Ann Travers…Part Deux

Well that was interesting.

There are effectively two places the SDLP could have held a meeting with Ann Travers…seemingly to clarify their stance on  the Jim Allister (TUV) “Special Advisor” Bill.

One venue would be Stormont. But that would be a goldfish bowl, with journalists all over the place. The second venue would be SDLP HQ on the Ormeau Road. More discrete.

So interesting that Gareth Gordon and a BBC crew show up on the pavement outside the SDLP HQ for an interview with Ms Travers before and after her meeting. Gareth Gordon also grabbed a brief word with Alex Attwood going into the building and Alex said he would talk to Mr Gordon after the meeting.

Now the only reason that we know about this non-interview is because BBC showed it in the context of a particuarly tetchy Alex refusing to speak to Gareth Gordon After the meeting.

In fairness to Alex Attwood, the reporter did crowd him in by effectively blocking his way as he walked thru some cars in front of SDLP office. But Alex seemed just a tad over-the-top by telling Gareth Gordon to “show some respect. Frankly I cant think of a single good reason why any politician should be nice to journalists.

I daresay that Gareth Gordon will be taking some flak from SDLP Press Office But I suspect the irritation is in part due to Gareth Gordon being there in the first place.

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33 Responses to Ann Travers…Part Deux

  1. factual says:

    It was interesting to compare and contrast the two people.

    Ann Travers comes across as human. She had one of the McCartney sisters with her too. (If you remember, Robert McCartney was murdered in Belfast and her sisters caused annoyance afterward).

    Alex Attwood then comes out and demands that the reporter “show him respect” . Attwood shoves the cameraman’s camera away, like one of those dodgy businessmen that Watchdog goes after. He refuses to answer any questions.

    Why did Attwood not just politelty say “we had a meeting and are not making any comment now”.

    His body language suggests that there is trouble at the SDLP mill.

    • Factual…Can you remind me who murdered Robert McCartney?
      I suspect that Ms McCartney and Ms Travers think that they have been better served by SDLP than your friends in IRA and Sinn Fein.

      • factual says:

        I think with the benefit of hindsight a lot of people would say and probably Robert McCartney’s sisters would acknowledge that Robert McCartney’s sisters generally adopted a relatively unhelpful approach after his killing. Sinn Féin did everything possible to identify and bring to justice whoever it was that killed Robert McCartney, bending over backwards to call on witnesses to come forward. Without putting too fine a point on it, it is probably fair to argue that the McCartney sisters whether deliberately or not gave the impression SF could have done more to help (Gerry Adams has been clear that this is not true). They went on the media and even went to America and this prevented that year Sinn Féin and Gerry Adams from meetings with figures in America afterward – which I suspect you will agree is hardly helpful to goals.

      • Factual….theres no easy way to say this.
        I have gone to school with, lived beside and worked with Sinn Fein folks all my life and know more in West Belfast than you will ever know in Dalkey.
        Your sychophancy is often amusing but in this case it goes much too far to be decent.
        I dont know how the siblings of victims can be expected to be anything other than “unhelpful”.
        Most SF people that I know would actually be shocked at your apalling crassness and lack of empathy.
        One of the better virtues that many SF people have…and its often misdirected of course…is an empathy for the injustices suffered by Irish people. …in this case Robert McCartney and his family.
        I dont know you but Im sure that you did not mean to be so crass.
        Id ask you to reconsider the comments you made and withdraw them.
        Youre better than this.

      • factual says:

        Sorry – I did not mean to be crass towards the McCartney’s sisters and I apologise for that.

      • No problem.
        Like i said…youre better than the comment or how itbappeared.
        And NEVER apologise….the fact that you recognise how your comment could have appeared is more than enough. 🙂

  2. bangordub says:

    Sure that’s called doorstepping, Gareth only had a few hundred yards to walk and budgets are tight don’t ya know

  3. factual says:

    Attwood stated on camera to Mr Gordon (the journalist) that he would give him an interview after the meeting. But then after the meeting not only did he refuse to, he physically shoved the camera away and was so RATTLED and rude. Perhaps he did not realise how it would come across.

    Ann Travers was very calm and humand and said the meeting went well. She was supported by another victim, one of those McCartney sisters who had caused so much trouble after their brother was murdered.

    Alex Attwood gave the impression of being in a really wound-up rattled mood. I can’t believe that Ann Travers herself would have put him in that mood, because she seems a very natural person.

    So what was bugging Alex? Was it – perchance – that the SDLP have dug themselves into a literally massive hole and internal divisions exist as to the way out of it. Will they come begging to SF to give them a petition of concern? Would that be a tenable position for the SDLP after supporting the principle of the bill, and the Attorny General today saying that the bill in its latest form does not violate European Human Rights law?

    Focus is now on the SDLP.

    • bangordub says:

      Factual, YOUR focus is on the SDLP, mine would be on Alex, and I haven’t seen this yet

    • Im not in any way defending Alex. Ive already said he was over the top and Gordon did pin him down in between cars. THAT was rude of Gareth Gordon.
      In my experience Journalists are ignorant bastards anyway…Ive been to a few conferences….where they push and shove. Ignorant bastards.
      You may not have noticed this “Factual” but Ms Travers was not subjected to the same treatment.
      It will of course disgust the usual suspects on Slugger O’ Toole….where one shrinking violet from the Alliance Party corner has already described it as “shocking”.
      For my part…Im just glad that Alex is a bit rude to someone that isnt me.
      I was starting to get a complex.

