Welcome back Liam!

2 10 2007

Staff at Bobballs were pleased to see Liam Clarke’s triumphant return to local journalism with today’s column in the News Letter (inc. the DUP Press office). Alas, no link is available at the mo.

So what did the NIO’s favourite journalist have to say today? Sorry, I’ll rephrase. What topic did Liam Conduit opine on just 24 hours prior to final submissions on bids to develop the Maze/Long Kesh site (without actually mentioning the submission deadline to the Maze/Long Kesh site)?

The Maze/Long Kesh regeneration site of course! He managed to leak out the idea that the ICCT is, er, a concept that promotes the interests of Unionism. And it could be a shrine not to terrorists, but to the victims of terrorists™(NIO). Apparently.

Counter-intuitive stuff. Surely nobody could talk that crazee if it weren’t right, right?

As ever, staff at Bobballs withhold judgment. But everyone is tripping over themselves to report the tailspinning Belfast option. While no one – absolutely no one – has reported that the Maze/Long Kesh scheme is moving forward to schedule. The consortia are in play and they make their formal submissions tomorrow. Anyone?

The media agenda has focused on the ludicrous Belfast bid. And while it has done so, it operated entirely to an agenda that coincided with the needs of the Minister (and former Maze Panel chairman). As he put it himself to the DCAL Committee in July: ‘The potential to yield maximum benefits from any private sector partnering arrangement is more likely to be achieved if uncertainties are removed and an agreed development scenario is put in place as soon as possible.’

The more spectacularly Belfast destroys itself, the more certain and immediate the Maze option becomes. Beginning to think the Sammy Wilson circus at Ormeau was a classic stalling tactic and piece of misdirection by the DUP. (But then I’d find it worrying that the DUP are that smart. Best to live in ignorance, eh?)

Yet here we are on the eve of deadline with now’t but a Poots-preserving piece in glorious tech-NIO-colour on Maze/Long Kesh as a Unionist theme park by Liam Clarke.

Just thought there’d be more interest. I’ll get me coat… (Blanket, surely? Ed.)

Incidentally, the submissions deadline of October 3 is also the anniversary date for the end of the Hunger Strikes. Dunno if that makes it a Unionist or a Republican submissions deadline. Just thought it was an interesting quirk of fate…




2 responses

3 10 2007

Let me help you. Google News is a wonderful tool.

3 10 2007

Thanks for the link, anonymous. Sadly not as helpful as perhaps intended. But while not the link i was referring to, it’s a useful excursus to an extremely important contribution to Northern Ireland journalism.

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