDLP on either, why would you? the unionists are already ampley represented by the DUP, UUP, and Alliance.
    At least Mc Aliskey is going to give a non unionist, critique of SF and is bound to be more ” colourfull ” and entertaining than anyone the SDLP can throw up, the BBC are almost duty bound to have someone like Mc Aliskey on.

    I,ve watched the SDLP in the last month of politics in the north with a growing sense of horror and disbelief
    About a month ago, just as the Flag protests were winding down, Ford seemingly gratuitously, publically attacked the SDLP.
    I thought well here you go what a stroke of luck a dangerous political rival who by any measure has been an abysmal failure at his job has just stuck his head above the parapet, what a wonderful opportunity to if not actually destroy him, to at the very least so damage his credibility as to make him irrelevant.
    I sat back waiting for the response and …………. nothing, i searched frantically for the response still nothing, if there was a response is was so piss weak and lame to be not worthy of running, i was flabbergasted.

    Dont blame the media sure there are all Unionists but they are capitalists first, there primary role is to return profit to there shareholders, if you do or say something interesting enough to move papers or attract viewers they’ll run it

    You could of and should of ripped David Ford a new one

    How dare this unelected, undemocratic puppet of SF and DUP criticise us
    This snivelling coward and hostage of the loyalists mobs
    This abysmal abject failure of a minister (you get it?)
    The worst Minister NI has ever had and ever likely to have and on and on, you could of called for his resignation or better still demanded it, when that failed you could of moved a censure motion in parliament and tipped a few more buckets shit over him, do you think the press would ignore that? do you think him or anyone else would be so quick to attack the SDLP in public again? you could have had a field day.
    The next best thing in politics after winning is sticking the boot into your political enemies and your supporters will love it.
    A bigger, dumber, easier, slower moving target than Ford would be hard to find, not only did you miss a wonderfull opportunity to destroy a political opponent and change the dynamics around your party you sent the message to the Nationalist community (remember them?) that the SDLP has the backbone of a jellyfish.

    Could it get any worse? well incredibly yes
    Enter Conal Mc Devitt, SF apologise to Mrs Mc Cabe over the murder of her husband a tragic, unpleasent and arkward incident particually for the nationalist community and in rushes Mc Devitt trying to make political capital out of this dreadful event.
    This was the time for the SDLP to be moderate and decent, they should have welcomed the annoncement, damned SF with feint praise, “a long overdue but welcome step, hope it helps in the healing process” and then got the hell out of it.
    It would have pissed SF off (win) pissed the unionists off (another win) and no damage to SDLP(win, win, win)
    But no in charges Mc Devitt with a nasty, snide attack on SF that could have come from Campbell or Dodds, Robinson wouldn’t have been stupid enough to say something like that and the unionists carn’t belive there luck.
    I would think that if rabid unionist bigots are re-quoting you at nationalists on various blogs you might want to rethink your stratergy.
    So you wont stick the boot into a turd like Ford but will launch nasty spitefull attacks on SF that will embarrass and upset the community you come from and once represented.

    Does the SDLP really think it has won any votes or support in the nationalist community with this garbage, how many transfers does the SDLP think its going to get from SF after this shit?
    Now you tell me that Attwood is running around town in an NI football top, Jesus wept.
    If i was SF i would make damn sure everyone in West Belfast sees Attwood in his NI top before the next Stormont elections, then when the elections arrive round up photos of Attwood shaking hands with Robinson, The Queen, David Cameron, The Pope, Enda Kenny etc and photo shop the NI top on to Attwood, then write at the bottom of leaflet.

    YOUR local represenative standing up for YOUR interests

    and stick that in every letter box in WB, bye bye Alex then.
    No doubt SDLP will whine that SF are nasty bastards seemingly oblivious to the fact that they bring this shit on themsevles.
    Seriously if this is the SDLP steadying the ship what does smashing it to bits on the rocks look like.
    I dont like calling elections especially from the other side of the world but SDLP are going to get hammered in Mid Ulster, something else they have handled badly and then are going to get flogged at the Euros and it will be entirely there own fault.

    PS Ive based my opinions above on the premise that the SDLPs stratergy is still to attract votes from the nationalist community, the one it sprang from and used to represent.
    If the current stratergy is to attract votes from “soft” unionists and the polish community please ignore.

    Rant over, i do like your site FJH, have a good day

    • Mick Fealty says:

      Because there’s a byelection on IA, and it wss discussed. I’ve quoted the relevant statute above.

      Mind you they excluded All too, but it was refreshing to hear Steven Agnew on. Fairness is beside the point. Is it legal.

    • The BBC isn’t about Profit.
      Or shouldn’t be.
      Clearly with five parties in Government, studio discussions are always going to be unwieldy…even without a desire to involved dissident republican opinion Green Party or TUV.
      Like them or not SDLP is the third largest Party in terms of votes cast at Assembly Elections …and the third largest in terms of seats at Westminster. It’s not for the BBC to decide they shouldn’t appear…subject of course to the proviso that they can’t Always be there.
      nevertheless SDLP SEEM (I put it no stronger) to be marginalised recently.

      There is a legitimate point that the Alliance Party represent an alternative but Alliance seem to have negotiated their way into being the third Party…they are actually the FIFTH Party, not withstanding the two seats on Executive. Even they were excluded on Spotlight for the Green. Normally that COULD be put down to Irving the Green …fellow centrist…a voice. That cannot be the case when Alliance are declared candidates in a bye-election.
      Likewise SDLP “should” on occasions lose out to a dissident voice. But Alliance AND SDLP losing out to Green and DisSidents who are not in the eLection was either a bad mistake and compounded by the inclusion of UUP who are backing a single Unity candidate.
      In other words….the panel was made up of the First, Second, Fourth, Sixth (or seventh) Parties…only two of whom are contesting Mid Ulster.
      Technically Lutton the Unity candidate is non party but is associated with DUP.
      Was it really a coincidence that Bernie was the designated dissident…she is a former MP for Mid Ulster.
      BBC could….just about…get away with that panel selection but as Mick Fealty states there is the matter of the RepresNtatiOn Of the People Act, to which broadcasters need to pay attention.
      During a campaign, there should be no mention of the election without the involvement of the Parties.
      The BBC slipped up…or worse.

  7. factual says:

    “f i was SF i would make damn sure everyone in West Belfast sees Attwood in his NI top before the next Stormont elections, then when the elections arrive round up photos of Attwood shaking hands with Robinson, The Queen, David Cameron, The Pope, Enda Kenny etc and photo shop the NI top on to Attwood, then write at the bottom of leaflet. YOUR local represenative standing up for YOUR interests”

    SF would not do that; it is very negative and targets an individual in an unpleasant way. Making someone a hate-figure because of who he will work with and reach out to is not consistent with noble relublican values. Indeed it woud be to pander to the atavistic. The course of action you refer to is entirely negative and not progressive republicanism at all .

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