Happy Birthday Stratagem!

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.

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4 Responses to Happy Birthday Stratagem!

  1. latcheeco says:

    I suppose sooner or later more people than your good self will ask who is paying for this nonsense and why. Some awful cynics and crazy conspiracy theorists might even suggest a not very hidden hand.

    Of course strategically as far as the Northern politics is concerned (although it is not the main strategic concern) it’s a waste of money and time reminiscent of a Cold War propaganda folly, because for as long as the pravince exists- to misquote the Stranglers- “there’s always the summer” annually drawing everybody back and reminding them it’s a basketcase.

    As those British and Protestant are now a minority in said outpost, the game ain’t really worth the candle anymore. Demographics will play out in the same way Queens did when a tipping point was reached; no amount of letsgetalongerism, front parties, or dubious surveys can stop that. Fair play to them though; it’s a nice gig and processery is the new security for those climbers dreaming of a mas en Provence and a visit to the Palace for her indoors .

  2. hoboroad says:

    Alliance party leader David Ford has stepped aside from his position as a elder in his local Presbyterian Church. This is thought to be related to his stance on same sex marriage. Mr Ford obviously thought he could ride two horses at the same time. He is the leader of a liberal political party and a member of a not so liberal Church when it comes to the subject of same sex marriage. Mr Ford is also Justice Minister in the Six Counties which means he should not be discriminating against anyone because of there sexual orientation. Members of Mr Ford’s church are not to happy with his pro gay marriage agenda and have made there feelings known. “I’m absolutely disgusted with David Ford,” said one local man speaking to the Antrim Times newspaper who asked not to be named. “I’m also furious that the church has done nothing to address the deep concerns we have.
    “I couldn’t stomach sitting in the same room as him so I haven’t been back for three months now. This isn’t kicking a ball up in the air to start a row, this is principle – and I won’t move from that.
    “And I’m not alone. Others have already stopped going and more are preparing to do the same. I would say 20 to 30 people have pulled the plug or are intending to do so.”

    • To be honest I see it as a concentrated and unfair political attack on the Alliance Party…and as such I welcome it.
      I do obviously condemn any violence…unreservedly.
      Political attacks are of course different…and the more unfair the political attacks, the more I like it.
      This is a political party that benefits from a system that gives them twice the number of Executive seats than SDLP or UUP who have nearly double the number of votes and MLAs.
      The Alliance Party has strutted around for two years acting like they are entitled to be the third party. If they had any friends in SDLP or UUP , they have lost them.
      And are now falling over themselves to be nice to their bosses in Sinn Fein and DUP.
      It will all end badly for Alliance and I am enjoying how it develops.

      There is of course a Churchy element in the Alliance Party. It is a coalition of letsgetalongerists and liberal unionists and there are already tensions over that. The balance of probability is that the campaign against Ford in his Church is little to do with equal marriage and everything to do with the Flegs dispute. It is a second front.
      When Alliance was the fifth party and knew its place, hardly anyone noticed the pious platitudes.
      When they strut around like the third party, they attract more attention. And they are not coping well….which is of course BRILLIANT.
      It could not happen to a more deserving bunch of parasites than David Ford and his cronies.

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