      • factual says:

        Ann Travers was subjected to the same treatment as Attwood: in both cases the journalist asked for an interview. In Ann Travers case she courteously gave one. In Alex Attwoods case he told the jouurnlist to show him more respect. #sdlpfail

  4. factual says:

    FJH are you going to do a blog on “BBC Question Time” which came from Belfast tonight. Who cam across well (e.g. John O’Dowd) and who didn’t (Teresa Villiers). And also noting that the SDLP didn’t get on while SF did.

    • Well the SDLP dont get on BBC and when they do John O’ Dowd treats them and their voters with rather more contempt than Attwood shows Gareth Gordon.
      No…I didnt watch Question Time.
      Im sure you think that John O’Dowd was a colossus but I wont be publishing anyhting about it.
      So What….as Lurch might say.

      • Tatchell was a standout, Paisley got caned over gay marriage, O’Dowd the upper end of the class, got some talking points in, but they just don’t talk about NI like they used…

        Villiers got the laugh of the night explaining that Stephen Nolan was ‘big over here’, when Dimbleby seemed confused at the big response from the audience at his name…

      • Perhaps the Audience in Norn Iron realised that Stephen Nolan has no credibility as a serious broadcaster. hes just a jumped up shock jock who got lucky.
        surprised that Dimblebore did not recognise the name….as just last week at the end of the Question Time he said that the viewers could discuss that nights programme with…Stephen Nolan.
        Good to know that Nolan is not even a household name at the Beeb.

      • factual says:

        Dimbleby knew who he was but didn’t realise that he was big up there. He did not know about the Nolan Show in NI.

  5. CS is on the Provisional end of the Alliance movement, so have no fears about him… I’ve not seen this yet, so I’m waiting for them to load it up to the iPlayer… Good politics for Ms Travers to get the interview. Hard for the SDLP to refuse: though they probably should have put someone polite but firm on the phone like the real Mr FJH (rather than his online alter ego).

    And this late in the story, too late for them salvage much out of it.. I’ll likely use this tomorrow on Slugger, but you read it here first… Mark Westen, on Jackanory politics a few years back on BBC Radio Four Analysis programme, with something relevant to Alex’s general predicament…

    “…if you’re naturally a policy wonk, you’ve got to have someone in your camp who can help you think about how you turn things that sound like they’re dull and boring into things that are not only emotionally compelling but do have that story structure that make people able to listen and remember what you’ve said because if you want to win elections, you have to appeal to the human mind, not to the mind of a calculator.”

    • Your agenda is showing again, Mick.
      Interesting that you allow “CS” to get away with the SDLP saying that SDLP all hate each other when he himself seems at odds with the Alliance Assembly Party over equal marriage.
      He doesnt seem to like Ms Cochrane much….does he?

      • Always a bit of space here to play the man rather than an awkwardly spinning ball, eh FJH? What you mean by agenda is arguing something concrete, as opposed to just naming people you cannot stand?

      • Of course my gaffe…my rules.
        Youve got awaybwith stuff here that I would never get away with on Slugger.
        And awkwardlybspinning ball? Dont kid yourself. Youre no Cristiano Ronaldo.
        An agenda?
        No …not on Slugger.
        How is the James Kelly obituary coming along?

  6. Phil says:

    When will the SDLP PR car crash over the Ann Travers affair end? I thought McDevitt was meant to know about these things? If Bradley hadn’t made his comment in the last seconds of his speech about possibly torpedoing the bill, Ann wouldn’t have been the story of the week.

    I think you’re far too kind to Attwood here, all he had to do was say one sentence saying the party had listened and would know discuss their position internally, but he wanted respect shown to him when unable or unwilling to give to a journalist he’d already said he’d give comment to.

    • I assume that the “car crash” as you put it will last as long as the enemies of the SDLP (including enemies of Democracy like the Alliance Party) want it to last.
      I am unashamedly a “gene pool” SDLP person and certainly I see the furore in that context.
      And those that are anti-SDLP will use it to what they think is an advantage.

  7. hoboroad says:

    Any thoughts Factual on BBC Question Time labelling John O’Dowd as SF/IRA?

    • factual says:

      Strange isn’t it? And why “DUP – Goodies”? Perhaps it was to help the cameraman know who was supposedly “good” and “bad” in the context of the question about the Woolwich killing.

    • factual says:

      It might have been to let the camerman know that he should zoom in on John if the IRA get mentioned.

    • factual says:

      It’s quite interesting that John O’Dowd made clear that Sinn Féin did not during the troubles support the killing of British Soldiers – David Dimbleby kept pressing him on that point.

      • I dont think John O’Dowd does History any favours by re-writing it.
        Nor does he do the IRA any favours by distancing SF from them.
        Whatever happened to the armalite and ballot box thing?
        Will it be airbrushed from History as SF re-invents itself.

      • factual says:

        Danny Morrison has made clear that the armalite statement that he made is generally taken out of context.

      • Well he hasnt made it clear to me.
        Danny is allegedly a journalist these days.
        And Journalists are not the kinda people who would re-write history….surely not?

  8. factual says:

    The bbc have issued a reply “The BBC is very sorry for any offence caused. The note was written by one of the technical staff on the programme for his own use. “

  9. anewdawn says:

    Its amazing to see the SDLP tie themselves in knots over this.
    If they want to indulge Jim Allistar then simply propose a compromise for ‘crimes’ committed after 1998. The GFA was the line in the sand. Trimble himself made the comment that those with a past doesn’t mean thay can’t have a future.

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