Breithla Shona to all my friends at Stratagem. Fifteen years old. How on Earth did we get along without them? They had a wee party at somewhere called The MAC which is one of those new fancy places in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast. I cant believe I was not invited.
They celebrated in style with a dinner and a panel discussion on Political Drama. Would we like to see a West Wing style political drama about Norn Iron politics. Oddly another LetsGetAlongerist organisation the British-Irish Institute had a similar all day discussion at the Ulster Museum two years ago. It was put to panels of writers, dramatists, painters and artists that they had perhaps a “duty” to talk up Norn Iron…show the GOOD NEWS. This was a premise rejected by theassembled artistic community but they scoffed the very pleasant food and drink paid for by the British-Irish Institute.
Stratagem and Quintin Oliver did rather well out of their birthday publicity-wise. Two of the panelists, including Tim Loane (who was also at the British-Irish seminar) got to discuss the whole political drama question on UTV with Paul Clark. Shamefully Stratagem was not mentioned during the discussion. And Quintin himself features in a blog on Slugger O’Toole (no relation to Stratagem) written by an occasional Sluggerite who was a guest at the MAC. Did I mention that I was not even invited?
Not that the author of the Slugger piece, who is incidently a former General Secretary of the Alliance Party had to go far to give his birthday wishes to Stratagem. He is, I understand attached to the “Northern Ireland Foundation” which I think still has its offices at the old library building on the Donegall Road in Belfast.
But I think that we should all be clear that Stratagem, Slugger O’ Toole, Norn Iron Foundation and the Alliance Party have completely different agendas.